November 7, 2020


Constructor: Mark McClain

Editor: Erik Agard

Theme Answers:
KIND GESTURE (17A: Demonstration of goodwill)
NATURE PRESERVES (36A: Protected areas for wildlife)
SORT THROUGH (56A: Peruse bit by bit)

Theme synopsis: The first word of each theme answer is a synonym for TYPE. We have KIND, NATURE, and SORT.

Things I learned:
  • PAUL (8D: Actor Robeson) PAUL Robeson was an actor on stage and screen. His movies included Song of Freedom and The Song of the Rivers. Robeson was also a singer, recording and releasing over 270 songs between 1925 and 1961. Equally well known for supporting civil rights causes, PAUL Robeson founded the American Crusade Against Lynching organization in 1946. Robeson was investigated during the age of McCarthyism, and subsequently denied a passport. Robeson was a graduate of Rutgers University, and the main campus library at Rutgers University-Camden is named after him, as is the campus center at Rutgers University-Newark, and the Cultural Center at Rutgers University-New Brunswick.
  • WATTS (13D: Neighborhood where a 1972 Stax Records concert took place) Wattstax was a benefit concert organized by Stax Records to commemorate the seventh anniversary of the 1965 WATTS riots that took place in the WATTS neighborhood of Los Angeles. The concert was recorded, and an album of its highlights was released, Wattstax: The Living Word. A documentary film about the concert was also made. Because of profanity used during the interview segments of the documentary, Wattstax received an "R" rating. Stax Records promoted the documentary as a family film, saying it was "Rated 'R' because it's Real."
Random thoughts and interesting things:
  • WILDE (29A: Filmmaker Olivia) Olivia WILDE directed the movie Booksmart, which won the Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature. 
  • HE'S (52A: "___ So Shy" (Pointer Sisters hit)) Released in 1980, "HE'S So Shy" was a single from The Pointer Sisters' album, Special Things. The song was written by Tom Snow and Cynthia Weil, and was originally written as "She's So Shy."
  • ERA (55A: "It's the end of an ___") When END OF AN ERA appeared in Wednesday's puzzle, I commented that I have been fervently hoping for a new ERA to begin. Although we are still waiting (with varying degrees of patience) for all of the votes to be counted, it appears that I will get my wish. The transition is likely to be rocky, as we've already seen (and anticipated). Keeping my fingers crossed.
  • POKY (1D: "The ___ Little Puppy") The Poky Little Puppy by Janette Sebring Lorey, illustrated by Gustaf Tenggren was one of the first twelve books in the Little Golden Books series published by Simon and Schuster in 1942.
  • UNDULATE (24D: Move in a wavelike fashion) What a fun word to say! Also, a word not frequently seen in crossword puzzles. I enjoy seeing some less commonly used words appear in the puzzle.
  • GODS (25D: Orishas, e.g.) In the Yoruba religion, Orishas are spirits sent for the guidance of humanity. We've seen a couple of these GODS mentioned in the puzzle previously. We saw Olukun,  on July 11, and Orunmila on October 15
  • ELECTRIC (38D: The "e" of e-bike) A few years ago my husband and I invested in ELECTRIC bikes. They are amazing! We have "pedal-assist" e-bikes, so the motor will only kick in if you are pedaling, which differentiates the e-bike from a scooter. While riding an e-bike you are definitely still getting exercise, but the electric assist gives me the extra boost I need to make it up hills easily. Having ELECTRIC bikes means we ride more often and farther than we were able to before. 
Geography review:
  • DIJON (11D: French city known for mustard) DIJON is a city in northeastern France.
After discovering this puzzle's theme, I was curious about other synonyms for TYPE. I discovered that kidney is a synonym for TYPE. Did you know this? Completely new knowledge to me is the fact that one definition of kidney is "sort or kind especially with regard to temperament." I am so fascinated by this. I've never heard the word kidney used in this way before. I wonder if this is a regional usage? Let me know if you have experience with the word kidney being used to mean TYPE or KIND. After getting distracted by discovering that knowledge, I turned my attention back to today's puzzle. All of the theme answers are nice; I particularly like KIND GESTURE, both seeing it in the puzzle and witnessing such an action. The long bonuses of ELECTRIC and ENGINEER go together nicely. This puzzle was JUST MY TYPE - an enjoyable way to begin my Saturday morning.