Back That Thang Up!

There's a funny tie-in to crunk-era hip-hop that kickstarted my constructor brain, which you can read about in Matt's Musings. Anyway, this is a cheeky puzzle and I hope it brings you some solving joy. I'm always open to constructive feedback, so please let me hear your thoughts in the comments or hit me up on Twitter. Enjoy!

puz | PDF | solution

Matt's Musings

Occasionally I'll queue up a "2000's hip hop" playlist and reminisce about my formative years, when I attended youth dances as Akon's "Smack That" blared from the speakers. Good times! And, it turns out, great inspiration for a crossword puzzle! One memorable hit from Juvenile features a catchy hook that kickstarted my idea for this puzzle. In fact, I was going to use BACK THAT ASS UP as the reveal initially, but I struggled to find a good cluing angle for it. I think ASS-BACKWARDS works just as well if not better for this theme. You can probably identify several entries or clues that would not survive "mainstream scrutiny," and that's a big reason why I love it!

You might have also noticed the non-traditional size of this grid -- 12x15, which I chose to accommodate spanners in the 3rd and 13th rows to allow for more vertical spacing (and fill flexibility) between themers. The asymmetric blocking also helped to maximize the fill. While I enjoyed punching up these clues with a free-spirited energy, I think 13-Across is my favorite clue here -- arguably the tamest in the set.

Thanks for solving!


  1. I like ribald puzzles and does 18A refer to "Fuck my life, At the moment"? Also, I was born in Seattle and know all about Howard Schultz, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, etc. My daughter used to work for Starbucks, but I've never heard her refer to it as "Starbs", so now I know.

    Also, I like your reviews on Crossword Fiend because you are so interactive with us commenters.

    1. At 18A I used "ATM" to signal the initialism used in the grid; so, yes, "Everything sucks at the moment" = "Fuck my life." There's probably no good way to call Starbucks anything but Starbucks, but people try (I've also heard it called "Bucks").


Post a Comment

Share your thoughts about the puzzles to help me grow as a constructor. I enjoy hearing all about your solving experience. Thanks!

Popular posts from this blog

My Specialty!

Easy Peasy!

Not That Kind of Ent!