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Sally Analyzes USA TODAY’s Daily Crossword Puzzle, “See Double”

There are spoilers ahead. You might want to solve today’s puzzle before reading further! See Double

Constructor: Kareem Ayas

Editor: Jared Goudsmit

What I Learned from Today’s Puzzle

  • TUBA (24D: Richard Antoine White’s brass instrument) Richard Antoine White is a Professor of TUBA/Euphonium at the University of New Mexico. He also plays TUBA with the University of New Mexico Philharmonic and the Santa Fe Symphony. In 2021, White published a memoir titled I’m Possible: A Story of Survival, a TUBA, and the Small Miracle of a Big Dream.

Random Thoughts & Interesting Things

  • ABBA (1A: “Waterloo” band) and MAMMA (30D: “___ Mia!” (1-Across musical)) It’s always delightful to see a reference to MAMMA Mia, the 1999 jukebox musical featuring the songs of the Swedish pop group ABBA. Fun Fact: ABBA’s 1974 song “Waterloo” was the first to be released under the group name ABBA. Before 1974, the group was known as Björn & Benny, Agnetha & Anni-Frid.
  • LOUD (14A: Like a screamo concert) Screamo, also referred to as scramz, is a subgenre of emo music that emerged in the 1990s. It is influenced by hardcore punk and features LOUD, angry music.
  • MAGIC CARPET (17A: Flying transport in “One Thousand and One Nights”) One Thousand and One Nights is a collection of Middle Eastern folktales. Compiled in Arabic, the work was collected over many centuries by multiple authors. Each tale is framed as a story told by Scheherazade, a legendary Persian queen, to her husband, King Shahryar. One of the tales in One Thousand and One Nights is about Prince Hussain, who travels to India and buys a MAGIC CARPET.
  • PEEN (21A: Hammer part) The part of a hammer used to strike a nail is called the head. The face is the flat part of the head that makes contact with the nail. Some hammers have a claw opposite the head, used as a lever to remove nails. Other hammers have a PEEN opposite the head, a rounded or angled end that can be used to shape metal.
  • SLOGAN (25A: Catchphrase such as “The Snack That Smiles Back”) “The Snack That Smiles Back” has been a SLOGAN of Goldfish crackers since 1997. That was the year a smiley face was added to some of the crackers. About 40% of Goldfish crackers have a smile. The brand’s mascot is a smiling goldfish named Finn, who wears sunglasses.
  • ABU (27A: ___ Dhabi) ABU Dhabi is one of the seven emirates that comprise the United Arab Emirates (UAE), a country on the Arabian Peninsula. The emirate of ABU Dhabi is named after the city of ABU Dhabi, which is the capital of the UAE and of the Emirate of ABU Dhabi.
  • BALI (35A: Indonesian island home to Uluwatu Temple) BALI is a province of Indonesia that includes the island of BALI and a few smaller islands. BALI is the only province of Indonesia where Hinduism is the main religion. The Uluwatu Temple is a Hindu temple located on BALI. The temple is built along the edge of a cliff that overlooks the ocean. In addition to being a destination for Hindus and tourists, the Uluwatu Temple is home to long-tailed macaques, who are notorious for stealing visitors’ belongings and sometimes bargaining for the return of the items in exchange for fruit or nuts.
  • MAHI (44A: When doubled, a dolphinfish) MAHI-MAHI is also known as the common dolphinfish, though it is not related to dolphins.
  • OAHU (53A: Honolulu’s island) OAHU is Hawaii’s third-largest island. The state’s capital, Honolulu, is located on OAHU.
  • ROOT (55A: Maca or radish) Maca and radish are edible ROOT vegetables. Maca, also known as Peruvian ginseng, is native to Peru and Bolivia. There are many varieties of radish, which are grown worldwide.
  • BOAT (2D: Dhoni or dinghy) A dhoni is a traditional type of BOAT used in the Maldives, South India, and Sri Lanka. The word “dhoni” is derived from a Sanskrit word meaning “trough.” A dinghy is a type of small BOAT. Usually a rowboat, though it may have an outboard motor attached. The main use of a dinghy is for making transfers from larger BOATs.
  • BUGS BUNNY (3D: Carrot-chomping cartoon character) BUGS BUNNY, originally voiced by Mel Blanc, made his debut in 1940 in the short film A Wild Hare. Ever since then, BUGS BUNNY has been outsmarting Elmer Fudd, chomping carrots, and asking, “What’s up, Doc?”
  • ALEXA (12D: “___, play ‘Despacito'” (request to Amazon’s virtual assistant)) “Despacito” is a 2017 song by Luis Fonsi, featuring Daddy Yankee. The song won four Latin Grammy Awards, including Song of the Year. In Spanish, the word “despacito” means “slowly.”
  • CASH (18D: Eid gift) Eid may refer to several Muslim religious festivals, including Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the month-long observance of Ramadan. In celebration of Eid, family members often present gifts of CASH, known as eidi.
  • LIRA (26D: Turkish currency) The Turkish LIRA is the official currency of Turkey and Northern Cyprus. One LIRA is divided into 100 kuruş.
  • ALPS (27D: Strahlhorn’s mountain range) Several mountains in the ALPS are named Strahlhorn. The highest of the Strahlhorns is located in Switzerland and has an elevation of 13,750 feet.
  • PAPA (57D: Oldest Smurf) The blue humanoid creatures known as Smurfs were introduced as comic book characters in 1958. They were created by Belgian comics artist Peyo (the pen name of Pierre Culliford). Most Smurfs are described as being about 100 years old, but PAPA Smurf – distinguishable by his white beard and red pants and hat – is said to be between 542-553 years old, depending on the source. Although some sources claim PAPA Smurf is the oldest of the Smurfs, he is generally considered to be the third-oldest, after Grandpa Smurf and Nanny Smurf.
  • A few other clues I especially enjoyed:
    • BEG (19A: Ask for a dog biscuit)
    • CLAP (6D: Slow ___ (sarcastic applause))
    • LAST (39D: “She had the ___ laugh”)

Crossword Puzzle Theme Synopsis

  • MAGIC CARPET (17A: Flying transport in “One Thousand and One Nights”)
  • PANORAMIC CAMERA (40A: Device with a swing lens)
  • TRAFFIC CONE (63A: Driving test obstacle)


Like yesterday’s puzzle, I’M WITH YOU, the key to understanding the theme of today’s puzzle is to realize that one of the words in the title is a homophone of a letter. Instead of SEE DOUBLE, think of today’s title as C DOUBLE. Congratulations to Kareem Ayas making a USA Today debut! Thank you, Kareem, for this enjoyable puzzle.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Off the Grid: Sally breaks down USA TODAY’s daily crossword puzzle, See Double

Source: USA Today