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MOVIE "M*A*S*H" "UP"

New York Times, Sunday, July 22, 2018

Author:
Patrick Merrell
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
887/10/20018/9/20181
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
21105123352
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.60553
Patrick Merrell

This puzzle:

Rows: 21, Columns: 21 Words: 142, Blocks: 75 Missing: {QX} This is puzzle # 87 for Mr. Merrell. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Patrick Merrell notes:
I know some people like tales of construction dabbling and derring-do, but I prefer letting a puzzle stand by itself. So instead, here's a bit of theme-related trivia: The 24 films in ... read more

I know some people like tales of construction dabbling and derring-do, but I prefer letting a puzzle stand by itself.

So instead, here's a bit of theme-related trivia: The 24 films in the puzzle garnered one hundred 94-Downs (OSCAR NODs).

The biggest surprise is that The Poseidon Adventure snagged eight nominations, although the only winner was its original song, "The Morning After." Ugh, remember that one? Additionally, the movie was awarded a Special Achievement Oscar for special effects.

I still remember a synopsis of the movie that ran in the New York Times TV listings back in the '70s: "Big ship turns over. Eyefilling, sure. Plus the world's dullest passenger list. Ship of meatballs."

All that said, I remember enjoying it at the time, including all those meatballs.

Jeff Chen notes:
There was another puzzle like this two years ago, two movies smashed together to create a description of a third movie. I helped Jerry develop that one, constantly reinforcing the idea ... read more

There was another puzzle like this two years ago, two movies smashed together to create a description of a third movie. I helped Jerry develop that one, constantly reinforcing the idea that 1.) the movies had to be very well known, and 2.) that the descriptions had to be not just apt, but amusing.

Same criteria apply today, and I liked many of Patrick's themers. SUPERBAD HAIR was the standout – both movies were popular and did well at the box office, and that description of "Dumb and Dumber" is so funny!

(My poor son, Jake, has a "Dumb and Dumber" haircut. We try everything we can do to get him to sit still to fix it, but no dice. Superbad hair it is!)

NOTORIOUS PSYCHO was good, too. No doubt, a perfect description of "Silence of the Lambs." That movie creeped me out so bad, though – Superbad! – so I didn't personally like it as much as SUPERBAD HAIR.

I wasn't a fan of using movies like NETWORK, NEIGHBORS, or TOYS. Sure, you could make a case that NEIGHBORS did okay at the box office, but I'm not sure anyone would call it a classic. (Would they?) I'd much prefer to stick to movies that were in Oscar contention, huge box office smashes or cult classics.

Of course, one could easily make the case that SUPERBAD isn't as well-known as NEIGHBORS, since it's older and made less at the box office. No doubt, there's a lot of subjectivity involved here. And I'm wrong a lot!

Much better to avoid the discussion at all by using movies like TITANIC and JAWS – hard to argue with those.

As for fill, I liked the insider's nod with OSCAR NOD. I would have liked more color like that since GESTALT was the only other entry that stood out. But the grid already has a slew of NTEST ACTSO AGHA ATEN SWA AGS kind of stuff, and I wouldn't have been okay with much else. Tough call. Probably best to pare back on one of the themers if you can't get enough color without introducing too much crossword glue.

Just goes to show how tough a 140-word Sunday puzzle is to make. Heck, even a master like Patrick had to go up to 142 words to get it completed!

