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ONE BY ONE

New York Times, Sunday, September 4, 2016

Author:
Tom McCoy
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
3211/14/201310/7/20180
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
17815100
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.61362
Tom McCoy

This puzzle:

Rows: 21, Columns: 21 Words: 140, Blocks: 72 Missing: {Z} This is puzzle # 22 for Mr. McCoy. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Tom McCoy notes:
[SPOILER ALERT FOR THE AUGUST 14 DIAGRAMLESS] Ever since I read 'Figgs and Phantoms' in elementary school, ampersands have been some of my favorite characters, so I'm glad to finally ... read more

[SPOILER ALERT FOR THE AUGUST 14 DIAGRAMLESS]

Ever since I read "Figgs and Phantoms" in elementary school, ampersands have been some of my favorite characters, so I'm glad to finally work a few into a puzzle. Excited as I am to show some ampersand love, I have to say that Sam Ezersky's insanely cool diagramless from a few weeks ago far outshines my ampersand-related efforts.

(Jeff: if you like diagramless puzzles, check out our thumbnails of all the diagramless grids listed together.)

Jeff Chen notes:
Rebus variant from Tom today, two letters used as a straight rebus in the down direction, while an ampersand is inserted for the across direction. Example: B&O RAILROAD crosses ... read more

Rebus variant from Tom today, two letters used as a straight rebus in the down direction, while an ampersand is inserted for the across direction. Example: B&O RAILROAD crosses EL(BO)WS. There have been a few ampersand rebus puzzles before, but I don't remember anything exactly like this. We've fixed up the answers (see below) as best as possible (so the answers accurately make sense with the clues).

Tom is so good about introducing fun, fresh fill to his puzzles. This one doesn't have a ton of room for bonus fill, since it uses eight — really 16 — mostly longish theme answers, but Tom still manages to work in so much colorful material. NEED A LIFT? LAPEL PIN. HUMAN RIGHTS. YOU LOSE, with the famous anecdote about Coolidge's terseness. And that's on top of all the strong themers, like NOT TO WORRY, MOTORBIKES. AS PER USUAL, indeed! All those great entries really helped keep my attention through the solve.

However, at some point, all constructors must pay the piper. It's hard to imagine such a GOLIATH amount of sizzling themers and fill without some cost, and there was more than I usually see from a McCoy puzzle. A couple of SST, ANAT, A TEE, SEI is perfectly fine for a Sunday 140-worder. But there were a few head-scratchers today. Although it does appear to be a word, UNUSE stuck in my craw. DILATER did too — "dilator," as in a compound that dilates, would have been fine. IN A TUB feels like a six-letter partial. SEA RAT … I did find it by Googling, but it doesn't roll off my tongue.

I had a good laugh before fixing up the answers for our database — AW ROOT BEER feels like a seed for another puzzle. ["Dang it, do we have to have Barq's again?"]. BO RAILROAD might be [Stinky train option?].

I'm easily amused.

All in all, I would have liked something a little more different than the normal rebus or the play on ampersands, but Tom wove in enough really strong entries that I still was entertained.

