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STONERS' FILM FESTIVAL

New York Times, Sunday, June 2, 2019

Author:
Erik Agard
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
4111/6/20127/6/201918
SunMonTueWedThuFriSatVariety
94565381
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.62150
Erik Agard

This puzzle:

Rows: 21, Columns: 21 Words: 140, Blocks: 72 Missing: {QZ} This is puzzle # 39 for Mr. Agard. Jeff Chen's Puzzle of the Week pick. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Will Shortz notes:
Erik Agard, 25, is a professional puzzlemaker from Gaithersburg, Md. He mentors new crossword constructors from underrepresented groups, especially women and minorities, via a crossword ... read more

Erik Agard, 25, is a professional puzzlemaker from Gaithersburg, Md. He mentors new crossword constructors from underrepresented groups, especially women and minorities, via a crossword puzzle collaboration page on Facebook.

This is his ninth Times crossword so far for 2019 — the most of any contributor.

Jeff Chen notes:
Riffing on Will's note, it looks like Erik's going to be the most published person in the NYT crossword this year. For years, there was a heated battle for that title, between old guarders ... read more

Riffing on Will's note, it looks like Erik's going to be the most published person in the NYT crossword this year. For years, there was a heated battle for that title, between old guarders Manny Nosowsky, Patrick Berry, Liz Gorski, Nancy Salomon, and more. It's amazing to see how long Patrick was in the running year after year – almost two decades!

Then came this Steinberg guy. And that funny-looking Chen dude. It even looked like C.C. Burnikel might take the title at one point.

But then came Agard. En garde!

He's swept in like a force of nature. It looks like the crossworld will be his for as long as he wants it. Astonshing output.

Sunday puzzles as of late haven't been inspiring, so I appreciated Erik's breath of not-so-fresh air today. Here in Seattle, where pot shops are vying with coffee places for retail dominance, pot terms abound. I once made a pot-related crossword myself (unfortunately, for the now-defunct Buzzfeed crossword.)

What I like so much about this one is that there's a limited number of pot-related terms — it's hard enough to come up with enough theme phrases, period. Then you tighten things up by forcing yourself to make all the themers relate to each other? That's a bit of magic there.

Not all the themers were as pot-specific as I would have liked – PUFF, SMOKE, and ROLLING are more general than POT, JOINT, BAKED – but it all works.

I also liked that Erik kept the grid at 140 words, making for an easyish fill to go with his easyish theme. I did struggle with NOSRAT, even after having seen "Salt Fat Acid Heat." An easier clue for UTES would be appreciated, but other than that, the crossings seemed fair.

Along with a couple of strong clues – I like Princess LEIA quotes, and TWA inside of "jetway" is a fun find – and some great bonuses in OFF THE GRID, KEGSTANDS, FLOOR MODEL, even MODESTY, it made for a pleasant solving experience.

