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New York Times, Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Gardeners' orders, at times

Author:
Noki Trias and Lawrence Barrett
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutCollabs
112/22/20211
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
0001000
ScrabblePOW
1.661
Noki Trias
TotalDebutCollabs
112/22/20211
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
0001000
ScrabblePOW
1.661
Lawrence Barrett

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 72, Blocks: 34 Missing: {JQVWX} Spans: 5 Grid has mirror symmetry. This is the debut puzzle for Ms. Trias. This is the debut puzzle for Mr. Barrett. Jeff Chen's Puzzle of the Week pick.
Constructor notes:
NOKI: I retired to Portugal over six years ago, thinking it would be easy enough to hop back to see DC family and friends while ... read more
Jeff Chen notes:
I loved Andy Weir's latest book, Project Hail Mary. It's so inspiring to imagine humankind achieving the impossible. Also inspiring: ... read more
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R
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A
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T
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S
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O
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C
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T
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A
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L
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S
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Y
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F
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Y
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E
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O
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N
A
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M
I
16
K
O
B
E
17
C
H
R
I
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S
T
M
A
S
S
19
P
I
R
I
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A
L
K
A
21
Z
O
N
K
22
L
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O
S
T
O
P
24
P
25
O
26
R
T
U
N
I
27
T
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Y
29
O
T
H
E
R
30
A
D
O
31
T
Y
P
E
A
32
A
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E
S
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B
I
O
T
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A
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D
O
R
K
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M
A
R
T
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I
A
N
M
I
S
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S
I
O
N
S
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S
N
L
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D
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P
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U
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H
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F
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T
E
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A
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R
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O
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M
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N
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O
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M
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M
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R
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B
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D
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R
I
O
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S
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T
Y
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B
R
E
A
M
55
T
I
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A
N
G
I
E
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Y
A
N
K
E
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E
I
N
G
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E
N
U
I
T
Y
60
E
C
C
E
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L
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N
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B
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E
H
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D
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D
N
T
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S
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S
© 2021, The New York Times12/22/21 ( No. 26,342 )
Across
1
"Darn it!" : RATS
5
In base eight : OCTAL
10
"Resident Alien" channel : SYFY
14
Sound heard in a long hall : ECHO
15
Tennis champ Osaka : NAOMI
16
City with a beef : KOBE
17
Jovial seasonal mood : CHRISTMASSPIRIT
20
___-Seltzer : ALKA
21
Take a snooze, with "out" : ZONK
22
Cost of not doing business, maybe : LOSTOPPORTUNITY
29
Significant ___ : OTHER
30
Hubbub : ADO
31
Like many a go-getter : TYPEA
32
Warrior in the Greek pantheon : ARES
33
Regional wildlife : BIOTA
35
Lovable goofball, say : DORK
36
NASA endeavors whose vehicles can be found at the ends of 17-, 22-, 51- and 57-Across : MARTIANMISSIONS
39
Sketch show since '75 : SNL
40
Fist bump : DAP
41
Walkie-talkie band, briefly : UHF
44
Place to catch up over a hot drink : TEAROOM
48
When repeated, slangy sound of eating : NOM
51
Why everyone loves a good train wreck : MORBIDCURIOSITY
54
Fish also known as a bluegill : BREAM
55
Make a bow : TIE
56
Title woman in a classic 1973 breakup tune : ANGIE
57
Uniquely American cleverness : YANKEEINGENUITY
60
___ homo : ECCE
61
Rest atop : LIEON
62
Cheeseboard choice : BRIE
63
Quizzical Quebec questions? : EHS
64
"I ___ know" (common excuse) : DIDNT
65
Member of the fam : SIS
Down
1
College app element : REC
2
"___ Tannenbaum" (16th-century folk song that inspired a carol) : ACH
3
Avid skateboarder, in lingo : THRASHER
4
Gardeners' orders, at times : SOILTESTS
5
Straight out of the barrel : ONTAP
6
Nanny ___ : CAM
7
Ode words : TOA
8
Morning hrs. : AMS
9
Composer of the piano piece played by Bugs Bunny in "Rhapsody Rabbit" : LISZT
10
Lose the suit, say : SKINNYDIP
11
Certain designer dog : YORKIPOO
12
Clarice Starling's employer in "The Silence of the Lambs," in brief : FBI
13
Nevertheless : YET
18
Hershey toffee confection : SKOR
19
Fit of sullenness : POUT
22
Fertile ground : LOAM
23
"___ vez" ("Again," in Valencia) : OTRA
24
Bother : PAIN
25
"Hamilton" actor Leslie ___ Jr. : ODOM
26
Indian flatbread : ROTI
27
Cousin of a gull : TERN
28
Gabs : YAKS
33
Like hay on a farm : BALED
34
"Same here" : ASDOI
37
Eventually : INTIME
38
___ Islands, Polynesian archipelago : SAMOAN
41
Awkward farewell : UMBYE
42
Poet who coined the term "carpe diem" : HORACE
43
Kind of kiss : FRENCH
45
Timing of the Mercutio/Tybalt duel in "Romeo and Juliet" : ACTIII
46
Unfixable : RUINED
47
Home to the deepest lake and river gorge in the U.S. : OREGON
48
Cold rice topped with wasabi and raw fish : NIGIRI
49
Likely cause of a cranky toddler's ear-tugging : OTITIS
50
"Ridiculous!" : MYEYE
52
Soaks up the hot sun : BAKES
53
Ignores : SNUBS
58
Days gone by, in bygone days : ELD
59
Fangorn Forest dweller : ENT

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

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