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CROSS REFERENCES

New York Times, Sunday, November 20, 2016

Author: Ed Sessa
Editor: Will Shortz
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379/10/200710/16/20180
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1.64251
Edward Sessa

This puzzle:

Rows: 21, Columns: 21 Words: 140, Blocks: 68 Missing: {JKQ} This is puzzle # 32 for Mr. Sessa. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Edward Sessa notes: I was surprised to find 6 theme pairs that shared a common interior letter (couldn't use Caesar-Rubicon, e.g.). Although the paired entries were all pretty short, the asymmetric fixed crossings made the puzzle ... more
Edward Sessa notes:

I was surprised to find 6 theme pairs that shared a common interior letter (couldn't use Caesar-Rubicon, e.g.). Although the paired entries were all pretty short, the asymmetric fixed crossings made the puzzle a bit of a challenge to design, much like a rebus with no flexibility, or a jigsaw puzzle. A black square in the NE would black out a theme letter in the SW, etc.

Will asked for enough fill changes to require some major reworking which required changing the central element STALAGMITES, replaced with BEAUXGESTES, a nice sounding bit of French and at least a close cousin to the title of a familiar classic movie. I could not get rid of ULE in the NW--if someone figures a way to do it please let me know.

I wish I could take credit for the neat repeat clues for 80 and 82-Down, but that's another example of the editor's ingenuity.

Jeff Chen notes: Famous people literally cross a body of water they were known for actually crossing in real life. I've highlighted the theme pairs below to help them stand out. Fun idea — it reminded both Jim and me of a ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

Famous people literally cross a body of water they were known for actually crossing in real life. I've highlighted the theme pairs below to help them stand out. Fun idea — it reminded both Jim and me of a fantastic one from a long time ago by Patrick Berry.

I didn't know BEREZINA, but apparently it was a famous battle Napoleon fought in, involving a crossing of the BEREZINA. Learn something new every day! WASHINGTON crossing the DELAWARE was much more familiar and gave me a smile, along with LINDBERGH crossing the ATLANTIC and MAGELLAN crossing the PACIFIC (well, I knew he crossed something big, anyway). Something fun about seeing these historic voyages in crossword form.

It was odd to get LINDBERGH crossing the RED SEA. Took me an embarrassing amount of time to realize it was actually MOSES crossing the RED SEA. Then again, did he really cross the RED SEA? Or did he *part* it, and then cross the empty basin? Felt out of place, and I sure would have liked to separate these two pairs of themers.

It's always tough to work with crossing themers, since they take up a lot of space and also cause filling difficulties around their intersections. It's also always tough to make Sunday 140-word puzzles, because they can often be themeless-esque in their wide-open spaces. Combine the two and you get a major challenge. I did like many of the bonuses Ed gave us — SMART CAR, BEEP BEEP!, SLIP N SLIDE, and the beautiful BEAUX GESTES (yes, the X is necessary in the plural form) — that's enough strong fill to sate my Sunday needs.

So much crossword glue, though. I definitely noticed the inelegant bits through my solve, i.e. APACE, ENROL with only one L, TOITY (partial), DIL, EXO, LDRS, etc. It's to be expected, given the construction challenge, but I had hitches in many places.

Nice idea though, a few historic crossings given their due in crossword form.

