Monday, May 16, 2016

Monday, May 16, 2016, Sam Buchbinder


Can a puzzle be categorized as "late Tuesday/early Wednesday"? I'm not complaining about difficulty. But I don't think this is really a Monday level puzzle. Witness 1A: Picking out of a lineup, informally (IDING). I don't like the answer at all, but having it at 1A on a Monday is unusually complicated to say the least. I give it a D.

Another example is 10A: Former "Meet the Press" host Marvin (KALB). Huh? Who? I see he's a fairly important person (who I've never heard of), but more to the point, he hosted this show for one year! I remember Robb NEN, who pitched from 1993-2002, but I imagine many had not heard of him either.

Anyway, the theme is good, in that I had no idea what the connection between the four initial answers would be, and the revealer, a common phrase (WEREALLSET) is a great twist. It's also nice that each item uses a different definition of the word "set".

I also enjoyed some of the down answers in the corners, including IMBEAT, LIBELED, SPAMMED.

On the other hand, LEOI. Also ELSAS.


- Colum


  1. 8:29
    I thought this ran a little tough for a Monday, also. I starred 25A Piece of sports equipment that's spiked (VOLLEYBALL) since it's kind of clever. However, I never heard of KALB or NEN. Despite its bad points (like, I agree, IDING), I thought that this was a nice, challenging Monday. AMENABLE is a great word, and I liked seeing BEETLES in there, even though it's plural, crossing OLDS. More good than bad today.

  2. 6:22 (FWOE)

    I had KABaB and didn't think twice about MaNET. Nevermind that his name was "Edouard"...

    I, too, loved this interesting theme.

    INONIT "Part of a prank, say" is odd. I wonder if that's the first time that's been used? ** Nope. It's the sixth time. BROKENBONE and WEREALLSET, however, appear for the first time in a NYTX today. (If you've never looked at the analytics over at XWordInfo, you really ought to. They are kind of amazing.)

    If you start to look around you see a lot of weird, iffy stuff, but the theme elevates it enough to stay on the good side. I agree with Huygens' assessment. Also - I thought he might complain about misreading NOTIT. (Too much?)

  3. Methinks you are too young. Newsmen Marvin KALB and ROGERMUDD (yesterday) are both quite well known to me.

    1. The point is not whether he is well known or not. The point is that cluing him on the basis of a show he hosted for one (!) year seems pointlessly challenging for an early week clue. Interestingly, his cohost that year on the show was Roger Mudd. Who knew?