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EVERYTHING EVENS OUT IN THE END

New York Times, Sunday, February 24, 2019

Author:
Erik Agard
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
3511/6/20123/20/201915
SunMonTueWedThuFriSatVariety
83455361
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.61150
Erik Agard

This puzzle:

Rows: 21, Columns: 21 Words: 140, Blocks: 75 Missing: {JQXZ} This is puzzle # 33 for Mr. Agard. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Will Shortz notes:
Erik Agard, 25, is a professional puzzlemaker from Gaithersburg, Md. He is the reigning champion of the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament. On average he finishes a Sunday New York Times ... read more

Erik Agard, 25, is a professional puzzlemaker from Gaithersburg, Md. He is the reigning champion of the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament. On average he finishes a Sunday New York Times crossword in a frighteningly quick 5 minutes. Last October he won $66,802 in a three-day winning streak on Jeopardy!

This is Erik's 32nd crossword for the paper.

Erik Agard notes:
Periodic reminder: the Crossword Puzzle Collaboration Directory is a resource for puzzlemakers from underrepresented groups. If you're interested in writing crosswords (or other puzzles) ... read more

Periodic reminder: the Crossword Puzzle Collaboration Directory is a resource for puzzlemakers from underrepresented groups. If you're interested in writing crosswords (or other puzzles) and would like some tips on getting started, someone to critique your work, or someone to collaborate with, give it a look.

Jeff Chen notes:
Notice how every other letter in REINDEER form the word RIDE? Combining them to make a REINDEER RIDE -> WHAT ARE THE ODDS indeed? That's a world-class WITT find – Wish I'd Thought ... read more

Notice how every other letter in REINDEER form the word RIDE? Combining them to make a REINDEER RIDE -> WHAT ARE THE ODDS indeed? That's a world-class WITT find – Wish I'd Thought of That!

PROTEST POET was nice too. Amazing to have a natural-sounding phrase work in this way. I did an alternating letter puzzle a long time ago, but these finds are way better.

The others didn't do as much for me, as the phrases felt forced. FOOTNOTE FONT is perhaps a thing, but arbitrary-sounding. SMALL TOWN SALON, too. THE FARM TEAM – if only someone had made a movie with that title, but baseball teams don't call up from THE FARM TEAM. IS NOT TOO INTO wouldn't fly in a normal crossword.

Still, it's a tough enough constraint that coming up with seven of them – fitting symmetrically! – is an astounding feat. Color me impressed, even given that I already have Erik in my short list of top crossword constructors.

Strong gridwork, too, as to be expected with an Agardian effort. I enjoyed ILLUMINATI, AWKWAFINA (what a great stage name!), CHEWBACCA, DEVIATION, NATIONAL TV.

I hitched slightly in the PRETORIA / GAOL (Jeff is getting angry at Microsoft Word for continually auto-correcting this to GOAL) / AGRI / RPI area, but ultimately, NYT solvers ought to know how to spell PRETORIA.

Great idea. Dammit, WITT! If even one or two more themers had felt less forced, it'd have been an easy POW!

Jim Horne notes:

We count this as Mr. Asgard's 33rd puzzle because we include his Puns and Anagrams variety puzzle.

