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HAVING ASPIRATIONS

New York Times, Sunday, November 15, 2015

Author:
Alan Arbesfeld
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
1228/27/19818/16/20180
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
25724342615
ScrabRebusCirclePangramPre‑WS
1.605099
Alan Arbesfeld

This puzzle:

Rows: 21, Columns: 21 Words: 132, Blocks: 64 Missing: {JQVXZ} This is puzzle # 110 for Mr. Arbesfeld. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jeff Chen notes:
Perfect title, HAVING ASPIRATIONS hinting at a W changing to a WH, as if aspirating (producing a sound by exhalation). I liked many of the themers, THE ROYAL WHEE really amusing. GET OUT ... read more

Perfect title, HAVING ASPIRATIONS hinting at a W changing to a WH, as if aspirating (producing a sound by exhalation). I liked many of the themers, THE ROYAL WHEE really amusing. GET OUT OF MY WHEY also evoked good imagery, as did WHACKS MUSEUM. I've seen many plays on world/whirled and wales/whales before, so those didn't do as much for me. Same goes for witch/WHICH … which are homophones, yes? That one muddled the theme for me.

THE ROYAL WHEE!

Alan is one of the few constructors to take on the ultra-low-word count challenge Will has been experimenting with. It does provide for a wide-open feeling grid; cool to see so much white space in every subsection. It's got a similar feel to a themeless grid.

Going down to 132 words is not something I think is worthwhile just for its own sake, but it can allow for a lot more mid-length and longer entries than we usually see in Sunday grids. The center of the puzzle does a wonderful job of this — a huge bonus to get HOLY COW, IN A WORD, STODGES, and CECILIA with the catchy lyrics. Even TINTYPE and ARCSINE are interesting entries we don't often see.

Check out the perimeter of the puzzle, though. It's chock full of 6-, 7-, and 8-letter entries where we're used to seeing 4- and 5-letter ones. That can theoretically make for a more interesting and colorful solve, especially when you work in such juicy answers as YO TE AMO and SPOILER and … well, that's the problem for me. I don't mind getting a smattering of I THE, ENSE, NEH, GUARE, INRI along that bottom if it means I get a lot of great material. But ENMESHES, OUTRACE, BLINK AT, ESSAYED, etc. = pretty neutral material in my eyes. I'd much rather see a 140-word puzzle with a few more sizzling answers and maybe half of the gluey bits we see today.

So, some fun themers and a good data point in the continuing experiment in ultra-low word count Sundays. I'm finding myself liking them less and less, but I do like the pushing of the boundaries.

