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AWESOME!

New York Times, Sunday, February 21, 2016

Author:
Patrick Berry
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
2297/11/199911/4/20182
SunMonTueWedThuFriSatVariety
741241679512
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.54980
Patrick Berry

This puzzle:

Rows: 21, Columns: 21 Words: 138, Blocks: 72 Missing: {J} This is puzzle # 209 for Mr. Berry. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jeff Chen notes:
Sound change theme, an 'ah' sound lengthening to 'awe.' These types of themes live and die by how humorous the results are, as well as the strength of the base phrases. Body-building to ... read more

Sound change theme, an "ah" sound lengthening to "awe." These types of themes live and die by how humorous the results are, as well as the strength of the base phrases. Body-building to BAWDY BUILDING worked perfectly for me — that phrase brings up all sorts of fun imagery. I also liked "The Mod Squad" to THE MAUDE SQUAD, getting a visual of Bea Arthur as a thug.

Leader of THE MAUDE SQUAD!

Knotty pine to NAUGHTY PINE is a great transformation, but the resulting phrase didn't make enough sense to me to be funny, especially given the clue relating it to a "bad kid." SHUTTLE CAULK felt a bit too real — they probably use some sort of sealant on space shuttles, yeah? — to be funny. So, a mixed bag for me.

As usual, Patrick executes so well on his 140-word 21x grid. Using eight themers makes this construction even more difficult, but PB still manages to work in bonuses like DEWDROP, SPYCAMS, CLOUDSCAPE, and LADY GAGA (cool bit of trivia too, that her followers are known as "Little Monsters").

What makes PB really stand out on Sundays though, is the silky-smoothness of his short fill. I love seeing an entire grid of this size that doesn't use even mild crossword glue, because my experience says it's one of the toughest challenges in construction.

And beyond my personal sense of aesthetics, I think having this level of smoothness is valuable to solvers, leading to a higher degree of satisfaction upon completion. Mike Shenk of the WSJ said it best, that the constructor's top priority is to set up a challenge, constructor vs. solver, but to do it in such a way that the solver will ultimately prevail.

Struggling is a good thing when those final boxes fill in regular words. It's not nearly as satisfying when you have to rely on having done crosswords for years, knowing your common crossword glue in order to get a complete and accurate solve. Too often on Sundays, God help you if you don't have that experience, so I really appreciate PB's strict attention to detail when it comes to fill smoothness.

Standard PB fare, well-executed as usual.

