It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker. Please consider supporting our site by purchasing an account.

THE SHORT FORM

New York Times, Sunday, July 19, 2015

Author: Tom McCoy
Editor: Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
3111/14/20139/2/20180
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
16815100
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.61352
Tom McCoy

This puzzle:

Rows: 21, Columns: 21 Words: 136, Blocks: 68 Missing: {Z} This is puzzle # 13 for Mr. McCoy. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Tom McCoy notes: The original clue for POP DENSITY was [The stupidity of a cereal mascot?]. Although I like the new clue better, I thought I should mention the change so that my dad would not take umbrage at the answer. ... more
Tom McCoy notes:

The original clue for POP DENSITY was [The stupidity of a cereal mascot?]. Although I like the new clue better, I thought I should mention the change so that my dad would not take umbrage at the answer.

Originally, the title was PULLING OUT ALL THE STOPS, but I think the name change was a good move because some non-theme entries (like AMTS) should still have periods in them.

Thanks to Jim Wood, whose lecture on "number one" inspired the theme (which started with 112-Across).

Jeff Chen notes: Apt title, THE SHORT FORM hinting at themers using abbreviations as regular words. There's also an insider's nod here, as constructors often depend on quirky abbreviations to get them out of jams. Is CENT ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

Apt title, THE SHORT FORM hinting at themers using abbreviations as regular words.

Amaranth, from the Greek "amaranton," meaning "unwilting"

There's also an insider's nod here, as constructors often depend on quirky abbreviations to get them out of jams. Is CENT a common abbreviation for century? SING for singular? Not sure, but these two remind me of how many times I've struggled, trying to figure out if something like ISS for issue is passable.

I often like what Tom does with his long fill, and entries like IM OUTTA HERE and HANG IN THERE (symmetrically placed!) are much appreciated. ALL IS LOST and HARRUMPHS are entertaining as well.

Today's grid is a continuation of Will's experiment, asking constructors to try using lower word counts. Now that we've seen quite a few of these lower word count Sundays, I'm starting to see some patterns. One that I'm not fond of is a glut of phrases containing prepositions — STEPS UP, THIN OUT, TRUSS UP, TUNING UP, SNEAK OUT, ICE IN, SIDE ON, etc. While these are fine entries, they're only neutral to me, taking up valuable real estate.

Why is this? Part of it is because prepositions like ON, IN, AT contain common letters. Another part is that they exhibit a useful vowel-consonant alternation, often useful in grid filling. So when the grid challenge gets tougher, these guys can help out a lot.

In general, I like the low word count Sunday grids when that allows the constructor to work in more stellar long fill. If it means that there's more neutral long stuff, I'd much rather people stay at the 140 word maximum and focus on using their long slots wisely.

I did enjoy seeing some of Tom's vibe come out, with the clue for QUARKS — I had forgotten that the word was taken from James Joyce. Neat when science and literature mesh. And although I didn't know exactly what an NTUPLE was, I enjoyed learning a little more math. And for you non-techie types, there's a neat piece of trivia in that the AMARANTH symbolizes immortality. Fun to learn something new.

