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Alternate Endings

New York Times, Sunday, May 14, 2023

Author:
Sid Sivakumar
Editor:
Will Shortz
It'll take a second to get it
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
176/22/20202/18/20245
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
4100318
RebusCircleScrabblePGramFresh
111.63180%
Sid Sivakumar

This puzzle:

Rows: 21, Columns: 21 Words: 142, Blocks: 89 Missing: none – this is a pangram. Grid has mirror symmetry. This is puzzle # 15 for Mr. Sivakumar. Sunday freshness: 58%
Will Shortz notes:
Sid Sivakumar is an M.D./Ph.D. student at Washington University in St. Louis. This is his 15th crossword for The Times in three years. He likes theme ideas and clues that are challenging ... read more
Sid Sivakumar notes:
I sometimes read critiques of crossword themes that feel "computer-generated." I empathize, especially in a time of AI tools that are increasingly capable of humanlike text and art. I did ... read more
Jeff Chen notes:
I spent an hour trying to figure out what was going on, and then another hour coming up with ways to deflect all the incoming questions. ZIPPER MERGES gets at two Down entries heading into ... read more
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S
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© 2023, The New York Times5/14/23 ( No. 26,850 )
Across
1
Greek letter that's a symbol for torque : TAU
4
Done without foresight : RASH
8
Small samples : SIPS
12
Chocolatier's unit : BAR
15
Holding areas in Capture the Flag : JAILS
17
Thoughtless mode : AUTOPILOT
19
Declares confidently : AVERS
22
Novelist/short-story writer ___ Bender : AIMEE
23
"The Rise of ___" (2019 film subtitle) : SKYWALKER
24
Coat with small droplets : BEDEW
25
Mrs. or Sra. equivalent : MME
26
Prepares to deal, perhaps : CUTS
28
Western ___ (coll. course) : CIV
29
Name repeated in a nursery rhyme : MARY
31
Item sometimes made with wiliwili seeds : LEI
32
Flaky, syrupy pastry : BAKLAVA
34
Divisions represented by the highlighted answers in this puzzle : LANES
36
Livestream, e.g. : WEBCAST
38
Worry-free : ATEASE
39
French for "between" : ENTRE
40
Small fox with unusually large ears : FENNEC
41
University of Cincinnati athlete : BEARCAT
44
___ Command (Atari game of the 1980s) : MISSILE
47
Abbr. in a birth announcement : LBS
49
Longtime : OLD
50
Invitation in a therapist's office : SIT
51
Minecraft block with a fuse : TNT
54
Designer of Doha's Museum of Islamic Art : PEI
55
Analogy words : ISTO
57
"Yes, that spot right there ..." : AHH
60
Added streaks to, say : DYED
63
Honey ___! (ring-shaped cereal) : OHS
65
Young bloke : LAD
66
Ruin : DOIN
67
Last word in "America the Beautiful" : SEA
68
Anna of Arendelle's elder sister : ELSA
69
Festival with lion dances : TET
70
Mobile ___ : APP
71
Ultimatum word : ELSE
72
Pitch : TAR
73
Part of a gas mileage rating : CITY
74
Start-up loan agcy. : SBA
75
Damascene's country : SYRIA
77
What "gladiator" literally translates to : SWORDSMAN
80
Beer brand with mountains in its logo : COORS
82
Jessica ___, astronaut who participated in the first all-female spacewalk : MEIR
83
Not the same : ANOTHER
84
It "sounds like a clarinet with a cold," per Victor Borge : OBOE
85
Battery in a Wii Remote : AACELL
88
Stinging pests : REDANTS
89
Some residents of the eastern Mediterranean : GAZANS
91
Banks : RELIES
93
Lung or brain segments : LOBES
94
Like a dirty film : RATEDX
95
Chlorophyte, e.g. : ALGA
96
Org. for D.C. United and the L.A. Galaxy : MLS
97
Impediments to team productivity : EGOS
98
Get in a knot : ENSNARL
