Word count: 70
Mean word length: 5.40
One of the clues I wrote for this grid sent me on a little bit of research that confirmed something unfortunate for me. (Highlight the white space that follows, because this is a spoiler.) The answer for 58-Across, I noticed, has an unfortunate pattern in the clue history. When it’s not referring to the music group, it refers to compassionate care given to someone who needs attention. I was curious, so I looked in my databases. There are 60+ such clues for TLC that refer to “Mom”, and… a whopping 2 that refer to “Dad”. So my wording for that clue was intentional as could be. People’s biases seriously need to be changed about the skill of dads as caregivers. They need to really think before they see a dad out with his kid(s) and ask him, “Giving mom a break?” or “You on babysitting duty today?” Kids have ears and brains, too. Impressionable brains, at that. What do the kids think when they hear those people ask Dad those questions? It’s about basic respect!
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