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INSIDE OUT

New York Times, Sunday, November 26, 2017

Author: Jeff Chen
Editor: Will Shortz
Jeff Chen
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777/5/201011/26/201745
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2267111768
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.633162

This puzzle:

Rows: 21, Columns: 21 Words: 138, Blocks: 74 Missing: {JQZ} This is puzzle # 77 for Mr. Chen. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jeff Chen notes: By far and away, the biggest complaint I get from solvers is that I put too many rap references into my puzzles (I'm nowhere near some other constructors, I swear!). I have a ton of interests ranging from ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

By far and away, the biggest complaint I get from solvers is that I put too many rap references into my puzzles (I'm nowhere near some other constructors, I swear!). I have a ton of interests ranging from quantum physics to contract bridge to children's literature to the Great British Bake-off, and I happen to also love me some old-school rap.

NAS and DRE are ones all solvers need to know due to their very crossword-friendly names, but I have a feeling I'll get some hate mail over POSSE CUT. Before you hit send, do me a favor and listen to "The Grand Finale," featuring crossword biggie DR DRE (warning, NSFW!), and ones that really ought to be in more, MC REN and EAZY E. A POSSE CUT can be even better than a rap battle, a free-for-all melee with rappers dropping their most inspired verses in the game of one-upsmanship. It's an explosion of talented artists spurring each other on to push the envelope, all over a beat you can't help but bob your head to.

Now, if I could just get Stephen Hawking, Zia Mahmood, Sherman Alexie, and Mary Berry to lay down a POSSE CUT …

Jeff Chen notes: Oh right, the puzzle. After coming up with this idea, I wrote a Python script to help me figure out possibilities. That helped, but it still took several hours to sift through hundreds of possibilities. Some were ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

Oh right, the puzzle. After coming up with this idea, I wrote a Python script to help me figure out possibilities. That helped, but it still took several hours to sift through hundreds of possibilities. Some were cluable in the "X in Y?" format I wanted, some were snappy phrases, but few were both.

Then it was just a matter of figuring out matching lengths, grid creation, roughly eleventy hundred grid iterations, and most of my remaining hair plucked painfully out one by one with red-hot tweezers.

You know, the usual Sunday construction experience.

Aside from POSSE CUT, sometimes I wonder if my assumptions about what educated solvers ought to know are getting skewed. KARPOV to me is a no-brainer — you have to know at least Garry Kasparov and Anatoly KARPOV. HATHA YOGA? No matter where you are within Seattle, you can throw a yoga ball 50 feet in any direction and hit a room full of downward facing doggers. DULCINEA? Come on, you ought to at least recognize the name from "Don Quixote," which you were supposed to have read in HS/college!

Okay, I only pretended to read it, too. Fine!

Overall, I hope there was enough from different walks of life to make everyone a little happy, and not too much to make people feel like it was a trivia quiz rather than an entertaining word game. Probably will be some of the latter folks ... ah well. POSSE CUT!