1
E
2
L
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A
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N
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S
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L
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A
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P
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I
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F
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R
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M
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W
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G
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A
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M
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M
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BO
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L
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O
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B
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Y
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A
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RB
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H
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W
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I
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K
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N
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G
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RR
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QA
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O
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N
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R
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C
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T
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P
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Y
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L
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M
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M
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H
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M
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G
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H
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L
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U
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MM
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SP
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V
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A
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G
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AM
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H
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H
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O
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A
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N
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AW
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O
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S
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N
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K
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S
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E
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S
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L
A
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© 2016, The New York TimesNo. 0904 ( 24,407 )
Across
1
Flair : ELAN
5
Indication of freshness : SLAP
9
Weak : INFIRM
15
___ bag (party giveaway) : SWAG
19
Have a one-person apartment, say : LIVEALONE
21
"Old MacDonald" sounds : MOOMOO
22
"Check and ___" : MATE
23
Neighbor of Illinois : B&ORAILROAD
24
Response to a flatterer : STOPIT
25
Subordinate: Abbr. : ASST
26
"That ___ part of our agreement!" : WASNT
27
Short dagger : STILETTO
29
Flattened at the poles : OBLATE
31
Concorde, e.g. : SST
32
Ball in a socket : EYE
34
24 in a caffeine molecule : ATOMS
35
Release from TLC or Alicia Keys : R&BALBUM
36
Tee seller : PROSHOP
39
Like many a lad or lass : WEE
40
"Since you didn't hear me the first time ..." : ISAID
41
Actor Reeves : KEANU
43
Start of a time capsule direction : OPENON
45
Retired Steeler Taylor : IKE
46
Takes it easy : GETSALITTLER&R
48
End-of-seminar feature : Q&ASESSION
53
___ letter (college app part) : REC
54
Scads : TONS
55
Sources of mescaline : PEYOTES
57
Prefix with parasite : ENDO
58
School in Oxford, informally : OLEMISS
60
___-Atlantic : MID
61
Burns's refusal : NAE
62
Where bees be : HIVES
63
Slithy one, to Carroll : TOVE
64
Diamond head? : MANAGER
66
___ salad : TUNA
67
Shout made while pointing : THERE
69
Cops, with "the" : LAW
70
___ Alamos : LOS
71
Targeted : AIMEDAT
74
Spanish prefix with líneas : AERO
75
Begin a voyage : SETSAIL
77
___ Fresh (Tex-Mex chain) : BAJA
78
Airport posting, for short : ETA
79
Multicolored candy in a yellow package : PEANUTM&MS
81
Noted index : S&PFIVEHUNDRED
84
Grp. sponsoring the Muzzle Loading Championship : NRA
85
Footnote material : DETAIL
86
Stemmed (from) : AROSE
87
Transition : SEGUE
90
Go on : AIR
91
1997 film megahit : TITANIC
93
Site of the George Bush Presidential Library : TEXASA&M
94
Material in two states : SLUSH
96
Droop : SAG
97
The "e" of i.e. : EST
100
Descend in a controlled fashion : RAPPEL
101
Might be able to do it : HASASHOT
104
Oscar-winning Berry : HALLE
106
The "E" of HOMES : ERIE
107
Like three men of rhyme : INATUB
109
Beverage since 1922 : A&WROOTBEER
111
Bareilles who sang "Love Song" : SARA
112
"Negotiations are off!" : NODEAL
113
Some fuel oils : KEROSENES
114
Leave in : STET
115
Gertrude ___, first woman to swim the English Channel : EDERLE
116
Meh : SOSO
117
Lead-in to Victoria or Albert : LAKE
Down
1
Things aggressive people may throw : ELBOWS
2
Turkish money : LIRAS
3
"Cease!" on the seas : AVAST
4
Answer to "Is Bonn the capital of Deutschland?" : NEIN
5
Kind of camera, for short : SLR
6
Releases : LOOSES
7
Bio course: Abbr. : ANAT
8
Mani-___ : PEDI
9
"Ready!" : IMSET
10
"It's all good" : NOTTOWORRY
11
They mind their manors : FOOTMEN
12
Foist (upon) : IMPOSE
13
Most important piece in échecs : ROI
14
Relatives of scooters : MOTORBIKES
15
One of two in the Adidas logo : SMALLA
16
Sushi go-with : WASABI
17
Offered for breeding : ATSTUD
18
"Don't let those guys escape!" : GETEM
20
Choice : ALTERNATIVE
28
A U.S. flag is a common one : LAPELPIN
30
Ammonia and lye : BASES
33
Calvin Coolidge's reputed reply to a woman who bet she could get more than two words out of him : YOULOSE
36
Old men : PAS
37
Red ___ : HOTS
38
Go (for) : OPT
41
Ocean bottom? : KEEL
42
And more : ETCETERA
44
"Going somewhere?" : NEEDALIFT
45
"That makes sense" : ISEE
46
Miracle-___ : GRO
47
Electees : INS
48
2022 World Cup host : QATAR
49
Surrounder of la Grande Jatte : SEINE
50
Martians, in "The War of the Worlds" : INVADERS
51
Wordsworth work : ODE
52
Negatives : NOS
56
Word often replaced with "your" : ONES
59
Ignoramus : MORON
60
Big mouths : MAWS
62
United Nations concern : HUMANRIGHTS
64
Tangles : MATS
65
Behemoths : GOLIATHS
66
City where Mexico's routes 1 and 2 meet : TIJUANA
67
Word that becomes its own synonym when spelled backward : TAP
68
Giggle syllable : HEE
69
Basic form of a word : LEMMA
71
Spa sound : AAH
72
Do to ___ : ATEE
73
Bit : TAD
75
Simplify : STREAMLINE
76
Just like always : ASPERUSUAL
77
Big swig : BELT
80
Neglect : UNUSE
82
Number of hills in ancient Rome : VII
83
Rx writer : DOC
85
Optometrist, at times : DILATER
87
Pirate, in old slang : SEARAT
88
Breathe out : EXPIRE
89
View in awe : GAPEAT
90
Slightly : ASHADE
92
Noted philanthropic family : ASTORS
93
Lock : TRESS
95
Relative of a weasel : SABLE
97
Justice Kagan : ELENA
98
Smooth and glossy : SLEEK
99
Like Calvin Coolidge : TERSE
102
Neocons, e.g. : HAWKS
103
Ice cream flavor : OREO
105
Cain mutiny victim? : ABEL
108
Positive sign : NOD
110
Game-winning line : OOO

Answer summary: 12 unique to this puzzle, 5 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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