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Puzzle #10: Cut Out the MiddleMAN

This puzzle’s theme is more gridplay, riffing on the concept of a middleman. I was pleased to find 3 15-letter phrases with MAN in the exact middle, and the use of the MAN isn’t just a straightforward thing like GENTLEMANCALLER or THEICEMANCOMETH.

FRANKOZ isn’t a household name, but he should be. He was also the original voice of Cookie Monster, Bert, and Grover. ALAS is the price I paid for that X in the SE corner, but sometimes the lure of rare letters is just too great, even after years of training myself to ignore their siren song.

It’s always fun to get some long bonus answers in the grid, like TAKINGANAP and CONGALINES in this puz. In my first NYT Sunday, I probably took it too far.

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