Last Monday, a solver tweeted this @ me:
Uh-oh! 9-Down was MEL BROOKS, the iconic funnyman who turned 95 years old on Monday, and 4-Down was the PRODUCERS, his famous play.
Everyone knows Mel Brooks starred in the 1967 film version of "The Producers," right? Except not. He wrote and directed it, but the lead role of Max Bialystok was played by Zero Mostel, not by Brooks.
I hadn't looked it up when editing the puzzle. Why not? Because I "knew" it, so I didn't need to look it up! This misguided certainty is a common cause of crossword errors -- something sounds so right that the puzzle writer lets their guard down and fails to make sure. Brooks is so strongly identified with "The Producers" that, despite having never seen the original film, I didn't think it warranted double-checking. Mistake!
And when a crossword writer makes a mistake, we hear about it. We've stumped solvers so many times that they can't wait to zing us back! It's a certainty we'll hear from them, as surely as Albuquerque is the capital of New Mexico, "Whiplash" being the Best Picture of 2014, and Yao Ming being the tallest player in NBA history.
Find an error? Tweet it to me @beastxword and I'll correct!
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