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# MATCHING WITS

### New York Times, Sunday, June 30, 2013

 Author: Alex Vratsanos and Jeff Chen Editor: Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
136/13/20116/28/20163
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
3122212
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.59020
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
707/5/20105/29/201741
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
2064111667
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.633132

## This puzzle:

Rows: 21, Columns: 21 Words: 134, Blocks: 92 Missing: {JQ} This is puzzle # 5 for Mr. Vratsanos. This is puzzle # 15 for Mr. Chen. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Constructor notes: Jeff: Alex came to me with the idea of a giant M and W made of black squares, and I thought it was clever. However, he had been working with a 15x grid which made for an extremely challenging layout. After playing with it for a while, I felt like it was going to result in too many three-letter words and too much compromise in the fill.

I suggested going to a 21x which would be somewhat more flexible plus it would give us a bigger palette with which to work. It proved to be slightly easier than a 15x but was still extremely challenging. The biggest difficulty was finding a way to place enough M-W theme answers without constraining the grid so much that the surrounding fill would be badly compromised. Luckily, we came upon the crossing pattern of MINUTE WALTZ, MIRACLE WORKER, MONEYS WORTH, and MINIMUM WAGE; a small miracle.

It ended up taking us several months of back and forth iterations before we settled upon the final grid. There were many places we had to work and rework in order to attain a reasonable fill we were both happy with. Quite a challenge!

