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SECOND SHIFT

New York Times, Sunday, August 24, 2014

Author: Patrick Berry
Editor: Will Shortz
Patrick Berry
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
2277/11/199911/10/20172
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721241679512
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1.54980

This puzzle:

Rows: 21, Columns: 21 Words: 138, Blocks: 75 Missing: {JZ} This is puzzle # 188 for Mr. Berry. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jeff Chen notes: I love to climb. At my gym, I top out at roughly 5.11c, and it's all over the place whether I can do one 5.11c vs. another. Some are spectacular flame-outs involving blood and skin (fun level = zero). Some I ... more
Jeff Chen notes: I love to climb. At my gym, I top out at roughly 5.11c, and it's all over the place whether I can do one 5.11c vs. another. Some are spectacular flame-outs involving blood and skin (fun level = zero). Some I eventually get with a wing and a massive prayer, but it sure ain't pretty. Some require ridiculously specialized ability only a few people possess. And a select few I earn with huge satisfaction after struggling, working, trying something new, falling, but eventually overcoming a masterful puzzle created by a great route-setter.

Patrick's puzzle today was the last case for me today. I wasn't sure if I would actually complete it, but when I finally reached the finish, I marveled at how well it pushed me in all the right ways; a crazy hard workout, expertly laid-out. Very, very difficult, but no never-seen-in-real-life entries, no esoteric people crossing each other, no feeling that anything was unfair. Everything was within my abilities, if I worked hard enough. That's what I want out of a 5.11c crossword.

One category of clue that people will be asking about: check out LEASE and DECOYS. [Letter arrangement?] gave me fits, trying to figure out if it had to do with words or logos or even anagrams? But when I thought of "letter" as a person who lets a room, it all snapped to. Nice. After that little a-ha moment, [Game drawers] made itself apparent — think of it as [Game draw-ers].

Great exercise today; pushed me to strain some solver muscles I didn't know I had.

