June 26, 2020

Constructor: Gail Grabowski
Editor: Erik Agard

Theme Answers:
SIT ON THE FENCE (20A: Avoid making a decision)
LAND RESTORATION (37A: Ecological revival)
SETTLE FOR LESS (53A: Compromise on your expectations)

Theme synopsis: The first word of each theme answer - SIT, LAND, SETTLE - is a way to COME TO REST.

Things I learned:
  • ODE (23A: "___ to the Women on Long Island" (Olivia Gatwood poem)) Olivia Gatwood is the co-creator (with Megan Falley) of a traveling, interactive poetry show called Speak Like a Girl. You can watch a video of Olivia Gatwood performing "ODE to the Women on Long Island." ODE makes frequent crossword appearances. It's fun when the clue introduces me to a new-to-me poet.
  • DANA (58A: "Desperate Housewives" actress Delany) DANA Delany was originally offered the role of Bree Van De Kamp on Desperate Housewives. She turned down the role because it was too similar to the character she played in the TV series Pasadena. DANA eventually joined Desperate Housewives in the fourth season, playing the role of Katherine Mayfair. 
  • SARA (56D: "Grey's Anatomy" actress Ramirez) SARA Ramirez began acting on Broadway, winning a Tony Award for her portrayal of Lady of the Lake in Spamalot. SARA played Dr. Callie Torres in Grey's Anatomy.
Random thoughts and interesting things:
  • PAPER (32A: Origami medium) This was a delightful way to clue PAPER. The word "origami" comes from the Japanese ori meaning "folding" and kami meaning "paper." One time when I was a child sitting in church, I folded my dollar bill into an origami butterfly before placing it in the offering plate. 
  • ETTA (62A: James who sang "All I Could Do Was Cry") ETTA James is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1993), the Grammy Hall of Fame (1999), and the Blues Hall of Fame (2001). 
  • ASS (1D: Mule's sire) A mule is the offspring of a male donkey (ASS) and a female horse.
  • OED (21D: British lexicon (Abbr.)) In yesterday's write-up I mentioned the crossword-friendly OED, and here it is! The Oxford English Dictionary was first published in 1884. The first electronic version was available in 1988. The OED has been available online since 2000.
  • BIG SISTER (34D: Little kid's role model, perhaps) I resemble this answer! Appropriately, my "little" sister called me while I was writing this. (Hi, Seester!)
Geography review:
  • ERIE (16A: Buffalo's Great Lake) Buffalo is the second largest city in New York. It is situated on the U.S./Canada border at the northeastern tip of Lake ERIE and about 30 miles south of Lake Superior.
  • OCALA (23D: City west of Daytona Beach) OCALA, Florida is home to the OCALA National Forest. I was unfamiliar with this Florida town and was thankful for friendly crosses.
A straightforward theme and puzzle for a smooth, fun solve.

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A Crossword Short Story:
This morning my cat, Willow, was walking all over me, my desk, and my keyboard. I told her she needed
cat lying on arm
to SETTLE down, find a place to LAND, and SIT down. Finally, she chose to COME TO REST on my lap, draped over my right arm. Any typos this morning are her responsibility.