October 6, 2020


Constructor: Gail Grabowski

Editor: Erik Agard

Theme Answers:
FOLK GUITAR (17A: Instrument played by Joan Baez)
FACE POWDER (55A: Shine reducer)
FAST RUNNER (11D: Person with good foot speed)
FOREIGN CAR (28D: Auto made overseas)

Theme synopsis: Each theme answer either begins with F- and ends with -AR, or begins with FA- and ends with -R. Therefore, FAR is split APART in each theme answer.

Things I learned:
  • O'HARA (14A: Actress Kelli) Kelli O'HARA is best known for her work on Broadway. She received a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her portrayal of Anna Loenowens in The King and I.
  • LEE (38A: "Pachinko" author Min Jin ___) LEE's novel, Pachinko, follows characters from Korea who migrate to Japan. Pachinko was named one of the 10 Best Books of 2017 by The New York Times.
  • MEAT (58A: Galbi or bulgogi, e.g.) Galbi is a Korean dish usually made with beef short ribs. "Galbi" is the Korean word for "rib." Bulgogi is a Korean grilled dish made of thinly-sliced, marinated beef or pork. The Korean word "bul-gogi" means "fire MEAT."
Random thoughts and interesting things:
  • AFAR (10A: Worship from ___) Made me chuckle to see this FAR and imagine that it apparently didn't get the memo, and was not APART. 
  • OFFENSE (26A: What someone who says "none taken" has taken) This is a great clue. I wonder what percentage of the time "no OFFENSE" is spoken in truth.
  • BARE (61A Like a skinny dipper) Yesterday we had NUDES in the puzzle, and today a BARE skinny dipper. Clothes optional for the puzzle this week!
  • ARK (4D: Nuh's boat) Nuh, also known as Noah, is recognized in Islam as a prophet, and is referenced in the Quran.
  • TURNIPS (9D: They're sold on the Stalk Market in Animal Crossing) Animal Crossing is a series of video games in which the player assumes the role of a character who explores an island and interacts with anthropomorphic animals. (We met Sable and Mabel ABLE in the June 13 puzzle.) This was a fun way to clue TURNIPS.
  • SCOT (50A: Get off ___-free) Someone who gets off SCOT-free completely avoids penalty or harm. The term originated to refer to a person who avoided paying taxes. The Scandinavian word "skat" means "tax" or "payment." The word eventually mutated into "scot" during the 10th century to refer to a tax meant to provide relief to the poor. A person who did not have to pay the tax for some reason was referred to as SCOT-free. (I'm just going to insert a reminder here to remember to exercise your right to vote in the November 3 election if you are eligible to do so.)
Geography review:
  • OAHU (15A: Island near Molokai) Of the eight major islands in the state of Hawaii, Molokai is the fifth most-populated. The Ka'iwi Channel separates Molokai from OAHU.
  • OCALA (26D: City west of Daytona Beach) OCALA, Florida takes its name from Ocale, a historical Timucua village and chiefdom in the 16th century. The word "Ocale" is thought to mean "Big Hammock" in the Timucua language.
A straightforward theme and puzzle. FOIBLE is a fun word to say, and I enjoyed seeing it here. An enjoyable solve for my Tuesday morning.