November 24, 2020


Constructor: Gail Grabowski

Editor: Erik Agard

Theme Answers:
SHOWING RESPECT (20A: Bowing, e.g.)

Theme synopsis: The first word of each theme answer can follow the word PRIVATE, resulting in a PRIVATE SHOWING, PRIVATE PRACTICE, and a PRIVATE ROOM.

Things I learned:
  • ACAI (15A: Fruit served "na tigela") AÇAÍ na tigela is dish originating from Brazil. It's name translates to "AÇAÍ in the bowl." Made from the frozen and mashed fruit of the AÇAÍ palm, it is essentially a smoothie in a bowl and is commonly topped with granola, bananas, and other fruits.
  • AGE (24A: "Such a Fun ___" (Kiley Reid novel)) Published in 2019, Such a Fun Age is the debut novel by Kiley Reid. The book explores themes of race, privilege, and millennial anxiety while telling the story of Emira, a 25-year-old Black woman accused of kidnapping a white child she is babysitting. 
Random thoughts and interesting things:
  • EDAM (53A: Wax-coated Dutch cheese) Here's an alternate clue possibility for EDAM: [Cheese whose putative ability as cannon fodder was tested by Mythbusters]. In episode 128 of Mythbusters, EDAM was tested for its putative ability as cannon ammunition. However, when launched at a ship's sail, the EDAM bounced off the sail without damaging it. Named after the town in the northwest Netherlands where it was originally made, EDAM is a semi-hard cheese traditionally sold in spheres wrapped with red paraffin wax. 
  • ERIC (12D: Ncuti Gatwa's "Sex Education" role) The TV series, Sex Education, follows the story of  Otis, a teenager who, with a fellow classmate, sets up a sex advice business. Ncuti Gatwa plays the role of ERIC, Otis's openly gay best friend who comes from a religious Ghanian-Nigerian family. Gatwa has won multiple awards for his portrayal of ERIC.
  • PAPA (25D: "___ Was a Rollin' Stone") Released by The Temptations as a single in 1972, "PAPA Was a Rollin' Stone" became a number one hit on the U.S. pop charts. Although decreased to a seven-minute version for the single release, the album version of the song is almost 12 minutes long. The song was originally a single by The Undisputed Truth, but it was the remake by The Temptations which made it popular.
  • ENYA (39D: "Only Time" singer) "Only Time" was originally released as a single in November 2000 from ENYA's fifth studio album, A Day Without Rain. A radio remix was released in 2001, and ENYA donated her earnings from the song to the Uniform Firefighters Association's Widows' and Children's Fund to support the families of firefighters following 9/11. The song has been used by multiple companies for their ad campaigns, including Volvo and Kraft Macaroni & Cheese. NBC used the song in commercials to promote Friends in 2001.
Geography review:
  • PESOS (4D: Cancun cash) Cancún is a city in Mexico on the Caribbean Sea. It is a popular tourist destination.
  • OMAHA (52D: Great Plains Black History Museum city) Located in OMAHA, Nebraska, the Great Plains Black History Museum collects, preserves, and makes available materials documenting the Black experience.
ROOM TO MANEUVER was my favorite theme answer today, and also the last one I filled in. The puzzle was smooth all around, and I enjoyed the long down entries. There are two 10-letter downs: AT THAT RATE and PRINT MEDIA, and four 8-letter downs: MANI PEDI, HOT SEATS, TRACTORS, and ESTEEMED. This puzzle was a delightful start to my Tuesday morning.