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LET'S PLAY TWO!

New York Times, Sunday, May 6, 2018

Author:
Brendan Emmett Quigley
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
1838/7/19964/28/201916
SunMonTueWedThuFriSatVariety
365152018482615
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.635213
Brendan Emmett Quigley

This puzzle:

Rows: 21, Columns: 21 Words: 140, Blocks: 78 Missing: {J} This is puzzle # 178 for Mr. Quigley. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Brendan Emmett Quigley notes:

As much as I like, nay love pizza, no 3-Down for me. Plus, I'm lactose intolerant.

Jeff Chen notes:
There are a lot of smash-two-titles-together puzzles like this, usually containing kooky results or amazingly natural-sounding ones. KOOKY: CONNECT FOUR CHECKERS gave me a little ... read more

There are a lot of smash-two-titles-together puzzles like this, usually containing kooky results or amazingly natural-sounding ones.

KOOKY: CONNECT FOUR CHECKERS gave me a little smile, sort of a less horrifying "human centipede." (Do yourself a favor and don't look that up on the interwebs. It's horrifying.)

NATURAL: MEMORY TROUBLE is a real thing, a very cool finding. What a coincidence that two well-known games can combine to form this phrase! It's not a perfect phrase, as "memory loss" seems much more common. But it's still a neat discovery.

I found it odd to have a mix of the two theme types. Felt like a lack of consistency. I think BEQ was going for the latter theme type, but CONNECT FOUR CHECKERS threw everything out the window — no way to interpret that one as anywhere near real.

ACQUIRE apparently was "one of the most popular games in the 1960s"? I'm clearly not the target demographic.

There's some nice fill – I loved BERNIE MAC in "Ocean's 11", SIBELIUS, RYAN GOSLING – but also a lot of gloopy short fill. ABEAM, A YEAR, ANOS, ATA … well, did you EVAH? Not BEQ's best gridwork. The Sunday 140-word grid, with seven long themers, can cause so much trouble, even for the best.

I like the "mash-ups forming real-sounding things" genre. SORRY DIPLOMACY is exactly what we're doing with North Korea! (Not sure whether to laugh or cry.) I wish BEQ had eliminated CONNECT FOUR CHECKERS and rejiggered things to have perhaps just six real-esque themers, which would also allow for a smoother grid.

