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IT'S ELEMENTARY

New York Times, Sunday, March 5, 2017

Author:
Timothy Polin
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
4912/11/20111/3/20192
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
74962102
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.626140
Timothy Polin

This puzzle:

Rows: 21, Columns: 21 Words: 140, Blocks: 72 Missing: {JQ} This is puzzle # 34 for Mr. Polin. Jeff Chen's Puzzle of the Week pick. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jeff Chen notes:
I'm such a sucker for any sort of science or math puzzle. Put in a W BOSON or a TITRATION CURVE or a GOLDEN RATIO, and you've made this solver elated (and probably pissed off many others). ... read more

I'm such a sucker for any sort of science or math puzzle. Put in a W BOSON or a TITRATION CURVE or a GOLDEN RATIO, and you've made this solver elated (and probably pissed off many others). So even though the periodic table has been mined for all sorts of crossword themes over the years, I loved Tim's new twist. Fe (iron) found right within the EIFFEL TOWER … just as in real life! Another perfect one in a WEATHER BALLOON containing He (helium). Such a fun concept.

Not all of them worked that way, but there were still interesting connections. A LEPRECHAUN hoards gold. AEROBIC EXERCISE involves oxygen. A DAGUERREOTYPE uses silver, lithium is one type of MOOD STABILIZER, etc. Although these were a bit looser than Fe in the EIFFEL TOWER, all of them had enough of a connection that I enjoyed.

Nice mix of snazzy long fill and smooth short fill. I like how Tim used his long entries to help break up some of the monotony that can come with a bunch of 3-5 letter entries. Strewing FAKE IDS, SONNY BOY, LIL ABNER, STAKEOUT, EPIC HERO, ITS COOL across the grid made for great variation — never too many shorties all at once without getting some spicy long bonuses.

And the smoothness of the fill = excellent. A couple of minor ENL, ETD dabs of crossword glue, but I easily overlooked those.

Well, there was IL DUCE. Not loving Mussolini in my crossword. Although IDI / AMIN works his way in, as does STALIN. Hmm. Not sure why IL DUCE is worse, but I cringed at it.

BETHEL was my only other source of hesitation. It is an oddball word, but ultimately, as the lone esoteric word in the grid for me, I enjoyed learning it. I like learning a thing or maybe two from my crossword.

I would have liked all two-letter chemical symbols, as it's a bit too easy to work with O and U, but NUCLEAR REACTOR was so spot-on that I didn't mind. All in all, great entertainment.

