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Puzzles for December, 2019
with Jim Horne comments

Sun 12/1/2019ACTUALLY ...
EMUGORKIBABESNAPTO
DIPUCONNASONREPEAL
INSPITEOFRHODEISLAND
TIEONREPOLUVTENTH
STPETERSSQUARELAURA
CARATAUTENDETAT
UPTOPARSTEELESS
TEARINTORIVALEVER
APINGHOLYROMANEMPIRE
HALLAHOREEXITSIGNS
SOLEASLAPEGAN
ATPRESENTIRISESEBB
CHINESECHECKERSRATIO
KENOFLOESATTESTTO
TBASTAIDEASIEST
LOCOTTOARTYEMTS
IPADSARABICNUMERALS
KITESCPRAHASOILED
ENGLISHHORNMETRODOME
NEUTERAMENIBEAMYIN
SSTARSNAPACYANSDST

XWord Info counts this as Mr. Merrell's 90th puzzle because we don't include PDF-only puzzles like this Special Delivery from 2011. (Link requires NYT Puzzle Subscription.)

Here's an old music joke: "The French Horn isn't French, it's English. The English Horn not only isn't English (it's French), it's not even a horn (it's a woodwind.)"

NYT fact-checkers — darn them — weaken the punch line by pointing out that the English Horn originates from Central Europe. Oh well. :)

POW Mon 12/2/2019
LABORALPSHEMS
EVADEBITEURGE
GOREDBOARDGAME
OWEBURNMOE
SAMBASEGOSLAP
LIARSLONESOME
NGOMBASEWES
FEIGNYAPCREST
ACMEOGREAIR
STUDYFORABETS
TOMANDYDASHES
HMOMOORELI
READSUPONEBBED
NEATSORETRACE
SLAVEXESSORTS
Tue 12/3/2019
STARRSADPERON
HOSEALIESTARE
ANTEDANNOYANCE
HERDINSTINCT
SROOOHMEHALB
EATMELESTER
BUTTDIALSDIANA
ASOUTRAPSBRIG
RHODEKNOTTYING
GENEVADROOL
ERSABSTATARF
SCENESTEALER
ADNAUSEAMBRIDE
VOICEAVEACTOR
AWAKEKENGOOSE
Wed 12/4/2019
JIMLAMASDEBRA
ENOORONOALLEN
STRAWMANFALLACY
TREXESTILES
SOLEOPERATOP
SLIPPERYSLOPE
SEEPAFAR
POTOMACBIRDFLU
ASHEPULP
CHERRYPICKING
TARWARESARON
AMANAPOTATO
MOVINGGOALPOSTS
ONENDUDDERSEE
WONKAESSAYYRS
Thu 12/5/2019
MASHACTSBOWIE
OREOIDEAERICA
MEATSCAMABNER
SANDSHAKERSBEN
ALASETSY
BLAMEEIGNSTATE
RUNNERLOOUNIX
URNTABLOIDOBI
CIAONUBROUSES
EDBRIDGESINERT
EGGOHONK
AOLNMENTAGENCY
BALTODOITMERE
CHEERNICEPROW
SUEDEARKSTOPS
Fri 12/6/2019
ADWARSGYMRAT
PROFITLIEIDLE
PAREVELESSSALT
ANSWERMETHIS
LOTREACTTAMES
SPORTUTILITY
HIPPOTUCKSNUN
ONLYVIREOREDO
ITASINEWPARED
SWIMUPSTREAM
TOTEMHOARYTBA
MAKEUPARTIST
NOBOTHERSAUDIS
OVERRANETRADE
BANYANDEFLEA
Sat 12/7/2019
TENJAMAICANRUM
RYEIMETSOMEONE
EEKGOTTABOUNCE
STOWSHEIRSNAT
CECEPANDACIGS
HEADBANDSCREE
ITSGONEOGLE
CHEESELOWFAT
DOSTCOMMISH
GSIXWRAPPARTY
CRANLIARSTEAR
HENPANICSEATO
ITCHECKSOUTWII
BETARELEASEAND
ALARMSYSTEMYES
Sun 12/8/2019"LOOKIN' GOOD!"
JARASCAPABBOTUTES
AFEWKELSOTRULYFETA
BREEZINESSRECAPFAHD
BALIINDONESIAEDITED
EMERGESHADTOEZINE
REDDTIRADEBOYZIIMEN
NINETODINEATESS
INASECSHORINGMYB
NADIAGEEZERUSBECKO
KRISTENWIIGNEHILOLZ
ENDODOSEETOIAMNEZ
RIALIMAMNINTENDOWII
SASEFEMSTREWSPLANE
XVIABUSIVEWHYYES
OPSWEEZERNERVED
JACOBRIISAGREERSPCA
ILUVUSNIPSNESTERS
BELUGAEASYONTHEEYES
WALLLUNGSOVEREXPOSE
ALEEAMIESDINARATTN
SERSSPADEADELEEST
Mon 12/9/2019
MASTSNILSEPIC
ALOHAOPECLAVA
VALENCIAORANGES
SNOWADDICIEST
ABLEEBAN
CLEVELANDBROWNS
LACEDAILSHOP
ETOSMITTENISU
ACNEAAAACTED
RHODEISLANDREDS
HONKBEAU
ASPENSPBSELSA
HILLSTREETBLUES
EDAMAIRYALLAH
MENSYAKSRALLY
Tue 12/10/2019
GAGAADDSAPSE
EMITCROOKNOOK
CAMEOUTSWINGING
KIMOLSENELS
ONEMPTYGIVEOFF
USSARSENEE
UMAMINCAACITE
BOBBEDANDWEAVED
EUROICEEABYSS
RTEADHDPGA
SHAMPOOBALLAST
SAOCRUDESPA
PUTUPTHEIRDUKES
ARODBIBLEPELT
WIFESPATIDLY
Wed 12/11/2019
AVOWSCHWAPOEM
LEDAORIONANNA
DIDGERIDOOMYTH
ONSETMELDSOIL
WATERFEATURE
RUNATABSTARER
USERPOOFCOM
MAWWASPISHAHA
SSRSARICRUD
SHALOMSTROKED
WEGOTOGETHER
AGEENCLSINICE
MONTTHENANDNOW
PACEHAVOCOGRE
STYXSTEWSGADS
Thu 12/12/2019
GELLERGARNET
MARIANAOILEDUP
ALABONFIREURL
CAESSENESTI
ETAILMIGSTALE
SERFLAGOSHIED
ATOMICNUMBERS
DRUNKTAUNT
BEGGEDFORMORE
ARCODAUNTSALS
SOOTYBRAHENIE
SNIWILLSOXE
ESCPANSIESLIT
SOONESTMAESTRO
NODSTOBLAMES

