Meta: a whole lot longer
Peter Gordon, as both constructor and editor, gave us a lot of fun with this puzzle! Each theme answer is a person. Each first name is someone else’s last name, and each last name is someone else’s first name. The clues give us the beginning and end of the chain. We fill in the middle. It reminds me of one of my favorite rounds on Says You! The contest question was more difficult, of course, because Peter didn’t give us the beginning and ending names.
- 17a [Explorer who links director Spike Lee to actor Carroll O’Connor by way of an actress and a writer] is MERIWETHER LEWIS. The actress is Lee MERIWETHER and the writer is LEWIS Carroll, giving us Spike Lee/Lee MERIWETHER/LEWIS Carroll/Carroll O’Connor. See how it works?
- 26a is [Comedian who links politician Howard Dean to singer Taylor Swift by way of an entertainer and a football player]. The entertainer is Dean MARTIN and the football player is LAWRENCE Taylor, so the comedian is MARTIN LAWRENCE.
- 41a [Politician who links actress Anna Kendrick to golfer Payne Stewart by way of a rapper and a director] is looking for Kendrick LAMAR and ALEXANDER Payne for LAMAR ALEXANDER. Payne was new to me because I am not a movie buff. I’ve heard of many of the movies on his resumé but didn’t know his name.
- 54a [Actress who links singer Elton John to songwriter Irving Berlin by way of a politician and a writer]. The politician is John KERRY and the writer is WASHINGTON Irving; the actress is KERRY WASHINGTON.
The contest asked “What novelist who links a racecar driver to an actress by way of a revolutionary and a director could have been a theme entry in this puzzle?” The racecar driver is Danica Patrick; the revolutionary is Patrick HENRY; the director is JAMES Cameron; the actress is Cameron Diaz. The novelist, of course, is HENRY JAMES. Bravo to all who solved it and to Patrick Blindauer, who won!
This post is already late so I’ll skip the “few other things.”
What I didn’t know before I did this puzzle: that Idi AMIN was a boxing champion in the 1950s. If he’d stayed in boxing and Fidel Castro had stayed in baseball….