It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker. Please consider supporting our site by purchasing an account.
This web browser is not supported. Use Chrome, Edge, Safari, or Firefox for best results.

# PLACES, EVERYONE!

## New York Times, Sunday, May 14, 2017

Author:
Will Nediger
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
325/27/20063/15/20203
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
15025118
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.78032

## This puzzle:

Rows: 21, Columns: 21 Words: 140, Blocks: 66 Missing: {JQX} This is puzzle # 20 for Mr. Nediger. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Will Nediger notes:
It's nice to be back in the New York Times — my last puzzle was all the way back in 2014, since I was on a hiatus from constructing for a while. I'm back in the swing of things now, ... read more

It's nice to be back in the New York Times — my last puzzle was all the way back in 2014, since I was on a hiatus from constructing for a while. I'm back in the swing of things now, and even have a blog where I post a free puzzle every Monday.

I like that the theme for this one produces a nice criss-cross pattern. The downside is that when theme entries cross each other (as every single one in this puzzle does), it makes the grid hard to fill. So there's more gluey fill (ALAE, ELEA) than I'd like, but hopefully, some of the long answers make up for it.

Jeff Chen notes:
A pretty pattern of shaded squares, highlighting a position-dependent theme. Fun a-ha to realize that [Grand pooh-bahs] wasn't BANANAS, but (top) BANANAS. Same with [Dropped out] not being ... read more

A pretty pattern of shaded squares, highlighting a position-dependent theme. Fun a-ha to realize that [Grand pooh-bahs] wasn't BANANAS, but (top) BANANAS. Same with [Dropped out] not being SCHOOL, but (left) school, and HANDER actually being (right) HANDER. We fixed up the answers in our database so the answers match the clues — see below.

Not all the themers were fantastic — some could work just fine without their positional modifier, like how ENGLISH as [Chaucer's tongue] doesn't need the (middle) modifier — but getting all 18(!) themers into such nice symmetrical, intersecting places must have greatly reduced Will's flexibility. Not easy to find so many crossing pairs that work this way.

Speaking of not easy, Will's point about filling around pairs of crossing themers is no joke. This task becomes even trickier when working with the NYT's 140-word maximum, which translates to having to fill some big, themeless-esque sections, using more long filler entries than you might in a weekday puzzle. Check out how well Will does in the west, with just AMI as a minor blip, and ALI BABA, BALD SPOT, MADE WAR, IN A HOLE as bonuses. Now that's what I'm talking about!

Now check out the lower right. Will helps himself by sort of sectioning this region away from the rest of the puzzle, but it's still hard to fill around (bottom) FEEDING and (right) CLICKS. A random Roman numeral in CDV isn't great, but it's at least gettable. ELEA crossing EDINA … oof. I'd find it hard to argue that either one is something educated solvers must know, or should be able to figure out.

BTW, were you baffled by SAUK as [Fox neighbor] too? I was stuck on it being FOX News … not the Fox Native Americans. D'oh!

I've seen variations on this idea many a time before, but this layout was so aesthetically pleasing. It would have been great to get more examples which absolutely required the positional modifier (CLICKS works just as well as (right) CLICKS for the clue, e.g.). Along with some smoothing of rough spots (ETHELS/ALLS, ALAE/NEER, etc.) that might have elevated into POW! contention for me.

