Searching in Chronicle shows results for exact phrase matches. For example, searching for "New York" will find all articles with the phrase "New York", not the individual words "New" and "York".
Because of the way in which The New York Times archive is indexed, there are certain common words that will be filtered out of any search. These are known as "stop words". So, for example, searching for "the people" will show results for "people", ignoring "the". A complete list of stop words is as follows:a, an, and, are, as, at, be, but, by, for, if, in, into, is, it, no, not, of, on, or, such, that, the, their, then, there, these, they, this, to, was, will, with