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MULTIFACETED

New York Times, Sunday, February 8, 2015

Author: Jeremy Newton
Editor: Will Shortz
Jeremy Newton
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176/15/20083/9/20172
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1.81663

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 was a rebound from a ... more
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 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 more after finishing, ... more
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 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.

JimH 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 on Page 48 of the Magazine ... more
JimH 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 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 Down
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
47. 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
57. ___ Nova (musical style) : ARS
60. Will, given the chance : MEANSTO
62. Ninny : ASS
63. Dickens heroine : NELL
64. Cold-climate cryptid : YETI
66. End for an organisation's name : LTD
67. Exploit a loophole, say : GAMETHESYSTEM
71. Radio knob abbr. : VOL
72. Switch off : KILL
74. Unjammed : FREE
75. Cable airer of vintage films : TCM
76. Feeling low : INAFUNK
78. Word between two last names : NEE
79. Trouble : AIL
80. Conductor announcements : STOPS
82. Baloney : TRIPE
83. 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
101. Get the show on the road : TOUR
103. Pursued, as perfection : SHOTFOR
104. Big bra feature : DCUP
106. Sticks in a purse? : LIPBALMS
108. Rotten : NOGOOD
110. Little ___ : UNS
111. Company with two lameds in its name : ELAL
112. Lifesaver's inits. : EMT
113. Facetious string? : AEIOU
115. Big fall from the sky? : QUARTERSIZEHAIL
119. Large shrimp : PRAWN
120. Wavering wail : ULULATION
121. Like crayons : WAXEN
122. One of the Ivies, informally : PENN
123. Organization with an Exalted Ruler : ELKS
124. Aid in identifying a bird : SONG
125. Insignificant : MERE
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
5. Short supply : SPARSITY
6. *Like puberty at age 16 : LATEONSET
7. Fatal ending? : IST
8. *Biter in Niger : TSETSE
9. Following behind : INTOW
10. Specialty of Industrial Light & Magic, for short : CGI
11. Alphas might clash over them : EGOS
12. Buff : TONEDUP
13. *One making the rounds at a party, perhaps : CHEESETRAY
14. Having an unfavorable outlook : BEARISH
15. Blunder : ERR
16. Bit of hope : RAY
18. Bad recollection? : REPO
20. Tattooed : INKED
21. Alternatives to cheddars : SWISSES
23. Peanut : RUNT
29. Topmost part of a face : XII
31. Persevere : KEEPON
33. Drill sgts., e.g. : NCOS
35. What buckets are made in, for short : NBA
36. Ob-___ : GYN
39. It may be a high percent for the 1% : TAXRATE
41. Football stat : RUSHES
43. Chinese restaurant assurance : NOMSG
45. Natl. Courtesy Month : SEP
48. Disapproving (of) : NOTAFAN
49. Swank : POSH
50. *First spacecraft to orbit a comet (2014) : ROSETTA
51. What always comes in halves? : SILENTL
52. With 59-Down, permanent ... or, literally, a feature of the answers to the seven starred clues : SETIN
53. Cider server : LADLE
56. Certain operatic voices : ALTI
58. Energize : REVUP
59. See 52-Down : STONE
60. Symbol of equality, briefly : MLK
61. Ahab's father : OMRI
63. Randy types : NYMPHOS
65. Variety : ILK
68. Underwater trap : EELPOT
69. Flat-bottomed boat : SCOW
70. Hank's wife on "Breaking Bad" : MARIE
73. *Car dealership option : LEASETOOWN
77. Event with a cantina, maybe : FIESTA
80. ___ treatment : SPA
81. *Chooses in the end : SETTLESON
84. Zombie Strike SlingFire Blaster, for one : NERFGUN
86. Linear, informally : ONED
87. Amazon activity : ETAILING
88. Hurtful comments? : OWS
89. "Ridiculous!" : BAH
90. Agent 007, e.g. : ETONIAN
91. Really involved : BAROQUE
94. Long-reaching weapon of yore : POLEAXE
95. More delish : YUMMIER
97. Bit of baby talk : GOO
98. What a general may lead : JUNTA
99. *Goals for underdogs : UPSETS
100. "I'm such a ___" (klutz's comment) : SPAZ
102. Givens on "Wheel of Fortune" : RSTLNE
105. Weightlifter's exercise : CURLS
107. Went off : BLEW
109. 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: 14 unique to this puzzle, 4 debuted here and reused later, 3 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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