1
P
2
O
3
W
4
S
5
S
6
P
7
A
8
C
9
E
10
B
11
A
12
R
13
M
14
A
15
T
16
Z
17
O
18
E
T
H
O
19
S
20
P
A
R
A
N
O
I
A
21
B
A
B
O
O
N
22
W
E
A
T
H
23
E
R
B
A
L
L
O
O
N
24
E
N
C
O
R
E
25
E
R
R
26
R
E
A
L
27
B
L
O
28
A
T
29
T
R
U
30
E
I
F
31
F
E
L
T
O
32
W
33
E
34
R
35
I
N
T
H
36
E
37
S
H
O
P
38
A
D
S
39
O
N
U
40
S
41
T
E
P
I
D
42
P
43
E
44
E
K
S
45
M
46
O
O
D
S
T
47
A
48
B
I
L
I
Z
E
49
R
50
S
51
O
G
L
E
52
B
A
L
D
53
H
A
V
O
C
54
C
E
C
I
L
55
U
G
L
I
56
E
D
S
E
57
L
58
K
E
G
59
T
H
R
A
C
E
60
R
O
A
D
61
S
I
D
E
D
I
62
N
E
R
63
S
E
E
64
Y
E
W
65
S
O
R
E
N
66
L
A
O
67
C
A
P
R
68
I
69
I
70
L
71
L
72
N
U
N
73
D
A
G
U
74
E
R
R
E
O
T
75
Y
76
P
77
E
78
D
O
E
79
S
N
T
80
W
E
B
81
T
N
O
T
E
82
S
O
L
D
83
E
M
P
T
Y
84
S
O
U
N
85
D
86
V
C
R
S
87
C
L
O
G
88
A
E
R
O
B
89
I
C
E
X
E
R
90
C
I
S
E
91
G
O
O
D
Y
92
E
C
O
L
I
93
R
I
P
E
94
T
A
O
95
L
96
U
C
K
Y
D
O
97
G
98
S
99
B
A
S
100
E
101
B
A
L
L
102
B
103
A
104
T
105
A
S
H
106
U
N
I
T
107
S
108
G
A
S
P
109
O
W
E
110
S
E
A
111
T
112
A
C
113
N
U
C
114
L
115
E
116
A
R
R
E
A
117
C
T
O
R
118
S
O
U
R
C
E
119
S
M
O
O
T
H
E
R
120
L
O
C
K
S
121
I
N
N
I
E
122
U
P
T
O
D
A
T
E
123
W
H
E
E
© 2017, The New York TimesNo. 0305 ( 24,589 )
Across
1
Big hits : POWS
5
Something repeatedly hit with a thumb : SPACEBAR
13
Flat bread : MATZO
18
Zeitgeist : ETHOS
20
Recurring theme in Philip K. Dick novels : PARANOIA
21
Cousin of a mandrill : BABOON
22
[Circled letters]-filled contraption : WEATHERBALLOON
24
Cry for more : ENCORE
25
Affirm one's humanity? : ERR
26
Tangible : REAL
27
Swell : BLOAT
29
Capote, informally : TRU
30
World landmark built with [circled letters] : EIFFELTOWER
35
Being repaired, as a car : INTHESHOP
38
Spots : ADS
39
It's hard to bear : ONUS
41
Halfhearted, as support : TEPID
42
Can't wait to find out, in a way : PEEKS
45
[Circled letters]-based drugs : MOODSTABILIZERS
51
Check out : OGLE
52
Unvarnished : BALD
53
Great confusion : HAVOC
54
Sea serpent of old cartoons : CECIL
55
Citrus hybrid : UGLI
56
Bomb developed in the 1950s : EDSEL
58
College party epicenter, often : KEG
59
Homeland of Spartacus : THRACE
60
[Circled letters]-advertised establishment : ROADSIDEDINER
63
"What'd I tell ya?" : SEE
64
Berried conifer : YEW
65
Existentialist Kierkegaard : SOREN
66
Language heard along the Mekong : LAO
67
Chocolate-and-banana liqueur cocktail : CAPRI
69
Poorly : ILL
72
Letter on a dreidel : NUN
73
Picture displayed on a [circled letters] surface : DAGUERREOTYPE
78
Fails to : DOESNT
80
Kind of developer : WEB
81
Conservative portfolio asset, for short : TNOTE
82
Convinced : SOLD
83
Worthless : EMPTY
84
Now hear this! : SOUND
86
Obsolescent players : VCRS
87
Put a stop to? : CLOG
88
[Circled letter]-consuming activity : AEROBICEXERCISE
91
"That's great!" : GOODY
92
Strain to avoid? : ECOLI
93
Stinky : RIPE
94
Underlying cosmic principle : TAO
95
Ones getting all the breaks : LUCKYDOGS
99
Sports implement often made from [circled letters] : BASEBALLBAT
105
Smokers should knock it off : ASH
106
Soldiers' assignments : UNITS
108
Betray surprise : GASP
109
Be behind : OWE
110
Evergreen State airport : SEATAC
113
[Circled letter]-fueled device : NUCLEARREACTOR
118
One given a citation : SOURCE
119
Not so awkward : SMOOTHER
120
Hair : LOCKS
121
Certain navel : INNIE
122
Au courant : UPTODATE
123
"What fun!" : WHEE
Down
1
North American flycatcher : PEWEE
2
"S.N.L." alum Cheri : OTERI
3
Unloading zone : WHARF
4
Happy hour habitué : SOT
5
Jack ___ : SPRAT
6
Guerrilla leader in "For Whom the Bell Tolls" : PABLO
7
Constellation near Scorpius : ARA
8
Low-___ : CAL
9
8 x 10, e.g.: Abbr. : ENL
10
Fool : BOOB
11
Garlicky spread : AIOLI
12
Wouldn't shut up : RANON
13
"Geez!" : MAN
14
Epitome of simplicity : ABC
15
Condition contributed to by a lack of [circled letters] : TOOTHDECAY
16
Rider of the horse Tornado : ZORRO
17
Outdo : ONEUP
19
Turns into confetti : SHREDS
21
Seaman's chapel : BETHEL
23
Ingredients in some London pies : EELS
28
Top story : ATTIC
31
Things bouncers are supposed to catch : FAKEIDS
32
Sylvan : WOODED
33
Denouement : END
34
"A.S.A.P.!" : RUSH
36
Beowulf or Gilgamesh : EPICHERO
37
Jewelry store gadget : SIZER
40
Watch, as a criminals' hiding spot : STAKEOUT
42
Do a wine steward's job : POUR
43
Waffle brand : EGGO
44
She, in Salerno : ELLA
45
Incense : MADDEN
46
___ twins of 1980s-'90s TV : OLSEN
47
State confidently : AVER
48
Mire : BOG
49
Minute ___ : RICE
50
Dispatched, as a dragon : SLEW
52
Foreign capital whose name sounds like a water passage to San Francisco : BEIRUT
57
He married Daisy Mae in 1952 : LILABNER
59
Homes on the range : TEPEES
61
Lad : SONNYBOY
62
Ride hard : NAG
63
Who wrote "I exist, that is all, and I find it nauseating" : SARTRE
67
Branded footwear with open backs : CROCS
68
"Everything's fine" : ITSCOOL
69
Think piece? : IDEA
70
Capital of Togo : LOME
71
Fabled [circled letters]-hiding trickster : LEPRECHAUN
73
Quatre halved : DEUX
74
Exhibits one of the seven deadly sins : ENVIES
75
Modern acronym for "Seize the day!" : YOLO
76
Trudge : PLOD
77
Eliciting nervous laughter, say : EDGY
79
Market share? : STOCK
80
Poverty, e.g. : WOE
84
Issue for a noble family? : SCION
85
Tiny amount : DRIB
89
W.W. II moniker : ILDUCE
90
KPMG hiree : CPA
91
Certain platonic friend : GALPAL
94
Shock, in a way : TASE
95
Yogurt-based Indian drink : LASSI
96
Employ against : USEON
97
Brand with classic "But wait, there's more ...!" infomercials : GINSU
98
Leave at a loss : STUMP
100
Everglades wader : EGRET
101
Ballet school supporter : BARRE
102
Muff : BOTCH
103
Came to : AWOKE
104
To the point : TERSE
107
Tartan wearer : SCOT
111
Numerical prefix : TRI
112
Big heart? : ACE
114
British can : LOO
115
Itinerary abbr. : ETD
116
"Now I've got it!" : AHA
117
Image on a Wisconsin state quarter : COW

Answer summary: 5 unique to this puzzle, 2 debuted here and reused later, 3 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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