Yippee! Though I have finished four Sunday puzzles and one Thursday puzzle since the start of 2013, none has been error-free. Thus, I’m thrilled to have finally broken my “losing” streak. This one was fairly challenging, so what was really amazing is that I finished it in less than an hour!
There is a rebus in this puzzle. It’s connected to the clue in 67-Down: Subject of the Final Jeopardy! Question that knocked out Ken Jennings after a record 74 wins… or a hint to this puzzle’s theme. The thing is this clue was of no use to me because though I’ve heard of Jennings’ stint on Jeopardy!, I haven’t watched the show in ages, so I had no way to know what question dethroned him. Eventually, I found out.
I figured out quite early that there was a rebus involved. The correct answer for 48-Across was an easy one for me: Nephrologist. However, there were only 11 spaces for a word that has 12 letters. That was the tip-off that two of the letters had to go together in one box. O.K., but I didn’t know which two. I should have figured it out with 30-Down, but even though I knew the correct answer, I at first spelled Gehrig’s name wrong. The answer that got the proverbial light bulb to go on was 11-Down: Nehru. The two letters in the same box are “H” and “R.” So, the answer to 67 Across is H&R Block. Since 6-Down crosses 67-Across, that answer also includes the ampersand: A&E. It’s interesting that the puzzle’s constructor actually included an ampersand. I don’t recall ever seeing that before in a Times puzzle.
Here are the intersecting answers that included the “HR” rebus:
4-D. Religious retreat = Ashram
17A. Regular in Judd Apatow comedies = Josh Rogen
9D. Winter jaunt = Sleigh ride
28 A. Flimsy, as stitching = Single thread
11D. Prime Minister who gave his name to an article of clothing = Nehru
18A. Sheer, informally = See-thru
30D. Baseball’s Iron Horse = Gehrig
41A. Home of the Azadi Tower = Tehran
37A. Mineral with high carbon content = Anthracite
48A. Kidney doctor = Nephrologist