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# CAPITAL L'S

### New York Times, Sunday, August 25, 2013

 Author: Victor Barocas Editor: Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
92/9/20115/22/20165
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
3012300
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.62022

## This puzzle:

Rows: 21, Columns: 21 Words: 136, Blocks: 69 Missing: {X} This is puzzle # 3 for Mr. Barocas. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Victor Barocas notes: Once I had the idea for this puzzle, I was pleasantly surprised to see that there are exactly eight six-letter state capitals (not counting my own STPAUL!), and that all of them had workable three-letter ... more
Victor Barocas notes: Once I had the idea for this puzzle, I was pleasantly surprised to see that there are exactly eight six-letter state capitals (not counting my own STPAUL!), and that all of them had workable three-letter blocks. It was a bit of a challenge trying to make a grid with enough room for the L's all to fit symmetrically. I also didn't want any six-letter words starting with the first three-letter block because it would be too misleading. PIETAS at 116-Across is the one, and I decided that by then, the solver would probably have figured out what is going on and would not be inclined to write PIETAS like a normal entry.

The fill was difficult but ended up okay, and then Will cleaned up some weak spots. I tried some other things at various times (NITTANY for TIFFANY, DENTISTS for DENOUNCE), but this is where it ended up. If it weren't for Kaley CUOCO, I am not sure that I would have been able to unsnarl the NW quarter of the puzzle. I hope that people enjoyed it.

Jeff Chen notes: It's a rare occasion that I run across a theme idea I've never seen before. Bravo to Victor! It took me a ridiculously long time to figure out the trick, but when I realized the state capitals were split, forming ... more
Jeff Chen notes: It's a rare occasion that I run across a theme idea I've never seen before. Bravo to Victor! It took me a ridiculously long time to figure out the trick, but when I realized the state capitals were split, forming two L-shapes apiece, I smiled.

Sunday puzzles are notoriously difficult to construct; roughly a factor of five more difficult than a regular weekday puzzle. The biggest challenge is that instead of 225 squares/78 max words, you're working with 441 squares/140 max words. While this might seem no different at first glance, it's like sculpting with clay vs. damp sand. So many of my Sunday puzzles have fallen apart just when I think I'm nearly done (unfillable corner, too much ugliness, etc.), and I'm forced to reboot.

Consider the open white spaces in the four corners, for example. You don't typically see that kind of real estate outside of themeless puzzles. Trying to fill them cleanly while maintaining your thematic density can be a serious challenge. Ratcheting up the difficulty level, Victor has chosen to use only 136 words, making the task even harder. He could have split up 23A/123A and/or 24A/126A with black squares, but it would have taken away some really nice long fill. For a Sunday puzzle, which comes with the expectation that there will be some less-than-stellar fill, the price to pay (ONDES, PUD, et al.) seems fair. I personally might have split up one pair to get cleaner fill, but that's a subjective difference in construction style.

