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

RING OUT THE OLD, RING IN THE NEW

New York Times, Sunday, December 31, 2017

Author:
John Lampkin
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
912/15/20108/22/20180
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
2203011
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.58001
John Lampkin

This puzzle:

Rows: 21, Columns: 21 Words: 138, Blocks: 71 Missing: {JQXZ} This is puzzle # 7 for Mr. Lampkin. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
John Lampkin notes:
Add-a-letter and remove-a-letter gimmicks have each been done to the saturation point so today it's challenging to come up with a fresh and entertaining take. Hybrids that combine both ... read more

Add-a-letter and remove-a-letter gimmicks have each been done to the saturation point so today it's challenging to come up with a fresh and entertaining take. Hybrids that combine both these gimmicks have been done but are less common and because of the added layer of complexity, are inherently more interesting.

Hybrids increase constructing options because many entries work both ways. For example, SUM WRESTLER (removing the O) also works by adding an O as DIM SUMO, "Not the brightest mawashi wearer?"

One of my favorites now litters the cutting room floor: TIC-TACO, "All-in-one entrée and breath mint?" For someone who is so easily amused as I am, brainstorming lists of this nonsense with friends is half the fun, and I tip my hat to my bud, Gary Soucie, who has bounced back many a winner over the years without ever wanting credit.

Will rejected my first draft for lack of a coherent rationale and title. Nancy Salomon to the rescue! Nancy, who has mentored many constructors, uncorked the New Year's Eve title which led to acceptance. Thank you, Nancy, and best wishes to all for a Happy & Healthy.

Jeff Chen notes:
Happy new year! John RINGs OUT THE OLD (deletes Os from the themers in the top half) and RINGs IN THE NEW (adds Os to the ones in the bottom half). Nice concept, apt for tonight's ... read more

Happy new year! John RINGs OUT THE OLD (deletes Os from the themers in the top half) and RINGs IN THE NEW (adds Os to the ones in the bottom half). Nice concept, apt for tonight's celebration.

It's tough to come up with amazing themers when it's a simple add-a-letter or delete-a-letter. I thought LAST TANG(O) IN PARIS was the best — great visual of a Frenchman in a beret sipping Tang in a café. In the bottom half, URANIUM ORE(O) made part of me chuckle and part of me disgusted. Chucklegusted?

Otherwise, stuff like POL GROUNDS (from "Polo Grounds") wasn't interesting enough of a transformation for my taste.

(CELL RECITAL plays off a cello recital. I played in many a cello recital as a kid, but it felt a bit arbitrary of a term.)

I didn't realize that CAM GEAR was a themer until I realized that the symmetrical MAD CAP(O) couldn't have been real! It's tough to make these shorties stand out, which is why constructors usually don't use them.

A couple of nice bonuses in the fill, GOLIATH my favorite. GO STAG, THE BABE, YIPPIES were all fun, too.

Not as fun was the slew of prepositional adders, BLAME ON, SEAL UP, OPTED IN, FELL TO, etc. These are fine, if not snazzy, but so many of them make me notice how much potential was left on the table. Those juicy mid-length slots … usually, I'd first point out ALION / AHINT, SMEE / SNERT, CCC / CWT etc. as more egregious, but today all those prepositions stuck out for me.

Nice concept for New Year's Eve, the deleted/added Os calling to be used within a big Sunday-size grid.

It's been a fun ride in 2017, thanks again for reading! One of my goals in life is to be a positive influence — at least, not to be a negative one — so I hope we've made your 2017 a little brighter. If not, let us know how we might be able to do so in 2018.

