It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker. Please consider supporting our site by purchasing an account.

FOR VARIETY'S SAKE

New York Times, Sunday, October 11, 2015

Author: David J. Kahn
Editor: Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
1793/15/19946/3/20185
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
4451222571326
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.5514190
David J. Kahn

This puzzle:

Rows: 21, Columns: 21 Words: 142, Blocks: 71 Missing: {JQXZ} This is puzzle # 161 for Mr. Kahn. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
David J. Kahn notes: I wanted to focus on the show's talent, rather than specific sketches. I wanted to highlight a cross-section of performers who were with the show for a while. And I thought the pseudo-rivalry between Steve ... more
David J. Kahn notes: I wanted to focus on the show's talent, rather than specific sketches. I wanted to highlight a cross-section of performers who were with the show for a while. And I thought the pseudo-rivalry between Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin for the most guest host appearances was funny and deserved a mention.
Jeff Chen notes: Tribute to Saturday Night Live, a crossword standard in its 'SNL' form. We get the following stars found within themers: Amy POEHLER Eddie MURPHY Gilda RADNER Bill HADER Chris ROCK David SPADE ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

Tribute to Saturday Night Live, a crossword standard in its "SNL" form. We get the following stars found within themers:

  • Amy POEHLER
  • Eddie MURPHY
  • Gilda RADNER
  • Bill HADER
  • Chris ROCK
  • David SPADE
  • Tina FEY
  • Kristen WIIG

Good old Roseanne Roseannadanna ...

Nice to see a mix of old and new, male and female. John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd are notable omissions to me, but that's to be expected from this huge "Blues Brothers" (and "Animal House") fan. And getting the letters A Y K R O Y D inside a phrase would have been much harder than R O C K or S P A D E.

We also get two bonus people, the two most frequent guest hosts in STEVE MARTIN and ALEC BALDWIN. Fortuitous that they're both 11 letters long! And of course, the famous LIVE FROM NEW YORK / ITS SATURDAY NIGHT. That's a ton of theme material packed in.

A lot of compromises in the short fill in order to get such high theme packing, though. The middle is so tough to fill what with all the theme jammed in. Not a lot you can do in the ALOP / A POD area, and when you pack in STEVE MARTIN right next to SAFELY. It's not a surprise to get a heavy dose of glue in the old-school LIEF.

Sure would have been nice to get the SNL revealer in a more elegant place. The very first across answer, the very last one, smack-dab in the center, any of those would have been better than a random spot that happened to fit (56-Across).

It would also have been nice to present the cast members in a less overt and more deliberate way. I found all those circles strewn about the puzzle to be visually unappealing. I'm not sure what would have been better though — there are a few like ROCK and SPADE which can easily be hidden in phrases (HARD ROCK, SPADE WORK), but not many. Likewise, FEY can be hidden in FRESH PAIR OF EYES, but try doing that with WIIG.

Perhaps hiding the syllables within phrases, like RADNER in RADIANT ENERGY, would have at least cleaned up things a bit? How fortuitous that this phrase actually describes Radner! Seems like there's a seed of a theme right there ...

