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WHICH IS WISH

New York Times, Sunday, April 26, 2015

Author:
Patrick Berry
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
2297/11/199911/4/20182
SunMonTueWedThuFriSatVariety
741241679512
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.54980
Patrick Berry

This puzzle:

Rows: 21, Columns: 21 Words: 136, Blocks: 77 Missing: {JQ} This is puzzle # 197 for Mr. Berry. Jeff Chen's Puzzle of the Week pick. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jeff Chen notes:
I love recognizing puzzles that I think are outstanding — great fun to gush about something I really enjoy. Identifying a Puzzle of the Week makes me very happy, and I make a ... read more

I love recognizing puzzles that I think are outstanding — great fun to gush about something I really enjoy. Identifying a Puzzle of the Week makes me very happy, and I make a conscious effort to spread out the POW!s to different constructors. Patrick makes this so hard, since most of his puzzles are very good to fantastic.

No. 617 Squadron RAF, aka the Dambusters

I find simple sound change puzzles — "ch" to "sh" today — difficult to gush over; just personal preference. But during my solve I kept on noting great things. And in the end, I found it impossible not to give him the POW. It's easy to wow me with a lively themeless or a kooky Thursday, but to make me say I loved a basic sound change puzzle is a near miracle.

Here are the notes I took during my solve:

  1. Ooh, Patrick Berry!
  2. The title ... oh no, I hope it's not just a simple sound change puzzle.
  3. Patrick used a LOT of cheater squares in this puzzle. He's usually not shy about deploying them — and I totally agree with that — but eight cheaters is a lot. It makes the grid uglyish.
  4. Wait. This is a 136-word Sunday puzzle? Surely that means Patrick's going to require a few more compromises in his fill than usual (that is, more than zero).
  5. [Indicator of freshness?] = SLAP. Fun and funny! Quintessential Berry-type cluing.
  6. Neat trivia for RAF. "Dambusters" = a great nickname.
  7. [Dead man walking?] for GHOST is fantastic.
  8. No wait! [Compact containers] made me think of mini-Tupperware. But PURSES are "containers holding women's compacts." Brilliant!
  9. Uh oh, uncovering my first themer. SHEEP THRILLS ... hey! That's actually funny.
  10. Next themer. MUSH TO MY SURPRISE ... that's hilarious!
  11. MOSHER … it is in the dictionary, but I've never heard anyone use it. Still, it's the only iffy entry in the grid.
  12. VITTLES / POSEUR along with LETS / ROLL! = a fantastic corner.
  13. Look how much excellent mid-length (6 or 7-letter) fill Patrick used! BE SAFE, NOW NOW, TAKETH, IN FOR IT. That's great bonus material.

Sorry, other constructors this week. Making a puzzle easy enough to play to a wide crowd AND interesting/funny enough to entertain veteran solvers is really impressive.