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© 2018, The New York TimesNo. 0722 ( 25,093 )
Across
1
Festival of Colors celebrant : HINDU
6
Mission to remember : ALAMO
11
Whip : FLOG
15
"Goldarn it!" : DANG
19
Orchestra section behind the violas : OBOES
20
Canon competitor : NIKON
21
Former QB Tony : ROMO
22
Treat embossed with its name : OREO
23
"Anchorman" = ? (1976) + ? (1980) : NETWORKFAME
25
An "A" in history? : ANNO
26
Hankering : URGE
27
The forest, as opposed to the trees : GESTALT
28
"Rear Window" = ? (2004) + ? (2014) : SAWNEIGHBORS
31
Big, big, big : OBESE
33
E.-W. line : LAT
34
Best in mental competition : OUTWIT
35
Like three men of rhyme : INATUB
39
Big Ten sch. whose mascot is an anthropomorphic nut : OSU
41
Foresight : VISION
44
"Silence of the Lambs" = ? (1946) + ? (1960) : NOTORIOUSPSYCHO
47
Rockettes motions : KICKS
52
One-named singer with #1 hits in 1965 and 1999 : CHER
53
Bikini blast, briefly : NTEST
54
Yves's yes : OUI
56
Smith of Fox News : SHEP
57
Top dogs : HONCHOS
60
Brewing need : YEAST
63
Split base? : BANANA
65
Cry of desperation : HELPME
68
"Transformers" = ? (2000) + ? (1992) : TRAFFICTOYS
70
Dept. of Justice heads : AGS
73
Lofty standards : IDEALS
75
"Me first" sort : EGOIST
76
Uncle with a top hat and tie : SAM
77
"Jurassic Park" = ? (1997) + ? (1975) : TITANICJAWS
80
James who played TV's Marshal Dillon : ARNESS
82
Third place : BRONZE
83
City across the Missouri from Council Bluffs : OMAHA
85
Quarantine : ISOLATE
89
Scads : ALOT
90
California's Big ___ : SUR
92
Maker of the golden calf, in Exodus : AARON
95
Shakespeare's stream : AVON
96
Keys in : TYPES
98
"Twister" = ? (2004) + ? (2013) : SIDEWAYSGRAVITY
103
Cracker Jack ingredient : PEANUT
105
One tick, briefly : SEC
106
Frederick Forsyth's "The ___ File" : ODESSA
107
Kind of code : POSTAL
111
"Facts First" sloganeer : CNN
113
"Sexy" Beatles woman : SADIE
115
"Dumb and Dumber" = ? (2007) + ? (1979) : SUPERBADHAIR
119
Passes, as time : ROLLSBY
123
Bit of physics : ATOM
124
Manlike monster : OGRE
125
"The Poseidon Adventure" = ? (1956) + ? (1984) : GIANTSPLASH
128
Sylvester's speech feature : LISP
129
Villagers victimized by the Grinch : WHOS
130
Florida tourist attraction : EPCOT
131
Dad who says "D'oh!" : HOMER
132
Pool event : MEET
133
Dupes : SAPS
134
In position : READY
135
Some beams : IBARS
Down
1
Sweets : HON
2
"___ to differ" : IBEG
3
Fa or la : NOTE
4
Mountain ___ (some sodas) : DEWS
5
Uniform entertainment? : USOTOUR
6
Target for an angry Chihuahua : ANKLE
7
Removes from a box, say : LIFTSOUT
8
Alias introducer : AKA
9
Choosy ones, in Jif ads : MOMS
10
N.B.A. great with size 22 shoes : ONEAL
11
Frenzied : FRANTIC
12
Only : LONE
13
All in front? : OMNI
14
Bit of baby talk : GOOGOO
15
Uncertainty : DOUBT
16
Shower of the way : ARROW
17
Silents star whose name is an anagram of 112-Down : NEGRI
18
Travel, as thou might : GOEST
24
Certain wedding officiant : RABBI
29
Apt radio call letters for a beach town : WAVY
30
Babe magnet : HUNK
32
Caesar's "to be" : ESSE
35
Creep (along) : INCH
36
Lower Manhattan area : NOHO
37
Rates ___ (is perfect) : ATEN
38
Dangerous juggling prop : TORCH
40
"___-daisy!" : UPSY
42
Set one's sights on : SHOTFOR
43
Slip in lieu of a chip : IOU
45
Without a contract : ONSPEC
46
Editorial override : STET
48
"... but who ___?" : ISNT
49
Mayhem : CHAOS
50
Mount ___, second-highest peak in Africa : KENYA
51
Big jerk : SPASM
55
Birds with long, curved beaks : IBISES
58
Pittsburgh-based food company : HEINZ
59
Radio format : OLDIES
61
Equal, in math : ARE
62
Long tale : SAGA
64
"Don't ___ surprised" : ACTSO
66
Primarily study : MAJORIN
67
Jack of old westerns : ELAM
69
Alternative to sending to jail : FINING
70
No longer on deck : ATBAT
71
Not tomboyish : GIRLY
72
Brownstone hangout : STOOP
74
Dallas-based carrier: Abbr. : SWA
78
Stud fee? : ANTE
79
Who wrote "All great truths begin as blasphemies" : SHAW
81
Many a worker in ancient Rome : SLAVE
84
Some small batteries : AAAS
86
Sister company of Budget : AVIS
87
Little ones : TOTS
88
One-named Irish singer : ENYA
91
1980 Olympics boycotter : USA
93
Some Crown Royal offerings : RYES
94
Academy nomination : OSCARNOD
97
Prep for the ring : SPAR
99
Title for Meghan Markle : DUCHESS
100
Sicily's Mount ___ : ETNA
101
Churns up : ROILS
102
Long Island university : ADELPHI
104
Jabs, in a way : ELBOWS
107
Writing attributed to King David : PSALM
108
Protruding part of the body : OUTIE
109
Presume, informally : SPOSE
110
Lure : TEMPT
112
Niamey's land : NIGER
114
Daft : DOTTY
116
Ottoman title : AGHA
117
Tiniest sip : DROP
118
Mature : RIPE
120
Pig : SLOB
121
"Roll Tide!" school : BAMA
122
River flooded in W.W. I to thwart the Germans : YSER
126
Signature Obama legislation, for short : ACA
127
Store door posting: Abbr. : HRS

Answer summary: 12 unique to this puzzle.

Found bugs or have suggestions?