It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker. Please consider supporting our site by purchasing an account.
This web browser is not supported. Use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge for best results.

MESSAGE TO BUYERS

New York Times, Sunday, January 31, 2016

Author:
Yaakov Bendavid
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
62/28/20101/31/20160
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
6000000
RebusCirclePangram
001
Yaakov Bendavid

This puzzle:

Rows: 21, Columns: 21 Words: 138, Blocks: 66 Missing: {JZ} This is puzzle # 6 for Mr. Bendavid. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Yaakov Bendavid notes:
From come-ons plastered on billboards to disclaimers and warnings in tiny print or read at lighting speed at the end of radio ads, we're inundated with ad and packaging copy. So why should ... read more

From come-ons plastered on billboards to disclaimers and warnings in tiny print or read at lighting speed at the end of radio ads, we're inundated with ad and packaging copy. So why should the Sunday crossword be an exception?

I hope solvers enjoy the alternate definitions for some familiar phrases in this, my 6th NY Times puzzle.

One clue/theme entry I would have liked to fit: [Disclaimer on a poker school price list?] DEALER PREP EXTRA.

And one clue that didn't get in with the entry that did: [Audition notice encouraging forgetful actors?] CONTAINS SMALL PARTS.

My NYT puzzles have all been Sundays, and I've been asked ‘why only Sundays?'. Well, before embarking on the actual construction, I spend a lot of time gathering theme entries and possible clues, and I want to have 20 or more candidates from which to choose 6 to 9 entries that pair up and allow for a nice-looking grid, clean fill, and clever/funny clue-answer combinations. Having phrases up to 21 letters as opposed to 15 for a non-Sunday puzzle gives me many more phrases from which to choose.

Thanks to Will and Joel Fagliano for their editing and patience through two revisions.

Jeff Chen notes:
I like puzzles with kooky interpretations of real-life phrases. My favorite was STORE IN A DRY PLACE, 'store' getting a neat change from a verb to a noun. NO MONEY DOWN was also funny, the ... read more

I like puzzles with kooky interpretations of real-life phrases. My favorite was STORE IN A DRY PLACE, "store" getting a neat change from a verb to a noun. NO MONEY DOWN was also funny, the idea of advertising free pillow stuffing pretty amusing.

Two small quibbles:

  1. I could have done with SOME added to ASSEMBLY REQUIRED. It just doesn't feel complete to me without the SOME, and to kick off the puzzle with this one doesn't feel very strong.
  2. INTEL INSIDE and NO MONEY DOWN feel out of place to me. The rest of the themers feel so much tighter — all things you'd see in or around a packaging box. Mixing a specific and a general marketing slogan into the theme made it feel unfocused and not as specific as I would have liked.

BANDOLERO!

For a 138-word puzzle, Yaakov executes nicely. I'd usually expect a dozen or so pieces of minor crossword glue given this challenging feat, but I only noticed around half of that (KPS, LALA, YET TO, TER, etc.). And there was a good amount of longer fill that spiced up the puzzle — BON MOT, TIME OUT, DEADPAN, LOW POINT, SPUTNIK, etc.

I also enjoyed the challenge of the SW and the NE corners, spaces as big as you'd usually see in a themeless. Not surprisingly, these were the last two areas to fall for me, and I appreciated the battle. MANS MAN / SABOTAGE / PROMOTER / BANDOLERO is a great quartet of answers, and to hold them together with just STOL (short takeoff and landing) is awfully nice.

Usually I don't like it when constructors try to dip below the 140-word maximum because of the prices the solver has to pay, but I liked it today.

