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ALL THE RIGHT MOVIES

New York Times, Sunday, November 3, 2019

Author:
Kristian House
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
182/17/200911/3/20190
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
1153323
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.65023
Kristian House

This puzzle:

Rows: 21, Columns: 21 Words: 142, Blocks: 75 Missing: {QX} Scrabble average: 1.70 This is puzzle # 18 for Mr. House. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Will Shortz notes:
Kristian House, of Oneonta, N.Y., is a former math teacher who now writes math content for textbooks and online platforms. He started constructing crosswords after watching the 2006 ... read more

Kristian House, of Oneonta, N.Y., is a former math teacher who now writes math content for textbooks and online platforms. He started constructing crosswords after watching the 2006 documentary "Wordplay." For this puzzle the first theme answer he thought of eventually became the puzzle's title instead.

This is Kristian's 18th crossword for The Times, and his first Sunday.

Kristian House notes:
This is my first published Sunday puzzle in the Times, which is exciting for me because I've had at least one puzzle appear on every other day of the week, which means I've finally 'hit ... read more

This is my first published Sunday puzzle in the Times, which is exciting for me because I've had at least one puzzle appear on every other day of the week, which means I've finally "hit for the cycle."

I had a lot of fun coming up with the theme answers for this one. The first theme answer that I thought of ended up being a great hint to the puzzle's theme, so I decided not to use it in the puzzle, and I made it the title instead. The puzzle originally had the extra theme answer BULLETPROOF MONKEY in the middle of the grid, but the movie "Bulletproof Monk" was a little too obscure, so I had to remove that answer. However, that allowed me to add some nicer long down answers that hopefully improved the overall puzzle.

I tried to be as silly as possible with the cluing of the theme answers, but some were a little too "out there," so Will changed a few to tone down the silliness. Thankfully, he kept my clue for 54-Across, which is one of my absolute favorites. I hope that everyone gets a chuckle today and that they enjoy the puzzle.

Jeff Chen notes:
We're at the movies today! Get it? MOVE Es? As in, move that long E sound into the theater? You know, like when you sneak in a full dinner of a rack of BBQ ribs, corn on the cob, and an ... read more

We're at the movies today! Get it? MOVE Es? As in, move that long E sound into the theater? You know, like when you sneak in a full dinner of a rack of BBQ ribs, corn on the cob, and an entire sheet cake so you can have enough to last you the three movies you stay for when you're only supposed to go to the one?

Don't judge me.

Oh! ALL THE RIGHT MOVIES = all the moved Es are to the right!

Well, that doesn't quite work either, but it's close enough.

It's all too easy to add an E sound to something to create kookiness, so I appreciated Kristian's effort to tighten things up, restricting to 1.) only well-known movie titles and 2.) always adding the E sound to the right, i.e., at the end of the title.

Ah, drat. IRONY MAN and GOODY FELLAS ruins that consistency. Fuggedaboudit.

Through my solve, it felt like I was pushing through a bog of short answers. Nothing terrible, but nothing that interesting either. These shorties are generally ignorable, stuff that solvers get through to reach the truly interesting stuff – the themers and the long bonuses – but when you have this much of it, it tends to be more noticeable.

It's also noticeable when you draw too much from one specific well of crossword glue. In this case, there were so many tough names – WOPAT NEKO OMARR KIRI TOD GAMERA/YGOR READE ZAK etc. – it started to feel like a trivia contest.

Part of the excessive-short-entries problem was that Kristian went up to 142 words, past the max of 140. The themers also take up a huge amount of real estate, so there are only little cul de sacs left over.

It's a tough call. JOHN WIKI was the only themer that caught my attention because it's the only interesting spelling transformation (and unfortunately one of the themers in a puzzle I recently helped a friend put together, sigh). However, taking it and IRONY MAN out would have opened up the grid, allowing for more bonuses, fewer short words, and some cleanup in aisle OSCAN RESTE.

