Cleaning implement for bunnies? / MON 6-10-24 / "Bunny ear" made while tying a shoelace / Like England between the ninth and 15th centuries / Grooming option for a pampered pooch / Philip Larkin or Patricia Lockwood

Monday, June 10, 2024

Constructor: Kareem Ayas

Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging, as a Downs-only solve (Easy, I imagine, if you solved the regular way)

THEME: SET (71A: Guinness world record holder for "English word with the most meanings") — SET appears in the grid a bajillion (i.e. 12) times, clued differently each time

The (remaining 11) SETs:
  • 1A: Theater backdrop
  • 5D: Part of a tennis match
  • 8D: Sink, as the sun
  • 24A: Put (down)
  • 31A: Prepare, as the dinner table
  • 40A: Written in stone
  • 35D: Having everything one needs
  • 47A: Unit for a comedian or musician
  • 57A: Like hard plaster
  • 62D: Complete collection
  • 64D: Adjust, as a watch
Word of the Day: Patricia Lockwood (11D: Philip Larkin or Patricia Lockwood = POET) —

Patricia Lockwood (born April 27, 1982) is an American poetnovelist, and essayist. Her 2021 debut novelNo One Is Talking About This, won the Dylan Thomas Prize. Her 2017 memoir Priestdaddy won the Thurber Prize for American Humor. Her poetry collections include Motherland Fatherland Homelandsexuals, a 2014 New York Times Notable Book. Since 2019, she has been a contributing editor for London Review of Books.

She is notable for working across and between a variety of genres. "Your work can flow into the shape that people make for you," she told Slate in an interview in 2020. "Or you can try to break that shape." In 2022, she received the American Academy of Arts and Letters' Morton Dauwen Zabel Award for her contributions to the field of experimental writing.

Lockwood is the only writer with both fiction and nonfiction works selected as 10 Best Books of the year by The New York Times. At four years, she also holds the record for the shortest span between repeat appearances on the list.

Kirkus Reviews has called her "our guide to moving beyond thinking of the internet as a thing apart from real lives and real art,” and Garden & Gun: “goddess of the avant-garde.” (wikipedia)

• • •

This is a pretty fun puzzle ... if you ignore the theme entirely. I guess that it's mildly interesting that SET has so many definitions, but what's *not* (even) mildly interesting is filling in SET over and over and over and nine more overs again. There's the initial shock of "oh, we're doing this?" and then the final "oh, that's why we're doing this?" and in between, yeah, just a lot of SETs. This probably seemed like a good idea, conceptually, but it's like no one thought about what it would be like to solve it. SET is a pretty boring answer to begin with, so ... let's do it a dozen times? It is kind of gutsy and avant-garde to flout convention this way, I'll give it that. And the puzzle really commits to the bit, with Every Single 3-letter answer in the Entire Grid coming in as a SET. Huge upside is that we aren't subjected to all the even more boring, or perhaps actively ugly, 3-letter fill that might’ve gone in those slots otherwise. 3-letter fill is never gonna make a puzzle interesting, why not turn it *all* to SET? So the puzzle gets high points for its artistic ambition and rule-breaking spirit. But I can't say entering SET after SET after ten more SETs was anything other than monotonous. 

On the plus side, once I realized that All the 3-letter answers were gonna be SET, I had a lot of free access to Across answers (the clues for which I never look at on Mondays). Those six free SETs gave me desperately needed traction in a puzzle that had most of its longer answers running Down (most themed puzzles have the bulk of their longer answers running Across, and it's much easier to use short Downs to guess a long Across than it is to do the reverse (use long Downs to get at short Acrosses)). May not seem like a lot, but I really needed those free SETs to have any hope of bringing down those long Downs, particularly in the SW. That free SET at 31A was probably the single-most valuable freebie, giving me the initial letters of EXISTENCE and TIPPYTOES, neither of which I could get a grip on without the assistance. My problems in the SW were compounded by the fact that (despite being a medievalist) I couldn't guess FEUDAL from the clue (44D: Like England between the ninth and 15th centuries). When MEDIEVAL didn't fit, I blanked. And I wasn't sure if areas where cigarettes weren't permitted were SMOKEFREE or SMOKELESS (in retrospect, it should've been obvious—SMOKELESS is a word I've only really heard as a modifier of "tobacco" ("smokeless tobacco" being another term for "chewing tobacco")). I also had -PE UP and decided the answer had to be PIPE UP (it was TYPE UP (52A: Put into a Word document, say)). Needed TIPPYTOES to get me out of that predicament.

