Word count: 70
Mean word length: 5.63
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33-Across was the impetus for this puzzle, obviously. Funny how it became the impetus. I was driving home with my wife listening to the ’90s satellite radio station when “Ice Ice Baby” came on the air. I heard the opening line to this song, and did a quick run-through of the number of letters that it had. To my delight, it came to 15 letters! Now, this was about 20 minutes into a 90-minute drive, mind you… so I had to keep reciting it in my mind for the whole rest of the drive, even asking my wife to remember it in case I didn’t. I didn’t want to forget this gem of a seed! Of course, when we got home, I suddenly remembered that absent-minded me had deadbolted the door forgetting that the garage door opener wasn’t working. So, here we are, trying to pry open the garage door opener for the battery when we discover that a tiny screw is holding it together. Guess where the screwdriver is? Not in the car! So, luckily, I found a paper clip in the car (better than nothing) and worked at that screw for ten full minutes with the rounded end of the clip before I got it open. Then it was off to the store — this is after 10:00 on a Sunday night, mind you — to get a pack of 9V batteries. The store was less than five minutes away, but the whole time there and back our nerves were on edge. (Going into the store on a Sunday night at 10:15, we definitely felt the eyes of the security personnel on us. If you’re in a 24-hour grocery store after 10 on a Sunday night, it’s guaranteed that you’ve got an interesting story to tell.) As I replaced the battery and pressed the button, to our utter relief, we saw the garage door open. That whole episode had caused my beloved seed entry to slip from my head, but, as I reached the top of the stairs in the house for the first time, it somehow popped back into my head and I exclaimed out loud, “[33-Across entry]! I didn’t forget!”
My favorite thing that I learned from this puzzle is at 12-Down. What an amazing athlete, and an amazing athletic accomplishment!
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