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FOLLOW THE SUN

New York Times, Sunday, March 25, 2018

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: 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
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A
4
R
5
S
6
A
7
I
8
D
9
Y
10
E
11
S
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A
13
P
14
R
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I
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O
17
R
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I
19
P
O
S
E
20
D
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A
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M
H
O
L
E
22
R
O
U
N
D
E
R
23
R
O
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M
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U
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A
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A
L
L
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D
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M
E
G
A
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T
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D
E
F
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G
O
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E
N
R
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U
31
T
32
E
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T
O
34
A
35
P
O
36
D
E
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G
38
A
39
S
40
B
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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
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C
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A
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M
E
R
A
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B
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N
G
54
I
H
E
A
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T
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I
S
E
E
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56
A
C
T
O
57
R
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S
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P
L
A
Y
S
60
P
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D
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N
C
L
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62
R
E
V
63
B
U
64
R
R
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T
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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
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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
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E
P
L
U
R
I
B
103
U
S
104
R
U
105
D
E
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T
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W
A
108
F
R
E
N
Z
109
Y
110
G
111
E
112
M
I
N
I
S
113
A
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R
114
F
115
L
116
O
W
117
S
W
E
A
118
R
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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.

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