The rest of the puzzle was pretty tractable, though "OK, GOOD" definitely caused me to spin my wheels (7D: "All right, that's fine"). Gonna add "OK" to the category of answer I've been talking about for days now (well, yesterday and Friday, for sure): the rapidly proliferating (or so it seems) "UH / OH / UM / (and now) OK" phrases—colloquial phrases that open with one of those two-letter units, which can be very hard to differentiate from each other. What's the difference between an "UH, OK" and an "UM, OK," or between either of those and an "OH, OK"? Somehow "that's fine" didn't evoke "GOOD" for me—"that's fine" means more "that'll do" than "GOOD")—and the "OK" part was not at all obvious either. The cluing needs to be spot on with these kinds of answers, and I'm not sure it was today. The adjacent YEN FOR wasn't a walk in the park, either. It's not a phrase I hear, ever. I think it's largely bygone. I've definitely heard of "having a YEN (n.) FOR something," but the verb phrase "YEN FOR" (in the sense of "pine for" or "jones for" or "ache for" or "long for" "YEarN FOR"), that I don't hear so much. I know it's real, it just didn't come quickly to mind. 

As I said up front, outside the theme, I found most of the grid pretty AGREEABLE. I don't love TIP OFF crossing TIPPYTOES (at the TIP!), but I love TIPPYTOES so much that I'm willing to overlook the TIP-TIP collision. Do WRIST PADS help with typing? (9D: Cushions in front of a computer keyboard). I've often thought of getting them because I type so much and my wrists have a tendency to get lazy and sit on the desk, which is probably not great for my wrists and seems quite possibly to cause more typing awkwardness (and typos) than I typically have when I can manage to keep my wrists properly elevated. But then I think I should not become reliant on rests—they'll make my wrists lazy and ruin me for ... other wrist-related activities? I dunno. Anyway, if you have strong opinions on this topic, you'll let me know. Hard to imagine anyone's having strong opinions on this topic, but you never know. Have a nice day.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld 

P.S. The "bunnies" in 25A: Cleaning implement for bunnies? (DUST MOP) are "dust bunnies"

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Anonymous 5:43 AM  

Wrist pads make a world of difference!

Lewis 5:50 AM  

My five favorite original clues from last week
(in order of appearance):

1. Challenge for an under-achiever? (5)(3)
2. ___-violence (really tearing into an Indian appetizer?) (4)
3. Legendary figure whose first name sounds like something he's known for doing (5)(4)
4. Booker's workplace (6)
5. One might get a meal wrapped up (3)


Anonymous 5:52 AM  

Took me a lil bit longer than most Mondays because I thought the SET cluing was misdirection at first—my sleepy brain didn't think they'd break the cardinal word repetition rule on a Monday!

Conrad 6:03 AM  

Fun Monday. Got the theme at the second SET, either 5D or 24A and then it was easy.

A friend of mine had a job arranging focus groups for various products. He invited me to join one on the topic of WRIST PADS (9D). I had no experience with them, so I went out and bought one. The focus group ended up being canceled, but I've been using WRIST PADS (or rather, mouse pads with built-in wrist rests) ever since.

Anonymous 6:20 AM  

I started with SET at 1A and the crosses worked. The next SET clue I saw was the volleyball one, and I knew for a fact that the answer was SET, so the gimmick became apparent quickly. I never noticed while solving that all the 3-letter answers were SET but I appreciate the decision to go all in with the theme.

@Rex, the total amount of SETs is 14, you missed 31D and 37D in the two pairs of crossing SETs.

I thought RUN was confirmed to be the word with the most meanings. SET is definitely more grid-friendly and doesn't lead to a bunch of forced terminal "U"s in the fill. So I guess SET sets the record and RUN is the runner-up?

Anonymous 6:26 AM  

I did wonder whether the theme would set you off.

SouthsideJohnny 6:35 AM  

Interesting - I’ll call it “experimental“ in the sense that they at least tried something different (or in this case, the same, about a dozen times). I developed the same SET fatigue that Rex mentioned, but was mildly amused by the revealer which kind of “saved it” for me.

Is AP SCORE a real thing - in the sense that you get a separate grade (or score) on a standardized test, or does it simply refer to your grades in AP classes ? I imagine things have changed just a bit in the half-century or so that has elapsed since I received my tassels.