1
P
2
A
3
S
4
S
5
A
6
B
7
E
8
A
9
D
10
T
11
R
12
A
13
S
14
H
15
I
16
B
17
M
18
A
L
T
A
19
A
L
U
M
N
A
20
H
A
G
U
E
21
C
E
E
22
L
I
E
F
23
P
O
R
T
A
B
24
L
E
S
H
E
L
25
T
E
R
S
26
E
N
V
E
27
L
O
P
S
28
S
I
R
29
A
T
T
A
C
K
S
30
R
E
E
L
E
D
31
T
32
A
33
G
A
L
O
34
G
35
E
T
A
S
36
M
Y
A
37
M
Y
A
U
T
O
B
I
38
O
39
G
R
A
P
H
40
Y
41
E
42
V
A
43
S
44
P
I
N
A
L
45
E
L
H
I
46
P
I
E
47
C
O
R
48
N
E
L
L
49
S
A
50
I
51
D
52
M
O
53
C
54
E
R
A
55
A
L
T
E
56
S
N
57
L
58
G
R
A
59
N
60
D
S
T
A
61
N
D
E
R
62
S
T
I
E
63
S
64
E
E
65
K
66
A
R
E
A
67
T
S
U
68
H
A
N
D
W
69
A
R
M
E
70
R
71
C
A
R
72
R
O
T
C
73
A
74
K
75
E
76
N
E
I
77
M
R
E
78
D
79
T
E
E
80
E
L
L
E
S
81
E
82
A
83
S
T
E
R
84
P
A
R
A
D
85
E
86
S
P
87
A
88
E
E
L
S
89
A
N
T
90
T
I
O
91
L
E
A
92
N
93
A
R
94
T
I
C
L
E
95
R
T
E
96
E
L
97
M
98
O
99
S
O
100
F
R
E
E
101
B
I
N
102
L
I
V
103
E
104
F
R
O
M
N
105
E
106
W
Y
O
R
K
107
T
108
W
A
109
D
E
A
R
110
M
E
T
H
A
N
E
111
B
R
I
L
112
L
113
O
114
C
O
N
T
E
115
S
116
T
117
A
N
Y
118
I
119
S
L
A
N
D
E
R
120
I
T
S
S
A
T
U
121
R
D
A
Y
122
N
123
I
G
H
T
124
I
W
O
N
125
G
E
O
126
K
O
R
E
A
127
E
T
C
H
E
S
128
N
I
N
O
129
S
S
N
130
S
A
N
D
Y
131
S
H
U
T
S
132
G
N
A
T
© 2015, The New York TimesNo. 1011 ( 24,078 )
Across Down
1. Get by : PASS
5. Draw ___ on : ABEAD
10. With 101-Across, screen icon : TRASH
15. Co. that invented the floppy disk : IBM
18. Utah attraction for skiers : ALTA
19. Certain graduate : ALUMNA
20. Headquarters of Royal Dutch Shell, with "The" : HAGUE
21. Shellac finish? : CEE
22. Gladly, old-style : LIEF
23. Tents and the like (2001-08) : PORTABLESHELTERS
26. Wraps : ENVELOPS
28. See 109-Across : SIR
29. Goes after : ATTACKS
30. Brought (in) : REELED
31. One of two official Philippine languages, along with English : TAGALOG
35. Flight figures, for short : ETAS
36. "Case of the Ex" singer, 2000 : MYA
37. 1964 Charlie Chaplin book (1980-84) : MYAUTOBIOGRAPHY
41. Actress Green of "Casino Royale" : EVA
43. ___ column : SPINAL
45. All-inclusive, in edspeak : ELHI
46. Epitome of easiness : PIE
47. Northeastern university where Carl Sagan taught : CORNELL
49. Egypt's Port ___ : SAID
52. Soft wear, informally : MOC
54. Long stretch : ERA
55. Der ___ (Adenauer) : ALTE
56. TV show since 10/11/75, eight of whose former stars appear in the circled squares in this puzzle : SNL
58. Show-off (1975-80) : GRANDSTANDER
62. Stockholders? : STIES
64. "Yikes!" : EEK
66. Quarter : AREA
67. Nashville inst. : TSU
68. Muff, e.g. (2005-13) : HANDWARMER
71. Dessert often topped with cream cheese (1990-93) : CARROTCAKE
76. In the, in Italy : NEI
77. TV star who loved oats : MRED
79. Shirt style : TEE
80. Those girls, in French : ELLES
81. Berlin standard (1990-96) : EASTERPARADE
86. Spring business? : SPA
88. Ambush predators of the sea : EELS
89. Pharaoh ___ : ANT
90. Padre's hermano : TIO
91. Slim and trim : LEAN
93. Thing : ARTICLE
95. Trucker's circuit: Abbr. : RTE
96. Redhead on kids' TV : ELMO
99. How "You Make Me Feel" in a Van Morrison song : SOFREE
101. See 10-Across : BIN
102. With 120-Across, intro heard every week on 56-Across : LIVEFROMNEWYORK
