November 5, 2020


Constructor: Erik Agard

Editor: Erik Agard

Theme Answers:
CHICKEN LITTLE (14D: Bird who says "The sky is falling!")
POETIC JUSTICE (16D: 1993 Janet Jackson movie)
POISON IVY (21D: Romantic interest of Harley Quinn) 

Theme synopsis: The last word of each theme answer - which is at the BOTTOM of the puzzle since the theme answers are vertical - can precede the word LEAGUE. We have LITTLE LEAGUE, JUSTICE LEAGUE, and IVY LEAGUE.

Things I learned:
  • JUNE (40A: Jordan who wrote, "I will not walk politely on the pavements anymore") JUNE Jordan was a poet who explored issues of gender, race, immigration, and representation in her writing. 
  • SCOTT (52A: "A Long Walk" singer Jill) "A Long Walk" was a single off of the 2000 debut album, Who is Jill Scott? Words and Sounds Vol. 1. Jill Scott is also an actress. Her roles include Precious Ramotswe in the TV series, The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency.
  • OLGA (54D: "Flights" author Tokarczuk) OLGA Tokarczuk is a Polish author who won the 2018 Nobel Prize in Literature. Her book, Flights, won the Man Booker International Prize in 2018, the first time the award was won by a Polish author.
Random thoughts and interesting things:
  • STREEP (6D: Meryl who played Miranda Priestly) In The Devil Wears Prada, Meryl STREEP plays the role of Miranda Priestly, a powerful and demanding fashion magazine editor. Meryl STREEP has played a wide range of characters. I am always amazed when I see one of her performances.
  • CHICKEN LITTLE (14D: Bird who says "The sky is falling!") CHICKEN LITTLE is known in some versions of the folk tale as Henny Penny, or Chicken Licken. 
  • POETIC JUSTICE (16D: 1993 Janet Jackson movie) In POETIC JUSTICE, Janet Jackson plays a poet named Justice LaRue. Throughout the movie, Justice recites poems. The featured poems were written by Maya Angelou, who appears in the film as one of three elderly sisters at a family reunion.
  • POISON IVY (21D: Romantic interest of Harley Quinn) POISON IVY and Harley Quinn are supervillains and enemies of Batman.
  • ASL (24D: Language originated in Connecticut) ASL, American Sign Language, originated in the early 19th century at the American School for the Deaf in West Hartford, Connecticut.
  • SATIRE (46D: Walking Eagle News specialty) Walking Eagle News is a SATIRE website which parodies news coverage of indigenous peoples. The site was founded by Anishinaabe Tim Fontaine in November 2017. According to Fontaine, the site's name means, "a bird so full of crap that it can't fly." Headlines on the site include: "Canadian businesses offer 'Premium' racial profiling to select Indigenous shoppers," and "Retail worker dies after not being allowed to racially profile Indigenous customers."
  • DIM SUM (47D: Lo mai gai, etc.) Lo mai gai is a dish of glutinous rice filled with chicken and other ingredients, which are wrapped in a grape leaf or dried lotus leaf, and then steamed. Lo mai gai is a classic DIM SUM dish.

    Geography review:
    • LOS (4A: Part of LAPL) That's the LOS Angeles Public Library. 
    • PINE RIDGE (28A: Reservation home to Oglala Lakota College) The PINE RIDGE Indian Reservation is located in South Dakota. Oglala Lakota College was chartered in 1971.
    • IRAN (37A: Country that uses the Solar Hijri calendar) The Solar Hijri calendar begins on the March equinox (Nowruz) and is the official calendar of IRAN and Afghanistan.
    • NIGERIA (64A: One side of the "jollof wars") Jollof rice is a one-pot dish popular in many West African countries. For the past few years, some of the countries, including NIGERIA, have been arguing about which country has the best jollof rice. 
    • INCA (1D: Resident of old Peru) Peru was a part of the INCA Empire from 1438 to 1533.
    An enjoyable theme with three nice theme answers. The election results are still on my mind, and I know I'm not alone in this. I welcomed this distraction from constantly refreshing the results page. The puzzle was a bit on the challenging side for me, so that was good as it made for a longer distraction! A good way to begin my Thursday morning.