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Puzzle #16: For Fudd’s Sake

This puzzle’s theme answers feature an R->W substitution, the speech impediment shared by Elmer Fudd and myself as a kid. It’s a bad one to have when your name’s Patrick, believe me! Luckily, I had a great speech therapist who helped me learn to correct it, but Elmer Fudd wasn’t so lucky, it seems.

The seed entry for this theme was actually WHISKEYBUSINESS, but I couldn’t find another 15 I liked that didn’t have extraneous R’s in it, so I ended up going with 3 entries (14/15/14) in which the affected word is in the front, in the middle, and at the end. I also struggled over the clue for DOTHEWHITETHING–I wanted to use something racially charged, but didn’t want to give White Nationalism any more attention than it’s already getting. I’m also trying not to make this series too political, since we’re all in this mess together.

POPSUP crossing UPLATE at the UP is not an ideal situation, but it’s also not the end of the world (and I couldn’t find a good, easy fill that avoided it). Even adding another black square to the eastern section didn’t seem to help, so I’ve justified the dubious crossing in my mind by saying, “It wouldn’t bug Will Shortz!” (See the NYT’s 2/9/08 puzzle in which AQUAMAN crosses AQUARIA at the Q.)

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