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IF FOUND, CALL ...

New York Times, Sunday, March 11, 2018

Author: Matthew Sewell
Editor: Will Shortz
Matthew Sewell
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98/24/20163/11/20181
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2104011
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1.65121

This puzzle:

Rows: 21, Columns: 21 Words: 140, Blocks: 76 Missing: {FQZ} This is puzzle # 9 for Mr. Sewell. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Matthew Sewell notes: My suggested title for this puzzle was 'Gone Grr.' I'd guess that anybody who reads the NYT constructor comments knows that the puzzles are a team effort, and that editorial changes are made in hopes of ... more
Matthew Sewell notes:

My suggested title for this puzzle was "Gone Grr." I'd guess that anybody who reads the NYT constructor comments knows that the puzzles are a team effort, and that editorial changes are made in hopes of hitting the right tone and balance for the audience. I'm grateful for all the ways that process improves the final product — in this puzzle, for example, the clue for 80-Across is a great and fun addition to what I submitted (which is to say I wish I'd thought of that).

At the same time, the editorially-added clue for 73-Down gives me pause. I don't object to entries or clues that might touch on sex (3/3/18's NUDE SCENE with the ingenious clue "Hot take?" doesn't bother me), but I think PLAYMATES in the Playboy sense evokes an infantilizing attitude toward women that is not ok. I realize that others may respond to the clue differently.

I asked if Will would consider changing it, and he replied with a gracious note to the effect that it was too late to revise, and anyway that Playboy Playmates are part of the world, and thus fair game for the puzzle. I understand that point. But insofar as the clues constitute a series of choices about what are interesting, clever, and/or suitable ways to lead to the correct entry, I think there's some importance to *which* way the puzzle chooses. In this case, it's not the path I would've taken. Wherever solvers might come down on these issues, though, I hope they enjoyed the puzzle and had fun finding those missing four-legged friends.

Jeff Chen notes: LOST DOGs, their owners listed as theme answers, and the DOGs hidden. Well, 'hidden,' since the clues for the owners points out exactly where to find them. Huh. Loved the DOROTHY GALE / TOTO pairing, and ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

LOST DOGs, their owners listed as theme answers, and the DOGs hidden. Well, "hidden," since the clues for the owners points out exactly where to find them.

Huh.

Loved the DOROTHY GALE / TOTO pairing, and a solid finding of TOTO within GO TO TOWN. Both the owner and dog easily recognizable. (I didn't know DOROTHY's last name was GALE, but it's so appropriate!)

I was a big "Garfield" fan as a kid – OKAY FINE I STILL AM! – so ODIE and JON ARBUCKLE came easily. I can see how ODIE would be esoteric for some solvers.

(BTW, if you haven't read "Garfield Minus Garfield," it's a surprisingly deep commentary on JON ARBUCKLE's life.)

Speaking of esoteric, NANA? THE DARLINGS? Apparently they're the family from ... "The Andy Griffith Show"? I pride myself on old-time sitcom knowledge (I know, sad), but NANA wasn't something I knew (even sadder).

Wait! Wikipedia, why dost thou lead me astray! Apparently the children in "Peter Pan" were also "The Darlings."

They had a dog?

ASTA was familiar since it's one of those common bits of crossword glue. As a theme answer, though … it might do more for an older generation of solvers, fans of NICK AND NORA and "The Thin Man."

XS AND YS? Have I ever heard XS AND YS in any math class … maybe? Something like YEARS AND YEARS might have been better.

With so much theme material, not a surprise to need some crossword glue to hold the puzzle together. I didn't mind most of it, the minor MIS, PEI, ORD stuff.

But not so good to have SSR and UKR – with UKR clued using USSR! Yikes.

I hate hate hate finishing with an error — BANNS (?) crossing NEAR YOU ... I couldn't force myself to believe that BANNS was a thing, so BANDS it was. DEAR YOU could be a song title, right?

I do crosswords for that elation of eventually beating the puzzle. So disappointing to fail like this.

Overall, a fun idea. But I wish there had been more familiar dogs – maybe open it up to cats too, to help with that? – and smoother execution.

