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

HITS AND MS.ES

New York Times, Sunday, November 24, 2013

Author: Gary Cee
Editor: Will Shortz
Gary Cee
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
335/28/20094/24/20170
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
1988421
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.56011

This puzzle:

Rows: 21, Columns: 21 Words: 140, Blocks: 74 Missing: {QZ} This is puzzle # 21 for Mr. Cee. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Gary Cee notes: The first draft of this puzzle included two titles that concerned Will. AMAZING GRACE ('Sensational, Ms. Kelly!') is not about a woman named Grace, and PEGGY SUE ('Take 'em to court, Ms. Lipton!') was a full name ... more
Gary Cee notes: The first draft of this puzzle included two titles that concerned Will. AMAZING GRACE ("Sensational, Ms. Kelly!") is not about a woman named Grace, and PEGGY SUE ("Take 'em to court, Ms. Lipton!") was a full name in itself, so if I could replace those, we might have something here. JULIE DO YA LOVE ME went in on a second draft. HEY PAULA ("Over here, Ms. Abdul!") no longer fit and had to go. In the final edit, Will removed PROUD MARY ("Satisfied, Ms. Shelley?") as it was too close to HELLO MARY LOU.

This is my first Sunday puzzle for the Times. I hope solvers enjoy it.

Jeff Chen notes: Easy-breezy theme today from Gary; songs with a woman's name reinterpreted as a question or request. It reminded me of another of Gary's puzzles earlier this year incorporating song titles*. Fun to get leave a ... more
Jeff Chen notes: Easy-breezy theme today from Gary; songs with a woman's name reinterpreted as a question or request. It reminded me of another of Gary's puzzles earlier this year incorporating song titles*. Fun to get leave a puzzle humming to a catchy song.

It was difficult for me to figure out what was going on at first, not having heard of HELLO MARY LOU. Perhaps that's a matter of tastes (I'm a jazz and classical wanna-be snob) or a generational thing? In any case, I would have loved to see SWEET CAROLINE or COME ON EILEEN first, as they both feel catchier, more karaoke-popular to me. It brings up an interesting point about order of themers. Sometimes you don't have a choice due to an ordered theme, but for a collection like this, I find it's nice to hit the solver with your best themer first, then close with your second-best (or vice-versa). Just like public speaking, I think it's good to start strong and end strong.

Some nice long fill today, particularly DYSTOPIAN, which describes a lot of young adult literature from a few years back. The Hunger Games spawned quite a litany of works in that genre. Cool how Gary opened up his grid too, incorporating long fill in the four corners (DIPPING OIL, PLANT CELLS, EXTRA LARGE, CALL TO MIND). KEY FACTOR feels a little forced, but I sure like DOG EAT DOG.

RED MEAT is also a nice piece of fill, but its symmetrical partner, ELLIMAN was a toughie to uncover. I vaguely grasped Greasy NEALE (awesome name by the way!), but it didn't come easy, plus the "Family Ties" mom (ELYSE) always makes me struggle. Perhaps breaking up that pair of 7s (with a black square right in the middle of each) would have helped, but that would mean Gary would have to get rid of another pair of black squares somewhere else, since this is already at the max word limit of 140.

Always tough trade-offs when it comes to quantity of good long fill vs. quality of short fill. I finished with an error at AKON/NIT, and felt like there were a few areas where the short-fill quality suffered (the IBE/LAE/NBATV section comes to mind). But overall, Gary managed to pack a lot of good stuff in that I enjoyed. It's tough to make a flawless Sunday puzzle, and I appreciate the 20 minutes of entertainment today.

*I'm gonna rock down to Electric Avenue if anyone needs me.

