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THE LONG AND WINDING ROAD

New York Times, Sunday, July 2, 2017

Author: Patrick Blindauer
Editor: Will Shortz
Patrick Blindauer
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647/21/20057/2/201720
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14561217118
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1.59252

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 fan for a long ... more
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 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 puzzle, listing out an ... more
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 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.

JimH 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 Down
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
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
109. 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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