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NOTED ANNIVERSARY

New York Times, Sunday, March 1, 2015

Author:
Finn Vigeland
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
1710/20/201010/21/20184
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
8123012
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.64230
Finn Vigeland

This puzzle:

Rows: 21, Columns: 21 Words: 140, Blocks: 92 Missing: {Q} Spans: 1 This is puzzle # 6 for Mr. Vigeland. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Finn Vigeland notes:
The Sound of Music is, as it is for so many people, one of my most treasured movies. It never fails to put me in a good mood. It was such a staple of my childhood that I know the ... read more

The Sound of Music is, as it is for so many people, one of my most treasured movies. It never fails to put me in a good mood. It was such a staple of my childhood that I know the script—lyrics AND dialogue—by heart. So, for the many hours singing along to 31-Across that this movie gave me, I am thrilled to give back to it in the most minuscule of ways by recognizing, in the Times crossword, the 50th anniversary of one of the highest-grossing and most beloved films of all time.

Discovering that The Sound of Music was a grid-spanning 15 letters long was one of my earliest revelations as a constructor. Indeed, this puzzle started as a daily-sized 15x15 in 2009. To get to the final product you see today, it took five years of on-and-off construction, a few changes in grid dimension, and ditching several high-concept meta themes (for a while, the children's names were all hidden in the grid in the column number corresponding to their ages ... yeah, I got really deep into this).

Ultimately, I kept it as a straightforward anniversary puzzle with the twist of the do-re-mi rebus. That concept has been done before and done well, but I'm glad that Will agreed it merited an encore performance this time. I hope this puzzle makes you think of some of your favorite things!

Jeff Chen notes:
Tribute puzzle, celebrating the 50th anniversary one of the most popular films of all-time, THE SOUND OF MUSIC. Nice added touch to incorporate rebus squares of DO RE MI FA SOL LA TI DO in ... read more

Tribute puzzle, celebrating the 50th anniversary one of the most popular films of all-time, THE SOUND OF MUSIC. Nice added touch to incorporate rebus squares of DO RE MI FA SOL LA TI DO in an ascending scale. Tribute puzzles can be a bit dry if they simply list facts about the subject, so the additional layer is much appreciated.

I really enjoyed Finn's voice coming through in this puzzle. He's a recent grad who went back to work for his alma mater (Columbia), and his early 20's, much-hipper-than-me vibe shines through. There's fill representing that — GLAM UP, VEG OUT, MINAJ, EPIC! — but also the cluing. I doubt I'd ever think to clue OMG as "u r KIDDING!" And he does a great job of saving the partial OR IT with the meme of "pics or it didn't happen!"

I'm setting the over/under at 1.6 apples.

I had to research two clues to make sense of them, so hopefully I can shed some light:

PICA: apparently the PICA is a typographic unit, defined as containing "12 point units of measure." Huh. I wonder if PIKACHU is 12 points high? More importantly, how many apples high is PIKACHU?

CATARACTS: the "Cataracts of the Nile" are white water rapids in a section of that river. Having spent a long time in ophthalmic pharmaceuticals, it was hard for me to not see "cataracts" as the ocular impairment. But now I see! Cataracts can also mean "large waterfalls."

Beautiful clue for WINO, repurposing "port authority" for a completely different meaning. And some great trivia today. I've been to TAIPEI several times but never knew it was called the "City of Azaleas."

