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BREAKING NEWS

New York Times, Sunday, January 6, 2019

Author:
Zhouqin Burnikel
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
6311/13/20125/15/201919
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
620186472
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.56281
Zhouqin Burnikel

This puzzle:

Rows: 21, Columns: 21 Words: 140, Blocks: 74 Missing: {QZ} This is puzzle # 58 for Ms. Burnikel. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jeff Chen notes:
A 'revealer' entry is often necessary to create an a-ha moment for solvers, but sometimes these still don't clear up the theme for everyone. I bet some won't understand why DEAR JOHN ... read more

A "revealer" entry is often necessary to create an a-ha moment for solvers, but sometimes these still don't clear up the theme for everyone. I bet some won't understand why DEAR JOHN LETTERS ties everything together, so I've highlighted the special letters below.

Get it? HOLLYWOOD ENDING refers to the end of the word HOLLYWOOD? EYE OPENER points to the beginning letter of EYE? It's an oldie but a goodie, a theme type that's played upon in many crosswords and other puzzle types as well.

I enjoyed how C.C. didn't rely solely on beginnings and endings, throwing a CENTER in there, as well as a SECOND and a THIRD. Even an EPISODE I!

Wait a second …

(that sort of works for A, the second letter of WAIT!)

My first reaction to the theme: why was DEAR JOHN chosen? Why not BUSINESS letters, or VARSITY letters, or the SCARLET letter? There's nothing wrong with DEAR JOHN LETTERS as a phrase, but since this is a time-tested theme type, it would have been nice if there had been some additional layer. For example, if SCARLET LETTER had been used, it would have been so cool to arrange the seven special letters in the shape of an A!

Then again, it would need to be pluralized into SCARLET LETTERS, which makes no sense. So upon further consideration, DEAR JOHN is probably the best choice for this sort of LETTERS theme. Take that, overthinking Jeff!

Solid gridwork, as to be expected from a pro like C.C. I enjoyed the bonuses of CUP O JOE, BLACK COD (one of my favorite dishes at my local sushi place), MOLESKINE, SCEPTERS, BALLPARK, NOBLEMEN. Not a ton of bonuses, but enough.

The only place I disagreed with C.C.'s gridwork – the southwest. It's neat to work in an X into IXNAY for some rare letter color, but I didn't think it was worth the price of AMICA, especially crossing ASANA. Even non-yogis probably ought to have heard of ASANA before, but two words like this crossing felt like inflexible legs cranked into the lotus position.

Hilarious clue alert! I had the middle three letters solved for [It's in your jeans]: _ENI_. Ahem. Of course, it was DENIM. Of course.

(I'd make a comment about a GENIE in one's jeans, but I doubt anyone wants to hear that.)

Jim Horne notes:

Fun theme.

