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CROSS REFERENCES

New York Times, Sunday, November 20, 2016

Author:
Ed Sessa
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
379/10/200710/16/20180
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
4967452
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
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 ... read more

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 ... read more

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.

Jim Horne notes:

Patrick Berry had a similar idea a little over a decade ago where a CHICKEN crosses THE ROAD. But why?

1
S
2
M
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O
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O
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T
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H
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C
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H
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I
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T
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S
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A
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C
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R
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O
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B
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A
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T
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S
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N
A
N
N
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E
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L
A
N
A
I
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T
H
E
R
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N
O
W
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A
G
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N
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E
D
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L
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C
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P
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P
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P
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N
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B
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R
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P
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T
Y
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S
L
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P
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N
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S
L
I
D
E
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N
U
N
N
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B
B
O
Y
S
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U
L
E
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A
P
A
C
E
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B
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L
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P
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I
F
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A
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W
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N
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B
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R
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G
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H
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N
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M
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A
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P
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D
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O
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D
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I
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E
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S
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A
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O
D
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O
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M
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X
O
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U
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T
S
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M
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O
S
E
S
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V
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R
E
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E
N
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Y
A
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N
G
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Z
E
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A
S
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T
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A
N
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Y
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C
L
O
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E
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I
D
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D
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D
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L
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P
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M
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E
L
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N
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F
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C
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D
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P
L
E
A
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D
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S
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B
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N
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E
W
E
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A
P
P
L
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D
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P
O
E
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I
R
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I
S
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L
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I
T
H
E
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E
X
O
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D
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A
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B
O
N
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P
R
O
F
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W
A
S
H
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N
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G
T
O
N
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E
L
A
L
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C
A
L
L
E
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D
A
W
A
Y
114
I
S
L
A
115
B
E
R
E
116
Z
I
N
A
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V
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D
A
Y
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T
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O
B
O
O
T
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U
P
R
O
O
T
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D
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E
V
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R
S
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O
N
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D
G
E
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T
H
E
N
E
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D
Y
124
R
O
D
E
O
125
M
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R
A
Y
S
© 2016, The New York TimesNo. 1120 ( 24,484 )
Across
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
Down
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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