0204-21 NY Times Crossword 4 Feb 21, Thursday

Constructed by: Derek Allen
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Shaded Square

We have a rebus puzzle today with a color in four squares of the grid. Themed answers are hit songs:

  • 17A 1993 country hit by Joe Diffie : JOHN DEERE GREEN
  • 32A 1966 hit by the Rolling Stones : PAINT IT BLACK
  • 45A 1983 hit by Billy Idol : WHITE WEDDING
  • 61A 1966 hit by the Beatles : YELLOW SUBMARINE
  • 19D 2017 hit by Lorde (also a 2008 hit by John Legend, and a 1968 hit by the American Breed) : GREEN LIGHT
  • 33D 1991 hit by Michael Jackson : BLACK OR WHITE
  • 38D 2017 hit by Cardi B : BODAK YELLOW

Bill’s time: 12m 22s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

5 Average : MEAN

In a set of numbers, the mean is the average value of those numbers. The median is the numeric value at which half the numbers have a lower value, and half the numbers a higher value. The mode is the value that appears most often in the whole set of numbers.

13 Post-human race of sci-fi : ELOI

In the 1895 novella by H. G. Wells called “The Time Machine”, there are two races that the hero encounters in his travels into the future. The Eloi are the “beautiful people” who live on the planet’s surface. The Morlocks are a domineering race living underground who use the Eloi as food.

14 Kind of palm : ACAI

Açaí (pronounced “ass-aye-ee”) is a palm tree native to Central and South America. The fruit has become very popular in recent years and its juice is a very fashionable addition to juice mixes and smoothies.

15 Phil in the Poker Hall of Fame : IVEY

Phil Ivey is a World Poker Tour title winner considered by many to be the best all-around poker player in the world. Ivey has a couple of nicknames, one of which is “the Tiger Woods of Poker”.

16 Explorer of children’s TV : DORA

“Dora the Explorer” is a cartoon series shown on Nickelodeon. Part of Dora’s remit is to introduce the show’s young viewers to some Spanish words and phrases.

20 Popular afternoon talk show : ELLEN

Ellen DeGeneres is a very, very successful TV personality, having parlayed her career in stand-up comedy into lucrative gigs as an actress and talk show host. Back in 1997 DeGeneres chose the “Oprah Winfrey Show” to announce that she was a lesbian. Her character on “The Ellen Show” also came out as a lesbian in a scene with her therapist, who was played by Oprah Winfrey. Nice twist!

22 Fig. on some I.R.S. forms : EIN

Employer Identification Number (EIN)

23 Sticking point for a craftsperson? : AWL

An awl is a pointed tool used for marking a surface or for piercing small holes. The earliest awls were used to pierce ears, apparently. The tool then became very much associated with shoemakers.

24 Dances with a fast-fast-slow rhythm : SALSAS

The genre of music called salsa is a modern interpretation of various Cuban traditional music styles.

26 ___ Xing : PED

Pedestrian crossing (Ped Xing)

27 Nintendo console : WII

Introduced in 2006, Nintendo’s Wii quickly became the biggest-selling game console in the world.

28 The slightest bit : ONE IOTA

Iota is the ninth letter in the Greek alphabet, and one that gave rise to our letters I and J. We use the word “iota” to portray something very small, as it is the smallest of all Greek letters.

30 Camaro competitor : MUSTANG

The Ford Mustang car was introduced in 1964. Back then the Mustang wasn’t a brand new design, but was based on the Ford Falcon. The Mustang was the first of the “pony cars”, American models that are compact and affordable, as well as sporty in image and performance.

The Chevrolet Camaro is a car produced by General Motors from 1966 to 2002, and reintroduced in 2009. The Camaro shared much of its design with the Pontiac Firebird, and was introduced as a potential competitor to the Ford Mustang.

32 1966 hit by the Rolling Stones : PAINT IT, BLACK

A close runner-up to my favorite Rolling Stones song (“Satisfaction”) is “Paint It, Black”, released in 1966. Due to the song’s prominent use in the movie “Full Metal Jacket” and the TV show “Tour of Duty”, “Paint It, Black” has become inextricably linked with the Vietnam War. That linkage gets reinforced even today as the song is often used in television shows and even video games whenever there is a Vietnam reference. It is interesting to note that the correct form of the title includes a comma (“Paint It, Black”) as this was how it was written when originally released. According to Keith Richards, the inclusion of the comma was a mistake made by the company printing the original record label, and it stuck.