1
M
2
A
3
C
4
Y
5
S
6
F
7
A
8
L
9
S
10
E
11
A
12
K
13
O
14
N
15
D
16
A
17
B
18
A
D
A
S
H
19
B
A
H
A
M
A
20
D
E
R
I
21
S
I
V
E
22
H
E
L
L
O
23
M
A
R
Y
L
O
U
24
D
Y
S
T
O
P
I
A
25
E
L
L
26
R
E
D
M
E
A
T
27
W
I
F
E
28
U
P
O
N
29
R
E
T
30
I
T
L
E
31
S
W
E
32
E
T
C
A
R
33
O
L
I
N
E
34
O
C
T
O
35
R
O
T
C
36
U
S
N
37
C
38
O
M
E
O
N
39
E
40
I
41
L
42
E
43
E
N
44
T
45
I
T
46
G
47
P
48
A
49
A
P
I
A
N
50
N
B
A
T
V
51
C
O
S
52
A
O
U
T
53
M
A
N
X
54
O
N
E
E
Y
E
55
S
A
R
A
56
S
M
I
L
E
57
P
H
D
58
G
N
U
59
M
R
60
P
I
M
61
B
A
I
L
E
E
62
J
U
L
I
63
E
64
D
O
Y
A
L
O
65
V
E
M
E
66
A
67
Y
68
E
A
Y
E
69
R
U
N
T
S
70
O
L
E
71
P
72
S
73
I
74
S
E
X
Y
S
A
75
D
I
E
76
I
T
77
A
78
L
I
A
79
B
L
O
T
80
H
A
T
S
81
V
O
N
82
M
E
T
A
L
83
C
O
A
L
S
84
E
R
R
85
R
E
G
86
H
E
L
P
M
E
87
R
H
O
N
D
A
88
A
89
E
C
90
E
91
T
92
T
U
93
E
A
S
T
94
W
95
A
L
K
A
96
W
A
Y
R
E
97
N
98
E
99
E
100
B
R
I
T
C
101
O
102
M
103
A
L
A
I
104
A
T
R
A
105
E
L
L
106
I
M
A
N
107
E
L
A
108
F
E
R
N
109
A
N
D
O
110
L
A
Y
D
O
W
N
S
111
A
L
L
Y
112
T
U
G
G
E
D
O
N
113
O
L
S
E
N
S
114
A
L
L
I
E
115
S
T
E
116
R
A
G
E
117
P
E
E
R
S
118
W
I
S
E
R
© 2013, The New York TimesNo. 1124 ( 23,392 )
Across Down
1. Parade organizer : MACYS
6. Fake : FALSE
11. One-named singer with the hit "Locked Up" : AKON
15. Pat gently : DAB
18. Recipe amount : ADASH
19. ___ mama (tropical drink) : BAHAMA
20. Belittling : DERISIVE
22. "Greetings, Ms. Retton!" : HELLOMARYLOU
24. Orwellian state : DYSTOPIA
25. Right angle : ELL
26. Turkey isn't one : REDMEAT
27. One who's done the "I do's" : WIFE
28. "___ further review ..." : UPON
29. Handle again? : RETITLE
31. "Very nice, Ms. Kennedy!" : SWEETCAROLINE
34. Eight, for starters? : OCTO
35. March org.? : ROTC
36. Admiral's inits. : USN
37. "Hurry up, Ms. Brennan!" : COMEONEILEEN
44. Little birdie : TIT
46. 3.0 or 4.0 : GPA
49. Like some queens : APIAN
50. Sports league-backed cable network : NBATV
51. Market makeup: Abbr. : COS
52. Summer month in France : AOUT
53. Kind of cat : MANX
54. Feature of Oz's Wicked Witch of the West : ONEEYE
55. "Cheer up, Ms. Teasdale!" : SARASMILE
57. Advanced deg. : PHD
58. Bearded one : GNU
59. Title character in an A. A. Milne play : MRPIM
61. Person who holds property in trust : BAILEE
62. "Am I the one, Ms. Andrews?" : JULIEDOYALOVEME
66. "Sí!" at sea : AYEAYE
69. Shorties : RUNTS
70. "Hurrah!" : OLE
71. Scuba tank meas. : PSI
74. "You look hot in a thong, Ms. Hawkins!" : SEXYSADIE
76. Firenze's home : ITALIA
79. Bad mark : BLOT
80. "___ off!" : HATS
81. German name part : VON
82. Rock genre : METAL
83. Barbecue needs : COALS
84. Go off : ERR
85. Nothing special: Abbr. : REG
86. "I need a hand, Ms. Fleming!" : HELPMERHONDA
88. N.R.C. forerunner : AEC
90. Classical "You too?" : ETTU
93. Big ___ Conference : EAST
94. "Leave it alone, Ms. Zellweger!" : WALKAWAYRENEE
100. "Absolutely Fabulous" or "Father Ted" : BRITCOM