1
A
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B
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A
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M
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P
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H
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B
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P
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N
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L
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B
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Q
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K
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D
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M
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B
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W
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B
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L
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C
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H
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Y
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G
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C
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C
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C
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K
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K
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O
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Z
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B
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E
D
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© 2018, The New York TimesNo. 0506 ( 25,016 )
Across
1
Perpendicular to the ship's middle : ABEAM
6
"Let's do this!" : ITSTIME
13
Larger of Mars's two moons : PHOBOS
19
Proof of purchase for some contests : BOXTOP
21
Maines of the Dixie Chicks : NATALIE
22
Out of date? : LONELY
23
Underwater mine? : BATTLESHIPRISK
25
Some end-of-season announcements : AWARDS
26
___ Plus (grooming brand) : ATRA
27
"Insecure" star Issa : RAE
28
Comparison middle : ASA
29
Peaceful protest : SITIN
30
Get a copy of a 1965 #1 Beatles hit? : ACQUIRETICKETTORIDE
37
South America's ___ Picchu : MACHU
39
Left-winger : LIB
40
U.N. worker protection agcy. : ILO
41
"___ Music's golden tongue / Flatter'd to tears this aged man ...": Keats : ERE
42
Actor Milo : OSHEA
43
Minute Maid Park player, informally : STRO
45
Formed for a particular purpose : ADHOC
47
Sultan Qaboos's land : OMAN
48
Something to be defended : THESIS
50
Rather poor ambassador's skill? : SORRYDIPLOMACY
53
School in development? : ROE
54
Hat, informally : LID
56
Bomb with the audience : DIE
57
Brand with an arrow through its logo : SUNOCO
58
Grp. getting a pay cut? : IRS
59
"Roll Tide!" school, for short : BAMA
62
Rolled ___ : OATS
65
Prefix with warrior : ECO
66
Formerly known as : NEE
67
Reason a computer program wouldn't open? : MEMORYTROUBLE
70
Some touchdown scorers, for short : RBS
73
Zippo : NIL
74
"Am ___ sensitive?" : ITOO
75
Existed : WERE
76
Thanksgiving serving : YAM
77
Things folded in the kitchen : BLINIS
80
"Cinderella" mouse : GUS
82
Big-eared animal : ASS
84
Past : AGO
85
Incredibly hard puzzle? : CRANIUMTWISTER
90
One with a confession to make : SINNER
92
Consume : HAVE
93
Responds wistfully : SIGHS
94
First name in fashion : YVES
96
Impressive hole : EAGLE
97
"___ reconsidered" : IVE
98
Padre's hermano : TIO
99
Prefix with pressure : ACU
100
"Eww!" : GROSS
101
Link a quartet of supermarket employees? : CONNECTFOURCHECKERS
109
Aid for a tracking shot : DOLLY
110
Jumpy sort, for short? : ROO
111
Vehicle that often rolls over, in brief : IRA
112
___ mater : ALMA
115
Angry Shakespearean cry : FIEFIE
117
Something you're not allowed to do in math? : TABOOOPERATION
121
Mistakes : ERRATA
122
Bit of nonsense in a #1 Ella Fitzgerald hit : ATASKET
123
Not ruling out : OPENTO
124
Gadget for lemons : ZESTER
125
Goes back and forth (with) : BANTERS
126
A cylinder has two : EDGES
Down
1
Band with a symmetrical logo : ABBA
2
Bath toy : BOAT
3
Pizzeria order : EXTRACHEESE
4
Some lawyers' cases : ATTACHES
5
Kind of biol. : MOL
6
Picks up later in life? : INHERITS
7
Red ___ (sushi fish) : TAI
8
Irish icon, for short : STPAT
9
Ankle bones : TARSI
10
Relating to the pelvis : ILIAC
11
Prefix with communication : MIS
12
Hair-raising cry : EEK
13
Pigtail, e.g. : PLAIT
14
Many a "... For Dummies" book : HOWTO
15
Transmitting : ONAIR
16
Comic who acted in "Ocean's Eleven" : BERNIEMAC
17
Smelling of mothballs : OLD
18
Part of O.S.: Abbr. : SYS
20
Original home of Paddington Bear : PERU
24
Moves effortlessly (through) : SAILS
29
Streetside hangouts : STOOPS
31
Draw back in fear : QUAIL
32
River that rises in the Cantabrian Mountains : EBRO
33
Player/coach Jason of the N.B.A. : KIDD
34
K-12 : ELHI
35
Constellation between Ursa Major and Ursa Minor : DRACO
36
Kids' rhyme starter : EENY
37
Big name in pain relief : MOTRIN
38
Onto land : ASHORE
44
Code on a bag to Chicago : ORD
45
Annually : AYEAR
46
Like a space cadet : CLUELESS
47
1847 novel of the sea : OMOO
49
"Finlandia" composer : SIBELIUS
51
Rollickingly funny : RIOTOUS
52
"Time was ... " : ONCE
55
Feature of a millpond : DAM
60
"You couldn't possibly mean me!?" : MOI
61
Oil field? : ART
63
Kind of job : TOW
64
___ Bird, 10-time W.N.B.A. All-Star : SUE
67
Bite-size, say : MINI
68
Teaching positions can be part of their work : YOGIS
69
Chest protector : BRA
70
"La La Land" actor : RYANGOSLING
71
Rolls out of bed in the morning? : BAGELS
72
Messy treats : SMORES
73
Fluorine's atomic number : NINE
77
"Way to go!" : BRAVO
78
Purple flowers : LAVENDERS
79
Longtime Walter Berndt comic strip : SMITTY
81
Spot for wallowing : STY
83
All-out attack : SIEGE
85
Stylish : CHIC
86
Cry at a happy hour, maybe : TGIF
87
Cry of excitement : WHOO
88
"Well, Did You ___?" : EVAH
89
Gate : RECEIPTS
91
Did some documentary work : NARRATED
95
Bolivian capital : SUCRE
102
0%, in the dairy aisle : NOFAT
103
Highest-level : ELITE
104
Nice forecast : CLEAR
105
Population classification : URBAN
106
Settle down for the night : ROOST
107
Sam who sang "Twistin' the Night Away" : COOKE
108
Corn syrup brand : KARO
113
Tiny bit : MOTE
114
They always come with mayo : ANOS
115
Flat-topped hat : FEZ
116
Heat : IRE
117
Keyboard key : TAB
118
___ minimum : ATA
119
Anthem contraction : OER
120
One rampaging in 2018's "Rampage" : APE

Answer summary: 10 unique to this puzzle, 2 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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