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New York Times, Friday, March 1, 2019

Author:
Zhouqin Burnikel
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
6611/13/201210/28/201919
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
622187472
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.56281
Zhouqin Burnikel

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 72, Blocks: 31 Missing: {QZ} This is puzzle # 60 for Ms. Burnikel. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jeff Chen notes:
Will Shortz has warned me to avoid using too many proper names in puzzles if they're at the level of not-quite-famous-enough — ... read more

Will Shortz has warned me to avoid using too many proper names in puzzles if they're at the level of not-quite-famous-enough — "either you know them, or you don't." If you're in the latter camp, it's no fun to work hard to uncover someone that brings you little joy.

Now, the President of China? He's most definitely a person everyone ought to have heard of. But is that the case? I could only recall Xi off the top. And JINPING? Good luck with that! All those Asian names look alike.

(One of the benefits to being a minority is being able to say stuff like that. Don't try it at home.)

I enjoyed this entry, as its clue was eye-opening: XI JINPING at #1 on Forbes' list of most powerful people? Yikes! Neat that he has so many rare letters in his name, too.

With only eight long slots (8+ letters), I wanted every one of them to count. AD LIBBING is great. FINAL SALE, FULL TIMER, ODOR EATER, all solid. HYACINTH is pretty, too.

But SITS IDLE and RESTS EASY are on the dull side, sitting there too idly, resting too easy.

Thankfully, there were a lot of mid-length slots to juice up the joint. ARTEMIS, HEY JUDE, NO JEANS, FOX CUB are all assets.

Most others weren't as strong, though. LENDERS is fine, but nothing exciting. I WAS HAD isn't as interesting as I BEEN HAD or WE WUZ ROBBED! And SLOVENS? It is in the dictionary. That's the best I can say about it.

All in all, solid craftsmanship, but I want more snazziness out of a standard 72-word themeless.

1
F
2
I
3
N
4
A
5
L
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S
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A
8
L
9
E
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C
11
L
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I
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P
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S
15
O
D
O
R
E
A
T
E
R
16
H
O
W
I
E
17
X
I
J
I
N
P
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N
G
18
A
S
A
N
A
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C
O
E
D
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O
L
D
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P
O
S
S
E
S
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U
T
A
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A
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M
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H
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B
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N
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E
T
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R
A
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M
A
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D
30
C
S
P
A
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N
32
S
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T
33
S
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D
L
E
34
I
R
I
35
S
36
L
E
W
D
37
H
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Y
39
A
C
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H
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D
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C
43
S
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I
O
N
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J
O
E
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S
T
A
L
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E
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T
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P
A
P
Y
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R
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U
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R
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N
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B
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I
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B
E
S
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J
O
N
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G
A
V
E
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A
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G
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R
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F
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L
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T
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C
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A
D
L
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K
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A
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63
R
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A
S
Y
© 2019, The New York TimesNo. 0301 ( 25,315 )

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Across
1
Point of no return? : FINALSALE
10
TV sports highlights : CLIPS
15
Sole mate? : ODOREATER
16
Football Hall-of-Famer Long : HOWIE
17
The world's most powerful person, per a 2018 Forbes list : XIJINPING
18
Crane pose, e.g., in yoga : ASANA
19
Like many dorms : COED
20
Hackneyed : OLD
21
Western outfits : POSSES
22
Tony winner Hagen : UTA
23
Twin sister of Apollo : ARTEMIS
25
___ polloi : HOI
26
I.Q. test pioneer : BINET
28
Year of the ___ (2008 or 2020) : RAT
29
One heeding a "Do not disturb" sign : MAID
30
A political debate might be on this : CSPAN
32
Does nothing : SITSIDLE
34
Cousin of a crocus : IRIS
36
R-rated, maybe : LEWD
37
Bloom with showy clusters : HYACINTH
41
Most cookies, essentially : DISCS
44
Parts of some bonds : IONS
45
Mud : JOE
46
Hackneyed : STALE
48
When doubled, "For shame!" : TUT
49
Material for the Book of the Dead : PAPYRUS
52
One of the Reagans : RON
53
Illegal sweeteners : BRIBES
55
Voice actor H. ___ Benjamin : JON
56
Buckled : GAVE
57
It's boring : AUGER
58
Temp's counterpart : FULLTIMER
60
Fingerprints, maybe : CLUES
61
Disregarding what's written : ADLIBBING
62
"The Family Circus" cartoonist : KEANE
63
Sleeps well : RESTSEASY
Down
1
Kit : FOXCUB
2
Harebrained : IDIOTIC
3
Business casual restriction, typically : NOJEANS
4
Lacking in excitement : ARID
5
Mystery writer Deighton : LEN
6
Flavor : SAPOR
7
Not true : ATILT
8
People of interest? : LENDERS
9
Small bit of work : ERG
10
Word from the Greek for "abyss" : CHAOS
11
Datum for the second column : LOSS
12
"Fooled me!" : IWASHAD
13
Natural disinfectant : PINEOIL
14
Boardwalk's locale : SEASIDE
21
Like the moon's landscape and many olives : PITTED
23
___ 2600 (early video game device) : ATARI
24
Post-vacation accumulation : MAIL
27
"The Last Samurai" and others : EPICS
29
Heart : MIDST
31
Extras in "The Last Samurai" : NINJAS
33
Pastrami go-with : SWISS
35
"Enough!" : STOP
37
Retaliate : HITBACK
38
Exuberant compliment : YOURULE
39
Island in the West Indies : ANTIGUA
40
Second-longest U.S. #1 hit ever, after "American Pie" (7 minutes, 11 seconds) : HEYJUDE
42
Foreign term of endearment : CARAMIA
43
Pigs : SLOVENS
47
Zip : ENERGY
49
In itself : PERSE
50
British luxury car, informally : ROLLS
51
Like many a home while one is away for the evening : UNLIT
54
"How you ___?" : BEEN
56
Razz : GIBE
58
Word before right or sight : FAR
59
"Full Frontal With Samantha Bee" network : TBS

Answer summary: 7 unique to this puzzle.

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