1
E
2
V
3
I
4
L
5
S
6
R
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U
8
N
9
L
10
A
11
T
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E
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S
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P
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Y
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C
17
A
18
M
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S
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B
L
O
A
T
21
O
P
H
E
L
I
A
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H
A
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R
G
E
L
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B
A
W
D
Y
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B
U
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L
D
I
N
G
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E
X
P
I
A
T
E
26
D
A
Y
L
I
T
27
G
E
28
A
R
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S
P
E
D
30
G
I
G
31
P
32
O
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P
34
C
O
R
N
P
35
A
36
U
P
E
R
S
37
O
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R
39
C
A
S
40
T
A
X
I
E
D
41
C
A
L
C
42
N
A
U
G
H
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T
Y
P
I
N
E
44
M
I
S
P
L
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A
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C
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E
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S
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E
Z
R
A
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O
P
E
D
S
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P
O
E
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A
D
L
A
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N
O
V
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F
R
E
R
E
55
C
A
N
N
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E
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D
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W
O
R
N
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D
R
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W
O
N
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S
H
U
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T
L
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62
C
A
U
L
K
63
B
A
R
O
64
N
65
S
H
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S
H
66
S
W
O
R
D
67
S
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T
A
L
K
F
O
69
O
T
A
G
E
70
D
R
E
S
71
S
72
Y
73
H
E
L
L
74
F
S
T
O
P
S
75
T
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O
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R
R
E
78
C
P
A
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O
R
L
O
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N
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H
O
E
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R
O
M
E
O
83
B
A
I
T
84
D
I
S
P
E
85
R
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S
E
D
87
P
A
W
E
D
P
88
E
O
P
L
E
89
C
E
L
L
90
B
E
G
I
N
S
91
F
U
E
L
S
92
C
93
H
94
A
95
L
K
F
U
L
96
L
O
N
U
T
S
97
O
F
T
98
A
I
D
A
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M
O
A
T
100
I
N
U
I
101
T
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S
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S
T
E
P
104
M
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O
M
106
T
H
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E
108
M
109
A
110
U
D
E
S
Q
U
A
111
D
112
T
O
P
S
I
D
E
113
H
E
L
O
I
S
E
114
E
U
B
I
E
115
E
N
T
E
R
E
D
116
E
R
I
T
R
E
A
117
D
E
A
L
S
© 2016, The New York TimesNo. 0221 ( 24,211 )
Across
1
Harmful aspects : EVILS
6
Go long : RUNLATE
13
Surveillance equipment : SPYCAMS
20
Balloon : BLOAT
21
Shakespeare character who says "Good night, ladies; good night, sweet ladies; good night, good night" : OPHELIA
22
"Wet look" product : HAIRGEL
23
Burlesque theater? : BAWDYBUILDING
25
Make amends for : EXPIATE
26
Bathed in the sun : DAYLIT
27
Toothy turner : GEAR
29
Exceeded a limit : SPED
30
Group engagement : GIG
31
Moviegoers who can't afford concession stand snacks? : POPCORNPAUPERS
37
Killers at sea : ORCAS
40
Prepared for takeoff : TAXIED
41
Class with derivatives, briefly : CALC
42
Bad kid's Christmas tree? : NAUGHTYPINE
44
Loses : MISPLACES
49
Old Testament prophet : EZRA
50
Page views? : OPEDS
51
"Eldorado" poet : POE
52
Political opponent of Ike : ADLAI
53
Guy Fawkes Day mo. : NOV
54
Brother, in Brittany : FRERE
55
Like many food drive offerings : CANNED
58
Showing signs of age : WORN
59
Utilized : DREWON
61
Sealant used by NASA? : SHUTTLECAULK
63
Viscount's inferior : BARON
65
"Quit talking!" : SHUSH
66
Centurion weapon : SWORD
67
B-roll from "Splendor in the Grass"? : STALKFOOTAGE
70
Formal : DRESSY
73
It's divided into nine circles : HELL
74
Shutterbugs' settings : FSTOPS
75
2014 Cooperstown inductee Joe : TORRE
78
Certain H&R Block worker : CPA
79
DuPont creation of 1941 : ORLON
81
Creator of plot holes? : HOE
82
Ardent lover : ROMEO
83
Can of worms? : BAIT
84
Broke up : DISPERSED
87
Owners of large enthusiastic dogs? : PAWEDPEOPLE
89
Cooler unit : CELL
90
Kicks off : BEGINS
91
Sustains : FUELS
92
Writing implement from Planters? : CHALKFULLONUTS
97
___-repeated : OFT
98
Lover of Radames, in opera : AIDA
99
Feature of the Tokyo Imperial Palace : MOAT
100
Greenland natives : INUITS
103
Carol Brady on "The Brady Bunch," e.g. : STEPMOM
106
Supporting actors in a Bea Arthur sitcom? : THEMAUDESQUAD
112
Up on deck : TOPSIDE
113
Legendary lover of Abelard : HELOISE
114
Blake who composed "I'm Just Wild About Harry" : EUBIE
115
Crossed the sill : ENTERED
116
Border disputer with Ethiopia : ERITREA
117
Works as a trader : DEALS
Down
1
Regression : EBB
2
Wallachian prince who inspired "Dracula" : VLAD
3
"The Bridges of Madison County" setting : IOWA
4
Her fans are called Little Monsters : LADYGAGA
5
Smart : STYLISH
6
Drubbing : ROUT
7
Longtime employer of Helen Thomas, in brief : UPI
8
Rangers' org. : NHL
9
Was in charge : LED
10
Fight of the Century loser : ALI
11
Egocentric tyrant : TINGOD
12
Fired up : EAGER
13
Ones helping people up? : SHERPAS
14
"___ vobiscum" (Mass salutation) : PAX
15
Toy dog's bark : YIP
16
Like iceberg lettuce : CRISP
17
Visibly amazed : AGAPE
18
Word with parking or postage : METER
19
What the Olympic sport of skeleton involves : SLEDS
24
Highly successful : BIG
28
Like the Mesopotamian people : ANCIENT
31
Writing assignment : PAPER
32
Ethylene ___ : OXIDE
33
Tailor's supply : PINS
34
Community leader? : CEE
35
Bernina, for one : ALP
36
One of the so-called "Public Ivies" : UCLA
37
Nonstop : ONEND
38
Shower accessory : RAZOR
39
Trick questions, e.g. : CURVEBALLS
40
Do data entry : TYPE
43
Roughly removed : TORNOFF
44
Common pay period : MONTH
45
Program with plugs : ADWARE
46
Heavenly painting? : CLOUDSCAPE
47
Viscount's superior : EARL
48
Deteriorate : SINK
51
Comma, to an orator : PAUSE
54
Food sticker : FORK
55
Finishes all at once, in a way : CHUGS
56
Some people movers : ELS
57
One on the web at daybreak? : DEWDROP
60
Strong punch : WALLOP
61
Figure : SHAPE
62
Geological sample : CORE
64
Inclusions in safer passwords: Abbr. : NOS
65
Rose : STOOD
67
Like Derby entrants : SHOD
68
Garr of "Tootsie" : TERI
69
Game with a 64-square board : OTHELLO
71
Tanker mishap : SPILL
72
Eastwood's role on "Rawhide" : YATES
75
Specifically : TOWIT
76
Augural observations : OMENS
77
Johnny Bench's team : REDS
80
Guitar part : NECK
82
Classico competitor : RAGU
83
Posh shop : BOUTIQUE
85
Flag thrower : REF
86
Hung out with the riffraff : SLUMMED
87
Gift that may be gold-plated : PEN
88
Gave off : EFFUSED
90
Rub the wrong way : BOTHER
92
Social stratum : CASTE
93
Make advances toward : HITON
94
No slouch : ADEPT
95
Instance of forgetfulness : LAPSE
96
Pool cue maker's tool : LATHE
97
Vowel's value in Scrabble : ONE
100
Impression : IDEA
101
Bass instrument : TUBA
102
Set ___ (embark) : SAIL
104
I.S.S. forerunner : MIR
105
Pindaric composition : ODE
107
New Haven student : ELI
108
Vocabulaire entry : MOT
109
Intangible quality : AIR
110
Expend : USE
111
___ Peres (St. Louis suburb) : DES

Answer summary: 12 unique to this puzzle, 1 debuted here and reused later, 2 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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