It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker. Please consider supporting our site by purchasing an account.
This web browser is not supported. Use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge for best results.

BYE-LINES

New York Times, Sunday, November 10, 2013

Author:
Alan Olschwang
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
1012/2/19973/14/20140
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
1012150
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.56101
Alan Olschwang

This puzzle:

Rows: 21, Columns: 21 Words: 134, Blocks: 60 Missing: {QZ} Spans: 1 This is puzzle # 9 for Mr. Olschwang. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Alan Olschwang notes:
I have been creating puzzles since 1994. Over the years, I've been able to place puzzles with most publishers, including having seven or eight daily puzzles in the Times. Perhaps ten years ... read more

I have been creating puzzles since 1994. Over the years, I've been able to place puzzles with most publishers, including having seven or eight daily puzzles in the Times. Perhaps ten years ago, I decided to have a go at placing a puzzle in the Sunday Times. I've tried to do so once or twice a year since then, failing every time. Although I had sent what I consider my best work each time, I have the sense that I was not very close to acceptance in any case. After each puzzle was rejected, in most cases I was able to place it or another puzzle with the same theme elsewhere, I started to think that I should give up the idea of placing a Sunday puzzle in the Times. However, I hadn't quite gotten there yet. I do have ideas for puzzles pop into my head pretty regularly and, being retired, have time to work with them.

In this particularly case, somehow I started thinking about the way different ended, such as Walter Cronkite's "That's The Way It Is". I wondered if I could come up with a good set of famous show closings as the theme entries for a 21x puzzle. I thought of different ways to do this and decided to take a chance and ask Will if he might be interested in any of them. I have not attempted to dialogue with Will on any of my other submissions to him either before or since knowing it is asking a lot of him to do so given the volume of submissions he receives. Anyhow, the theme did interest him, and we had some dialogue. That eventually led to this puzzle, but not before my first attempt to do this was rejected. I believe there are three reasons why I was finally successful with this version. First, Will did like the theme. In fact, he is entitled to most of the credit for the key theme entry (which entry will be apparent to the solver). Second, I was able to do this puzzle with 134 entries. Finally, I was able to avoid entries that Will considered unacceptable.

In my years of puzzle writing, I've had more than 4,000 puzzles published, including crosswords and more than 25 other types of word puzzles. I'm 3½ years into full retirement from my career business and created puzzles to stay young. If you like this puzzle, please check out my ebook of puzzles book on the free Puzzazz app.

Jeff Chen notes:
It is hard to create a Sunday puzzle. Working with a 21x21 grid and a maximum of 140 almost always causes me to tear my hair out (what's left of it, anyway). Each time I've dabbled with ... read more

It is hard to create a Sunday puzzle. Working with a 21x21 grid and a maximum of 140 almost always causes me to tear my hair out (what's left of it, anyway). Each time I've dabbled with 138 word grids I've shied away, going back to the safety of the 140 worder. That goes doubly or triply so for the 136 word construction, which is exponentially harder to execute on. Today, Alan gives us a 134 word puzzle today, one of the lowest word count puzzles in the Shortz era. Audacious!

The theme is straightforward today, five well-known "bye-lines", phrases famous people said as they were leaving. Clever title. I liked the idea paired with the title and would have liked to see a few more theme examples. I'LL BE BACK comes to mind immediately, as does GOOD NIGHT AND GOOD LUCK. I'm sure there are others. Fun to think of famous parting words.

This puzzle falls into the category of Will's experimentation with less theme density and a lower word count. 134 words is pretty impressive, but I for one don't care about record setting unless it leads directly to solver pleasure. So does this puzzle achieve that? On some levels, yes. The fact that the puzzle includes so much long fill is impressive, and that factor can really add to puzzle enjoyment. There's a lot of good stuff here, including IPOD NANO, IN UTERO, PLAYS UP, BAD TRIP, SURF CITY, SET BAIL, RAT TAILS, even IDI AMIN in his full. Pretty fun to see all that snazzy content.

However, a lot of the fill is in that 3-7 letter length, and much of that isn't exciting, more "ballast fill"; glue that holds the puzzle together. I enjoyed the idea of the theme and uncovering some of the longer fill, but encountering entries such as EPATHA, especially crossing ASAS took away from my solving pleasure. Also, I felt like I was solving a giant themeless puzzle, which could be great except that I personally get tired out mentally toward the end of a hard themeless without many marquee answers. Stretching that experience into a 21x dimension left me awfully worn-out toward the end.

