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THE LONG AND WINDING ROAD

New York Times, Sunday, July 2, 2017

Author:
Patrick Blindauer
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
657/21/200510/17/201821
SunMonTueWedThuFriSatVariety
14561317118
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.59252
Patrick Blindauer

This puzzle:

Rows: 21, Columns: 21 Words: 142, Blocks: 99 Missing: {JQ} Spans: 2 This is puzzle # 64 for Mr. Blindauer. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Notepad: In the print version of this puzzle, the black squares that form a continuous path from the left to right edges of the grid are instead shaded gray. When the puzzle is done, read the letters along this path to get another example of the theme.
Patrick Blindauer notes:
This started out quite differently, so big thanks to Will and Joel for bringing more cohesion to the theme and solving some of the technical difficulties it presented. I've been a Beatles ... read more

This started out quite differently, so big thanks to Will and Joel for bringing more cohesion to the theme and solving some of the technical difficulties it presented. I've been a Beatles fan for a long time; I remember putting "I Want to Hold Your Hand" on the mixtape I made for an early crush, and this arrangement of "Blackbird/I Will" is a personal favorite. Hopefully, some of this puzzle's theme answers will leave solvers humming here, there, and everywhere.

For those interested in my other projects, I write a weekly, subscription-based puzzle called "Piece of Cake Crosswords," and I recently announced my upcoming Broadway Puzzlefest, which is an interconnected set of crosswords with a final answer. I also contribute to the American Values Crossword Club and Crosswords With Friends, for those who like lots of pop culture in their puzzles. Of course, nothing compares to the cachet of the New York Times Sunday puzzle. I hope solvers enjoy the ride.

Jeff Chen notes:
What a great first impression! Love the visual of that 'long and winding road' wending its way through the grid, separating it into two pieces. I think this is just a tribute ... read more

What a great first impression! Love the visual of that "long and winding road" wending its way through the grid, separating it into two pieces.

I think this is just a tribute puzzle, listing out an assortment of Beatles songs, though? I strained for a long time to figure out what connected the themers — were they all car-related, which would tie to the hidden DRIVE MY CAR (see below)? Nope. Maybe all songs that talk about wandering? Nope.

Hmm, a shame. This ended up feeling way too loose, simply whatever six (seven, actually) Beatles songs could fit.

There are some technical merits. I did like many of the finds Patrick used to hide the DRIVE MY CAR letters. How could CLE be Harrison's successor? It's CLE(V)ELAND! The African antelope does some work today, hiding the back end of CLEVELAND. MELAN(C)HOLY was another neat discovery.

Others didn't work nearly as well for me, though. It took me forever to find the final R in DRIVE MY CAR because NEWS worked reasonably well for [Old movie theater lead-ins]. NEWS can be plural, right?

And other letters didn't go all the way through, like the Y of ABBAC(Y) dead-ending in the path. That's fine since it ran into a corner of the wall, but it's not nearly as fun as CLE(V)ELAND.

There were also a ton of compromises in the grid. I stopped counting after getting a bunch of SST, ETATS, AMO, LTRS, GDS, DRT, IMONA, etc., but it felt like they were strewn all over the puzzle. Granted, the construction is difficult — a bunch of long answers must be used, adjacent to the straightaways of the path — but when you fill those with stuff like GALLANTS, it's a suboptimal solving experience.

Patrick is one of the most creative constructors out there, and I loved the artistic value of the grid. Unique, fun, beautiful. I had many problems with the execution, though.

Jim Horne notes:

I'm old enough to appreciate any Beatles theme. Do check out Patrick's "this arrangement" link in his notes.

