Average Length: 5.82
Difficulty: Whose words these are I think you know/My themeless puzzles challenge though/There is no need for you to fear/You always can to Google go! (With apologies to Robert Frost.)
I’ve been on a poetry-reading kick for several months; inevitably, that newfound interest is seeping into my grids, which accounts for the grid-spanners at 18 and 51 Across. Both are lines from well-known poems that are powerful and devastating, in very different ways.
I encountered 12 Across in a very good book my son and I read as part of our 2-person book group: “The Future Starts Here: Adventures in the Twenty-First Century,” by John Higgs. Higgs is a thought-provoking, entertaining British writer who seems to know brilliant, creative, cool people in all areas of human endeavor. (The book we’re currently reading, which I also strongly recommend, is a remarkable family history by Ingrid Rojas Contreras entitled “The Man Who Could Move Clouds.”)
There are certainly simpler ways to clue 16 Across, but I wanted to use a lyric from all-time favorite Joni Mitchell, who recently made an inspirational return to the Newport Folk Festival. No apologies for the groaner of a clue for 26 Across; I figured I’d work the poetry angle into a pun to draw attention away from the fact that the answer is arrant crosswordese. Finally, as noted in the clues, after I finished the grid I somehow ended up with five entries clues relating to Greek mythology. I’ll sign off by saying, in the name of Apollo (god of the sun, music, and poetry), please enjoy the puzzle and come back Wednesday for Mostly Musical Mini 18.