Overall, interesting experiment with the "less theme, less words" approach. Seeing a few examples of this has helped tune my impression of what I would like to see in the future: at least six theme entries (or five grid-spanners), with more 8+ letter fill. I think it would be awesome to get a few more puzzles which aren't as theme-dense as usual, but offer more of the impact that snazzy themelesses deliver what with their fresh stacks of 8+ letter entries.

FYI, if you hit the "Analyze this puzzle" button at the very bottom of this page, you'll get all sorts of stats about this puzzle. No more drudgery of counting things manually!

Jim Horne notes:

Good night, Mrs. Calabash, wherever you are.

1
S
2
A
3
B
4
E
5
N
6
A
7
R
8
E
9
S
10
I
11
S
12
T
13
S
14
A
15
M
16
A
17
T
18
I
19
S
20
C
R
A
N
E
S
21
I
N
U
T
E
R
O
22
S
A
V
A
N
T
23
H
I
Y
O
S
I
24
L
V
E
R
A
W
A
Y
25
P
R
I
N
C
E
26
U
A
L
27
S
A
B
E
28
F
L
E
X
29
R
E
T
A
K
E
N
30
S
N
O
31
B
32
N
O
N
33
A
C
I
D
34
A
E
R
A
T
I
N
G
35
S
E
R
U
36
M
37
L
I
A
38
U
M
P
S
39
E
N
S
E
40
L
E
41
S
42
S
43
F
A
T
44
I
N
B
R
E
45
D
46
G
E
L
47
T
48
H
49
E
B
A
L
C
O
N
Y
50
I
S
C
L
O
S
E
51
D
52
E
A
P
53
D
O
O
R
S
54
D
O
L
E
S
55
C
O
56
T
57
A
58
N
59
A
S
A
60
S
61
T
O
T
62
C
I
N
E
63
C
A
J
O
L
E
64
T
H
T
H
65
T
H
T
H
66
T
H
A
T
S
67
A
68
L
L
F
O
L
K
S
69
R
E
H
A
B
S
70
H
O
M
O
71
L
A
A
72
S
T
A
T
73
O
S
A
G
E
74
O
75
T
E
R
I
76
A
P
I
N
77
G
78
E
L
L
79
S
A
80
Y
G
O
O
D
N
81
I
G
H
T
G
R
82
A
C
I
E
83
M
84
U
85
S
86
M
E
L
O
N
S
87
P
L
A
Y
S
U
P
88
I
L
E
89
S
90
S
A
T
E
91
F
O
E
92
B
E
93
A
94
C
95
H
96
R
A
T
T
97
A
I
L
S
98
B
A
D
T
99
R
100
I
101
P
102
X
E
R
O
103
A
L
B
E
R
T
A
104
B
A
R
N
105
A
V
E
106
O
107
N
O
I
108
G
U
A
R
D
S
109
A
N
D
M
A
110
Y
G
O
D
B
111
L
E
S
S
112
E
M
I
N
E
M
113
M
A
G
E
N
T
A
114
A
L
E
A
S
T
115
S
E
L
E
N
E
116
T
I
E
R
O
D
S
117
L
A
S
S
E
S
© 2013, The New York TimesNo. 1110 ( 23,378 )
Across
1
Former Belgian national airline : SABENA
7
Just says no : RESISTS
14
Cremona craftwork : AMATIS
20
Origami staples : CRANES
21
1993 5x platinum Nirvana album : INUTERO
22
Wise guy : SAVANT
23
The Lone Ranger : HIYOSILVERAWAY
25
Phillip, e.g., in Disney's "Sleeping Beauty" : PRINCE
26
Carrier inits. : UAL
27
Kemo ___ (the Lone Ranger) : SABE
28
Move a muscle? : FLEX
29
No longer in enemy hands : RETAKEN
30
Kind of appeal : SNOB
32
Base, e.g. : NONACID
34
Infusing with a soda maker : AERATING
35
Hospital supply : SERUM
37
___ Fáil, Ireland's coronation stone : LIA
38
Strike callers : UMPS
39
Massachusetts motto starter : ENSE
40
Dietary claim : LESSFAT
44
Deeply rooted : INBRED
46
Toothpaste type : GEL
47
Roger Ebert : THEBALCONYISCLOSED
52
84-Down writer's monogram : EAP
53
Opportunities, metaphorically : DOORS
54
Hands (out) : DOLES
55
Trig ratio : COTAN
59
Old camera settings, for short : ASAS
61
Add (up) : TOT
62
François Truffaut's field : CINE
63
Sweet-talk : CAJOLE
64
Porky Pig : THTHTHTHTHATSALLFOLKS
69
Fixes up, as a run-down house : REHABS
70
Cato's man : HOMO
71
When doubled, one of the Teletubbies : LAA
72
"Now!" : STAT
73
"August: ___ County" (2008 Pulitzer winner for Drama) : OSAGE
74
"S.N.L." alum Cheri : OTERI
76
Mimicry : APING
78
July third? : ELL
79