 1C 2L 3A 4S 5P 6S 7D 8R 9A 10S 11T 12I 13C 14A 15B 16A 17T 18E 19B I S T R O 20R E B I R T H 21P L A N E R 22S C H O O L 23A M E R I C A 24H A N D E R 25T H I R D 26S K A 27L O O S 28D E A R T O 29V E N I 30A L E P 31P O 32U S 33P S 34N E E R 35N E E 36D L E 37S H I 38P P E R 39L A I R S 40S O L E 41D 42O N E L 43I 44T I S 45A 46M 47I 48T Y P E 49I N 50W E 51B C A M 52P 53C 54P 55L A N 56C E 57O L M E 58C S 59O K C O 60R R A L 61I D A H O 62A N 63G I L 64S O S O 65A I D E 66B E H I N D 67M A N A 68G E R 69M 70I N D E D 71A W O L 72O 73D A Y 74S A G 75G A N G I N G 76B A L D 77S P O T 78I S S U 79E R 80F E N C E 81A R E 82A T E S 83T S 84M E T I 85M E 86G E D 87B U S S 88A L 89D A 90S M U R 91F 92S 93P 94A R K 95I 96K N E W I 97T 98A S S E 99T 100S 101P U M A 102A T O Z 103E N R 104I C H 105E R I 106S 107I P E C 108A C 109R A 110U L 111I C E 112E D I N A 113T A C K L E 114E N G L 115I S H 116C L I C K S 117E T H E L S 118S I L E N T A 119D E N I E S 120D E E T S 121H A I R N E T 122V A G A R Y
© 2017, The New York TimesNo. 0514 ( 24,659 )
Across
1
Necklace parts : CLASPS
7
Extreme : DRASTIC
14
Peter out : ABATE
19
Relative of a brasserie : BISTRO
20
Phoenix event : REBIRTH
21
Power machine in woodworking : PLANER
22
Dropped out : LEFTSCHOOL
23
U.S. heartland : MIDDLEAMERICA
24
Dexterous one : RIGHTHANDER
25
Where you might stop before going home : THIRD
26
Prince Buster's genre : SKA
27
Heathrow facilities : LOOS
28
Cherished by : DEARTO
29
Start of a boast : VENI
30
Battle-torn Syrian city : ALEPPO
32
Org. that delivers : USPS
34
Contraction lacking just a "v" : NEER
35
You might find one under a Christmas tree : NEEDLE
37
One using 32-Across, e.g. : SHIPPER
39
Hideouts : LAIRS
40
Did a cobbler's job on : SOLED
42
First-year law student : ONEL
43
Sinus suffix : ITIS
45
"Who ___?" : AMI
48
Enter : TYPEIN
50
Tool for talking online : WEBCAM
52
Angel dust : PCP
55
Knightstick? : LANCE
57
Colossal head sculptors : OLMECS
59
Setting for John Ford's "My Darling Clementine" : OKCORRAL
61
Sarah Palin, by birth : IDAHOAN
63
___ Gunderson, sad sack on "The Simpsons" : GIL
64
Average : SOSO
65
White House worker : AIDE
66
Abandoned : LEFTBEHIND
67
Person pretty far up the corporate ladder : MIDDLEMANAGER
69
Having correct opinions : RIGHTMINDED
71
No longer in the company, say : AWOL
72
Singer/reality TV personality Aubrey : ODAY
74
What old couches tend to do : SAG
75
___ up on (conspiring against) : GANGING
76
It lacks locks : BALDSPOT
78
Credit card provider, e.g. : ISSUER
80
Theft preventer ... or theft encourager : FENCE
81
Equal : ARE
82
Mushroom makers : ATESTS
84
R&R by oneself : METIME
86
H.S.-level exam : GED
87
Smooch : BUSS
88
Vinick's portrayer on "The West Wing" : ALDA
90
Searcher for "the lost village," in film : SMURF
92
Catalyst : SPARK
95
"Told you so!" : IKNEWIT
98
Accountant's list : ASSETS
101
Creature also called a catamount : PUMA
102
All-inclusive : ATOZ
103
Aggrandize : ENRICH
105
Apple of Discord thrower : ERIS
107
Poison victim's remedy : IPECAC
109
Fidel's brother : RAUL
111
Whack : ICE
112
Suburb of Minneapolis : EDINA
113
Blind side protector, usually, in an offensive line : LEFTTACKLE
114
Chaucer's tongue : MIDDLEENGLISH
116
Brings up a menu with a PC mouse : RIGHTCLICKS
117
Waters and Kennedy : ETHELS
118
Aisle's head? : SILENTA
119
Disavows : DENIES
120
Juicy bits, in slang : DEETS
121
Item for a cafeteria worker : HAIRNET
122
Whim : VAGARY
Down
1
"The Late Show" airer : CBSTV
2
Reindeer moss, e.g. : LICHEN
3
Glowing : ASHINE
4
News highlights : TOPSTORIES
5
Nudge : PROD
6
La preceder : SOL
7
Rapper with the 4x platinum album "Views" : DRAKE
8
Charts again : REMAPS
9
Fin : ABE
10
Boneless cut : TOPSIRLOIN
11
Huey, Dewey and Louie, e.g. : TRIO
12
Brangelina was one : ITCOUPLE
13
Gliding step, in ballet : CHASSE
14
Wings, to zoologists : ALAE
15
Grand pooh-bahs : TOPBANANAS
16
Russian film director Tarkovsky : ANDREI
17
Threaten to fall : TEETER
18
They may be unforced : ERRORS
21
Many profs : PHDS
26
Think over : SLEEPON
30
Bedfellow : ALLY
31
Contribute to a radio show : PHONEIN
33
Syringe sensations : PRICKS
36
Lavish with attention : DOTEON
38
They provide backing for churchgoers : PEWS
39
Sight at a red-carpet event : LIMO
41
Director Guillermo ___ Toro : DEL
44
City SSW of Seattle : TACOMA
45
Fictional woodcutter : ALIBABA
46
Was belligerent : MADEWAR
47
Debt-ridden : INAHOLE
49
Coming-out words : IMGAY
51
Vulgar sort : BOOR
52
Indulging (oneself) in self-satisfaction : PRIDING
53
54
Vowed : PLEDGED
56
Neglected one, stereotypically : MIDDLECHILD
58
Bourgeoisie : MIDDLECLASS
60
Mezzo-soprano, for female voices : MIDDLERANGE
62
Rescues a foundling, say : ADOPTS
64
Smooth transition : SEGUE
67
Yoga equipment : MATS
68
Line to a pilot? : GASMAIN
70
Figures out : INFERS
73
"Is that so?" : DOESIT
75
[That's painful!] : GRIMACE
77
Fox neighbor : SAUK
78
Part of a chain : ISLE
79
Many "Star Trek" characters, for short : ETS
83
Home of the highest point in Africa : TANZANIA
85
Cry to a sled dog : MUSH
87
Where teams that have little-to-no chance of winning are found : BOTTOMBRACKET
89
Inhabitant of the ocean's benthic zone : BOTTOMDWELLER
91
Profiting from the misfortunes of others : BOTTOMFEEDING
92
Treated with malice : SPITED
93
Transform, as larvae : PUPATE
94
Actor Don : AMECHE
96
Cult leader killed in the Waco siege : KORESH
97
Sibelius's "Valse ___" : TRISTE
99
One of the Nixon daughters : TRICIA
100
Fishing item : SINKER
102
Part of a dead man's hand : ACES
104
Onetime tool for talking online : ICHAT
106
Full of lip : SASSY
108
First word in a Shakespeare title : ALLS
110
Hybrid citrus : UGLI
112
Home of Zeno and Parmenides : ELEA
115
Roadside stop : INN
116
405, to Flavius : CDV

Answer summary: 12 unique to this puzzle, 7 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

Found bugs or have suggestions?

See NYT Crosswords for info.