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"TEE" TIME

New York Times, Sunday, April 24, 2016

Author: Kathy Wienberg
Editor: Will Shortz
Kathy Wienberg
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
21/18/20164/24/20160
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
1100000
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.64010

This puzzle:

Rows: 21, Columns: 21 Words: 140, Blocks: 70 Missing: {Q} This is puzzle # 2 for Ms. Wienberg. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Kathy Wienberg notes: I was thrilled to have my first published puzzle occur on a Monday this past January. Now I'm ecstatic that my Sunday puzzle will appear! In both of them, my priority was trying to keep the 'gluey' bits and ... more
Kathy Wienberg notes:

I was thrilled to have my first published puzzle occur on a Monday this past January. Now I'm ecstatic that my Sunday puzzle will appear! In both of them, my priority was trying to keep the "gluey" bits and "crosswordese" to a minimum.

The inspiration for this puzzle came when cluing "necktie" for another puzzle as "Casualty of casual Fridays". I searched for other phrases that changed meanings when "TY" was added to the first word and also had second words that could be clued differently. After finding about a dozen viable ones, I decided to try to construct a Sunday puzzle.

First, I attempted to have all 9 theme answers going across, but I could not get a clean grid. Luckily, two of them could be placed going down. My first submission had POTTYBOUND (clued as Headed for the head?) at 44-Down, but I was asked to improve on this. Luckily, again, PETTYROCKS could take its place.

Being that I am so new at this, I am proud that of the clues I wrote for the 9 themers, 6 were unchanged, 2 were modified slightly, and only one was rejected ("Song about Keller Williams" for 89-Across). About half of my other clues remained intact. Thanks to Will and Joel for improving on all the others, especially "Chatty Cathy types", and for coming up with the great title.

Will and Joel's supportive suggestions are helping me to improve. As Joel commented, "It's not the FLASHIEST of grids." I hope that all solvers, even the CASUAL ones, will enjoy working on this puzzle.

Jeff Chen notes: Straightforward theme, adding the T sound in the form of TY. I like how consistent Kathy was, always adding the TY to the end of the first word of a two-word phrase. It's pretty easy to find words that turn into ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

Straightforward theme, adding the T sound in the form of TY. I like how consistent Kathy was, always adding the TY to the end of the first word of a two-word phrase. It's pretty easy to find words that turn into another word when you add TY (BEAT, BEAU, CHAN, HEAR, etc.) so tightening things up by following the same pattern every time is nice.

I'd chow down on that CHOW MEIN!

And some entertaining results. SAFETY CRACKERS made me smile at today's world filled with overprotective people. Let children cut themselves on Triscuits, I say! PATTY DOWN was funny too, making me visualize an overly dramatic cook. BUSTY FARE, though … ick. Yes, people don't go to Hooters for the wings, but this entry/clue ... ick.

Impressive theme density. Very few constructors can make a Sunday 140-word puzzle, and even fewer will dare to stack theme entries, like CASUALTY FRIDAY and PATTY DOWN, in order to pack ‘em in. Great that Kathy cottoned to the little-known secret that stacking themers is not only pretty easy (if there isn't a lot of overlap), but it makes puzzle construction smoother by creating more space for other themers.

Adhering to the 140-word maximum means incorporating some long fill. Very nice to get some entries like SMIDGEN, CHOW MEIN, TORPEDO, but it felt to me like there was a lot more potential. Entries like LENGTHENS, OPPOSITES, BIMONTHLY … they just aren't the FLASHIEST things in the world. It takes time to develop this skill, and constructing themelesses helps that along. I have a feeling Kathy will get there, as my interactions with her makes me think she's the type of driven individual that can tackle whatever she sets her mind to.

I much appreciated Kathy keeping her grid relatively clean, a very difficult task even for seasoned constructors. The only thing that made me groan was RSTU, as random strings of letters seem like the some of the most inelegant of all crossword glue to me. The minor things like HALER and RES are much more palatable, and there are very few of them. Well done, indeed.

