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New York Times, Friday, April 16, 2021

The "Z" in "XYZ"

Author:
Tom Pepper
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
122/6/20124/16/20215
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
1331220
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.66121
Tom Pepper

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 72, Blocks: 30 Missing: {X} Scrabble average: 1.91 This is puzzle # 12 for Mr. Pepper.
Tom Pepper notes:
My original submission had completely different NW and SE corners. Each section had one word Sam encouraged me to try to eliminate. ... read more
Jeff Chen notes:
A ton of rare letters today — one J, two Qs, and two Zs are nothing to sneeze at. I'm glad Tom didn't force his way into a pangram. ... read more
1
H
2
O
3
P
4
S
5
C
6
O
7
T
8
C
9
H
10
S
11
T
12
R
13
A
14
W
15
U
N
S
H
A
P
E
L
Y
16
I
R
A
Q
I
17
S
T
E
E
L
T
R
A
P
18
T
O
P
A
Z
19
H
O
C
20
Z
I
P
P
E
21
R
22
J
I
B
E
23
P
O
M
S
24
R
A
25
M
A
D
A
N
26
A
27
S
28
T
A
N
A
29
O
L
S
O
N
30
C
H
O
R
E
31
S
N
I
P
E
H
32
U
33
N
34
T
35
T
A
F
T
36
S
K
I
N
S
37
O
H
I
O
38
S
Q
U
I
39
B
K
I
C
K
40
P
R
O
N
G
41
E
M
O
T
E
42
T
U
S
H
E
S
43
C
44
O
45
L
D
W
A
R
46
S
A
N
E
47
I
P
O
D
48
L
A
49
C
T
I
C
50
G
51
P
52
S
53
V
I
G
O
54
R
55
C
O
A
C
H
56
F
A
R
E
57
I
N
A
W
E
58
K
A
T
H
I
E
L
E
E
59
L
E
N
N
Y
60
S
T
E
I
N
W
A
Y
S
© 2021, The New York Times4/16/21 ( No. 26,092 )

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Across
1
Game on an erasable court : HOPSCOTCH
10
Dispenser item : STRAW
15
Ill-proportioned : UNSHAPELY
16
Kirkuk resident : IRAQI
17
Sharp mind, so to speak : STEELTRAP
18
Official gemstone of Utah and Texas : TOPAZ
19
Post ___ analysis : HOC
20
The "Z" in "XYZ" : ZIPPER
22
Agree (with) : JIBE
23
Yappy lap dogs, for short : POMS
24
Fast time : RAMADAN
26
Former name of Kazakhstan's capital : ASTANA
29
Johnny who used to cry "Come on down!" : OLSON
30
Sweeping, say : CHORE
31
Wild-goose chase : SNIPEHUNT
35
Last U.S. president to have facial hair : TAFT
36
One team in an intramural match : SKINS
37
Birthplace of 35-Across : OHIO
38
Football tactic to prevent a long return : SQUIBKICK
40
Sticking point : PRONG
41
Ham it up : EMOTE
42
Rears : TUSHES
43
Backdrop of many John le Carré novels : COLDWAR
46
Reasonable : SANE
47
Device outmoded by the smartphone : IPOD
48
Kind of acid produced during exercise : LACTIC
50
Smartphone capability, for short : GPS
53
Get-up-and-go : VIGOR
55
Cost of the cheap seats? : COACHFARE
57
Flabbergasted : INAWE
58
Longtime morning TV co-host : KATHIELEE
59
Grammy-winning Kravitz : LENNY
60
Grands costing many grand : STEINWAYS
Down
1
Reaction to someone tapping a microphone, maybe : HUSH
2
Not falling for : ONTO
3
Tiny fraction of a min. : PSEC
4
"Isn't ___ Lovely" : SHE
5
Dish akin to a stromboli : CALZONE
6
Best conditions : OPTIMA
7
They joined the Big Ten in '14 : TERPS
8
Keep time, in a way : CLAP
9
It takes you to another site : HYPERLINK
10
Something one can't stand to do : SIT
11
Malicious "gift" : TROJANHORSE
12
Fleet : RAPID
13
Seaport whose name derives from the Arabic for "obstacle" : AQABA
14
Dry up with age : WIZEN
21
File types : RASPS
23
Had a blast at a bash : PARTIEDDOWN
25
Good name for a landscaper? : MOE
26
Follower of John : ACTS
27
The Big Aristotle of the N.B.A. : SHAQ
28
Mapo ___ (traditional Sichuan dish) : TOFU
29
Postponed : ONICE
31
Evidence of having gone on a run : SKITRACKS
32
"This looks bad" : UHOH
33
Yellow-striped ball : NINE
34
Outfits : TOGS
36
"To your health!" : SKOAL
39
Mini production company : BMW
40
Start working, perhaps : PUNCHIN
42
Discipline with postures like White Crane Spreads Its Wings and Grasp the Sparrow's Tail : TAICHI
43
Courteous : CIVIL
44
Offer one's two cents : OPINE
45
2017 sequel to "The Wolverine" : LOGAN
46
Tabasco, for one : STATE
49
Cover : COAT
50
Soiree, say : GALA
51
Small game, often : PREY
52
Matches at a table : SEES
54
Spanish chess piece : REY
56
Quantity that sounds like an expression of relief : FEW

Answer summary: 8 unique to this puzzle.

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