October 11, 2020


Constructor: Zhouqin Burnikel

Editor: Erik Agard & Paolo Pasco

Theme Answers:
NEWSFLASH (16A: Broadcast interrupter)
JERRY WEST (62A: His No. 44 jersey was retired by the Lakers)
YOU'LL BE FINE (9D: "Don't worry at all!")
MIX AND MATCH (24D: Make an outfit from different sets)

Theme synopsis: The last part of each theme answer can precede the word POINT. Therefore, YOU'VE GOT A POINT - FLASH POINT, WEST POINT, FINE POINT, and MATCH POINT.

Things I learned:
  • FORD (41A: Writer Ashley C. ___) In 2017, Ashley C. FORD was named one of "30 under 30 in Media" by Forbes Magazine. She hosts The Chronicles of Now podcast, featuring original fiction stories inspired by the news. Her memoir, Somebody's Daughter, will be published in 2021. 
  • JERRY WEST (62A: His No. 44 jersey was retired by the Lakers) JERRY WEST played for the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA from 1960-1974, and was the head coach for the Lakers from 1976-1979. His nicknames included "Mr. Clutch" (he was known for making big plays in clutch situations), "the Logo" (his silhouette was incorporated into the NBA logo), "Mr. Outside" (he often played on the perimeter), and "Zeke from Cabin Creek" (for a creek near his birthplace of Chelyan, West Virginia).
  • ALEXA (2D: "Euphoria" actress Demie) Loosely based on an Israeli miniseries of the same name, Euphoria tells the various experiences of a group of high school students. ALEXA Demie plays the role of Maddy Perez. 
  • CAJUN (51D: Maque choux cuisine) Maque choux is a CAJUN dish of corn, green pepper, onion, and sometimes other vegetables, braised with bacon grease.
Random thoughts and interesting things:
  • ACAI (14A: Berry seldom eaten fresh outside South American) Here's another fun fact about the ACAI berry: In 2009, ACAI scams were ranked #1 on the FTC's "scams and rip-offs list."
  • TOMEI (15A: Marisa who played Mona Lisa Vito) Mona Lisa Vito is a character in the movie My Cousin Vinny
  • RAN (20A: Competed like Mirna Valerio) After a health scare in 2008, Mirna Valerio returned to running, an activity she had done in high school. On her blog, Fatgirlrunning, Valerio wrote about her experiences as a larger woman navigating a world of thinner athletes. Minerva Valerio was featured in a short documentary produced by REI, The Mirnavator.
  • NAAN (44A: Chapati alternative) Chapati and NAAN are both flatbreads. Chapati is an unleavened flatbread also known as roti. NAAN is usually leavened with yeast or bread starter.
  • MARCH (50A: Nowruz month) Nowruz is the Iranian New Year, which occurs on the vernal equinox. I learned about Nowruz from the July 19 puzzle
  • ACE (58A: Part of LGBTQIA, for short) ACE is short for asexual. Persons identifying as asexual have a low or absent interest in sexual activity.
  • UCLA (66A: Sch. where Katelyn Ohashi competed in gymnastics) A video of Katelyn Ohashi performing a floor exercise which earned a perfect 10.0 score went viral on YouTube. If you need something to bring a smile to your face today, I recommend watching it. It's delightful. 
  • FRED (17D: Rainbow Coalition leader Hampton) The Rainbow Coalition was a multicultural political movement founded in Chicago in 1969. It originally included the Black Panthers, Young Patriots, and Young Lords.

    Some nice theme answers here, and the resulting POINTs are all quite different. I especially enjoy the theme answers NEWSFLASH and YOU'LL BE FINE. I think some people who use the phrase, "YOU'LL BE FINE," imagine they are providing a NEWSFLASH. If you enjoy SUSHI, you might find yourself craving it. We've had a weekend of SUSHI references in the puzzle. SUSHI BARS was a theme answer on Friday, and yesterday's puzzle mentioned the SUSHI wrap, nori, in a clue for ALGAE. The last square I filled in today was the W in JERRY WEST/WHO. Since I was not familiar with JERRY WEST, the appropriateness of this made me chuckle. As I've mentioned before, everything I know about sports I've learned from crossword puzzles! This puzzle was an enjoyable way to begin my Sunday, which sadly will probably not include eating SUSHI.