I did feel a strong urge to get me some White Castle as I solved, though …

1
A
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N
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W
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B
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M
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D
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A
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S
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D
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T
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A
© 2019, The New York TimesNo. 0602 ( 25,408 )
Across
1
Up in the air : ALOFT
6
Memo abbr. : ATTN
10
How many network sitcoms are rated : TVPG
14
Floats : WAFTS
19
World capital once behind the Iron Curtain : SOFIA
20
Bubble tea flavor : TARO
21
One who might get a parade : HERO
22
Singer Goulding : ELLIE
23
Stoner movies? : PUFFPIECES
25
Fired : AXED
26
Pioneer who lent his name to six U.S. counties : BOONE
27
Île de la ___ : CITE
28
At some point : LATERON
30
Components of stoner movies? : POTSHOTS
32
Flooring wood : ASH
33
Furniture wood : ELM
34
Rubberneck : GAWK
35
Certain Franciscan : FRIAR
36
Salsa variety : VERDE
38
Chief Ouray and others : UTES
39
Came down to earth : ALIT
40
Farrow with a Golden Globe : MIA
43
Tension in a stoner movie? : HIGHDRAMA
46
Stoner movie that flops at the box office? : SMOKEBOMB
48
Youngest Jetson : ELROY
49
Wheat ___ : GERM
51
"___ a dream ..." : IHAVE
52
Rock's Brickell : EDIE
53
Ancient Greek land that hosted the Olympics : ELIS
54
___ Calrissian, "Star Wars" role : LANDO
55
Game's end : MATE
56
Blood flow aid : STENT
57
Set a good example, perhaps : LED
58
Half of doce : SEIS
59
Having two beats per measure, in music : DUPLE
61
Gives what for : SCOLDS
62
Ending of a stoner movie? : JOINTRESOLUTION
65
Honeydew relative : CASABA
68
Smooths : EASES
69
Peewee : RUNT
70
The Horned Frogs of the Big 12 Conf. : TCU
73
Animal wearing red pajamas in a children's book : LLAMA
74
Make a jumper, say : KNIT
75
Broadcasts : EMITS
77
Piece on a1 : ROOK
78
Inter ___ : ALIA
79
Singer Chesney : KENNY
80
Two tablets, maybe : DOSE
81
Dog, for some : GUIDE
82
With 84-Across, like an audience during a stoner movie? : ROLLINGIN
84
See 82-Across : THEAISLES
86
After-hours convenience : ATM
87
___ track (attack song) : DISS
88
Style to pick? : AFRO
91
Splits lickety-split : FLEES
92
Top-tier : ALIST
94
Bottom-heavy fruit : PEAR
95
Part of V.S.O.P. : OLD
96
Initials hidden in "jetway," appropriately : TWA
98
Bad actor in a stoner movie? : BAKEDHAM
101
Certain Mexican-American : CHICANA
103
Lit ___ : CRIT
104
Like ornithologists' studies : AVIAN
105
TV host with the autobiography "Born a Crime" : NOAH
107
Be behind the camera for a blockbuster stoner movie? : DIRECTHITS
109
Very, in slang : MONDO
110
Hella cool : DOPE
111
James in both the Blues and Rock and Roll Halls of Fame : ETTA
112
Certain godchild : NIECE
113
Midlife crisis feeling : ANGST
114
Big acronym in education : STEM
115
No longer gray, say : DYED
116
Woman's nickname that elides "Na" : TASHA
Down
1
Adoption org. : ASPCA
2
Site of an annual May race : LOUISVILLE
3
Unfindable, so to speak : OFFTHEGRID
4
Piccolo relative : FIFE
5
Dance specialty : TAP
6
Squad bringing more than their B game? : ATEAM
7
Careful word choice, maybe : TACT
8
Fencing along a sidewalk : TREEGUARD
9
Samin ___, best-selling cookbook author : NOSRAT
10
Terse email reply : THANKS
11
Give a hard time : VEX
12
Kitchen work before cooking : PREP
13
Cupid, e.g. : GODOFLOVE
14
Line on many a business card : WEBSITE
15
HI goodbye : ALOHA
16
Item taken out of its packaging before it's sold : FLOORMODEL
17
Window option : TINT
18
Notices : SEES
24
In worse health : ILLER
29
Be short : OWE
31
Kiddie ride : TRIKE
33
Swirl : EDDY
37
Density symbols : RHOS
39
Bush : AMATEURISH
41
"That bothers me" : IMIND
42
Lends a hand with contraband? : ABETS
43
Command to a dog : HEEL
44
"Encore!" : AGAIN
45
Davis Cup competition : MENSTENNIS
46
"___ we?" : SHALL
47
Back : BETON
50
Quality feigned by a humblebrag : MODESTY
51
Overstayed, e.g. : IMPOSED
54
Film heroine who says "Somebody has to save our skins. Into the garbage chute, flyboy" : LEIA
56
Orkney resident : SCOT
58
Buckwheat noodles : SOBA
60
Deploy : USE
61
Repentance subjects : SINS
62
Dissident/writer Khashoggi : JAMAL
63
Big nonprofit that operates the Department of Defense Safe Helpline : RAINN
64
One being taught a lesson : TUTEE
65
Maryland's ___ Barton Parkway : CLARA
66
Set apart : ALLOT
67
The cutting of one's jib? : SAILMAKING
70
Travel kit contents : TOILETRIES
71
Shift from one dialect to another, depending on the social context : CODESWITCH
72
Strummed instruments, for short : UKES
74
Fratty feats : KEGSTANDS
76
Center of the U.S. auto industry : MOTORCITY
77
Underhanded plan : RUSE
79
Jewish snack : KNISH
81
___ the lily : GILD
83
Indignant denial : IDIDNOT
85
Big name in insurance : AFLAC
88
Tough H.S. science class : APCHEM
89
Scornful syllable : FEH
90
Subjected to a hostile takeover : RAIDED
93
Tips for journalists : LEADS
95
First post-B.C. year : ONEAD
97
Befuddled : ATSEA
98
Rival of Ole Miss : BAMA
99
Bard of ___ : AVON
100
Not worth hashing out : MOOT
102
Museo contents : ARTE
103
Kind of seeds in health foods : CHIA
106
Siamang or orangutan : APE
108
Cause of a blowup, in brief : TNT

Answer summary: 16 unique to this puzzle, 3 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

Found bugs or have suggestions?