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FOLLOW THE SUN

New York Times, Sunday, March 25, 2018

Author:
Finn Vigeland
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
1810/20/20109/1/20194
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
9123012
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.64230
Finn Vigeland

This puzzle:

Rows: 21, Columns: 21 Words: 140, Blocks: 77 Missing: {JQX} This is puzzle # 16 for Mr. Vigeland. Jeff Chen's Puzzle of the Week pick. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Finn Vigeland notes:
The seed for this puzzle (and its original title) was 'Sunrise, Sunset'—with the eastern theme entires featuring a rising S-U-N, and the western ones featuring a setting S-U-N. It ... read more

The seed for this puzzle (and its original title) was "Sunrise, Sunset"—with the eastern theme entires featuring a rising S-U-N, and the western ones featuring a setting S-U-N. It was important to me that none of these entires—whether the across ones or the down answers containing SUN—use that letter string to mean the word "sun." This was a bit harder than expected! You may notice that I broke a fairly rigid crossword rule in that the theme entries are not symmetrically placed, but it would have been near impossible to do so, given that they each span several rows. I did try to put them in approximately symmetrical locations, for consistency's sake.

Because the themers take up a lot of real estate in both across and down directions, filling this grid was a beast. This is the third draft I submitted, and while I wish there were a bit more room for the grid to breathe, I think it's free of dreck (REE being the only real gross entry, IMO). Phrases like SUNK COST, PROM DATES, REAL TALK, NERF WAR, and MIC DROP are fun bonus fill. I tried for way too long to get YASQUEEN at 11D (it really almost worked for a long time) but finally let it go when it came at the expense of too much bad fill).

I'm quite happy that my original clue on I SEE IT made it through; it feels much more in-the-language than previous methods of cluing that entry (variations of [Response to "Look over there!"]). In general, I like to make my puzzles contemporary and conversational, which I think I've accomplished here.

Lastly, I'm honored to have a puzzle run on the Sunday of ACPT for the second time! It's a pretty cool thing to see 600+ of the most avid crossword solvers in the world digging into your puzzle. See you in Stamford!

Jeff Chen notes:
Will has said that he's taking fewer 'turning' puzzles these days (puzzles where theme entries take 90 degree turns) because they've become overdone. I appreciate that constant drive to ... read more

Will has said that he's taking fewer "turning" puzzles these days (puzzles where theme entries take 90 degree turns) because they've become overdone. I appreciate that constant drive to cut out stale theme concepts. I even more appreciate the willingness to accept a few here and there, when they stand out as something a little different. I had to spend some time forming my opinion on this one, but ultimately, I thought it was really good.

What's going on with weird entries like MEGATS at 26-Across? It's actually MEGAT(SUN)AMI, with the entry turning at SUN, thus FOLLOWING THE SUN.

I scratched my head at why the answer wouldn't just keep on going down, though – why turn back to its original direction after running through SUN?

A-ha! Maybe it's like plants that follow the sun when the SUN goes behind a cloud (we have a few of those here in Seattle). Therefore, the answer SHOULD keep going in its original direction after running through the available SUN?

I think that makes sense. No?

And why do the themers on the right-hand side go up? That felt bizarre to me … until I realized that Finn was representing the SUN rising in the east (right side of puzzle) and setting in the west (left side)! Clever, made perfect sense and gave me a neat a-ha moment indeed.

Why three suns on each side? It must have been … the "three-body problem"? (A famous, intractable math/physics problem speaking to the effects of initial conditions.)

Sure, why not.

Slight theme reservations aside, such a pleasurable grid to run through. SO much great bonus fill, I almost appreciated it more as a themeless than a themed puzzle. All the ones Finn mentioned, plus more? (Some may not know the SUNK COST dilemma in economics, but it's fascinating.) Yes, yes, yes!

Even though I had initial reservations about the concept, I enjoyed that "rising in the east, setting in the west" a-ha moment so much. Along with such a delightful grid replete with fantastic fill, this puzzle ended up being a SUNny delight.

