I plugged 2 Down and 7 Across in to start and then tried with “incomplete success,” in President Carter’s words, to make each intersecting across/down pair as close as possible. Come back Sunday for – drum roll, please – Themeless 50.
This is the last Venn Mini for a bit – they’re a bit of a pain to construct, to be honest. Same rules as always: each half of the clue is like a circle in a Venn Diagram; the answer falls in the intersection of the clues and is something they have in common – it could be a name, a place, the same word used in different context, or some other commonality. Explanations follow the photo.
1A – You BASTE a turkey and a seam
6A – Shaq and the Great One both played CENTER, though in different sports. (Seeing Shaq ice skate might be interesting!)
7A – HAVANA was a hit for Camilla Cabello, and the USS Maine sank in Havana harbor, igniting the Spanish-American War
8A – EDITS as a verb includes cuts; director’s cuts may be considered EDITS used as a noun. I apologize for this one, which is the real weak link in the grid.
9A – Spike LEE; a shelter is on the LEE side
1D – BEAD is associated with drops of sweat and Mardi Gras
2D – One of the bones in your ear is the ANVIL, which is also used in a forge
3D – STATE of matter (liquid) and of the union
4D – Future is a TENSE, a cliffhanger is tense
5D – ERA – as an acronym for the Equal Rights Amendment, which was supported by NOW (the National Organization for Women), and for Earned Run Average, a key pitching stat
6D – CHE is the narrator of Evita, and Michael Che is known from SNL
4A. CORDS – newborns have umbilical cords and cords (corduroy pants) have wales (ridges)
7A. IDIOT – Village idiot; Dostoevsky wrote The Idiot
8A. DEMME – Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins appeared together in Silence of the Lambs, Jonathan Demme’s most famous movie.
9A. SLEEP – REM is a sleep stage; the famous Hamlet soliloquy contains the line “to sleep, perchance to dream”. (The clue would work equally well for DREAM.) I wanted to further the REM misdirection by having the second half of the clue be “Sidewinder”; the band had a medium-sized hit song called “The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite,” but it’s 30 years old and I wasn’t sure how well-known it is.
1D. ACIDS are used in etching, and “on acid” is slang for tripping on LSD
2D. MODEL – a model poses on a runway, and an A380 is an airplane model from Airbus. Major misdirect on this one!
3D. PRIME – beef and numbers both may be prime
5D. DOME – Buckminster Fuller is known for designing a geodesic dome, and the Pantheon in Rome is one of the most famous domed buildings in the world
6D. STEP – it’s a synonym for stair and, in music, a step is a whole tone (e.g., from C to D).