107. First American carrier to show movies on flights : TWA
109. With 28-Across, letter opener : DEAR
110. CH4 : METHANE
111. Kitchen pad : BRILLO
114. Dispute : CONTEST
117. "___ thoughts?" : ANY
118. Ranger rival : ISLANDER
120. See 102-Across : ITSSATURDAYNIGHT
124. Champ's cry : IWON
125. Prefix with -centric : GEO
126. Taekwondo is its national sport : KOREA
127. Makes a good impression? : ETCHES
128. El ___ : NINO
129. Frequent target of ID thieves : SSN
130. Destructive 2012 hurricane : SANDY
131. Latches, say : SHUTS
132. Zapper target : GNAT
1. Not so bright : PALER
2. Coat cut : ALINE
3. 15-time guest host of 56-Across : STEVEMARTIN
4. One way to get home (2000-06) : SAFELY
5. Cockeyed : ALOP
6. 1974 Best Actress for "Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore" : BURSTYN
7. 911 respondent, for short : EMT
8. "Wheel of Fortune" buy : ANA
9. Gently sponges : DABSAT
10. 1953 biblical movie : THEROBE
11. Dorm heads, briefly : RAS
12. Ottoman Empire title : AGHA
13. Bird feeder fill : SUET
14. ___-skelter : HELTER
15. Like the North Pole : ICECAPPED
16. English county that's home to Reading : BERKSHIRE
17. Snafu : MESS
19. Animal without feet : APOD
24. Title girl in a 2002 Disney movie : LILO
25. "Cheerio" : TATA
27. Focus of urban renewal? : LEASE
32. Some digital camera batteries : AAAS
33. Soviet labor camp : GULAG
34. Baseball's Hodges : GIL
37. John ___, greaser in "American Graffiti" : MILNER
38. ___ law : OHMS
39. Designer of the Florence Cathedral bell tower : GIOTTO
40. Class : YEAR
41. Digital money : ECASH
42. Alessandro ___, scientist who discovered 110-Across : VOLTA
44. Abbr. of politeness : PLS
48. "You ___ worry" : NEEDNT
50. Radio host Glass : IRA
51. Jeanne ___ : DARC
53. Class : CASTE
57. Subsidiary proposition : LEMMA
59. Cool : NEAT
60. Does a high-wire act, e.g. : DARES
61. Centers : NUCLEI
63. Cool : SWEET
65. N.B.A. head coach Steve : KERR
69. More open to the outdoors : AIRIER
70. "Get ___!" : REAL
72. Find another spot, maybe : REPARK
73. 16-time guest host of 56-Across : ALECBALDWIN
74. ___ O'Hara, 2015 Tony winner for "The King and I" : KELLI
75. German coal city, once : ESSEN
78. Bygone presidential inits. : DDE
81. Peer group member? : EARL
82. Countermeasures : ANTIDOTES
83. Democratic presidential nominee before Kennedy : STEVENSON
84. Shirt style : POLO
85. Piece of cake in school : EASYA
87. "___ we alone?" : ARE
92. 11 follower : NOON
94. Colorful fish : TETRA
97. "Makes me want seconds!" : MMM
98. Vitamin regimen : ONEADAY
100. Ship's load : FREIGHT
103. Chomps on : EATS
104. Loses it, with "out" : FREAKS
105. Italian mount : ETNA
106. "Actually, I do" : WHYYES
108. Dining partner? (2005-12) : WINING
111. Counter orders : BLTS
112. Lewis who sang the theme for "Avatar" : LEONA
113. "... then again, maybe I'm mistaken" : ORNOT
114. Weeds : CIGS
115. Old colonnade : STOA
116. Go bad : TURN
119. Does, e.g. : SHES
121. Like the border of Time magazine : RED
122. Ultimate : NTH
123. Post-O.R. site : ICU

Answer summary: 8 unique to this puzzle, 2 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

Found bugs or have suggestions?