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MULTIFACETED

New York Times, Sunday, February 8, 2015

Author:
Jeremy Newton
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
176/15/20083/9/20172
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
13011200
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.81663
Jeremy Newton

This puzzle:

Rows: 21, Columns: 21 Words: 140, Blocks: 76 Missing: none – this is a pangram. This is puzzle # 11 for Mr. Newton. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jeremy Newton notes:
First, I want to credit Will and Joel for the puzzle title. I suggested 'Final Cuts', but 'Multifaceted' is a much cooler way to hint at the gemstones. Thank you, guys! So, this here ... read more

First, I want to credit Will and Joel for the puzzle title. I suggested "Final Cuts", but "Multifaceted" is a much cooler way to hint at the gemstones. Thank you, guys!

So, this here was a rebound from a rejected 15x submission with hidden gems. Your usual circle-related-words-in-longer-and-hopefully-colorful-answers theme:

  • TROPICAL PUNCH (OPAL)
  • RUB THE WRONG WAY (RUBY)
  • THE MIAMI HERALD (EMERALD)
  • GAME THE SYSTEM (AMETHYST)
  • and GEM CUT, the revealer.

Pretty solid, I thought. Especially the lengthy AMETHYST and EMERALD spanners. But the Shortz rejected it for two reasons: Not all circled words spanned across their parent words (OPAL). And more importantly, he wanted all circled gems to be fairly long. RUBY and OPAL were admittedly easy to wrangle.

Round two, I went for a more elaborate, Sunday-sized theme. Since I was working with gemstones, I considered a SWORD IN THE STONE concept — with different types of swords (EPEE, SABER, etc) wedged between gems. But quickly ditched that, since my list of sword types felt strained.

SET IN / STONE was a strong alternative. I first planned to thread synonyms of "set" through gems, since "set" has a wide range of meanings. I started with GEL wedged between AMETHYST in GAMETHeSYSTEM. But ultimately, this set-up felt too tricky to reveal to the solver. And seemed daunting to keep the synonyms of "set" airtight.

When finding that the word SET itself nestled nicely inside AMETH YST, the rest sorta fell into place. I noticed an "E" lurking between most of the gemstones. So, the embedded SET would thankfully work and be nicely centered. When starting grid placement, I found ROSETTA would join three centralized gem answers. From there, I spidered out and filled the remaining themers. And with a little luck from the Crossword Gods™ (cue Clark Griswold house-lighting chorus), the SET segments landed in symmetrical spots, which helped call them out more.

That's about it. I hope this was an enjoyable solve!

Favorite clue that made it: "Baywatch" stars often jogged in it (for SLOMO)
Saddest sacrifice: Having to drop THEMIAMIHERALD (EMERALD) so that the theme would work. Maybe I could use it in the sequel: 2 Faceted 2 Furious?

I'll see myself out.

Jeff Chen notes:
Jeremy goes one step further than the standard 'words hidden in themers' puzzle type, by incorporating SET IN / STONE for an additional layer of complexity. I appreciated the puzzle even ... read more

Jeremy goes one step further than the standard "words hidden in themers" puzzle type, by incorporating SET IN / STONE for an additional layer of complexity. I appreciated the puzzle even more after finishing, thinking about what a difficult time he must have had in finding strong themers which 1.) contained precious stones 2.) broke those stones into exactly two parts, and 3.) had to have an "E" in between those two parts.

That's a huge number of constraints, so to find such entries as strong as PONY EXPRESS, GAME THE SYSTEM, and POP A WHEELIE is really impressive. And Jeremy could have chosen short *SET* answers (like ASSET, SETI, etc.) to make things easier, so getting CHEESE TRAY and LEASE TO OWN in those difficult spots is much appreciated.

The Nerf N-Strike Vulcan EBF-25 — yikes!

Just in case the theme concept isn't totally clear yet, I highlighted the SETs "in stone" below. With the tremendous number of constraints this condition placed upon the grid, it's a wonder that Jeremy was able to fill it so well, even tossing in some goodies like RECKON SO, NERF GUN, and the Wheel of Fortune sequence RSTLN E (the free letters in the bonus round).

A couple of clues to point out:

  • [Facetious string?] — "facetious" contains AEIOU in sequence.
  • Did you think [You may put stock in it] had something to do with faith or trust? No SOUP for you!
  • [One connected with the force?] teases us poor Star Wars dorks, "the force" referring to a police force.

Overall, I like the push to do something new, Jeremy taking an established theme type and giving it an additional layer of complexity.

Jim Horne notes:
Electronic versions of this puzzle had the clue for 111-Across as you see it here. The magazine had a different one, with an error. The NYT published this correction: 'The crossword puzzle ... read more

Electronic versions of this puzzle had the clue for 111-Across as you see it here. The magazine had a different one, with an error. The NYT published this correction: "The crossword puzzle on Page 48 of the Magazine this weekend, seeking the name of a company as the answer for 111-Across, transposes the Hebrew letters in the clue. It should be: אל על, not לע לא."

