January 17, 2021


Constructor: Zhouqin Burnikel

Editor: Erik Agard

Theme Answers:
WELCOME MESSAGES (17A: Greetings to first-timers)
INCOME STATEMENT (59A: Financial performance report)

Theme synopsis: Each theme answer contains the word COME WITH the word ME.

Things I learned:
  • LUTE (1A: Instrument similar to the oud) A LUTE, like an oud, is a plucked string instrument with a hollow cavity and a neck. The oud has a smaller neck than the LUTE, and does not have frets. A LUTE may have frets, though some do not. I was familiar with the LUTE, but not the oud.
  • MORSE (5A: NWHL All-Star Rebecca) The National Women's Hockey League (NWHL) was established in 2015 with four teams, and has grown to include six teams. Rebecca MORSE plays for NWHL's Metropolitan Riveters who are based in Monmouth Junction, New Jersey. (Side note: The name and logo of the Metropolitan Riveters are based upon Rosie the Riveter.) Rebecca MORSE, whose nickname is "Moose," received the NWHL Foundation Award for the 2019-20 season, an honor given to "the players most actively applying the core values of hockey to her community as well as growing and improving hockey culture." MORSE is an advocate for LGBTQ+ rights and racial justice. One of her pre-game rituals is to wrap her hockey stick with pride tape. 
  • FENCER (40A: Athlete such as Mariel Zagunis) Mariel Zagunis is a sabre FENCER. She was the flag bearer for Team USA in the 2012 Summer Olympics Parade of Nations. She was the first American to win an Olympic gold medal for fencing, which she did in both 2004 and 2008.
Random thoughts and interesting things:
  • LENA (16A: Spingarn Medal winner Horne) The Spingarn Medal is an award given annually by the NAACP since 1915. LENA Horne was awarded the Spingarn Medal in 1983 for being an "Artist humanitarian and living symbol of excellence."
  • SKA (48A: Genre related to rocksteady) SKA is a music genre that originated in Jamaica, as did rocksteady. SKA combines elements of mento, calypso, jazz, and rhythm and blues.
  • ANNA (64A: "Black Beauty" author Sewell) ANNA Sewell's novel Black Beauty, about a horse of
    the same name, was published in 1877. Sewell was ill and confined to her home while writing the novel and died just five months after it was published. The book is written as an autobiography of Black Beauty, from the horse's perspective. This clue sent me in search of my copy of Black Beauty, a paperback edition purchased with my own money when I was a child, which has my childhood signature on the inside.
  • TULANE (3D: School home to the Amistad Research Center) The Amistad Research Center (ARC) has been housed at TULANE University in New Orleans, Louisiana since 1987. The ARC is an independent archives and manuscript repository specializing in the history of Black Americans and ethnic minorities.
  • RUMS (7D: Zombie liquors) Not the liquors drunk by zombies, (though not knowing any zombies personally, I can't vouch for this) but the liquors used to make a Zombie cocktail. A Zombie is a drink made with fruit juices, liqueurs, and various RUMS. 
  • BASSETS (13D: Droopy-eared hounds) and CAT SAT (44D: Fed a neighbor's kitty, say) This puzzle has a clue for both dog lovers and CAT lovers.
  • PO' BOY (32D: Big Easy sandwiches) We saw the PO' BOY just a few weeks ago in the December 30, 2020 puzzle (also constructed by Zhouqin Burnikel). The Big Easy is a nickname for New Orleans, Louisiana.
  • MAT (39D: Muay thai class need) Muay Thai is a combat sport of Thailand which I first learned about from the August 30, 2020 puzzle (also constructed by Zhouqin Burnikel).
  • FESTIVE (40D: Like Tet get-togethers) Tet is also known as Vietnamese New Year. Tet celebrates the arrival of spring based on the Vietnamese calendar. In 2021, Tet falls on February 12 in the Gregorian calendar.
  • SAM (49D: "I'm Ready" singer Smith) "I'm Ready" is a song by SAM Smith and Demi Lovato. The song is on Smith's 2020 album, Love Goes.
Geography review:
  • EVA (20A: ___ Air (Taiwanese airline)) EVA Air is based at Taoyuan International Airport near Taipei, Taiwan.
  • FARGO (41A: North Dakota's largest city) Approximately 17% of North Dakota residents live in FARGO. Although FARGO is North Dakota's largest city, it would take over 64 cities the size of FARGO to equal the population of New York City. 
  • TONGA (52A: Monarchy southeast of Fiji) The king of TONGA, an island country made up of 169 islands, is Tupou VI.
  • SLAV (10D: Croat or Czech) The SLAV people speak various Slavic languages. Croatian and Czech are two Slavic languages.
  • EUGENE (46D: Oregon's third-largest city) EUGENE, Oregon is slightly larger than FARGO, North Dakota. It would only take 51 cities the size of EUGENE to equal the population of New York City.
Another enjoyable puzzle by Zhouqin Burnikel. I liked the visual of the words COME and ME moving closer together as you move from the bottom toward the top of the puzzle. Lots of long non-theme bonuses today. I especially liked ONE LINER, BECKONED, and BUM RAP. I appreciated learning about Rebecca MORSE today. This puzzle was a delightful way to start my Sunday morning.