1
E
2
L
3
M
4
I
5
S
6
T
7
I
8
P
9
A
10
S
11
H
12
A
13
A
14
B
15
O
16
D
17
E
18
T
O
O
G
O
O
D
19
E
20
V
E
N
N
O
W
21
C
U
R
E
L
22
H
O
L
L
Y
W
O
23
O
D
E
N
D
I
N
G
24
E
G
G
E
D
25
N
E
O
26
S
L
U
G
S
27
D
E
E
28
P
29
B
A
R
E
30
S
O
31
B
32
S
E
T
33
I
34
E
Y
E
O
35
P
E
N
E
R
36
A
37
S
K
S
A
38
L
39
O
T
40
S
P
41
A
42
R
D
A
43
C
H
I
44
L
I
K
E
45
D
46
A
R
47
C
48
T
49
I
C
F
R
50
O
51
N
52
T
53
R
I
N
54
G
L
E
A
D
E
55
R
56
A
L
A
N
I
S
57
X
I
I
58
O
V
E
R
P
A
Y
59
N
O
60
B
L
E
M
E
N
61
O
I
N
K
62
E
A
T
63
S
I
M
I
64
E
P
I
65
S
O
D
E
I
66
A
67
S
68
P
E
R
69
J
U
M
P
S
70
T
71
A
R
T
72
C
H
E
S
S
73
B
L
A
C
K
74
C
O
D
75
O
E
D
S
76
L
E
O
77
H
A
R
E
78
O
R
D
79
A
80
I
N
E
D
81
C
U
P
O
82
J
83
O
84
E
85
O
T
C
86
A
N
G
E
R
S
87
S
T
88
O
L
E
T
H
I
R
D
89
R
E
H
90
A
B
C
E
N
T
E
91
R
92
O
S
A
G
E
93
M
A
D
94
B
L
O
95
E
E
96
C
97
A
M
O
R
98
A
L
L
Y
99
A
100
N
101
Y
S
E
C
102
O
103
N
104
D
105
F
L
106
A
K
107
S
L
O
108
M
E
E
T
109
T
R
I
O
110
I
S
A
111
A
112
C
113
E
V
114
E
115
I
X
N
A
116
Y
117
D
E
A
118
R
119
J
O
H
N
L
E
120
T
T
E
R
121
S
122
C
U
T
I
E
123
E
C
L
I
P
S
E
124
I
D
E
A
L
L
Y
125
A
S
A
N
A
126
R
E
L
O
G
127
T
E
M
P
L
E
S
© 2019, The New York TimesNo. 0106 ( 25,261 )
Across
1
19,000+-foot Peruvian volcano : ELMISTI
8
Husband of Lara in "Doctor Zhivago" : PASHA
13
Quarters : ABODE
18
"That's way better than I can do" : TOOGOOD
19
As we speak : EVENNOW
21
Moisturizer brand : CUREL
22
*Stereotypical movie outcome : HOLLYWOODENDING
24
Instigated, with "on" : EGGED
25
"The Matrix" character : NEO
26
Wallops : SLUGS
27
Thought-provoking : DEEP
29
Reveal : BARE
30
[Poor, pitiful me!] : SOB
32
"Contact" org. : SETI
34
*Startling disclosure : EYEOPENER
36
Demands serious effort (of) : ASKSALOT
40
Vacation spot offering a warm welcome? : SPA
42
Fig. usually expressed as a percentage : RDA
43
___-Town (city nickname) : CHI
44
Gave a thumbs-up : LIKED
46
*Bringer of cold weather : ARCTICFRONT
53
*Law enforcement target : RINGLEADER
56
Grammy winner Morissette : ALANIS
57
Constitutional Amendment about presidential election procedures : XII
58
Get soaked, say : OVERPAY
59
Duke and others : NOBLEMEN
61
One of eight in "Old MacDonald Had a Farm" : OINK
62
Polish off : EAT
63
___ Valley : SIMI
64
Pilot follower, maybe : EPISODEI
66
According to : ASPER
69
*Battery boost : JUMPSTART
72
"___ makes man wiser and clear-sighted": Vladimir Putin : CHESS
73
Fish dish that Nobu restaurants are noted for : BLACKCOD
75
Ref. works that can run $1,000+ : OEDS
76
Bill Clinton or Barack Obama : LEO
77
March ___ : HARE
78
Like priests : ORDAINED
81
Morning fix, slangily : CUPOJOE
85
Like Benadryl: Abbr. : OTC
86
Ticks off : ANGERS
87
*Moved closer to home? : STOLETHIRD
89
*Help for users : REHABCENTER
92
Plains tribe : OSAGE
93
Ticked off : MAD
94
Rain-___ (bubble gum brand) : BLO
95
Continental trade grp., once : EEC
97
Without principles : AMORALLY
99
*Very soon : ANYSECOND
105
Criticism : FLAK
107
___-mo : SLO
108
Cross : MEET
109
Nirvana, e.g. : TRIO
110
Biblical son who was nearly sacrificed by his father : ISAAC
113
Woman famously evicted from her home : EVE
115
"No way!" : IXNAY
117
Things used for dumping ... or a literal hint to the answers to the starred clues? : DEARJOHNLETTERS
122
Adorable sort : CUTIE
123
Sun block? : ECLIPSE
124
"In a perfect world ..." : IDEALLY
125
Sitting posture in yoga : ASANA
126
Enter again, as data : RELOG
127
Many East Asian World Heritage Sites : TEMPLES
Down
1
Suffix of ordinals : ETH
2
Bird with blood-red eyes : LOON
3
Big name in notebooks : MOLESKINE
4
Houses that may include tunnels : IGLOOS
5
Sushi sauce : SOY
6
Triple-A jobs : TOWS
7
Massive star : IDOL
8
Stock holder? : PEN
9
Plus : AND
10
Cutting : SNIDE
11
Mead ingredient : HONEY
12
"That's so kind of you!" : AWGEE
13
Course rarity : ACE
14
Continuing source of irritation : BUGBEAR
15
Radio City Music Hall has a famous one : ORGAN
16
Caterpillar alternative : DEERE
17
Box ___ (tree) : ELDER
19
Beat by a nose : EDGE
20
Pieces of three-pieces : VESTS
23
Booted : OUSTED
28
Pricey mushroom : PORCINI
31
Roughly estimated : BALLPARK
33
Many a craft brew : IPA
35
Common email attachments : PDFS
36
Height: Prefix : ACRO
37
Prison weapon : SHIV
38
___ anchor (stay still, nautically) : LIEAT
39
"Sounds good!" : OKAY
41
Sea whose Wikipedia article is written in the past tense : ARAL
45
It's in your jeans : DENIM
47
The Browns, on scoreboards : CLE
48
Increasingly outmoded circus roles : TAMERS
49
All thumbs : INEPT
50
Rust, e.g. : OXIDE
51
Course halves : NINES
52
Hand-carved Polynesian statues : TIKIS
54
Empire once spanning three continents : GREECE
55
Lopsided win : ROMP
60
Range rovers : BISON
61
"I know the answer!" : OOHOOH
63
Out-of-the-blue : SUDDEN
65
Symbols of sovereignty : SCEPTERS
66
Can't stand : ABHOR
67
Shade of gray : SLATE
68
Leave thirsty : PARCH
69
Peru's ___ Chávez International Airport : JORGE
70
Some intersections : TEES
71
Supplement : ADDTO
74
Dream up : CONCOCT
76
"Hasta ___" : LUEGO
79
Works in a museum : ART
80
"Gotcha" : ISEE
81
One keeping a secret, metaphorically : CLAM
82
Apollo 13 commander : JIMLOVELL
83
Word-of-mouth : ORAL
84
Drain feature : EDDY
86
Up to it : ABLE
88
Pitcher Hideo Nomo, e.g., by birth : OSAKAN
90
Be a good designated driver : ABSTAIN
91
Flag thrower : REF
96
Pitchers' awards? : CLIOS
98
Certain keg attachment : ALETAP
99
Female friend: Lat. : AMICA
100
Connection : NEXUS
101
Buttinsky : YENTA
102
"Oyez! Oyez!," e.g. : ORDER
103
Princess Charlotte, to Harry : NIECE
104
Handyperson : DOALL
106
Lead-in to "-ville" : ASHE
111
Came from on high : ALIT
112
Give up : CEDE
114
First name in courtroom fiction : ERLE
116
Verily : YEA
118
___ Bravo : RIO
119
Image file extension : JPG
120
Pro ___ : TEM
121
Method: Abbr. : SYS

Answer summary: 9 unique to this puzzle, 3 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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