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© 2014, The New York TimesNo. 0824 ( 23,665 )
Across Down
1. In most cases : ASARULE
8. Stomach settler : BICARB
14. Fasten, as a rope : BELAY
19. "But wait ... there's more!" items : BONUSES
20. Truck-driving competitions : ROADEOS
22. The Roman poet Ovid, once : EXILE
23. Paintball gun? : BLOTACTIONRIFLE
25. "Keep climbing" sloganeer : DELTA
26. Hankerings : YENS
27. Maintains the border, say : HEMS
28. Device that can tell if someone's recently vacationed in Hawaii? : LEIDETECTOR
30. U.K. news source, with "the" : BEEB
31. Trifling amount : SOU
32. Dated : SAW
33. Narrow shaft in a mountain? : SLIVERMINE
38. The Cardinals, on scoreboards : STL
39. Eschew modesty : CROW
43. Big name in trucking : CONWAY
44. Item from the Victoria's Sweetness catalog? : BRAOFCHOCOLATE
49. Nautical command : AVAST
50. Collective effort : TEAMPLAY
51. Boccaccio wrote a biography of him : DANTE
52. Union general Wallace : LEW
53. Shingle sealant : TAR
55. Poker set? : SUITS
56. Like many hospital patients getting visitors : POSTOP
57. Anne Frank, e.g.? : DIARYMAID
61. Ones manifesting Manifest Destiny : SETTLERS
63. Wash. Square campus : NYU
64. Some credit card rewards : MILES
66. Aerodynamic : SLEEK
67. Site of many IVs : ICU
70. One in a tight space, perhaps : SMALLCAR
73. "Hee Haw" heyday, say? : ERAOFCORN
76. Rock growth : LICHEN
79. Director of the "Dark Knight" trilogy : NOLAN
81. Salt source : SEA
82. Make do with, say : USE
83. Figure skater Mao : ASADA
84. Microscope part : EYEPIECE
87. Absorb : SOPUP
89. Novelist Danielle without her glossy dress? : SATINLESSSTEEL
92. "A Streetcar Named Desire" role : STELLA
93. ___-Ball : SKEE
94. Channel-surfing catalysts : ADS
95. Honey Bunches of Oafs, e.g.? : CLODCEREAL
97. Set a price of : ASK
98. Beaver Cleaver exclamation : GEE
100. Yom Kippur War figure : MEIR
101. Soup after it's been taken off the burner? : CALMCHOWDER
107. Semidome site : APSE
108. Care providers, for short : HMOS
112. Given : AXIOM
113. What might determine if the moon hitting your eye like a big pizza pie is truly amore? : CROONERSINQUEST
116. "A Journal of the Plague Year" novelist, 1722 : DEFOE
117. ___ Lane, acting first lady during Buchanan's tenure : HARRIET
118. Send to the ocean bottom : SCUTTLE
119. Goes downhill? : SLEDS
120. Cells displaced them : PAGERS
121. British eatery : TEASHOP
1. Pen name of columnist Pauline Phillips : ABBY
2. Where the rubber meets the road? : SOLE
3. In a moment : ANON
4. Reasons to resurface : RUTS
5. Miss ___ : USA
6. "Lolita" subject : LECHERY
7. Honor : ESTEEM
8. Family business abbr. : BROS
9. Particle in a salt solution : ION
10. Connie's husband in "The Godfather" : CARLO
11. Last thing bid? : ADIEU
12. Mortgage adjustment, briefly : REFI
13. Willing to take risks : BOLD
14. Dampen, perhaps : BEDEW
15. Higher-up : EXEC
16. "Rock-a-bye Baby," e.g. : LILT
17. ___ clef : ALTO
18. It starts with a celebration : YEAR
21. Handles : SEESTO
24. Take a shot? : IMBIBE
29. Masseur's supply : TALC
30. "Bugsy" star : BEATTY
31. Fashion lines : SEAMS
33. Burn : SCALD
34. Peaceful protest of the 1960s : LOVEIN
35. Kind of : INAWAY
36. Bugs that weigh tons : VWS
37. Brady Campaign opposer, for short : NRA
38. Cheat : SHYSTER
39. Kind of rock : CLASSIC
40. Sound off : RANT
41. Palindromic name : OTTO
42. Grieve openly : WEEP
45. Work with a number : OPUS
46. Garbage collection? : FLIES
47. Driven group : CATTLE
48. Sign of rot : ODOR
50. Be behind : TRAIL
54. Modern-day capital that King David ordered besieged : AMMAN
56. Sri Lanka export : PEKOE
58. "Joseph Anton: A Memoir" autobiographer : RUSHDIE
59. Absence justification : ILLNESS
60. Game drawers : DECOYS
62. Letter arrangement? : LEASE
65. Black Friday events : SALES
68. Candlelight diners, perhaps : COUPLE
69. Phoebe's twin on "Friends" : URSULA
71. Have in mind : MEAN
72. Spellbound : RAPT
74. When repeated, cry before "They're catching up!" : FASTER
75. High country : NEPAL
76. Miss : LASS
77. Author Dinesen : ISAK
78. Blanchett of "Blue Jasmine" : CATE
80. One who may be grand? : NIECE
85. Slithery swimmer : EEL
86. Walks noisily : CLOMPS
88. Poetic contraction : OER
90. Whip tip : LASH
91. Ex-mayor seen in "The Muppets Take Manhattan" : EDKOCH
92. "It's true whether or not you believe in it," per Neil deGrasse Tyson : SCIENCE
96. Stop it : DESIST
97. Summits : ACMES
98. ___ Cantor, German mathematician who invented set theory : GEORG
99. Kovacs of comedy : ERNIE
101. Heels : CADS
102. Rink maneuver : AXEL
103. Long sentence : LIFE
104. Grammatical concept : MOOD
105. Close the set? : WRAP
106. TV "explorer" : DORA
107. Kennedy Center focus : ARTS
108. Humble dwellings : HUTS
109. "Breaking Bad" commodity : METH
110. Home of the first U.N. secretary general : OSLO
111. Walking distance : STEP
114. Poetic contraction : EER
115. Who: Lat. : QUA

Answer summary: 13 unique to this puzzle, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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