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SECOND SHIFT

New York Times, Sunday, August 24, 2014

Author:
Patrick Berry
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
2297/11/199911/4/20182
SunMonTueWedThuFriSatVariety
741241679512
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.54980
Patrick Berry

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 ... read more

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
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
Down
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
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Phoebe's twin on "Friends" : URSULA
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Have in mind : MEAN
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Spellbound : RAPT
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When repeated, cry before "They're catching up!" : FASTER
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High country : NEPAL
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Miss : LASS
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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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