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IF THE SPIRIT MOVES YOU

New York Times, Sunday, July 16, 2017

Author:
Andrea Carla Michaels and Pete Muller
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
626/12/200012/17/201834
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
64392200
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.63217
Andrea Carla Michaels
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
184/18/20067/16/20177
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
6042501
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.60250
Pete Muller

This puzzle:

Rows: 21, Columns: 21 Words: 140, Blocks: 72 Missing: {Q} This is puzzle # 57 for Ms. Michaels. This is puzzle # 18 for Mr. Muller. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Constructor notes:
ACME: Back in 2010 I met Pete, and inspired by his Jack in the box puzzle, came up with the idea ORDERSAROUNDOFDRINKS 21 and in six quadrants have a drink name in circles (TOMCOLLINS, ... read more

ACME: Back in 2010 I met Pete, and inspired by his Jack in the box puzzle, came up with the idea ORDERSAROUNDOFDRINKS 21 and in six quadrants have a drink name in circles (TOMCOLLINS, VODKATONIC, etc). Pete thought this could work: "DRINKSALLAROUND 15 [Generous patron's offer and a clue to this puzzle's theme] or AROUNDOFDRINKS 14 for a 20x20 ... could get cute and put OLIVE on top of the MARTINI circle etc. ..." and thus started a 50 email exchange, countless grids, almost seven year odyssey towards a Sunday puzzle!

Pete will tell you I finally cornered him at the 2017 ACPT and said next grid you send me, I'm filling it, cluing it and NO MORE IMPROVEMENTS! (He is a multi-talented creative genius and kept thinking he could do better!)

(response from Pete: "Andrea is too kind to mention that after she had clued the grid I sent her, I found something I couldn't live with it and redid it one more time ...so she had to clue it twice!")

Because Pete got the reveal in the puzzle (crossing with COCKTAILLOUNGES!) we also needed to come up with a title, which of course, as a namer, is my favorite part of constructing!

We needed drinks with 4 8 and 12 letters to make it work... It's a little ironic as I have never been a drinker and had never even heard of a TIAMARIA nor PINKLADY, but I love it! Bottoms up! Skoal! CHEERS and all that!

PETE: My last published NY Times puzzle was in 2013, the year after I started doing the MMMM (Muller Monthly Music Meta). Thirteen crosswords a year is right at the limit of what I can create, so I reluctantly had to stop submitting puzzles to other venues.

Andrea had invited me to collaborate with her on this idea seven years ago (!), and I had started in on it but ultimately gave up because I didn't love the fill enough. I guess sometimes I can be overly picky (Andrea liked some of the grids I came up with just fine.) She gently sent regular reminders to me and encouraged me to keep at it. I promised her that I would definitely get to it within a year. That was in 2015.

I studiously avoided Andrea at the 2016 ACPT, but she managed to track me down anyway and extract another promise that I would finish within a year. Only an extra year late, and seven years after we originally started, I took another shot at a collection of theme entries that we liked, and made it a lot better. Andrea did almost all the cluing (I changed a handful of her clues).

Hope you like it!

I do miss having crosswords in the Times and hope to find time to start submitting a puzzle or two per year going forward.

Jeff Chen notes:
Acme and I hung out at ACPT years ago, catching up, when she suddenly smacked me. (I get that a lot.) One of my puzzles had just run, scooping her and Pete of an idea they had been working ... read more

Acme and I hung out at ACPT years ago, catching up, when she suddenly smacked me. (I get that a lot.) One of my puzzles had just run, scooping her and Pete of an idea they had been working on. Neat to finally see it finished and in print. I appreciate that Will spread them out, so solvers got a chance to forget mine.

(Between them, there was another one in a similar vein, but it didn't use the same revealer.)

I liked the visual aspect of this one, the circled-up drinks looking a bit like bubbles in champagne. Fun to get a lot of variety, from a DIRTY MARTINI to a COSMOPOLITAN to a PINK LADY. Very upscale!

I'm more of a BEER guy myself, so, on the one hand, it was nice to get that and WINE too. But on the other, they weren't nearly as cool as the long drinks forming big bubbles. Would have been great to get two other mixed drinks to make the set tighter.

