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OH, WHO?

New York Times, Sunday, May 18, 2014

Author:
Joe DiPietro
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
1318/26/19957/12/20181
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281072242283
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1.59326
Joe DiPietro

This puzzle:

Rows: 21, Columns: 21 Words: 140, Blocks: 70 Missing: {Q} This is puzzle # 119 for Mr. DiPietro. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jeff Chen notes:
What a fun theme, common words and phrases reimagined in Irish ways. ANGIOGRAM becomes ANGIE O'GRAM and WILLOW TREES becomes WILL O'TREES, for example. Neat that Joe found nine of these, ... read more

What a fun theme, common words and phrases reimagined in Irish ways. ANGIOGRAM becomes ANGIE O'GRAM and WILLOW TREES becomes WILL O'TREES, for example. Neat that Joe found nine of these, most all of which amused me. Not often that a punny type theme works for me, but this one did it. I mean, JEAN O'TYPING, that's brilliant!

Joe does well with his layout, putting as much space between his themers as possible. Note the two themers in row three and the two themers in row nineteen. Anytime you can get two (shorter) theme entries into one row, that helps immensely.

Ah, the devilish constructions that are Sunday puzzles. Even going up to Will's maximum word count (140), 21x puzzles are almost never easy to put together. Long fill is not just a nicety but a requirement, given the specifications. I can understand that in some ways — it's awfully nice to get some long fill to spice up a grid — but boy does it make for a challenge. I liked PUT ER THERE and TOSS A SALAD quite a bit, but BIG IN JAPAN felt awfully arbitrary. I'm mixed on CLERKS TALE, which clearly is part of "Canterbury Tales," but I fear that opens up the floodgates for any of the 20+ tales.

Although I bet there's a hilarious joke if you smash up THE NUNS PRIESTS TALE and THE MAN OF LAWS TALE. A nun, a priest, and a lawyer walk into a ye olde alehouse...

Check out where WEINSTEIN sits below ANGIEOGRAM. Because of the word count maximum, long bits need to be incorporated in many places. I do like the wide-open look this subsection has. The INRI / EGAN / CESTA pileup did feel a little inelegant though. A tough trade-off; a very difficult task to place an entry as long as WEINSTEIN right in between two theme entries (same goes for the symmetrical spot, with the unknown to me PAPER LACE and the SAREE variant). An almost surefire way to create high constraints.

Sometimes I wonder if opening up the maximum of 140 to 144 (which is what Rich Norris allows at the LAT and Patti Varol allows at the Crosswords Club) might be useful. I do love me some long fill, but I also value smoothness of solve. I hate to admit how irked I get at little bits, but struggling for minutes and then revealing TOPEE / SCREED wasn't very satisfying.

So although I struggled a bit with the fill, I really enjoyed the theme. A clever interpretation of in-the-language phrases with amusing results.

