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PROVING THEM WRONG

New York Times, Sunday, June 3, 2018

Author:
David J. Kahn
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
1813/15/199412/12/20185
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
4451224571326
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.5514211
David J. Kahn

This puzzle:

Rows: 21, Columns: 21 Words: 142, Blocks: 78 Missing: {QXZ} This is puzzle # 179 for Mr. Kahn. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
David J. Kahn notes:
After I thought of this theme, I started looking at all pro sports teams where an 'I' appears exactly once in both the first and second name. I wound up using only baseball teams because ... read more

After I thought of this theme, I started looking at all pro sports teams where an "I" appears exactly once in both the first and second name. I wound up using only baseball teams because the other sports gave me very few teams to choose from. And baseball teams might be more familiar to solvers, anyway. There were six major league teams that could possibly work, but I ran out of grid space, not to mention patience, which is why PITTSBURGH PIRATES didn't make the cut.

Jeff Chen notes:
David PROVING THEM WRONG today, showing that plenty of teams have Is. Although I've seen plenty of crosswords based around THERES NO I IN TEAM – perfect for a revealer at 15 letters! ... read more

David PROVING THEM WRONG today, showing that plenty of teams have Is. Although I've seen plenty of crosswords based around THERES NO I IN TEAM – perfect for a revealer at 15 letters! – I liked the a-ha moment I got from this implementation. David hid the teams well, DETROIT / TIGERS becoming apparent only after I had already started thinking about TIGERS as [Aggressive types].

The grid felt just a touched choked off, and it was no wonder, as David went up to 142 words. I didn't mind though, as there was still adequate solving flow, no subsection was *too* choked off.

I do like the 140 word maximum, which forces constructors to work in good long fill like WINE TASTERS, HOME STANDS, VIOLA DAVIS, WEIMARANER, NO CONTEST. But for tougher themes to execute on, I think it's good to allow constructors to bend the rules.

Why is this tough to execute on, you ask? Because working around crossing theme answers can be super tricky, especially when they need to be around the periphery of the puzzle. Take DETROIT / TIGERS for example. That north section of the puzzle is forced to be biggish due to the themer interlock. Biggish section + two crossing answers fixed into place usually means it's no bueno. David did well, just a NEV while working in ROADIE, ERRATA.

I did notice that David did rely too heavily on a specific type of crossword glue. Notice the common thread between ENATE FER HOD AJA SAMOS ROC MOS ANON? Not only are they oddball words, but they all perfectly alternate vowel / consonant. Probably something only we constructors notice, but it screams CONSTRUCTOR'S CRUTCH! to me. Would have been better to use more diverse glue, to make it all less noticeable.

Usually I dislike when a crossword doesn't display theme symmetry. But that was impossible today, and I liked the tightness(ish) of the theme set — too bad the Pirates had to be left out, that would have been perfect! — enough to look the other way.

