Double Digits – The New York Times

But nothing really happened until I got to 92-Across, [Lab mice in a 1990s cartoon]. This had to be “Pinky and the Brain,” an animated buddy series that was very popular at the time, and I was sure that 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 of the completed entries, and this time a few double letters helped me. The entry is PPIINNKKYY AND THE BRAINS; every letter in “Pinky” appears twice.

Aha, I thought; that must have something to do with the title of the puzzle, “Double Digits”, which originally appealed to me as an indication of numbers in the theme. Revisiting 22-Across, it turns out that the entry resolves to EATT HHUUMMBBTHE PIE.

So now we have a PPIINNKKYY at the bottom, and a TTHHUUMMBB at the top of the grid. The “numbers” are fingers, and the theme items are all illustrations of the phenomenon the revealer at 107-Across mentioned, [Excuse for texting errors, jocularly … or a hint to this puzzle’s theme]: FAT-FINGER SYNDROME. This condition is becoming more common as technology speeds up and keyboards get smaller; the results can range from a text message miscommunication to a billion-dollar trading error. It gives me perspective when I get frustrated trying to find the wrong letter in a crossword puzzle on the New York Times Games app.

I love how the fingers in this puzzle appear in the same order as they do on your hand, and I find it really funny that the double letter in the answer to 48-Across, [Royal whose wedding had a whopping 1,900 guests]gave Mr. Karp a fit of rage (as he explains in his notes). I myself was wrong when I tried to fill in the correct input, but that was due to a miscalculation, not my fat fingers.

27A. A puzzle like this, whose theme manipulates word length, makes me paranoid about any input I can’t parse right away. An example is this clue, [Clear to see, maybe?]which resolves to IN HD. I searched everywhere for puns before I realized that the “HD” was just high definition, like a modern TV where you can count the freckles on someone’s face.

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