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NOSY NONSENSE

New York Times, Sunday, March 9, 2014

Author:
Brendan Emmett Quigley
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
1818/7/19963/22/201916
SunMonTueWedThuFriSatVariety
355152017482615
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.635213
Brendan Emmett Quigley

This puzzle:

Rows: 21, Columns: 21 Words: 138, Blocks: 68 Missing: {JQ} This is puzzle # 160 for Mr. Quigley. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jeff Chen notes:
Beautiful puzzle today, one that straddles the line between very different two camps of solvers, the old guard who likes the good old traditions, and the new generation of rule-breakers ... read more

Beautiful puzzle today, one that straddles the line between very different two camps of solvers, the old guard who likes the good old traditions, and the new generation of rule-breakers and experimentalists. BEQ gives us a twist on a standard theme, adding a Z sound to the first word of each phrase, transforming it from a one-syllable to a two-syllable word. Talk about perfect consistency. And the results are strong: eight theme answers which almost all made me laugh or at least smile.

Beautiful layout, a great example of how to make your themers stand out without explicitly calling them out by asterisk or other means. Not only are all his themers longer than any piece of fill, but BEQ puts the shortest ones (CHOOSY TOY and ROSY HOUSE) in-line with others (DAISY TRADER and BOISE WONDER, respectively) to make them stand out. Since he has some eight-letter fill (I love EUROMART / MONEY MEN!), it could easily be confusing to a solver whether those eights are thematic or not, especially since LARYNXES carries the question mark on its clue, making it seem like it could be thematic. The fact that those shortest themers are in-line with other longer ones really help.

Great selection of base phrases, DAY TRADER and CHEW TOY are absolutely fantastic, and HEY SAILOR is of course my favorite (no surprise). And note how he selected a huge variety of transformations (AY to AISY, EW to OOSY, etc.)? Not one of them is identical — how cool is that to have eight, all different?

There were a couple of minor dings here and there — not many like to see OSO or DERR in a grid — but it's so smoothly filled, so professionally done that these entries are hardly noticeable. I wouldn't expect anything less from the master.

The audience for the NYT is so amazingly diverse, ranging from people calling for the Maleska days all the way to avant-garde indie movement eschewing any itty-bitty piece of subpar fill. Go too far toward either side and you risk rankling millions of NYT solvers. BEQ does an amazing job to give us a middle ground which I think will make both ends of the spectrum happy.

