Average length: 5.01
Difficulty: 3 out of 5
I’m not generally a fan of quote puzzles, but when I read the passage that forms the theme of this puzzle, I thought it deserved to be enshrined in a crossword – surely the highest and most enduring memorialization possible! It pithily reflects, in an exasperated way, a fundamental facet of human nature. The quote comes from the last essay in Seeing Further: The Story of Science, Discovery, and the Genius of the Royal Society, edited by the incomparable Bill Bryson. The essay’s author, Martin Rees FRS (Fellow of the Royal Society), is an august cosmologist and past-President of the Society.
La Jolla 29 Down
18A: To quote Anna Russell, “I’m not making this up, you know”: the answer is a real thing and, in fact, is studied in academia (not a particularly exclusive distinction) and used in art installations. (If you’re into classical music and comedy, check out Anna Russell’s very funny analysis of Wagner’s Ring Cycle.)
27A: Shout out to ZZ Top. Fun fact: ZZ Top’s drummer, Frank Beard, for many years was the only member of the band without cascading facial hair.
47A: I love this factoid; it sounds like a 3-year old came up with the name.
64A: My favorite clue in the puzzle. For those who are unfamiliar with this meaning of the final word in the answer, it refers to the mold on which a shoe is constructed.
70A: Apparently, Kanter is about to become an American citizen following his years-long battle with Turkey’s leader (Erdogan).
4D: Yes, yet another Harry Potter reference. Sorry, but I love these books and will cite them where possible. Deal with it.
31D: This usually isn’t ideal fill, but I figured it was ok here because this puzzle is a pangram (my first).