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© 2015, The New York TimesNo. 0301 ( 23,854 )
Across
1
"u r KIDDING!" : OMG
4
Doesn't tread lightly : CLOMPS
10
Neighbor of a delt : PEC
13
1958 space monkey : GORDO
17
Site of cataracts : NILE
19
Chillax : VEGOUT
20
Goof : ERR
21
"Conversely ...," online : OTOH
22
Pass : ENACT
24
Setting of 118-Across : SALZBURGAUSTRIA
27
Language from which "tattoo" comes : SAMOAN
29
Mens ___ (legal term) : REA
30
Required : ESSENTIAL
31
Star of 118-Across : JULIEANDREWS
35
"Roll Over Beethoven" group, briefly : ELO
36
Chemistry lab droppers : PIPETS
37
Luggage checker, for short : TSA
38
Hearing something? : LAWSUIT
43
Author LeShan : EDA
44
Botanist Carl Linnaeus, for one : SWEDE
48
With 65-Down, 160-year-old fraternity founded at Miami University of Ohio : SIGMA
49
Opening lyric of 118-Across : THEHILLSAREALIVE
57
Complaints : FLAK
58
Georgetown athlete : HOYA
59
Send : ELATE
60
Important factor in a crossword tournament : SOLVINGTIME
62
Eclipses, to some : OMENS
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Raid target : ROACH
67
___ Fridays : TGI
68
Duo behind 118-Across : RODGERSANDHAMMERSTEIN
77
Fútbol announcer's shout : GOL
78
See 130-Across : SIREE
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Lightly hammered? : TIPSY
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"Così Fan Tutte," e.g. : OPERABUFFA
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"The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" actress : DENCH
89
Do some roof work : TILE
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Port authority? : WINO
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Honor for 118-Across : BESTPICTUREOSCAR
95
Sports bar fixture : LCDTV
97
Narnia girl : SUSAN
98
Curmudgeon's review : UGH
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Fish dish : SASHIMI
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Prefix with city or centennial : TRI
103
Digressions : ASIDES
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It ends in Nov. : DST
108
Family upon whom 118-Across is based : THEVONTRAPPS
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Wynken, Blynken and Nod, e.g. : THREESOME
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Whup : TAN
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Recondite : ARCANE
118
Movie that opened on 3/2/1965 : THESOUNDOFMUSIC
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Superdietary, informally : NOCAL
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"Pics ___ didn't happen" (slangy challenge) : ORIT
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"Wailing" instrument : SAX
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Big export of Myanmar : RUBIES
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Nine-month pregnancy : TERM
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"Let's Make a Deal" features : DOORS
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Figure in a Sunni/Shia dispute : ALI
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Where the Potemkin Steps are : ODESSA
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With 78-Across, "Righto!" : YES
Down
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Two out of 11? : ONES
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Nicki with the 2014 hit "Anaconda" : MINAJ
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Dress to the nines : GLAMUP
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Rite Aid rival : CVS
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Picks up : LEARNS
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Checked out : OGLED
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"The culminating point that beauty has attained in the sphere of music," per Tchaikovsky : MOZART
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___ crawl : PUB
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Guy's name that's an alphabet run : STU
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Viola parts : PEGS
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Remove any trace of : ERASE
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1961 Disney villainess : CRUELLA
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Crime boss John : GOTTI
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Not esta or esa : OTRA
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Disturb : ROIL
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2022 World Cup city : DOHA
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Food poisoning cause : ECOLI
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Asian capital nicknamed the City of Azaleas : TAIPEI
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Hi-___ : RES
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Does a real number on, say : SNOWS
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Something a trypanophobe fears : NEEDLE
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In the slightest : ATALL
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Latin 101 verb : ESSE
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Trumpet sound : WAWA
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Go (through) : SIFT
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Citrus fruit : UGLI
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Official in a turban : IMAM
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Bit of filming : TAKE
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___ de México (Mexico City daily) : ELSOL
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A.L. East, e.g.: Abbr. : DIV
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Paperless party planner's option : EVITE
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2011 Marvel film : THOR
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___ neanderthalensis : HOMO
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Checked out : EYED
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"___ tight" : HANG
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Singer Bareilles with the 2007 hit "Love Song" : SARA
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Heaps : ATON
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Interprets : READS
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Many a Silicon Valley worker: Abbr. : ENGR
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Heart : GIST
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Maker of Dreamcast games : SEGA
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See 48-Across : CHI
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Cave opening? : HARDC
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Eldest Stark child on "Game of Thrones" : ROBB
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Pivots : SLUES
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Rendezvous : MEET
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File ___ : MENU
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Little songbirds : TITS
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Bigger than big : EPIC
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Luzón, por ejemplo : ISLA
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Manhattanite, e.g., for short : NYER
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Hooters : OWLS
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12 points : PICA
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Cuts off : ENDS
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Senator William who pioneered a type of I.R.A. : ROTH
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Seminoles' sch. : FSU
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Part of the food pyramid : FATS
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Sicilian border? : CRUST
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Flight from danger : HEGIRA
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Orbit, e.g. : PATH
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About : INRE
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"Rats!" : OHDARN
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Smartphone capability : VIDEO
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Crown since 1952 : MISSUSA
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Hookup in bed? : IVTUBE
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Annual awards in animation : ANNIES
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Site of Spaceship Earth : EPCOT
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Kevin of "House of Cards" : SPACEY
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Unlike much Schoenberg music : TONAL
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Formula One driver ___ Fabi : TEO
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Haven : OASIS
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Pitfall : SNARE
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"Comin' ___ the Rye" : THRO
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Prince, e.g. : HEIR
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Lies : RESTS
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Year that Cambridge's St. John's College was founded : MDXI
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Stately trees : ELMS
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Kind of list : TODO
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To's partner : FRO
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Joe : MUD
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Civil War inits. : CSA

Answer summary: 7 unique to this puzzle, 2 debuted here and reused later, 2 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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