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© 2017, The New York TimesNo. 1126 ( 24,855 )
Across Down
1. Per : APIECE
7. Per ___ : DIEM
11. Feature on the back of some pajamas : FLAP
15. Conversation interrupter in a car, at times : GPS
18. Cured salmon : GRAVLAX
19. Jazzy Anita : ODAY
20. Top-shelf : AONE
21. Go bad : ROT
22. Lists about a port on the Black Sea : ROYALTASTERS
24. Guaranteed to succeed : CANTLOSE
26. Auspice : OMEN
27. Referring to this clue within this clue, e.g. : META
28. Neighborhoods surrounded by crime : THEFAREAST
30. 1970s-'90s chess champion : KARPOV
33. Fill-in : TEMP
35. ___ Store : APP
36. Laura of "ER" : INNES
37. Provide cover for, say : ABET
39. Fad dance move of 2015 : DAB
40. Blue-green hue : TEAL
42. Style of Radio City Music Hall, informally : DECO
43. Metal pin stuck in parts of sinks : DRIVETRAINS
47. Figure skater Sonja : HENIE
49. Shout after seeing Godzilla : RUN
50. Motorsports vehicle : RALLYCAR
51. ___ ammoniac : SAL
52. Good times : BLASTS
54. Capital of the world's happiest country, per a 2017 U.N. survey : OSLO
55. QB's cry : HUT
56. Unpleasant : ICKY
58. The dark side : YIN
59. One of the principal deities in Hinduism : SHIVA
61. Sliding item on a car : MOONROOF
64. Carne ___ (taco option) : ASADA
67. ___ Dimas, Calif. : SAN
68. Flourishes around monsoon events : BRAINSURGEONS
71. Sample-collecting org. : EPA
73. Lush : DIPSO
75. React to a haymaker : SEESTARS
76. Slack-jawed : AGAPE
78. Pot note : IOU
79. Heaters : GATS
80. Major investors in start-up cos. : VCS
82. Its filling contained lard until 1997 : OREO
83. Dangerous vipers : ADDERS
86. Ka-boom! : BAM
87. 1972 #1 hit with the lyric "No one's ever gonna keep me down again" : IAMWOMAN
89. Regret : RUE
90. Ranger's wear : BERET
92. Fear among underground workers : MINDREADERS
95. It goes downhill : SLED
97. First name in 1950s comedy : DESI
98. Actor John of the "Harold & Kumar" films : CHO
99. Nordstrom competitor : SAKS
100. Shades of tan : ECRUS
102. "Pimp My Ride" network : MTV
103. Curry of the N.B.A. : SETH
105. Moves, as a plant : REPOTS
109. Coming up in vetoes : NIXONTAPES
112. Got 100 on : ACED
114. "I'll get this done" : ONIT
115. Licorice-flavored extract : ANISEOIL
116. Crew found inside again and again : THROWINGRICE
120. Spy novelist Deighton : LEN
121. Poet ___ St. Vincent Millay : EDNA
122. Kook : YOYO
123. "Fawlty Towers" or "The Vicar of Dibley" : BRITCOM
124. Need a lift? : SAG
125. Looking up : ROSY
126. And others, for short : ETAL
127. Gets fresh with : SASSES
1. Nose of a wine : AROMA
2. Single-___ (like a certain health care system) : PAYER
3. Does his name ring a bell? : IVANPAVLOV
4. Pipe joint : ELL
5. "Cool" sort : CAT
6. Reason to pull an all-nighter : EXAM
7. Partner of a crossed "t" : DOTTEDI
8. Creative sort : IDEAMAN
9. Something pressed against a conch : EAR
10. Game predecessor of Riven : MYST
11. Certain spa treatment : FACEPEEL
12. Baker's container : LOAFPAN
13. The "I" of "The King and I" : ANNA
14. ___ dish : PETRI
15. Bad puns : GROANERS
16. Song with verses by four or more rappers : POSSECUT
17. Mounties' hats : STETSONS
18. Understand : GROK
23. "Go" preceder : SET
25. Give for a while : LEND
29. Hindu exercise system : HATHAYOGA
31. "Do as I say!" : OBEY
32. Climbing plant in the pea family : VETCH
34. Broadcaster of many Ken Burns documentaries : PBS
38. Something to work through with a therapist : TRAUMA
41. Benghazi native : LIBYAN
43. Waste : DROSS
44. Actress Phylicia of "Creed" : RASHAD
45. "Fighting" collegiate team : ILLINI
46. Stella ___ (beer) : ARTOIS
48. Another name for Dido : ELISSA
51. Hybrid activewear : SKORTS
53. Santa ___ winds : ANA
56. Tailor's measure : INSEAM
57. See 74-Down : CRUST
60. Take in : ABSORB
62. Blood type of a "universal donor" : ONEGATIVE
63. Ardent : FERVID
65. "Oh heavens!" : DEARME
66. Take off an invisibility cloak : APPEAR
69. Lit a fire under : ROUSED
70. Annual event viewed live by hundreds of millions of people, with "the" : OSCARS
72. Big stretches : AEONS
74. With 57-Down, something filling fills : PIE
77. Graceful losers, e.g. : GOODSPORTS
81. Besmirch : SMEAR
83. Magazine places : ARSENALS
84. Don Quixote's unseen beloved : DULCINEA
85. Sign with an antlered pictogram : DEERXING
86. Award won by "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time" : BESTPLAY
88. Speedboat follower : WAKE
91. Continues : REMAINS
92. Hosts, for short : MCS
93. Words of empathy : IHEARYA
94. "You shouldn't've done that" : NOTCOOL
96. The Blues Brothers and others : DUOS
101. Emulate Snidely Whiplash : SNEER
104. Hack down : HEW
106. Chilled : ONICE
107. Costa Ricans, in slang : TICOS
108. Modern education acronym : STEM
110. Brouhaha : TODO
111. Lid irritant : STYE
113. "I call that!" : DIBS
117. Very in : HOT
118. Second Amendment org. : NRA
119. U.S.O. audience : GIS

Answer summary: 12 unique to this puzzle, 3 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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