Someone Who’s Been Interrupted

But wait, as a wise man once said, there’s more. Crossing that HYPHEN (or DASH or “-”) is 12D’s “Fruity drink brand,” which has to be HI-C.

Now you go get interrupted by the other two theme entries, but remember: You’ll be able to finish. Eventually.

Tricky Clues

5A: Yay for the BOP IT! I remember playing with this with my sister in what must have been the Neanderthal prototype, because now, apparently, you can not only bop it and pull it and twist it, but you can also selfie it. No, I’m not kidding.

25A: Wordplay alert! The abbreviated version of “highway,” or HWY, is “What may take its toll?”

33A: More wordplay! “Ewe can do it!” can be a few things, but since we have only three squares in which to do it, let’s call it a BAA.

40A: Tricky one! “Is appealing” could mean someone or something is attractive, but today we’re going the legal route, which is PLEADS.

43A: Think numbers, not physical shapes, for “Square figure?” We have only three squares, so the answer is TWO.

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47A: I laughed out loud when I read this clue, because this “Body shot?” can be something entirely different than an MRI SCAN.

2D: You were thinking of a human model, weren’t you? Not today. Today, the answer is BALSA, because we’re supposed to be thinking of wooden model airplanes and such.

6D: Nicely done. “Sees red?” can mean angry, but if you’re in the red, it means you OWE money (the answer is actually OWES).

38D: It doesn’t make a lot of sense, but I had IONS before I DOS. I’m blaming it on the NyQuil.

Constructor Notes

I had the idea to do a play on line breaks a while ago, but the extent of that was pretty much “line break puzzle?” in my Notes app. Then one day I was sifting through said Notes app (which is really just a bunch of half-baked theme ideas and things I want to add to my word list) and thought some more about it, eventually arriving at the idea of repurposing the hyphen from the line break as part of the crossing downs. Then I thought, hey, all the broken lines should be things you say when you’re interrupted! Then I thought, hey, the remnants of the broken lines should still form valid entries! Then I thought, hey, no way that’ll work. But sometimes you just get lucky (though the brainstorm on this one was long).

I’ve really got to stop making puzzles with crossing theme entries [Mr. Trabucco is counting the crossing entries with the hyphens, like HI-C. — D. A.], because they force a lot of constraints on the grid. In addition, this puzzle has six theme entries of length three to five, which probably don’t seem as if they’d be tough to incorporate, but they do force specific black squares, as well as demanding longer entries in the fill. It took awhile to put together, but I am happy with the end product (absent ABLUSH). Otherwise, I’m just happy to have gotten wordplay dependent on both fixed-income products and the term BODY SHOT into the same crossword; I’m easy to please like that.

And you’ve pleased us, Mr. Trabucco. This was a fun solve.

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