1
S
2
A
3
H
4
I
5
B
6
T
7
E
8
M
9
P
10
G
11
A
12
T
13
E
14
A
15
S
16
H
17
E
18
N
19
I
R
A
Q
I
20
H
A
I
L
21
A
M
U
R
22
S
T
A
L
E
23
F
I
R
S
T
24
P
E
R
S
O
25
N
S
I
N
G
26
S
E
N
S
E
27
T
A
R
28
T
A
K
E
T
W
O
29
L
I
S
30
U
R
G
E
D
31
U
32
S
E
R
I
D
S
33
N
34
A
A
N
35
O
M
N
I
36
A
37
D
M
I
R
E
S
38
D
O
N
T
G
39
I
V
E
A
N
40
I
41
N
42
P
O
P
D
E
N
S
43
I
44
T
Y
45
D
E
U
C
E
46
T
S
E
47
E
T
H
E
R
S
48
C
H
A
49
T
S
50
P
I
N
51
C
52
H
H
I
T
53
S
O
S
O
54
H
E
I
N
O
U
55
S
56
A
R
E
N
T
57
N
58
O
59
R
A
I
N
60
O
C
T
61
J
62
A
N
E
R
O
E
63
E
64
L
65
I
66
T
U
R
N
O
67
F
T
H
E
68
C
E
N
T
69
E
N
D
70
D
E
M
71
O
T
E
D
72
U
A
R
73
P
R
E
Y
O
74
N
75
E
M
O
T
E
76
T
R
U
77
S
S
U
P
78
T
79
A
80
F
81
T
82
N
E
U
T
R
83
A
84
L
85
S
86
L
E
T
U
S
87
P
88
A
U
L
I
E
89
I
N
T
90
T
O
N
91
N
E
92
A
P
T
93
C
O
M
P
L
E
X
94
C
U
T
95
Q
96
U
I
T
E
A
F
97
I
G
98
O
R
A
L
I
S
T
99
A
U
N
T
100
A
M
T
S
101
C
102
E
N
T
R
E
S
103
P
104
S
H
A
W
105
I
K
E
106
A
107
R
A
L
S
E
A
108
L
109
O
110
P
111
O
T
E
R
I
112
L
O
O
113
K
O
U
T
F
O
R
N
114
O
O
N
E
115
L
A
R
K
S
116
L
U
N
A
117
N
E
I
L
118
T
O
S
C
A
119
O
B
E
S
E
120
S
T
E
T
121
E
R
N
E
122
H
O
T
E
L
© 2015, The New York TimesNo. 0719 ( 23,994 )
Across Down
1. Polite Indian form of address : SAHIB
6. Sub (for) : TEMP
10. Ending for many a scandal : GATE
14. Wan : ASHEN
19. Saudi neighbor : IRAQI
20. Warmly welcome : HAIL
21. Border river between China and Russia : AMUR
22. Hackneyed : STALE
23. "Belt it out, Adam!"? : FIRSTPERSONSING
26. Something "common" that's not always so common : SENSE
27. Road component : TAR
28. Another shot : TAKETWO
29. Fleur-de-___ : LIS
30. Advocated, as caution : URGED
31. Log-in requirements : USERIDS
33. Delhi bread : NAAN
35. 1970s-'80s Dodge : OMNI
36. Thinks highly of : ADMIRES
38. "I forbid you from providing special access"? : DONTGIVEANIN
42. Your father's blockheadedness? : POPDENSITY
45. It comes between ads : DEUCE
46. Mao ___-tung : TSE
47. Liquids that burn easily : ETHERS
48. A forum is for 'em : CHATS
50. Go to bat for someone : PINCHHIT
53. Middling : SOSO
54. Reprehensible : HEINOUS
56. "___ you embarrassed?" : ARENT
57. Dry forecast : NORAIN
60. Thanksgiving mo. in Canada : OCT
61. Female counterpart of John Doe : JANEROE
63. One of the Mannings : ELI
66. Coin flip with a penny? : TURNOFTHECENT
69. Heel : END
70. Sent down the ladder : DEMOTED
72. Old Mideast inits. : UAR
73. Target for food : PREYON
75. Wear one's heart on one's sleeve : EMOTE
76. Bind tightly : TRUSSUP
78. Ohio senator who was one of J.F.K.'s eight "Profiles in Courage" : TAFT
82. Beige and ecru : NEUTRALS
86. Often-contracted phrase : LETUS
87. Title parrot in a 1998 film : PAULIE
89. Football stat: Abbr. : INT
90. 1,000 kilograms : TONNE
92. Emotional problem that is surprisingly fitting? : APTCOMPLEX
94. Prepared some amazing Mediterranean fruit? : CUTQUITEAFIG
98. Deaf person who uses speech and lip-reading : ORALIST
99. Hestia, to Artemis : AUNT
100. 2 and 3 tsps., e.g. : AMTS
