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New York Times, Monday, May 16, 2016

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

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 ... more
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 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 ... more
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 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.

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G
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© 2016, The New York TimesNo. 0516 ( 24,296 )
Across Down
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
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.

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