JimH notes: At first, it seems like the Across theme answers are unclued. Nothing corresponds to TOPEKA, DENVER, JUNEAU, BOSTON, AUSTIN, ALBANY, HELENA or PIERRE. But then, did you notice the puzzle's title? "Putting out on an anniversary, maybe" at 47 Across is an outstanding clue.
 1E 2W 3E 4R 5N 6A 7P 8A 9E 10E 11L 12E 13R 14C 15A 16C 17T 18I 19B A R I 20T O N E S 21U V U L A 22O R L O N 23B R I G H T E S T 24R O C K C 25O N C E R T 26S E N S O R 27T O P E K A 29E N V 30A T E 31R E 32C O R D 33E S 34Q 35D E N V E R 37J 38U N E A U 40I O 41N S 42U 43T E R O 44M A N I 45D O 46S A G E 47R E I S S U 48I 49N 50G 51T R I P 52T Y C H 53S A 54T E E N 55E N D U E 56A S T E R 57O E 58D 59L A B R A 60T 61C E D E 62R I 63D 64L O 65S E T O 66C A 67V E S I N 68S 69A 70P 71B O S T O N 73A U S T I N 75T E A 76P R E 77M E D S 78D O 79E S N T 80L E 81T 82R O N A 83O H 84D A R N 85D E 86S 87C I 88T 89E 90S 91I M A C 92S 93O R D E A 94L 95R I 96S K F R E E 97G A L A P 98A G O S 99T E 100R E S A 101F O N Z 102R I N G O 103C E C E 104A L B A N Y 106H 107E L E N A 109P 110A R 111A T 112T L E E 113I T O 114C I 115D 116P I E R R E 118T R 119A 120V 121I 122S 123T H I 124S I S A 125T E S T 126I N 127P A T I E N T 128U N S E T 129L O R C A 130A B U G S L I F E 131P O E S Y 132Y O Y O S 133L C D S 134S L O W
© 2013, The New York TimesNo. 0825 ( 23,301 )
 Across Down 1. Item whose name is derived from the Latin "aquarius" : EWER5. Auto parts giant : NAPA9. Pot user, maybe : EELER14. Peyote and saguaro : CACTI19. Rossini's William Tell and others : BARITONES21. Lump in one's throat : UVULA22. First acrylic fiber : ORLON23. Superlative for Sirius : BRIGHTEST24. Rush job? : ROCKCONCERT26. Home security system component : SENSOR27. Big kahunas : TOPDOGS29. Stationery item: Abbr. : ENV30. Had : ATE31. Log : RECORD33. Abbr. on a lawyer's stationery : ESQ35. Censure : DENOUNCE37. Berry used to make gin : JUNIPER40. They have pluses and minuses : IONS42. In ___ : UTERO44. ___-pedi : MANI45. Medicine label info : DOSAGE47. Putting out on an anniversary, maybe : REISSUING51. Bosch's "The Garden of Earthly Delights," for one : TRIPTYCH53. Lustrous fabric : SATEEN55. Provide with a quality : ENDUE56. Daisylike bloom : ASTER57. Massive ref. : OED59. Maze explorer : LABRAT61. Turn over : CEDE62. Disencumber : RID64. Not beat : LOSETO66. Collapses : CAVESIN68. Drain : SAP71. White-suited "Dukes of Hazzard" villain : BOSSHOGG73. Spartan : AUSTERE75. ___ Party : TEA76. Some bio majors : PREMEDS78. Fails to : DOESNT80. Court judgment : LET82. Barrett of gossip : RONA83. "Phooey!" : OHDARN85. ___ Moines : DES87. Mentions : CITES91. Apple line : IMACS93. Experience you might want to forget : ORDEAL95. Guaranteed : RISKFREE97. Darwin stopping point, with "the" : GALAPAGOS99. Founder of the Missionaries of Charity : TERESA101. Epitome of cool, with "the" : FONZ102. Lead singer on "Octopus's Garden" : RINGO103. Singer Peniston : CECE104. Einstein and Camus : ALBERTS106. Hint-giving columnist : HELOISE109. Three, for a short hole : PAR111. Postwar prime minister : ATTLEE113. Simpson case judge : ITO114. 11th-century hero, with "El" : CID116. Religious art figures : PIETAS118. Country crooner Randy : TRAVIS123. Emergency Broadcast System opening : THISISATEST126. Kind of treatment : INPATIENT128. Still goopy, as concrete : UNSET129. Poet/dramatist Federico García ___ : LORCA130. Pixar movie between "Toy Story" and "Toy Story 2" : ABUGSLIFE131. Verse-writing : POESY132. Jerks : YOYOS133. Some screens, for short : LCDS134. Glacial : SLOW 1. Goes down : EBBS2. Suffix with hard or soft : WARE3. Girl's name that's also a place name : ERIN4. Semis : RIGS5. Unprepared : NOTREADY6. Hydrocarbon suffix : ANE7. Basil sauce : PESTO8. One end of New York's Triborough Bridge : ASTORIA9. Cry of epiphany : EUREKA10. Suggests : EVOKES11. Director George : LUCAS12. Bull or cow : ELK13. Tear : RACE14. Nike rival : CONVERSE15. Parenthesis shape : ARC16. Butcher's tool : CLEAVER17. Layered dessert : TORTE18. Head of state? : INTER20. He wrote "It is life near the bone where it is sweetest" : THOREAU25. French waves : ONDES32. Kaley of "The Big Bang Theory" : CUOCO34. Eccentric : QUEER37. Pantry lineup : JARS38. Squad, e.g. : UNIT41. Author Zora ___ Hurston : NEALE43. Athlete's foot treatment : TINACTIN44. Where Charlie may ride forever, in song : MTA46. Connecticut city : SHELTON47. Carom : REBOUND48. Words of explanation : IDEST49. Blue flick : NUDIE50. Hollywood's Davis : GEENA52. Crow, e.g. : TRIBE54. Byes : TATAS58. Thingamabobs : DOODADS60. Cow's fly swatter : TAIL63. Dummy : DODO65. Bad thing for a roommate to do : SNORE67. Sweater option : VNECK68. Rosemary piece : SPRIG69. Rosemary feature : AROMA70. Like some codes : PENAL77. 1990s craze : MACARENA79. Related on the mother's side : ENATE81. Renowned jeweler : TIFFANY84. Sag : DROOP86. Rug fiber : SISAL88. Jeff Bridges sci-fi classic : TRON89. Start of a count-off : EENY90. "___ who?" : SEZ92. TV show on which Charlie Sheen replaced Michael J. Fox : SPINCITY94. Best-selling author who once worked for Britain's MI6 : LECARRE96. Markdown markers : SALETAGS98. Author Nin : ANAIS100. New DNA evidence may lead to one : RETRIAL103. It's been shortening for over 100 years : CRISCO106. Ask for money : HITUP107. Prefix with musicology : ETHNO110. Imitation : APERY112. Year the emperor Claudius was born : TENBC115. 1991 P.G.A. champion John : DALY119. Is unwell : AILS120. Obscure : VEIL121. Skinny : INFO122. Fuss : STEW124. French possessive : SES125. "___ cool!" : TOO127. British dessert, for short : PUD

Answer summary: 9 unique to this puzzle, 6 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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