1
F
2
A
3
C
4
E
5
T
6
H
7
A
8
T
9
S
10
S
11
U
12
B
13
I
14
C
15
S
16
E
17
A
18
T
19
L
E
O
V
I
20
A
M
A
T
21
P
R
A
D
A
22
A
X
L
E
23
A
S
S
E
M
24
B
L
Y
R
E
25
Q
U
I
R
E
D
26
L
A
L
A
27
N
O
T
R
E
A
L
28
S
M
U
T
29
R
A
D
30
E
M
U
S
31
K
P
S
32
O
N
E
33
A
34
I
N
35
T
E
L
I
36
N
S
I
D
E
37
C
U
D
38
S
39
T
40
A
T
I
C
41
E
A
R
N
E
R
42
C
43
A
44
B
O
T
45
B
S
E
D
46
K
E
47
Y
48
S
49
M
E
E
T
S
50
A
M
O
S
51
R
E
I
N
A
52
S
53
L
A
P
54
P
55
P
R
O
56
C
O
N
T
57
A
I
N
S
S
M
A
58
L
L
P
A
R
59
T
S
60
H
U
M
A
N
S
61
T
E
A
M
O
62
S
T
O
W
63
S
64
A
65
D
66
E
R
O
S
I
O
67
N
68
S
N
O
W
69
S
70
S
T
I
71
L
L
E
R
72
D
S
T
73
T
T
O
74
P
75
C
A
P
E
76
R
77
E
L
A
I
N
E
78
B
A
T
T
E
79
R
Y
N
O
T
I
80
N
C
L
U
D
E
D
81
S
82
P
A
83
O
C
T
A
84
S
I
T
O
U
T
85
D
I
A
G
86
M
A
R
N
87
E
88
H
E
N
89
S
90
N
E
T
S
91
D
E
N
S
E
92
A
B
O
D
E
93
S
94
G
O
95
A
T
E
E
96
R
E
D
97
N
O
M
O
N
E
98
Y
99
D
O
W
N
100
R
101
H
E
A
102
G
103
E
104
M
105
S
T
O
L
106
T
E
R
107
S
T
108
A
109
R
110
E
L
D
111
E
R
L
Y
112
M
A
T
E
113
S
T
O
114
R
E
I
N
A
115
D
R
Y
P
L
A
C
E
116
A
G
E
R
117
A
T
S
E
A
118
T
I
N
O
119
A
S
T
I
R
120
N
E
R
O
121
T
O
S
I
R
122
E
L
A
N
123
N
E
E
D
S
© 2016, The New York TimesNo. 0131 ( 24,190 )
Across
1
Aspect : FACET
6
They're not tipped very much nowadays : HATS
10
___ Bay, former U.S. base on Luzon : SUBIC
15
County center : SEAT
19
Pope John X's successor : LEOVI
20
Latin 101 verb : AMAT
21
Italian fashion label : PRADA
22
Weigh station unit : AXLE
23
Notice regarding voting in a state legislature? : ASSEMBLYREQUIRED
26
In ___ land : LALA
27
Fake : NOTREAL
28
Prurient material : SMUT
29
Cool, once : RAD
30
Pride : lions :: mob : ___ : EMUS
31
Some G.I. duties : KPS
32
Suited to serve : ONEA
34
Sign on the N.S.A.'s entrance? : INTELINSIDE
37
Something to chew on : CUD
38
Unchanging : STATIC
41
Person of interest to the I.R.S. : EARNER
42
Explorer for England who mistook Canada for Asia : CABOT
45
Deg. for a teacher-to-be : BSED
46
Command and Control : KEYS
49
Runs into : MEETS
50
Biblical prophet : AMOS
51
Spanish royalty : REINAS
53
Nomadic northerner : LAPP
55
Ace : PRO
56
Audition caution for a movie with a cast of thousands? : CONTAINSSMALLPARTS
60
One side in "The Terminator" : HUMANS
61
Mexican cigar brand : TEAMO
62
Squirrel away : STOW
63
Blue : SAD
66
Shoreline problem : EROSION
68
Brings good news to skiers, say : SNOWS
70
See 45-Down : STILLER
72
It ends in Nov. : DST
73
Sporty car roof : TTOP
75
Pickled garnish : CAPER
77
"Seinfeld" role : ELAINE
78
Note on a watered-down assault indictment? : BATTERYNOTINCLUDED
81
Where to get a mud wrap : SPA
83
Numerical prefix : OCTA
84
Abstain : SITOUT
85
Screen meas. : DIAG
86
1914 battle locale : MARNE
88
Chick magnets? : HENS
90
Some safari camping gear : NETS
91
Unable to get it, say : DENSE
92
Houses : ABODES
94
Feature of the Devil : GOATEE
96