JJK 6:41 AM  

A completely fun and easy Monday, loved it. I didn’t realize that all the three-letter answers were SET until the end, just that set was repeated many times. The flouting of the cardinal rule of no duplicates in such a big way made it fun and whimsical. Lots of other good stuff too - TIPPYTOES, DUSTMOP (as clued), AWASH. I liked the cluing, it feels fresh and playful.

Hal9000 6:48 AM  

I’d rather “SET, SET, SET” than any more “UM, YES” and “UH, NO” fills!

Michael 7:11 AM  

The SETs were fine but I find compound clues weak and so this is full of TYPEUP, CHIPIN, OFNOTE, OKGOOD, YENFOR, etc. that did not provide satisfaction. Not sure if those compounds have a term but I'd appreciate a puzzle ranked lower for them.

Anonymous 7:11 AM  

OK, I’ll go, can’t believe I’m the first one in the comments that hated it. What a snooze and a letdown when you get the second or third SET in there.

kitshef 7:12 AM  

If you give away a bunch of real estate by having all your three-letter answers be the same, it’s important to toughen up the rest of the puzzle to even get to a Monday level of difficulty. Today’s constructor did exactly that, so kudos to them. And the puzzle was fun,

Misread the 23D clue as "Striped swimwear ...", which certainly led to some confusion on my part.

Anonymous 7:16 AM  

Yes, the AP score is a thing. Unless they’ve changed it, students take a standardized test at the end of the course, and the scores go from 1 (worst)to 5 (best). I think you have to get at least a 3 to earn college credit for it. I’m surprised AP credit was anything different 50 years ago, but ok, it was only 40ish years since I finished HS.

Anonymous 7:25 AM  

For some Monday puzzles, the solving ease is the only real positive. This one was actually fun! I erased the second SET, figuring 24A had to be something else. Third time's the charm!

David Grenier 7:28 AM  

Came here to say exactly that. Kept skipping answers and rechecking everything because I couldnt imagine repeating a word. Took me til the fourth SET to figure out what they were doing.

Anonymous 7:31 AM  

Yes, unfortunately! Students sit a national standardized exam (or in the case of arts, prepare a portfolio) that’s scored on a 0-5 scale; typically a 4 or 5 will transfer as college credit. It is an egregious, biased system and (at least in the arts and humanities) does little to actually prepare students for college level work. The students who have access to success in APs (which often includes paid tutoring) are rarely the students who would benefit most from earning college credits that they don’t have to pay for (this is typically cited as a benefit of the AP system).

Anonymous 7:31 AM  

Yes! AP classes culminate in a standardized test that's scored 1-5... or was 30ish years ago, at least!

Andy Freude 7:38 AM  

As I solved, I imagined Joel F. thinking, “Rex is gonna love this.”

Lewis 7:44 AM  

This little rebellious puzzle, for me, is a marvel:
• A lovely mix of noun and verb meanings for SET, plus even an adjective in [Like hard plaster].
• The SETs are evenly divided, with seven across and seven down.
• Providing shine amidst the profusion of SETS are the lovely PESKY, TIPPYTOES, SPEWED, and SNOOT.
• Providing spark amidst the profusion of SETS are seven answers never before appearing in a Times puzzle before, and they’re all worthy: DOG SPA, OK GOOD, ON DISC, SMOKE FREE, TYPE UP, WRISTPADS, TIPPYTOES.

Plus, the crossnerd in me loved seeing a backward PAWS share the grid with DOGSPA and the lovely theme-infused crossing PuzzPair© of SET/SAIL.

Most of all, what a bonzo, entertaining, and original theme! This is Kareem’s second NYT puzzle, and his first, a Wednesday, had a theme that blew me away as well, in its cleverness and humor (12/27/23).

Two puzzles, two wows, Kareem, and I left your puzzle a bit buzzed, thinking you have the potential – that “it” factor – to become a hall-of-fame constructor. Thank you for today’s gem, and when I see your name again atop a grid, I’m diving in!

mmorgan 8:01 AM  

I really struggled Downs-only. I did get that SET was in there a lot, though I had no idea why. Had I realized that ALL the three-letter answers were SET, I might have been ALL SET.

Bob Mills 8:08 AM  

I liked the idea of repeating the word SET, even if it made the solve easier, but others might be dead SET against it. I hope any disagreement doesn't become a SETTO between friends who got UPSET and couldn't SETTLE their differences.