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© 2015, The New York TimesNo. 0208 ( 23,833 )
Across
1
You may find it on your hands or side : TIME
5
Use a scalpel on : SLIT
9
"O.G. Original Gangster" rapper : ICET
13
One connected with the force? : CBER
17
Not as brazen : SHIER
19
It's worth $200 in Monopoly : PASSINGGO
21
Princess of Power from 1980s cartoons : SHERA
22
Get noticed : GARNERATTENTION
24
Wiped : WEARY
25
DuVernay who directed "Selma" : AVA
26
100% : PURE
27
Ring call, for short : TKO
28
More hot : SEXIER
30
"Sounds about right" : RECKONSO
32
In stitches : SEWN
34
Knocking : DISSING
37
Load of money : PILE
38
Like some windows : TINTED
40
Easily defeats, in sports : CRUISESBY
42
___ Vogue : TEEN
44
JFK probers : TSA
45
You may put stock in it : SOUP
46
Director Coen : ETHAN
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Enterprise for which a 14-year-old Buffalo Bill worked : PONYEXPRESS
51
One of 15 until 1991: Abbr. : SSR
52
"Baywatch" stars often jogged in it : SLOMO
54
Brownie unit : TROOP
55
Japanese "yes" : HAI
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___ Nova (musical style) : ARS
60
Will, given the chance : MEANSTO
62
Ninny : ASS
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Dickens heroine : NELL
64
Cold-climate cryptid : YETI
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End for an organisation's name : LTD
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Exploit a loophole, say : GAMETHESYSTEM
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Radio knob abbr. : VOL
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Switch off : KILL
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Unjammed : FREE
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Cable airer of vintage films : TCM
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Feeling low : INAFUNK
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Word between two last names : NEE
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Trouble : AIL
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Conductor announcements : STOPS
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Baloney : TRIPE
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Newswoman Curry : ANN
85
Lean back and enjoy the ride? : POPAWHEELIE
88
Jumbo-sized : OBESE
91
___ fide : BONA
92
A Giants giant : OTT
93
Pick out : ESPY
96
Washington landmark that lent its name to a Senate committee : WATERGATE
98
Equally : JUSTAS
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Get the show on the road : TOUR
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Pursued, as perfection : SHOTFOR
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Big bra feature : DCUP
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Sticks in a purse? : LIPBALMS
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Rotten : NOGOOD
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Little ___ : UNS
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Company with two lameds in its name : ELAL
112
Lifesaver's inits. : EMT
113
Facetious string? : AEIOU
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Big fall from the sky? : QUARTERSIZEHAIL
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Large shrimp : PRAWN
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Wavering wail : ULULATION
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Like crayons : WAXEN
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One of the Ivies, informally : PENN
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Organization with an Exalted Ruler : ELKS
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Aid in identifying a bird : SONG
125
Insignificant : MERE
Down
1
Hero in a John Irving best seller : TSGARP
2
"Eureka!" : IHAVEIT
3
Sainthood prerequisite : MIRACLE
4
It was a dark period for Poe : EEN
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Short supply : SPARSITY
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*Like puberty at age 16 : LATEONSET
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Fatal ending? : IST
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*Biter in Niger : TSETSE
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Following behind : INTOW
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Specialty of Industrial Light & Magic, for short : CGI
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Alphas might clash over them : EGOS
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Buff : TONEDUP
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*One making the rounds at a party, perhaps : CHEESETRAY
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Having an unfavorable outlook : BEARISH
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Blunder : ERR
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Bit of hope : RAY
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Bad recollection? : REPO
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Tattooed : INKED
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Alternatives to cheddars : SWISSES
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Peanut : RUNT
29
Topmost part of a face : XII
31
Persevere : KEEPON
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Drill sgts., e.g. : NCOS
35
What buckets are made in, for short : NBA
36
Ob-___ : GYN
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It may be a high percent for the 1% : TAXRATE
41
Football stat : RUSHES
43
Chinese restaurant assurance : NOMSG
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Natl. Courtesy Month : SEP
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Disapproving (of) : NOTAFAN
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Swank : POSH
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*First spacecraft to orbit a comet (2014) : ROSETTA
51
What always comes in halves? : SILENTL
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With 59-Down, permanent ... or, literally, a feature of the answers to the seven starred clues : SETIN
53
Cider server : LADLE
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Certain operatic voices : ALTI
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Energize : REVUP
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See 52-Down : STONE
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Symbol of equality, briefly : MLK
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Ahab's father : OMRI
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Randy types : NYMPHOS
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Variety : ILK
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Underwater trap : EELPOT
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Flat-bottomed boat : SCOW
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Hank's wife on "Breaking Bad" : MARIE
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*Car dealership option : LEASETOOWN
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Event with a cantina, maybe : FIESTA
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___ treatment : SPA
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*Chooses in the end : SETTLESON
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Zombie Strike SlingFire Blaster, for one : NERFGUN
86
Linear, informally : ONED
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Amazon activity : ETAILING
88
Hurtful comments? : OWS
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"Ridiculous!" : BAH
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Agent 007, e.g. : ETONIAN
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Really involved : BAROQUE
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Long-reaching weapon of yore : POLEAXE
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More delish : YUMMIER
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Bit of baby talk : GOO
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What a general may lead : JUNTA
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*Goals for underdogs : UPSETS
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"I'm such a ___" (klutz's comment) : SPAZ
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Givens on "Wheel of Fortune" : RSTLNE
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Weightlifter's exercise : CURLS
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Went off : BLEW
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Yawn-inducing : DULL
113
Android runner, often : APP
114
Poet's "prior to" : ERE
116
Arctic flier : AUK
117
Olympics host after London : RIO
118
Spotlight hog : HAM

Answer summary: 13 unique to this puzzle, 5 debuted here and reused later, 2 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

Found bugs or have suggestions?