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New York Times, Thursday, January 16, 2020

Author:
Erik Agard and Jeff Chen
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
5511/6/20122/21/202027
SunMonTueWedThuFriSatVariety
1156785121
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.62280
Erik Agard
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
1087/5/20102/11/202067
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
2779202898
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.638252
Jeff Chen

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 16 Words: 78, Blocks: 40 Missing: {QVZ} Grid has mirror symmetry. This is puzzle # 52 for Mr. Agard. This is puzzle # 107 for Mr. Chen. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Constructor notes:
JEFF: Once in a while, some oddity of the English language will strike me, and I'll have to stop whatever I'm doing to write it down. Genealogy ... read more

JEFF: Once in a while, some oddity of the English language will strike me, and I'll have to stop whatever I'm doing to write it down. Genealogy to geology by "taking a knee" (the "knee" syllable removed)? Pretty sure I stopped somewhere awkward, like in the middle of an intersection.

There had to be more examples like this, right?

*crickets*

Think harder, dammit!

*more crickets*

Luckily, Erik had asked if I wanted to do a themeless with him, and I sent him this concept. Maybe his mind would turn up more.

Sure enough, HONEYBEE to HUBBY came to him quickly. Yes!

And JOURNEYMAN to GERMAN? Who could possibly think of that? Genius!

To round things out, he came up with NIA LONG to ALONG and BROWNIE to BROW, too.

The answer to every problem clearly is to get Erik involved.

Jeff Chen notes:
Tough grid to figure out, with awkward themer lengths. Interesting finds, but of length 10, 8, 9, 9, 7, 7? Bleh! Good thing I happen to ... read more

Tough grid to figure out, with awkward themer lengths. Interesting finds, but of length 10, 8, 9, 9, 7, 7? Bleh! Good thing I happen to enjoy mirror symmetry ...

I did the skeleton work, and Erik and I went back and forth, shifting things around, testing, filling it piece by piece. That we have different tastes should come as no surprise — I loved CLOWN NOSES at 11-D but he wasn't a fan, and when I proposed the IRON DUKE (awesome nickname for Arthur Wellesley, the 1st Duke of Wellington) I felt his side-eye straight through my dial-up modem.

We were having some issues with the SE, and then Erik magically solved it by incorporating INUKTITUT. My first reaction started with a "what" and ended with "the F is that?" But when I looked it up, I decided I loved it. All educated solvers should learn that word. (Including me.)

Great pleasure working with Erik on this one. And by "working," I mean "sitting back and enjoying being in the presence of jeeus."

Er. Ge-NI-us.

1
F
2
E
3
T
4
A
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S
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P
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I
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G
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S
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C
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H
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A
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A
A
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T
O
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R
O
D
S
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U
T
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A
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A
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N
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O
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G
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B
R
24
O
W
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25
A
T
T
E
N
D
26
E
L
D
E
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J
O
U
28
R
29
N
30
E
31
Y
M
A
N
32
M
33
E
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G
A
35
P
E
E
W
E
E
36
O
37
T
38
I
39
S
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E
X
E
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S
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P
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L
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A
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M
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Y
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G
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H
O
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N
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Y
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B
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A
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L
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B
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D
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O
K
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O
B
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U
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A
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O
L
G
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D
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F
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K
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© 2020, The New York TimesNo. 0116 ( 25,636 )
Across
1
White pizza topping : FETA
5
Green bits of ornamentation : SPRIGS
11
Masala ___ (hot beverage) : CHAI
15
Bestower of the Movies for Grownups Awards : AARP
16
Keep the beat, in a way : TOETAP
17
Parts of a nuclear reactor : RODS
18
Where Miners have majors : UTEP
19
Type of fluffy wool : ANGORA
20
___ surgeon : ORAL
21
Word following sing or play : NIALONG
23
Furrowed feature : BROWNIE
25
Wait on : ATTEND
26
Tribal leaders : ELDERS
27
Language that's the source of "gesundheit" : JOURNEYMAN
32
Uber alternative? : MEGA
35
Pint-size : PEEWEE
36
___ Day and the Knights ("Animal House" group) : OTIS
40
Suits : EXECS
42
"___ it!" ("Hush!") : STOW
43
Place for a bench : PIANO
44
Ancient name for Ceylon : LANKA
45
Terse rebukes : TSKS
46
Invite to the roof, say : ASKUP
47
Like a desk that's a sign of genius, it's said : MESSY
49
Gobbledygook, metaphorically : GREEK
50
Flight schedule abbr. : ETA
51
The mister, affectionately : HONEYBEE
56
N.L. East city, on scoreboards : ATL
58
Lithuanian, e.g. : BALT
60
In the worst way : DIRELY
61
Neighbor of an Arkansawyer : OKIE
62
It has cork and a bell : OBOE
63
1950s-'70s football star nicknamed "The Golden Arm" : UNITAS
64
Part of a pot : ANTE
65
Bra brand : OLGA
66
Stop waffling : DECIDE
67
Fight protractedly : FEUD
68
E, F and G, but not H : KEYS
69
Opposite of the point? : ERASER
70
Collectors' goals : SETS
Down
1
Animals, collectively : FAUNA
2
Face-plant, say : EATIT
3
Ice cream cone, e.g. : TREAT
4
Breakfast cereal in a green box : APPLEJACKS
5
Routine activity? : STANDUP
6
Beer ___ : PONG
7
On the ___ (frequently, in slang) : REG
8
Skater Midori : ITO
9
Attire : GARB
10
"I don't want to hear it" : SPAREME
11
Sounds made by fans : CROWDNOISE
12
Lena of "Cabin in the Sky" : HORNE
13
Firefighter Red : ADAIR
14
Lands in the sea : ISLES
22
Hawaiian fish with a palindromic name : ONO
24
Ending with pay : OLA
28
Squiggle on a musical score : REST
29
Ends up with : NETS
30
Sci-fi forest dweller : EWOK
31
Trees with red berrylike fruit : YEWS
32
Funnyman Brooks : MEL
33
Piece of furniture often covered with crinkly paper : EXAMTABLE
34
Study of rocks : GENEALOGY
37
What five answers in this puzzle do phonetically, in defiance of their clues? : TAKEAKNEE
38
Language of the Canadian Arctic : INUKTITUT
39
Conciliatory gesture : SOP
41
Window frame : SASH
43
Trim : PARE
48
"Sup, bro!" : YODUDE
49
Yellowstone attraction : GEYSER
50
Work on a tablet : EBOOK
52
Bay Area athlete, for short : NINER
53
Kane of "All My Children" : ERICA
54
Sightings in the Himalayas : YETIS
55
Oar : BLADE
57
English city where the Who once recorded a top 5 live album : LEEDS
59
11-Across and others : TEAS
61
Bumbling bunch : OAFS

Answer summary: 4 unique to this puzzle, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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