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New York Times, Friday, December 24, 2021

Author:
Evan Kalish
Editor:
Will Shortz
Puccini opera ... or the first five letters of the maestro who conducted its La Scala premiere
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
197/2/20187/24/20222
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15411412
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31.612
Evan Kalish

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 68, Blocks: 36 Missing: {JQXZ} Spans: 1 This is puzzle # 17 for Mr. Kalish.
Evan Kalish notes:
I've previously expressed my philosophy of themeless crossword construction, and it holds true for this puzzle: pack as many ... read more
Jeff Chen notes:
What a perfect way to end a Dec. 24th puzzle, not only a great entry in NICE LIST (think "who's naughty or nice"), but a festive ... read more
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D
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R
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E
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W
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B
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A
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C
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K
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O
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M
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I
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T
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N
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U
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L
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T
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M
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M
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A
F
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K
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R
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S
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A
T
O
N
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L
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G
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P
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T
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N
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V
Y
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A
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K
H
S
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L
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C
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S
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D
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E
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B
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A
T
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B
O
C
K
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T
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I
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A
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C
O
W
L
S
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A
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Y
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E
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A
H
A
B
O
U
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T
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H
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P
O
S
S
E
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A
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I
D
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H
U
C
K
S
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L
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G
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A
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S
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P
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S
A
O
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S
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O
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T
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A
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T
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O
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S
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R
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Y
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T
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G
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W
A
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P
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N
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I
K
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A
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S
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P
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N
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© 2021, The New York Times12/24/21 ( No. 26,344 )
Across
1
Retreated : DREWBACK
9
Drop : OMIT
13
Artificial intelligence system modeled on the human brain : NEURALNET
15
Something that gets passed around a lot : MEME
16
Golfers Ernie Els and Retief Goosen, for two : AFRIKANERS
18
So much : ATON
19
All the king's men? : LIEGES
20
Simple and glib : PAT
21
School with the slogan "Ex scientia tridens," familiarly : NAVY
22
Ancient symbols of life : ANKHS
23
Velcro alternative : LACES
25
Democratic leader? : DEE
26
Recipe direction : BEAT
27
Strong, dark quaff : BOCK
28
The British royal family has one called the Cambridge Lover's Knot : TIARA
30
Some abbey attire : COWLS
31
Up : ASTIR
32
"I wasn't going to say anything, but since you brought it up ..." : YEAHABOUTTHAT
36
Crew : POSSE
37
Many a confession on a theater stage : ASIDE
38
Throws, informally : HUCKS
39
"I'm game" : LETS
40
Last ___ : GASP
44
___ Miguel Island, largest of the Azores : SAO
45
Currency units in Peru : SOLES
47
Puccini opera ... or the first five letters of the maestro who conducted its La Scala premiere : TOSCA
48
What Twix bars are sold in : TWOS
50
Companion of the droid BB-8, in the "Star Wars" universe : REY
51
Ear hair? : TASSEL
52
Calculus calculation : RATE
53
Gained some courage : GREWASPINE
55
What Shøp on "The Simpsons" is a parody of : IKEA
56
Agronomic analyses : SOILTESTS
57
A cold wave can produce one : PERM
58
Yule log? : NICELIST
Down
1
Sequencing locale : DNALAB
2
Polish : REFINE
3
Triumphant shout : EUREKA
4
"Black Boy" memoirist Richard : WRIGHT
5
Gets the batter out, say : BAKES
6
"___ poor Romeo!": Shak. : ALAS
7
Wolf's home : CNN
8
Monitor : KEEPACLOSEEYEON
9
Besides Brunei, the only current sovereign sultanate : OMAN
10
Creation date, file size and location, for an iPhone photo : METADATA
11
"That doesn't bother me anymore" : IMOVERIT
12
Like an F.B.I. director's term : TENYEAR
14
Fast fashion? : TRACKSUITS
17
Office address abbr. : STE
23
Ones making insulting offers : LOWBALLERS
24
Part of many university names : STATE
27
Flamboyant prop : BOA
29
"Black" follower : ISH
30
"The gymnasium of the mind," per Blaise Pascal : CHESS
32
Question that cannot be answered if its answer is "no" : YOUAWAKE
33
Two-wheeler at a charging station : ESCOOTER
34
"___ away!" : ASK
35
Cardinal points?: Abbr. : TDS
36
Alternative to litmus paper : PHSTRIP
40
It's the truth! : GOSPEL
41
Noted basilica town : ASSISI
42
Things picked up on a trail : SCENTS
43
Most likely to burn, maybe : PALEST
46
Kind of chart, informally : ORG
47
Decorum : TASTE
49
Underground band : SEAM
51
One end of the Mohs scale : TALC
54
GameCube successor : WII

Answer summary: 12 unique to this puzzle.

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