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New York Times, Monday, August 31, 2020

What you might do to pass on an Interstate ... or a phonetic hint to the starts of 18-, 28- and 50-Across

Author:
Anne Marie Crinnion
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutCollabs
18/31/20200
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
0100000
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.58000
Anne Marie Crinnion

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 78, Blocks: 34 Missing: {FJQX} This is the debut puzzle for Ms. Crinnion.
Anne Marie Crinnion notes:
I'm thrilled to be making my NYT debut! I recently graduated from Harvard, and today is actually my first day of my PhD program in ... read more
Jeff Chen notes:
I was so stumped by "Name That Theme" today. That's not uncommon, but it's only a handful of times a year that I'm still bamboozled ... read more
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© 2020, The New York Times8/31/20 ( No. 25,864 )
Across
1
Criticize, in slang : DIS
4
Something computers cannot write to or erase : CDROM
9
Bottomless pit : ABYSS
14
"We ___ the World" : ARE
15
Nice smell : AROMA
16
Like some handwriting ... or tipplers : LOOPY
17
Up to, informally : TIL
18
Traveled in the front passenger seat : RODESHOTGUN
20
___ at the wheel : ASLEEP
22
Lye, chemically : NAOH
23
Rainbow's shape : ARC
24
"Heavens to ___!" : BETSY
26
Two-part : DUAL
28
Captain of the 2012 and 2016 U.S. women's Olympic gymnastics teams : ALYRAISMAN
31
Degs. for C.E.O.s : MBAS
35
Chap : LAD
36
Pants part that might need patching : KNEE
37
Join a conference call, say : DIALIN
39
Silly : INANE
41
Monopoly properties you can't put houses on, in brief : RRS
43
End of a lasso : NOOSE
44
Screen ___ Guild : ACTORS
46
Rating between excellent and fair : GOOD
48
Cry in a soccer stadium : OLE
49
Watermelon part that's spit out : SEED
50
Main ingredient in a protein shake, maybe : WHEYPOWDER
53
Great Lake with the shortest name : ERIE
55
Mommy's sister : AUNTY
56
Kind of connection port on a PC : USB
59
Overly fussy, say : ANAL
61
Hit Broadway musical set partly in Paris, for short : LESMIZ
64
What you might do to pass on an Interstate ... or a phonetic hint to the starts of 18-, 28- and 50-Across : CHANGELANES
67
Letters before an assumed name : AKA
68
Sudden forward thrust : LUNGE
69
"___ could've told you that!" : EVENI
70
___ center : REC
71
Choice words? : ANDOR
72
Believer in Jah, informally : RASTA
73
Pack animal of Tibet : YAK
Down
1
Facts and figures : DATA
2
Part of the eye : IRIS
3
Stamp on a milk carton : SELLBYDATE
4
One tending a house during the owner's absence : CARETAKER
5
Stops by : DROPSIN
6
Towel holder : ROD
7
Eclipse or a black cat, some say : OMEN
8
Ancient fortification overlooking the Dead Sea : MASADA
9
Hi in HI : ALOHA
10
Spam spewer : BOT
11
Some quiet exercise : YOGA
12
Appendage on a cowboy's boot : SPUR
13
Align, informally : SYNC
19
Elvis's "___ Dog" : HOUND
21
Always, to a poet : EER
25
Belgian river to the North Sea : YSER
27
"Hilarious!," in a text : LMAO
28
Assumed name : ALIAS
29
Knight's weapon : LANCE
30
Join the flow of traffic : MERGE
32
Cocktail with tomato juice : BLOODYMARY
33
Seating request on an airplane : AISLE
34
Mocking smile : SNEER
38
World's largest island nation : INDONESIA
40
Lymph ___ : NODE
42
Tofu bean : SOYA
45
Hogs : SWINE
47
Luxurious : OPULENT
51
Doctor, ideally : HEALER
52
Lbs. and ozs. : WTS
54
Wild party, in slang : RAGER
56
Sch. whose home football games used to include a live bear on the field : UCLA
57
Avoid : SHUN
58
Extracurricular activity for a musician : BAND
60
Molten flow : LAVA
62
International furniture chain : IKEA
63
"The Suite Life of ___ & Cody" (bygone teen sitcom) : ZACK
65
Amnesty International, e.g., in brief : NGO
66
Super ___ (1990s game console) : NES

Answer summary: 3 unique to this puzzle.

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