Country Road

New York Times crossword puzzle Oct. 20 / Constructed by Elizabeth C. Gorski

Wow. It has been such a long day that I feel like I’ve driven this “Country Road.” I worked my real job, got dinner, came back to solve a mammoth puzzle (23-by-23!) and then realized our Internet connection was down. Thanks a lot, Kabletown.

This post is now so late that I’m going to dispense with the niceties. The puzzle marks the 100th anniversary of THE FIRST MAJOR MEMORIAL TO / THE SIXTEENTH U.S. PRESIDENT (“With 105-Across, historical significance of the 122-/124-Across,” 40 Across), which was essentially a MAIN STREET ACROSS AMERICA (“Nickname for the 122-/124-Across,” 25 Across).

A visual representation of the Lincoln Highway, crossword-style.
A visual representation of the Lincoln Highway, crossword-style.

This “Country Road,” which is mapped here, is otherwise known as the LINCOLN HIGHWAY (“Dedicated in October 1913, project represented by the 13 pairs of circled letters,” 122- and 124 Across). The circled letters are the postal codes of the original 13 states that it traveled through: California, Nevada, Utah, Nebraska, Wyoming, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York.

And anyone who “Follows the east-west route of the 122-/124-Across?”  That adventurer TRAVELS FROM COAST TO COAST – except this answer is entered backward, so it reads TSAOC OT TSAOC MORF SLEVART (148 Across).

Philly Shout-Out Dept.: Former Philadelphia Inquirer photographer Eric Mencher and his wife Kass have been documenting the Lincoln Highway since 1997. Their unique take on the road can be found here.

Product Placement Dept.: The doubled clue “Motorola phone” yields both RAZR (41 Down) and DROID (109 Down)

In Memoriam Dept.: I’m sure this puzzle was finished before the death of military thriller author TOM (“Novelist Clancy,” 149 Down) earlier this month.

Hmmmm Dept.: I don’t know about you, but I was taking the SAT as an 11th grader, not the PSAT (“Exam for jrs.,” 139 Down) – which is why that answer is all gummed up in the grid. Also, it took me a while to mentally insert the “-“ in NO-U at 130 Across (“___-turn”). Arrrrgh.

Where In The World? Dept.: “Tulip festival city” is OTTAWA (9 Down). “Buckeye city” is AKRON (134 Down). And “It’s ENE of Fiji” is SAMOA (48 Across).

Need some solving tips and tricks? I’ve posted some here. Feel free to ask questions or leave comments below. You can also visit my Facebook page, or tweet me @crosswordkathy.