Anonymous 8:10 AM  

I thought it was fun! I mean come on, it’s a Monday!

Anonymous 8:13 AM  

Downs only: I'M GOOD was a misstep. The far more common term is WRIST REST. And STEP STOOL killed any chance of a clean solve.

Dr.A 8:24 AM  

I like it! I thought it was challenging for a Monday even with the across and down clues and had fun seeing all the “SET’ clues and answers. very cute puzzle.

Anonymous 8:34 AM  

Congratulations to set for breaking the world record.

RooMonster 8:47 AM  

Hey All !
Didn't want to put SETs in where it seemed they were to go, as thinking repeated words were a no-no. However, after getting a few, figured out that yes indeed, they would all be SETs. Getting the "Revealer" confirmed it, and then I said, "Are All the threes SETs?", and lo and behold, they were! So filled EM ALL in.

Who knew that about SET? The most meanings. Apparently Kareem did. Decent fill in here. I see only one iffy (might be more, but I only see one), REHABS. Maybe if clued differently, something like, "Goes to a detox center". Unless you go to two or more places...

OK, I'm all SET.

Happy? Monday

Four F's

Adrienne 9:27 AM  

My ergonomic keyboard has a built-in WRISTPAD and I love it. Highly recommend!

Because I have chronic pain from repetitive stress injuries in both hands/arms, I have a penguin mouse that I use left-handed, causing no end of consternation to anyone who wants to use my computer.

pabloinnh 9:36 AM  

After SET two, I thought, duplicate? and then there was another and another and I thought, that's a lot of SETS! until I got to the end which explained the surfeit of SETS and was actually kind of nice. I had read that about the Guinness record thing years ago but of course had forgotten it so it was nice to be reminded.

OFL is probably right, but I still have my doubts about YENFOR being a real thing when YEN is used as a verb.

I'm glad some people find WRISTPADS to be helpful, but I have never seen or heard of them until today.

OKGOOD may be said by some but I am much more familiar with "OK, fine" which is what my granddaughter says when she reluctantly agrees to something. Pretty sure she got that from grownups.

Impressive SET of SETS, KA. I Kept Anticipating another kind of SET and was not disappointed. Thanks for all the fun.

SusanA 10:03 AM  

This was fun!
At the second SET I was all, "Wait, that can’t be right” and when it was, thought, “Hoo boy, Rex is going to be SORE about these ANWERS!” When I realized there were more SETS of SETS, perhaps even the full SET? I just smiled.
AS TO longs, many were AGREEABLE, few were PESKY, and cluing for DUSTMOP and ANGELFISH was cute as a bunny.

Gary Jugert 10:10 AM  

Um, don't tell Joel, but uh, er, eh, okay I will just say it. There's a duplicate SET in the puzzle. I hit SET #2 and wow did the brakes slam down and the panic buzzer went off.

More importantly, this is a bunny-forward puzzle with loop ears and the dust variety. I have a YEN for a TV antenna. We have lots of bunnies in the spring out in the suburbs, but then the coyotes gobble them up. It's very rude.

Speaking of YEN, the lonely editors of the NYTXW often clue YEN as strong desire, but isn't it a weak desire? I have a YEN for a scoop of ice cream, but I YEARN to buy an ice-cream store and date the cute girl with the ponytail. (She has strong arms and probably gives good hugs.)

Ya know, I honestly don't want feet in my morning puzzle, especially SORE runners' feet. Keep yer feet to yerself.

As a B student Philosophy 101 graduate, I feel [Being] and EXISTENCE are way different things. I need to take Philosophy 102 to figure out why.

SET(S): 14 (18%)
Propers: 4
Places: 0
Products: 4
Partials: 2
Foreignisms: 2
Gary's Grid Gunk Gauge: 12 (16%)

Purposeful Funnyisms: 1 🤨


1 The orange one's legal team.
2 Do the crossword on an app.
3 Unrecommended method George Washington used to cross the Delaware according to an 1851 painting by Emanuel Leutze.
4 What a troubled Wind in the Willows antihero uses to press the gas pedals on numerous ill-fated vehicles.
5 Low brass sectional leader's exuberant assessment.
6 Why a city slicker has that hat.
7 Where a cross-legged guru might be found.
8 Reading by one who forsakes rhyming and beat boxing.


My Fascinating Crossword Uniclue Keepsake from Last Year: Each person in Ireland at 8 am. RED EYE GINGER.