1
C
2
Z
3
A
4
R
5
S
6
A
7
I
8
D
9
Y
10
E
11
S
12
A
13
P
14
R
15
I
16
O
17
R
18
I
19
P
O
S
E
20
D
21
A
R
M
H
O
L
E
22
R
O
U
N
D
E
R
23
R
O
S
I
E
24
M
I
S
S
U
S
A
25
A
L
L
U
D
E
S
26
M
E
G
A
27
T
S
28
D
E
F
29
G
O
E
S
30
E
N
R
O
U
31
T
32
E
33
T
O
34
A
35
P
O
36
D
E
37
G
38
A
39
S
40
B
41
A
N
42
M
O
N
A
M
I
43
K
R
O
N
44
A
45
R
I
P
46
A
L
O
47
N
E
48
G
R
A
N
49
N
I
E
S
50
C
51
A
52
M
E
R
A
53
B
I
N
G
54
I
H
E
A
R
T
55
I
S
E
E
I
T
56
A
C
T
O
57
R
58
S
59
P
L
A
Y
S
60
P
61
E
D
U
N
C
L
E
62
R
E
V
63
B
U
64
R
R
I
T
O
65
D
O
L
T
66
U
E
Y
S
67
M
I
N
I
O
N
S
68
M
O
N
K
E
69
Y
S
70
D
71
O
72
P
E
73
K
P
M
G
74
F
I
N
E
S
S
E
75
T
76
B
77
A
78
E
N
H
A
79
N
C
E
D
80
F
A
C
T
S
81
T
H
82
U
M
B
S
83
L
E
A
N
T
O
84
A
85
R
E
N
D
T
86
R
I
G
A
87
E
A
R
T
H
S
88
T
E
A
G
R
E
89
E
90
N
91
A
N
N
U
M
92
T
C
M
93
T
94
R
E
A
T
95
O
L
D
E
96
S
T
97
U
N
I
98
E
T
A
99
T
100
S
101
E
S
L
102
E
P
L
U
R
I
B
103
U
S
104
R
U
105
D
E
106
T
107
W
A
108
F
R
E
N
Z
109
Y
110
G
111
E
112
M
I
N
I
S
113
A
I
R
114
F
115
L
116
O
W
117
S
W
E
A
118
R
119
I
T
S
O
N
M
E
120
L
I
N
E
A
R
A
121
T
E
R
R
Y
122
T
A
N
S
I
E
S
123
K
U
S
H
N
E
R
124
D
O
N
E
© 2018, The New York TimesNo. 0325 ( 24,974 )
Across
1
Government policy chief : CZAR
5
Assented : SAIDYES
12
Not empirical : APRIORI
19
Not natural-looking : POSED
21
Sometimes hard-to-find shirt opening : ARMHOLE
22
Drunkard : ROUNDER
23
Onetime co-host of "The View," informally : ROSIE
24
Contest once hosted by Bob Barker : MISSUSA
25
Makes reference (to) : ALLUDES
26
Catastrophic event that can be caused by a gigantic earthquake : MEGATSUNAMI
28
"Fer sher" : DEF
29
Folds, as a business : GOESUNDER
30
Headed for : ENROUTETO
34
Abbr. on mil. mail : APO
36
French painter of ballerinas : DEGAS
40
Injunction : BAN
42
How Hercule Poirot likes to address Hastings : MONAMI
43
Money in Malmö : KRONA
45
Headstone inits. : RIP
46
Stag : ALONE
48
Ones in rocking chairs, stereotypically : GRANNIES
50
Smartphone feature : CAMERA
53
Cherry variety : BING
54
Start to many bumper stickers : IHEART
55
Response to pointing out a resemblance between two people : ISEEIT
56
Hollywood labor groups : ACTORSUNIONS
59
See 71-Down : PLAYS
60
Plant stalk : PEDUNCLE
62
Crank (up) : REV
63
Chipotle choice : BURRITO
65
Nitwit : DOLT
66
180s : UEYS
67
2015 hit spinoff of "Despicable Me" : MINIONS
68
How someone in awe might describe himself : MONKEYSUNCLE
70
Pretty cool, in slang : DOPE
73
One of the Big Four accounting firms : KPMG
74
Deft touch : FINESSE
75
Placeholder letters : TBA
78
Better now : ENHANCED
80
Trivia fodder : FACTS
81
All ___ : THUMBS
83
Rough shelter : LEANTO
84
Hannah who coined the phrase "the banality of evil" : ARENDT
86
Largest city in the Baltics : RIGA
87
Planets like ours, in sci-fi : EARTHS
88
Hue lighter than lime : TEAGREEN
91
Per ___ (yearly) : ANNUM
92
Vintage film channel : TCM
93
Goody : TREAT
95
Like St. Augustine, among all U.S. cities : OLDEST
97
College, to a Brit : UNI
98
Amérique : ETATSUNIS
101
Immigrants' class, for short : ESL
102
Only words on the front of the Great Seal of the United States : EPLURIBUSUNUM