___ Hots : RED
97
Offer of free pillow fill? : NOMONEYDOWN
100
Second-largest moon of Saturn : RHEA
102
Beauty : GEM
105
Many a bush plane, in brief : STOL
106
Thrice, in prescriptions : TER
107
Center of a Scrabble board : STAR
110
Typically active voting group, with "the" : ELDERLY
112
Chum : MATE
113
Desert supermarket? : STOREINADRYPLACE
116
Stress, it's said : AGER
117
Bewildered : ATSEA
118
Ex-Yankee Martinez : TINO
119
Buzzing : ASTIR
120
During whose reign Peter was crucified : NERO
121
Formal letter opener : TOSIR
122
Panache : ELAN
123
Cell towers for cellphones, for example : NEEDS
Down
1
Steak cut : FLANK
2
"The Old Lion" storyteller : AESOP
3
Overhead items : COSTS
4
Always : EVER
5
Break : TIMEOUT
6
Berry that's much sought after? : HALLE
7
Musical documentary/biopic of 2015 : AMY
8
Smears : TARS
9
Stick in the ground? : STEM
10
News sensation of 10/4/1957 : SPUTNIK
11
Ocean State sch. : URI
12
Ballet dancer's support : BARRE
13
10, say : IDEAL
14
Bag carrier : CADDIE
15
Ones doing demos, maybe : SALESREPS
16
Bay Area newspaper : EXAMINER
17
Suggest : ALLUDETO
18
Promos : TEASERS
24
Wedding expense : BAND
25
Computer command : QUIT
33
Court stat : ASSIST
35
Infection fighter : TCELL
36
"Forrest Gump" setting, for short : NAM
37
Longtime Olympics TV host : COSTAS
39
Conjugation factors : TENSES
40
Mulishness : ADAMANCY
42
Squirreled away : CACHED
43
Trysters : AMOURS
44
Witticism : BONMOT
45
With 70-Across, member of Hollywood's Frat Pack : BEN
47
Blathers : YAPS
48
Old-timey footwear accessory : SPATS
51
Dish that's stirred constantly when being made : RISOTTO
52
Neighbors of Fijians : SAMOANS
54
Guard : PROTECT
57
Soul singer Baker : ANITA
58
Nadir : LOWPOINT
59
Herringbone, for example : TWILL
63
Tried to avoid a tag, say : SLIDIN
64
Defender of Troy : AENEAS
65
Clear, as a channel : DREDGE
67
Belt mark : NOTCH
69
Parlor piece : SETTEE
71
Held in high esteem : LAUDED
74
Super Bowl-winning coach Carroll : PETE
76
Target of a curfew, maybe : RIOTER
78
Old Southwest outlaw : BANDOLERO
79
Title chameleon of a 2011 animated film : RANGO
80
Fraternity letters : NUS
81
Throw a monkey wrench into : SABOTAGE
82
Concert V.I.P. : PROMOTER
86
Masculine icon : MANSMAN
87
Poetic twilight : EEN
89
Low-quality material, in a saying : SOWSEAR
91
Unsmilingly : DEADPAN
93
Attacks : SETSAT
95
Opposing voice : ANTI
96
Count (on) : RELY
98
"The best is ___ come" : YETTO
99
Impurity : DROSS
101
Graceful bird : HERON
102
Hazard for high heels : GRATE
103
1961 Charlton Heston title role : ELCID
104
Fort ___, Fla. : MYERS
108
Penny ___ : ANTE
109
Commuter option : RAIL
111
Alternatively : ELSE
114
Big name in camping gear : REI
115
Strands in a lab : DNA

Answer summary: 6 unique to this puzzle, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

Found bugs or have suggestions?