JimH notes: Patrick Berry had a similar idea a little over a decade ago where a CHICKEN crosses THE ROAD. But why?
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© 2016, The New York TimesNo. 1120 ( 24,484 )
Across Down
1. Like good whiskey : SMOOTH
7. Signed notes : CHITS
12. They might jump through hoops for you : ACROBATS
20. Civil rights activist ___ Helen Burroughs : NANNIE
21. Place for a home pool, maybe : LANAI
22. Comforting words : THERENOW
23. What Bart Simpson has been since 1989 : AGETEN
24. Draw forth : EDUCE
25. One of the Borgias : LUCREZIA
26. Rap's Salt-N-___ : PEPA
27. Bad thing to be behind : PRISONBARS
29. Shame : PITY
30. Wham-O toy introduced in 1961 : SLIPNSLIDE
33. Late actor Bill who played Radio Raheem : NUNN
34. Some break dancers, informally : BBOYS
35. Diminutive suffix : ULE
36. Quickly : APACE
37. Entice : BAIT
38. Bit of fiction : LIE
39. See 2-Down : PACIFIC
41. Blow away : AWE
43. Famous crosser of the 12-Down : LINDBERGH
48. Brisk rival : NESTEA
49. It's easy to park : SMARTCAR
51. Euro pop? : PERE
52. Baghdad's ___ City : SADR
53. Highway infraction, for short : DUI
54. Zuo Zongtang, a.k.a. General ___ : TSO
56. "Vox populi, vox ___" : DEI
57. Biblical figure referred to as a "son of the desert" : ESAU
60. Blue Moon ___, three-time World Series winner for the 1970s A's : ODOM
63. Deletions : XOUTS
66. Famous crosser of the 45-Down : MOSES
68. Ben who played the Wizard in Broadway's "Wicked" : VEREEN
70. See 62-Down : YANGTZE
72. Yes vote : ASSENT
73. Fidgety : ANTSY
74. Separated by a hairbreadth : CLOSE
75. Picked as the one, say : IDED
77. Fourth-largest news agency in the world : TASS
78. "Rugrats" baby : DIL
79. Internet ___ : ERA
81. Abbr. seen in some dictionary definitions : ESP
83. Little more than : MERE
85. Flair : ELAN
87. Bugged? : INFECTED
91. Beseeches : PLEADS
94. Patron saint of soldiers and athletes : SEBASTIAN
96. Mama baaer : EWE
97. Put on : APPLIED
99. "The Tell-Tale Heart" author : POE
100. Pale purple shade : IRIS
102. Like gymnasts : LITHE
104. Outside: Prefix : EXO
105. Spread by light strokes : DABON
108. "Teach" at a college : PROF
109. Famous crosser of the 90-Down : WASHINGTON
111. Airline with famously tight security : ELAL
112. Summoned from the office, say : CALLEDAWAY
114. Tenerife, por ejemplo : ISLA
115. See 86-Down : BEREZINA
117. May 8, 1945 : VEDAY
118. As well : TOBOOT
120. Displaced : UPROOTED
121. Civil rights leader Medgar : EVERS
122. Fidgety : ONEDGE
123. Alms recipients : THENEEDY
124. Bullpen setting : RODEO
125. Coral reef predators : MORAYS
1. Grabs before someone else does : SNAPSUP
2. Famous crosser of the 39-Across : MAGELLAN
3. Like jumpsuits : ONEPIECE
4. Ready to be drawn : ONTAP
5. 7-up, e.g. : TIE
6. Partridge family mother : HEN
7. Cassock wearer : CLERIC
8. Was creative : HADIDEAS
9. Employed : INUSE
10. ___ truck : TACO
11. Earthy color : SIENNA
12. See 43-Across : ATLANTIC
13. Milk shaker? : CHURN
14. Letters teachers send to colleges, informally : RECS
15. Yossarian's tentmate in "Catch-22" : ORR
16. Sound from the Road Runner : BEEPBEEP
17. W.W. II beachhead : ANZIO
18. Hoity-___ : TOITY
19. Wins over : SWAYS
27. Protester's sign : PLACARD
28. Hunky : BUILT
31. Commerce pact mentioned in the 2016 presidential debates : NAFTA
32. Surveilled : SPIEDON
34. Catcher near the plate? : BIB
37. Chivalrous deeds : BEAUXGESTES
38. C.E.O. and pres. : LDRS
40. Puts out : ISSUES
42. Iraq War subj. : WMD
44. D.C. nine : NATS
45. See 66-Across : REDSEA
46. Jill Stein's group, with "the" : GREENS
47. Unauthorized withdrawals? : HEISTS
50. Anarchic action : RIOT
55. Mantra syllables : OMS
57. Gives the runaround : EVADES
58. In one's dotage : SENILE
59. Schoolroom with brushes and paint : ARTLAB
61. Olive ___ (Popeye's gal) : OYL
62. Famous crosser of the 70-Across : MAO
64. 9mm gun : UZI
65. Main character on "How I Met Your Mother" : TED
67. Pertaining to bones : OSTEAL
69. Goggle at : EYE
71. Instant: Abbr. : NSEC
72. Long Island campus : ADELPHI
74. "Pretty please?" : CANI
76. Major theme of Philip K. Dick's "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" : EMPATHY
80. Something observed in church : RITE
82. Something observed in church : PEW
84. Write again : REPEN
86. Famous crosser of the 115-Across : NAPOLEON
88. Damsel, to a knight : FAIRLADY
89. Register, as for a class : ENROL
90. See 109-Across : DELAWARE
92. Pepsi Max, e.g. : DIETSODA
93. Field for Alfred Kinsey : SEXOLOGY
95. Trinity part : SON
98. Supports the Red Cross, say : DONATES
101. Should that happen : IFEVER
103. Parent's definitive "End of argument!" : ISAYSO
105. Opening : DEBUT
106. First Hebrew letter : ALEPH
107. Wilkes-___, Pa. : BARRE
108. Like windows : PANED
109. Used hip boots, say : WADED
110. One dishing out digs : GIBER
112. Name : CITE
113. "Whip It" band : DEVO
116. Actress Saldana : ZOE
118. Certain cat : TOM
119. Yoko from Tokyo : ONO

Answer summary: 6 unique to this puzzle, 4 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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