George Burns : SAYGOODNIGHTGRACIE
83
Genus of small rodents : MUS
86
Items sometimes sniffed at a supermarket : MELONS
87
Highlights : PLAYSUP
88
Mille ___ (part of Québec with a rhyming name) : ILES
90
Fill : SATE
91
Other side : FOE
92
Volleyball venue : BEACH
96
Hair extensions? : RATTAILS
98
Something you want to come down from quickly : BADTRIP
102
Dry: Prefix : XERO
103
Home of Banff National Park : ALBERTA
104
Animal house : BARN
105
2004 Chevy debut : AVEO
107
"___ can't" : NOI
108
Beefeaters, e.g. : GUARDS
109
Red Skelton : ANDMAYGODBLESS
112
Record of the Year Grammy nominee for "Lose Yourself" : EMINEM
113
Primary pigment for printers : MAGENTA
114
Rays' div. : ALEAST
115
Luna's counterpart : SELENE
116
Auto steering system components : TIERODS
117
Potential sweethearts : LASSES
Down
1
Downhill run : SCHUSS
2
Massenet opera based on Greek myth : ARIANE
3
Bears' home in Texas : BAYLOR
4
2005 Drama Pulitzer finalist Will : ENO
5
Costner role : NESS
6
Like the origin of the food in many fusion restaurants : ASIAN
7
Pulled apart : RIVEN
8
Compass dir. : ENE
9
Nickname for Huntington Beach, Calif. : SURFCITY
10
Bologna's place : ITALIA
11
Clinched, with "up" : SEWED
12
"Time ___" (bygone sci-fi series) : TRAX
13
___-based : SOY
14
Defames : ASPERSES
15
One of the von Trapp girls : MARTA
16
Do some banking, say : AVIATE
17
Going down in the rankings, say : TANKING
18
Holy smoke : INCENSE
19
First Mets manager : STENGEL
24
CNBC news item : LBO
29
Mag proofs : REPROS
31
Shallot, e.g. : BULB
33
Keyes and King : ALANS
34
Mosey along : AMBLE
36
"Beowulf" quaff : MEAD
38
Jesse and Leo of TV sitcoms : UNCLES
41
Poky sorts : SLOTHS
42
Order to go? : SCOOT
43
Onward : FORTH
44
Sees through : ISONTO
45
Latte option : DECAF
47
Ópera venue : TEATRO
48
Chops up : HASHES
49
S. ___ Merkerson, four-time N.A.A.C.P. Image Award-winning actress : EPATHA
50
Oscar-winning Forest Whitaker role : IDIAMIN
51
Judo gyms : DOJOS
56
Ancient Mexican : TOLTEC
57
Base : ALKALI
58
Company that owns Gerber : NESTLE
60
Layered coifs : SHAGS
62
Groups of strings, maybe : CHORDS
63
Sword fight sounds : CLANGS
65
Letter-shaped bridge support : TBEAM
66
Mr. Right : THEONE
67
Dominant : ALPHA
68
Church group : LAITY
74
Black Hills native : OGLALA
75
Sweetie : TOOTS
76
Lace's end : AGLET
77
Vittles : GRUB
80
Possible answer to "Is that you?" : YESITSME
81
Apple product : IPODNANO
82
Extreme point : APEX
83
Sights not to be believed : MIRAGES
84
Poem that ends "This ghoul-haunted woodland of Weir" : ULALUME
85
What a judge might do during a hearing : SETBAIL
89
"A Sentimental Journey" author : STERNE
91
Thomas Jefferson or Jimmy Carter, once : FARMER
93
Virgil hero : AENEAS
94
Bit of field sport equipment : CROSSE
95
Lifts : HOISTS
97
Where to find "books in the running brooks," per Shakespeare : ARDEN
98
Star, maybe : BADGE
99
Indian melodies : RAGAS
100
Nobelist writer Andric : IVO
101
Go by bike : PEDAL
104
Beginning of some temple names : BNAI
106
Preceder of "di" or "da" in a Beatles song : OBLA
109
Invoice fig. : AMT
110
Since 1/1 : YTD
111
"___ Sylphides" (ballet) : LES

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

Found bugs or have suggestions?