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BREAKING NEWS

New York Times, Sunday, January 6, 2019

Author:
Zhouqin Burnikel
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
5811/13/20121/6/201919
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
619175452
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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