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PROVING THEM WRONG

New York Times, Sunday, June 3, 2018

Author: David J. Kahn
Editor: Will Shortz
David J. Kahn
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
1793/15/19946/3/20185
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
4451222571326
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.5514190

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 the other sports gave ... more
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 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! – I liked the a-ha ... more
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! – 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 Down
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
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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