34 Egyptian symbol of life : ANKH

The ankh was the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic character for “eternal life”. The ankh wasn’t just used in inscriptions but was often fashioned into amulets and as surrounds for mirrors (perhaps symbolizing a view into another world). The ankh is also known as “the key of the Nile” and “crux ansata” (Latin for “cross with a handle”).

38 Ballet classroom fixture : BARRE

A barre is a handrail used by ballet dancers for warm-up exercises and to provide support when practicing certain moves.

45 1983 hit by Billy Idol : WHITE WEDDING

Billy Idol is an English rock musician, whose real name is William Broad. He started out with the punk band Generation X before making it big as a solo artist. Idol’s career was helped along by some well-received MTV music videos in the early days of the genre. His stage name was inspired by a school teacher who described young Billy as “idle”. He decided to avoid the “Billy Idle” spelling so as to avoid confusion with the “Monty Python” star Eric Idle.

55 “Who ___?” (song from “Les Misérables”) : AM I

The 1980 musical “Les Misérables” is an adaptation of the 1862 novel of the same name by Victor Hugo. The show opened in London in 1985, and is the longest running musical in the history of London’s West End. My wife and I saw “Les Miz” in the Queen’s Theatre in London many years ago, but were only able to get tickets in the very back row. The theater seating is very steep, so the back row of the balcony is extremely high over the stage. One of the big events in the storyline is the building of a street barricade over which the rebels fight. At the height we were seated we could see the stagehands behind the barricade, sitting drinking Coke, even smoking cigarettes. On cue, the stagehands would get up and catch a dropped rifle, or an actor who had been shot. It was pretty comical. I didn’t really enjoy the show that much, to be honest. Some great songs, but the musical version of the storyline just didn’t seem to hang together for me.

57 Where originally found : IN SITU

“In situ” is a Latin phrase meaning “in the place”, and we use the term to mean “in the original position”.

60 ___ Ababa : ADDIS

Addis Ababa is the capital city of Ethiopia. The city is relatively young, having been founded in 1886 by Emperor Menelik II. Addis Ababa holds an important position within the nations of Africa as it is home to many international organizations that are focused on the continent.

61 1966 hit by the Beatles : YELLOW SUBMARINE

Paul McCartney wrote the song “Yellow Submarine” with Ringo Starr in mind as the lead singer. As McCartney said himself, because it was for Ringo, he wrote something that wasn’t “too rangey”. It turned out to be more like a children’s song, and a couple of years later in 1968, the song was used as the title for an animated film. The song is full of sound effects, including John Lennon blowing through a straw into a bowl of water to create a “bubbling”, and Lennon and McCartney speaking into tin cans to create the sound of the captain and officer exchanging orders. And at one point in the recording, a backing vocalist led everyone around the studio on a conga line, while pounding on a bass drum. What a way to make money, and lots of it …

64 Itty-bitty biter : GNAT

Gnats are attracted to the smell of rotting food, and vinegar. Simple homemade traps that use vinegar are often constructed to attract and kill gnats.

67 Figure skater Lipinski : TARA

When American skater Tara Lipinski won the figure skating gold medal at the 1998 Winter Olympics, she was only 15 years old. To this day, Lipinski is the youngest person to win an individual gold at the Winter Games.

Figure skating started out as a sport in which a skater demonstrated skill at carving out specific patterns into the ice (a figure-8, for example). Over time, the sport placed greater influence on free skating. Compulsory figures were dropped completely from most international competitions in the 1990s, but the name “figure skating” has been retained.

68 Its products often come with Allen wrenches : IKEA

The IKEA furniture chain was founded by Ingvar Kamprad in 1943, when he was just 17-years-old. IKEA is an acronym standing for Ingvar Kamprad Elmtaryd Agunnaryd (don’t forget now!). Elmtaryd was the name of the farm where Ingvar Kamprad grew up, and Agunnaryd is his home parish in Sweden.

The Allen wrench (or “Allen key”, as we call it back in Ireland) is a successful brand of hex wrench that was trademarked in 1943 by the Allen Manufacturing Company of Hartford , Connecticut. However, the hex wrench had in fact been around since the mid-to-late 1800s.