So, so difficult to fill around those circled-up drinks. Any time you fix letters in place, you create inflexibility for yourself. And to set so many letters in place right next to each other is nutso. Acme and Pete did well to put black squares in the middle of the biggest drinks, absolutely crucial to filling around COSMOPOLITAN. Still, they ended up with a FLOR, oddball ALARUM, and a GOW. Hmm.

That's not too bad, but there are similar costs throughout the rest of the puzzle. As if the six circled-up drinks weren't hard enough, putting in DRINKS ALL AROUND and COCKTAIL LOUNGES was bound to cause serious pain points. Not surprising to see some oof-worthy BETO, DUC crossing DORR, TO SAM, HIED right where those two long themers cross. And ORLE is one of those Maleskan-era words I'd like to see elevated to "puzzle-killer" status.

I like seeing different implementations of a similar seed idea. The appearance of bubbles was cool. However, I tired of the experience maybe half way through — I wonder if it would have been better as a 15x puzzle with maybe three or four mixed drinks. Tough though, as that would have given Acme and Pete even less real estate to work with. The freedom of the huge Sunday 21x21 palette can be awfully tempting for constructors.

1
O
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L
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A
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V
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P
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J
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N
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E
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B
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P
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O
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H
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A
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N
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D
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W
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Y
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A
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Y
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D
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G
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D
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K
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L
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F
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B
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D
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W
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E
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A
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R
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K
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I
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G
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F
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B
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F
O
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O
L
E
G
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D
O
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O
L
A
R
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A
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D
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M
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W
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H
57
F
U
L
58
S
59
H
A
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N
A
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C
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E
X
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C
O
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K
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T
A
I
L
L
O
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G
E
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N
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F
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T
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W
E
L
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D
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C
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N
70
E
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R
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W
A
L
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Z
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A
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A
D
A
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K
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N
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W
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M
O
A
N
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I
V
E
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P
L
A
Y
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R
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A
N
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F
O
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N
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M
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C
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A
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C
