Average Length: 4.20
Think of each half of each clue as a circle in a Venn diagram. The answer will lie in the intersection of the two circles. It could be a name, a word with different meanings in each context, a common component, or something else they share.
Spoilers/explanations below the photo
1A: SPOCK – Dr. Benjamin Spock wrote what was, for a long time, the baby care bible. Mr. Spock, of course, needs no introduction. Live long and prosper!
6A: THREE – Lithium’s atomic number and Dale Earnhardt’s car number
7A: DADDY – Daddy Yankee was featured on Despacito and Daddy Warbucks is a main character in Annie
8A: SEE – The government of the Catholic Church (Holy See) operates from the Vatican, and you “see” in poker when you match a bet
9A: ERS – as in emergency rooms and “ers” when someone is searching for a word
1D: STD – a reg (regulation) is a standard (std), and the “clap” is slang for gonorrhea, a kind of sexually transmitted disease
2D: PHASE – the “terrible twos” is considered a phase, and liquid is a phase (state) of matter
3D: ORDER – is a categorization in taxonomy (between family and class), and a monastery generally is populated by monks of a specific order (e.g., Franciscans)
4D: CEDES – sorry about this one; it’s a stretch but it works if you consider that the root -cede is used with con (concede) but not pro (which changes the root to ceed) and pre (precede) but not post (instead it’s succeed). I got backed into a corner on this one!
5D: KEY – a piano has 88 of them; Florida has around 800
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