69 Where the Iditarod ends : NOME

The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race covers an incredible 1,161 miles, from Anchorage to Nome in Alaska. The race starts every year on the first Saturday in March, with the first race having been held in 1973. Finishing times range from over 8 days to 15 days or more. The first few races only used a northern route, but then a southern route was added to the roster every second year. It’s kind of a good thing, because when the racers take the northern route they don’t even pass through the town of Iditarod!

70 Some cameras, in brief : SLRS

The initialism “SLR” stands for “single lens reflex”. Usually, cameras with changeable lenses are the SLR type. The main feature of an SLR is that a mirror reflects the image seen through the lens out through the viewfinder, so that the photographer sees exactly what the lens sees. The mirror moves out of the way as the picture is taken, and the image that comes through the lens falls onto unexposed film, or nowadays onto a digital sensor.

72 River that comprises the fifth circle of Dante’s Inferno : STYX

The River Styx of Greek mythology was the river that formed the boundary between the Earth and the Underworld (or “Hades”). The souls of the newly dead had to cross the River Styx in a ferry boat piloted by Charon. Traditionally, a coin would be placed in the mouths of the dead “to pay the ferryman”.

In Dante’s “Inferno”, Hell is represented as nine circles of suffering. The nine circles of Hell are:

  1. Limbo
  2. Lust
  3. Gluttony
  4. Greed
  5. Anger
  6. Heresy
  7. Violence
  8. Fraud
  9. Treachery

Down

2 “Mr. Blue Sky” grp. : ELO

“Mr. Blue Sky” is a 1977 song by the Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) from Britain. It’s a song that has been described as “Beatlesque”, and I must say that I agree with that statement …

3 Singing siren : LORELEI

Lorelei is the name of a legendary mermaid or nymph who lured fishermen by singing a beautiful song. Lorelei’s aim was to have the fishermen steer their boats onto rocks lurking beneath the water’s surface.

In Greek mythology, the Sirens were seductive bird-women who lured men to their deaths with their song. When Odysseus sailed closed to the island home of the Sirens he wanted to hear their voices, but in safety. He had his men plug their ears with beeswax and then ordered them to tie him to the mast and not to free him until they were safe. On hearing their song Odysseus begged to be let loose, but the sailors just tightened his bonds and the whole crew sailed away unharmed. We sometimes use the term “siren” today to describe a seductively charming woman.

6 M.B.A. class : ECON

The world’s first Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree was offered by Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration, in 1908.

10 Alternative to La. or Dr. : AVE

Avenue (ave.)

11 Big name in bridal gowns : VERA WANG

Vera Wang’s first choice for a career was figure skating. Although she is a very capable skater, Wang failed to make the 1968 US Olympics team. She switched to the world of fashion, and is now famous for her designs of wedding dresses … and also costumes for figure skaters.

18 “Mon ___!” : DIEU

“Mon Dieu!” is French for “My God!”

19 2017 hit by Lorde (also a 2008 hit by John Legend, and a 1968 hit by the American Breed) : GREEN LIGHT

“Lorde” is a stage name of the singer-songwriter Ella Yelich-O’Connor from New Zealand. Lorde’s cover version of the great Tears for Fears song “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” was used in the soundtrack for “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” (2013). Her song “Yellow Flicker Beat” is included in the soundtrack for “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1”.

21 Founder of Taoism : LAO TSE

Lao Tse (also “Lao-Tzu”) was a central figure in the development of the religion/philosophy of Taoism. Tradition holds that Lao-Tzu wrote the “Tao Te Ching”, a classical Chinese text that is fundamental to the philosophy of Taoism.

25 Political analyst Navarro : ANA

Ana Navarro is a Nicaraguan-born, American political strategist and commentator. Navarro is a lifelong Republican who worked for Governor Jeb Bush and for Senator John McCain. However, she was very critical of presidential candidate Donald Trump during his 2016 campaign. She was so vehement in her anti-Trump views that she ended up voting for Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton in the election.

31 Cousin of ocher : TAN

Ocher is a light, yellowish-brown color, although variations of the pigment are possible such as red ocher and purple ocher. “Ocher” is usually spelled “ochre” on the other side of the pond.

