It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker. Please consider supporting our site by purchasing an account.

SIZE MATTERS

New York Times, Sunday, September 10, 2017

Author: Brendan Emmett Quigley
Editor: Will Shortz
Brendan Emmett Quigley
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
1768/7/199611/3/201716
SunMonTueWedThuFriSatVariety
344152017462614
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.635213

This puzzle:

Rows: 21, Columns: 21 Words: 140, Blocks: 74 Missing: none – this is a pangram This is puzzle # 174 for Mr. Quigley. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jeff Chen notes: A mash-up of letter addition and sound change today, using the 'sigh' sound. Static cling becomes STATIC CYCLING, low frequency to SILO FREQUENCY, etc. Took me a while to figure out some of the base phrases, as ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

A mash-up of letter addition and sound change today, using the "sigh" sound. Static cling becomes STATIC CYCLING, low frequency to SILO FREQUENCY, etc. Took me a while to figure out some of the base phrases, as BEQ did a nice job of employing obfuscating spelling changes like GONE to SAIGON and NIGH to SINAI.

I was going to applaud the non-repetition of any one "sigh" addition, but there's CLING to CYCLING and CLONES to CYCLONES. Ah well.

Humor is so subjective. None of the themers made me laugh out loud, but they were all decent. Well, except for SHARK SIPHON SOUP. That one felt inconsistent, as the "in" sound of "fin" didn't stay the same. (I pronounce "siphon" with an "un" sound. Have I been wrong all these years?) The resulting phrase felt awkward, too.

Eight themers are slightly above average (we usually see seven on Sundays), but there's a good amount of crossword glue that I'm not used to seeing in a BEQ puzzle. Nothing was major, but with a listing of AME, ALAI (can only clue in one way), STA, MAI, IMA, AAR, YOO, INST, GAI, etc. it felt like it didn't hit the high standard I expect from BEQ.

The title also felt wonky. I get the play on SIZE MATTERS = "sigh" sounds matter. But that singular vs. plural (matter vs. matters) makes the wordplay not work for me. Perhaps a play on SIGHS would have been better? Or SUPERSIZED?

I did like some of the bonuses though — BLARNEY, COMPOTE, WENT PRO, and especially BAR EXAMS with its brilliant clue, playing off of "practice tests." Since the theme didn't personally hit me that well, these bonuses strewn throughout the puzzle were very welcome.

