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New York Times, Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Author:
Alan Arbesfeld
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
1238/27/198112/5/20180
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
25724352615
ScrabRebusCirclePangramPre‑WS
1.595099
Alan Arbesfeld

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 74, Blocks: 36 Missing: {FJQX} Spans: 2 This is puzzle # 123 for Mr. Arbesfeld. Jeff Chen's Puzzle of the Week pick. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jeff Chen notes:
So clever! This one reminded me of another change-of-spacing puzzle I loved. Not sure if I ever would have come up with the idea of: ... read more

So clever! This one reminded me of another change-of-spacing puzzle I loved. Not sure if I ever would have come up with the idea of:

  1. Sticking countries together
  2. Parsing them for kooky results
  3. Tying things neatly up with the perfect UNITED NATIONS revealer.

MALI ESTONIA becomes MA LIES TO NIA? What a fantastic find! And PERUSER BIAS PAIN doesn't make a whole lot of sense, but still, it's the type of discovery I wish I would have made. PERU SERBIA SPAIN … wow, what a change those spaces make!

Sometimes I feel like I'm too harsh on Alan's gridwork. You could easily go to town on ELL ONT OPEL SHUL TNG ULEE. Another day I would, rambling on at length in gruesome technical detail about how to fix these issues — there are dozens of ways for this particular set of themers.

But today, I'll shut up and just enjoy. This theme shines so brightly that the flaws in execution are easily overlookable. Just like Jacob's puzzle, this one will stick in my memory. That's a rare and lovely occurrence, indeed.

1
S
2
H
3
U
4
L
5
I
6
S
7
I
8
S
9
D
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Y
11
A
12
D
13
S
14
M
E
G
A
15
S
C
O
T
16
W
A
H
O
O
17
I
R
A
N
18
O
M
A
N
I
19
C
E
L
A
N
D
20
T
O
N
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C
21
B
I
L
L
E
T
22
H
I
D
23
C
24
U
B
A
L
E
B
A
25
N
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O
27
N
28
S
C
A
29
P
U
L
A
30
S
O
S
31
E
R
A
32
A
L
E
R
33
T
34
K
O
C
H
35
U
36
N
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T
E
D
N
37
A
38
T
39
I
O
N
S
40
S
C
A
R
41
G
L
E
N
N
42
A
L
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L
44
E
45
S
46
A
R
C
A
47
D
48
E
49
S
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M
A
L
51
I
E
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O
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A
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N
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S
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M
A
R
K
55
P
56
O
S
S
E
57
P
58
E
59
R
U
S
E
R
B
I
60
A
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A
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61
E
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A
62
V
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© 2018, The New York TimesNo. 1205 ( 25,229 )
Across
1. Sabbath service site : SHUL
5. Title woman in a 1976 Dylan song : ISIS
9. Couples : DYADS
14. ___ Millions (multistate lottery) : MEGA
15. Aberdeen resident : SCOT
16. "Yippee!" : WAHOO
17. "You can't bring in a crazed antelope, Mr. Glass!"? : IRANOMANICELAND
20. Picker-upper : TONIC
21. House, as soldiers : BILLET
22. Put under wraps : HID
23. Wrigley Field's beer boycott goes into effect? : CUBALEBANON
28. Shoulder bone : SCAPULA
30. Call for help : SOS
31. Stat for which lower is better : ERA
32. One may be red : ALERT
34. "Mayor" memoirist : KOCH
35. Organization honored on October 24 ... and the theme of this puzzle : UNITEDNATIONS
40. Melee memento, maybe : SCAR
41. Early spaceman : GLENN
42. Clay, after 1964 : ALI
43. Guitarist Paul : LES
46. Amusement park attractions : ARCADES
50. Mother isn't straight with actress Vardalos? : MALIESTONIA
53. Mich. neighbor : ONT
54. Venetian basilica eponym : STMARK
55. Western band : POSSE
57. Suffering caused by reader prejudice? : PERUSERBIASPAIN
61. Slave in "Uncle Tom's Cabin" : ELIZA
62. Let off some steam : VENT
63. Breakfast brand : EGGO
64. Ability to effect change : CLOUT
65. One of 12 on a cube : EDGE
66. It helps you focus : LENS
Down
1. Workers at forges : SMITHS
2. Lifesaving, say : HEROIC
3. Landlocked African country : UGANDA
4. Civil rights activist Guinier : LANI
5. Suffix with ideal : ISM
6. One close by a swordsman's side : SCABBARD
7. Ancient land on the Aegean Sea : IONIA
8. Shots from movies : STILLS
9. Nerdy sorts : DWEEBS
10. Big Three conference site : YALTA
11. "Gotcha!" : AHA
12. Put on : DON
13. Means of putting down roots? : SOD
18. Like Hogwarts courses : OCCULT
19. Jazz singer Laine : CLEO
24. Beekeeper of filmdom : ULEE
25. Element between helium and argon on the periodic table : NEON
26. Middle-earth menaces : ORCS
27. "Don't think so" : NAH
29. Part of a full house : PAIR
33. "Star Trek" sequel, briefly : TNG
34. Big Island coffee : KONA
35. Jackie Robinson's alma mater : UCLA
36. Get perfectly : NAIL
37. Comic who said "If you want to read about love and marriage, you've got to buy two separate books" : ALANKING
38. Garr of "Tootsie" : TERI
39. PRINTED SO AS TO SHOUT : INCAPS
40. Rick's Café Américain employee : SAM
43. Sics on : LETSAT
44. Name in a Salinger title : ESME
45. Eschew rather than chew? : STARVE
47. Rx info : DOSAGE
48. Flag : ENSIGN
49. Pool members of old : STENOS
51. Japanese import : ISUZU
52. Spherical : ORBED
56. Volkswagen competitor : OPEL
57. Toning target, for short : PEC
58. 90° turn : ELL
59. Kia model : RIO
60. Polished off : ATE

Answer summary: 4 unique to this puzzle.

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