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New York Times, Monday, May 16, 2016

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

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 76, Blocks: 38 Missing: {FJQXZ} This is puzzle # 3 for Mr. Buchbinder. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Sam Buchbinder notes:
A while back I read that the word with the most definitions in the English language was 'set.' So, I set out to create a puzzle whose ... read more

A while back I read that the word with the most definitions in the English language was "set." So, I set out to create a puzzle whose theme answers were all things that can be "set" in different ways. That left trying to find a revealer that would tie it together. I played around with a few things, and decided on the phrase "We're All Set," which did a good job of describing the theme. In addition to the theme answers, I really like the first two down answers, which are colloquial phrases — I'M BEAT and DARE ME?

I hope everyone enjoys the puzzle!

Jeff Chen notes:
This is one of my favorite types of early-week themes, phrases which seem to have nothing in common but are tied together in a ... read more

This is one of my favorite types of early-week themes, phrases which seem to have nothing in common but are tied together in a surprising way. I enjoyed uncovering BROKEN BONE, VOLLEYBALL, DINNER TABLE, and ALARM CLOCK, wondering what the heck the revealer was going to be. Neat to find out that they're all things that can be SET.

All set!

WERE ALL SET felt slightly awkward to me, but it does get across the general idea. I wonder if a shorter entry like GET(S) SET could have made for a more spot-on revealer? It does provide the last element in a symmetric set — 10/10/11/10/10. Without it, that 11-letter DINNER TABLE is all by itself.

That DINNER TABLE does cause some grid difficulties. Sam uses "Utah blocks" (look at those chunks of five black squares on the sides — look like a certain state?) to break up the grid a bit, but he still has to deal with fairly wide-open corners, plus tricky spots all over the grid where two themers interact.

I don't think anything in the grid is unfair, but the excess of tough proper names might give beginning solvers a rough go. MAIA isn't something I recognized even with all my Greek myth interests, MYA is tough for us pop music idiots, RHEA Perlman hasn't had a major achievement in a while, etc. I think they're all reasonable crossings — maybe RHEA / KEA is iffy — but there are so many of them.

Sam did work in some nice bonus material like TEAPOTS, IM BEAT, BEETLES, which isn't easy given the theme density. It wasn't quite enough for me to be able to overlook all the gluey bits though — when your NW corner already contains some NIK/EEN/NEN plus the repetitive sounding IN ON IT / IN OIL / NOT IT ...

Still, it's a neat idea that kept me guessing until the end. That's more than enough to keep me entertained on a Monday.

1
I
2
D
3
I
4
N
5
G
6
T
7
I
8
M
9
E
10
K
11
A
12
L
13
B
14
M
A
N
I
A
15
A
N
E
W
16
A
M
I
E
17
B
R
O
K
E
18
N
B
O
N
E
19
B
E
B
E
20
E
E
N
21
L
E
O
I
22
M
O
N
E
T
23
A
M
I
24
N
25
V
O
L
26
L
27
E
Y
B
A
L
L
28
T
E
T
O
29
N
30
A
L
A
31
B
E
E
32
T
E
33
A
34
P
35
O
T
S
36
O
L
D
S
37
D
I
N
N
E
R
T
A
38
B
L
E
39
S
40
P
O
T
41
T
A
K
E
S
T
O
42
P
A
N
43
A
I
R
44
U
R
45
B
46
A
47
N
48
A
L
A
49
R
M
C
L
50
O
51
C
52
K
53
D
O
P
E
54
M
E
T
O
O
55
R
H
E
56
A
57
O
P
S
58
M
A
I
A
59
W
60
E
R
E
A
L
61
L
S
E
T
62
E
L
O
N
63
A
R
I
A
64
M
E
T
A
L
65
D
E
N
S
66
R
E
N
T
67
A
I
S
L
E
© 2016, The New York TimesNo. 0516 ( 24,296 )
Across
1
Picking out of a lineup, informally : IDING
6
Magazine with a "Person of the Year" : TIME
10
Former "Meet the Press" host Marvin : KALB
14
Craze : MANIA
15
Freshly : ANEW
16
French lady friend : AMIE
17
Reason for a cast : BROKENBONE
19
Spanish newborn : BEBE
20
Period after dark, in poetry : EEN
21
Fifth-century pope known as "the Great" : LEOI
22
Impressionist Claude : MONET
23
Ugandan tyrant Idi ___ : AMIN
25
Piece of sports equipment that's spiked : VOLLEYBALL
28
Grand ___ National Park : TETON
30
Pie ___ mode : ALA
31
Insect with a stinger : BEE
32
Cozies keep them hot : TEAPOTS
36
Cutlass or 88, informally : OLDS
37
Family gathering place : DINNERTABLE
39
Leopard's marking : SPOT
41
Starts liking : TAKESTO
42
Skillet, e.g. : PAN
43
It's thinner as you go up : AIR
44
City-related : URBAN
48
Device with a snooze button : ALARMCLOCK
53
Idiot : DOPE
54
"I agree" : METOO
55
Emmy winner Perlman : RHEA
57
Call of Duty: Black ___ (video game) : OPS
58
Hermes' mother : MAIA
59
"Ready to go!" ... or a description of 17-, 25-, 37- and 48-Across? : WEREALLSET
62
Tesla co-founder Musk : ELON
63
Opera part : ARIA
64
Tin or titanium : METAL
65
Scouting groups : DENS
66
Something rising in a gentrifying neighborhood : RENT
67
Choice plane seating : AISLE
Down
1
"Man, what a day!" : IMBEAT
2
Comment after "You think I'm chicken?" : DAREME
3
Part of a prank, say : INONIT
4
Suffix with peace or neat : NIK
5
Certain Scotsman : GAEL
6
Off-limits : TABOO
7
How foods are often fried : INOIL
8
All Supreme Court justices until 1981 : MEN
9
Ram's mate : EWE
10
Meat on a skewer : KABOB
11
Willing to go along : AMENABLE
12
Defamed in print : LIBELED
13
Small VWs : BEETLES
18
Home to Vegas: Abbr. : NEV
22
R&B singer with the hit "It's All About Me" : MYA
24
Cry in a game of tag : NOTIT
26
Foamy coffee order : LATTE
27
"___ Dream" (63-Across from "Lohengrin") : ELSAS
29
Former All-Star closer Robb : NEN
33
Shenanigan : ANTIC
34
Gem whose authenticity can be checked by rubbing it against the teeth : PEARL
35
Mork's birthplace, on TV : ORK
36
Prayer starter : OLORD
37
Gift to a nonprofit : DONATION
38
A/C measure, for short : BTU
39
Sent millions of emails, say : SPAMMED
40
Brew with a rhyming name : PALEALE
43
___, amas, amat : AMO
45
Raises : BOOSTS
46
Take to a higher court : APPEAL
47
Snuggle : NESTLE
49
Speckled horses : ROANS
50
Utah's Sen. Hatch : ORRIN
51
Have an affair : CHEAT
52
Mauna ___ (Hawaiian peak) : KEA
56
___ mater : ALMA
59
Card game that can go on and on : WAR
60
Before, to a bard : ERE
61
Gift given while saying "Aloha!" : LEI

Answer summary: 2 unique to this puzzle.

Found bugs or have suggestions?