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OH, ONE LAST THING

New York Times, Sunday, December 17, 2017

Author: Andrew J. Ries
Editor: Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
118/13/20079/8/20180
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21111221
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.57010
Andrew Ries

This puzzle:

Rows: 21, Columns: 21 Words: 140, Blocks: 76 Missing: {J} This is puzzle # 8 for Mr. Ries. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jeff Chen notes: Neat sound changes, OH, ONE LAST THING a perfect hint to 'add an O sound for kooky results.' Love, love, love the array of weird spelling changes, BOARD to BORDEAUX, FAIR to PHARAOH, PICKLE to PICCOLO, etc. ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

Neat sound changes, OH, ONE LAST THING a perfect hint to "add an O sound for kooky results." Love, love, love the array of weird spelling changes, BOARD to BORDEAUX, FAIR to PHARAOH, PICKLE to PICCOLO, etc. Amazing how many different ways you can make that O sound!

I wasn't sure about METS to MEZZO — I always thought MEZZO was "mez-zo" but apparently it's "mets-oh." Learn something new every day!

Great base phrases and resulting humor. STIFF AS A BOARD is colorful, and I can almost imagine a good PR person coming up with STIFF AS A BORDEAUX to market a line of super-heavy wine. And Cupid saying LOVE IS IN THE ARROW? Brilliant! I REST MY CASE (that the themers highly entertained me).

Er, QUESO. Another fantastic spelling change!

The only themer that felt stilted was VANITY PHARAOH. A vain pharaoh, yes, but the grammar here is too tortured for my taste. Something like PHARAOH TRADE might have worked better for me.

Well executed, too, lots of bonuses in OMNIVORE, NEUTRON, PHEROMONE, METHINKS, BIG GULP. Note that most of them are single-worders, which often fall more into a neutral camp because they're so commonplace and utilitarian, but METHINKS most of these are great.

I didn't know MIRANAIR — er, MIRA NAIR, but she's crossworthy. I always thought Spike Lee did "Mississippi Masala." No sir!

A couple of blips in the short fill here and there, some OPEL / CTA and ASTA, a dab of ENE WDS. But note that these little shorties are so easy to ignore. Nothing egregious.

I came so close to giving this one the POW!, as it's a great example of a tried and true theme type done exceedingly well. Many other weeks it would have been my pick — it's super hard for a Sunday puzzle to hold my (short) attention span the entire way through, so it's quite a feat when it happens.