1
C
2
O
3
W
4
I
5
N
6
S
7
E
8
R
9
T
10
S
11
T
12
E
13
A
14
M
15
O
16
V
17
A
18
N
19
U
R
I
20
D
E
T
R
O
I
T
21
U
N
D
E
R
22
S
I
D
E
23
T
A
N
24
O
V
E
R
A
G
E
25
B
A
L
T
I
M
O
R
E
26
S
T
E
27
W
S
28
V
A
D
E
R
29
A
T
E
30
O
I
L
E
D
31
I
O
T
A
32
R
E
T
I
R
E
33
S
E
R
34
L
L
A
M
A
35
T
R
A
S
36
H
Y
37
A
E
S
O
38
P
39
D
E
E
D
40
S
H
O
A
41
L
42
U
43
S
44
A
45
G
E
S
46
A
47
R
48
K
49
N
50
A
T
I
O
N
A
51
L
52
S
53
S
P
I
N
A
L
54
V
I
E
55
A
G
E
N
T
56
T
O
O
57
K
T
U
R
N
S
58
C
59
H
I
D
E
60
B
O
R
G
61
F
E
N
N
E
L
62
C
H
O
S
E
N
63
T
64
H
E
R
E
S
N
O
65
I
66
I
67
N
68
T
E
A
M
69
A
70
T
71
W
O
O
D
72
U
N
C
O
O
L
73
E
74
T
75
T
76
A
77
F
I
E
N
D
78
C
79
A
80
R
81
D
I
N
A
L
S
82
A
S
H
E
N
83
A
L
I
84
M
A
J
O
R
S
85
N
O
C
86
O
N
T
E
S
T
87
R
E
M
88
S
O
L
A
C
E
89
A
C
T
A
S
90
A
91
R
E
S
92
D
93
R
94
A
95
W
96
L
97
T
I
N
E
98
A
99
R
100
S
101
T
R
U
T
102
S
103
A
104
L
105
E
R
I
E
106
P
A
107
D
A
M
E
108
A
W
A
I
T
109
T
E
E
110
F
A
N
T
A
111
A
S
W
A
N
112
M
I
N
N
E
113
S
O
T
A
114
E
R
O
S
I
115
O
N
116
O
L
D
117
O
N
E
S
E
C
O
N
D
118
R
A
N
I
N
T
O
119
L
I
E
120
S
S
R
121
S
I
L
A
S
122
S
T
A
N
T
O
N
123
F
E
R
© 2018, The New York TimesNo. 0603 ( 25,044 )
Across
1
Overawe : COW
4
Things falling out of Vogue? : INSERTS
11
Words to a Spanish sweetheart : TEAMO
16
Mover, but not a shaker (one hopes) : VAN
19
Atlantic 10 Conf. school : URI
20
Where techno music originated : DETROIT
21
Belly : UNDERSIDE
23
Camelhair color : TAN
24
Surplus : OVERAGE
25
Where the Sun shines? : BALTIMORE
26
Doesn't let it go : STEWS
28
"Star Wars" name : VADER
29
Got into a mess? : ATE
30
Pie-eyed : OILED
31
Wee bit : IOTA
32
Call it a day ... or a career : RETIRE
33
Sunday delivery: Abbr. : SER
34
Woolly ruminant : LLAMA
35
Very lowbrow : TRASHY
37
Fabulous fabulist : AESOP
39
Achievement : DEED
40
Riverboat hazard : SHOAL
42
Linguists' interests : USAGES
46
Boat that landed on 94-Down : ARK
49
Final, countrywide competition : NATIONALS
53
___ tap : SPINAL
54
Go (for) : VIE
55
Salary negotiator : AGENT
56
Alternated : TOOKTURNS
58
Dress down : CHIDE
60
Winner of 11 Grand Slam tennis titles : BORG
61
Common seasoning for Italian sausage : FENNEL
62
Elected : CHOSEN
63
Sports axiom refuted by this puzzle : THERESNOIINTEAM
69
"The Handmaid's Tale" author : ATWOOD
72
Not with it : UNCOOL
73
Place in a 1969 western : ETTA
77
Serious devotee : FIEND
78
Papal conclave members : CARDINALS
82
Ghostly : ASHEN
83
He said "It's not bragging if you can back it up" : ALI
84
Group with five members in this puzzle, with "the" : MAJORS
85
Court plea : NOCONTEST
87
Sleep stage : REM
88
Relief : SOLACE
89
Play the part of : ACTAS
90
Father of Phobos, the god of fear : ARES
92
Sound of the South : DRAWL
97
Liability of note? : TINEAR
100
Swagger : STRUT
102
___ Minella (Muppet monkey) : SAL
105
City ENE of Cleveland, O. : ERIEPA
107
Lady's title : DAME
108
Anticipate : AWAIT
109
Ball bearer : TEE
110
Fruit soda brand : FANTA
111
Temple of Isis site : ASWAN
112
Where General Mills is headquartered : MINNESOTA
114
Bank trouble? : EROSION
116
Dated : OLD
117
"Be there in a jiffy!" : ONESECOND
118
Encountered : RANINTO
119
Not be straight : LIE
120
Cold War-era inits. : SSR
121
Eppie's adoptive father, in a George Eliot novel : SILAS
122
Suffragist Elizabeth Cady ___ : STANTON
123
Not opposin' : FER
Down
1
Is up to the task : CUTSIT
2
Winston Churchill, notably : ORATOR
3
One concerned with aging? : WINETASTER
4
Wedding pair : IDOS
5
State since 1864: Abbr. : NEV
6
McQueen or King : STEVE
7
Things that corrections correct : ERRATA
8
Tour hiree : ROADIE
9
Aggressive types : TIGERS
10
Typical intro? : STEREO
11
Heavy winds : TUBAS
12
Maternally related : ENATE
13
Colleague of Freud : ADLER
14
Encountered : MET
15
Relatives of bobolinks : ORIOLES
16
Only African-American to win an Oscar, Tony and Emmy for acting : VIOLADAVIS
17
Relevant, legally : ADREM
18
With 47-Down, driver's question : NEEDA
22
"Say cheese!" : SMILE
27
County name in 30 states : WASHINGTON
32
House speaker after Boehner : RYAN
36
Sidesplitter : HOOT
38
___ platter : PUPU
39
"Runaway" singer Shannon, 1961 : DEL
41
"I'm off" : LATER
43
"My dear man" : SIR
44
Novelist Patchett : ANN
45
Fastball, in baseball slang : GAS
47
See 18-Down : RIDE
48
Sharp : KEEN
49
Pick up : NAB
50
Back : AGO
51
Unaccompanied : LONE
52
Company name ender after "&" : SONS
53
First U.S. city to host the Olympics : STLOUIS
57
"Baseball" documentarian Burns : KEN
58
Half a step? : CHA
59
What ballplayers look forward to after playing on the road : HOMESTANDS
61
Sustained : FED
62
Cartoon collectible : CEL
64
Mortar carrier : HOD
65
Hampton ___ : INN
66
Words of confidence : ICAN
67
Court plea, briefly : NOLO
68
Opera set in 1800 Rome : TOSCA
69
Not even close? : AFAR
70
Floor piece : TILE
71
German hunting dog : WEIMARANER
74
1904 Jack London novel : THESEAWOLF
75
Your, to Yves : TES
76
Caste member : ANT
78
State with five teams in the 84-Across: Abbr. : CAL
79
Double-platinum album for Steely Dan : AJA
80
Mythological bird : ROC
81
Harriet Beecher Stowe novel subtitled "A Tale of the Great Dismal Swamp" : DRED
82
Lining up against : ANTI
84
Ways of doing things, for short : MOS
86
Numerical prefix : OCTA
88
Parlor pieces : SETTEES
91
Bankrupts : RUINS
93
Points (to) : REFERS
94
See 46-Across : ARARAT
95
Actress Ryder : WINONA
96
Admits : LETSIN
98
Charlotte ___ (Caribbean capital) : AMALIE
99
Proffer : RENDER
100
Greek island where Pythagoras and Epicurus were born : SAMOS
101
Delivery that's usually expected : TWINS
102
Prop for a lion tamer : STOOL
103
Insurance giant : AETNA
104
Some calls on a police hotline : LEADS
106
Kind of chips you shouldn't eat : PAINT
111
Before being outed, for short : ANON
113
H.S. study : SCI
115
Native Oklahoman : OTO

Answer summary: 4 unique to this puzzle, 2 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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