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# DOUBLE DIGITS

## New York Times, Sunday, September 6, 2015

 Author: Patrick Berry Editor: Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
2287/11/19994/8/20182
SunMonTueWedThuFriSatVariety
731241679512
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.54980

## This puzzle:

Rows: 21, Columns: 21 Words: 142, Blocks: 76 Missing: {QZ} This is puzzle # 202 for Mr. Berry. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jeff Chen notes: Patrick uses double-digit numbers from phrases and titles for a rebus. I particularly liked 54 40 OR FIGHT — for some reason, my high school friends and I took to yelling it around school. It has a nice ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

Patrick uses double-digit numbers from phrases and titles for a rebus. I particularly liked 54 40 OR FIGHT — for some reason, my high school friends and I took to yelling it around school. It has a nice rhythm to it.

Not easy to find pairs of theme entries famous enough to be crossworthy. 48 HRS is a big hit movie, and Patrick does so well to pair it with THE LOWER 48. What a nice phrase that we'll otherwise never see in crosswords.

I also liked how Patrick kept all his across theme answers symmetrical. Other constructors might have willy-nilly strewn themers around without any regard to pairing up the lengths — 54 40 OR FIGHT and THE LOWER 48, for example — but not Patrick.

Paired double-digit numbers couldn't have been easy to find. There must be so many like 76 TROMBONES which don't have a useable match. I thought Patrick chose well for eight out of his nine, CENTURY 21 / 21 GRAMS the one I guessed (wrongly) on.

I'm sure I've seen CENTURY 21 signs around, but I remembered it as CENTURY 50 for some reason. And not having seen 21 GRAMS, that was a random guess. Doesn't 50 GRAMS seem more metric? That's what I'm saying! Anyhoo, seems like 21 is ripe for something a little snazzier and memorable, perhaps 21 JUMP STREET or a 21 GUN SALUTE. I have a feeling it's a compromise he made to keep symmetry in his themers — always the trade-offs.

Surprising to see PB go to 142 words, past the usual max of 140. Rebus puzzles are tough to create, especially when you don't have much flexibility in themers, but I've gotten used to seeing Patrick pull off the impossible. Also a bit odd to see AGIN in a Berry 1-Down.

Overall a nice, entertaining solve, perhaps a little more straightforward than I've come to expect from a PB. I spent way too much time trying to figure out where the extra layer was hidden — did the numbers all relate in some way? Or if you connect them sequentially, they form a shape?

Alas, no.

 1A 2L 3T 4A 5R 6A 7W 8L 9A 10C 11C 12T 13C 14L 15A 16P 17S 18G U I D E 19R A I L 20C I A O 21C R E D I T 22I L L A T E A S E 23T A R P 24H A V A N A 25N U T M E G 26E W 27E R 2854 40 29O R F I G H T 3012 A N 31G R Y M E 32N 33N I T 34I O U 35A 36C 37E 38M A R 39N O S E 40J 41O B S 42M O L E 43V E N 44D 45L I 46T 47S T A R R 48F U S E S 49I N G A 50P H 51D 52S 53N E E 54S O N 55A T A R 56I 57S E R E 58N 59A 60A P R I 61L 6215 63N U G E N 64T 65B O X E S 66S K I M 67I M 68F 69C R I S T O 7052 P I C K 71U P 72C A 73S S I E 74A Y N 75E R 76A S 77S C O R E 78E T H A N E 7921 G 80R A M S 81M O U S E 82S 83S A L U D 84A R E T 85H 86A 87T A C T 88M I T E 89F 90A 91R M S 92R O M 93P 94S 95H U 96N 97U S E R 98L I E S 99C I T Y G I 100R 101L 102N O 103S 104A S S 105O R B 106G O D 10713 G O I 108N G O N 10930 110T H E 111L O W E 112R 11348 114N C A A 115D O R 116S 117A 118L 119S O C I A L 120O H 121N O 122I N 123A G R O O V E 124A S C O T S 125B R E R 126S C R E E C H E S 127M E A N S 128E S A I 129E Y E 130S K O R T
© 2015, The New York TimesNo. 0906 ( 24,043 )