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LAT Sat. 11/21 Silk & Peterson


"Deck the Halls" ending    LALALA
Switch magazines, maybe   RELOAD [magazines are often mistakenly called clips]
One often follows a bullet    ITEM [in a bulleted list]

Three less than once    OCHO [in Spanish once means eleven and ocho means eight] 
Despite my distaste for foreign words in English puzzles, given the cleverness of the clue, I'd go with it, especially given that OCHO is crossed with easy words.  I appreciate that DOS was clued not as "Two in Mexico" but the more clever "Suggested actions."

I have a hunch there is a covert theme, but it is beyond me.  I see SPERM..., DNA..., and BLOOD...; they're related, but AUTO... it's a prefix for an antibody produced in one's own bloodstream.

SITPAT, even if it can be found in some reference or other, is at best outre.  The idiom is "stand pat."

I just realized that there is a tomato in automaton.

I'm surprised the puzzle was accepted with "sperm" in the grid.

Hi, Rick---

I'm not.  Kids learn about sperms and eggs in school.  I'm reminded of the Victorian practice of putting skirts on furniture to keep the leg (ball and claw feet) from showing.


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