If you're curious about what Alex Eaton-Salners means when he talks about supersymmetry, you can see examples here. (Scroll down.)

POW Fri 12/13/2019
RASHGUARDBANFF
ENCOUNTEROPERA
FIRSTSTEPSTEED
EMITNICECEDE
RAMALEPHSARA
INGAPADTHAI
SMOREVERYAND
POLARBEARPLUNGE
ENDVEALANDES
LEGWEARMANO
LYREVWBUSSPA
BOCAORESRAIL
DEWARROSEPETAL
ULTRAMOLTOBENE
ETHELSKISEASON
Sat 12/14/2019
FBICHIEFDEJAVU
REGIONALAUTOPEN
ELEVENTYPLAYERS
RATEDSIGILSHBO
EMITMANRAYNOOB
SITBILGEROUTE
POLICECRUISER
DEAREVANHANSEN
TAXPAYERMONEY
HITATPOCKSALA
ERRSBUENOSGRAM
MYAMOTTSTSANDP
ECOTAGETAKETIME
TONESUPECONOCAR
SWEATSROIDRAGE

If you're not familiar with DEAR EVAN HANSEN, then you're probably neither a teenager nor someone who lives with a teenager. My band sometimes programs Waving Through a Window, and as soon as it's announced from the stage, half the audience goes nuts.