1
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Y
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K
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M
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Z
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K
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© 2019, The New York TimesNo. 1103 ( 25,562 )
Across
1
Broods : STEWS
6
"___ are the voyages of the starship Enterprise" : THESE
11
Long-billed wader : IBIS
15
Idiosyncrasies : TICS
19
Brownie ingredient : COCOA
20
Actor Tom of "The Dukes of Hazzard" : WOPAT
21
Indie singer/songwriter ___ Case : NEKO
22
1980s U.S. Davis Cup team captain : ASHE
23
Your apartment-mate, if you don't close the door before showering? : AROOMIEWITHAVIEW
26
Self-involved : VAIN
27
Blend : MELD
28
Expensive : PRICY
29
Drumstick : LEG
30
Gets better : HEALS
31
Your wish, maybe, when a rambunctious terrier puppy is first brought home? : ESCAPEFROMNEWYORKIE
36
Browning who directed "Dracula," 1931 : TOD
37
Draw a bead on : AIMAT
38
Bring in : EARN
39
Songwriters' org. : ASCAP
42
Lady friend, in Florence : AMICA
44
Great ___ : DANE
45
See 88-Across : SEA
48
Soprano ___ Te Kanawa : KIRI
49
Giant star : IDOL
50
Tyrannic sort? : RAGINGBULLY
54
O. Henry? : IRONYMAN
56
Time and Tide : BRANDS
57
Zap : NUKE
58
President pro ___ : TEM
59
Giant flying turtle monster of film : GAMERA
61
"What greater gift than the love of a ___": Charles Dickens : CAT
62
But: Fr. : MAIS
64
Not digital : ANALOG
66
Hankering : YEN
67
Monarch's inits. : HRH
68
It can cause shortness of breath : ASTHMA
71
Sight at a gladiatorial fight : GORE
72
Fluffy neckwear : BOA
73
Chooses : ELECTS
75
Actress Grier of "Jackie Brown" : PAM
76
Location of Hephaestus' forge : ETNA
78
Spoil, as a parade : RAINON
80
Online reference about toilets? : JOHNWIKI
82
Guys who pass out Halloween treats? : GOODYFELLAS
85
Greenhouse containers : POTS
86
Some fútbol cheers : OLES
87
Completely dominate : OWN
88
With 45-Across, what was once the world's fourth-largest inland body of water : ARAL
89
Atkins dieters' no-nos : CARBS
91
Rapunzel feature : TRESS
92
Walked over : TROD
93
___ syrup (natural sweetener) : AGAVE
95
Drummer Starkey : ZAK
96
What outsiders think about the new hire? : STRANGERSONATRAINEE
103
Common baitfish : CHUBS
104
Terminal guesstimate, for short : ETA
105
Statistical tool for checking a hypothesis : TTEST
106
Be a stool pigeon : TALK
109
"Mila 18" novelist : URIS
110
What the exhausted working woman wears to bed? : AHARDDAYSNIGHTIE
114
Man-to-man alternative : ZONE
115
Lavish soiree : GALA
116
Ruffian : BRUTE
117
Singer Mann : AIMEE
118
Drink flavorer : ZEST
119
Statuette that weighs 6 pounds 12 1/2 ounces : EMMY
120
According to : ASPER
121
Become slick, in a way : ICEUP
Down
1
Grifter's game : SCAM
2
Raced : TORE
3
Place to learn lessons in Lyon : ECOLE
4
Dye on a deck : WOODSTAIN
5
Spade said to be excellent at digging up dirt : SAM
6
Pipsqueak : TWERP
7
Football Hall-of-Famer Long : HOWIE
8
Flop that's one for the ages : EPICFAIL
9
Lecherous : SATYRIC
10
Ordinal suffix : ETH
11
Emulate Edison : INVENT
12
"Boring" shade : BEIGE
13
1950s White House nickname : IKE
14
Female badger : SOW
15
The Boar's Head, in Shakespeare : TAVERN
16
Russian artist Brodsky, the first painter awarded the Order of Lenin : ISAAK
17
It turns a hot dog into a Texas hot dog : CHILI
18
Pick up on : SENSE
24
Product that had sales of more than 300,000 on its first day in 2010 : IPAD
25
Michigan college : ALMA
30
Biblical peak : HOREB
32
Beat walker : COP
33
Astrologer Sydney : OMARR
34
Slowly eases (off) : WEANS
35
Andrew ___, businessman-turned-politician : YANG
39
Pointy-eared dog : AKITA
40
Tornado warning device : SIREN
41
Early human : CROMAGNON
42
Early human : ADAM
43
Michael Lewis best seller with the subtitle "The Art of Winning an Unfair Game" : MONEYBALL
44
Got results : DIDTHEJOB
45
Editor's stack of unsolicited manuscripts : SLUSHPILE
46
Wapiti : ELK
47
All-vowel avowal : AYE
49
Publicist's concern : IMAGE
51
German city near the Belgian border : AACHEN
52
Tree knot : GNARL
53
Textbook section : UNIT
55
Bela Lugosi's role in "The Ghost of Frankenstein" : YGOR
56
Word before bread or boat : BANANA
60
Take care of, as a persistent squeak : REOIL
62
Computation class in Cambridge : MATHS
63
Part of A.P.A.: Abbr. : ASSN
65
Truckful : LOAD
69
Assembles : MAKES
70
Out of whack : AMISS
74
Fold-up beds : COTS
76
"Nations have their ___, just like individuals": James Joyce : EGO
77
Haul : TOW
78
Charles who wrote "The Cloister and the Hearth" : READE
79
Bygone sister language of Latin : OSCAN
81
Valued asset for an employee : WORKETHIC
83
What some sailors bring back : YARNS
84
Throat problem : FROG
85
Beautify : PRETTYUP
90
Gamers' embodiments : AVATARS
91
Whup : TAN
92
Adjustable feature of a typewriter : TABSET
93
Off : ASTRAY
94
Egg on : GOAD
95
Cousin of penne : ZITI
96
Slimeball : SCUZZ
97
Painful sensation : THROE
98
Machu Picchu or Pompeii : RUINS
99
Kingdom : REALM
100
What's left, in Paris : RESTE
101
119-Across winner for both "Roots" and "Rich Man, Poor Man" : ASNER
102
Wonderland cake message : EATME
107
Stead : LIEU
108
Medieval stronghold : KEEP
110
Go gray, say : AGE
111
Scene stealer : HAM
112
Corporate "a.k.a." : DBA
113
Chicken, in a Chinese dish : GAI

Answer summary: 12 unique to this puzzle, 4 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

Found bugs or have suggestions?