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New York Times, Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Author:
Jacob Stulberg
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
3012/25/20131/2/20190
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
3449640
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.597100
Jacob Stulberg

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 78, Blocks: 42 Missing: {JQXZ} This is puzzle # 30 for Mr. Stulberg. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jacob Stulberg notes:
Today's puzzle owes its inspiration to my fifth-grade health class, where we spent several days learning about dinner-party etiquette ... read more

Today's puzzle owes its inspiration to my fifth-grade health class, where we spent several days learning about dinner-party etiquette from the the 1961 volume Tiffany's Table Manners for Teenagers. (Years later, I still remind myself to not hold my soup spoon like a mashie niblick.)

A few theme answers that didn't make the cut: CH[EF][ICKEN] and WHI[TERUSSIAN][SKEYSOUR].

Jeff Chen notes:
Look at all those shaded squares! They're so orderly — made me eager to find out what was going on. Neat concept, with different ... read more

Look at all those shaded squares! They're so orderly — made me eager to find out what was going on. Neat concept, with different types of forks literally forking into two directions. A salad fork forking into a GREEN or a GREEK salad — perfect!

All this forking talk reminds me of "The Good Place" and the brilliant Megan Amram! If you haven't seen it, holy shirt, why not?

I'm not one for proper table settings, but it was interesting to learn that there are such things as a dessert fork, a fish fork, a cocktail fork, a fruit fork.

(Heck, the concept of a salad fork is forking foreign to me too.)

At first, I thought that classifying a shark as a fish was complete bullshirt. Apparently not! Not a mammal; not even close.

With these diagonal-entry puzzles, I usually expect the worst — they're so hard to fill cleanly. They're even harder when you have connected themers, which mean that there are serious constraints within close proximity.

Pleasantly surprised to get not that much crossword glue. Jacob is such a pro. Not a fan of EEE or BENE, but to escape with just those and ETHNO is incredibly strong work, considering the five pairs of themers. There must have been dozens of iterations.

I don't always feel on Jacob's wavelength, what with his higher-class notions sometimes going over this Three-Stooges-lover's head — forks are made for poking, not for eating! But I always appreciate seeing his byline.

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© 2019, The New York TimesNo. 0102 ( 25,257 )

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Across
1
Gloomy atmosphere : PALL
5
Mess up : MUFF
9
Subject of some youth sports fraud : AGE
12
What inventions start as : IDEAS
14
Actor Morales of "The Brink" : ESAI
15
Toot one's own horn : BRAG
16
*Fish fork : SHARK
17
*Cocktail fork : MARGARITA
19
Vice president who became ambassador to Japan : MONDALE
21
Swapped : TRADED
22
It ends rather spookily: Abbr. : OCT
23
Last ruler of the United Kingdoms of Sweden and Norway : OSCARII
26
Often-prewritten news article, for short : OBIT
29
Regret : RUE
30
Wide-eyed sort : NAIF
34
Unrealized : LATENT
36
Draw (out) : EKE
37
Leslie in the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame : LISA
38
*Salad fork : GREEK
39
Flashlight inserts, perhaps : AAS
40
Soldier's topper : BERET
41
Well, in old Rome : BENE
42
Loos : WCS
43
Some rock coverings : MOSSES
44
"Bye!" : TATA
45
Wide shoe spec : EEE
46
___ Village (Manhattan neighborhood) : EAST
47
Russia, once : TSARDOM
50
Preschool group? : ROE
53
Estate sharer : COHEIR
56
Bespectacled canine of comics : DOGBERT
59
*Dessert fork : CHERRYPIE
62
*Fruit fork : PEACH
63
Haberdasher's array : TIES
64
"Yikes!" : OHNO
65
TV's Don Draper, for one : ADMAN
66
Abbr. on a remote : VOL
67
Fictional boy who rafted down the Mississippi : FINN
68
Big brand of petrol : ESSO
Down
1
___ Beach, Calif. : PISMO
2
Makeshift : ADHOC
3
Makeshift shelter : LEANTOTENT
4
Kosher bakery no-no : LARD
5
They might go viral : MEMES
6
"Mr. Robot" network : USA
7
Partner of wide : FAR
8
What Buddha is said to have meditated under : FIGTREE
9
Barren : ARID
10
Boarding pass datum : GATE
11
"Heavens to Murgatroyd!" : EGAD
13
Genre of the band Less Than Jake : SKA
15
Idiotic : BRAINLESS
18
The Cards, on scoreboards : ARI
20
1980s-'90s N.F.L. great Ronnie : LOTT
24
Like envelope flaps : CREASED
25
Relatives of puffins : AUKS
27
Relatives of kingfishers : BEEEATERS
28
India ___ : INK
31
Wind tunnel currents : AIRSTREAMS
32
"Got it!" : ISEE
33
They can be saturated : FATS
34
Pride parade letters : LGBT
35
Rest ___ : AREA
39
Big name in laptops : ACER
40
Fashion accessory that may be six feet long : BOA
42
No longer interested in : WEARYOF
43
An assistant might take one : MEMO
48
Follower of yes or no in the military : SIR
49
Ancient arts venue : ODEON
51
Black-and-white mammals : ORCAS
52
Prefix with musicology : ETHNO
53
Security guard's viewing, for short : CCTV
54
River originating in Pittsburgh : OHIO
55
Shoe part : HEEL
57
Figure on a résumé, in brief : GPA
58
Monk known as "The Father of English History" : BEDE
60
Upsilon follower : PHI
61
Stop on a trip : INN

Answer summary: 3 unique to this puzzle, 4 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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