101. Middles, in Middlesbrough : CENTRES
103. "Oh, come on!" : PSHAW
105. Old White House nickname : IKE
106. Body that's a lot thinner than it used to be : ARALSEA
108. With 7-Down, like some rabbits : LOP
111. Cheri of "S.N.L." : OTERI
112. Do a bad job as a watchman? : LOOKOUTFORNOONE
115. Fun times : LARKS
116. Coney Island's ___ Park : LUNA
117. Astrophysicist ___ deGrasse Tyson : NEIL
118. Source of "Vissi d'arte" : TOSCA
119. Scale-busting : OBESE
120. Latin for "let it stand" : STET
121. Shore bird : ERNE
122. Travelocity option : HOTEL
1. Go (through) : SIFT
2. "Vissi d'arte," e.g. : ARIA
3. Openly expresses disapproval : HARRUMPHS
4. 100 things, on average : IQS
5. More resentful : BITTERER
6. Rodin sculpture of a couple : THEKISS
7. See 108-Across : EARED
8. Keeps moist, as vegetables in a grocery store : MISTS
9. It's driven through something driven : PLOW
10. Really fun time : GAS
11. Question asked breathlessly at a meeting : AMILATE
12. Making a good pitch? : TUNINGUP
13. Work units : ERGS
14. Take on : ASSUME
15. Breastbones : STERNA
16. "Keep up the fight" : HANGINTHERE
17. Alternatively : ELSE
18. Beggary : NEED
24. Alternatives to commas, informally : PARENS
25. Don't do it : NONO
32. Like a profile picture : SIDEON
34. Plus other things of that sort : ANDSUCH
35. Baker : OVEN
36. Tarzan's adopters : APES
37. Inflict upon : DOTO
38. Cannon who married Cary Grant : DYAN
39. Here, in Haiti : ICI
40. Knows about : ISINON
41. Earned : NETTED
43. Strand because of cold weather, say : ICEIN
44. Scatter : THINOUT
49. "You're right, though I wish you weren't" : TOOTRUE
51. One of 100 in "The Divine Comedy" : CANTO
52. Domain of Charles V: Abbr. : HRE
54. Herculean : HARD
55. Volunteers : STEPSUP
58. Staple of the fur trade in the 1700s-1800s : OTTER
59. Lament : RUE
61. Wrangler, for one : JEEP
62. ___ old thing : ANY
63. Paradisiacal : EDENIC
64. Old frozen dinner brand : LEMENU
65. "Later!" : IMOUTTAHERE
67. Very liberal : FARLEFT
68. Piece of the pie : CRUST
71. The "O" in Ogden Nash's alphabet of baseball players : OTT
74. Math set with an unspecified number of elements : NTUPLE
77. ___ beetle : STAG
79. "We're done for" : ALLISLOST
80. Expressions of outrage : FIES
81. Class work : TEXT
83. Engaged in an activity : ATIT
84. Fate : LOT
85. Leave stealthily : SNEAKOUT
87. One who comes with baggage : PORTER
88. Flower that symbolizes immortality : AMARANTH
91. Skeptic's challenge : NAMEONE
93. Wii, e.g. : CONSOLE
95. Physics particles named after a James Joyce coinage : QUARKS
96. Injudicious : UNWISE
97. Golfer Aoki : ISAO
101. Do the dishes? : CATER
102. Like some characters in "The Hobbit" : ELFIN
103. Common khakis go-with : POLO
104. Try : STAB
105. Evils : ILLS
107. Character seen in "The Hobbit" : RUNE
109. Formerly : ONCE
110. Ring out : PEAL
113. Kit ___ bar : KAT
114. Game-winning row : OOO

Answer summary: 17 unique to this puzzle, 2 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

Found bugs or have suggestions?