Sun 12/15/2019DOING A DOUBLE TAKE
POBOYSNIPERSMADAM
OHARASHONOREELAMESA
PITCHYUPGRADEPITCHY
TOSSSASEDIPSSITH
OAFTHEGEMINIDRE
PROTEAMKARATPROTEAM
TREATPINELOGENTRY
RRATINGTROTSKY
STRIPLINGSTRIPLING
HUELETHSTTONROO
ENEWSROSEPETALELATE
LEVITESTHECWLEVITES
FRERESGEEWHIZNICEST
IMCOOLNOODLE
HIDENAMESAKESNUMB
MOUSSESOMANIMOUSSES
MUDTIRESOCALALGEBRA
EATOFLANDS
BOXERSPIRATICBOXERS
MAITRETRITONEAMELIA
ITSSADSEALEGSYESMOM
Mon 12/16/2019
YOUTHGOOFREBA
ARNIEOMAREVIL
MADEALITEMANE
LORDOFTHERINGS
DRSWAX
BADGERJOINDDT
ARIESPOOFAURA
RICEKRISPIESBOX
BAEZOTISNEALE
SLYACHEAVAILS
OAKTRI
SANTASWORKSHOP
PLOTTOBEAILEY
ROVEAVONGLARE
YEARREEDELVES
Tue 12/17/2019
GRAPHPLAYABAG
MADEAOAREDJLO
ODORLESSGASOFF
VESTERIE
TIRELESSWORKER
BADASSLAHR
OMENAMISHSLO
HEADLESSCHICKEN
ODSOPINEHYPE
ALECGRAPES
FEARLESSLEADER
SMUTHUNS
TOTHAIRLESSDOG
OJOEXPELLAURA
PISREADSEMERY
Wed 12/18/2019
CRABALTOROWER
HEMICOEDOFAGE
EDITINGADRAFTOF
EUGENEMORSE
SCARFMAAMRNS
YESLEANNPASEO
MANIAFOLKSY
WRITINGWELLIS
CAUSEDRINKY
OWNEDPANDAGIF
BANDAMEDRACO
EMAILBOILER
SURELYANARTFORM
USURPTACOTRUE
MOPESEYESSEND
POW Thu 12/19/2019
CVERREHABEMI
SWATHICEPLANET
AGREECOMPANCAR
DIGRAPHTHORNY
IRANALIASNOM
ELSASYNCBEAUT
LETTILECGI
SPABECHDELHSN
VALALOESAT
UTLEYSWTSRAMS
OSXKAYOSARGO
NOTIMEPOPCORN
STATELINEOHMAN
FIRSTLOOKPEATY
WESZYNGAEASE

Note that in each case, the diagonal STATE LINE divides two states that are contiguous. As you'd expect.

Fri 12/20/2019
SITINRODEKAMA
MONACOENERGYBAR
ANNOYSDEMIMOORE
RYESHAHSTATUE
CARSTEREORIOTS
LASERPEELTNT
NUCORARENARHEA
OSAGEMINDCOAST
RUNSNANTZOUTTA
MAYLONGHORNS
LOGANSENATEBID
FURMANDEVOEVE
MANOAMANOAUSTIN
PROGRESSOGRATES
GETSSTARESPYS
Sat 12/21/2019
JOECAMELETCH
SULTANATEMIRE
SANDALWOODIMAX
POKEVARCLOVE
OPENERICTHERED
NAMARIZ
GUAMHOTSYTOTSY
ELIAAURASLOKI
SOLOARTISTARID
JUDDPAD
SQUADGOALSTERI
TUCCILIPODES
ROOKTREVORNOAH
ARNEAAVERAGES
WANTINERTGAS
Sun 12/22/2019DOWN FOR THE COUNT
LCDALELOPNAW
ORESSCALPMINSKROBE
MULTIPLICATIVEINVERSE
BLOUSERAGWEEDECHECK
ALUNSERPEONSMERMAID
RESURIAVASSA
DREWTEETOTALERSPOSY
ISDONEMACHSIXARENAS
USCGNURSEGIRL
PORKCHOPLEEPASSEDGO
AMOBABIESRUSEEK
SAGABRIOALMSILSA
THETHEORYOFRELATIVITY
EARMARKSNOEAIRWAVES
FAIREMAULSNOONE
OHENRYFORREALSNARFS
NODPARRAMESYON
AMENTUTTIFRUTTIERNE
JAROMIROVINEALAMODE
AGENDERNAVELGLAMOUR
GERALDSSLEDSSESAMES

RegEx can indeed be helpful. Here are some words with exactly three, four, or five Ts.

Click [Show instructions] on our Finder page for some helpful RegEx web links.

