ABOVE: © science photo library, microscape

          December 2023 crossword puzzle
Click the puzzle for a full-size, interactive version.

1. Animal used in some preclinical research
5. Extremely common type of genetic variation, for short
8. Consider it proper
14. Really loving
15. “Runaway Girl” actress Lili St. ___
16. Foundation grants for a lab, often
17. Organelle that breaks down biological polymers
19. Illegally taken
20. Like slow city traffic
22. Mount Saint ___, fourth-highest peak in North America
23. Organelle that generates cellular energy
26. Sound made by the plainfin midshipman fish to attract mates
27. Old tape format
28. “___ the season to be jolly”
29. Wipe the data from
31. Succumb to gravity
32. Big ___ theory
36. Word that can follow “living” or “low”
37. Assimilation and ammonification in the nitrogen cycle, for two
39. Taken by mouth
40. Like a salamander’s life history
41. Subunit of an eon
42. Water: Spanish
43. Consumed
44. Month in which Daylight Saving Time ends
47. Some Boolean operators
48. Organelle that packages proteins into vesicles
53. Bat’s prey-detecting system
54. Video game with pieces falling from above
55. After CRISPR-Cas9, say
57. Organelle that synthesizes polypeptides and proteins
61. Tilted to one side
62. Texter’s prelude to a hot take
63. Opera singer’s solo
64. Noble horses
65. Office computer setup: Abbr.
66. 88 Earth days, for Mercury


1. Genre-bending artist ___ Nas X
2. One or more
3. The Rockies, e.g.
4. Upward shove
5. “Move over!”
6. Immature dragonfly, for example
7. Response to “grazie”
8. Term of endearment for a sibling
9. Goes in
10. Bacteria with strains that can be symbiotic with humans
11. Large sheet of paper
12. “To explain...”
13. “___ across the board!”
18. Apparatus with burners
21. Coming up next
23. Artwork created by Montana State University’s Bioglyphs project
24. Fully mature insect stage
25. Sites of archaeological interest
26. Cuts with a saw
30. Create suture
31. Habitat for Pelagibacter unique
32. Snake that kills through constriction
33. Specialized jargon
34. Micronesian microstate known for its coral cliffs
35. Amorphous solid that’s highly useful to humans
37. Group that looks for life outside of Earth
38. Pay for dinner
43. Came to a consensus
44. Best possible conditions
45. Graphene’s makeup
46. Small musical group
48. Titular literary character who never shows up
49. How some samples are shipped
50. Potato pancake served at Hanukkah
51. Extreme danger
52. Process that may require sample purification
53. Short moments?
56. Degree held by a dentist: Abbr.
58. Magnetite, chromite, or cassiterite
59. Nowhere to be found, for short
60. Body part that contains the vestibular nerve