by Avram Gottschlich and Todd McClary
Problem:

Once the crossword is completed, there are 17 rebus squares, each a number 1–9. If the grid is split into 81 3x3 squares, the numbers all appear in consistent squares:

 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

These form the givens for a sudoku:

 3 8 9 7 1 5 2 4 2 9 1 4 4 6 8 7 1

When the sudoku is solved, we get:

 3 5 8 6 9 4 2 7 1 4 7 6 1 2 5 9 3 8 2 9 1 8 3 7 6 4 5 6 4 5 2 1 8 7 9 3 9 8 2 7 6 3 5 1 4 7 1 3 4 5 9 8 6 2 1 3 7 9 8 2 4 5 6 8 6 4 5 7 1 3 2 9 5 2 9 3 4 6 1 8 7

Notably, the middle row of this sudoku has no givens. By extracting the appropriate letters from the middle row via their placement in the 3x3 square, we get the answer SHINZO ABE.

 I N 3 D . A B F A B . S C A M . A N C H O R . G A S P M I D I . M U R R Y . T A P E . P O L E A X . O D O R A M O R . C R 8 O N . A S I 9 . B R E A K 7 . M A R E M O W E R . I S D 1 . I B E X . . . O P T . W A G E S S Y N C O P E . . . T R A C I . 5 R S . R A I D E R S . . . T O O D L E O O . H E L E N A . J E S T . . . . . 2 T I M E . A L U M S . . E V A C U E E S . M A I N T W I N S . . S I T B A C K . A T E S T S . W E N D Y H A N G . S I S . . . M R I . S I D E S . D I Z Z E E E Y E . S T O O D . 2 B I T . . O T S . V A N Z A N T . . . 4 M A N . R O P E S . L E N O . C O N T A C T S P R E C U T . S U G A R P L U M S . S A T U R 9 . . . R I G H T . B I G D I G . I T T . O H B A B Y . P A T E D G E . S E E G E R . P E Z . H A R A R E . D E C O Y E S . H E A V E N . P U G . B U S I L Y . Q U E E N . . . 1 A R M E D . F I R E S I R E N S . G U A R D S B U R L I V E S . 4 I E R . P A R S E . J A I L . . . A V A I L E D . D O N . . F O X Y . S M A R T . G Y M G U N N E R . L O C A L . R O I . . . O R B . M A U I E L D E R . N I E L L O . O N A L L 4 S . . D E E P 6 L A I R . B A D R O B O T . . L O E W E . L U C A S . . . . . G A P S . C I P H E R . B O D Y W A S H . . . O W N U P T O . O K D . I M A G E . . . A T T A C K S H 8 E N S . L O X . . . 7 P I N . C L A N . S N O O T A I W A . D E M I S E . I L S A . H 1 S T Y . I B A R R E A R . R O A D I E . N O I R . A L T A R . C O L A A R T Y . U N R E A L . G Y N S . D Y A D S . S L A W