meta — 10 mins
Express review this month, since we just bought a house and I’m not used to all this yardwork.
Pete asks up cryptically to find a 2×2 band. Meaning what?
Let’s look at the theme entries:
24-A [“3×3” band] = TALKING HEADS
44-A [“4×4” band] CREED
52-A [“3×3” singer] = FRANK SINATRA
Study the grid and you’ll see that each of these singers has a hit chopped up among the fill in the proscribed dimensions: AND / SHE / WAS for TALKING HEADS; WITH / ARMS / WIDE / OPEN for CREED; and ALL / THE / WAY for FRANK SINATRA.
So we need a 2×2 band; a bit odd since there are no 2-letter words in this (or any standard crossword) grid. So my first step was to think of any famous song titles comprised of two 2-letter words. ELO’s “Do Ya” jumped into my mind pretty fast, and when I saw DO and YA hidden symmetrically in the entries DO(MO) and (HO)YA, I figured it had to be right. Although I was only about 98% sure, since the mechanism is different for the answer words, which are just part of an entry instead of the full entry itself. Not sure if the two ELOs in fill (see grid) are coincidences or reassurance. But I sent DO YA in and it was correct.
Just 109 right answers as I write this minutes before the deadline, so that painful sound you hear is a few streaks snapping. Not mine, and it’s only two months long now anyway. But it was 23 months before that. Not that I’m bitter. A journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step.