37 Portion of a sum : ADDEND

“Addend” is short for “addendum”, and is the name given to any element in a set of numbers that is to be added.

38 2017 hit by Cardi B : BODAK YELLOW

“Cardi B” is the stage name of rap artist Belcalis Almánzar from the Bronx in New York City. The name “Cardi B” comes from the brand name “Bacardi”.

39 People who believe that all natural objects have souls : ANIMISTS

“Animism” comes from the Latin word “anima” meaning “soul, life”. The word “animism” has two related but distinct meanings. In one sense, animism is the belief in souls, and in another sense it is the belief that souls exist for other entities that are not human. I think it is a relatively commonly held belief that animals may have souls (and that one can meet up with one’s pet or cat or in heaven!), but it is less commonly believed that plants and even rocks can have souls too.

49 Bearded beast : GNU

The gnu is also known as the wildebeest, and is an antelope native to Africa. “Wildebeest” is a Dutch meaning “wild beast”.

51 Former first family : OBAMAS

By tradition, the Secret Service code names used for the US President and family all start with the same letter. For the Obama First Family, that letter is R:

  • Barack Obama: Renegade
  • Michelle Obama: Renaissance
  • Malia Obama: Radiance
  • Sasha Obama: Rosebud

53 Chef known by his first name : EMERIL
(56A 53-Down’s catchword : BAM!)

Emeril Lagasse is an American chef who was born in Massachusetts. Lagasse first achieved celebrity as executive chef in Commander’s Palace in New Orleans. Now famous for his television shows, his cuisine still showcases New Orleans ingredients and influences. Lagasse started using his famous “Bam!” catchphrase in order to keep his crew awake during repeated tapings of his show.

60 Rare blood type, for short : A-NEG

Here is an approximate distribution of blood types across the US population:

  • O-positive: 38 percent
  • O-negative: 7 percent
  • A-positive: 34 percent
  • A-negative: 6 percent
  • B-positive: 9 percent
  • B-negative: 2 percent
  • AB-positive: 3 percent
  • AB-negative: 1 percent

63 Kyle’s brother on “South Park” : IKE

“South Park” is an adult-oriented cartoon series on Comedy Central. I don’t do “South Park” …

65 Writer Sedaris : AMY

The actress, author and comedian Amy Sedaris plays a character called Jerri Blank on the television series “Strangers with Candy”. Amy is the younger sister of the humorist and author David Sedaris.

66 ___ Avery, Bugs Bunny creator : TEX

Tex Avery was a cartoon animator and voice actor in Hollywood. He was the man who created Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck, and it was Avery who gave Bugs Bunny the line “What’s up, doc?” Apparently it was a phrase that was common in his native Texas and one that became a bit of a catchphrase at North Dallas High School, which Avery attended in the twenties.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Join together : WELD
5 Average : MEAN
9 #1 choice : FAVE
13 Post-human race of sci-fi : ELOI
14 Kind of palm : ACAI
15 Phil in the Poker Hall of Fame : IVEY
16 Explorer of children’s TV : DORA
17 1993 country hit by Joe Diffie : JOHN DEERE GREEN
20 Popular afternoon talk show : ELLEN
22 Fig. on some I.R.S. forms : EIN
23 Sticking point for a craftsperson? : AWL
24 Dances with a fast-fast-slow rhythm : SALSAS
26 ___ Xing : PED
27 Nintendo console : WII
28 The slightest bit : ONE IOTA
30 Camaro competitor : MUSTANG
32 1966 hit by the Rolling Stones : PAINT IT, BLACK
34 Egyptian symbol of life : ANKH
35 Ice cream unit : SCOOP
37 Uneasy feeling : ANGST
38 Ballet classroom fixture : BARRE
42 Stock symbol? : BRAND
44 Building superintendent’s apartment number, often : ONE-A
45 1983 hit by Billy Idol : WHITE WEDDING
50 Get rid (of) : DISPOSE
54 Make more enticing : SWEETEN
55 “Who ___?” (song from “Les Misérables”) : AM I
56 53-Down’s catchword : BAM!
57 Where originally found : IN SITU
58 Not be serious : KID
59 Some do it gracefully : AGE
60 ___ Ababa : ADDIS
61 1966 hit by the Beatles : YELLOW SUBMARINE
64 Itty-bitty biter : GNAT
67 Figure skater Lipinski : TARA
68 Its products often come with Allen wrenches : IKEA
69 Where the Iditarod ends : NOME
70 Some cameras, in brief : SLRS
71 Staying power, so to speak : LEGS
72 River that comprises the fifth circle of Dante’s Inferno : STYX