103. Jai ___ : ALAI
104. First razor with a pivoting head : ATRA
105. Yvonne with the 1978 #1 hit "If I Can't Have You" : ELLIMAN
107. Portuguese "she" : ELA
108. Pitcher Valenzuela : FERNANDO
110. "Time to show your cards, Ms. Field!" : LAYDOWNSALLY
112. Pulled : TUGGEDON
113. TV's Ashley and Mary-Kate : OLSENS
114. Kate's TV partner : ALLIE
115. Maxime or Marie: Abbr. : STE
116. Fury : RAGE
117. Agemates : PEERS
118. More Solomonic : WISER
1. HBO host Bill : MAHER
2. Singer with the hit albums "19" and "21" : ADELE
3. Remember : CALLTOMIND
4. Designer inits. : YSL
5. 2,000 pounds : SHORTTON
6. Food source : FARM
7. "Oh, now I see" : AHYES
8. 1980s-'90s Corbin Bernsen TV drama : LALAW
9. Cuffed : SMOTE
10. ___ de Nil (pale yellowish green) : EAU
11. Hound : ADDICT
12. Main cause : KEYFACTOR
13. Figure skating champion Brian : ORSER
14. Cavil : NIT
15. Bread flavorer : DIPPINGOIL
16. Par ___ : AVION
17. "Moneyball" subject Billy : BEANE
19. Urged : BADE
21. All ___ Day : SOULS
23. Breakfast order : MELON
27. Global commerce grp. since 1995 : WTO
30. Alpine climber's tool : ICEAX
32. Seaside eagle : ERN
33. No longer closeted : OUT
37. Not serious, in a way : CAMP
38. Sushi fish : OPAH
39. Cause of yawning : ENNUI
40. "Can ___ next?" : IBE
41. Port city from which Amelia Earhart last flew : LAE
42. Older form of a word : ETYMON
43. Always : EVERYTIME
45. La ___, Dominican Republic (first Spanish settlement in the Americas) : ISABELA
47. Whine : PULE
48. Suit to ___ : ATEE
51. Military wear, for short : CAMO
52. Date for Denis : AMIE
54. Away for a while : ONLEAVE
55. The "S" of R.S.V.P. : SIL
56. Matching : SAME
58. Blokes : GUYS
60. Aqua, e.g. : PASTEL
62. Noisy birds : JAYS
63. Fairies' land : ERIN
64. Having a projected date of : DUE
65. Drapery material : VOILE
66. Athlete who wrote "A Hard Road to Glory" : ASHE
67. Juniors, e.g. : YEAR
68. Egg choice : EXTRALARGE
71. Botanists' microscopic study : PLANTCELLS
72. Persuaded : SOLD
73. "___ jungle out there" : ITSA
75. Cutthroat : DOGEATDOG
77. Sports org. supported by 66-Down : ATP
78. Beat it : LAM
79. Hype : BOOST
83. Logging aid : CHAINSAW
85. Home theater brand : RCA
86. Aqua, e.g. : HUE
87. Broadcast as an encore : RERAN
89. Barely managing, with "out" : EKING
91. Power in old Hollywood : TYRONE
92. Singsong syllable : TRA
94. Drifts : WAFTS
95. Northern native : ALEUT
96. Film fish : WANDA
97. Football Hall-of-Fame coach Greasy : NEALE
98. "Family Ties" mom : ELYSE
99. Black-berried tree : ELDER
100. Gran Turismos and others : BMWS
101. Dragon puppet : OLLIE
102. One-third of an old Hollywood trio : MAYER
106. They carry charges : IONS
109. ___ Lingus : AER
110. Cut : LOP
111. Rope-a-dope boxer : ALI

Answer summary: 13 unique to this puzzle, 3 debuted here and reused later, 2 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

Found bugs or have suggestions?