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© 2016, The New York TimesNo. 0424 ( 24,274 )
Across Down
1. Contents of some tubs : LARD
5. Copacetic : AOK
8. Military band : SASH
12. Showy debut : SPLASH
18. Turning brown, as a banana : OVERRIPE
20. Acid head? : AMINO
21. How some papers are presented : ORALLY
22. Nickname for an accident-prone L.A.P.D. sergeant? : CASUALTYFRIDAY
24. ___ note : RANSOM
25. Stat : ATONCE
26. Avoided a tag, say : SLID
27. Cry from an errant burger flipper? : PATTYDOWN
29. Chatty Cathy types : TALKERS
31. Bit of pond slime : ALGA
33. Chaps : HES
34. "Able was I ___ I saw Elba" : ERE
35. Brit. reference sets : OEDS
37. Captivate : ENAMOR
40. Bridge : JOIN
44. Victoria's Secret job description? : PANTYHANDLER
47. Copy, briefly : REPRO
48. In better shape : HALER
51. Weather forecast that's hard to predict? : HAIL
52. Low : SAD
53. Milliner's accessory : HATPIN
54. Lemonade go-with in an Arnold Palmer : ICETEA
56. Farmer's place : DELL
58. Some trattoria orders : RISOTTOS
60. Landlord's business : RENTALS
62. Wing it? : SOAR
64. Groups of quail : COVEYS
65. Avant-garde : EDGY
66. Gulf Coast port that's gone bonkers? : BATTYMOBILE
69. Multitalented Minnelli : LIZA
72. Source of add-on damages in a lawsuit : TRAUMA
74. ___ Institute (astronomers' org.) : SETI
75. NASA vehicle : ORBITER
77. Literally, "fried noodles" : CHOWMEIN
79. Help for motorcycle daredevils : RAMP
81. Having the most marbles : SANEST
82. List for a recital : PIECES
83. Word with green or brain : PEA
85. Hershey chocolate-and-caramel candy : ROLO
87. Personal highs : BESTS
88. Targets of the Dodd-Frank Act : BANKS
89. Three houses flipped this week, e.g.? : REALTYNUMBER
92. Whedon who directed 2012's "The Avengers" : JOSS
93. Nut : WEIRDO
94. Khan : Mongolia :: ___ : Russia : TSAR
95. N.F.L. QB Newton : CAM
98. Little bit : DAB
99. Feature of the western end of the Champs-Élysées : ARCH
101. Surfer's worry : RIPTIDE
104. Hooters menu? : BUSTYFARE
110. Nap : PILE
112. Cave deposits : GUANOS
113. "Volunteers?" : ANYONE
114. Biscuits with no sharp edges? : SAFETYCRACKERS
117. Deceptive pitch : SINKER
118. Plumbing or bricklaying : TRADE
119. Christ, with "the" : REDEEMER
120. Overage : EXCESS
121. Edit menu option : UNDO
122. "___ your head" : USE
123. Physics units : RADS
1. Put on the map : LOCATE
2. 2009 Best Picture nominee set in the 22nd century : AVATAR
3. Fix, as a pump : RESOLE
4. Plastered : DRUNK
5. Airplane maneuverer : AILERON
6. ___-in clause : OPT
7. Answer sheets : KEYS
8. Little bit : SMIDGEN
9. Relief : AID
10. Piece of cake : SNAP
11. Georgetown player : HOYA
12. Postal employee : SORTER
13. Speaks up? : PRAYS
14. End of many country names : LAND
15. In addition : ALSO
16. Diamond-shaped road sign : SLOW
17. "All Glory, Laud and Honor," e.g. : HYMN
19. Campaign ... or campaign topic : RACE
20. Botanical cover : ARIL
23. Wearing the most bling, say : FLASHIEST
28. One of the Avengers : THOR
30. First family name : SETH
32. + + + : ANDS
36. Couple : DYAD
38. Banned fruit spray : ALAR
39. Family name of Pope Leo X, Leo XI and Clement VII : MEDICI
40. Protective covering for a pier? : JETTYLINER
41. Venus and Mars, so to speak : OPPOSITES
42. It's in the eye of the beholder : IRIS
43. Security Council veto : NON
44. Sign seen at a Heartbreakers concert? : PETTYROCKS
45. Field : AREA
46. Subject in metallurgy : ALLOYS
47. Figure on a utility bill : RATE
48. What a limo may be for : HIRE
49. Served well? : ACED
50. What some mascara does to lashes : LENGTHENS
53. Remains suspended : HOVERS
55. iTunes category : ALBUMS
57. Debussy composition : LAMER
59. Nerve-racking performance, maybe : SOLO
61. "Likewise" : SAME
63. Community service club : ROTARY
67. Country capital with the world's tallest building before the Burj Khalifa : TAIPEI
68. Like AARP The Magazine : BIMONTHLY
70. Spice : ZEST
71. Part of AMPAS : ARTS
73. Knocks the socks off : AWES
76. Hon : BABE
77. "Later" : CIAO
78. Almost : NEAR
80. + : PLUS
82. Simple sandwich, simply : PBJ
84. Actor Alan : ALDA
86. Longtime Sudanese president ___ al-Bashir : OMAR
89. First name in country music : REBA
90. Sabotage : TORPEDO
91. Troop group : BRIGADE
93. Communion hosts, e.g. : WAFERS
95. Moviedom : CINEMA
96. Dug : ADORED
97. Gentlemen: Abbr. : MESSRS
98. Physics units : DYNES
100. Ticket : CITE
102. Brownish purple : PUCE
103. "Givee" : TAKER
104. Part of a trophy : BASE
105. Operating system developed at Bell Labs : UNIX
106. Align : SYNC
107. It's a drag : TOKE
108. Queue after Q : RSTU
109. Acquire : EARN
111. Sandy shade : ECRU
115. Selfies around 2012-13, e.g. : FAD
116. Low-___ : RES

Answer summary: 11 unique to this puzzle, 4 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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