November 25, 2020


Constructor: Zhouqin Burnikel

Editor: Erik Agard

Theme Answers:
GEORGIA TECH (18A: Atlanta School with a Shenzen campus)
GOD HELP THE CHILD (41A: Toni Morrison's last novel)
GATEWAY ARCH (62A: St. Louis landmark)

Theme synopsis: The last word of each theme answer can precede the word SUPPORT, giving us TECH SUPPORT, CHILD SUPPORT, and ARCH SUPPORT.

Things I learned:
  • TOBY (Mystery novelist on "The Office") TOBY H. Flenderson is portrayed on The Office by Paul Liberstein. In the series finale of Season 6, it was revealed that TOBY had written a few chapters of a mystery novel.
Random thoughts and interesting things:
  • OWL (17A: Bird capable of rotating its head 270 degrees) The ability of the OWL to turn its head in
    such a manner is important because the eyes of an OWL do not move in any direction. Being able to swivel its head up to 270 degrees allows an OWL to see behind it without moving its torso. Keeping bodily movement at a minimum reduces sound as an OWL waits for its prey. There is a barred OWL that lives in our neighborhood. Many nights we will hear it hooting, which is lovely. A few weeks ago I awakened in the middle of the night to what I am fairly certain was the sound of our neighborhood OWL catching some prey in our backyard. That was less lovely. This photo was taken eight years ago on an overcast day when our OWL friend visited our back yard.
  • DADS (26A: George and Lance, to Bow, in "She-Ra") She-Ra and the Princesses of Power is an animated TV series which tells the story of Adora, a teenager who can transform into She-Ra. Bow is one of Adora's best friends. In the second season of She-Ra, George and Lance were introduced as Bow's DADS. This answer and PROUD PAPA (6D: Person posting a bunch of baby pics, perhaps) were a nice pair.
  • GOD HELP THE CHILD (41A: Toni Morrison's last novel) Toni Morrison did not like the title, God Help the Child. She preferred the original title of the book, The Wrath of Childrenbelieving it conveyed a key theme of the novel: "that what you do to children matters."
  • ACAI (46A: Berry with a big seed) ACAI is also a berry making back-to-back puzzle appearances, as it appeared in yesterday's puzzle
  • ARI (49A: Actress Nicole ___ Parker) Nicole ARI Parker made her movie debut in 1995 in The Incredibly True Adventure of Two Girls in Love. She has starred in a number of movies since then, including Boogie Nights and Almost Christmas. Parker also appeared as attorney Teri Joseph on the TV series, Soul Food and as recurring character, Superintendent Samantha Miller, on the series Chicago P.D. 
  • GATEWAY ARCH (62A: St. Louis landmark) As soon as I read the clue, I knew the answer had to be the ARCH. It took me a minute to come up with its official name, as I have always simply referred to it as "The ARCH." I was about five years old the first time I went up in the GATEWAY ARCH. I remember looking out the window and seeing cars that appeared so small I assumed they were toy cars in a diorama. 
  • ENYA (42A: Irish singer who rarely performs live) Like ACAI, ENYA appeared in yesterday's puzzle. Fortunately, performing live is not a requirement to appear in my imaginary concert of "Crossword Friendly One-Named Singers." Her back-to-back appearances are the fourth and fifth for ENYA in my concert.
  • MAZE (56D: Cornfield attraction) As you can imagine, cornfield MAZEs are popular here in Iowa. I went through one once. It was disconcerting to be surrounded by corn stalks towering over your head. One experience with a corn MAZE was enough for me.
  • CNN (64A: "United Shades of America" channel) United Shades of America is a CNN documentary series starring comedian W. Kamau Bell. The show features Bell visiting American communities to try to understand the challenges they face.
Geography review:
  • GEORGIA TECH (18A: Atlanta School with a Shenzen campus) GEORGIA TECH has its main campus in Atlanta, Georgia. Shenzen is a city in the Guangdong province of China. In addition to its satellite campus in China, GEORGIA TECH also has campuses in Savannah, Georgia; Metz, France; Athlone, Ireland; and Singapore.
  • SERB (7D: Belgradian, e.g.) Belgrade is the capital and largest city of Serbia. 
  • MILAN (34D: Fashion capital of Italy) MILAN is the second-most populous Italian city, after Rome. The city is host to MILAN Fashion Week, a semi-annual clothing trade show.
  • BALI (59D: Indonesian island) BALI is a province of Indonesia. The island of BALI is surrounded by coral reefs, and is part of the Coral Triangle, the area with the highest biodiversity of marine species. 
It's nice of this puzzle to offer so much SUPPORT! As a person with high arches, I am grateful for shoes offering significant ARCH SUPPORT, and enjoyed discovering that theme phrase stemming from the midwest landmark, the GATEWAY ARCH. The four long down answers were enjoyable, too - ALL FIRED UP, PROUD PAPA, CHERRY RED and SPICE BLEND. This puzzle is a SMASH, and was a delightful way to begin my Wednesday.


    1. It seems you show a pic of yesterday's crossword instead of today's crossword.
      I was a bit miffed when I couldn't access the clue to 66D - EYE , which I had to to get from the crosses. But that may have happened only on my computer. Excellent commentary as always !

      1. Ack, sorry! I've fixed it now. Thanks for letting me know. (I need to learn to delete the old photos from my computer so I don't upload the wrong photo.)
        I was able to access the clue for 66D ( "Look me in the ___"), so not sure what was happening there.

      2. No problem !
        Yeah, I don't know what was happening there as well


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