Tom T 10:12 AM  

Well, Anonymous (6:20) and Lewis got closer than Rex to the correct number of SETs (14, not 12), in this oddly delightful little Monday Puzzle, but they missed out on the 15th SET, which cleverly appears as a Hidden Diagonal Word (HDW). This extra little themer begins with the S in 18A (STAGE) and moves to the NE.

Kareem also gives us a fun early summertime SET of Hidden Diagonal Words: SAND (in the NW), SALT (in the East), and SEA (in the deep South).

With that, I'll "wave" goodbye.

Gary Jugert 10:13 AM  

@Anonymous 5:43 AM
As do knee pads.

Anonymous 10:17 AM  

DITTO. No more Um, Uh, Oh, etc.!!!

jae 11:00 AM  

Medium. Smooth grid, unusual/interesting theme, some fine long downs, liked it.

Croce Solvers - Croce’s Freestyle #918 was a pretty tough Croce for me. Between wrong guesses and WOEs it took me a couple of days of putting it down and going back to it to finish. Good luck!

johnk 11:03 AM  

I didn't get upSET when I realized that I was being SET up. I found this more AGREEABLE than most Mondays.

Nancy 11:04 AM  

I had written in the SET at 1A and given it no thought. I had forgotten all about it by the time I got to the SET at 35D:) But there was no ignoring the crossing ET at 40A.

I immediately thought -- and I am so proud of myself for thinking of it! -- what if this is a feature and not a bug? Off I went to look for the revealer, and there it was. SET.

So I was all SET to go writing in SET at every 3-letter answer before looking at any other clues or writing in anything else.

Thumbing one's nose at tried-and-true puzzle "rules" can make for an original and delightful puzzle. This was both. A breezy and amusing Monday that I enjoyed.

Nancy 11:07 AM  

Crossing SET at 40A.

Anonymous 11:12 AM  

This was the most boring crossword I’ve EVER DONE. Boo hiss!

Carola 11:16 AM  

I'm among the fans. I liked the wittiness of the "forbidden" repeated answers and then that same word itself being the reveal - I had expected the usual sort of "explanatory" reveal as a longer answer, and, after finishing the 2nd to last Row, actually thought there wouldn't be one. Loved the joke being on me. After finishing I looked back to admire the pleasing symmetrical placement of the 14 SETs - quite something! - without, however, noticing that there were no other three-letter words. Really something!. Plus the fun of TIPPYTOES. A very fine Monday, I thought.

kitshef 11:19 AM  

Croce’s Freestyle #918 I was on a record pace early on, but ended up in a normal 'easy' time. The NW corner and 41A (why?) were the tough bits for me.

Masked and Anonymous 11:32 AM  

A set of 14 SETs. Neato runty puztheme.
Little-known alternate-fact: Guiness world record co-holder for English word with the fewest meanings: SUT.

staff weeject pick [of one choices]: SET.
fave moo-cow eazy-E MonPuz clue: {Cheat sheet info} = ANSWERS.

other fave stuff included: DUSTMOP & its clue. SMOKEFREE. DOGSPA [better clue: {Grooming option for a pampered setter} ]. TIPPYTOES. OKGOOD. PESKY.

Fairly easy solvequest. Pretty much totally caught onto the theme mcguffin via SET/SET, at puzgrid central. [They were my 2nd and 3rd close encounters of the set kind.]

Thanx for the fun, Mr. Ayas dude. It was hardy unsettlin.

Masked & Anonymo3Us

p.s. For what it's worth, around a week ago M&A wrote up a runtpuz called "All Set". Slightly different theme slant, tho. Comin soon, to a blog near U.


jb129 11:54 AM  

At first I thought "Can't be" (SET in so many grids). But it was & it was fun. And easy (I don't do downs only on Monday like Rex & others).
Thanks, Kareem for a different & enjoyable Monday :)

egsforbreakfast 12:15 PM  

It seems like@Rex didn't experience the joy of SETs. Maybe WRISTPADS would help. True story: Yesterday I was driving on a fairly busy street and went by a buxom, bikini-clad, tattoo-festooned woman joyfully holding up a sign that said "Honk if you Like Sex". Lot of honking going on as cars went by.

Isn't SMOKEFREE a giveaway plan by Big Tobacco to get kiddies hooked? And BTW, where is Little Tobacco in all of this?

