Double Digits – The New York Times


However, nothing special happened until I reached 92-Across. [Lab mice in a 1990s cartoon]. It should have been “Pinky and the Brain,” an animated friends series that was very popular in its time, and I was sure it was the only possible answer. There were too many squares in this grid for that title, but I could see a pattern in the letters from the completed entries, and, this time, a pair of duplicate letters helped me. The entry is PPIINNKKYY And the brain; each letter in “pinky” appears twice.

Aha, I thought; this must have something to do with the puzzle’s title, “Double Digits,” which I originally thought was a hint at the numbers in the theme. Revisiting 22-Across reveals that this entry solves EATT HmmmmmmbbI could take it.

So, now we have a PPIINNKKYY down, and a TTHHUUMMMBB at the top of the grid. The “points” are fingers, and the theme entries are all depictions of the event named by the revealer in 107-Across, [Excuse for texting errors, jocularly … or a hint to this puzzle’s theme]: Fat-finger syndrome. This ailment is becoming more common as technology speeds up and keyboards get smaller; the consequences can range from miscommunication in text to a billion-dollar trading mistake. When I get frustrated looking for the wrong letter in a crossword on the New York Times Games app, it gives me perspective.

I really like that the fingers in this puzzle appear in the same order as they are on your hand, and I find it very funny that the answer to the 48-Across has a double letter, [Royal whose wedding had a whopping 1,900 guests]Mr. Karp got angry (as he described in his notes). I myself made mistakes when trying to fill in the correct entry, but this was due to miscalculation, not my fat fingers.

27A. This kind of puzzle, whose theme manipulates the length of words, makes me anxious about any entry I can't immediately parse. An example of this is this clue, [Clear to see, maybe?]which resolves to IN HD. I looked all the way through for the wordplay before I realized that “HD” was simply High Definition, like a modern TV where you can count the freckles on someone's face.

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