1
O
2
W
3
N
4
C
5
C
6
C
7
R
8
A
9
G
10
T
11
A
12
G
13
F
14
I
15
S
16
T
17
S
18
W
H
O
19
S
W
H
O
20
F
E
R
R
A
R
I
21
I
N
U
I
T
22
L
A
S
T
T
A
N
23
G
I
N
P
A
R
I
S
24
B
A
M
B
A
25
S
M
E
E
26
S
N
E
R
T
27
S
P
A
T
28
S
29
T
W
I
T
30
B
A
31
T
T
E
N
S
32
P
S
I
33
A
34
C
U
R
A
S
35
C
36
E
L
L
R
E
C
I
T
37
A
L
38
T
39
H
40
E
B
A
B
E
41
L
I
E
T
O
42
T
E
S
L
A
43
S
44
I
T
E
M
45
S
46
A
47
P
48
O
N
E
H
O
49
P
50
I
G
U
51
E
S
S
52
G
53
E
T
M
E
54
T
E
D
55
P
O
56
L
57
G
58
R
O
U
N
D
S
59
F
E
L
L
T
O
60
S
U
D
A
N
E
S
E
61
B
L
A
M
E
O
N
62
A
63
L
64
F
65
M
I
S
S
Y
66
S
67
O
L
E
R
68
R
O
Y
69
G
O
L
70
I
A
T
H
71
O
72
B
73
S
74
E
S
S
E
D
75
A
T
O
D
D
S
76
I
N
E
E
D
A
H
U
G
77
O
78
F
79
A
80
N
81
T
U
P
A
C
82
G
O
S
T
A
G
83
E
S
84
P
A
N
A
85
E
S
P
86
A
87
S
A
N
88
S
L
A
89
K
90
E
91
D
92
A
H
I
N
T
93
Y
94
I
P
P
I
E
95
S
96
U
R
A
N
I
97
U
M
O
R
E
O
98
O
99
L
D
B
O
Y
100
L
101
O
P
102
P
E
N
N
A
N
T
103
B
A
I
O
104
S
105
A
106
D
A
T
107
E
L
M
E
R
108
E
R
109
L
110
E
111
E
P
S
O
112
N
113
S
E
V
E
114
N
D
A
Y
S
I
115
N
M
A
Y
O
116
Y
U
C
K
Y
117
H
A
I
R
P
I
N
118
O
P
T
E
D
I
N
119
S
P
O
S
E
120
E
N
C
O
R
E
121
N
E
H
122
E
N
S
© 2017, The New York TimesNo. 1231 ( 24,890 )
Across
1. Have : OWN
4. New Deal org. : CCC
7. Motley : RAGTAG
13. "Dukes" : FISTS
18. V.I.P. list : WHOSWHO
20. Lamborghini rival : FERRARI
21. Arctic people : INUIT
22. Result of a French powdered drink shortage? : LASTTANGINPARIS
24. 1959 Ritchie Valens hit, with "La" : BAMBA
25. Hook's right hand : SMEE
26. Hägar the Horrible's hound : SNERT
27. Short rows : SPATS
29. Nincompoop : TWIT
30. Secures at sea : BATTENS
32. Fig. checked during re-tire-ment? : PSI
33. Legends in the automotive world : ACURAS
35. List of things said by Siri? : CELLRECITAL
38. 1920s-'30s Yankees nickname : THEBABE
41. Deceive : LIETO
42. Sights at charging stations : TESLAS
44. Thingamajig : ITEM
45. Softhead : SAP
48. What an infielder might field a ball on : ONEHOP
50. "Reckon so" : IGUESS
52. "Savvy?" : GETME
54. ___ Conference : TED
55. Washington, D.C.? : POLGROUNDS
59. Was beaten by : FELLTO
60. Neighbors of Egyptians : SUDANESE
61. Attribute to, in a way : BLAMEON
62. Three-foot 1980s sitcom character : ALF
65. Grammy winner ___ Elliott : MISSY
66. Cobbler, at times : SOLER
68. Cowboy Rogers : ROY
69. Giant : GOLIATH
71. Not just focused : OBSESSED
75. Butting heads : ATODDS
76. Struggling sci-fi writer's plea for recognition? : INEEDAHUGO
78. Blade runner? : FAN
81. Hip-hop's Shakur : TUPAC
82. Attend without a date : GOSTAG
83. Country that Menorca is part of : ESPANA
85. If you have it, you might know what this answer is without reading the clue : ESP
86. Middle of a simile : ASAN
88. Quenched : SLAKED
92. "Give me ___" : AHINT
93. Some 1960s radicals : YIPPIES
96. Treat that gives a glowing complexion? : URANIUMOREO
98. Chap : OLDBOY
100. Work as a branch manager? : LOP
102. Flag : PENNANT
103. Scott of "Happy Days" : BAIO
104. Nasser's successor as Egypt's leader : SADAT
