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New York Times, Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Author: Sam Buchbinder
Editor: Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
48/19/201410/4/20160
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0130000
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1.62020
Sam Buchbinder

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 78, Blocks: 38 Missing: {FJQVZ} Spans: 1 This is puzzle # 4 for Mr. Buchbinder. NYT links: Across Lite PDF

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Sam Buchbinder notes: The idea for the puzzle stemmed from hearing the phrase 'Knuckle Sandwich' (and realizing it was 15 letters...), and I began ... more
Sam Buchbinder notes:

The idea for the puzzle stemmed from hearing the phrase "Knuckle Sandwich" (and realizing it was 15 letters...), and I began thinking about other phrases which included food, but in a non-food context. Since that was too broad of a category, I realized that when I think of sandwiches — as a teacher — I think of school lunch. Thinking about school lunch, got me to the memory of lunch boxes, which I think is a fond memory for many people. So, I hope that this puzzle brings solvers a little smile as they go down memory lane.

Jeff Chen notes: I'm getting hungry, with a DRINK, CHIPS, SANDWICH, and COOKIE neatly hidden in the grid. Sam did a great job of choosing themers that ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

I'm getting hungry, with a DRINK, CHIPS, SANDWICH, and COOKIE neatly hidden in the grid. Sam did a great job of choosing themers that camouflaged what was going on — I particularly liked kicking things off with IN THE DRINK (slang for "overboard"). By the time I hit SMART COOKIE, I knew the theme, but I liked how the puzzle was able to hide its hand until near the end.

I did hitch a little at LUNCHBOXES, though. I wondered at first if it was necessary. Then I tried to imagine how a drink might fit into a lunchbox. Are those little metal boxes big enough to fit cans? Took me a while to remember that kids usually take along … juice boxes? Juice pouches? I wondered if LUNCH would have been a better revealer, if one was necessary.

A lot of fun material in the grid, TACO TRUCKS a favorite lunch destination for me. SNOPES gave the puzzle a fresh feel too, and YOSHI pushed the vibe even younger. I feel for the older generation who might have a rough go with the YOSHI / SNOPES / DYNE intersections, though. The DYNE is a legit unit of force, hinted at in the word "dynamometer" (device to measure engine output), but it's still a toughie.

Curious choice, Sam picking PITCHES WOO for his puzzle. Since Sam's a young guy, I wondered if this term is making a comeback? Sort of an ironic usage among the Gen Y crowd?

I'm rooting for GENO Smith of the Jets to become a Hall-of-Famer. Right now he's riding the bench behind Ryan Fitzpatrick, but he has so much potential to become a crossword staple, with his beautifully alternating consonant-vowel pattern. I can't upgrade him on the XWord Info Word List quite yet, unfortunately.

Fun idea with great themers hiding what was going on. If the reveal had been punchier somehow, this would have been in POW! contention.

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© 2016, The New York TimesNo. 1004 ( 24,437 )
Across Down
1. President who ended "don't ask, don't tell" : OBAMA
6. Women's suffrage leader Carrie Chapman ___ : CATT
10. Swanky : POSH
14. Fortuneteller's deck : TAROT
15. "Famous" snack maker : AMOS
16. Teeny : ITTY
17. Overboard, to a sailor : INTHEDRINK
19. Maryland athlete, for short : TERP
20. Talk back to : SASS
21. Actress Skye of "Say Anything ..." : IONE
22. Jazz vocalist Carmen ___ : MCRAE
23. Data storage devices : MEMORYCHIPS
25. "Let me take care of that" : IGOTIT
29. Function : USE
30. Kathmandu's land : NEPAL
31. Chicken of the Sea product : TUNA
34. ___ team (police unit) : SWAT
38. Punch in the mouth, slangily : KNUCKLESANDWICH
41. Neither good nor bad : SOSO
42. To whom God said "For dust you are and to dust you will return" : ADAM
43. Nintendo character who hatches from an egg : YOSHI
44. Prefix with athlete : TRI
46. Website that investigates urban legends : SNOPES
47. Bright sort : SMARTCOOKIE
53. International court site, with "The" : HAGUE
54. Jagged cliff : CRAG
55. ___ fide : BONA
59. With 2-Down, star of 2003's "Hulk" : ERIC
60. Backpack containers where you can find the ends of 17-, 23-, 38- and 47-Across : LUNCHBOXES
62. No-longer-fashionable fur : MINK
63. Common ingredient in lotions : ALOE
64. Dance move added to the O.E.D. in 2015 : TWERK
65. Things to hang coats on : PEGS
66. "What a ___!" ("Too bad!") : PITY
67. Meanders : WENDS
1. Soul singer Redding : OTIS
2. See 59-Across : BANA
3. The "A" of B.A. : ARTS
4. ___ scale (measure of hardness) : MOHS
5. Had dinner : ATE
6. Rebound on a pool table : CAROM
7. ___ acid (protein builder) : AMINO
8. Photocopier powder : TONER
9. "Naughty!" : TSK
10. Is a romancer, old-style : PITCHESWOO
11. Former "S.N.L." comic Cheri, whose last name rhymes with her first : OTERI
12. Bridle rein, e.g. : STRAP
13. Promotes, with "up" : HYPES
18. Weight-loss program : DIET
22. Show hosts, in brief : MCS
23. Skim or 2% : MILK
24. Chinese money : YUAN
25. Signs, as a contract : INKS
26. Jets quarterback Smith : GENO
27. Grand work : OPUS
28. Street vendors selling Mexican food : TACOTRUCKS
31. Senator Cruz : TED
32. Made in ___ : USA
33. Place of service for John McCain, briefly : NAM
35. Bit of smoke : WISP
36. Aftereffect from working out : ACHE
37. "___ ends here!" (fighting words) : THIS
39. Of the flock : LAIC
40. Unit of force : DYNE
45. GPS calculation: Abbr. : RTE
46. [Ah, me] : SIGH
47. Oldest of the Three Stooges : SHEMP
48. ___ Antoinette : MARIE
49. Getting into a gray area? : AGING
50. Eyes: Lat. : OCULI
51. Words after "like it" and "ready" : ORNOT
52. Singer Musgraves who won a 2013 Grammy for Best Country Album : KACEY
55. Heavyweight champ Riddick : BOWE
56. Headstrong animals : OXEN
57. Do 10 crosswords in a row, say, with "out" : NERD
58. Questions : ASKS
60. Once around the track : LAP
61. "Oh, before I forget ...," in a text : BTW

Answer summary: 4 unique to this puzzle, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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