JimH notes: Vertical theme answers are each two words starting with M and W. Blocks form an M at the top of the grid and a W at the bottom.
 1G 2M 3A 4T 5G 6M 7C 8S 9H E U R E 10E 11R 12M 13A 14T 15H 16O 17M 18L O O T 19S 20A N D R E 21S O O T 22R E P O 23A D L E R 24M O D E S 25P L U S 26I R A N 27M E D E A 28S A Y A H 29T O T E 30M P O L E 31O R A L S 32W R I 33T E 34H A I L E 35Y 36A R N S 37A 38B A 39R O S 40S I 41R E S 42I S T 43W I 44K 45I 46M O T 47T O T H E 48M A X 49T W O 50F A C E D 51P O E 52M S 53E R I C 54A D O 55A R E N A 56E Z R A 57M 58M E 59S L 60A V 61R 62O O F 63D E S K 64M I N 65U T E W A 66L T Z 67A 68M 69A 70S 71I 72M I N 73K I W I 74E H S 75R A R E 76C 77H 78I N A 79I 80T E 81O N 82T O 83S E L M A 84T A N G R 85A M S 86A R G O N 87A 88U T 89T O M 90S T E W 91M U K 92L U K 93B E T T E 94W R Y 95C H 96A S M 97E N E 98R O 99H E A 100T H 101P 102E S O S 103W 104E N T R O G 105U E 106M O I 107S 108T 109O T T O S 110A L T I 111A G R A 112B O S O M 113S H A P E 114G A T E 115S A D R 116A N K L E 117T A S E R 118E N O S 119T N U T 120T I E O N 121N Y E T 122H E Y S
© 2013, The New York TimesNo. 0630 ( 23,245 )
 Across Down 1. Coll. senior's exam : GMAT5. Some S.U.V.'s : GMCS9. 1/24 of un jour : HEURE10. ___ Franklin, Grammy-nominated gospel/R&B singer : ERMA14. First name in footwear : THOM18. Robs : LOOTS20. Onetime wrestling great ___ the Giant : ANDRE21. Shade of black : SOOT22. Forced return? : REPO23. Woman in Conan Doyle's "A Scandal in Bohemia" : ADLER24. Most common elements : MODES25. Asset : PLUS26. Target of 2006 United Nations sanctions : IRAN27. Euripides play : MEDEA28. Opening words? : SAYAH29. Heads of a Northwest tribe? : TOTEMPOLE31. Endings of some courses : ORALS32. Compose : WRITE34. ___ Selassie : HAILE35. What whalers may bring back : YARNS37. "Defending liberty, pursuing justice" org. : ABA39. Carlo ___ wine : ROSSI41. Go kicking and screaming : RESIST43. Collaborative Web site : WIKI46. Bon ___ : MOT47. Fully : TOTHEMAX49. Duplicitous : TWOFACED51. They may be epic : POEMS53. Actor Roberts : ERIC54. Trouble : ADO55. The Superdome, e.g. : ARENA56. Biblical figure whose name means "help" : EZRA57. ___ de Pompadour (figure in Fr. history) : MME59. Many a person behind the Iron Curtain : SLAV61. Dome, e.g. : ROOF63. Secretary, e.g. : DESK64. Piece longer than its name suggests : MINUTEWALTZ67. Second of a Latin trio : AMAS71. Gang member's "O.K." before a job : IMIN73. Bird or fruit : KIWI74. Canadian interjections : EHS75. Like a sighting of an ivory-billed woodpecker : RARE76. Where 84-Across were invented : CHINA79. Suffix with favor : ITE81. Catching ___ : ONTO83. Seat of Dallas County, Ala. : SELMA84. Seven-piece puzzles : TANGRAMS86. Adventurer of Greek myth : ARGONAUT89. Big gobbler : TOM90. Dish that may be ladled : STEW91. Eskimo boot : MUKLUK93. Hollywood legend Davis : BETTE94. Crooked : WRY95. Bridge spot : CHASM97. It has 31 días : ENERO99. ___ bar (Hershey product) : HEATH101. Some dinero : PESOS103. Disobeyed orders, say : WENTROGUE106. Dewy : MOIST109. Four Holy Roman emperors : OTTOS110. Certain singers : ALTI111. Noted mausoleum site : AGRA112. ___ buddy : BOSOM113. Women's Health competitor : SHAPE114. Terminal information : GATE115. Baghdad's ___ City : SADR116. ___-length : ANKLE117. You may be shocked by it : TASER118. Baseball's Slaughter : ENOS119. Carpentry fastener : TNUT120. Affix, in a way : TIEON121. Word before and after "Tovarich" in a "Doctor Zhivago" number : NYET122. Informal greetings : HEYS 1. Columbus's home : GENOA2. "Hoochie Coochie Man" singer : MUDDYWATERS3. In ___ (late, in law) : ARREAR4. They may be shot at basketball games : TEESHIRTS5. Star quality : GLAMOR6. West Point subject : MODERNWARFARE7. Frigid : COLDASICE8. 1943 penny composition : STEEL9. The Three Stooges, e.g. : HAMS10. Clairvoyant's hurdle : ESPTEST11. Caramel candy brand : ROLO12. Shooting off more : MOUTHIER13. Flummoxed : ATSEA14. Like porn films : TRIPLEX15. Purple Heart recipients, e.g. : HEROES16. It's worn by many Libras : OPAL17. Bang for one's buck : MONEYSWORTH19. Many S.A. women : SRAS30. 1962 movie for which Anne Bancroft and Patty Duke won Oscars, with "The" : MIRACLEWORKER33. Likewise : TOO36. ___ Z : ATO37. Jazzed : AMPED38. Still dripping? : BOOZE40. Gloss : SHEEN42. "___ be a real shame ..." : ITD44. "Toy Story 3" role for Michael Keaton : KEN45. Muckraker Tarbell : IDA48. Peruvian volcano El ___ : MISTI50. ___ Schwarz : FAO52. Euphemism used often on "The Newlywed Game" : MAKINGWHOOPEE54. Frank Sinatra's second : AVA57. Year the iPod came out : MMI58. Money raised by members of Congress? : MINIMUMWAGE60. Stupefying : AWING62. 72 in a six-pack, often: Abbr. : OZS65. Don Ho's instrument, informally : UKE66. Sierra ___ : LEONE68. Dewar's product : MALTWHISKEY69. Medieval museum exhibit : ARMOR70. Lowdown : SEAMY72. Nick, maybe : MAR76. They're beside the point: Abbr. : CTS77. Magician's prop : HAT78. Blissed out : INECSTASY80. Tut's relative : TSK82. Racing vehicle : TOBOGGAN83. Where one might be in the hot seat? : STEAMBATH85. Mornings, for short : AMS86. Some baby sitters : AUNTIES87. Fundamentally : ATHEART88. Beehive State native : UTE92. Gave for a time : LENTTO96. Posit : ASSERT98. Where one might be in the hot seat? : ROAST100. Bimetallic Canadian coin : TOONIE101. Writing on the Wall? : POST102. A Coen brother : ETHAN104. Joie de vivre : ELAN105. Language of Lahore : URDU107. They're always done by one : SOLOS108. Feds : TMEN

Answer summary: 7 unique to this puzzle, 4 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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