104
Really fresh : RUDE
106
Its hub at J.F.K. was designed by Eero Saarinen : TWA
108
Hubbub : FRENZY
110
Artistic, chatty sorts, it's said : GEMINIS
113
Draft : AIRFLOW
117
Testify : SWEAR
119
"I got the check" : ITSONME
120
Ancient, undeciphered writing system : LINEARA
121
Towel fabric : TERRY
122
Relatives of asters : TANSIES
123
Tony who won a Tony for "Angels in America" : KUSHNER
124
"It's a deal!" : DONE
Down
1
E.M.T.'s training : CPR
2
Speed along : ZOOM
3
Print ad come-on : ASSEENONTV
4
Sit on the throne : REIGN
5
International conglomerate whose name means "three stars" : SAMSUNG
6
Cable news host Melber : ARI
7
Gchats, e.g. : IMS
8
Some A.L. players : DHS
9
Response to a surprising claim : YOUDO
10
"That's something ___!" : ELSE
11
Voyager : SEAFARER
12
Medieval Spanish kingdom : ARAGON
13
Sport last played in the Olympics in 1936 : POLO
14
Was awesome : RULED
15
Occupied : INUSE
16
Funny : ODD
17
Riddle-me-___ : REE
18
Qtrly. check recipient, maybe : IRS
20
"Stars above!" : DEARME
27
"___ soon?" : TOO
31
Smear : TAR
32
Writing in a window? : EMAILING
33
Paranoid sorts, in slang : TINHATS
35
Pushes back : POSTPONES
37
"Mamma Mia!" setting : GREECE
38
In a light manner : AIRILY
39
Outbreaks : SPATES
40
Anthropomorphic king of Celesteville : BABAR
41
"Still ___" (Julianne Moore film) : ALICE
43
Rios, e.g. : KIAS
44
Decisive assessment : ACIDTEST
47
Intl. Rescue Committee, e.g. : NGO
49
R&B singer with the hits "So Sick" and "Mad" : NEYO
51
Tempe sch. : ASU
52
Things in restaurant windows : MENUS
57
Sac fly result : RBI
58
Outlay that cannot be recovered : SUNKCOST
59
Some corsage wearers : PROMDATES
61
Grand Lodge group : ELKS
64
Ready ... or red, maybe : RIPE
65
"Let's keep this between us" : DONTTELL
67
Wasn't kidding about : MEANT
68
Stunt at the end of a powerful performance : MICDROP
69
Informal assent : YEH
70
Go back on one's word? : DELETE
71
With 59-Across, some works of Tennessee Williams : ONEACT
72
Big ___ (the drug industry) : PHARMA
74
Biter : FANG
75
Moment of liftoff : TMINUSZERO
76
Dangerous toy : BBGUN
77
"Same here" : ASAMI
79
Legal vowelless Scrabble play : NTH
80
Herculean act : FEAT
82
Bit of art pottery : URN
85
Preface to a heart-to-heart conversation : REALTALK
89
End of a George Washington address? : EDU
90
Safer alternative to paintball : NERFWAR
91
If you're lucky : ATBEST
94
Candy brand owned by Hershey : REESES
96
Word before and after "no" : SIR
99
Salt-N-Pepa and Ben Folds Five : TRIOS
100
Branch of Islam : SUNNI
102
Rakes in : EARNS
103
Not taken seriously? : UNWED
105
Tiniest change : DIME
107
Popular gaming console that sounds like two pronouns : WIIU
109
It's a long story : YARN
110
"Keep movin'!" : GIT
111
Info for a chauffeur, perhaps : ETA
112
Yahoo alternative : MSN
114
"Yuck!" : FEH
115
Grp. of connected computers : LAN
116
1/100 of a 43-Across : ORE
118
Manhattan part ... or a suburb near Manhattan : RYE

Answer summary: 10 unique to this puzzle, 2 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

Found bugs or have suggestions?