Word count: 68
Mean word length: 5.71
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I went for 68 on this one not because I wanted to (is it ever because I want to?) but because the top right stack demanded it. The whole thing started with 4-Across and 18-Across — of course, my favorite technique of separating seed entries by one row/column and seeing what fits in between them. Then 9-Down presented itself and, well, I couldn’t not go with that answer, right? It made the bottom left a little more difficult to build, of course, but I did find a nice stack that somehow was able to fit in there too. Also, I didn’t mean to stack (I’m not giving anything away here) two musical genres next to each other at 37-Down and 38-Down, but I think the clues are self-explanatory enough that it shouldn’t be an issue.
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