Title: IT'S HOT OUTSIDE
Constructor: ZHOUQIN BURNIKEL
Editor: Erik Agard
FIRST DATE (16A: Meeting that's likely to be awkward)
FIRM PRICE (52A: Nonnegotiable number from a seller)
FIND OUT MORE (9D: Gather further info)
FISHING LURE (22D: Artificial bait)
Theme synopsis: The letters at the beginning and end of the theme answers spell the word FIRE. Since FIRE is hot and FIRE is on the edges of the theme answers, IT'S HOT OUTSIDE. In the across theme answers the word is split FIR-E and in the down theme answers it is split FI-RE. Since the split wasn't the same in all of the themers, I think it was a good choice to put the matching pairs going in the same direction.
Things I learned:
- DRAG (47A: "Pose" clothes) Pose is a TV series about New York City's African-American and Latino LGBTQ DRAG ball culture in the 1980s and early 1990s.
- LARRY (54A: Baseball legend Doby) LARRY Doby was the second Black player in Major League Baseball, and the first Black player in the American League. He played for the Cleveland Indians, Chicago White Sox, Detroit Tigers, and Chunichi Dragons. When the Cleveland Indians won the World Series in 1948, Doby and his teammate, Satchel Paige, were the first Black players to win a World Series championship. Again, I'm learning about sports from the crossword puzzle! I was delighted to learn about LARRY Doby.
- ELLE ("Ex's & Oh's" singer King) Elle King is the stage name of Tanner Elle Schneider. She earned two Grammy Award nominations for the song "Ex's & Oh's".
- RODIN (15D: Beauty entrepreneur Linda) Linda RODIN established the beauty company, RODIN, in 2008. The company was acquired by Estée Lauder in 2014.
- FUN (52D: Word after "chow" or "mei") Chow FUN is a dish made with wide rice noodles. Mei FUN are thin rice noodles. I was not familiar with these dishes, but they sound delicious.
Random thoughts and interesting things:
- FOES (22A: Nemeses) and ENEMY (40D: Nemesis) This was a fun clue pairing with the singular and plural form of nemesis.
- GNUS (42A: Antelopes that sound like news) This clue made me smile.
- RICES (15A: Burrito bar options) It took me some time to figure out this answer. Different kinds of rice are not the first thing that come to my mind when I think of a burrito bar. I do like rice in burritos though, so was okay with it as an answer once I figured it out.
- ROTH ("Chosen Ones" author Veronica) I haven't read Chosen Ones, but I did enjoy the Divergent trilogy by ROTH, which I read on the recommendation of my son.
- CORN (3D: Major Iowa crop) Shout-out to my state! We do grow a lot of corn here.
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