4
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Constructor's note: This puzzle was constructed to celebrate a recent release. One thematic element is presented and used differently to the others.

Grid

Clues

Across
1. Hollywood's Stone or Watson
5. "Counter-Strike", for example (abbr.)
8. Conscious
13. Bleats
14. Genre for Kendrick Lamar
15. Olsen twin (*)
16. Travellers' lodgings
17. Flub
18. Curly, e.g.
19. Sedate and sober-minded
21. Homer's chronicle
23. Molecular building blocks
24. Some Holden vehicles
25. Mechanics symbol for torque
28. Opus ___ (Group featured in "The Da Vinci Code")
29. Without, in music
31. Injures savagely, as a lion might
33. "Yertle the Turtle" creator
35. After "double", basketball foul (*)
37. "Homer and ___ Exchange Cross Words"
38. Black starting square for a white rook
39. Title for Sanders
42. Sport with ducks (*)
46. Accounting partner with Ernst (*)
47. "The ___" (Dahl story)
49. Wolf child of "Wolf Children" (2012), with Yuki
50. "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" director Lee
51. Contribute, as to a BitTorrent network
52. Up to
54. Somewhat, in slang
56. Cancel, as a mission
57. Naval fleet
60. Kit ___ (*)
62. Tiny arachnid
64. Like some arcade cabinets
65. Internet prefix with surfing
66. From scratch
67. Like Mandarin, phonetically speaking
68. Sales agent, informally
69. Alternative to truth

Down
1. Shrimp at a sushi bar
2. "The ___" (1959 sci-fi horror film with a portmanteau name, featuring Peter Dyneley from "Thunderbirds")
3. Football Club ___ 78 (Championnat National 2 team)
4. Indian tea region
5. Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes co-founder
6. Score that's often 72
7. Spray in short bursts
8. Five-leaf clover grimoire wielder of "Black Clover"
9. "___ have thought?"
10. Second VR game featured in "Sword Art Online"
11. Powder ___
12. Uvea's place
15. Without modification
20. Supplying, as a visa
22. Rechargeable battery type
23. "___ to cart"
24. Bland, as peanuts
25. Place for immersion
26. Free-for-___
27. Function
30. In ___ (actually)
31. Small underwater vehicle
32. "Sword Art Online" illustrator
34. Magnate Musk
36. Fraudulent practice, in Australia
39. Texter's "bye"
40. Nintendo suffix with "Splat"
41. Haul
43. Notable hurricane of 2005
44. Common transistor terminal, with collector and base
45. Addr. book entry
48. More watered down, as coffee
51. Take (a photo)
53. Wanderer
54. Hanazawa voicing an erythrocyte in "Cells at Work!"
55. Singing celebrity, often
56. Resting on
57. Play part
58. Milne's joey
59. 60 secs.
61. Brain ___ (Nintendo DS series)
63. Female bleater

Across TEXT (for use with Across Lite)

<ACROSS PUZZLE V2>
<TITLE>
You'll Always Be My P2!
<AUTHOR>
Sp3000
<COPYRIGHT>
2018
<SIZE>
15x15
<GRID>
XXXX.XXX..XXXXX
XXXX.XXX.XXXXXX
XXXX.XXX.XXXXXX
.XXXXX.XXXXX...
XXXXX.XXXX..XXX
XXX.XXXXX.XXXXX
XXXXXXX.XXXXXXX
...XXXX.XXXX...
XXXXXXX.XXXXXXX
XXXXX.XXXXX.XXX
XXX..XXXX.XXXXX
...XXXXX.XXXXX.
XXXXXX.XXX.XXXX
XXXXXX.XXX.XXXX
XXXXX..XXX.XXXX
<ACROSS>
Hollywood's Stone or Watson
"Counter-Strike", for example (abbr.)
Conscious
Bleats
Genre for Kendrick Lamar
Olsen twin (*)
Travellers' lodgings
Flub
Curly, e.g.
Sedate and sober-minded
Homer's chronicle
Molecular building blocks
Some Holden vehicles
Mechanics symbol for torque
Opus ___ (Group featured in "The Da Vinci Code")
Without, in music
Injures savagely, as a lion might
"Yertle the Turtle" creator
After "double", basketball foul (*)
"Homer and ___ Exchange Cross Words"
Black starting square for a white rook
Title for Sanders
Sport with ducks (*)
Accounting partner with Ernst (*)
"The ___" (Dahl story)
Wolf child of "Wolf Children" (2012), with Yuki
"Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" director Lee
Contribute, as to a BitTorrent network
Up to
Somewhat, in slang
Cancel, as a mission
Naval fleet
Kit ___ (*)
Tiny arachnid
Like some arcade cabinets
Internet prefix with surfing
From scratch
Like Mandarin, phonetically speaking
Sales agent, informally
Alternative to truth
<DOWN>
Shrimp at a sushi bar
"The ___" (1959 sci-fi horror film with a portmanteau name, featuring Peter Dyneley from "Thunderbirds")
Football Club ___ 78 (Championnat National 2 team)
Indian tea region
Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes co-founder
Score that's often 72
Spray in short bursts
Five-leaf clover grimoire wielder of "Black Clover"
"___ have thought?"
Second VR game featured in "Sword Art Online"
Powder ___
Uvea's place
Without modification
Supplying, as a visa
Rechargeable battery type
"___ to cart"
Bland, as peanuts
Place for immersion
Free-for-___
Function
In ___ (actually)
Small underwater vehicle
"Sword Art Online" illustrator
Magnate Musk
Fraudulent practice, in Australia
Texter's "bye"
Nintendo suffix with "Splat"
Haul
Notable hurricane of 2005
Common transistor terminal, with collector and base
Addr. book entry
More watered down, as coffee
Take (a photo)
Wanderer
Hanazawa voicing an erythrocyte in "Cells at Work!"
Singing celebrity, often
Resting on
Play part
Milne's joey
60 secs.
Brain ___ (Nintendo DS series)
Female bleater
<NOTEPAD>
Constructor's note: This puzzle was constructed to celebrate a recent release. One thematic element is presented and used differently to the others.
$\endgroup$
4
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Continuing from practiced_liar's answer...

each of the characters has a partner that they are often seen with: Kat and Ana, Dribble and Spitz, Young Cricket and Master Mantis, and Ashley and Red.

Each of the partners also appears in the grid, but with an extra letter: we have MANSTER MANTOIS at 2- and 3-Down, FRED at 5-Down, SPRITZ at 7-Down and KANA at 54-Down.

We then sort by the Across clues:

ASHLEY    [F]RED
DRIBBLE   SP[R]ITZ
…CRICKET  MANT[O]IS
YOUNG…    MA[N]STER
KAT       [K]ANA

This gives us a final answer of:

FRONK, one of the recurring characters in the WarioWare games.

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4
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Here's the solution to the crossword:

enter image description here

This crossword celebrates the release of:

WarioWare Gold
The clues marked by a star correspond to the characters in the game:
- Ashley
- Dribble
- Young Cricket
- Kat

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