1
C
2
H
3
A
4
D
5
A
6
M
7
I
8
D
9
A
10
L
11
A
12
A
13
B
14
C
15
S
16
A
17
B
18
S
19
L
E
D
E
20
R
E
V
E
L
E
R
21
L
O
U
I
22
S
N
Y
E
23
E
M
U
S
24
S
T
I
F
F
A
S
25
A
B
O
R
D
E
A
U
X
26
F
I
L
T
27
H
28
H
E
Y
29
E
L
A
P
S
E
D
30
T
R
E
31
P
I
D
32
R
33
O
N
I
N
34
B
E
35
R
36
M
37
S
38
A
39
L
S
O
R
A
N
40
V
A
N
I
T
Y
41
P
42
H
A
R
A
O
H
43
N
E
W
Y
O
R
K
44
M
E
Z
Z
O
45
E
A
R
46
R
D
A
47
K
A
I
48
S
I
R
E
E
49
S
50
P
R
Y
51
M
E
E
K
52
A
R
M
53
A
54
D
55
A
56
R
A
D
57
B
E
E
F
58
G
A
B
L
E
59
M
E
L
60
B
A
61
T
U
T
T
I
62
S
L
I
T
63
R
O
L
L
I
N
64
G
65
I
N
T
H
E
D
66
E
P
O
T
67
T
E
R
I
68
G
A
U
N
T
69
B
Y
R
O
N
70
S
I
L
A
S
71
G
I
L
T
72
F
73
O
E
74
S
T
E
75
P
76
P
77
E
78
O
P
E
L
79
T
U
R
F
80
G
E
S
S
81
O
82
H
A
T
83
C
T
A
84
H
A
L
85
I
R
E
S
T
M
86
Y
87
Q
88
U
E
S
O
89
K
O
S
90
H
E
R
P
91
I
92
C
C
O
L
O
93
N
E
U
T
R
O
N
94
S
P
E
A
R
95
R
E
E
K
S
96
F
I
N
I
T
O
97
S
E
98
A
99
S
O
N
S
100
D
E
V
101
T
E
M
102
P
103
T
104
L
105
O
106
V
E
I
S
I
N
T
H
107
E
108
A
R
R
O
109
W
110
R
O
L
E
111
L
O
O
K
A
T
M
E
112
O
N
G
U
A
R
D
113
E
N
O
S
114
C
O
W
115
M
A
I
D
116
W
E
E
B
L
E
S
117
D
E
W
S
© 2017, The New York TimesNo. 1217 ( 24,876 )
Across Down
1. Neighbor of Sudan : CHAD
5. Queen in the "Star Wars" movies : AMIDALA
12. Basics : ABCS
16. Things that people like to have ripped? : ABS
19. First sentence of a news story : LEDE
20. Party animal : REVELER
21. Comedian who was a regular on "The Steve Allen Show" : LOUISNYE
23. Sources of lean meat : EMUS
24. Comparatively strong, like some French wine? : STIFFASABORDEAUX
26. Grime : FILTH
28. "Yo!" : HEY
29. Went by : ELAPSED
30. Fearful : TREPID
32. 1998 De Niro thriller : RONIN
34. Highway noise barriers : BERMS
38. One who's in it but doesn't win it : ALSORAN
40. Egyptian leader obsessed with his appearance? : VANITYPHARAOH
43. Certain Lincoln Center soprano? : NEWYORKMEZZO
45. It may pop on a plane : EAR
46. Dietary std. : RDA
47. China's Chiang ___-shek : KAI
48. Yes or no follower : SIREE
49. Light on one's feet : SPRY
51. Submissive : MEEK
52. Fleet : ARMADA
56. "Totally awesome!" : RAD
57. Bit of food ... or feud? : BEEF
58. Part of a house : GABLE
59. Peach ___ : MELBA
61. ___-frutti : TUTTI
62. Buttonhole, e.g. : SLIT
63. Shooting craps while waiting for one's train? : ROLLINGINTHEDEPOT
67. Actress Hatcher : TERI
68. All skin and bones : GAUNT
69. "I had a dream, which was not all a dream" poet : BYRON
70. George Eliot's "___ Marner" : SILAS
71. Finely decorated : GILT
72. Antagonist : FOE
74. Much of Mongolia : STEPPE
78. Automaker sold by G.M. in 2017 : OPEL
79. Territory : TURF
80. White undercoat : GESSO
82. Broadbrim, e.g. : HAT
83. Inits. for getting around the Loop : CTA
84. Protagonist in David Foster Wallace's "Infinite Jest" : HAL
85. Comment from a cook who cools the cheese sauce before serving? : IRESTMYQUESO
89. Woodwind that's O.K. to play? : KOSHERPICCOLO
93. Something that's free of charge : NEUTRON
94. Weapon seen on the Kenyan flag : SPEAR
95. Big stinks : REEKS
96. Done, slangily : FINITO
97. Units for binge watchers : SEASONS
100. Actor Patel of "Lion" : DEV
101. "Don't ___ me" : TEMPT
104. Cupid's catchphrase? : LOVEISINTHEARROW
110. Part : ROLE
111. Attention hog's cry : LOOKATME
112. Vigilant : ONGUARD
113. "The Dukes of Hazzard" spinoff : ENOS
114. Intimidate : COW
115. One of eight in "The 12 Days of Christmas" : MAID
116. Egg-shaped Hasbro toys introduced in 1971 : WEEBLES
117. Certain soft drinks, informally : DEWS
1. Score marking : CLEF
2. Powerful engine, for short : HEMI
3. Nighttime Cartoon Network programming block : ADULTSWIM
4. Wipe off the map : DESTROY
5. Start of MGM's motto : ARS
6. Quaint "I believe" : METHINKS
7. Like Wrigley Field's walls : IVIED
8. Brave : DEFY
9. Landon who lost in a landslide : ALF
10. Pastoral locale : LEA
11. Big name in 1980s-'90s TV talk : ARSENIO
12. State capital that's the setting of "Ironweed" : ALBANY
13. Betty ___ : BOOP
14. Mean, lowdown sorts : CURS
15. Court conference : SIDEBAR
16. CNN commentator Navarro : ANA
17. The Cougars of the West Coast Conf. : BYU
18. Determination in a prenatal exam : SEX
22. Holiday meal : SEDER
25. Came down : ALIT
27. Long lunch? : HERO
31. It's to be expected : PAR
32. Leveled : RAZED
33. Eleven: Fr. : ONZE
35. Cheesy dish : RAREBIT
36. Seminal symbol of mass production : MODELT
37. Lose : SHAKE
38. Paul who sang "Lonely Boy" : ANKA
39. King who said "Nothing will come of nothing" : LEAR
40. Woman's name that means "truth" : VERA
41. Disloyalty : PERFIDY
42. Loft filler : HAY
44. Director of 1991's "Mississippi Masala" : MIRANAIR
49. Genesis brother : SETH
50. Early Beatle : PETEBEST
51. Sam who ran the bar on "Cheers" : MALONE
53. Unconcerned with right and wrong : AMORAL
54. Parts of supermarkets : DELIS
55. With 57-Down, very nearly : ALL
57. See 55-Down : BUT
58. Topic at the Kinsey Institute : GSPOT
60. 32-ounce purchase at 7-Eleven : BIGGULP
61. Mining supply : TNT
63. Free : RELEASE
64. Chasm : GULF
65. It decreases a QB's rating: Abbr. : INT
66. Busy hosp. areas : ERS
67. Best of the best : TIPTOP
70. Knee-highs, e.g. : SOCKS
72. Doesn't know for a fact, say : FEELS
73. ___ buco : OSSO
75. Secreted signal : PHEROMONE
76. El ___ : PASO
77. Cricket rival of Harrow : ETON
79. Material once set afire and put in a catapult : TAR
80. Grasp, informally : GROK
81. Human, typically, diet-wise : OMNIVORE
84. Announcement upon a grand arrival : HEREIAM
85. Entertainment with camels, maybe : ICESHOW
86. It sank after W.W. II : YEN
87. Go cold turkey : QUIT
88. Said : UTTERED
90. Goaltender Dominik in the Hockey Hall of Fame : HASEK
91. Wrinkle-free, say : IRONED
92. Lincoln's place : CENT
96. Wild : FERAL
98. Old movie dog : ASTA
99. ___ Valley : SIMI
100. Give a beating : DRUB
102. Go forcefully (through) : PLOW
103. 1979 Roman Polanski film : TESS
104. Inc. relative : LLC
105. Win on "Hollywood Squares" : OOO
106. "I shall return," e.g. : VOW
107. Des Moines-to-Dubuque dir. : ENE
108. Add years : AGE
109. Sentence fragments: Abbr. : WDS

Answer summary: 10 unique to this puzzle, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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