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New York Times, Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Author:
Alex Eaton-Salners
Editor:
Will Shortz
Blog:
Starting place
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
672/2/20175/14/20243
SunMonTueWedThuFriSatVariety
441011172118
RebusCircleScrabDebutFresh
4141.5624152%
Alex Eaton-Salners

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 78, Blocks: 39 Missing: {JQXZ} This is puzzle # 62 for Mr. Eaton-Salners. Wednesday freshness: 63%
Alex Eaton-Salners notes:
I began this puzzle by locking in UPON, LONG, THERE, THEY, and EVER and the black squares required to support them. Then I selected ... read more
Jeff Chen notes:
Day three of "Gotta JET" (Jeff's expressions of thanks)! You would think that with the link salad on our front page, we would have a ... read more
1
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H
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C
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S
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A
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Y
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T
G
I
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B
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E
D
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T
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U
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B
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D
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S
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W
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S
M
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Y
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A
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E
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A
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K
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S
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N
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B
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Y
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N
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K
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P
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N
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D
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C
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A
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M
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L
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G
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R
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H
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S
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M
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Y
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A
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C
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S
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T
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E
V
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© 2023, The New York Times8/30/23 ( No. 26,958 )
Across
1
Once ___ a time, : UPON
5
not so ___ ago, : LONG
9
___ was a girl named Ava. : THERE
14
Ava's ___ joy was : SOLE
15
her prized ___. : OBOE
16
She had ___ her skill in band, : HONED
17
despite sitting next to the noisy ___, : CLARINETS
19
which were an ___ distraction. : ADDED
20
One day, after school, Ava called a ___. : LYFT
21
It hadn't come ___ as she muttered, : YET
22
"___, I guess. At least the week's over." : TGIF
23
She was ___ with her music, : BORED
25
and school was hardly an ___. : EDEN
26
Just then, Dana, a bandmate Ava was crushing on, walked up lugging a ___. : TUBA
29
As Ava ___ nearby, gathering her courage, : IDLED
31
Dana bent down to ___ the heavy instrument. : STOW
34
Ava ___ at Dana. : SMILED
36
"Would it be a stretch to say I dig your ___ T-shirt?," Ava asked. : YOGA
38
Dana's reaction was the start of an ___ for Ava. : ERA
39
Wheezing laughter like an ___ in an old tire and deep blushing : AIRLEAK
41
were ___ that Dana was smitten, too. : SIGNALS
43
"That was a ___ joke!," Dana sputtered. : RAD
44
"I got the shirt from ___; glad you like it." : EBAY
46
Ava mustered every ___ in her brain : NEURON
47
and felt her heart ___ as she blurted, : SKIP
49
"I'd love to hang out some time, no ___!" : LYING
51
Dana grinned. "Then meditating together in corpse pose ___ an option!" : ISNT
52
Ava wrinkled her ___ and laughed. : NOSE
54
After that spark, the pair bonded in large ___. : DOSES
56
Dana learned that Ava loved chocolate ___ cookies, : CHIP
57
and Ava learned Dana loved "Much ___ About Nothing." : ADO
58
Though Dana wanted to visit Timbuktu in ___ : MALI
61
and Ava preferred Accra in ___, : GHANA
62
the pair still felt the ___ of their connection. : RIGHTNESS
65
One night, after watching "___ Python," : MONTY
66
bingeing subtitled dramas from ___, and : ASIA
67
listening to Nat King ___, : COLE
68
Ava and Dana shared their first kiss over cream ___. : SODAS
69
And, of course, ___ lived : THEY
70
happily ___ after. : EVER
Down
1
Trojans' sch. : USC
2
Straw vote, e.g. : POLL
3
Skin cream brand : OLAY
4
Round, squishy toy : NERFBALL
5
Actor Chaney : LON
6
Followed : OBEYED
7
With distinction : NOTEDLY
8
Daring deed : GEST
9
Contraction before "be great" : THATD
10
Obergefell v. ___, Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage : HODGES
11
Conclude miserably : ENDINTEARS
12
Shipwreck site : REEF
13
Reds great Roush : EDD
18
Figure skater Midori : ITO
24
Like buses and bicycles : RIDABLE
25
Curtain trims, e.g. : EDGINGS
26
Bygone Russian rulers : TSARS
27
Inuit skin boat : UMIAK
28
It's a sure thing : BIRDINHAND
30
Dawn goddess : EOS
32
Synthetic fabric : ORLON
33
Never existed : WASNT
35
Wide shoe spec : EEE
37
Just a number, it's said : AGE
40
Alabama governor Ivey : KAY
42
Bother : NUISANCE
45
Language from which we get bupkis and shtick : YIDDISH
48
Starting place : POINTA
50
Knuckle-headed gesture? : NOOGIE
53
Neuters : SPAYS
55
911 responder : EMT
56
When repeated, a toy train : CHOO
57
Hamlet's interrogative after "How now!" : ARAT
59
Pope after Benedict IV : LEOV
60
Bali, for one : ISLE
61
M.L.B. execs : GMS
63
Stuff in a loft : HAY
64
Title for "Game of Thrones" knights : SER

Answer summary:
2 unique to this puzzle, 1 unique to Modern Era but used previously.

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