Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Wednesday, April 21, 2021, Brandon Koppy

Happy Star Wars Day!

Oh, wait, that's not until May 4th ("May the fourth be with you..."). Two weeks early, we get this Wednesday offering, paying tribute to the classic pair of droids, and dropping some numerals into the grid. I feel sure we've seen both R2D2 and C3PO in puzzles before this, but maybe not in the same one?

In any case, their names are used as short hand for a pair of longer answers where the letters follow the patterns suggested by the names. Thus, RYANREYNOLDS and DONDELILLO have the requisite pair of Rs and Ds. Meanwhile, COCOCHANEL and PATTONOSWALT make up the 3Cs and PO. 

It's a cute idea well carried out by Mr. Koppy, still allowing room for ANNAWINTOUR and MATINGDANCE, two very nice long down answers. I also liked 58A: "Nice wheels!" (SWEETRIDE) and TALLYHO.

ANI DiFranco continues to get recognized in the NYT crossword puzzle. And why not? With over 20 records, and a new one just out, she remains a force in the alt rock/indy world. Her memoir came out in 2019, and I remember hearing her interviewed on NPR. She lives up to the name of her label, Righteous Babe.

And also, there aren't many good ways to clue ANI.

That's using YER NOODLE!

There was a minitheme with HECATE and WICCA, in a sense. Maybe GOAT fits in as well? Has anyone seen The Witch? I understand a black goat played a large part in that movie.

Finally, not a lot of surprising clues. The only one I found that pushed the envelope a little was 26D: Spoon, say (NESTLE). 

- Colum


  1. This one was awfully heavy on proper names (especially names of people). But I did like the rebus even if part of my brain was looking at the calendar and saying "aren't you a day early?"

    Favorite answer? Probably STEEL mostly because it had a cool clue (although I guess "item made in Essen" would also be nice in terms of reversing the usual crosswordese)

  2. I have a beef with Across Lite. I wasn't getting the Happy Pencil even though I knew that I had all of the answers entered correctly. I shut the timer off at 12:22, but had the puzzle finished at least fifteen seconds earlier with the digits "2" and "3" entered in the appropriate spots. I tried changing them to [TWO] and [THREE] to no avail and when I hit the "Reveal Incorrect Squares" button, it changed all of those squares to "T," which must stand for "Terrible." Can't some programming genius over at the NYT figure out how to make that work correctly? I don't think that should be too difficult. Anyway, the puzzle was nice overall. I generally enjoy PATTONOSWALT as "TV's Son of TV's Frank" on the MST3K reboot from a couple of years ago, and thought the recent movie about ANNAWINTOUR ("The September Issue") was enjoyable.