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New York Times, Thursday, January 3, 2019

Author:
Timothy Polin
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
4912/11/20111/3/20192
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
74962102
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.626140
Timothy Polin

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 68, Blocks: 39 Missing: {QVYZ} This is puzzle # 49 for Mr. Polin. Jeff Chen's Puzzle of the Week pick. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jeff Chen notes:
I love blasphemous rule-breaking in the crossworld! I especially love it when there's a grid separated in two, with something nifty ... read more

I love blasphemous rule-breaking in the crossworld! I especially love it when there's a grid separated in two, with something nifty secretly connecting the halves. Tim built a literal WALL today, using three themers with sort of a WALL rebus. STONE(WALL) JACKSON, such a colorful entry!

I did wonder about DESKTOP (WALL)PAPER. I usually call it just WALLPAPER. But some research showed that it's indeed a legit term, so that's just my ignorance.

Hey, themeless-grade quality fill! Such a treat to get BANK TELLER, SPELUNKING, SOFT SPOKEN, SOAP OPERAS, along with good use of mid-length slots: LE CARRE, ICE NINE (I'm a huge Vonnegut fan), AMALGAM, RASSLE.

Even the pedestrian SINGERS got elevated via a great clue. [Choir composition] surely had to be referring to some type of music the choir director was arranging? Great misdirection.

And that PEN clue! I had to read "boardom" a few times before finally smiling, realizing that it's a play on "boredom," meaning "a place for boars." Great punny groanery.

Huge visual impact with an in-your-face grid telling solvers to $^*#$! YOUR %@#$!!! CROSSWORD RULES! Along with a great idea to connect the halves and excellent gridsmanship, it's an easy POW! pick.

1
G
2
R
3
A
4
B
5
B
6
E
7
D
8
H
9
A
10
S
11
I
12
D
13
I
14
M
15
L
E
C
A
R
R
E
16
E
X
O
D
E
R
M
17
I
C
E
N
I
N
E
18
A
M
A
L
G
A
M
19
D
E
S
K
T
O
P
20
P
A
P
E
R
21
E
D
I
T
22
S
N
O
23
E
24
S
25
P
26
D
E
T
E
27
S
28
T
29
S
30
P
31
S
A
L
M
32
L
O
R
A
33
A
34
S
E
P
S
I
S
35
W
36
O
L
F
O
F
37
S
T
R
E
E
T
38
P
I
P
E
T
T
E
39
H
E
A
L
40
U
S
E
R
S
41
E
N
S
U
42
R
43
E
44
S
45
P
E
N
46
P
47
I
48
P
49
N
A
M
E
50
S
51
T
O
N
E
52
J
53
A
54
C
K
S
O
N
55
L
56
A
L
A
K
E
R
57
E
N
L
I
S
T
S
58
S
T
O
K
E
R
S
59
S
T
A
N
L
E
E
60
D
E
T
E
N
T
E
61
S
I
N
G
E
R
S
© 2019, The New York TimesNo. 0103 ( 25,258 )
Across
1. Got the attention of : GRABBED
8. Followers of the Baal Shem Tov : HASIDIM
15. Author known for the intelligence of his writing? : LECARRE
16. Outer layer of a membrane : EXODERM
17. Crystallizing substance in Kurt Vonnegut's "Cat's Cradle" : ICENINE
18. Conglomeration : AMALGAM
19. With 20-Across, pattern in back of a window : DESKTOP
20. See 19-Across : PAPER
21. Cut down, possibly : EDIT
22. Cold-weather product prefix : SNO
23. Reading ability? : ESP
26. Can't stomach : DETESTS
30. "De profundis," e.g. : PSALM
32. Best-selling erotic novelist ___ Leigh : LORA
33. Germ-free state : ASEPSIS
35. With 37-Across, hit Leonardo DiCaprio film, with "The" : WOLFOF
37. See 35-Across : STREET
38. Narrow tube in chemistry : PIPETTE
39. Get better : HEAL
40. App customers : USERS
41. Cinches : ENSURES
45. Boardom? : PEN
46. Playing card marking : PIP
49. Word with full or file : NAME
50. With 52-Across, commander at the First Battle of Bull Run : STONE
52. See 50-Across : JACKSON
55. Kobe or Shaq, notably : LALAKER
57. Recruits : ENLISTS
58. Steam locomotive workers : STOKERS
59. Black Panther's co-creator : STANLEE
60. Reduction of tension : DETENTE
61. Choir composition : SINGERS
Down
1. Chasséd, say : GLIDED
2. Withdraw : RECEDE
3. Gets a 5 on an A.P. exam, say : ACESIT
4. One who may help you keep your balance? : BANKTELLER
5. Lancastrian or Liverpudlian : BRIT
6. ___ Laszlo (cosmetics brand) : ERNO
7. Not easily understood : DEEP
8. Stacks : HEAPS
9. Lumberjack : AXMAN
10. Daytime TV fare : SOAPOPERAS
11. Pass the time : IDLE
12. Prepare, as hides for tanning : DEGREASE
13. Org. that supported the Good Friday Agreement : IRA
14. "Scrumptious!" : MMM
24. Razor cut : SLIT
25. May and others, for short : PMS
27. Hard to hear, perhaps : SOFTSPOKEN
28. Quick pace : TROT
29. A good one is hard to crack : SAFE
31. Underground activity : SPELUNKING
33. 1970 Australian Open winner : ASHE
34. W.W. II weapon : STEN
35. Full of sass : WISE
36. Gap in a schedule : OPENSLOT
38. Lightweight boxer? : PUP
42. Brawl in the backwoods : RASSLE
43. Possible candidate for a Razzie Award : EMOTER
44. Has a funny feeling : SENSES
47. Like atoms with complete valence shells : INERT
48. Inherently : PERSE
51. Stomach : TAKE
52. The new girl on Fox's "New Girl" : JESS
53. Disfavoring : ANTI
54. Group with a tartan : CLAN
55. Subject of many '60s hits? : LSD
56. Had something : ATE

Answer summary: 2 unique to this puzzle, 2 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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