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New York Times, Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Author:
Alan Arbesfeld
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
1258/27/198110/9/20190
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
25724372615
ScrabRebusCirclePangramPre‑WS
1.595099
Alan Arbesfeld

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 76, Blocks: 38 Missing: {QVZ} This is puzzle # 125 for Mr. Arbesfeld. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jeff Chen notes:
When Jill and I first started dating (almost ten years ago!), I quickly learned that she enjoyed crosswords and Scrabble. So when she ... read more

When Jill and I first started dating (almost ten years ago!), I quickly learned that she enjoyed crosswords and Scrabble. So when she went back to Indiana for Christmas that year, I planned a little surprise while I schlepped her to the airport through two feet of snow. As I let her off at curbside, I slipped a present into her luggage.

The next day, I sent her a cryptic message: MIX TACKIEST COUPLES

Her response: ???

Me: STIR TOE TUSK IPECAC

Her: ?????

Third time's a charm, maybe?: ALTER CACTUS SPIKE TOE

Her: if this is someone who's stolen Jeff's phone, I'm calling the police

Me: no, wait! It's a puzzle! A fun one! I swear!

Her: TELL ME ALREADY OR I WILL REACH INTO THE PHONE AND THROTTLE YOU

Me: I put some of your favorite chocolate bars in your SUITCASE POCKET

Her: … … … aww! Sorry I threatened you with bodily injury.

Long story short, I imagine Alan had as much fun as I did making up the state anagrams. I'm not sure how many solvers will care to go back and solve them, unfortunately. I wouldn't have, if my OCD didn't compel me to list them out: WASHINGTON, NEBRASKA, WISCONSIN, TENNESSEE, DELAWARE, CALIFORNIA.

Along with the plethora of tough proper names: ARAMIS, DE SICA, MERSEY, ELBE (one foreign river per puzzle, please), even my beloved ASTERIX, I can relate to how Jill felt over that set of messages.

1
H
2
A
3
J
4
J
5
B
6
R
7
I
8
T
9
A
10
S
11
L
12
A
13
M
14
I
S
L
E
15
T
U
D
O
R
16
E
L
B
E
17
S
H
O
T
18
A
W
N
I
N
G
19
A
B
B
R
20
S
L
O
T
21
G
O
22
A
T
E
E
S
23
S
24
T
25
O
K
E
26
R
A
N
K
B
A
S
E
27
S
O
N
I
C
28
S
29
W
I
N
30
E
E
N
S
Y
31
A
G
E
32
P
O
D
33
A
L
L
34
A
L
35
T
36
E
R
E
D
37
S
T
A
T
38
E
39
S
40
A
M
Y
41
L
E
O
42
D
I
43
P
44
A
45
D
46
L
I
B
47
T
E
E
N
48
S
49
E
N
S
E
50
R
E
A
L
A
51
W
E
D
52
A
G
A
I
N
53
A
S
T
E
R
I
X
54
T
55
R
I
O
56
M
I
E
N
57
R
A
58
C
I
A
L
I
59
N
60
F
61
O
62
I
C
E
D
63
E
C
O
L
I
64
S
E
A
L
65
S
A
N
S
66
D
O
W
E
L
67
M
O
D
E
© 2019, The New York TimesNo. 1009 ( 25,537 )
Across
1
Pilgrim's journey : HAJJ
5
Big name in water filters : BRITA
10
Verse-vs.-verse event : SLAM
14
Vacation destination : ISLE
15
Elizabeth I was the last one : TUDOR
16
North Sea feeder : ELBE
17
*Storefront cover that's totally busted? : SHOTAWNING
19
Dem. or Rep., e.g. : ABBR
20
Feature of many a mailbox : SLOT
21
Facial hair for Uncle Sam and others : GOATEES
23
Stir up : STOKE
26
*Army camp that stinks to high heaven? : RANKBASE
27
*Old Seattle sports page headline? : SONICSWIN
30
Extremely small : EENSY
31
Bio datum : AGE
32
Lead-in to cast : POD
33
Nothing but : ALL
34
1980 sci-fi thriller ... or a hint to the answers to the six starred clues : ALTEREDSTATES
40
Schumer of comedy : AMY
41
Constellation whose brightest star is Regulus : LEO
42
Appetizer bowlful : DIP
44
Wing it : ADLIB
47
*High schooler's intuition? : TEENSENSE
50
*Super-impressed? : REALAWED
52
"Could you repeat that?" : AGAIN
53
Internationally popular French comic book series since 1959 : ASTERIX
54
The Jonas Brothers or Dixie Chicks : TRIO
56
Appearance : MIEN
57
*What the census provides, in part? : RACIALINFO
62
Coffee specification : ICED
63
Reason for a food recall : ECOLI
64
Member of an elite team : SEAL
65
Lacking : SANS
66
Rod in carpentry : DOWEL
67
One of math's three M's : MODE
Down
1
___ Accidency, nickname for John Tyler : HIS
2
Light-colored wood : ASH
3
Star of 2019's "Hustlers," informally : JLO
4
Lakeside rental : JETSKI
5
Vitamin also known as riboflavin : BTWO
6
Pipsqueak : RUNT
7
Dictator Amin : IDI
8
Resident of the Polynesian capital Nuku'alofa : TONGAN
9
Neighbor of krypton on the periodic table : ARGON
10
Travel restriction? : SEATBELT
11
J.Crew competitor : LLBEAN
12
Big sister? : ABBESS
13
River through Liverpool and Manchester : MERSEY
18
Eldest of the Baldwin brothers : ALEC
22
"The Jungle Book" wolf : AKELA
23
Org. that's got your number? : SSA
24
Caesar wrap : TOGA
25
What the British don't spell "marvelous" or "canceled" with : ONEL
26
Full of holes : RIDDLED
28
Quick on one's feet : SPRY
29
Misfortune : WOE
33
Plenty : ATON
35
Final parts : TAILENDS
36
Block, old-style : EMBAR
37
Go out with : SEE
38
"Hairspray" mom : EDNA
39
Egyptian president Abdel Fattah el-___ : SISI
43
Hotel room amenity : PEN
44
Friend of d'Artagnan : ARAMIS
45
Vittorio ___, director of "Bicycle Thieves" : DESICA
46
Triangular 48-Down : LATEEN
47
Milton Berle's longtime sponsor : TEXACO
48
Part of a ship : SAIL
49
Narcissist's problem : EGOISM
51
Tense with excitement : WIRED
54
Scrabble unit : TILE
55
Complain loudly : RAIL
58
Intimidate : COW
59
"The Matrix" hero : NEO
60
Beanie Babies, once : FAD
61
World Cup cry : OLE

Answer summary: 6 unique to this puzzle.

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