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MUSICAL REMIXES

New York Times, Sunday, August 23, 2015

Author:
Joel Fagliano
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
6210/22/200911/18/20186
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1.65351
Joel Fagliano

This puzzle:

Rows: 21, Columns: 21 Words: 140, Blocks: 71 Missing: {FQZ} This is puzzle # 40 for Mr. Fagliano. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Joel Fagliano notes:
I keep a notebook in my backpack that's filled with scribbled half-themes. One day I was leafing through and noticed the line 'The Anagrammys' and this theme sprung from there. It wasn't ... read more

I keep a notebook in my backpack that's filled with scribbled half-themes. One day I was leafing through and noticed the line "The Anagrammys" and this theme sprung from there. It wasn't until late in the game when Frank Longo pointed out these weren't all Grammy-winners, as two of them were only nominated but never won. So we switched to the current title, which I think still captures the idea pretty well.

The fill here started with those long downs cutting through three themers (SPOILER ALERT and LETTER OPENER) and then I focused on making those stacked sevens in the middle lively and clean.

In the clues, I'm always happy when I can find a new angle on a familiar crossword answer. So while the IMAC clue was a little long-winded, I think it provides a little more fun than usual. As a poker player, I was happy to get that fresh angle on OUT, as well.

Jeff Chen notes:
Neat concept, playing on MUSICAL REMIXES to anagram musicians / musical groups into funny phrases. It's neat that Joel went an extra step by keeping all the anagrams musically-oriented. ... read more

Neat concept, playing on MUSICAL REMIXES to anagram musicians / musical groups into funny phrases. It's neat that Joel went an extra step by keeping all the anagrams musically-oriented.

Ken "Señor Chang" Jeong gets his props today!

People sometimes ask why I say that creating a Sunday 140 word puzzle is so much harder than a weekday 78 word puzzle. To start off, if you simply scaled up a 15x15 78 word puzzle, you'd end up with a 21x21 puzzle containing 153 words. Wait — 153 words is a whole lot more than 140, isn't it?

Well, yes it is (I do good at maths). That means you have a whole lot fewer black squares to deploy than you might want, and that many more of your fill entries are going to have to cross multiple themers.

Take the lower left corner. In a weekday 78-word puzzle, you'd be able to separate GENIAL ROCK and NURSES SONG more. Toss in a black square at the S of STEWIE, perhaps. Much easier to fill! But if you do that in this 21x grid, you have to take a black square out somewhere else to compensate. Do you see any easy ones to remove? I don't. Joel manages to get this corner filled without using any short glue, which is impressive, and also gives us ON PATROL and REASSURE, two good entries.

In the opposite corner though, I'm not a huge fan of CLOSE CUT (FLAT TOP seems better to me) or AXILLARY (yikes, not just AXILLA, but AXILLARY!). It's still impressive that Joel doesn't have to resort to short ugly gluey bits, but these long guys don't exactly sing, to my ear anyway.

Overall, it's impressive that Joel can keep his high level of quality, avoiding the usual short cruddy entries necessary to hold a grid together. And although some of the mid to longer entries didn't wow me, I did love seeing such colorful answers as SAG AWARD, WINE RACK, even OOCYTE and ISRAEL with its interesting piece of trivia [Jacob's name after he wrestled with the angel]. Even if a thing like PAINT POT isn't familiar to you, it's fun to see something you don't run across every day.

