Meta: even more time, unmeasured
For the contest, Peter asks “What dance move is hinted at by this puzzle?” Let’s see.
I didn’t find all the theme answers at first and so it took a while for me to figure out what was going on. Here’s the full set – I’ll spare you the story of my mental anguish. Each theme answer has a number hidden within.
- 19a [Author of the book “Don’t Start the Revolution Without Me!”] is JESSE VENTURA.
- 21a [Hear] is GET WORD.
- 33a [Either of a pair of cylinders in a wringer] is, apparently, a SQUEEZE ROLL.
- 44a [Camera line named for a Greek goddess] is the CANON EOS.
- 54a [Precolonial state of West Africa] is the BENIN EMPIRE.
- 70a [Short-lived soda release of 1995] is PEPSI XL.
- 73a [Toast a sub for?] has nothing to do with Quiznos. It’s BURN IN EFFIGY.
That gives us 7 2 0 1 9 6 9. Change the spacing a bit and you get 7/20/1969, the date when Neil Armstrong first walked on the moon. This became a dance known ’round the world in 1982 when Michael Jackson first did the MOONWALK on national television. Ta-da!
Erik, you know I love you, and I usually love your puzzles….I appreciate the feat of construction here – finding answers with the correct digits and sorting them into a grid in the proper order can’t have been easy. It wasn’t a whole lot of fun to solve, in part because SQUEEZE ROLL sounds completely contrived. Don’t yell at me; I’m sure it’s in a dictionary somewhere, but who among us has ever used a washer with a mangle and who knew the cylinders had a name other than “cylinder?” The others are at least in the language, although PEPSI XL is danged obscure.
The rest of the fill did not redeem the puzzle; the constraints of the theme answers require a lot of very short fill and that’s always a risk. I like the NW corner with AWW and D’OH clued as [“Dang, that sucks”] and [“Dang, I messed up!”]. I was less fond of the SE corner with NIA, JOB and RMS, especially since NIA was clued with someone I never heard of. My bad, I’m sure you all knew who she was.
I did enjoy 37d [1930s Hollywood star who played the same role as his father], which turned out to be RIN TIN TIN JR.
What I did not know before I did this puzzle: see above re: RIN TIN TIN JR, SQUEEZE ROLL and PEPSI XL. I also did not know that Antonio Banderas appeared in an Almodovar film called MATADOR.
I leave you with, of course, the MOONWALK, and a reminder of the talent that was lost. The more I watch Emma grow as a dancer, the more I appreciate that Michael Jackson was one of the finest dancers of our generation. The relevant section starts at 5:35.
The Benin Empire has the craziest flag I’ve ever seen:
Wow, I’ve never seen that one before. Thanks for sharing!
Good puzzle, albeit a little stiff for all the contrivances and Naticks (for me, especially in the right side) as mentioned in the original review. 3.5 for me.
One of my favorite aspects of this was to watch (many times) one of Erik’s favorite dance videos that Peter posted in his email–“earworm” warning, though.
love you too, jenni, and i usually love your reviews….i loved this review! no yelling from me! thanks everyone for solving and peter for turning a flawed submission into a viable puzzle