We had ANG LEE in Thursday's puzzle, which makes a crossword writer feel good. Why? Because I was able to use both the director's first *and* last names in the grid. You see first *or* last names all the time in crosswords, of course, so it's fun to surprise the solver with a full name.
It wasn't that tough to fit ANG LEE in there, however, since it's only six letters long, plus it's full of common, easy-to-use letters. Six-letter celebs appear a lot in crosswords, notably AL GORE, AMY TAN, YO-YO MA, and ED KOCH. No full-name credit for sneaking CARDI B or KENNY G into a puzzle, though, since those are their full stage names (and Cardi and Kenny really need their B and G to be whole).
If you go up to seven letters, the field opens up: solvers are used to seeing LENO all the time, but the full JAY LENO is much more fun if you can sneak it in. TINA or FEY? Frequently seen...but full TINA FEY will make any solver smile, as will fellow 7-letter celebs NIA LONG, MEG RYAN, AL ROKER, ROB LOWE, LUCY LIU, and JUDE LAW.
Who's your favorite big star with a small name? Tweet it to #beastxword and we'll see if we can make them even more famous.
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