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Mostly Musical Mini

Mostly Musical Mini 25

Words: 19

Average Length:  4.63

Lots of blues in today’s MMM, including a featured cross between a legendary blues guitar player/singer and a legendary blues singer, with some Southern rock blues, country blues, and blue-eyed soul added for good measure.

online | puz | pdf | solution

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Themeless

Themeless 39

Gondolas with Isola San Giorgio Maggiore in the background (see clue for 55 Across, “It’s seen in Italy”)

Words:  70

Average Length:  5.46

This one started with the clue/answer pair at 18 Across.  23 Down went in shortly thereafter, and it’s one of my favorite clue/answer pairs in any of my puzzles, if you’ll excuse the self-pat on the back. 

51 Down’s clue (“Altamira or Lascaux, e.g.”) references something on my bucket list that I’ll never be able to fulfill.  I’m fascinated by anthropology and archeology, and the ancient art in these locations could illustrate the dictionary definition of “evocative.”  Alas, they’re closed to the public, so I’ll have to content myself with listening to the second track on The Royal Scam (link here), where Steely Dan captures a bit of the magic.

online | puz | pdf | s0lution

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Mostly Musical Mini

Mostly Musical Mini 24

Words: 20

Average Length: 5.13

This week’s MMM may be a bit more challenging than usual.  I worked in a French composer many of you probably haven’t heard of, who wrote what I think is the most beautiful flute sonata of the 20th century.  In addition, I was forced into 6 Down, who’s a not-very-well-known rapper and thus gets a perhaps less-than-helpful alternative clue after the music-related one.

Here’s a link to the flute sonata, which is filled with sinuous, gorgeous lines and delightfully dissonant harmonies.

online | puz | pdf | solution

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Themed

Garden-Variety Names

Words:  79 (16×15 grid)

Average Length:  5.06

Toasting the Welsh Mens’ Choir (see 18 Across) with a glass of bitter. The performance and the beer were both excellent.

Housekeeping note: the clue to 70 Across should read “One who might assist in the birth of a 64 Across.” Thanks to Sommersmith for pointing out the need for an edit – and be sure to check out his puzzles over at Crosshare.org; they’re excellent!

I think this is one of the easier puzzles I’ve ever constructed. It’s a straightforward themed puzzle clued at a Monday/Tuesday level.  There are a lot of proper names, but they’re all reasonably well-known.  Enjoy the respite:  next Sunday’s grid will be a tough themeless.  First, though, come back Wednesday for MMM 24.

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Categories
Mostly Musical Mini

Mostly Musical Mini 23

Words:  20

Average Length:  5.20

Some pop, metal, a Broadway show, reggae, Latin dance, and a religious instrument for your listening/solving pleasure.  Please enjoy!

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Themeless

Themeless 38

Aligned house windows, Machu Picchu (see shameless plug, below)

Words:  74

Average Length:  5.00

Shameless plug time:  if you’re at all interested in travel, check out my PuffinlessTravel blog. I’ve added several write-ups and dozens of photos from my just-completed trip to Machu Picchu, Cusco, Quito, and the Galapagos.

This grid began with the entries at 20, 37, and 50 Across, which sort of go together despite the “themeless” label. 

online | puz | pdf | solution

Categories
Mostly Musical Mini

Mostly Musical Mini 22

Words:  24

Average Length:  4.67

White Rabbit (see clue for 8 Across) is perhaps the best psychedelic rock song ever.  Using imagery from Alice in Wonderland and a structure reminiscent of Ravel’s Bolero – including a mesmerizing drum part and a slow, steady crescendo – the song captures the spirit of late ‘60s San Francisco in a bit more than two minutes.  Here’s a link.

online | puz | pdf | solution

Categories
Themed

Celebrating Democracy

This has nothing to do with the puzzle, but having just returned from the Galapagos, I had to post a picture of a Blue-Footed Booby

This is a straightforward themed puzzle celebrating the United Nations International Day of Democracy, which is September 15. Enjoy, and vote!!!

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Categories
Themeless

Themeless 37

The Hermitage, St. Petersburg (see 29 Across)

Words:  68

Average Length:  5.50

The seed for this was 33/36 Across, which (complete with the clue), randomly popped up while I was doing something important like shaving or playing electronic Yahtzee.  Then I slapped down 1 Across and decided I had to work in 14 Across as a complement.  (We’re big into pickles in our family. And deli mustard.) Enjoy, and “have some eat,” as my grandma used to say.

online | puz | pdf | online

Categories
Mostly Musical Mini

Mostly Musical Mini 21

Words:  20

Average Length:  5.10

Two listening notes:  First, “The Weight” (clue for 1 Across).  I’m partial to songs that are filled with allusions and weird characters and seem like they mean something, even if that meaning is not apparent.  That’s why I’m a wholly commited Dylan fan; I know his songs express profound truths, even if I’m not sure what they are.  “The Weight” grabs me from the first line:  Nazareth and the terrific lyrical conceit of “feeling ‘bout half ___ dead.”  The original version by The Band remains my favorite – Robbie Robertson is a certified songwriting genius and Levon Helm and Richard Manuel are soulful singers – but some of the covers are terrific as well, including those by Diana Ross, Aretha Franklin, Joe Cocker, and Weezer.

Second, “The Letter,” by 5 Across.  This is one of the best bubblegum pop songs ever. It rocks hard and hammers the imperative to “get back to my baby once more.”  Plus, it’s yet another song with a brilliant, bluesy Joe Cocker cover.

puz | pdf | solution

I’M HAVING ISSUES UPLOADING AN ONLINE VERSION – IF I CAN FIGURE OUT WHAT’S WRONG I’LL AMEND THIS POST TO INCLUDE AN ONLINE LINK.