1
C
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H
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W
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B
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A
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C
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C
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A
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C
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W
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P
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A
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Y
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G
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A
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D
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M
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B
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L
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A
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A
© 2019, The New York TimesNo. 0224 ( 25,310 )
Across
1
Solo partner : CHEWBACCA
10
Multidecker sandwich : CLUB
14
Stack at Starbucks : LIDS
18
Word that follows "standard" and means something nonstandard : DEVIATION
19
Abundant : RIFE
20
Nettie's sister in "The Color Purple" : CELIE
21
*Likely inexpensive place to get one's hair done : SMALLTOWNSALON
23
During the time that : WHILST
24
Baton Rouge sch. : LSU
25
Auctioneer's cry : SOLD
26
Brownish tint : SEPIA
28
Final: Abbr. : ULT
29
En ___ (chess move) : PASSANT
33
Jolly time : YULE
35
Sports rival of Union College, for short : RPI
36
Chemistry unit: Abbr. : MOL
37
Wee devil : IMP
38
Cry like a baby : MEWL
40
*Tourist activity in northern Scandinavia : REINDEERRIDE
44
Backpack filler : GEAR
46
"I dare you!" : DOIT
48
Make a quick move : DART
49
Chinese dynasty ended by Kublai Khan : SONG
50
It's groovy : SCREW
52
Get to the bottom of : PLUMB
55
Lockup, to Sherlock : GAOL
57
Villain's hideout : LAIR
59
*Source of call-ups, in baseball lingo : THEFARMTEAM
61
Prefix with culture : AGRI
62
Virgil described its eruption in the "Aeneid" : ETNA
63
"You got it, boss man!" : YESSIR
64
*Posting that blows in the wind : SWINGINGSIGN
67
Serenaded : SANGTO
71
Odyssey : VOYAGE
72
*Has little excitement for : ISNOTTOOINTO
77
Florentine : spinach :: lyonnaise : ___ : ONIONS
82
Curry go-with : NAAN
83
To be abroad? : ETRE
84
*Allen Ginsberg, e.g. : PROTESTPOET
88
Baby beavers : KITS
89
Bird akin to the nene? : DODO
90
Arab country expelled from the Arab League in 2011 : SYRIA
91
Green, in a way : SOLAR
92
Word cried before and after "all" : LIES
94
Governing org. of soccer : FIFA
96
Reaction of shock : GASP
98
Analytics fodder : DATA
99
*Bottom-of-page design choice : FOOTNOTEFONT
103
Spanish muralist José María ___ : SERT
105
Actor Cariou : LEN
106
Place for a bouquet : URN
107
Boston's Mass ___ : AVE
108
Pb : LEAD
110
Away from the wind : LEEWARD
112
U.F.C. fighting style : MMA
113
Get Wired again, say : RENEW
116
Hotel visit : STAY
118
___-Magnon man : CRO
119
Scarecrow portrayer Ray : BOLGER
121
"How lucky was that?" ... or a hint to the answers to the starred clues : WHATARETHEODDS
127
Seated yoga pose : LOTUS
128
Well-being : EASE
129
Seriously worry : LOSESLEEP
130
What the Joneses may elicit : ENVY
131
Tater : SPUD
132
"Crazy Rich Asians" actress whose stage name puns on a bottled water brand : AWKWAFINA
Down
1
Bank offerings, for short : CDS
2
Fashion line : HEM
3
Fashion model Marcille : EVA
4
Documents that name executors : WILLS
5
Tree resin used in fragrances : BALSAM
6
On the same wavelength : ATTUNED
7
A.F.L. partner : CIO
8
Bullies : COWS
9
Grate on : ANNOY
10
Charging station for a smartphone : CRADLE
11
Rapper ___ Yachty : LIL
12
Sci-fi saucers : UFOS
13
Part of N.B. : BENE
14
Hula dancer's adornment : LEI
15
Subject of many conspiracy theories : ILLUMINATI
16
Knocking out of place : DISLODGING
17
End a lawsuit, say : SETTLE
20
Musical ___ : CHAIRS
22
Speak indistinctly : SLUR
23
Erase : WIPE
27
One of South Africa's capitals : PRETORIA
29
Oink-filled pen : PIGSTY
30
Don who won an Oscar for "Cocoon" : AMECHE
31
Converted splits : SPARES
32
1400 : TWOPM
34
Holiday marking the end of Ramadan : EID
39
Feature of a Welsh accent : LILT
41
Winter Olympics host before Salt Lake City : NAGANO
42
Dreadfully slow : DRAGGY
43
List in the credits : ROLES
45
Wearers of striped shirts : REFS
47
Calendar column: Abbr. : TUE
51
Part of a trunk : WAIST
53
Worker often found on hands and knees : MASON
54
Mini maker : BMW
56
Jargons : LINGOS
58
Bled : RAN
60
Not to be seen or heard by children : RRATED
65
Tower construction material : IVORY
66
Men : GENTS
68
Infrequently : NOTOFTEN
69
Howe nicknamed "Mr. Hockey" : GORDIE
70
Restrict with a string : TIEOFF
72
Challenge for a stain remover : INK
73
Popular Japanese manga series with a schoolgirl heroine : SAILORMOON
74
Counterpart of local channels : NATIONALTV
75
Beginning : ONSET
76
Pranks, in a way, informally : TPS
78
Mini, for one : IPOD
79
"How fancy!" : OOLALA
80
Like a tidied-up room, now : NEATER
81
Bit of hair : STRAND
85
Alternative to .net : ORG
86
Some Spanish babysitters : TIAS
87
Art studio prop : EASEL
93
Alternatives to nets : SNARES
95
HuffPo purchaser in 2011 : AOL
97
Make easier to eat, as an infant's food : PRECHEW
99
Clumsily drop : FUMBLE
100
Finished : OVER
101
Like a set of measuring cups, typically : NESTED
102
"Later, luv!" : TATA
104
Mother ___ : TERESA
109
Role in "Our Gang" or "Queen Sugar" : DARLA
111
"To the Lighthouse" novelist : WOOLF
114
___ milk : EWES
115
Swatting sound : WHAP
117
"Jeez, that's hot!" : YEOW
120
Man : GUY
122
The Sun Devils, for short : ASU
123
"No, you shouldn't have" : TSK
124
Opus ___ : DEI
125
Iniquity site : DEN
126
Springs for a vacation? : SPA

Answer summary: 15 unique to this puzzle, 2 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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