Constructor's CommentsThis puzzle was much improved after David noticed that AVICII might be substituted for SAID HI, my original entry for 27-Down. True, sparkling fill like ONE I, A RACE, AHS, and EFT had to be sacrificed, but the gain in topicality made up for the loss.
Until I saw the obituaries, I had no idea who AVICII was—current trivia is not my strong suit. In fact, I try to avoid it in the free puzzles I post weekly on my own website, David Alfred Bywaters's Crossword Cavalcade and Weekly Victorian Novel Recommender, which panders shamelessly to the unhip. Obviously you, gentle reader of this blog, aren't unhip yourself, but if you know anybody who is (and is able to use a computer), pass on the link.
It is superfluous to add (but I'll do so anyway) how delighted I am with this new crossword venue (as a solver) and (as a constructor) how honored to be included.
Editor's CommentsNow that I've been in the crossword business for seven years, I sometimes find myself feeling like I've "seen it all," especially when it comes to add- and remove-letters themes. Yet every time I think that, a constructor comes up with a new, ingenious twist, which is what I feel David Alfred Bywaters has done here! He's not just adding COO with a reveal of the form ADDED ___, EXTRA ___, ___ IN, or something like that—rather, he's literally depicting the carbonation process by adding the chemical formula for carbon dioxide. My hat's off to him!
I also hope you enjoyed seeing AVICII in the grid. I was all set to accept a previous version of the puzzle without AVICII when I noticed that using his name would not only be timely but also smooth out the center section. Fortunately, David was on board with the idea, and after he was done with the revisions, I made a point of bumping up this puzzle in my queue as a way to honor Avicii's legacy. To close the post, here's a video of one of my favorite Avicii songs: