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IF FOUND, CALL ...

New York Times, Sunday, March 11, 2018

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

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 ... read more

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 ... read more

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
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
Down
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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