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THEME SHMEME

New York Times, Sunday, November 15, 2020

He was told to "take a sad song and make it better"

Author:
Caitlin Reid
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
115/10/201812/19/20203
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3110231
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.60100
Caitlin Reid

This puzzle:

Rows: 21, Columns: 21 Words: 132, Blocks: 70 Missing: {QZ} This is puzzle # 9 for Ms. Reid.
Will Shortz notes:
Caitlin Reid, of Santa Ana, Calif., is the mother of two boys and two girls ages 4 to 11. Like Margaret Farrar, the first crossword editor of The Times — who was also a busy mother — ... read more
Caitlin Reid notes:
This puzzle was a doozy to make because there were SO. MANY. POSSIBILITIES. The word and block count crept a little higher than I was initially aiming for, but once I was able to find ... read more
Jeff Chen notes:
Philosophically, I'm not a fan of 21x21 themeless puzzles. A huge puzzle ... about nothing? That fundamentally doesn't work. Not a single headlining piece of entertainment has been about ... read more
Jim Horne notes:
I love these themeless Sundays. Adeste Fideles doesn't ring a bell? You may know that melody by another name: ... read more
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© 2020, The New York Times11/15/20 ( No. 25,940 )
Across
1
Round number? : BARTAB
7
Pick a card, any card : DRAW
11
Hoops : BBALL
16
Piano keys : IVORIES
18
Quick study : CRASHCOURSE
20
Quick studies : NATURALS
22
Line delivered in costume : TRICKORTREAT
23
Source of a trendy health juice : ALOE
24
Alternative to tarot cards : TEALEAVES
26
Opportunity to hit : ATBAT
27
Hearing aid? : COURTREPORTER
29
Hole-making tools : AWLS
30
Hill worker : ANT
31
Split : RIP
32
Small bird with complex songs : WREN
33
He was told to "take a sad song and make it better" : JUDE
34
"SmackDown" org. : WWE
37
Upper limit : MAX
38
Olympic figure skater Johnny : WEIR
39
Make more pleasant : SUGARCOAT
41
First attempt : FORAY
44
Attire : GARB
45
In key : TUNED
46
"The ___ Locker," 2009 Best Picture winner : HURT
47
Declare : AVER
48
"Surely you don't think it could be me?!" : MOI
49
Bank, at times : LIENOR
51
Hayek of Hollywood : SALMA
52
Some movie extras : DELETEDSCENES
55
Acts like money grows on trees : SPENDS
57
Tool for a difficult crossword, say : ERASER
58
Added water to, as a sauce : THINNED
60
Family secret, perhaps : RECIPE
62
In lock step (with) : SYNCED
64
Seasonal song with lyrics in Latin : ADESTEFIDELES
66
Sacrament of holy matrimony and others : RITES
67
Throughway, e.g. : ARTERY
69
Fashion expert Gunn : TIM
70
It's sedimentary, my dear : SILT
71
Seemingly forever : AGES
72
Filmmaker Gerwig : GRETA
73
Info on an invitation : WHEN
75
Command, as influence : WIELD
76
"Don't worry about it" : THATSOKAY
78
Brown or blacken : SEAR
79
Hole in the ground : PIT
80
___ card : ATM
81
Shaded : HUED
82
Went over the limit, say : SPED
83
Where to find the radius : ARM
84
___ Lipa, Grammy-winning pop artist : DUA
87
"Big Little Lies" co-star of Witherspoon and Kidman : DERN
88
Barely afloat? : SKINNYDIPPING
91
Buzz in the morning : ALARM
93
Place you may go just for kicks? : SHOESTORE
94
Mail lady on "Pee-wee's Playhouse" : REBA
95
Occasion to stay up late : SLUMBERPARTY
97
Some surfing destinations : WEBSITES
99
You are here : PLANETEARTH
100
Pounds : PUMMELS
101
He made a pact with the Devil : FAUST
102
Makes blue, say : DYES
103
One of three for "Mississippi" : SHORTI
Down
1
Brand of breath spray : BINACA
2
Arthurian isle : AVALON
3
Decay, as wood : ROTOUT
4
"___ words were never spoken" : TRUER
5
Voice, as grievances : AIR
6
Potter of children's literature : BEATRIX
7
Ambitious : DRIVEN
8
Proverbial tortoise or hare, e.g. : RACER
9
Poses : ASKS
10
Branch of the U.N. in 2020 news : WHO
11
Soda factory worker : BOTTLER
12
1989 Tom Hanks black comedy, with "The" : BURBS
13
Math measurement : AREA
14
Aspiring D.A.'s exam : LSAT
15
Tennis do-over : LET
17
Result of eating the poisoned apple in "Snow White" : SLEEP
18
Quickly go from success to failure : CRATER
19
Mudbug, by another name : CRAWDAD
21
Easy target : SAP
22
Many a dare, in hindsight : TERRIBLEIDEA
25
Bring down : LOWER
28
Part of a high chair : TRAY
29
Boring things : AUGERS
33
Hera's Roman counterpart : JUNO
34
"Don't you trust me?" : WOULDILIE
35
Heat of the moment? : WARMSPELL
36
First name in jazz : ETTA
37
Quagmire : MARESNEST
38
Mom jeans have a high one : WAIST
39
Picturesque time for a walk : SUNSET
40
Goes out on a limb : CHANCESIT
41
Tapered hairstyle : FADE
42
Act of omission ... or of a commission : OVERSIGHT
43
Four for a 4x400, say : RELAYTEAM
44
Pluto, e.g. : GOD
45
Pint-size and then some : TEENSYWEENSY
48
___ mortal : MERE
50
Central : INNER
51
Bird feeder bit : SEED
53
They're on the case, in slang : TECS
54
Garrulous : CHATTY
56
Like a pearl-clutcher : PRIM
59
Discourage : DETER
61
Abbr. on a cornerstone : ESTD
63
What skies do before a storm : DARKEN
65
Worrisome beach sighting : FIN
66
Pro ___ : RATA
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Email status : READ
72
Food connoisseur : GOURMET
74
___ a clue (was lost) : HADNT
75
Scaredy-cat : WIMP
77
Frozen dessert : SHERBET
78
Golfer Jordan who won the 2015 U.S. Open : SPIETH
79
Republican politico Reince : PRIEBUS
82
Hybrid bottoms : SKORTS
83
Spot seller, in brief : ADREP
84
Keto adherent, e.g. : DIETER
85
Prepare to deplane : UNBELT
86
Andre who won the 1994 and 1999 U.S. Opens : AGASSI
87
Curses : DAMNS
88
Piece of the pie : SHARE
89
"That smarts!" : YOW
90
De-e-eluxe : PRIMO
91
___ breve (cut time) : ALLA
92
Beach ball? : LUAU
93
Do a veterinarian's job on : SPAY
95
Beach lotion abbr. : SPF
96
Rare color? : RED
98
Texter's "I can't believe this" : SMH

Answer summary: 7 unique to this puzzle, 1 debuted here and reused later, 4 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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