68-word themeless this time! This was significantly harder to construct than Themeless #1 for a couple of reasons: less words obviously, and the wraparound corners in the NW/SE. More thoughts from construction under the spoilers:
- I had to rip out the NE corner due to an END duplication – what’s there now is okay but IMO this is way prettier.
- COWABUNGA seeded this puzzle, it came up during a different puzzle that I like a lot less and I decided it’d be more fun to start over with it.
- Cool tidbit for GENE AUTRY, no? Here’s more info on him!
- My dad always calls his beer an ELSINORE, and I never asked him where it came from. Think I found the answer.
- I spent a bunch of time watching videos for 2CELLOS – this one’s my favorite!
- Tried to have some tie-in with the clues for 35 and 38 across but everything felt really awkward and forced. So they don’t.
Also, my first newpaper-published crossword comes out soon! I’m pretty pumped!