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Puzzle Solution #8: Eight Men Out

Rocket Man singer meets rocket manAs promised, the solution to my crossword puzzle #8 is given below.

But of course I must include all sorts of irrelevant information in an effort to provide spoiler space to keep those of you late to the party from getting a peek at answers that cost others blood, sweat and tears.

It is not too late to do the right thing. Click  HERE  to go back and tackle the puzzle for yourself.

Spoiler space

First, for your listening pleasure and not entirely irrelevant, a performance by Elvis Costello of Paul McCartney’s “Penny Lane” given in the East Room at the White House in 2010:

One more thing: The third annual Minnesota Crossword Tournament, sponsored by the Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library, will be held on Sunday, June 22, 2014 at the James J Hill Reference Library. I had hoped to compete in the team division, but have a previous commitment that will likely keep me away.


Puzzle solution

The “Eight Men Out” title for this post refers to the eight men used as answers to the four themed clues. I wanted to use at least a couple of women, but found this difficult. There are not as many choices available because of the fact that men’s names are more likely to double as last names. The one pair of women I tried–Liz Taylor and Taylor Swift–fit awkwardly with any of the other pairs I wanted to use.


I made a big, embarrassing mistake. In the copy of the puzzle that most of you saw, the clue to 33-Down was

      “A Penny Lane banker wears one in song”

Unfortunately, the lyrics to the popular Beatles song include the line “the banker never wears a mac in the pouring rain.” Yikes! I have since corrected this in all three formats of my puzzle, but the psychological damage has been done (to me). The new clue:

      “What a Penny Lane banker never wears in the rain (in song)”

Additionally, I changed the clue for 45-Down from “Inspecific timespan” to “Nonspecific timespan.” Sadly, “inspecific” isn’t really a word.

I worked quickly on this puzzle and did not ask anyone to proofread it before publication. This proofreading process can drag on and lead to an excessive amount of futzing with clues. I find this to be exhausting and not much fun. There is no doubt, though, it can be helpful. These erroneous clues could have been avoided.

Weakest link?

An odd can of bubblegumThe answer to 49-Across, “wienies,” may be seen as problematic by some. The word “wieners” could just as easily be used to answer my clue. I recognized this and did my best to make sure that the crossing answers (“lies to” and “lentil”) were relatively easy to get, and I used “slangy” in my clue to point to the term for these little delicacies I used when I was a kid. I also hinted in the clue to the word’s derivation from Vienna, hoping to forestall the use of the alternate spelling of “weenies” (one that should only be used to describe a person, not a food, in my opinion). The odd photo used with my original blog post and reproduced in miniature here may have tipped off a few sharp-eyed solvers, but I doubt it.

Still, if I had wanted to completely rework the puzzle, I could have done away with “wienies.” But I was quite happy to use it. My apologies if you solve in ink and wound up with an ugly smudge in this corner of the puzzle.

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04/24/2020 #k1: Meadow’s First!
04/20/2020 #24: Roadside Attractions?
02/20/2020 #23: World’s Smallest!
06/20/2018 #22: Northern Dialect
01/30/2018 #21: Special Editions
10/10/2017 #20: Saints We’d Like to See

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