June 28, 2020

Constructor: Zhouqin Burnikel
Editor: Erik Agard

Theme Answers:
HOTEL MAID (17A: Someone to tip)
JERRY RICE (62A: NFL wideout with 1,549 career receptions)
I LOVE YOU MAN (10D: Admiring words to a bro)
HELPING HAND (25D: Bit of assistance)
Theme synopsis: The last word of each theme answer can be placed AFTER the word MINUTE: MINUTE MAID, MINUTE RICE, MINUTEMAN, MINUTE HAND.

Things I learned:
  • ILANA (16A: "The Planet Is Burning" comedian Glazer) ILANA Glazer played a fictionalized version of herself in four seasons of the web series Broad City. Her debut stand-up comedy special is The Planet is Burning.
  • JERRY RICE (62A: NFL wideout with 1,549 career receptions) JERRY RICE spent most of his NFL career playing for the San Francisco 49ers, winning three Super Bowls with them. His 1,549 career receptions is an NFL record. I was not familiar with the term wideout which is used interchangeably with wide receiver, a term I do know. Once again, crosswords are expanding my sports knowledge.
  • EVA ("Total Divas" star Marie) EVA Marie is an actress and professional wrestler. She was a main character on the first six seasons of Total Divas, a reality TV series about female wrestlers. (Not to be confused with the actress EVA Marie Saint.)
Random thoughts and interesting things:
  • CELL (5A: Honeycomb component) and BEE (4D: Pollen collector) I really wanted these two words to be crossing each other in the grid!
  • CAN IT (53A: "Shut up!") and I GIVE (54D: Enough already!") These two phrases do cross in the grid and that seemed fitting.
  • MALE (11D:___ gaze) MALE gaze is a term coined by film critic Laua Mulvey. It refers to the depiction of the world and women from a heterosexual MALE perspective. This puzzle seemed to have a bit of a MALE gaze, with this entry being joined by GENT, JERRY RICE,  Joe SCHMO, and I LOVE YOU, MAN. 
Geography review:
  • DENIM (43A: Fabric named for a French city) The word "DENIM" is derived from the French phrase "sergé de Nîmes." Nîmes is a city in southern France.
  • DOHA (Qatar's most populous city) DOHA is the capital of Qatar, a country on the northeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula. Qatar is located on a peninsula in the Persian Gulf and its sole land border is with Saudi Arabia.
  • AZTEC (3D: Tenochtitian resident of old) Tenochtitian was a Mexica city-state in what is now the center of Mexico City. Mexicas are an indigenous people who were the rulers of the Aztec Empire.
  • DIJON (52D: Mustard named for a French city) DIJON is a city in northeastern France. It is famous for the mustard bearing its name. DIJON mustard originated in 1856 when Jean Naigeon substituted the acidic juice of not-quite-ripe grapes for vinegar in the traditional mustard recipe.
  • IOWA (28D: Major corn-producing state) Hello from IOWA!
This puzzle was a bit of a harder solve for me than usual. There were just enough things that weren't immediately on my wavelength to make it a bit of a challenge, but that's okay! It's good to be challenged; it makes it feel like an accomplishment when you fill in that last letter.