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© 2015, The New York TimesNo. 0823 ( 24,029 )
Across
1. Paintball sound : SPLAT
6. City between Turin and Genoa : ASTI
10. Padlocks lock them : HASPS
15. Nothing, slangily : JACK
19. Spot check? : LEASH
20. ___ Air : IPAD
21. Egg producer : OVARY
22. Drivetrain part : AXLE
23. Alternative band that sounds like every other alternative band? : INDIECLONE
25. #1 Billboard artist that's an anagram of 23-Across : CELINEDION
27. Check time : PAYDAY
28. "Wicked Game" singer Chris : ISAAK
30. Showroom display : MODELS
31. Documentarian Morris : ERROL
33. They're new to the family : STEPDADS
36. Mystery writer Deighton : LEN
38. Deli order : HAM
41. Like some drinks and emotions : MIXED
43. "Nonsense!" : MYHAT
44. Full of frills : LACY
45. Invitation for musical plagiarism? : USEMYLYRIC
48. #1 Billboard artist that's an anagram of 45-Across : MILEYCYRUS
51. Like first editions, often : RARE
52. Quirk : ANOMALY
54. Cell in a 21-Across : OOCYTE
55. Frilly trim : RUCHE
57. Rebels' school : OLEMISS
58. Remote possibility? : MUTE
59. "... ___ other name would smell as sweet": Juliet : ANY
60. Cellar setup : WINERACK
62. Good deal : LOT
63. Carrier letters : USS
66. Greeting to a conductor? : HIMAESTRO
68. #1 Billboard artist that's an anagram of 66-Across : AEROSMITH
71. Till bill : TEN
72. Turn to mush : ROT
73. Acrylic container : PAINTPOT
76. Welcome to the fold? : BAA
77. Tide type : NEAP
79. Enormous : MAMMOTH
80. Coffeehouse entertainers : POETS
82. Excite : AROUSE
85. Oil change, brake test, etc. : CARCARE
86. Performance often in Italian : ARIA
87. Friendly music genre? : GENIALROCK
89. #1 Billboard artist that's an anagram of 87-Across : CAROLEKING
93. Spellbound : RAPT
94. It's often set at night : ALARM
96. Kimchi is its national dish : KOREA
97. See 124-Across : AGO
98. Botanist Gray : ASA
99. Alternative to an Oscar : SAGAWARD
102. Pepper ___, Iron Man's love interest : POTTS
104. "Family Guy" baby : STEWIE
106. Mythical weeper : NIOBE
108. Sea creatures with beaks : OCTOPI
112. Part of a hospital playlist? : NURSESSONG
115. #1 Billboard artist that's an anagram of 112-Across : GUNSNROSES
117. Play thing : PROP
118. Emmy-nominated FX comedy : LOUIE
119. "Ohhh, O.K." : ISEE
120. Ready for use : ONTAP
121. Count (on) : RELY
122. Punch in : ENTER
123. Banks with a lot of money : TYRA
124. With 97-Across, back some time : WEEKS
Down
1. Make a mistake : SLIP
2. Enrique ___ Nieto, Mexican president elected in 2012 : PENA
3. Word after leading or cleaning : LADY
4. Digression : ASIDE
5. Private sector? : THEARMY
6. Hurt : AIL
7. Caution in a movie review, maybe : SPOILERALERT
8. Whips : TANS
9. "___ are like beards; men do not have them until they grow up": Voltaire : IDEAS
10. Face wear for Jason Voorhees in "Friday the 13th" : HOCKEYMASK
11. Old greeting : AVE
12. ___ acetosella (KHC2O4) : SAL
13. Human, for one : PRIMATE
14. Church council : SYNOD
15. Light blue-green : JADE
16. Armpit-related : AXILLARY
17. Like military hairstyles : CLOSECUT
18. Actor Jeong of "The Hangover" : KEN
24. Saint with an alphabet named after him : CYRIL
26. Newsroom workers, for short : EDS
29. Twenty something? : ATM
32. California school attended by Obama, familiarly : OXY
34. N.L. East team, to fans : PHILS
35. New Year's Eve host Carson : DALY
37. Org. with a closing bell : NYSE
38. Triumphant cry : HURRAH
39. Together : ASAUNIT
40. "Heavens!" : MERCYME
42. Dough used for tortillas, maybe : DINERO
44. Aristotle's school : LYCEUM
46. "Whatever" : MEH
47. Head case? : COMA
49. "Et tu?" : YOUTOO
50. Bunkhouse feature : COT
53. Karaoke need : MIC
56. Maa in "Babe," e.g. : EWE
57. Leading : ONTOP
58. Turn (into) : MORPH
61. Jacob's name after he wrestled with the angel : ISRAEL
62. Makeshift weapon in a murder mystery : LETTEROPENER
64. Epitome of desolateness : SIBERIA
65. Making known : STATING
67. ___ coeptis (phrase on the back of a dollar bill) : ANNUIT
68. Hooded jacket : ANORAK
69. Nascar sponsor : STP
70. Tries : HASAGO
73. Figure in a Yogi Bear cartoon : PARKRANGER
74. "The Walking Dead" channel : AMC
75. Computer that sounds like a theater when pluralized : IMAC
78. That: Sp. : ESA
79. Noisy talker : MACAW
81. Virginia's ___ Hill Academy, alma mater of 20+ N.B.A. players : OAK
82. Taj Mahal city : AGRA
83. Comfort : REASSURE
84. Keeping the beat? : ONPATROL
85. ___ wars : COLA
88. Persists, as a forest fire : RAGESON
90. Spanish gold : ORO
91. Reveal : LETON
92. Lose face : EATCROW
95. Hosp. procedure : MRI
99. Winter Olympics powerhouse: Abbr. : SWE
100. Congressional divider : AISLE
101. Loaf : DOGIT
103. Something skipped : STONE
105. Spot : ESPY
107. Ornate : BUSY
109. Bone: Prefix : OSTE
110. Hit a high point : PEAK
111. AT&T and Comcast, for short : ISPS
112. "Science Friday" airer : NPR
113. Unseen winning card, in poker lingo : OUT
114. Never, in Berlin : NIE
116. Limitless quantity : SEA

Answer summary: 11 unique to this puzzle, 4 debuted here and reused later, 3 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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