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© 2014, The New York TimesNo. 0518 ( 23,567 )
Across
1. Pat : DAB
4. Nosed around : PRIED
9. Univ. divisions : DEPTS
14. Early third-century year : CCIV
18. Univ. in Troy, N.Y. : RPI
19. Quarter back, possibly : CHANGE
20. Like some workers : APIAN
21. Edison's middle name : ALVA
22. Irish chemist? : ANGIEOGRAM
24. Irish arborist? : WILLOTREES
26. Harvey of Hollywood : WEINSTEIN
27. China's Zhou ___ : ENLAI
28. How pastrami is usually ordered : ONRYE
29. Serenaded : SANGTO
30. "Scary Movie," for one : SPOOF
31. Love letters? : SWAK
32. Irish secretary? : JEANOTYPING
36. Targets for a delivery : SHIPSTO
39. One may take you in : SCAM
41. Mists : SPRAYS
42. Bird on a Canadian dollar : LOON
43. All-human bridge? : TOO
44. Barely bite : NIPAT
46. When the day's done, to Donne : EEN
47. Irish algebra teacher? : COREYOGRAPH
51. Missile Command maker : ATARI
52. Noodges : NAGS
54. Big name in restaurant reviews : ZAGAT
55. "Hard ___!" (nautical command) : ALEE
56. Digs of pigs : PEN
57. When the day's done, to Denis : NUIT
59. End of a game? : ALAI
61. Long, angry complaint : SCREED
63. Irish woodworker? : PATTYOFURNITURE
67. Lie : REPOSE
70. Part of a dishwasher : RACK
71. California county or its seat : NAPA
72. Beat : TOP
75. Jack-in-the-pulpit, e.g. : ARUM
76. Finger-pointer : NAMER
79. ___ City (Baghdad area) : SADR
81. Lie : STORY
83. Irish mountain climber? : NATEOSUMMIT
86. Family nickname : SIS
87. Canadian blockhead : HOSER
88. Suffix with zinc : ITE
89. Victory goddess : NIKE
90. Set crowd, maybe : EXTRAS
93. Where the Storting meets : OSLO
94. Light reddish-brown horses : SORRELS
96. Irish dogsled racer? : JUNEOALASKA
99. 1979 Roman Polanski film : TESS
100. Places for fuel : TANKS
101. Places for panels : DAISES
104. Fall shade : OCHRE
106. Some investment bonds, for short : MUNIS
107. Band with the 1974 #1 hit "The Night Chicago Died" : PAPERLACE
110. Irish health care worker? : MAEOCLINIC
112. Irish painter? : MELOYELLOW
113. Do sometimes called a "natural" : AFRO
114. Support : BRACE
115. "So true" : IAGREE
116. Yard filler, maybe : ALE
117. Snorkeling locale : REEF
118. Director von Sternberg : JOSEF
119. Put up with : STAND
120. "___ not!" : DID
Down
1. Ties : DRAWS
2. Problem in bed, for some : APNEA
3. Like some bands with only modest Western popularity : BIGINJAPAN
4. Light quanta : PHOTONS
5. Burning sensation? : RAGE
6. Calvary inscription : INRI
7. Richard of "A Summer Place" : EGAN
8. ___ Bums (Brooklyn Dodgers nickname) : DEM
9. Suddenly strike : DAWNON
10. Novel ending : EPILOG
11. Rice dish : PILAF
12. Anklebones : TALI
13. ___-Caps (candy) : SNO
14. Steal, as a vehicle : CARNAP
15. Chaucer work that invokes the book of Job, with "The" : CLERKSTALE
16. Tony-winning actress Judith : IVEY
17. Still-life subject : VASE
19. Jai alai basket : CESTA
23. ___ Johansson, 1959-60 world heavyweight champion : INGEMAR
25. AAA service : TOWING
27. Protestant denom. : EPISC
30. One who bugs people? : SPY
31. Riddles with bullets : SHOOTSUP
33. Christmas Day urging : OPENIT
34. Compact : TREATY
35. Positive principle : YANG
36. Versatile bean : SOYA
37. Pith helmet : TOPEE
38. Voiced some pleasure : OOHED
39. Breeze : SNAP
40. Quote : CITE
42. Advantage, with "up" : LEG
45. "Tony n' ___ Wedding" : TINAS
48. Springfield Plateau area : OZARKS
49. Pour : RAIN
50. Numismatist's classification : RARE
53. Preinstalled iPhone browser : SAFARI
58. Setting set : UTENSILS
60. Montréal suburb Côte St.-___ : LUC
62. Hard drive malfunction : CRASH
63. Pear or quince : POME
64. Utah city : OREM
65. One of the Gandhis : INDIRA
66. Foot bone : TARSAL
67. Indian princesses : RANIS
68. Orphic hymn charmer : ERATO
69. "Let's shake!" : PUTERTHERE
72. Prepare the first course, say : TOSSASALAD
73. Pitcher Hershiser : OREL
74. Lighting expert? : PYRO
77. "Great" birds : AUKS
78. Marie Curie, e.g.: Abbr. : MME
80. About : ASTO
82. Got sick : TOOKILL
84. "I'll be right with you" : ONESEC
85. Some distance races : TENKS
91. Marks (out) : XES
92. Depressed-looking : SADEYED
95. Cover with new shingles : REROOF
96. She married Bobby on "The Sopranos" : JANICE
97. Social welfare org. : UNICEF
98. Eastern wrap: Var. : SAREE
100. Bonito relatives : TUNAS
102. Possible water contaminator : ECOLI
103. Tailored : SEWED
104. Barbra's "Funny Girl" co-star : OMAR
105. ___ noir : CAFE
106. "The Hunter (Catalan Landscape)" painter : MIRO
107. Fertilizer ingredient : PEAT
108. Bit of stagnant-water growth : ALGA
109. Lucrative Internet biz : PORN
111. War on Poverty prez : LBJ
112. What can open files? : MIS

Answer summary: 17 unique to this puzzle, 1 debuted here and reused later, 3 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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