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New York Times, Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Author:
Alan Arbesfeld
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
1248/27/19814/10/20190
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
25724362615
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
10
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
I
C
21
B
I
L
L
E
T
22
H
I
D
23
C
24
U
B
A
L
E
B
A
25
N
26
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
I
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
I
43
L
44
E
45
S
46
A
R
C
A
47
D
48
E
49
S
50
M
A
L
51
I
E
S
T
52
O
N
I
A
53
O
N
T
54
S
T
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
S
P
A
I
N
61
E
L
I
Z
A
62
V
E
N
T
63
E
G
G
O
64
C
L
O
U
T
65
E
D
G
E
66
L
E
N
S
© 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.

Found bugs or have suggestions?