1
B
2
E
3
S
4
A
5
F
6
E
7
J
8
U
9
L
10
I
11
A
12
N
13
A
14
S
15
C
16
A
17
R
18
A
S
H
R
A
M
19
A
N
O
I
N
20
T
21
C
O
M
P
O
T
E
22
S
T
A
T
I
C
23
C
Y
C
L
I
N
G
24
O
N
E
O
N
T
A
25
H
E
R
26
L
E
E
Z
A
27
I
28
O
S
29
R
A
I
D
30
S
K
31
Y
T
E
L
32
S
33
I
34
L
35
O
F
R
E
36
Q
37
U
E
N
C
Y
38
S
A
O
39
I
40
C
E
D
I
N
41
S
L
U
G
S
42
S
43
L
I
M
44
A
A
R
45
Y
L
E
46
M
47
L
A
L
A
48
S
49
H
E
P
50
P
C
C
Y
51
C
L
O
N
E
52
S
53
R
I
C
C
54
I
55
Y
A
H
56
W
E
H
57
P
O
I
58
O
T
T
59
E
R
S
60
I
N
61
N
62
A
V
O
I
R
63
S
T
A
S
64
H
65
H
A
L
E
66
C
O
L
A
67
W
E
N
T
P
68
R
O
69
S
T
A
70
H
L
71
B
L
72
A
R
N
E
Y
73
A
S
S
T
74
A
L
75
O
T
76
M
O
A
77
N
A
78
L
U
C
A
S
79
Y
O
O
80
S
T
O
K
E
81
R
82
T
B
A
83
L
A
D
O
G
A
84
N
U
85
B
I
A
86
D
R
A
87
W
S
S
I
88
N
A
I
89
M
U
Y
90
P
A
R
T
91
V
92
S
N
I
P
93
V
O
X
94
M
M
E
S
95
R
E
A
I
96
R
97
U
N
U
98
S
E
D
99
G
A
I
100
S
101
I
102
L
E
N
T
S
U
103
P
P
O
R
T
104
O
105
B
O
I
S
106
T
107
T
R
I
X
108
I
M
A
109
R
110
I
F
L
E
111
S
E
112
E
113
R
E
N
A
114
U
115
L
T
116
S
117
A
118
I
119
G
O
N
F
I
S
120
H
I
N
G
121
E
N
E
M
I
E
S
122
S
C
R
U
B
S
123
S
A
M
O
S
A
124
W
E
S
S
E
X
125
T
E
N
E
T
126
S
T
O
N
E
D
© 2017, The New York TimesNo. 0910 ( 24,778 )
Across Down
1. "Watch yourself out there" : BESAFE
7. Comic Sweeney : JULIA
12. ___ All-Star Race (annual event since 1985) : NASCAR
18. Getaway for meditation : ASHRAM
19. Rub oil on : ANOINT
21. Fruit dessert : COMPOTE
22. Spin class activity? : STATICCYCLING
24. City with one of the SUNY schools : ONEONTA
25. That craft : HER
26. TV host Gibbons : LEEZA
27. What Siri runs on : IOS
29. SC Johnson product with a lightning bolt in its logo : RAID
30. Wireless data and messaging company : SKYTEL
32. Number of appearances in a grain holder? : SILOFREQUENCY
38. ___ Tomé (African capital) : SAO
39. Stuck at a ski lodge, say : ICEDIN
41. Wallops : SLUGS
42. Like long chances : SLIM
44. River near the start of an alphabetical list : AAR
45. Primordial universe matter : YLEM
47. What people sing when they don't know the words : LALAS
49. Au courant, once : HEP
50. Storms that don't offend? : PCCYCLONES
53. Actress Christina : RICCI
55. God, to Hebrews : YAHWEH
57. Staple of Hawaiian cuisine : POI
58. Mammals with webbed feet : OTTERS
60. Business with a guestbook : INN
62. French 101 verb : AVOIR
63. Appropriate rhyme for "cache" : STASH
65. Robust : HALE
66. RC, for one : COLA
67. Left college athletics, maybe : WENTPRO
69. Lesley of CBS News : STAHL
71. Nonsense : BLARNEY
73. Second hand: Abbr. : ASST
74. Loads : ALOT
76. 2016 Disney hit : MOANA
78. George who founded Industrial Light & Magic : LUCAS
79. "___-hoo!" : YOO
80. Position on a steamship : STOKER
82. Schedule inits. : TBA
83. Europe's largest lake : LADOGA
84. Region of ancient Egypt : NUBIA
86. Makes a quick map of an Egyptian peninsula? : DRAWSSINAI
89. Very, in Veracruz : MUY
90. Sequel to a sequel to a sequel to a sequel : PARTV
92. Action at a bris : SNIP
93. Popular website that explains the news : VOX
94. Lille women: Abbr. : MMES
95. Not debut : REAIR
97. Mint : UNUSED
99. War su ___ (boneless chicken dish) : GAI
100. Opening performers that are all mimes? : SILENTSUPPORT
104. Orchestra tuner : OBOIST
107. Brand with a rabbit symbol : TRIX
108. "___ little confused" : IMA
109. It has a lock, stock and barrel : RIFLE
111. Take in : SEE
113. Citroën competitor : RENAULT
116. Rod-and-reel event in old Vietnam? : SAIGONFISHING
121. North and South Korea, e.g. : ENEMIES
122. Nurse's outfit : SCRUBS
123. Indian appetizer : SAMOSA
124. Prince Edward's earldom : WESSEX
125. Belief : TENET
126. High as a kite : STONED
1. Big party : BASH
2. Photorealist painter Richard : ESTES
3. Order to a pool hustler to suck up some broth? : SHARKSIPHONSOUP
4. "So vast is ___, so narrow human wit": Alexander Pope : ART
5. Do not : FAILTO
6. Run the show : EMCEE
7. Rapper with the music streaming service Tidal : JAYZ
8. Take out, as wine bottles : UNCASE
9. "Haha" : LOL
10. Due east on an old clock dial : III
11. Common female middle name : ANN
12. Smoking or ___ : NON
13. Black church inits. : AME
14. Spot on a fern frond : SPORESAC
15. TBS late-night show : CONAN
16. Room with a slanted roof : ATTIC
17. All systems go : READY
20. Cry to kick off the weekend : TGIF
21. "Down goes Frazier!" sportscaster : COSELL
23. Relating to the abdominal cavity : CELIAC
28. Surg. locales : ORS
31. Nonstandard verb from Popeye : YAM
33. Pastoral poet : IDYLIST
34. "___ & Stitch" : LILO
35. Common opening bid in bridge : ONENO
36. Argument : QUARREL
37. Fruit with greenish-yellow rinds : UGLIS
40. TV's "Tales From the ___" : CRYPT
42. Suddenly start, as in fright : SHYAWAY
43. Strands, as a base runner : LEAVESON
44. German lament : ACH
46. Workplaces with a need for speed : METHLABS
48. Government group on offspring? : SCIONCOMMISSION
50. Felon, to a cop : PERP
51. Drink holders : COASTERS
52. Greyhound stop: Abbr. : STA
54. Plotting (with) : INLEAGUE
56. Alicia of "Urban Legend," 1998 : WITT
59. Ex-isle of exile : ELBA
61. Denies : NAYSAYS
63. Play alone : SOLO
64. Jerry Lewis, notably : HAM
66. "Oh, fudge" : CRUD
68. Snare drum sound : RATATAT
70. Rebel in "Henry IV, Part 1" : HOTSPUR
72. Jai ___ : ALAI
75. Green-lit : OKD
77. Green : NAIVE
80. Tornado warning : SIREN
81. Raised, as a flag : RANUP
83. Laissez-faire : LAX
85. Pre-practice tests? : BAREXAMS
87. Lush's favorite radio station? : WINO
88. Drowse : NODOFF
91. Santa makes millions of them every Christmas : VISITS
94. French month : MAI
96. Ingredient in an Aunt Agatha : RUM
98. Blinking light : STROBE
99. Attacks : GOESAT
100. Cast about : STREW
101. Chemistry Nobelist Joliot-Curie : IRENE
102. Understudy's study : LINES
103. Ticket : PASS
105. Ignorance, so they say : BLISS
106. Nerve-racking : TENSE
110. Think tank, e.g.: Abbr. : INST
112. "Heavens!" : EGAD
114. It may be pulled after a wrong turn : UIE
115. Old law : LEX
117. Do something : ACT
118. Heat : IRE
119. Heater : GUN
120. H.R. offering for employees : HMO

Answer summary: 14 unique to this puzzle, 2 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

Found bugs or have suggestions?