Triple Doubles

Merl Reagle, May 17

Yabba-dabba-doo!

It’s been a while since I heard that joyous phrase, so it gave me a chuckle when I found it among the “triple double” theme answers in Merl’s Sunday puzzle this week.

A triple-double, as sports fans know, is a basketball term that means someone had a very good game, scoring double figures in three categories: points, assists and rebounds.

In this puzzle, it means the theme answers have three sets of double letters; thus YABBA DABBA DOO for 95 Across (“Quitting-time shout, on TV”) and GOOD QUEEN BESS for 34 Across (“Last Tudor monarch”).

Particularly impressive was the double triple-double of 108- and 115 Across (“A 1955 comedy”) — ABBOTT AND COSTELLO / MEET THE MUMMY, although the double Ts aren’t part of the same word. (The same goes for 54 Across, “ABC show since 2003,” JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE, in which the Ls bridge two words.) 

Of course, the king of all triple-double words is “bookkeeper,” which actually has all its doubled letters in a row. Merl didn’t sneak that one in anywhere, but I had fun with the ones he did.

Questions or comments? Twitter me @crosswordkathy