Puzzle 159 – “I Don’t Think That I Can Take It”

puz here / pdf here / solution here

The seed entry (and title inspiration) here was 18-Down, it will come as no surprise to longtime friends of the blog. I’m well aware that this tune is polarizing. If you’re not a fan (or if you’re entirely unfamiliar), please enjoy this version (spoiler at the link, obviously).

This was a fun grid shape to play around with. It’s unusual because there are 12 entries of 9 letters or more, but they aren’t stacked at all. The 6 long across entries don’t touch at all, nor do the 6 long down entries. The upside: cool grid shape! The downside: altering just about any fill would require complete disassembly. As a result, there’s no fill here that I just can’t abide (wait, the title… I mean, no fill that I can’t take) but a couple non-ideal bits may have made it through.

Favorite clues: 6-Down for the fun fact. 52-Down because, well, you should know why by now. And 10-Down because I may just keep leaning into these “vintage” moments here even harder.

As ever, yall, comments are welcomed. Hope you enjoy. Happy solving, friends.


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  1. That was a ton of fun! I was wondering if your link was to the (I think) superior Weird Al song. Ha. Congrats on a great showing at Westwords!

    • Thanks! You were there in person, right? With a solid showing yourself, no?
      Must have been a good time, I’m sure.

      • Josh Forsythe July 2, 2024 — 9:55 am

        Thanks! Yeah, it was a great time and a really good turnout, filled with people who were at their first ever crossword tournament. Plus the weather was perfect!

  2. I’m delighted to learn that 50A is “real” terminology, and I just went and read about 38A … incredible. Now I’m going off to find out about 18D being polarising, because I wasn’t aware of that either. Thank you for another fun puzzle with many interestingness hooks!

  3. Lots of good stuff! As for “MacArthur Park”, I remember hearing the Richard Harris (“A Man Called Horse” actor) version and liking it, even though his vocals were overwrought. And Donna Summer also had a hit with a “disco-fied” version.
    And now I’m listening to the Four Tops version, and then I’ll give a listen to the Weird Al version.

  4. good one! thanks!

    missed the cross of 49A and 45D.

    had no idea 30A only applied to the winter

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