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© 2017, The New York TimesNo. 0702 ( 24,708 )
Across
1
Major tenant of Rockefeller Center : NBCTV
6
"Young Frankenstein" role : IGOR
10
Theater drop : SCRIM
15
Nuke : ZAP
18
CBS's "Kate & ___" : ALLIE
19
Turner of "Peyton Place" : LANA
20
Bad thing to bring one's family : SHAME
21
Wealthy: Sp. : RICO
22
"With the Beatles" song written by Smokey Robinson : YOUREALLYGOTAHOLDONME
26
In all seriousness : SOBERLY
27
Gen ___ : XER
28
Emulated the tortoise and hare : RANARACE
29
One of seven in the Book of Revelation : SEAL
31
Ladies' men, in older usage : GALLANTS
33
Gulf state: Abbr. : ALA
36
Monastery head's jurisdiction : ABBACY
39
Domesticate : TAME
43
Intimate : HINTAT
47
Zombie or flaming volcano : DRINK
48
"Yuck!" : FEH
51
Part of U.N.L.V. : LAS
52
"Let's go!," in Baja : ANDALE
53
Meditation leader : YOGI
54
Altar exchange : IDOS
56
Bus. need that most lemonade stands don't have : LIC
57
Some Japanese watches : SEIKOS
58
Big ___ (some sandwiches) : MACS
59
Edgar in "King Lear," e.g. : EXILE
60
It might help you get to Carnegie Hall, for short : MTA
61
Riga resident : LETT
62
Garden party? : ADAM
63
Record shop stock : VINYL
64
Talk, talk, talk : YAP
65
"The Time Machine" race : ELOI
67
Something you might lose a little sleep over?: Abbr. : DST
68
Delany or Carvey : DANA
69
Whopper : LIE
70
Last Hebrew letter : TAV
71
Capital bombed in 1972 : HANOI
74
Grade school subj. : ENG
75
Audio problem : ECHO
78
Harrison's successor : CLEVELAND
79
African antelope : ELAND
80
Message from the Red Cross, maybe : PLEA
81
Cinematic composer André : PREVIN
84
Triumphant cry : HAH
85
Its state quarter has a lighthouse : MAINE
86
Luxuriant : LUSH
87
Charge, in a way : IONIZE
88
Spanish letter between ka and eme : ELE
89
Piece org.? : NRA
90
Silverwork city in southern Mexico : TAXCO
91
"Strangers and Brothers" novelist : CPSNOW
92
Move quickly : DART
94
1943 penny material : STEEL
95
Merchandise: Abbr. : GDS
96
Structure used in extreme sports : HALFPIPE
102
"Antennae" : EARS
106
Raised a ruckus : CLAMORED
108
1977 Warhol subject : ALI
111
Filmmaker Guy : RITCHIE
116
"Revolver" song that Paul McCartney described as "an ode to pot" : GOTTOGETYOUINTOMYLIFE
119
They go in locks : OARS
120
Ancient : EARLY
121
Footwear for a run : SKIS
122
Like a good scout : LOYAL
123
Fifth qtrs. : OTS
124
Résumé listing : SKILL
125
It used to be made of lead : TYPE
126
Les ___-Unis : ETATS
Down
1
One side of a vote : NAYS
2
Link studied at Ancestry.com : BLOODLINE
3
Coterie : CLUB
4
Part of an old-fashioned swing : TIRE
5
Zigs or zags : VEERS
6
Napoleon's partner on "The Man From U.N.C.L.E." : ILLYA
7
"Wonder Woman" star ___ Gadot : GAL
8
Shade of black : ONYX
9
Fury : RAGE
10
Onetime J.F.K. sight : SST
11
1968 movie based on "Flowers for Algernon" : CHARLY
12
Indy 500 winner Bobby : RAHAL
13
"___ roll!" : IMONA
14
Blue : MELANCHOLY
15
Penny, mostly : ZINC
16
Zenith : ACME
17
"The Gold-Bug" author : POE
21
Certain tribute : ROAST
23
Most watchful : ALERTEST
24
Living thing : ORGANISM
25
"___ & the Women" (2000 Altman film) : DRT
30
"Hey Jude" song that mentions every day of the week but Saturday : LADYMADONNA
32
"Yikes!" : ACK
33
Solvers' shouts : AHAS
34
What T.S.A. Precheck helps people avoid : LINE
35
"A Hard Day's Night" song that Lennon called McCartney's "first 'Yesterday'" : ANDILOVEHER
37
Strongly worded attack : BROADSIDE
38
Panther or puma : BIGCAT
40
"With the Beatles" song playing in the E.R. when Lennon died : ALLMYLOVING
41
Tiki bar cocktail : MAITAI
42
Houdini feat : ESCAPE
44
George of "Star Trek" : TAKEI
45
Bunches : ALOT
46
Try out : TEST
48
"Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" song whose title is followed by "where the rain gets in" : FIXINGAHOLE
49
Twin Cities suburb : EDINA
50
Sacrosanct : HOLY
55
Pommes frites seasoning : SEL
59
Slowly fade away : EVANESCE
65
Like names on trophies, often : ETCHED
66
"I can't he-e-ear you!" : LALALA
68
Extra-special : DELUXE
71
End of a shift : HEM
72
Disc jockey Freed : ALAN
73
Hair-razing name? : NAIR
75
Bigger than big : EPIC
76
Beans, e.g. : CROP
77
___ teeth : HENS
80
The highest form of flattery? : PLATEAU
82
Tommy Hilfiger alternative : IZOD
83
Old movie theater lead-ins : NEWSREELS
90
Kitchen shortening : TSP
93
"___ a wrap" : THATS
97
Latin 101 word : AMO
98
Theater sections : LOGES
99
Lose it : FREAK
100
___ dish : PETRI
101
Pastoral poem : IDYLL
103
Came (from) : AROSE
104
Pacific ___ : RIM
105
Bob or weave : STYLE
106
Lacquer, e.g. : COAT
107
Contents of some envelopes: Abbr. : LTRS
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Officially go (for) : LIST
110
Black as night : INKY
112
Circulatory block : CLOT
113
Slangy greeting : HIYA
114
"___ first you don't succeed ..." : IFAT
115
Congers and morays : EELS
116
Melted mess : GOO
117
Olive ___ : OYL
118
Cape Horn, for one : TIP

Answer summary: 7 unique to this puzzle, 3 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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