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New York Times, Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Author:
Alan Arbesfeld
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
1248/27/19814/10/20190
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
25724362615
ScrabRebusCirclePangramPre‑WS
1.595099
Alan Arbesfeld

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 70, Blocks: 34 Missing: {JXYZ} This is puzzle # 124 for Mr. Arbesfeld. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jeff Chen notes:
There was a guy on my Ultimate frisbee team we codenamed 'binary fingers.' You'd hope that there would be a better story behind it, ... read more

There was a guy on my Ultimate frisbee team we codenamed "binary fingers." You'd hope that there would be a better story behind it, but it was because he loved showing everyone how to count in binary on his fingers. Thumb is the 1s digit, index finger is the 2s, middle finger is the 4s, ring finger the 8s, pinky the 16s. For instance, you stick up ring finger (8) + index (2) + thumb (1) to make 11 (8 + 2 + 1). See?

Then he'd joke about giving you the number 4.

(Think about what that would look like …)

Man, we were dorks.

I liked how Alan combined some tried and true ideas to make something a little new. Phrases starting with numbers + homophones + doubling, through a good revealer in DOUBLE HEADER? That works.

The grid had some nice material in it, too. Some COLD ONES, the UNIVERSE, BITMAP, DO-GOODER, SEQUIOAS. Strong bonuses!

That almost made up for all the gluey bits and the odd longer material. Almost. I can let some NFLER ERG OVO VUE slide. Add in EGESTS though. S-CLASS. IN AN HOUR?

The problem – all too common these days – stems from too low a word count. Not a surprise to find out that this one clocked in at 70 words, much lower than usual for a weekday puzzle. I'd like some DO GOODERs to help me do good by encouraging constructors not to do this anymore. Think of how much smoother, how much more elegant the SW / NE corners would have been if they had been broken up.

A stellar grid can help elevate a theme that's just run of the mill. But it's all too easy to go astray and have the opposite effect.

1
R
2
E
3
B
4
U
5
S
6
A
7
Q
8
A
9
B
10
A
11
I
12
C
13
E
14
A
R
O
S
E
15
M
U
N
I
S
16
N
O
G
17
W
O
N
O
N
18
P
O
I
N
T
S
19
A
L
E
20
B
I
N
21
T
A
C
T
22
M
O
23
U
N
D
S
24
A
C
E
25
S
26
T
O
O
27
D
A
R
N
H
O
T
28
R
A
T
E
29
D
R
30
O
P
T
I
O
N
S
31
Q
U
O
32
T
33
A
S
34
V
U
E
35
D
36
O
U
B
L
E
H
E
37
A
38
D
E
R
S
39
O
V
O
40
S
A
D
D
E
R
41
A
G
E
I
42
S
43
T
S
44
W
E
S
45
S
46
O
47
N
48
F
O
R
A
C
H
A
49
N
50
G
E
51
E
T
N
A
52
F
O
C
S
L
E
53
F
U
E
54
L
55
E
R
G
56
I
D
O
57
A
T
58
E
L
I
K
E
59
A
P
I
G
60
R
E
A
61
S
O
R
E
S
62
T
W
I
C
E
63
M
R
T
64
S
P
A
R
E
65
O
W
N
E
D
© 2019, The New York TimesNo. 0410 ( 25,355 )
Across
1
A ewe for you, say : REBUS
6
Mideast's Gulf of ___ : AQABA
11
Swelling reducer : ICE
14
Popped up : AROSE
15
Some bonds, for short : MUNIS
16
Yule drink : NOG
17
Was barely victorious, as in boxing : WONONPOINTS
19
Brooklyn Brown or Newcastle Brown : ALE
20
Storage unit : BIN
21
Diplomacy : TACT
22
Hershey coconut bar : MOUNDS
24
Mavens : ACES
26
Cole Porter song from "Kiss Me, Kate" : TOODARNHOT
28
Not for kids, say : RATEDR
30
Acquires the film rights to : OPTIONS
31
Target numbers : QUOTAS
34
Saturn S.U.V. : VUE
35
Baseball rarities nowadays ... or a phonetic hint to the starts of 17-, 26-, 48- and 57-Across : DOUBLEHEADERS
39
___-lacto-vegetarian : OVO
40
More blue : SADDER
41
Ones who never listen to oldies? : AGEISTS
44
Big name in oil : WESSON
48
As something different to do : FORACHANGE
51
Mediterranean tourist attraction : ETNA
52
Bo's'n's quarters : FOCSLE
53
Oil or kerosene : FUEL
55
Bit of work : ERG
56
Swear words? : IDO
57
Opposite of "consumed daintily" : ATELIKEAPIG
60
Stephen of "V for Vendetta" : REA
61
Tender spots : SORES
62
How many times the little hand goes around in a full day : TWICE
63
Strongman player on "The A-Team" : MRT
64
Not quite a strike : SPARE
65
Possessed : OWNED
Down
1
Where to order oysters : RAWBAR
2
Beethoven's Third : EROICA
3
Lift : elevator :: ___ : car hood : BONNET
4
Mil. morale booster : USO
5
On its way : SENT
6
Gas brand with a torch in its logo : AMOCO
7
World capital at 9,350 feet : QUITO
8
"Commonwealth" novelist Patchett : ANN
9
Computer image file format : BITMAP
10
Put into categories : ASSORT
11
60 minutes from now : INANHOUR
12
Brewskis : COLDONES
13
Casts out : EGESTS
18
Do beat work : PATROL
23
Everything, with "the" : UNIVERSE
25
Forest giants : SEQUOIAS
27
Given medicine : DOSED
29
Do some voice work : DUB
32
Actress Thompson : TESSA
33
"Caught ya!" : AHA
35
Often-naive reformer : DOGOODER
36
Garment left in a cloakroom : OVERCOAT
37
Magazine with an Agency of the Year award : ADWEEK
38
"Zip-a-___-Doo-Dah" : DEE
41
Validate : AFFIRM
42
High-end Mercedes line : SCLASS
43
Lonely place, so they say : THETOP
45
Substitute (for) : STEPIN
46
How curry dishes are often served : ONRICE
47
Pestered : NAGGED
49
A Lion, but not a Tiger, informally : NFLER
50
External appearance : GUISE
54
Jared of "Dallas Buyers Club" : LETO
58
___ of Good Feelings : ERA
59
"So cute!" : AWW

Answer summary: 4 unique to this puzzle.

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