Word Count: 69 (14×15 grid)
Average Length: 5.04
Difficulty: 2 out of 5
Here’s an easy holiday puzzle for y’all. To mark the 4th, I thought I’d focus on “American” music (gee, that’s a surprise, says anyone who’s solved one of my puzzles). I put “American” in quotes because the music we play, listen to, and create is a hodgepodge, an olio if you will (yes, you can use the word outside of crosswords) of indigenous, European, African, Latin American, and Asian influences. We harmonize our disparate heritages in our music.
In brainstorming – never ideating, which is a horrible word and should be banned from crosswords despite its friendly orthography – possible theme answers, I found the three here. Not only are they symmetrical; they illustrate my “olio point” in an appropriately tinted manner.
Finally, one specific comment on the puzzle: Given the theme, I had to give a shout out to Ms. Russell in 50D, as the co-star (with husband Matthew Rhys) of one of the greatest shows in television history.