Down

1 Join together : WED
2 “Mr. Blue Sky” grp. : ELO
3 Singing siren : LORELEI
4 Calls a talk show, say : DIALS IN
5 Regal : MAJESTIC
6 M.B.A. class : ECON
7 Spa sound : AAH!
8 Prime-time time : NINE PM
9 Maniacs : FIENDS
10 Alternative to La. or Dr. : AVE
11 Big name in bridal gowns : VERA WANG
12 Secret-indicating gestures : EYEWINKS
18 “Mon ___!” : DIEU
19 2017 hit by Lorde (also a 2008 hit by John Legend, and a 1968 hit by the American Breed) : GREEN LIGHT
21 Founder of Taoism : LAO TSE
24 Soak up : SOP
25 Political analyst Navarro : ANA
29 Progress made in step one : A TO B
31 Cousin of ocher : TAN
33 1991 hit by Michael Jackson : BLACK OR WHITE
36 Feet in a pound : PAWS
37 Portion of a sum : ADDEND
38 2017 hit by Cardi B : BODAK YELLOW
39 People who believe that all natural objects have souls : ANIMISTS
40 Leftover : RESIDUAL
41 38-Down genre : RAP
43 What it may take to solve old problems : NEW IDEAS
46 Patterns : DESIGNS
47 “Nuh-uh!” : IT IS NOT!
48 Clear : NET
49 Bearded beast : GNU
51 Former first family : OBAMAS
52 Quite a tale : SAGA
53 Chef known by his first name : EMERIL
60 Rare blood type, for short : A-NEG
62 Sound made while shaking : BRR!
63 Kyle’s brother on “South Park” : IKE
65 Writer Sedaris : AMY
66 ___ Avery, Bugs Bunny creator : TEX

20 thoughts on “0204-21 NY Times Crossword 4 Feb 21, Thursday”

  1. 14:02 Including about 2 minutes to find two fat fingers and then at the end guessing at GREEN for 19, where I originally had WHITE. I got the 1/2 way signal in under 4 minutes and then assumed the rebuses were all BLACK or WHITE, but 61 changed that, of course. Unfamiliar with the songs at 17A, 19D, and 38D. Showing my age, I guess.

  2. At about the 15-minute mark, I had filled in everything but the colors. The only one of the “hit songs” I knew was “Yellow Submarine”, but “Bodak Yellow” seemed so weird and I was so unsure of all the others that I was reluctant to proceed, so … bottom line … I threw in the towel and used Google to look up all the song names. In retrospect, I should have been able to guess “Green Light” over “Red Light” (I did grow up around green John Deeres, after all) and maybe “White Wedding”, but “Paint It Black” and “Black and White” would have been stabs in the dark (no pun intended). My final time, FWIW, was 19:47 and (before someone else has a chance to say it) I know that I Did Not Finish, but I would still maintain that, in plain English, I did, in fact, finish … after acknowledging and accepting that this puzzle played to one of the weakest parts of my knowledge base … 😜.

    Life is full of learning experiences. On Monday, in a doctor’s office fifty miles from home, I learned the word “Bowenoid”, as in “Bowenoid actinic keratosis” (a word I hope never to encounter again). And, yesterday, in another building fifty miles from home, I learned what a second Pfizer vaccination feels like – it comes with a sense of relief that I hope all of us will soon be able to experience … 😜.

    And … a significant milestone: If I could have been elected to the US Senate at birth and remained there ever since, today would be the last day of my 13th term … 😜.

  3. 15:23. One missed rebus at JOHN DEERE_/_LIGHT. I just put in a color at random (Blue??) then GREEN and got the green light that I finished….so to speak. First time I ever remember having a rebus natick.

    As to the other songs, I knew one in one direction only so I survived. Never knew both songs…BODAK??

    I guess happy b’day, Nonny.

