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Get your hands dirty with today’s puzzle!

SUNDAY PUZZLE — Hello solvers! Welcome to another Michigan Daily Crossword; This is my second ever published puzzle and I was able to get a lot of fun entries in today’s grid. I hope you enjoy solving it! As always, the tricky clues, today’s theme and the answer key are all included below. If you had any questions, or you spotted any errors, feel free to email me at vschmitt@umich.edu. If you want to write crosswords for The Daily, reach out to pavkan@umich.edu. Good luck solvers!

Tricky Clues:

38A. “Talk over a movie?” may have thrown some people off, but refers to NARRATE. This clue doesn’t refer to that pesky theater talker, but rather refers to the act of doing voice-over for a narration! For any new solvers, the question mark on this clue tells you that you shouldn’t take it at face value.

41A. “Famous mount prominently featured in the second season of HBO’s ‘The White Lotus’” refers to Mount Etna, the active Sicilian volcano. I felt compelled to clue this entry this way, as

The most recent “White Lotus” season is set in the Sicilian countryside. It felt as though every episode was sprinkled with a bit of mountainous b-roll, which I personally loved.

53A. “Macdonald of Comedy” Refers to NORM Macdonald, a comedy great! He recently passed away in 2021; gone too soon! 

22D. “Hank of ‘Breaking Bad’” refers to Hank SCHRADER, Walter White’s DEA agent brother-in-law. I was incredibly happy to be able to fit this entry into the puzzle, as I am a massive “Breaking Bad” fan. If you had trouble with this clue, I strongly recommend that you take the time to check out this incredible piece of television. 

37D. “Kind of camel” refers to the BACTRIAN camel also known as the Mongolian Camel. This one is definitely an obscure piece of knowledge, so to those of you who knew this one, give yourself a pat on the back.

Today’s Theme:

I was really surprised when I came up with today’s theme and saw that nobody had used it before, as it works so naturally! The answer to the revealer clue at 48-Across is CUT THE MUSTARD, which is slang for meeting expectations. The trick, however, is that it also refers to what we are visually doing throughout the puzzle, “cutting” the mustard! Our first mustard to cut is HONEY mustard, which is cut after the ‘n’ between 16 and 17-Across. Next up on the chopping board is BROWN mustard, which is cut after the ‘w’ (thin cut!) between 36 and 38-Across. Our third (and best) mustard is DIJON, the classic vinaigrette ingredient made only in the city of DIJON, France; we have cut it after the ‘d’ between 42 and 43-Across. If your arms are getting tired from all this cutting, don’t fret, there’s only one more: YELLOW mustard, the classic hot dog condiment; we have cut it after the second “l” between 63 and 64-Across. If you’re wondering where the phrase “cut the mustard” comes from, back in the day, mustard seeds used to have to be cut to make mustard. Thus, if your blade wasn’t up to par, you couldn’t cut the mustard!

Answer Key: