November 12, 2020


Constructor: Erik Agard

Editor: Erik Agard

Theme Answers:
CLIFF FACE (18A: Waterfall's place)
TOHONO O'ODHAM (26A: Native people in Arizona and Sonora)
ALL LOWERCASE (47A: like the letters in this clue)
ADD DETAIL (60A: Get more specific)

Theme synopsis: Each theme answer contains a triple letter string which connects the two words. (Edited to add) And the triple letters spell out the word FOLD.

Things I learned:
  • TOHONO O'ODHAM (26A: Native people in Arizona and Sonora) TOHONO O'ODHAM means "Desert People." The TOHONO O'ODHAM Indian Reservation in southern Arizona is the third largest in the United States. I was not familiar with the TOHONO O'ODHAM, but appreciate learning about them. Like the names of countries (even small, lesser known ones), I feel the names of indigenous people are fair crossword fill. 
  • NERDS (70A: Candy sold in ropes) I learned something new about NERDS today! NERDS Rope is a gummy string with a variety of NERDS attached to the outside. Available in original, berry, and tropical flavors.
  • EVE (50D: "May Day ___" (Nick Joaquin short story)) Written after World War II, "May Day EVE" has become one of Nick Joaquin's signature stories and is an example of Philippine literature in English. The short story uses "magic realism" - describing a realistic view of the world, while adding in magical elements, such as a mirror that shows an image other than the reflection of the one looking in it.
  • ANDRE (53D: "P-Valley" lawyer) P-Valley is a TV series adapted from Katori Hall's play, Pussy Valley. The show follows several people who work at a Mississippi Delta strip club. Parker Sawyer plays the role of lawyer, ANDRE Watkins.
Random thoughts and interesting things:
  • TACO (6A: With 68-Across, baked dishes that might contain corn chips) and PIES (68A: See 6-Across) Although many different recipes for TACO PIES exist, they all essentially call for taking the ingredients of a TACO, placing them in a PIE pan and baking them. You had me at "the ingredients for a TACO"... 
  • ALL LOWERCASE (47A: like the letters in this clue) It feels wrong to type this answer in uppercase letters!
  • NOVEL (54A: "The City We Became," e.g.) Set in New York City, The City We Became, by N.K. Jemisin, is an urban fantasy NOVEL involving avatars uniting to fight a common Enemy.
  • TECHNO (6D: Music genre invented in Detroit) TECHNO is a genre of electric dance music. TECHNO! The New Dance Sound of Detroit is a compilation of Detroit TECHNO tracks released in 1988 which helped establish the term TECHNO as the name of the genre.
  • PECAN (12D: Pie nut) My dad was a Methodist minister. One of the churches he served when I was growing up had a monthly potluck dinner. One month, someone brought a PECAN pie, and my dad happened to mention it his favorite kind of pie. The next month, there were multiple PECAN pies at the potluck, and each baker wanting my dad to sample their pie! 
  • DORA (33D: ___ Milaje (Wakanda protectors)) The DORA Milaje are a team of women serving as special forces for Wakanda. They made their Marvel Comics debut in 1998 in Black Panther, vol. 3 #1. I learned about the DORA Milaje when they appeared in a clue in the October 5 puzzle
  • RARE COIN (40D: 1943 copper penny, e.g.) Most 1943 pennies were struck in steel, rather than copper, due to wartime shortages of copper. 1943 copper pennies were made by mistake when copper planchets were left in the press machines during a changeover from copper to steel blanks. It is estimated that about 40 of the 1943 copper pennies were struck (13 have been confirmed to exist). A RARE COIN indeed! 

    Geography review:
    • ATL (39D: City where the Dream play (Abbr.)) The Atlanta Dream are a WNBA Team based in Atlanta (ATL), Georgia.
    Triple letters - WHEE! It's quite striking to see the strings of FFF, OOO, LLL, and DDD in the grid. (Edited to add:) And in a particularly nice extra touch, it's fun that they spell out the word FOLD. (How did I not notice this when I first typed this?!) AS FOR ME, I enjoyed this theme. The rest of the puzzle was delightful, too, with its PAGODAS, as well as an ECLIPSE and a RARE COIN. This puzzle was an excellent way to start my Thursday.
    Many thanks to Matthew Stock for guest blogging yesterday. I am grateful for guest bloggers, not only because it gives me an occasional morning to relax, but I also appreciate seeing someone else's take on the puzzle. I encourage you to check out Matthew's puzzle site, Happy Little Puzzles


    1. Not just triple letters -- It's literally three FOLD! Extra-apt title.

      1. Oh, yes! Nice catch! Edited the post to reflect that additional theme.

    2. Interesting puzzle today, Sally, from Erik. So nice to see TOHONO O'ODHAM in such a prominent place. I live in Tucson and my older brother works in Sells, AZ, for the Tohono as their cultural affairs officer. I do have a question about ADD DETAIL. This seems a bit green paintey to me particularly without "TO" afterward--i.e., ADD DETAIL TO. The Nerds Ropes look absolutely disgusting ;-(. David

      1. Gotta say Nerds Ropes are fantastic, don't not 'em til you try 'em!!


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