1
F
2
R
3
E
4
S
5
H
6
E
7
N
8
S
9
T
10
E
11
P
12
T
13
O
14
E
15
G
16
L
17
E
18
A
19
M
20
O
I
L
H
O
L
E
21
C
A
M
E
R
A
S
22
E
A
R
L
Y
23
O
P
H
E
L
I
A
24
U
P
B
E
A
T
S
25
T
R
I
T
E
26
D
A
I
S
Y
T
R
27
A
D
E
R
28
C
H
O
29
O
S
Y
T
O
Y
30
W
I
S
P
31
R
A
32
F
T
S
33
N
O
N
U
S
E
34
A
35
B
36
H
37
O
R
S
38
P
39
I
E
C
E
S
40
D
E
U
X
41
P
L
A
Y
I
T
42
E
N
D
E
D
43
R
E
S
T
E
44
D
45
O
46
N
47
B
I
Z
E
T
48
T
A
D
49
E
Y
R
E
50
S
O
L
O
51
S
P
Y
52
E
A
S
Y
53
C
54
O
55
M
M
E
R
C
56
E
57
O
S
O
58
S
59
U
60
B
D
U
E
61
S
P
I
T
S
62
D
63
A
Z
E
S
64
D
65
E
A
R
E
S
T
66
M
I
T
T
S
67
D
68
E
N
T
Y
N
E
69
A
L
I
N
E
70
P
A
N
I
C
71
R
E
V
A
M
P
72
N
I
L
73
B
74
R
75
E
E
Z
Y
C
H
76
E
E
S
E
77
O
78
H
79
O
80
T
H
O
81
M
82
I
T
R
Y
83
M
O
I
84
I
85
L
I
A
D
86
E
U
R
O
87
M
A
R
T
88
D
89
A
90
M
U
P
91
I
S
I
N
T
O
92
N
O
L
E
93
C
E
R
I
S
E
94
P
O
T
T
E
R
95
A
96
T
97
B
E
S
T
98
O
R
G
A
N
99
N
100
A
S
T
101
R
O
S
Y
H
O
102
U
S
E
103
B
O
104
I
S
E
W
O
105
N
106
D
107
E
108
R
109
G
R
I
M
E
110
C
A
T
111
B
I
R
D
112
S
I
N
C
E
R
E
113
O
R
D
E
R
114
S
K
I
R
A
C
E
115
O
C
E
A
N
I
A
116
T
E
E
N
S
117
B
A
N
A
N
A
S
118
P
H
R
A
S
E
D
© 2014, The New York TimesNo. 0309 ( 23,497 )
Across
1
Top off, as someone's drink : FRESHEN
8
Isolated hill surrounded by lava : STEPTOE
15
Shine : GLEAM
20
Lubrication point : OILHOLE
21
Snapping things : CAMERAS
22
Avoiding the rush, say : EARLY
23
She "speaks things in doubt, / That carry but half sense" : OPHELIA
24
They're not accented in music : UPBEATS
25
Unimaginative : TRITE
26
One unsatisfied with a "She loves me, she loves me not" result? : DAISYTRADER
28
Picky little dog? : CHOOSYTOY
30
Faint trace : WISP
31
A lot : RAFTS
33
Neglect : NONUSE
34
Detests : ABHORS
38
Game equipment : PIECES
40
Haitian couple : DEUX
41
Bandleader's cry : PLAYIT
42
Called off : ENDED
43
Lay atop : RESTEDON
47
"L'Arlésienne" composer : BIZET
48
It's not much : TAD
49
Lake ___ (Australia's lowest point) : EYRE
50
Audition winner's part, maybe : SOLO
51
Peep : SPY
52
Business transactions free from government regulation? : EASYCOMMERCE
57
Spanish bear : OSO
58
Vanquish : SUBDUE
61
Narrow land projections into the sea : SPITS
62
Floors : DAZES
64
Billet-doux recipient : DEAREST
66
Hands, informally : MITTS
67
Orbit rival : DENTYNE
69
Coat style : ALINE
70
Bank run : PANIC
71
Change structurally : REVAMP
72
It's nothing at all : NIL
73
Carefree dairy product? : BREEZYCHEESE
77
"Really!" : OHO
80
Radiohead head Yorke : THOM
82
Modest response to a compliment : ITRY
83
French 101 pronoun : MOI
84
It covers Hector's death : ILIAD
86
Continental free trade group : EUROMART
88
Block, as a stream : DAMUP
91
Likes lots : ISINTO
92
F.S.U. player, for short : NOLE
93
Bright red : CERISE
94
One spinning one's wheels? : POTTER
95
Optimally : ATBEST
98
It's often heard at a ballpark : ORGAN
99
Reconstruction-era cartoonist : NAST
101
Optimistic theater audience? : ROSYHOUSE
103
Marvel from Idaho's largest city? : BOISEWONDER
109
Soot : GRIME
110
Kind of seat : CATBIRD
112
Straight-shooting : SINCERE
113
It's bigger than a family : ORDER
114
Slalom, for one : SKIRACE
115
Winston's home in "1984" : OCEANIA
116
Snapchat demographic : TEENS
117
Nuts : BANANAS
118
In words : PHRASED
Down
1
Kind of pyramid : FOOD
2
TV's Kelly : RIPA
3
Educ. book category : ELHI
4
"___ Like the Wind" (song from "Dirty Dancing") : SHES
5
Sunday reading : HOLYWRIT
6
Supporter of the 1%, say : ELITIST
7
Advances on : NEARS
8
Missile name : SCUD
9
Got to the point? : TAPERED
10
Eagerly adopt : EMBRACE
11
Polish leader? : PEE
12
Developers' expanses : TRACTS
13
Profanities : OATHS
14
Canadian business often connected to a Tim Hortons : ESSO
15
Makes bail, e.g. : GETSOUT
16
Talking points? : LARYNXES
17
"Un Ballo in Maschera" aria : ERITU
18
Some chorus members : ALTOS
19
"Like hell!" : MYEYE
27
Mollify : APPEASE
29
"Hold your horses" : ONESEC
32
Boosted, as an ego : FED
34
Heat alerts, for short? : APBS
35
Tiny indicator : BLIP
36
Barely remembered seaman? : HAZYSAILOR
37
"Listen up, Lucia!" : OYE
39
Hoosier capital, informally : INDY
40
Detective writer Earl ___ Biggers : DERR
43
Some loaves : RYES
44
Sports score most likely to be on the highlight reel? : DOOZYPOINT
45
Actress Elizabeth with older twins : OLSEN
46
Fagin's end : NOOSE
48
Pulled tight : TAUT
49
Defib team : EMTS
52
Post office workers, for short? : EDS
53
CBS series that, oddly, was filmed in L.A. : CSINY
54
Lens : OPTIC
55
Sen. McConnell : MITCH
56
"Downton Abbey" maid : EDNA
59
Museum decoration : URN
60
"Sherlock" channel, affectionately, with "the" : BEEB
63
Bread box? : ATM
64
"De Monarchia" writer : DANTE
65
He discusses divine providence in Job : ELIHU
66
Labyrinthine : MAZY
67
An Arnaz : DESI
68
Busy travel day, maybe : EVE
70
Cheeky : PERT
71
Goes back into business : REOPENS
74
Venice's oldest bridge : RIALTO
75
"Fûmes" is a form of it : ETRE
76
Birds with inflatable neck sacs : EMUS
78
"I ___ Hamlet" (Paul Rudnick play) : HATE
79
Fumes may produce one : ODOR
81
Financiers : MONEYMEN
84
Brand of gloves and slippers : ISOTONER
85
Blitzed : LIT
87
Concertgoers who are into the hits? : MOSHERS
88
Rice paper?: Abbr. : DEG
89
Desert steed : ARABIAN
90
One of the Balearic Islands : MINORCA
91
County seat of Suffolk, England : IPSWICH
93
Stupid sort : CRETIN
95
Specialized talk : ARGOT
96
2014 Baseball Hall of Fame inductee : TORRE
97
The Beatles' "P.S. I Love You," e.g. : BSIDE
98
Honshu port : OSAKA
100
"The Two Pots" storyteller : AESOP
102
College up the coast from L.A. : UCSB
104
March time : IDES
105
Certain tourney overseer : NCAA
106
TV spots : DENS
107
City near Presque Isle State Park : ERIE
108
Like some tea leaves : READ
111
Sports ___ : BRA

Answer summary: 10 unique to this puzzle, 3 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

Found bugs or have suggestions?