November 28, 2020


Constructor: Paolo Pasco

Editor: Erik Agard

Theme Answers:
QUICK BREAD (17A: Loaf made without yeast)
HASTY PUDDING (29A: Dish similar to polenta)
INSTANT RAMEN (46A: Noodle dish with a flavor packet)
MINUTE RICE (61A: Ben's Original alternative)

Theme synopsis: Each theme answer is a FOOD item that begins with a word indicating it is prepared in a FAST manner. 

Things I learned:
  • KARA (18D: Basketball coach Lawson) As of July, 2020, KARA Lawson is the head coach of the Duke Blue Devils women's basketball team. KARA spent a year as an assistant coach for NBA's Boston Celtics, and prior to that was a primary game analyst for NBA's Washington Wizards. From 2003-2015, KARA played basketball in the WNBA and on the U.S. National Team.
  • RACED (52D: Competed like Peggy Llewellyn) Peggy Llewellyn is a National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Pro Stock Motorcycle drag racer. In 2007, she won an NHRA race event, making her the first woman of color to win a professional motorsports event.
Random thoughts and interesting things:
  • BEE (23A: "Akeelah and the ___") Akeelah and the Bee is a 2006 movie about an 11-year-old girl competing in the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Keke Palmer played the role of Akeelah Anderson. We saw Keke Palmer in the November 20 puzzle clued in reference to her recent EP release, "Virgo Tendencies, Pt. 1." I enjoyed this movie immensely and am adding it to my (quite lengthy) list of movies I'd like to rewatch.
  • HASTY PUDDING (29A: Dish similar to polenta) HASTY PUDDING is made by cooking grain - such as corn or wheat - in milk or water until it reaches the consistency of porridge. HASTY PUDDING has been around since the 1600s, and it is related to gruels made in the Middle Ages.
  • ELSA (50A: "For the First Time in Forever" duettist) "For the First Time in Forever" is a song from the movie Frozen. It is song by sisters, ELSA and Anna.
  • BEDS (70A: They fill up the rooms in capsule hotels) Capsule hotels, also known as a pod hotels, originated in Japan as a means of providing cheap, basic overnight accommodation. The rooms are just big enough to contain twin size BEDS. Guests crawl onto the bed and close the end of the capsule. Lockers are provided in a separate area for storing belongings, and amenities such as toilets and showers are communally shared.
  • NIQAB (1D: Face covering) A NIQAB is a face covering worn by some Muslim women. A NIQAB covers the face while leaving the eyes uncovered.
  • ONCE (4D: The second "O" in YOLO) YOLO = You Only Live ONCE. I knew this acronym (having looked it up several years ago when I began seeing it on social media), but I discovered that YOLO is also an acronym used in the area of computer technology dealing with object detection and computer vision. In that field, YOLO stands for You Only Look ONCE. 
  • SUDOKU (9D: Number puzzle in a 9x9 grid) Let's just take a moment and admire that the 9x9 grid clue is the 9-Down answer in the puzzle. 
  • HEALTH BARS (29D: Video game graphics measuring HP) In gaming, HP stands for hit points or health points, a measure of the damage a character or object can endure. 
  • IRON (31D: "The ___ Giant") The IRON Giant is a 1999 animated movie based on the 1968 novel, The Iron Man, by Ted Hughes. The movie is set during the Cold War, and tells the story of a young boy who befriends a gigantic metallic robot who fell from outer space. A Signature Edition of the movie, with added scenes, was released in 2016. 
  • DOWN (34D: Direction for this answer) This clue made me smile.
Geography review:
  • ONE (45A: Number of monosyllabic state names) Were you able to name the ONE monosyllabic state? It's Maine.
  • USA (25D: Final Five's country) The Final Five is the name used to refer to the USA women's gymnastics team that won a team all-around gold medal at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Members of the Final Five were Simone Biles, Gabby Douglas, Laurie Hernandez, Madison Kocian, and Aly Raisman.
No chicken nuggets, burgers, or fries in this FAST FOOD puzzle. I enjoyed seeing the FAST FOOD items reveal themselves as I solved, and I appreciate that there is a SPEED DEMON in the puzzle to help prepare this meal. Jiffy Pop would have been a good snack to accompany this solve. This puzzle was an enjoyable way to begin my Saturday.


    1. I swear I've seen the DOWN clue before somewhere recently. Nice review


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