    Best –

  4. 14:57, no errors. A Thursday record for me. I knew *most* of the songs. The last entry was John Deere GREEN. Obvious when I thought about it. @Nonny, I just “finished” My 12th Senate term last September🤣. @Ron, a surprise for me today…no fat fingers.
    I’m currently in Washington state at my daughter’s and the vaccine rollout here is atrocious. Had I been in Alaska, I would have gotten it a month ago. Anyway, I’ll get it when I return to Anchorage end of this month.💉

    1. Living here in the Puget Sound region of WA, I can attest to the scattershot vaccine rollout. Having said that, I am getting the first shot tomorrow – fingers crossed that it actually occurs.

  5. Saving any of you multi term Senators from any embarrassment over your times…with my blazing 41:18. Having worked for Kodak for many years, “Bodak” made no sense, but I knew “barre” was good so I stuck with it. My downfall was the NE, I had “antsy”, then stared blankly for 15 minutes…finally decided that didn’t make sense, went to “angst”, which led to “Vera Wang” and then it was off to the races.

  6. A clever puzzle but is bit me do we need to know the color of the cruciverbalist. I am not African American but IF I were, I would be insulted and FURIOUS by the NYX patronizing me on account of color of my skin as opposed to the content of my mind. Why doesn’t the NYX showcase Caucasian, American Indian, Middle Eastern contributors? Or am I being a racist to suggest this as an option?

  7. Having last July started the second half of my 13th term in the fantasy Senate, I must admit that my synapses don’t speed the John Deere plow as they used to. Couldn’t figure out the NE because of all the proper nouns (Anna Wang wouldn’t let me go) and couldn’t come up with a synonym for “maniacs” that seemed to fit. Last night, in a dream, the word “fiends” came to mind. Voila! The rest followed as easily as most of this puzzle had.

    A week from tomorrow I’ll receive my second Pfizer shot, assuming there are supplies enough. California, especially here in the rural part of the state, has been abysmally slow with this process.

  8. Quicker run than I expected. It wasn’t until I got to Billy Idols clue did I figure out something was up. Had rto be either MONY MONY or WHITE WEDDING. then when the crosses fell, the colors started to fall. YELLOW submarine confirmed it.
    Nice relaxing no headache puzzle!!

  9. 39:50 with 1 error…awn for awl…I got the theme but only yellow submarine was familiar to me, the rest were good guesses.
    Stay safe😀

  10. 13:06, 2 errors: (K)ARRE; (K)ODAK. Initially entered BARRE, but BODAK YELLOW made absolutely no sense. Had I been solving this electronically, vice pencil and paper, the K would have reverted back to a B and this would have been a clean fill.

    1. Just curious, Bruce … In what way would the K have reverted to a B? If you changed it back, you would still have to think of it and report it as an error, right? (At least, that’s what I would do.) So how is that a “clean fill”?

      I think people who don’t do online solves fail to understand how those of us who do interpret what happens to us. As soon as I fail to get the “success” message, I know that I have an error; I just find out about it sooner than I would have if I were solving on paper, and I never take advantage of the situation to claim that I didn’t have an error.

      I really don’t know how to explain this any better … 😳.

    2. And … one more clarification: When I fail to get the “success” message, the app timer keeps running until I finally find and correct the error. I think I could instead do a “check grid” to stop the timer, but then it would show me exactly where the error/errors was/were, and I prefer to find it/them for myself, because I feel that the pain of having to look provides a better learning experience. The time I finally post is whatever the timer reads when I finally do manage to stop it.

      If there is a better way to phrase my posts in a “no-success-message” situation, please let me know. The wording I came up with is a brief way of describing what happened, but it is somehow not being properly understood.

      1. Thank you for your interest. My personal criteria for puzzle solving: 1. No lookups. 2. I’m done with a puzzle when I decide I’m done, and come to Bill’s blog to find the answers. If all the boxes are filled with the correct entries, that’s a ‘Clean Fill’. If all the boxes are filled but some are incorrect, I report those as errors. If I quit before all the boxes are filled, then it’s a DNF. Had I done this puzzle electronically, I would not have gotten the ‘success’ message, and the puzzle would still be active. My first action would have been to go with my original inclination, changing the K back to a B and bingo ‘success’. All the boxes would have been filled correctly, with no lookups. Hence a ‘clean fill’, in my book anyway. I often have to erase initial guesses when it becomes apparent that they don’t work. I don’t consider these ‘in-process’ corrections to be errors, and I don’t report them.

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