107. "What's Opera, Doc?" antagonist : ELMER
108. Film director ___ C. Kenton : ERLE
111. Canon competitor : EPSON
113. Weeklong Irish vacation? : SEVENDAYSINMAYO
116. Gross : YUCKY
117. Like some turns : HAIRPIN
118. Chose to take part : OPTEDIN
119. What if, informally : SPOSE
120. ___ performance : ENCORE
121. Book before Esther: Abbr. : NEH
122. Neuron's ends? : ENS
Down
1. "Wise" sorts : OWLS
2. "Pow!" : WHAM
3. Result of a haymaker, maybe : NOSEBLEED
4. 1/20 of a ton: Abbr. : CWT
5. Pure : CHASTE
6. Couple : CONNECT
7. Torn : RENT
8. Dadaist Jean : ARP
9. Wimbledon surface : GRASS
10. Archaeological treasure trove : TARPIT
11. "Nessun dorma," for one : ARIA
12. Drift : GIST
13. Statement made while crossing the fingers, maybe : FIB
14. Like the three men of the "Rub-a-dub-dub" nursery rhyme : INATUB
15. One having trouble with basic arithmetic? : SUMWRESTLER
16. Neighbor of the talus : TIBIA
17. Much of a sports recap : STATS
19. Good hunting skill : STEALTH
20. Some Guinness Book records : FIRSTS
23. Lamp polisher's surprise? : GENIE
28. "Quién ___?" : SABE
31. Batch of Brownies? : TROOP
32. Harass incessantly : PLAGUE
34. Photog's bagful? : CAMGEAR
35. Feature of Devonshire cream : CLOT
36. Article in Der Spiegel : EINE
37. "March comes in like ___ ..." : ALION
39. Cottonmouth's warning : HISS
40. Targets in "Men in Black," informally : ETS
43. Stars : SUNS
46. Childish retort : AMTOO
47. Indiana's state flower : PEONY
49. Puts forth : POSITS
51. Historic Mesopotamian city : EDESSA
53. Wand material in the Harry Potter books : ELM
56. Thick and green : LUSH
57. Merchandise: Abbr. : GDS
58. Artificial silks : RAYONS
59. Grow feathers : FLEDGE
61. Like the French sky : BLEU
62. Colorful quartz : AGATE
63. ___ position : LOTUS
64. Some loose dancing? : FLOPPYDISCO
65. Godfather after being double-crossed? : MADCAPO
67. Kyrgyz city : OSH
70. Panhandle state: Abbr. : IDA
72. Action in FanDuel and DraftKings : BETS
73. Close tightly : SEALUP
74. "King Lear" role : EDGAR
76. "The Last Days of Pompeii" heroine : IONE
77. ___ bin Laden : OSAMA
78. Legitimate business practices : FAIRTRADE
79. Last Stuart queen : ANNE
80. Kind of alphabet : NATO
82. Moo goo ___ pan : GAI
84. "Sh," "th" or "ou" : PHONEME
87. 1974 C.I.A. spoof : SPYS
89. Big name in test prep : KAPLAN
90. Opposite side : ENEMY
91. Makes a meal of : DINESON
94. Apple app for viewing reading material : IBOOKS
95. Polish, e.g. : SLAVIC
97. Green : UNRIPE
98. Heeds : OBEYS
99. Eagerly accept : LAPUP
101. County in New Mexico or Colorado : OTERO
105. Court legend Arthur : ASHE
106. Eldest member of an organization : DEAN
107. Falco of "The Sopranos" : EDIE
109. The Eagles' "___ Eyes" : LYIN
110. Forever and ever : EONS
112. December 31: Abbr. : NYE
114. D.C.-based media giant : NPR
115. 1st, 2nd, 3rd ... ___ : NTH

Answer summary: 12 unique to this puzzle, 2 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

Found bugs or have suggestions?