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WHAT A CHARACTER!

New York Times, Sunday, September 12, 2021

Phenomenon such as the tendency to see human forms in inanimate objects

Author:
Alex Rosen
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
33/30/20219/12/20212
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
1011000
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.59030
Alex Rosen

This puzzle:

Rows: 21, Columns: 22 Words: 147, Blocks: 82 Missing: {JQZ} This is puzzle # 3 for Mr. Rosen.
Will Shortz notes:
Alex Rosen is a software engineer, formerly of New Jersey, North Carolina, and Boston, but now living in London. His job is to help computer users avoid email-related security mistakes, like ... read more
Alex Rosen notes:
I felt lucky that this puzzle worked out. Three things all needed to be true: The English word for the symbol ")" has to be long, and have an odd number of letters in it. The word for "-" has to ... read more
Jeff Chen notes:
Grid art! Black squares often dominate circles, washing out their effects, but the circles win out today. From the first second I opened the puzzles, the smiley emoticon jumped out at me. So much ... read more
Jim Horne notes:

This is the third CRETAN reference in four days. It's just a coincidence, but it's an odd one.

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© 2021, The New York Times9/12/21 ( No. 26,241 )
Across
1
They come with bouquets : WINES
6
Away : NOTIN
11
"___ put our heads together ..." : IFWE
15
Singer/drummer Collins : PHIL
19
Cell component : ANODE
20
Pal, in Peru : AMIGO
21
Put one's nose where it doesn't belong : SNOOP
22
Tilt-a-Whirl, e.g. : RIDE
23
One arm held up with bent elbow and wrist, in a children's song : SPOUT
24
Move obliquely : SIDLE
25
Phenomenon such as the tendency to see human forms in inanimate objects : PAREIDOLIA
27
Any of the groupings of circled letters in this puzzle : PUNCTUATIONMARK
30
Gin product : COTTON
31
Incredible bargains : STEALS
32
"Sorry, Charlie!" : NODICE
33
Fits together : NESTS
34
Savory Chinese snacks : TEAEGGS
37
Jump over : LEAPFROG
41
Smoking and swearing, e.g. : VICES
44
They await your return, in brief : IRS
45
Have a good cry : SOB
46
Syracuse Mets and Worcester Red Sox, for two : AAATEAMS
50
"Music's most maligned genre," per critic Tom Connick : EMO
51
Word with level or lion : SEA
52
"Everything happened so fast!" : ITSABLUR
54
Farm female : HEN
55
"___ Gone Wrong" (2021 film) : RONS
57
Brunch beverage : MIMOSA
59
One of the brothers on "Malcolm in the Middle" : REESE
60
Room in Clue : HALL
61
Cause of undue anxiety : BUGABOO
63
It may be smoked : HAM
64
Hogwash : ROT
65
Munch, in modern slang : NOM
66
"___ 17" (W.W. II film) : STALAG
67
One of two in a jack-o'-lantern? : HYPHEN
70
Where charity begins, in a phrase : ATHOME
73
Table part : LEG
74
Title for Tussaud: Abbr. : MME
76
"Midsommar" director Aster : ARI
77
Digs up : EXHUMES
78
Carpenter's wedge : SHIM
80
Does gentle stretching post-exercise, with "down" : COOLS
82
Amp knob : TREBLE
84
Die like the Wicked Witch of the West : MELT
85
Give zero stars : PAN
86
Ne'er-do-wells : LOWLIFES
88
E.R. inserts : IVS
89
By birth : NEE
90
Plant said to repel bugs : FLEABANE
93
___ Ryerson, insurance salesman in "Groundhog Day" : NED
94
French pronoun : MOI
95
Quarter ___ (when the big hand is at three) : AFTER
97
No-longer-current source for current events : NEWSREEL
99
Hot, mulled punch traditionally drunk around Christmas : WASSAIL