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I
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E
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D
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C
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I
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M
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A
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W
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U
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C
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D
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L
E
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M
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N
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V
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© 2017, The New York TimesNo. 0716 ( 24,722 )
Across
1
Five Norwegian kings : OLAVS
6
Nighty-night wear : PJS
9
Bird bills : NEBS
13
Fancy-schmancy : POSH
17
Bottoms : NADIRS
19
O.K., in Okinawa : HAI
20
First name in courtroom fiction : ERLE
21
Bee-fitting? : APIAN
23
Overcome an embarrassment : LIVEITDOWN
25
Carolina ___ : WREN
26
Kind of question : YESNO
27
Med. school subject : ANAT
28
Traditional Chinese forces : YINANDYANG
30
Male duck : DRAKE
31
Author Anaïs : NIN
32
ROFL alternative : LMAO
33
Palm piece : FROND
34
Polish rolls : BIALYS
35
Get off at Grand Central, say : DETRAIN
37
Like most things in "Ripley's Believe It or Not!" : WEIRD
38
Bring home the bacon : EARN
39
Nary ___ : AONE
40
Make brighter, as a fading tattoo : REINK
41
Mufflers and such : KNITTING
45
"Anyhoo," e.g. : SEGUE
47
Architect Gehry : FRANK
48
"Thanks ___ God!" : BETO
49
One challenged by a sentry : FOE
50
Couturier Cassini : OLEG
51
U.S. rebellion leader of 1841-42 : DORR
52
Alternative to wind : SOLAR
54
Rhett Butler's final two words : ADAMN
56
Like some thinking : WISHFUL
58
"My ___" (1979 hit by the Knack) : SHARONA
60
Nail polish brand : CUTEX
61
Places to get looped : COCKTAILLOUNGES
64
As a joke : INFUN
67
Dried (off) : TOWELED
68
"Hidden Figures" actor : COSTNER
72
One of 16 works by Brahms : WALTZ
73
Roasted: Sp. : ASADA
74
Slept with, biblically : KNEW
76
Kvetch : MOAN
77
"___ Just Seen a Face" (Beatles tune) : IVE
78
DVD button : PLAY
79
___ an independent (eschewed the party label) : RANAS
81
Geneva and Beirut : FONTS
82
"Miss Julie" opera composer, 1965 : NEDROREM
85
19th-century French landscapist : COROT
86
Weisshorn and others : ALPS
87
"Beowulf" and others : EPOS
88
Bottle for oil or vinegar : CRUET
89
Excuse for not turning in homework : ILOSTIT
92
Nursery rhyme destination : STIVES
95
Ersatz : PHONY
96
Quarrel (with) : SPAR
97
Singer DiFranco : ANI
98
Actor Gillen of "Game of Thrones" : AIDAN
99
What you should do "if symptoms persist" : SEEADOCTOR
101
Artist who designed costumes for "Ben-Hur" : ERTE
102
Twosomes : ITEMS
103
12.01, for carbon: Abbr. : ATWT
104
Ignorant : UNEDUCATED
106
Hang : DRAPE
107
Fifth-century pope known as "the Great" : LEOI
108
Son of, in Arabic names : IBN
109
Company lover? : MISERY
110
Captain von Trapp's betrothed : ELSA
111
Met soprano Berger : ERNA
112
Cpl., e.g. : NCO
113
Captain Nemo's creator : VERNE
Down
1
Ashore : ONLAND
2
Actress Kazan of "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" : LAINIE
3
Reasons to say yes : ADVANTAGES
4
Word before Cong or Minh : VIET
5
Mister, in New Delhi : SRI
6
45 player : PHONO
7
Resident of Tatooine in "Star Wars" : JAWA
8
It's Irish for "We Ourselves" : SINNFEIN
9
Orange avenue in Monopoly : NEWYORK
10
Picking up a quart of milk, say : ERRAND
11
Recipe direction : BLEND
12
Hong Kong's Hang ___ Index : SENG
13
Nice thing to hit : PAYDIRT
14
Having an effect : OPERANT
15
Rope fiber : SISAL
16
It might absorb a blow : HANKY
18
Frustrate : STYMIE
22
Discouraging words : NOES
24
Gorilla watcher Fossey : DIAN
29
"It's on me!" ... or a hint to this puzzle's circled letters : DRINKSALLAROUND
32
Shipping route : LANE
34
Scott of "Joanie Loves Chachi" : BAIO
36
Partially edited version of a movie : ROUGHCUT
37
Erodes : WEARSAWAY
38
Bedazzles : ENTRANCES
40
Elementary school trio, briefly : RRR
41
Actor Reeves : KEANU
42
"___ first ..." : IFAT
43
Gold rush city of 1899 : NOME
44
Boomers' offspring : GENX
45
Plant : SOW
46
Bush or Clinton, collegiately : ELI
47
Oral tradition : FOLKTALES
48
Fly-fisher's line joiner : BLOODKNOT
51
French nobleman : DUC
53
Shield border : ORLE
54
Whizzes : ACES
55
Bunny chasers? : DUSTMOPS
57
1970s TV cool dude, with "the" : FONZ
59
Rushed : HIED
62
"Life According ___" (Emmy-winning documentary) : TOSAM
63
Pai ___ (Chinese gambling game) : GOW
64
"Victory!" : IWIN
65
Place to pray : NAVE
66
Ran off : FLED
69
Awful idea : NONSTARTER
70
No longer fast? : EAT
71
Hosp. staffers : RNS
75
D.C. athlete : NAT
78
Whizzes : PROS
80
Dealer's query : AREYOUIN
81
Spanish bloom : FLOR
83
Overhauls : REVAMPS
84
Area far from port : OPENSEA
85
Zagreb's country : CROATIA
86
Old-style warning : ALARUM
88
Mull over : CHEWON
89
Apple debut of 2001 : IPOD
90
Summer position for a college student : INTERN
91
Stereotypical Deadhead wear : TIEDYE
92
Put into words : SAID
93
Concentration, to a British chemist : TITRE
94
As good as it gets : IDEAL
95
Lose steam, with "out" : PETER
96
Kind of pad : STENO
99
Presidents' Day event : SALE
100
"Mad Money" network : CNBC
101
Assuage : EASE
105
Western ___ (college course, informally) : CIV

Answer summary: 6 unique to this puzzle, 10 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

Found bugs or have suggestions?