My DOGSPA was a nice enough fella, but his dogma was so strict that KristiNoem shot the bitch.

Game, SET and match to Kareem Ayas for not only thinking of this, but for making it a really good solving experience. Kudos as well to Joel Fagliano for having a big enough SET to publish it.

LewS 1:24 PM  

I solve in pen and rarely have to use white-out on a Monday. But I had NOSMOKING (anyone remember Nosmo King?) until I got to EDEN …

Sharon Ak 1:38 PM  

Isn't this the third "set"? It's stat Okaya, some people will really complain. dOh, another . NAd they all have slightly different meanings. More and twotht cross. Whee, this is fun.
Oh and the final "set" is explains it all.
The above was more or less my response to the puzzle as I did it.
Left me wanting to post how much fun it had been. But by 11:30pm my time 3:30 am EDT there was still the Sunday puzzle on the blog.

@ Lewis Thnx for reminding me ofclues 1, 2, 3 (on your list) I agree.
Missed 4 & 5.

Les S. More 1:42 PM  

Downs only, this had its tough moments. Those long downs mentioned by @Rex were difficult but not impossible. You just had to be patient. Or take a wild guess and prepare for the ensuing embarrassment and remorse. (Not really; it's a crossword puzzle.)

Re: 21D Like areas where cigarettes are not permitted: SMOKEFREE is kind of off. I can walk into any SMOKEFREE area with a pack of cigarettes in my pocket. I can even take one from the pack and wave it around in an ivory cigarette holder like a 1920s movie star. Or I can place it loosely between my lips and let it dangle like Bogart. But I am not in contravention of the rules until I light the thing. The answer is SMOKEFREE, not cigarette, or cigar, or pipeFREE. The clue says "cigarettes are not permitted", but they actually are, until you alter them with some form of fire.

Was actually quite confused when I thought they were repeating STEP, but amused when I realized it was part of the theme.And all the 3s were themers! Nice. A fun Monday.

okanaganer 1:45 PM  

Also solving down clues only, this was tough! I usually zip through typing in the down answers which are gimmes, then see what kind of across answers they suggest, and it was so ridiculous I took a screen shot. In the lower right for 41d I had OBOE, 51d ORBIT, and 56d PRUDE. This gave me the following for the acrosses: TBRF, OAIO, ENSRERP, CHBPIR, IEDU, TEGD, and SEE. Hilarious! Took quite a while to untangle but it was kinda fun.

Oh yeah, the theme: I kinda liked it; it helped that some of them were downs so I knew what was going on. This seems to be the year of the dupes.

[Spelling Bee: Sun currently -1 missing a 6er. Will try later on to keep streak going.]

Anonymous 2:24 PM  

I LOVED THIS. Break conventions! Screw the “rules!” At first I was confused and convinced this was some errant Thursday that was trying to trick me, but nope, just a lot of SET. With a fantastic “aha!” revealer. Great puzzle, super fun and inventive Monday.

Anonymous 2:33 PM  

Just watched a Girls5eva episode where Sara Bereilles writes a song using all 430 definitions of set. Would be a perfect link to add to this write up it’s on YouTube.

Les S. More 2:38 PM  

@Rex - Thanks for the Larkin poem. Really nice. I'm an atheist but I can't deny an attraction to "places of worship", those sites devoted to a deity or system of gods in which I do not believe.

Anonymous 3:02 PM  

You’re not the first. This was a sub-par puzzle for NYT - I came for the comments :-)

BrianK 3:22 PM  

I wonder if the constructor has been watching Girls5eva--in Season 2, Dawn discovers this fact about "set" and writes a song that incorporates all 430 meanings. Made solving easy for me.

Anonymous 3:49 PM  

Making “set” the word of the day would have been a W.

CDilly52 4:08 PM  

My thought too @BrianK 3:22 PM!

pabloinnh 4:26 PM  

I think that was the fastest Croce ever for me, definitely a wheelhouse + lucky guess situation, but I'll take it.

Bud 4:47 PM  

The French Open Men's final; went to five sets.

And the quadrennial European Football Championships beginning this week, we are sure to see a plethora of set pieces over the next month.

Followed by hundreds of athletes at the Paris Olympics who will compete at the ready, set, go.

ac 5:06 PM  

loved how it tripped you up thinking 'set' wasn't suppose to be repeated then if you went with the flow and solved s.w. corner last it really made for a fun solve.. wish Sundays would take a memo..

