December 8, 2020


Constructors: Brooke Husic & Claire Rimkus

Editor: Erik Agard

Theme Answers:
DRIFT APART (17A: Fall out of touch, say)
ANGEL HAIR (31A: Long, thin pasta)
TIRE SWING (51A: Swaying backyard seat)
WHITE NOISE (67A: Concentration aid)

Theme synopsis: The FIRST word of each theme answer can be preceded by the word SNOW, giving us SNOWDRIFT, SNOW ANGEL, SNOW TIRE, and SNOW WHITE.

And now a word from our constructors: 
Brooke and Claire: We had a great time creating this puzzle together and are grateful as always to Erik for his editing! Speaking of Erik, he's dropping a fantastic themeless puzzle when this transition fund reaches 400 donors and invites you to join him in contributing.

Things I learned:
  • PEPSI (1A: Cola with a blue variety) PEPSI Blue, with a "berry" taste to accompany its blue tint, was launched in 2002. It was discontinued in Canada and the United States in 2004. When I read this information, I wondered what I was doing from 2002 to 2004, because I don't remember PEPSI Blue at all! (The answer is graduate school, which explains this gap in my memory.) Although not available in the U.S., PEPSI Blue is available in the Philippines, where the collegiate men's teams at  Ateneo de Manila University are the Ateneo Blue Eagles.
  • MAC (61A: Beauty company that partnered with Rosalia in 2020) The MAC in MAC Cosmetics is an acronym for Make-up Art Cosmetics. Earlier this year, MAC Cosmetics announced that singer-songwriter RosalĂ­a would be the new spokesperson for their Viva Glam line. MAC Cosmetics donates 100% of the selling price of its Viva Glam products to "organizations supporting women and girls, the LGBTQIA+ community, and people living with or affected by HIV/AIDS." I have said that everything I know about sports I've learned from crosswords. The same can be said about cosmetics! I'm happy to learn about this partnership. 
  • ETTA (9D: Singer Jones) ETTA Jones was a jazz singer whose 1960 album, Don't Go to Strangers, was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2008.
  • SID (52D: Songwriter Sriram) SID Sriram is an Indian-American music producer and songwriter working mainly in the Tamil and Telugu music industries. You can watch and listen to SID talk about five of his favorite songs here
Random thoughts and interesting things:
  • ONO (47A: Hawaiian food fish) ONO is the Hawaiian name for the wahoo, a fish related to mackerel and tuna.
  • PERIOD (56A: ___ tracking app) PERIOD tracking apps are examples of femtech (female technology), a category of software and services that use technology to focus on women's health. Ida Tin, a Danish entrepreneur and co-founder and CEO of the PERIOD tracking app, Clue, is credited with coining the term "femtech." (So many potential future clues and answers here!) This answer paired with PADS (1D: Products with varying absorbencies) gives this puzzle a definite vibe  I applaud. Nice to see woman-related clues other than the frequent crossword answer, BRA.
  • REDBONE (50D: "Come and Get Your Love" band) "Come and Get Your Love" was a 1974 hit for REDBONE. In a nice tie-in with OCT (27A: Indigenous Peoples' Day), in 2018, REDBONE headlined an Indigenous Peoples' Day event in Los Angeles.
  • LUPITA (6D: "Us" star Nyong'o) LUPITA Nyong'o plays the role of Adelaide Wilson in the supernatural horror movie, Us, which was written and directed by Jordan Peele. In addition to acting, Nyong'o has written a children's book, titled Sulwe, which I wrote about on November 21
  • EGOT (26D: Multi-award designation for Goldberg, for short) Whoopi Goldberg has won Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Awards. Today is the second day in a row we've seen EGOT in the puzzle. In yesterday's blog post, I listed some EGOT winners, including Whoopi Goldberg. So, I just want to clarify that I do not have inside knowledge or get the puzzles in advance! Simply a happy coincidence. 
  • ICE (57D: Frozen water) ICE is not nearly as fun of a weather event as SNOW.
Geography review:
  • EURO (2D: Berlin currency) Berlin is the capital and largest city of Germany. 
  • ASIA (64D: India's continent) India is the third-largest country in ASIA, following Russia and China. 
I love SNOW! I find this to be a minority opinion among my friends, but that's okay. Please enjoy my
SNOW MUGS, a subset of my mug collection. I enjoyed this theme. Nice solid theme answers and smooth fill. The long bonuses of HEARTACHES and SUGARCOATS were delightful. This puzzle was not at all BLAH, and I definitely didn't HATE it! Rather, it was an enjoyable start to my Tuesday. 


  1. love the snow mugs!! thanks for the writeup, as always :)

    1. Thank you to you and Claire for providing a fun puzzle with interesting things to write about!


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