I didn’t think anything of it when it posted yesterday’s entry here, but somehow Google picked up on it very quickly, and today’s total number of visitors has surpassed that of any other day so far except (perhaps) the day the passing of Donald Hamilton was posted here first.

   No one’s come up with any of the answers yet, or if they have, they didn’t bother leaving them as comments. I deleted a couple that I thought were facetious, not that I’m against facetie or anything, but neither were the proposed answers particularly relevant either. (Sorry, guys.)

   Maybe some hints are in order? Don’t keep reading if you don’t want any help.

49 ACROSS: Author said to have influenced Hitchcock. [Three letters.] This one should be extremely easy for mystery fans. It’s exactly who should come to mind immediately, but I’d also have to concede that I don’t know how true it is.

   Let’s skip to 57 ACROSS: Holmesian tool. [Eight letters.] You have to watch out for two word phrases in one slot, and that’s the case here. I’ll break it up correctly as

         HA_D    _ _N_

and let me know if that helps. The “Holmes” referred to is Sherlock, by the way, not “Oliver Wendell.”

   I have a confession to make. Before I picked up on the answer, I had some letters going down through 51 ACROSS: Street boss. [Ten letters.] So I was asking you to do something that I didn’t quite do myself, but I was hoping that the primary focus of this blog would compensate for that, at least maybe in part.

   Hint: Two words again. Mystery fiction oriented. And a couple of letters:

         P_ _ _ _ M _ _ _ _

   You’ll know it when you get this one right, it will feel so good.

[UPDATE] 10-22-07. The answers are in this morning’s paper, so I may as well provide them too. See the comment.