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STATE OF CONFUSION

New York Times, Sunday, January 12, 2020

Author:
Evan Mahnken and David Steinberg
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
810/4/20174/2/20201
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
1014110
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.65110
Evan Mahnken
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
986/16/20111/12/202019
SunMonTueWedThuFriSatVariety
86691132242
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.645183
David Steinberg

This puzzle:

Rows: 21, Columns: 21 Words: 140, Blocks: 76 Missing: {JX} This is puzzle # 7 for Mr. Mahnken. This is puzzle # 98 for Mr. Steinberg. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Will Shortz notes:
Evan Mahnken is a high school chemistry teacher in Amherst, Mass. David Steinberg is a puzzles and games editor for Andrews McMeel Universal syndicate in Kansas City, Mo. They're each 23. ... read more
Constructor notes:
DAVID: It was a pleasure working with Evan on his first Sunday crossword! He initially proposed a 15x15 version of the theme with answers that scrambled Utah, Ohio, Maine, and Oregon. ... read more
Jeff Chen notes:
Sometimes I look back upon my early crossword solving/constructing days, when the crossworld was filled with wonder. Thankfully I still take great enjoyment in puzzles, but my obsession ... read more
Jim Horne notes:

A meme floating around crossword circles last year was that a great clue for MRED (101-Across) would be "Stable genius."

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© 2020, The New York TimesNo. 0112 ( 25,632 )
Across
1
Some Japanese cars : MAZDAS
7
Judean king, in Matthew : HEROD
12
Medical insurance grp. : HMO
15
Freedom of the ___ : SEAS
19
Like a short play : ONEACT
20
Brick material : ADOBE
21
Sushi fish that's never served raw : EEL
22
School with its own ZIP code - 90095 : UCLA
23
Voice box? [Wolverine State] : ANSWERINGMACHINE
26
33-Across's sound : ROAR
27
"Dang!" : NUTS
28
Like a soufflé : EGGY
29
___ Kea : MAUNA
30
2014 film with the tagline "One dream can change the world" : SELMA
31
Losers : ALSORANS
33
Safari sighting [Golden State] : AFRICANLION
35
Captain of science fiction : NEMO
36
Spleen : IRE
38
Wiggle room : LEEWAY
39
Rehearsed : PAT
42
Device that keeps fish alive : AERATOR
44
Pay a brief visit : SWINGBY
48
Stashed for later [Blue Hen State] : SQUIRRELEDAWAY
53
Whom a warrant officer might report to, informally : LOOIE
54
"___ Lang Syne" : AULD
55
Letters on an ambulance : EMS
56
Times before the present? : EVES
58
Revealer of the Wizard : TOTO
59
Following, as a detective might : TAILING
63
Gave up the ghost : CROAKED
66
It's condensed : DEW
67
Editorialist's skill [Mountain State] : PERSUASIVEWRITING
72
Banned pollutant, for short : PCB
74
West Coast birthplace of John Steinbeck : SALINAS
75
Like some candles : TAPERED
78
"No way, José!" : UHUH
80
Fairy tale prince, perhaps : FROG
81
"There it is!" : AHA
84
Big Island city : HILO
85
Events for socialites : GALAS
87
Knight's accouterments [Ocean State] : SWORDANDSHIELD
92
Brother or sister : SIBLING
95
School : EDUCATE
96
___ Schwarz (toy company) : FAO
97
Like some wallpaper patterns : FLORAL
100
In which a single raised pinkie is an "i": Abbr. : ASL
101
Wilbur's partner in an old sitcom : MRED
103
Sushi bar offering [Centennial State] : AVOCADOROLL
107
Cockney and others : DIALECTS
111
Pilots' flights just after training is finished : SOLOS
112
Face-planted : ATEIT
113
Detach slowly (from) : WEAN
114
Hit playfully on the nose, slangily : BOOP
115
Rights-defending org. : ACLU
116
Has been around the block [Evergreen State] : KNOWSATHINGORTWO
119
What locks are made of : HAIR
120
Hawaiian word that's also a common Chinese surname : LEI
121
Layers : PLIES
122
Ready for publication, say : EDITED
123
"Like that'll ever happen" : IBET
124
Lead-in to Brown or Robinson in #1 song titles : MRS
125
Sport on a range : SKEET
126
Not for ___ (sign) : RESALE
Down
1
Disney heroine of 2016 : MOANA
2
Invalidate : ANNUL
3
Cocktail garnishes : ZESTS
4
___ City, Yukon Territory : DAWSON
5
Nail : ACE
6
Bit of party decoration : STREAMER
7
Puts up : HANGS
8
Pushing the envelope : EDGY
9
Letters after CD : ROM
10
Most of the 2010s : OBAMAERA
11
Insomniac's order : DECAF
12
Tush : HEINIE
13
Poses a danger to : MENACES
14
Cry with an accent : OLE
15
Emphatic rejection : SURELYNOT
16
Food inspectors test for it : ECOLI
17
Thrifty competitor : ALAMO
18
Sticky roll : SARAN
24
Snub : IGNORE
25
Let fly : HURL
30
One leaving a trail : SNAIL
32
What scared horses do : REAR
34
"That's so sweet!" : AWW
36
Article : ITEM
37
40 make up a furlong : RODS
39
Exam for the college-bound : PSAT
40
___ fortis (another name for nitric acid) : AQUA
41
Noted export from Holland : TULIPBULB
43
Something North Carolina's Alcohol Law Enforcement regulates, aptly : ALE
45
Charlie Brown catchphrase : GOODGRIEF
46
Ask the obvious question, so to speak : BITE
47
"Ouch!" : YEOW
49
Indolent : IDLE
50
"___ here!" : WERE
51
Maintain : AVOW
52
Reading on the dashboard of the DeLorean in "Back to the Future" : YEAR
57
Improv offering : SKIT
60
Fed. agency that helped take down Al Capone : IRS
61
Secretive org. : NSA
62
Wide gap : GULF
63
Walgreens rival : CVS
64
Symbol for viscosity, in chemistry : ETA
65
Short swim : DIP
68
What phonies put on : AIRS
69
Word before cap or shoe : SNOW
70
Shakespearean schemer : IAGO
71
Classic pop brand : NEHI
72
Flat-faced dogs : PUGS
73
Kind of tea : CHAI
76
"___ Minnow Pea," 2001 novel with an alphabetically punny title : ELLA
77
Dummy : DODO
79
Setting for some pickup basketball : HALFCOURT
81
Uses sigma notation, in calculus : ADDS
82
Tow : HAUL
83
Nelson Mandela's org. : ANC
86
George Eliot's "___ Marner" : SILAS
88
It's no bull : REALTALK
89
Musician Marley, son of Bob : DAMIAN
90
Outlander : STRANGER
91
Command to a dog : HEEL
93
Go-ahead : NOD
94
Many a dad joke : GROANER
98
Stella ___ (imported beer) : ARTOIS
99
Big name in theaters : LOEW
102
Flotsam and jetsam : DEBRIS
103
Japan's largest brewer : ASAHI
104
English class quiz subject, informally : VOCAB
105
Skateboard jump : OLLIE
106
Imitates Daffy Duck, in a way : LISPS
107
Many a founding father, religiously : DEIST
108
Terra ___ : COTTA
109
Dry (off) : TOWEL
110
Fine china : SPODE
113
"This is fun!" : WHEE
116
Airline with a crown in its logo : KLM
117
1-1, for one : TIE
118
Something that might accompany a dedication : ODE

Answer summary: 10 unique to this puzzle, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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