Giz 5:22 PM  

Easy for my Monday solving style: perimeter first, then each succeding column/row working my way inward until only the center square is left. (Is there a better way to describe this?) Adds a challenge to Mondays.

Couldn't agree more regarding the colloquials. I've hated them for years and am glad to find it's not just me. I'm sad that they are becoming more prevalent. The clues are ALWAYS inadequate to suggesting the answer. Um, er, uh, huh, erm, uh oh, uh huh, oh, ok - for god's sake, just stop. This really sers me off .

Anoa Bob 7:20 PM  

This solved more like a themeless for me. Yeah, there are a lot of SETs in the grid but, as others have noted, they fill all the three letter slots and those rarely get filled with anything interesting anyway. Left more room for AGREEABLE fill. I liked it.

EXISTENCE (32D) and the clue for 35D SET "Having everything one needs" sound like topics in an intro philosophy course.

Whenever I come across TIPPYTOES (33D)---it happens more than you would think---I am reminded of group XG and their video of that same name. There are several versions of it on YouTube but this one best shows off their dance skills.

I didn't realize until watching it a couple of times that the entire 3:17 is shot continuously from a single, stationary camera. So different from the multiple images per second they so often throw at us.

Giz 8:18 PM  

Typos really set me off.

Donna Prescott 9:52 PM  

Once I groked the theme, I loved the puzzle. Awhile back, I dreamt that I constructed a puzzle in which all the answers were "Bob." I am not a constructor but a solver only but since the dream, I have been trying to construct an only-Bob puzzle. This puzzle gave me hope. ☺️

Anonymous 11:43 PM  

According the final jeopardy clue of 11/11/2014, “run” has the longest OED entry, so maybe that’s what you’re thinking of?

Gary Jugert 11:59 PM  

@Donna Prescott 9:52 PM
My dad's name was Bob, so I bet an all-Bob puzzle would be okay by him.

Little Bird 11:09 AM  

@Rex....answer was SMOKEFREE but I also know the word SMOKELESS as slang for "not wearing pants". Not sure of its origins but was used by Aaron Sorkin on THE WEST WING......

Little Bird 11:12 AM  


SMOKELESS seems to be slang for going without underwear....

From a West Wing episode (shown in 2001):

And she’s not wearing any pants?

Well, she’s wearing underwear Mrs. Landingham. She hasn’t gone smokeless.

Anonymous 1:46 AM  

Loved it, especially the rule-breaking aspect. And TIPPYTOES was perfect.

spacecraft 9:52 AM  

Between "On your marks" and the shot: SET! Gotta shout out to the Olympics coming soon.

This was actually hard for a Monday, starting out, because: no, that can't be SET because I already...oh geez, here's another...oh. So you're gonna do THAT. Well, if you're gonna flaunt a rule, FLAUNT it!

Are there really WRISTPADS? For our poor delicate little wrists? Who knew?

Do I have to say "TIPPYTOES?" Seems like baby talk. Tiptoes, that works.

Not my cuppa, but fine in execution, if that's your bag. Par.

Wordle par. Again, an either-or, but a tad unfair this time. One of the choices was so common that it was the first "secret word" on "You Bet Your Life" that a contestant spoke, winning $100. The other is a word from literally a hundred years ago. Which would YOU pick? SPOON or SWOON?

Burma Shave 12:41 PM  




this stream of unconsciousness brought TO U by PESKY SET, SET, SET, etc.

rondo 1:01 PM  

I quickly grew tired of the gratuitous SETs. Not AGREEABLE to me. ASTO the remainder, meh, other than the low PPP count, probably due to focusing SETS on too much.
Wordle bogey ending in ShOOk SpOOf SWOON.

Diana, LIW 1:04 PM  

I usually begin my solve by roaming around the puz and SETting down the obvious (to me) answers. So my first coupla SET answers I was having the same reaction as Spacey. Then, more showed up, and I decided that this was the "trick" of today. Yup. Can't TIPPYTOE around that.

So, is tomorrow's word-of-the-day going to be "aim?" We'll see...

For today I'll have to settle for finishing my colonoscopy prep (a gallon of Sooper MiraLax), so I'll get out a puzzle anthology.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

Anonymous 2:17 PM  

Not bad. But frankly, the bar has been SET pretty low lately.

Anonymous 6:03 PM  

Well Rex, you ruined yet another puzzle. I came here expecting to see blood splatters all over the blog from your head exploding!

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