August 25, 2020


Constructor: Hannah Slovut

Editor: Erik Agard

Theme Answers:
GREEN ROOF (16A: Eco-friendly top of a building)
GOT A KICK OUT OF (38A: Enjoyed)
GOOD GRIEF (62A: "Oy vey")

Theme synopsis: Each theme answer contains the letters G-O-O-F, with some of the letters at the beginning of the word and some at the end. Therefore, the word GOOF is AROUND each theme answer.

Things I learned:
  • IPA (19A: Symbolic system used in dictionaries, for short) Yes, IPA stands for India Pale Ale, a hoppy style of beer, but it also stands for International Phonetic Alphabet. This IPA uses letters and diacritics (umlauts, tildes, etc.) to represent the sounds of spoken language.
  • EDISON (24A: Jazz trumpeter Harry) Harry EDISON was a member of the Count Basie Orchestra where his nickname was "Sweets." EDISON was also a Hollywood studio musician. He played backup for many singers, including Frank Sinatra.
Random thoughts and interesting things:
  • GREEN ROOF (16A: Eco-friendly top of a building) Partially covering the top of a building with vegetation to produce a GREEN ROOF can absorb rainwater, provide insulation, create a habitat for wildlife, and provide an aesthetically pleasing landscape. Chicago's City Hall features a GREEN ROOF. As a result, on a hot day its ROOF temperatures are 2 to 7 degrees (Fahrenheit) cooler than nearby buildings. 
  • FIST (21A: Salute raised by Smith and Carlos) At the 1968 Olympic games award ceremony for the 200-meter running event, the gold medal winner, Tommie Smith, and the bronze medal winner, John Carlos - both Black American athletes - each raised a black-gloved fist during the playing of "The Star-Spangled Banner." Smith, in his autobiography, Silent Gesture, stated that the gesture was a human rights salute. 
  • GOT A KICK OUT OF (38A: Enjoyed) The use of "GOT A KICK OUT OF" to mean enjoyed can be traced to a Cole Porter song first sung by Ethel Merman in the musical, Anything Goes. The 1936  movie adaptation of the musical also featured the song, "I Get a Kick Out of You." The love song details the many things the singer does not get A KICK OUT OF, such as champagne, flying, and (in some versions) cocaine, and then repeats the title refrain. 
  • ANSWER (49A: Response) I GOT A KICK OUT OF seeing ANSWER as the ANSWER.
  • LYRE (55A: Old stringed instrument) I had LUTE at first, and almost had myself convinced UALE was a (56D: University in New Haven, Connecticut) that I hadn't heard of.
  • LIU (61D: Actress and "Unhomed Belongings" artist Lucy) Perhaps best known for her work as an actress, (My favorite role of hers was Joan Watson in the TV series, Elementary.) Lucy LIU is also an artist in collage, painting, and photography. She attended the New York Studio School from 2004 to 2006. "Unhomed Belongings" was a 2019 exhibit at the National Museum of Singapore, and was LIU's first national museum exhibit.
Geography review:
  • MAORI (6A: Indigenous New Zealanders) New Zealand is an island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. Polynesians settled on the islands between 1280 and 1350 and developed a distinctive MÄ€ORI culture.
  • UAE (40D: OPEC member) The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is one of 13 nations in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) founded in 1960. 
This puzzle was a nice excuse to GOOF AROUND on a Tuesday morning. Some nice finds for theme answers. As I was solving the puzzle, it felt like there were a lot of abbreviations. Abbreviations are handy when constructing, but can be tricky for solvers because they're not always recognizable. Most of the abbreviations today were familiar. MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) was the only one I stumbled at. I enjoyed the vertical trio of FOR NOW, NOT YET, and OK FINE. An enjoyable start to my day. 


  1. I liked this one, too! I liked that there was a progression in the theme answers, so that the first one had one "G" letter at the beginning at three letters "OOF" at the end, the second one had two "GO" at the beginning and two "OF" at the end, and the third had "GOO" at the beginning and "F" at the end.

    1. Yes, thank you for commenting on that progression! I enjoyed that nice extra touch.


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