1
M
2
A
3
S
4
C
5
O
6
T
7
S
8
T
9
I
10
M
11
I
12
D
13
I
14
T
15
Y
16
O
17
G
18
R
19
E
20
A
T
T
A
C
H
E
21
U
N
C
L
O
T
H
E
22
P
E
O
N
23
T
H
E
W
H
I
R
24
L
E
D
S
E
R
I
E
S
25
E
T
O
N
26
T
O
N
S
27
S
T
A
S
I
28
S
A
S
E
S
29
N
O
T
E
30
E
M
O
31
R
W
A
N
D
A
32
N
33
I
D
I
34
S
U
L
A
35
L
E
S
36
S
E
E
37
D
A
N
E
38
S
39
G
R
40
A
F
T
E
D
41
T
H
E
42
R
O
Y
A
L
W
43
H
44
E
E
45
C
O
O
T
S
46
P
47
A
48
P
R
I
K
A
49
L
E
O
N
50
W
O
R
F
51
E
R
R
O
R
52
N
53
E
54
C
55
K
56
L
O
57
S
E
R
58
M
59
S
60
N
61
E
M
I
L
E
62
C
L
E
A
63
R
64
L
Y
65
T
I
N
66
T
Y
P
E
67
K
E
N
L
68
W
H
I
C
H
D
O
C
69
T
O
R
70
A
W
L
S
71
A
R
C
S
72
I
N
E
73
I
N
A
W
O
R
D
74
I
M
H
I
T
75
T
S
E
76
M
E
R
77
Y
L
78
S
W
A
G
79
N
I
E
C
E
80
O
81
C
A
T
82
A
I
83
L
84
S
85
E
86
S
S
A
Y
E
D
87
B
88
Y
F
A
R
89
W
H
A
C
K
90
S
91
M
92
U
S
E
U
M
93
L
O
W
R
I
94
S
E
95
D
I
N
A
R
96
A
L
I
97
S
98
T
99
S
100
I
T
H
E
101
H
I
102
D
103
S
U
N
B
104
E
L
T
105
E
R
A
106
N
E
A
L
107
O
G
E
108
E
109
S
110
G
U
A
R
E
111
I
R
A
N
112
K
A
L
E
113
W
H
I
N
I
114
N
G
A
N
D
D
115
I
N
I
N
G
116
A
M
E
S
117
M
I
S
S
P
E
L
L
118
O
U
T
R
A
C
E
119
T
O
S
S
120
E
N
M
E
S
H
E
S
121
S
P
O
I
L
E
R
© 2015, The New York TimesNo. 1115 ( 24,113 )
Across
1. Animals at a football game : MASCOTS
8. Antithesis of brashness : TIMIDITY
16. One carrying a spiked club, maybe : OGRE
20. Case for a lawyer : ATTACHE
21. Lay bare : UNCLOTHE
22. Worker hardly making a living wage : PEON
23. "So You Think You Can Dance," say? : THEWHIRLEDSERIES
25. School for James Bond : ETON
26. Plenty : TONS
27. East German secret police : STASI
28. Some letter enclosures, for short : SASES
29. A or B, but not O : NOTE
30. Punk offshoot : EMO
31. Kigali native : RWANDAN
33. A mean Amin : IDI
34. Toni Morrison novel : SULA
35. One with monthly payments : LESSEE
37. Shakespeare's Claudius and others : DANES
39. Added on, botanically : GRAFTED
41. Roller coaster shout from Queen Elizabeth? : THEROYALWHEE
45. Geezers : COOTS
46. Sprinkling on a deviled egg : PAPRIKA
49. Nuevo ___, state in Mexico : LEON
50. Klingon on "Star Trek: T.N.G." : WORF
51. It may lead to an unearned run : ERROR
52. Make out : NECK
56. Sad sack : LOSER
58. AOL competitor : MSN
61. Actor Hirsch of "Into the Wild" : EMILE
62. Without doubt : CLEARLY
65. Antique photo : TINTYPE
67. ___ Ration (old dog food brand) : KENL
68. "Did you mean Doom or Dolittle?"? : WHICHDOCTOR
70. Tools for cobblers : AWLS
71. Inverse trig function : ARCSINE
73. Succinctly : INAWORD
74. Battlefield cry : IMHIT
75. Literary inits. : TSE
76. Actress Streep : MERYL
78. Coolness, in modern slang : SWAG
79. Lisa, to Patty and Selma, on "The Simpsons" : NIECE
80. One-___ (old ball game) : OCAT
82. Is sick : AILS
85. Made an effort : ESSAYED
87. Easily : BYFAR
89. Mob Boss Hall of Fame? : WHACKSMUSEUM
93. Like some jeans and apartment buildings : LOWRISE
95. Onetime place for Saddam Hussein's image : DINAR
96. Elite groups : ALISTS
100. Spillane's "___ Jury" : ITHE
101. Camouflaged : HID
103. Snowbird's destination : SUNBELT
105. Wisk competitor : ERA
106. Sci-fi/historical fiction writer Stephenson : NEAL
107. Decorative moldings : OGEES
110. John ___, "The House of Blue Leaves" playwright : GUARE
111. "Argo" setting : IRAN
112. Some salad greens : KALE
113. Making a complaint at a restaurant? : WHININGANDDINING
116. Iowa State locale : AMES
117. Trigger autocorrect, say : MISSPELL
118. Beat to the finish : OUTRACE
119. Eighty-six : TOSS
120. Traps in a net : ENMESHES
121. You may want to stop reading when you see this : SPOILER
Down
1. Hot Wheels maker : MATTEL
2. In : ATHOME
3. "Mad Men" extras : STENOS
4. Crows' cries : CAWS
5. "Gee," in Glasgow : OCH
6. "Meet the Press" competitor : THISWEEK
7. Company that encourages people to lie? : SERTA
8. Mardi Gras time : TUESDAY
9. Locale of the Battle of Tippecanoe : INDIANA
10. Runs the show, briefly : MCS
11. Dots in la mer : ILES
12. ___ Maar (Picasso's muse) : DORA
13. Formal identification : ITISI
14. Bono bandmate : THEEDGE
15. Answer with a salute : YESSIR
16. Precedes at a concert : OPENSFOR
17. "That milky liquid belongs to me!"? : GETOUTOFMYWHEY
18. Cousin of a tendril : ROOTLET
19. Baseball or Supreme Court lineups : ENNEADS
24. Calrissian of "Star Wars" films : LANDO
31. Put back on the payroll : REHIRE
32. Dudley Do-Right's love : NELL
36. Moseys along : STROLLS
38. E.U. member not in NATO: Abbr. : SWE
40. Part of a winter stash : ACORN
42. One with brand loyalty? : RANCHER
43. "Oh ... my ... God!" : HOLYCOW
44. Brian who wrote the score for "Me and Earl and the Dying Girl" : ENO
46. Glimpse on the sly : PEEKAT
47. Munitions suppliers : ARMERS
48. One in line to rule the ocean? : PRINCEOFWHALES
50. Peter who directed "Picnic at Hanging Rock" : WEIR
53. Man's name that's Hebrew for "my God" : ELI
54. 1970 hit with the lyric "I'm down on my knees, / I'm begging you please to come home" : CECILIA
55. Roger who wrote "The Boys of Summer" : KAHN
57. Stick-in-the-mud types : STODGES
59. Edit some film : SPLICE
60. Like measuring cups, often : NESTED
63. Nutritional fig. : RDA
64. Cattle calls : LOWS
66. ___ Trail (Everglades highway) : TAMIAMI
68. PBS station in the Big Apple : WNET
69. Chorus line leader? : TRA
72. Japanese porcelain : IMARI
74. Dis but not dat? : INSULT
77. "Fargo" assent : YAH
81. Negligent : CARELESS
83. Screen abbr. : LCD
84. Things found between the poles? : SKIS
86. Closed tight : SEALEDUP
87. Show some dumbfoundedness about : BLINKAT
88. Declaration on Día de San Valentín : YOTEAMO
89. Add one's two cents : WEIGHIN
90. Get cozy : SNUGGLE
91. Books often not read : MANUALS
92. Built-up : URBAN
94. "Prove it!" : SHOWME
97. Kind of number : SERIAL
98. Cataleptic state : TRANCE
99. Margaret who founded Planned Parenthood : SANGER
102. Jefferson's religious belief : DEISM
104. Mathematician who was the subject of the book "The Man Who Loved Only Numbers" : ERDOS
108. Start of the Bay State's motto : ENSE
109. Nurses at a bar : SIPS
111. Calvary inscription : INRI
114. Book before Esth. : NEH
115. Skater Midori : ITO

Answer summary: 8 unique to this puzzle, 3 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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