1
S
2
U
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B
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U
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R
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B
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S
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C
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A
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L
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E
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D
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B
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R
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I
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D
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S
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A
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O
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G
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G
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L
A
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H
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A
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A
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L
O
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O
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N
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H
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P
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K
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H
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W
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K
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B
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N
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G
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H
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P
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M
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N
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D
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M
A
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K
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H
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O
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A
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H
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F
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N
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M
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M
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H
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K
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A
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F
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P
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C
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N
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O
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V
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E
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I
M
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D
A
M
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P
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P
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S
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© 2015, The New York TimesNo. 0426 ( 23,910 )
Across
1
Rye, N.Y., or Fort Lee, N.J. : SUBURB
7
Like some photographs and cliffs : SCALED
13
Bouquet tossers : BRIDES
19
Means of access : AVENUE
20
Viola's love in "Twelfth Night" : ORSINO
21
Tombstone material : GRANITE
22
Wordlessly indicated "uh-oh" : GULPED
23
Valiant attempt to finish off a seven-course meal? : LASTDISHEFFORT
25
___ gel : ALOE
26
Forestall, with "off" : STAVE
28
Mauna ___ : LOA
29
Minerals to be processed : ORES
30
What an investor in golf courses might buy? : LAWNSHARES
32
Beat soundly : PLASTER
35
Look for : SEEK
36
Grazing in a meadow and jumping fences, for two? : SHEEPTHRILLS
41
Include surreptitiously, in a way : BCC
44
Vacation unit, often : WEEK
46
H of antiquity : ETA
47
Cybertrade : ETAIL
48
"Be sure to lose!"? : YOUBETTERWASHOUT
55
Org. of concern to Edward Snowden : NSA
56
Like some communities : GATED
57
___ bone (U-shaped bone above the larynx) : HYOID
58
Big small screen : PLASMATV
61
Pac-12 team : UTES
62
Jazzmen : CATS
63
Modest hacienda : RANCHO
64
Two blender settings? : MIXANDMASH
68
Dojo Mart, e.g.? : KARATESHOP
72
Hunting milieu : FOREST
73
Dismounted : ALIT
74
Audiophile's preference, maybe : HIFI
75
Hone : FINETUNE
78
Caesar's dressing? : TUNIC
80
Rendezvoused : METUP
81
Acting as a group : ONE
82
What I unexpectedly had for breakfast? : MUSHTOMYSURPRISE
86
Another time : AGAIN
89
Toothpaste brand : AIM
90
Obstacle for a golfer : TREE
91
2012 Mark Wahlberg comedy : TED
92
Swamp fever? : MARSHMADNESS
97
Doesn't keep up : LAGS
99
Oxford institution : OLEMISS
100
Floating casinos? : POKERSHIPS
106
See 108-Down : ROLL
109
Face value, in blackjack : TEN
110
Relative of cerulean : AZURE
111
Deep South delicacy : OKRA
112
Reviewer of the paperwork? : SHEAFINSPECTOR
117
"Don't get yourself worked up" : NOWNOW
119
Chow : VITTLES
120
Be in the offing : IMPEND
121
Vic with the 1949 #1 hit "You're Breaking My Heart" : DAMONE
122
Fraud : POSEUR
123
Compact containers : PURSES
124
Like cherry-picked data : SKEWED
Down
1
"Sons of Anarchy" actress Katey : SAGAL
2
It's down in the mouth : UVULA
3
Not on deck, say : BELOW
4
Releases : UNPENS
5
Repentant feeling : RUE
6
Sleep on it : BEDSHEET
7
Green energy option : SOLAR
8
Fancy : CRAVE
9
Size up : ASSESS
10
English ___ : LIT
11
Discontinue : END
12
"How ___ look?" : DOI
13
What runners may run out of : BREATH
14
W.W. II "Dambusters," for short : RAF
15
About to be read the riot act : INFORIT
16
New Look pioneer : DIOR
17
Raison d'___ : ETRE
18
Match makers? : SETS
21
Dead man walking? : GHOST
24
Indicator of freshness? : SLAP
27
"... the Lord ___ away" : TAKETH
31
Did some surgical work : SEWED
32
They rarely have surnames : PETS
33
Mother of Levi and Judah : LEAH
34
Poetic preposition : ERE
37
Flip response? : HEADS
38
___ Del Rey, singer with the 2014 #1 album "Ultraviolence" : LANA
39
Errand-running aid : LIST
40
Pole, e.g. : SLAV
41
"Dagnabbit!" : BYGUM
42
Raccoonlike animal : COATI
43
Nail-care brand : CUTEX
45
Ring alternatives : KEYCASES
49
Worrier's farewell : BESAFE
50
Mock tribute : ROAST
51
___ honors : WITH
52
Painter of illusions : OPARTIST
53
Arm twister's need? : ULNA
54
Boor's lack : TACT
59
___-devil : SHE
60
Dancer in a pit : MOSHER
63
Unfair? : RAINY
65
"___ fair!" : NOT
66
One to beat : DRUM
67
Preprandial reading : MENU
68
Supermodel Heidi : KLUM
69
Bandleader's shout : HITIT
70
Good to have around : OFUSE
71
Added after a silence, with "up" : PIPED
73
They make up everything : ATOMS
75
Fire extinguisher output : FOAM
76
"Young Frankenstein" character : INGA
77
___ East : NEAR
79
Permanent thing : CURLER
80
Some digital videos, briefly : MPEGS
83
Franz's partner in old "S.N.L." sketches : HANS
84
Rackful in a closet : TIES
85
Hits back? : REARENDS
87
Single out : ISOLATE
88
Org. of the Jets and the Flyers : NHL
93
Occupation : METIER
94
Church chorus : AMENS
95
Roars : DINS
96
Outpourings : SPATES
98
"Prove it!" : SHOWME
101
UV light blocker : OZONE
102
Residents of a certain -stan : KURDS
103
"You already said that!" : IKNOW
104
Lying flat : PRONE
105
Cut : SAWED
106
Be a polite invitee : RSVP
107
Mississippi River's largest tributary : OHIO
108
With 106-Across, "It's time to do this thing" : LETS
113
Kind of season : FLU
114
Die spot : PIP
115
___ oil (Australian folk medicine) : EMU
116
E.M.S. technique : CPR
118
Wine barrel wood : OAK

Answer summary: 11 unique to this puzzle, 1 debuted here and reused later, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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