June 27, 2020

Constructor: Erik Agard
Editor: Erik Agard

Theme Answers:
HARD BOILED EGGS (18A: Cobb salad ingredients)
LAST BUT NOT LEAST (35A: "And finally, equally importantly...")
SUNKEN TREASURE (48A: Valuables from the ocean floor)

Theme synopsis: The first word of each theme answer can precede the word PLACE, and in so doing describe a BAD PLACE to be: HARD PLACE, LAST PLACE, SUNKEN PLACE.

Things I learned:
  • SUNKEN PLACE The term SUNKEN PLACE is from the 2017 movie Get Out. In the movie, the SUNKEN PLACE is a trance-like state Black victims are trapped in when their bodies are taken over by white hosts. The phrase has become a symbol for the oppression of Black people. Jordan Peele, the director of Get Out has said, "The SUNKEN PLACE means we're marginalized. No matter how hard we scream, the system silences us." Although familiar with the movie and its concept, I haven't seen it and wasn't familiar with the phrase SUNKEN PLACE. (I had to look up the phrase to make sure I'd correctly identified the puzzle's theme.) 
  • SHIBA (13A: ___ Inu (dog breed)) SHIBA Inu is a Japanese breed of hunting dog. 
  • ALI (25A: "___, bomaye!" (Rumble in the Jungle chant))  The Rumble in the Jungle was a historic 1974 boxing match held in Kinshasa, Zaire between the undefeated world heavyweight champion, George Foreman, and challenger Muhammed ALI. In an upset victory, ALI won by knockout. During the match, Congolese audience members cheered ALI by shouting, "ALI, bomaye!" The phrase is also the title of a 2012 song by rapper The Game.
  • WAR (34A: Word after "Civil" or "Infinity" in the MCU) Today I learned (TIL) that MCU is the Marvel Comics Universe. This probably tells you a lot about me!
  • CHOI (5D: "Permanent Record" author Mary H.K. ___) Permanent Record is the second published novel by Mary H. K. CHOI. The book tells the story of New York University dropout, Pablo Neruda Rind, and pop music star, Leanna Smart.
  • SUE (32D: Hoops great Bird) SUE Bird is a professional basketball player for WNBA's Seattle Storm. SUE Bird has won three WNBA Championships (Seattle Storm), four Olympic gold medals, two NCAA Championships (University of Connecticut), and four FIBA World Cups.
Random thoughts and interesting things:
  • BANG (1A: Impact sound) and THUD (23A: Impact sound) and SLAP (31D: Sound of a high-five) This was a noisy puzzle!
  • UNDO (17A: Computer command) My absolute favorite computer command.
  • ETTA (60A: "Jump Into My Fire" singer James) This is the second day in a row ETTA has made a puzzle appearance.
  • FINGER WAVE (9D: Beauty shop technique) and HASTA LUEGO ("See you later!") Although these answers weren't linked in the puzzle, they could've been and that made me smile.
  • EGO (11D: Beyonce hit with the lyric "Some call it arrogant/I call it confident") A great way to clue EGO and also, the third clue reference to BeyoncĂ© this week. I'm sure my daughter will approve!
  • TYRA ("ANTM" creator Banks) TYRA Banks began acting on TV in 1993 on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. TYRA is now the creator and executive producer of ANTM (America's Next Top Model).
A smooth puzzle with plenty of interesting entries. I enjoyed the solve and learned some things - a puzzle success! LAST BUT NOT LEAST was my favorite theme answer.