POW Mon 12/23/2019
MAYANSDOTCOM
EXOTICEUROPA
MIDDLERELIEVER
ESAUNOAHXENA
SLEDRIDE
AWAKEISLAM
RIGSTAMOSEWE
CFOSOPALAVOW
HIGHSPEEDDRILL
EATSOL
REDDELICIOUS
TUXNINOPTA
SPINTHEDREIDEL
PETERIELROND
SESTETSIESTA
Tue 12/24/2019
DEFRAYHEEHAW
MOLIERESIXPACK
COLDCUTAREOLAR
GRADBINDERCLIP
LEASETHE
STIEGALSABCS
WINDOWTRIMLEAN
IBMNEAMETRNA
MIENBUMPERCROP
SAMEBTWUHYES
OWSATSEA
BARBERSHOPISLA
ORIOLESQUARTET
STARMANUNWEAVE
HYMNALEKEDBY
Wed 12/25/2019
PSSTBASKPINA
ACAIISLAMONES
LANDHOHOHOOTIS
OLDIETLCLOLA
PLEASEHOHOHOLD
SLAPATAD
DEISCAROLEIC
ITSHOHOHOPELESS
SCOOTTHORPHI
TTOPMISO
HOHOHOLYSMOKES
AVERPEASTREP
TURNIMHOHOHOME
ELMONOOSEEDIT
RESTNOUNNESS

Ho HO!

Here are all the NYT crosswords published on Christmas Day.

Thu 12/26/2019
JAMERGSHYDOW
AMRADIOCOUPEVA
BATCAVEROLEPLAY
SMETHEDETAILS
CODRHEASEC
ORCASAMISLOIS
ESTFEATSPELUNK
XTHERIGHTBALANCE
ECOTONEINCATUG
CODAERSEELLER
OLETRAPORS
XXXINTHESTRAW
REJIGGERBOWLING
ARERILEABEYANT
YOWFLOYESNEO
Fri 12/27/2019
SAFESRODEPDFS
PLEBEALANMOORE
ALLOTREDCARPET
NOTNICEBOTNETS
ISAYOFSORTS
SATBLONDETABS
HUHEIRESADAT
FROZENMARGARITA
LUMENKOOKOER
USERCHEATSSST
OHLORDYIAMS
ICEDOUTTEENMOM
COLORCODEANITA
BLOWAKISSSEGEL
MANNSLOTTROLL
Sat 12/28/2019
HIPSTSPSILIAD
OCHOSPASCOMMA
LAOSHITTHESPOT
ONNOTICEODESSA
GREWRYJOTS
REDHOTMAKESDO
ALIASCAMEALONG
MATSCOREDETTU
STINGRAYSLETHE
ENTAILSRUPEES
ALMSBUSDRS
ORACLECASHFLOW
TOPLOADERSRICH
ONEUPNONEANKA
HADESASSTTEST
Sun 12/29/2019NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS
SPOILLALAWSHUTWART
PUNNYARISELASHIGOR
CLEANOUTTHEHOUSENAME
ALPSURLDAMEDEEPAK
SEEFRIENDSMOREOFTEN
MARCIESAIATTA
OHCOOLSNOGSSRSRO
SEENSAYGROWMYNESTEGG
HANDKONWEIRCLEARY
EDTMERESALTIHARLEM
GIVEUPOLDHABITS
SHERRITEAKSNODEMBA
AERATERAMISONTEEN
WATCHWHATIEATBAGHDAD
LEIALYSCARSIRIUS
EARSDREDLOTTO
PLANAPERFECTGETAWAY
SHALOMDEADINKATIT
WAILORGANIZEMYOFFICE
ISLENEEDTAKEITIVOS
MEANANDYSPENTSTENT
Mon 12/30/2019
ASHATWARCIGAR
ICELAINEANOSE
MARGARINEROOTS
STEAMDOORDIE
HONORSTUDENT
ORCAAPETSE
DEANARCSERASE
DAMONAROLLRIA
SPEARHONERAPS
RBIOONELSE
ALUMINUMFOIL
DENOTESDIALS
ZAIREMONEYCLIP
ESTERARIALBOA
SHEDSPEARLANT
Tue 12/31/2019
SCUBAASIAATMS
HONUSBONDNEAL
IRISHPOUNDNARY
RNCERRSSLAMON
KEEPATASTECOO
SAFARIKOIPOND
RESCUEACES
TWOPEASINAPOD
ARALPANAMA
RIVERPORAYBAN
ICEOUSTERAONE
GOSPELALOTOTS
ALBALOSEWEIGHT
TOYSEVENARIEL
ORESDADASEEME