101
Bacteria destroyer : PHAGE
104
French port on the English Channel : CALAIS
106
Like the Minotaur legend : CRETAN
110
University of Oregon site : EUGENE
112
How to see the image formed by this puzzle's circled letters : ROTATECLOCKWISE
115
What's formed by the circled letters in this puzzle : SMILEYFACE
117
"We're live!" studio sign : ONAIR
118
Ancient land in Asia Minor : IONIA
119
Domino, e.g. : TILE
120
Martinez with a statue outside the Seattle Mariners' stadium : EDGAR
121
Makes less powerful, in video game slang : NERFS
122
Domino, e.g. : SUGAR
123
"To ..." things : ODES
124
Dino's tail? : SAUR
125
Muse of love poetry : ERATO
126
Arises (from) : STEMS
Down
1
Eastern cicada killers, e.g. : WASPS
2
Suggestions : INPUT
3
"... said ___ ever" : NOONE
4
School : EDUCATE
5
Resolves out of court : SETTLES
6
Org. that flew a helicopter on Mars in 2021 : NASA
7
Fail to mention : OMIT
8
Information, old-style : TIDINGS
9
Rounded quarters : IGLOOS
10
Without stopping : NOEND
11
How Alaska ranks first among the states : INAREA
12
It's often left on the table : FORK
13
What "vey" of "Oy, vey!" translates to : WOE
14
___ Games, company behind Fortnite : EPIC
15
Rey, to Luke Skywalker : PROTEGE
16
Sword handles : HILTS
17
"Einstein," sarcastically : IDIOT
18
Puts pressure (on) : LEANS
21
What can make men swear from menswear? : SPACEBAR
26
"___ pass Go ..." : DONOT
28
Leading medal winner at the Tokyo Olympics : USA
29
Forman who directed "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" : MILOS
35
Farm refrain : EIEIO
36
Weight of a paper clip, roughly : GRAM
38
Ancient: Prefix : PALEO
39
Soul-seller of legend : FAUST
40
Half-baked? : RARE
41
Duck and goose, at times : VERBS
42
"See ya" : IMOUT
43
Group dance popularized in the U.S. by Desi Arnaz : CONGALINE
45
77-Down is on the most collected one in U.S. history : STAMP
47
Epiphany : AHAMOMENT
48
Voice actor Blanc : MEL
49
Show with over 1,000 handwritten cue cards each week, for short : SNL
51
City hazard : SMOG
52
"My word!" : ISAY
53
Pol in the "I am once again asking ..." meme : BERNIE
56
City whose police cars are adorned with a witch logo : SALEM
58
Card game with a PG-rated name : OHHELL
60
Boring : HOHUM
62
Purse : BAG
65
High degree : NTH
68
Not at all popular : HATED
69
Messes up : ERRS
70
x, y and z : AXES
71
Chaotic skirmish : MELEE
72
Fragrant compound : ESTER
74
Saturn has more than 80 of them : MOONS
75
Golf course machine : MOWER
77
He performed 636 consecutive sold-out shows in Vegas from 1969 to '76 : ELVIS
78
Burn prevention meas. : SPF
79
The future Henry V, to Falstaff : HAL
80
Fight tooth and nail : CLAW
81
One who consumes a ritual meal to absolve the souls of the dead : SINEATER
83
Bits on book jackets : BIOS
87
Roc-A-___ Records : FELLA
91
Part of U.C.L.A. : ANGELES
92
Fashion designer Geoffrey : BEENE
94
It may run from an emotional situation : MASCARA
95
[Mwah!] : AIRKISS
96
Departed by plane : FLEWOUT
98
Green vehicle : ECOCAR
99
Frank : WIENER
100
Duke's org. : ACC
101
Pasta topper : PESTO
102
Like the dog days of summer : HUMID
103
Acrobatic : AGILE
105
Make restitution : ATONE
107
Faint color : TINGE
108
"Take me ___" : ASIAM
109
Approaches : NEARS
111
Where the lacrimal glands can be found : EYES
112
Pasta topper : RAGU
113
Pump some weights : LIFT
114
Not exactly : ORSO
116
Vaccine-approving agcy. : FDA

Answer summary: 6 unique to this puzzle, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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