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# New York Times, Thursday, September 29, 2016

 Author: Jonathan M. Kaye Editor: Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
46/30/201611/10/20161
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
0000400
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.70100

## This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 76, Blocks: 33 Missing: {JKQXZ} This is puzzle # 3 for Mr. Kaye. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Notepad: We recommend using the PDF, or alternatively one of the other available electronic versions, for solving this puzzle, as it contains elements that the software cannot reproduce.
Jonathan M. Kaye notes: I'm pleased with how all aspects of this puzzle came together. My original concept was to simply divide the 'B' into DD, but ... more
Jonathan M. Kaye notes:

I'm pleased with how all aspects of this puzzle came together. My original concept was to simply divide the "B" into DD, but single-letter splits have been done before in the NYT crossword, and I wondered if there might be two letters that could be split together. I was fortunate to find that a divided "BY" would work nicely, including as part of a spot-on revealer, which in turn could be neatly clued as ÷.

The 12 theme entries (the four "BY" words and the eight that cross them at the divided "B" or "Y") use 75 squares, which could have led to a very tight grid — but with some effort I managed to keep it relatively open, with only 33 blocks.

At first I wanted the "BY" words to be more challenging, but Will and Joel asked me to change the toughest one in my submission: PRESBYOPIC. They felt a fairly obscure theme answer would throw many solvers, as there was already a difficult gimmick. I can see their point (even without my presbyopic reading glasses!) and I agree that the final puzzle is better without it.

I came up with the ATARI clue with Will in mind, as he's known to be an avid player of table tennis. I had to double-check to be sure that my memory was correct: Pong's graphics were so primitive that the ball actually was square.

Enjoy!

Jeff Chen notes: Another neat letter-based idea from Jon, this one using DIVIDED BY to represent BY split across the middle — the capital B ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

Another neat letter-based idea from Jon, this one using DIVIDED BY to represent BY split across the middle — the capital B forms a pair of capital Ds stacked atop each other, and the capital Y forms a capital V sitting on a capital I. I had seen both tricks individually, but to combine them into one — with such a perfect revealer! — was really cool. WITT (wish I had thought of that).

I also loved the fact that the BY in DIVIDED BY was split like the others. Very neat to have the special split happening right within the theme revealer. Nicely consistent.

I got a little confused during my solve, though. The fact that there were other Bs and Ys floating around the grid made me wonder why I shouldn't be splitting up those letters too. It was even more confusing when there was an extra B right in a theme entry: the first B in BOOBY TRAPS. But, I decided that it was totally fair, since there is a clear logic of "only divide the letters B and Y when they're combined into the BY bigram."

It would have been so awesome to not have that confusion. I've constructed enough puzzles with letter restrictions to realize how much the fill can suffer, especially when you choose not to use common letters, but Bs and Ys are a different story. It's a tough call — although BOOBY TRAPS has that confusion-generating first B, it's such a great answer.

Glad that Jon, Will, and Joel decided to eliminate PRESBYOPIC — even having worked in ophthalmic pharma development, that one only barely registered! I would have liked another example where BY weren't just the word BY, though, something like RUBY RED SLIPPERS or TRIPOLI, LIBYA. Alternately, having all BYs be separate words would have given nice consistency.

Excellent gridwork; just a few minor bits in IRED (odd form of IRE), RES, and GSA (General Services Administration). The theme constraint makes filling around those BY regions challenging, so the overall smoothness is even more appreciated than usual. And nice bonuses of CALIPHS, STONE AGE, MAESTRO, EAT DIRT, too. To do all that with so many entries affected by the theme is a fantastic result.

Another really clever idea from Jon. I felt like there was a little potential left on the table, but I still greatly enjoyed the solve — and perhaps even more so, the post-solve analysis. That's a great sign.

 1B 2I 3N 4S 5W 6I 7S 8E 9S 10C 11O 12P 13E 14U N I T 15A G E S 16H A V E N 17DD VI P R 18O D U C T 19A L E R T 20I T S A D E A L 21W H I R 22E R A S E 23N U 24D E 25P L 26I 27E 28S O T S 29M A D E DD 30VI H A N D 31E 32T A 33E M I S S I O N 34E 35L 36S 37R E 38S 39O N E 40D N A 41L E T 42M E S E 43E 44G S 45A 46B O O DD VI T R A 47P S 48N 49S 50F 51W 52A N N E 53R A T E 54S C A R E 55E G 56G O 57D E 58T A I N E E 59A 60T A R I 61D I V I D E D DD VI 62D O G E S 63I R E D 64N E I L 65S W E E T 66E T S Y 67T R E S
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