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© 2018, The New York TimesNo. 0311 ( 24,960 )
Across Down
1. Heading on a neighborhood poster : LOSTDOG
8. Radio personality Glenn : BECK
12. Bump, as from a schedule : PREEMPT
19. Standing closet : ARMOIRE
20. Poison ivy soother : ALOE
21. Huts : SHANTIES
22. Anti-mob tool : TEARGAS
23. Dryer buildup : LINT
24. "1984" superstate : EASTASIA
25. "Get 'em!" : SIC
26. Power up? : ELECT
27. High land : NEPAL
28. Last seen riding in a basket. If found, call ___ [see 106-Across] : DOROTHYGALE
32. Mix with : ADDIN
33. Fall off : EBB
36. Pizzeria chain, casually : UNOS
37. Like a certain Freudian complex : OEDIPAL
39. Graduation attire : REGALIA
41. It goes around the neck : BIB
42. Doesn't just assume : ASKS
44. Last seen in the nursery. If found, call ___ [see 84-Across] : THEDARLINGS
46. One who can't keep weight off for long : YOYODIETER
50. Tempe sch. : ASU
51. Scream or bawl, e.g. : EMOTE
52. Like most holidays : ANNUAL
53. Reverses, as a deletion : STETS
55. "Darn it all!" : RATS
58. It may hold the line : ROD
59. Toll rds. : TPKS
61. Yokohama "yes" : HAI
62. Tijuana setting, informally : BAJA
63. Postal abbr. for a rural address : RTE
64. Last seen with a red-haired girl. If found, call ___ [see 119-Across] : LITTLEORPHANANNIE
68. Drone, for one : BEE
69. Cyclotron bits : IONS
70. "Here's an idea ..." : SAY
71. Some bygone theaters : RKOS
72. Bleat : BAA
73. Confrere : PEER
74. Food cart offerings : GYROS
76. One of the Marcoses of the Philippines : IMELDA
80. Alphabetically first "American Idol" judge across all 16 seasons : ABDUL
82. Go from bud to blossom, to a poet : OPE
84. Pretend : PUTONANACT
86. Last seen chasing down clues. If found, call ___ [see 24-Across] : NICKANDNORA
90. Poet who wrote of Daedalus : OVID
91. ___-green : SEA
92. Theme song of Milton Berle : NEARYOU
93. Forms, forms and more forms : REDTAPE
96. Sash supporter : SILL
97. Any of the Baltic states, once: Abbr. : SSR
98. What's left on TV? : MSNBC
100. Last seen being mocked by a cat. If found, call ___ [see 46-Across] : JONARBUCKLE
103. Gambling mecca : MACAO
104. Increase : MOUNT
105. Lilt : AIR
106. Proceed enthusiastically : GOTOTOWN
109. Symbol gotten by typing Option+Shift+2 : EURO
110. Hit straight to the shortstop, perhaps : LINEOUT
114. Promo : TEASERAD
115. War loser, usually : TREY
116. Declared : UTTERED
117. Storied journey : ODYSSEY
118. Puts the kibosh on : ENDS
119. Algebraic variables : XSANDYS
1. Rowing muscle, for short : LAT
2. Iron Range product : ORE
3. Wee, to a Scot : SMA
4. Chests' places : TORSOS
5. Sudoku entry : DIGIT
6. Herb resembling spinach : ORACH
7. Some kitchen appliances, for short : GES
8. Adele's "Someone Like You," e.g. : BALLAD
9. Hebrew for "My God! My God!" : ELIELI
10. Idea : CONCEPT
11. Etta of old comics : KETT
12. Sister of Ariadne : PHAEDRA
13. More hoarse : RASPIER
14. Snares : ENTANGLES
15. List-reducing abbr. : ETAL
16. Prefix with play and place : MIS
17. Charlottetown's prov. : PEI
18. Checkpoint org. : TSA
21. Post : SEND
26. Discharges : EGESTS
28. 43 : DUBYA
29. Kind of dip : ONION
30. One-named Swedish singer with the Grammy-nominated song "Dancing on My Own" : ROBYN
31. It goes around the neck : YOKE
32. Inn stock : ALES
33. The U.S., to Mexicans : ELNORTE
34. Hallux, more familiarly : BIGTOE
35. Stationed (at) : BASED
38. Clicking sounds? : AHAS
40. Gold medal, to an Olympian : AIM
42. Repurpose : ADAPT
43. Dressy accessory : SILKTIE
45. Boxing champ Roberto : DURAN
47. Navel type : OUTIE
48. Cultural values : ETHOS
49. Where the engine is in a Porsche 911 : REAR
54. A bit stiff : TIPSY
56. A bit cracked : AJAR
57. Modest two-piece swimsuit : TANKINI
60. Sharply sour fruit : SLOE
62. Ecosystem endangered by global warming : BAYOU
63. Up : RISEN
64. Pacer : LEADCAR
65. 2000s corporate scandal subject : ENRON
66. Heavenly sound? : HARP
67. Vagabond : NOMAD
68. Coddles : BABIES
72. Marriage announcement : BANNS
73. Some centerfolds : PLAYMATES
74. Golden Globe-winning actor for "Chicago" : GERE
75. Visit during a trip : STOPAT
77. Vision-correcting procedure : LASIK
78. Big battery : DCELL
79. Subtitle of Hawthorne's "Fanshawe" : ATALE
81. Former part of the U.S.S.R.: Abbr. : UKR
83. Alternative to boeuf or jambon : PORC
85. [continued] : OVER
87. Love all around? : NOSCORE
88. Actress Faye : DUNAWAY
89. Stop for now : ADJOURN
94. Saw the sights : TOURED
95. Ruffles : ANNOYS
96. Moviedom : SCREEN
99. My word, maybe : BOND
101. Lures : BAITS
102. Utah's ___ Mountains : UINTA
103. Some greenery that's not grass : MOSS
104. Parcel (out) : METE
106. '60s Pontiac : GTO
107. Webster's Third competitor, for short : OED
108. Scotland's longest river : TAY
110. Start of Yale's motto : LUX
111. Chicago terminal code : ORD
112. Double-back move : UEY
113. QB's tally : TDS

Answer summary: 7 unique to this puzzle, 3 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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