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OH, ONE LAST THING

New York Times, Sunday, December 17, 2017

Author:
Andrew J. Ries
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
208/13/20078/2/20190
SunMonTueWedThuFriSatVariety
31111643
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.57020
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, ... read more

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
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
Down
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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