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LABOR CONTRACT(ION)S

New York Times, Sunday, December 23, 2018

Author:
David Alfred Bywaters
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
312/13/20162/19/20190
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
1020000
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.63000
David Alfred Bywaters

This puzzle:

Rows: 21, Columns: 21 Words: 140, Blocks: 74 Missing: {JX} This is puzzle # 2 for Mr. Bywaters. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
David Alfred Bywaters notes:
If you liked this puzzle, you should visit my website, 'David Alfred Bywaters's Crossword Cavalcade & Weekly Victorian Novel Recommender', where every week you'll find, free of charge, ... read more

If you liked this puzzle, you should visit my website, "David Alfred Bywaters's Crossword Cavalcade & Weekly Victorian Novel Recommender", where every week you'll find, free of charge, a moderately easy themed crossword (and a novel recommendation). If you didn't like this puzzle, you should still visit my website, where this week you can take out all your crossword frustrations by hate-solving "The Worst Crossword Puzzle Ever Made."

Jeff Chen notes:
I haven't been so enthralled by a piece of fill in a long time – PASCAL'S WAGER drew me in to the point where I stopped working on the puzzle to go read up (and up and up and up) on ... read more

I haven't been so enthralled by a piece of fill in a long time – PASCAL'S WAGER drew me in to the point where I stopped working on the puzzle to go read up (and up and up and up) on it. How is it that this math and sci dork only vaguely remembered it?

Makes so much sense that a rational person ought to strive to believe in God. Probability theory doesn't lie!

I also enjoyed today's revealer; UNIONIZED parsed as UN-ION-IZED. Great way to hint at removing the ION strings from base phrases for kooky results.

Tough to figure out how it applied to the themers where ION was added, though. I get that the clue is trying its hardest to *sort of* make sense of how UN-ION-IZED isn't applicable to the ones in the top half. But it's not spot-on, not by a mile. Too bad ADDION isn't a real word. ADDITION so nearly works!

Given how many words can become other words by removing ION, I would have preferred for all of the themers to be UN-ION-IZED.

Then again, I can see how David might have wanted to do something more interesting than a simple letter removal theme, especially with easy to work with letters like ION.

Perhaps the best compromise of all would have been to remove the confusing UNIONIZED "revealer" in the middle and just go with the other six themers. A title riffing on both removal and addition could have explained it all, with much less confusion. Maybe something like IONIC MOBILITY.

(In case you didn't know what WITH ONE ACCORD meant, like I didn't, it's "in a united way.")

(No, not inside a United Way building.)

(*rimshot*)