101
"Thou God ___ me" (Genesis quote) : SEEST
103
Fred who co-created "Portlandia" : ARMISEN
107
Campus part : QUAD
108
In a scuffle : ATIT
110
Hopping herbivore : HARE
112
Captain of fiction : NEMO
113
Address that's often shown in blue letters : URL
114
With 116-Across, procedures in which drivers take turns joining a single stream, as demonstrated five times in this puzzle : ZIPPER
116
See 114-Across : MERGES
118
Crow's cry : CAW
119
Backside : ASS
120
Air Seoul's parent airline : ASIANA
121
Hubbub : TUMULT
122
Actress Mowry of "Sister, Sister" : TIA
123
Green expanse : LEA
124
Commander for Joe Biden, e.g. : PETDOG
125
Pass judgment on : ASSESS
126
Tricksy : SLY
Down
1
Person with a stopwatch : TIMEKEEPER
2
Drink that may be spiced : ALE
3
Potential scenario in which a piece of software might be helpful : USECASE
4
Person who worships Jah : RASTA
5
Puffins, e.g. : AUKS
6
Total dump : STY
7
"Is it even possible?!" : HOWCANTHATBE
8
It'll take a second to get it : SILVERMEDAL
9
Similar group : ILK
10
"A ___ begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a lovesickness": Robert Frost : POEM
11
Boba tea is often served with a wide one : STRAW
12
Miniature cheese wheel brand : BABYBEL
13
"___ Maria" : AVE
14
Chinese New Year decoration : REDLANTERN
15
Meat-and-vegetables dish with Creole and Cajun varieties : JAMBALAYA
16
Target : AIMAT
18
Coat that may take awhile to put on : PAINT
20
Witherspoon of Hollywood : REESE
21
Electrical wiring nexus : SWITCHBOX
27
Pigmented eye layer : UVEA
30
Lower-interest deal, for short : REFI
33
Blood work, colloquially : LABS
34
Start of a detective's trail : LEAD
35
Uno + dos + tres : SEIS
37
Site with gadget reviews : CNET
42
Revolutionary cooking device? : ROTISSERIE
43
Conflict over seceding from the Galactic Republic, in sci-fi : CLONEWAR
45
Cocktails named after motorcycle attachments : SIDECARS
46
Hair salon goo : STYLINGGEL
47
Many a presidential election occurs in one : LEAPYEAR
48
Prospective eBay buyer's figure : BIDPRICE
52
"Better than I thought" : NOTSOBAD
53
Where hip-hop originated : THEBRONX
54
State of matter in the sun : PLASMA
55
Theoretical substance for which a chemistry law is named : IDEALGAS
56
Fifth in a scale : SOL
57
Stadium with the first animated scoreboard : ASTRODOME
58
Where newlyweds are typically seated at a wedding reception : HEADTABLE
59
Severity : HARSHNESS
61
Latin "is" : EST
62
Toddler drop-off locales : DAYCARES
64
Equilibria : STASES
76
Home to the sport of hurling : IRELAND
78
Americans usually spell "cancelled" with this : ONEL
79
Queens players : METS
81
Enters like slime : OOZESIN
86
Grammy-winning Mexican singer Downs : LILA
87
Exercise that strengthens hip flexors : LEGRAISE
89
Compilations of laughably bad takes : GAGREELS
90
Bit that bonds : ATOM
92
Mineral collection site : SALTPIT
94
Motion to ___ (court request) : REARGUE
98
Are : EQUAL
99
Certain essential worker : NURSE
100
Taco topping : SALSA
101
Job increasingly replaced by speech-to-text programs : STENO
102
G7 member, informally : THEUS
104
Some offshoots : SECTS
105
What might have attachment issues? : EMAIL
106
"You're kidding!" : NOWAY
109
Tablet you might take in the bathroom : IPAD
111
The Hindu god Ganesha is often depicted with four of them : ARMS
114
Ray gun sound : ZAP
115
Makeshift towel : RAG
116
N.Y.C. commuter rail overseer : MTA
117
Pedestrians cross them: Abbr. : STS

Answer summary:
11 unique to this puzzle, 1 debuted here and reused later, 3 unique to Modern Era but used previously.

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