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IT'S ELEMENTARY

New York Times, Sunday, March 5, 2017

Author: Timothy Polin
Editor: Will Shortz
Timothy Polin
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1.624130
Puzzle of the Week

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). So even though the ... more
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). 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 Down
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
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: 7 unique to this puzzle, 3 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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