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New York Times, Monday, December 28, 2009

Author:
Patrick Merrell
Editor:
Will Shortz
One word that precedes "play," one that follows it
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551.615
Patrick Merrell

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 78, Blocks: 37 Missing: {FJQ} Scrabble average: 1.90 Featured in Will Shortz's favorite puzzlemakers. This is puzzle # 69 for Mr. Merrell.
1
D
2
E
3
N
4
Z
5
E
6
L
7
L
8
P
9
G
10
A
11
D
12
A
13
S
14
I
C
E
A
X
E
15
A
R
A
W
16
E
S
P
17
C
O
C
K
A
N
18
D
B
U
L
L
19
A
T
E
20
E
L
K
21
M
O
U
R
N
S
22
T
R
I
X
23
D
I
S
24
K
25
M
E
I
26
A
H
S
27
R
28
O
29
O
M
A
N
30
D
B
O
A
31
R
32
D
33
V
34
I
35
S
I
B
L
Y
36
G
A
R
37
N
A
E
38
O
N
E
S
I
E
39
R
U
40
S
T
I
C
41
I
T
A
42
W
A
43
C
44
P
E
P
T
A
L
K
45
D
O
W
46
N
A
N
D
47
D
I
R
T
Y
48
O
O
N
49
R
O
Z
50
X
51
R
52
A
53
Y
54
B
55
I
R
D
56
B
A
N
Z
57
A
58
I
59
O
T
O
60
A
N
T
61
R
O
C
K
A
N
D
62
R
O
L
L
63
I
C
H
64
B
A
K
E
65
K
A
R
N
A
K
66
T
H
Y
67
I
T
S
Y
68
A
S
S
E
S
S
© 2009, The New York Times12/28/09 ( No. 21,965 )
Across
1
Actor Washington who once played Malcolm X : DENZEL
7
Org. for women on the links : LPGA
11
Karl Marx's "___ Kapital" : DAS
14
Mountain climber's tool : ICEAXE
15
Got ___ deal (was rooked) : ARAW
16
Mind reader's "gift" : ESP
17
One word that precedes "pit," one that follows it : COCKANDBULL
19
Had a bite : ATE
20
Antlered animal : ELK
21
Grieves : MOURNS
22
Cereal advertised with a "silly rabbit" : TRIX
23
"Slipped" backbone part : DISK
25
"Don't tell ___ can't ...!" : MEI
26
Sounds during medical checkups : AHS
27
One word that precedes "key," one that follows it : ROOMANDBOARD
33
By eyesight : VISIBLY
36
Long-nosed fish : GAR
37
Scottish refusal : NAE
38
Infant bodysuit : ONESIE
39
Countryish : RUSTIC
41
"Let's call ___ day" : ITA
42
W.W. II female : WAC
44
Pregame morale builder : PEPTALK
45
One word that precedes "play," one that follows it : DOWNANDDIRTY
48
Suffix with pont- : OON
49
Cartoonist Chast : ROZ
50
With 13-Down, "super power" glasses : XRAY
54
Ostrich or owl : BIRD
56
Buckaroo ___ (movie character) : BANZAI
59
Plains tribe : OTO
60
Insect with a queen : ANT
61
One word that precedes "hard," one that follows it : ROCKANDROLL
63
"___ bin ein Berliner" : ICH
64
Prepare cookies or chicken, e.g. : BAKE
65
Egyptian temple site : KARNAK
66
"Love ___ neighbor ..." : THY
67
___-bitsy : ITSY
68
Evaluate : ASSESS
Down
1
Chopped into small cubes : DICED
2
Food-poisoning bacteria : ECOLI
3
Prominent giraffe parts : NECKS
4
Ringo's drummer son : ZAK
5
Test : EXAM
6
NBC host Jay : LENO
7
Famed tar pits whose name is Spanish for "the tar" : LABREA
8
Clipping, as shrubs : PRUNING
9
Guys' mates : GALS
10
Hole-making tool : AWL
11
Start of a Christmas letter : DEARSANTA
12
___ Spumante (wine) : ASTI
13
See 50-Across : SPEX
18
Ventriloquist's prop : DUMMY
22
However, informally : THO
24
Singer Kristofferson : KRIS
26
Sudden : ABRUPT
28
___ Kenobi of "Star Wars" : OBIWAN
29
Fat substitute brand : OLEAN
30
Risk taker : DARER
31
Train track part : RAIL
32
What a swabbie swabs : DECK
33
Invalidate, as a check : VOID
34
Fascinated by : INTO
35
Fit for sailing : SEAWORTHY
40
Hellish river : STYX
43
Music store fixtures : CDRACKS
44
Order from Domino's : PIZZA
46
Silent assent : NOD
47
Braying animal : DONKEY
51
TV sports broadcasting pioneer Arledge : ROONE
52
Book of maps : ATLAS
53
"Sunny" egg parts : YOLKS
54
Worms in a can, e.g. : BAIT
55
1/36 of a yard : INCH
56
Gravy vessel : BOAT
57
Paul who wrote "My Way" : ANKA
58
Actress Lupino and others : IDAS
61
Slugger's stat : RBI
62
B&O and Reading: Abbr. : RRS

Answer summary:

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