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© 2018, The New York TimesNo. 1223 ( 25,247 )
Across
1
English guy : CHAP
5
Partner in indecision with 5-Down : HEM
8
Alternative to pavement : GRAVEL
14
What leads many people to say "Let's face it"? : MECCA
19
Spanish greeting : HOLA
20
G.I.'s address : APO
21
California's motto : EUREKA
22
Like a truck descending a steep hill : INLOW
23
Sources of Manchego cheese : EWES
24
How polka bands get their start? : WITHONEACCORDION
27
Org. with an annual Help a Horse Day : ASPCA
29
Big suit : CEO
30
Harvard University Press's ___ Classical Library : LOEB
31
Hundredths: Abbr. : PCTS
32
Pontiff's gold treasure? : PAPALBULLION
37
Performed creditably : DIDOK
39
Word with store or sign : DOLLAR
40
Value : ESTEEM
43
Like powwows : TRIBAL
46
Register things : SALES
48
Star bursts : NOVAE
49
Summer hat : PANAMA
50
Enthrones : CROWNS
53
Query about the Freedom Caucus or Berniecrats? : ISTHATAFACTION
56
Noted beauty contest loser : HERA
57
Most remote of the Near Islands : ATTU
59
Irish port, county or bay : SLIGO
60
"Shame!" : TSK
61
Sushi eel : UNAGI
63
Improvised : RIFFED
67
Some refuges : DENS
69
Figure in Jewish folklore : GOLEM
70
Like some factories ... or, in a different sense, like 90-, 109- and 119-Across (but not 24-, 32- and 53-Across)? : UNIONIZED
73
Potentially unhelpful answer to "Who's there?" : ITSME
77
Speed : RACE
79
The 21st Amendment, e.g. : REPEAL
80
Biblical spy : CALEB
81
Wonder : AWE
84
Dutch cheese : GOUDA
87
Pas sans : AVEC
89
Awestruck : GAGA
90
Nickname for a hard-to-please girl? : MISSIMPOSSIBLE
95
Room to maneuver : LEEWAY
97
Certifiable, so to speak : INSANE
98
Bygone office position : STENO
99
Unctuousness : SMARM
101
White part of pearly whites : ENAMEL
102
Offshore sight, maybe : OILRIG
104
Vexes : ANNOYS
107
Arabic name that sounds like a polite affirmative : YASIR
109
Data maintained by competitive dentists? : FILLINGSTATS
112
Envelope abbr. : ATTN
114
That's right! : EAST
117
Italian article : UNA
118
Intentionally lost : THREW
119
Speakers' searches for just the right words? : RHETORICALQUESTS
125
Halliburton of the Halliburton Company : ERLE
126
Buckwheat cereal : KASHA
127
Restroom sign : LADIES
128
Antidiscriminatory abbr. : EEO
129
Iago or Othello : ROLE
130
It notably has two bridges : SITAR
131
Bleachers : STANDS
132
"x" in 5x = x2 ÷ 2 : TEN
133
Tit for tat? : SWAP
Down
1
Shoddy : CHEAP
2
"Alas!" : HOWSAD
3
War-torn Syrian city : ALEPPO
4
Philosophical argument for belief in God : PASCALSWAGER
5
Partner in indecision with 5-Across : HAW
6
Connoisseur of food and drink : EPICURE
7
One might be found near a cloverleaf : MOTEL
8
Modern prefix with tag : GEO
9
Series : RUN
10
Word with you but not me : ARE
11
Main ingredient in Wiener schnitzel : VEAL
12
Kitchenware brand : EKCO
13
Like corsets : LACED
14
Russian "peace" : MIR
15
Terminus : ENDPOINT
16
Online enticement : CLICKBAIT
17
Codger : COOT
18
Botanical bristles : AWNS
25
Evidence left by a moth : HOLE
26
Dead reckoning? : OBITPAGE
28
___ Alcorn, creator of Pong : ALLAN
33
Wood for a raft : BALSA
34
"And who ___?" : ISNT
35
Texter's transition : OTOH
36
St. Petersburg's river : NEVA
38
Unduly harsh : DRACONIC
41
Has a 42-Down : EATS
42
See 41-Down : MEAL
44
___ Lee, singer with the 2011 #1 album "Mission Bell" : AMOS
45
All limbs : LANK
47
Audit a class, say : SITIN
50
Move slowly (along) : CHUG
51
City near the Sierras : RENO
52
What comes before "B"? : ORAL
54
Islamic mystic : SUFI
55
Tinker (with) : FIDDLE
58
Align : TRUEUP
62
Doesn't really see : IMAGINES
64
Gift tag word : FOR
65
Lansing-to-Flint dir. : ENE
66
Brief swim : DIP
68
Protective sorts in showbiz : STAGEMOTHERS
71
Fervor : ZEAL
72
Some runoff sites : EAVES
74
BBQ side : SLAW
75
What can go before watt : MEGA
76
Rare success story from the dot-com bubble : EBAY
78
More pulchritudinous : COMELIER
81
Beau's girl : AMIE
82
___-Dixie (grocery chain) : WINN
83
It's not as simple as a), b), c) : ESSAYTEST
85
"Go ahead!" : DOSO
86
Italian wine city : ASTI
88
Trolley sound : CLANG
91
Bee, e.g. : SAMANTHA
92
Introvert's focus : SELF
93
Cross inscription : INRI
94
Seethe : BOIL
96
Max at the MoMA : ERNST
100
Sea cow : MANATEE
103
Need for a model : GLUE
105
Flowering herb also known as devil's nettle : YARROW
106
Woman's name that means "star" : STELLA
108
Banisters : RAILS
110
Not loose, as a diamond : INSET
111
4-0 series, say : SWEEP
112
Some refuges : ARKS
113
Like panang curry : THAI
115
"Git!" : SCAT
116
"I did it!" : TADA
120
It fits in a lock : OAR
121
Architect Maya : LIN
122
Mathematician's 116-Down : QED
123
Inits. before many state names : USS
124
Jesus Christ, with "the" : SON

Answer summary: 10 unique to this puzzle, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

Found bugs or have suggestions?