January 3, 2021


Constructor: Zhouqin Burnikel

Editor: Erik Agard

Theme Answers:
SAT UPRIGHT (15A: Displayed good posture)
SUN PROTECTION (34A: Something a parasol provides)
MON LAFERTE (55A: Chilean singer with the hit song "Amarrame")

Theme synopsis: The LEAD word of each theme answer is an abbreviation of a TIME (a day of the week). We have SATurday, SUNday, and MONday, in order.

Things I learned:
  • MON LAFERTE (55A: Chilean singer with the hit song "Amarrame") MON LAFERTE is the most listened to Chilean artist on Spotify. Her song, "Amárrame," won a Latin Grammy for Best Alternative Song in 2017. The song features Colombian singer Juanes, and the music video was filmed in Miami, Florida.
  • SHERPA (42D: Phurba Tashi's ethnic group) Phurba Tashi is a Nepalese SHERPA known for his mountaineering and his numerous ascents of Himalayan mountains. He has climbed to the summit of Mount Everest 21 times. Tashi was featured in the 2009 Discovery Channel series Everest: Beyond the Limit.
Random thoughts and interesting things:
  • HAM (6A: Meat on a Hawaiian pizza) Do you like Hawaiian pizza? Most people (if they eat meat) seem to be okay with HAM on pizza, but I've noticed some people object to pineapple on their pizza. Hawaiian pizza - with HAM and pineapple - is a favorite of our family. 
  • SAT UPRIGHT (15A: Displayed good posture) Did you sit up a little straighter as you filled in this answer?
  • RYAN (17A: "Late Night" actress Amy) The 2019 movie, Late Night, stars Emma Thompson as a TV host whose job is in danger due to declining ratings. Amy RYAN plays the role of Caroline Morton, the president of the TV network airing the show.
  • SHE (22A: "Isn't ___ Lovely") "Isn't SHE Lovely" is a song by Stevie Wonder. He wrote it to celebrate the birth of his daughter, Aisha Morris. In 2012, Stevie Wonder performed the song live for Queen Elizabeth II at her Diamond Jubilee Concert, with lyrics modified to refer to the queen.
  • ARI (30A: Name meaning "lion" in Hebrew) Anyone else answer "Leo" at first? Even though I knew Leo wasn't Hebrew (it's Latin), I tried to convince myself it was right. 
  • EYE (47A: "The Bluest ___") The Bluest EYE, published in 1970, was Toni Morrison's first novel. The novel is set in 1941 in Lorain, Ohio. It tells the story of a young Black girl, Pecola, who is consistently regarded as "ugly" as a result of her dark skin, and as a result, longs for the blue eyes she equates with "whiteness."
  • KEN (11D: "Crazy Rich Asians" actor Jeong) KEN Jeong played the role of Goh Wye Mun (the wealthy father of Rachel Chu's friend, Peik Lin) in the 2018 movie Crazy Rich Asians. Jeong is a licensed physician, but quit practicing medicine to pursue his acting career. He played the title role in the TV series, Dr. Ken, which he created, wrote, and co-executive produced. 
  • CRAB (14D: Grouchy sort) and SOURPUSS (34D: Grouchy sort) This puzzle is sort of grouchy!
  • KOLA (51D: Caffeine-rich nut) The KOLA tree, on which the KOLA nut grows, is native to the tropical rainforests of Africa. Although KOLA nut extract was originally used as a source of caffeine in commercial cola drinks, most commercial colas no longer use it.
Geography review:
  • COTE (14A: ___ d'Ivoire) CÔTE d'Ivoire, or the Ivory Coast, is an African country. It is located on the southern coast of West Africa, on the Gulf of Guinea (Atlantic Ocean). CÔTE d'Ivory is one of several countries which have two capitals. The political capital is Yamoussoukro, while the economic capital and largest city is Abidjan.
  • OREGON (45A: Neighbor of Idaho) OREGON is also a neighbor of Washington, California, and Nevada.
I was almost finished with the puzzle before I discovered its theme. The title had me searching for a unit of time such as a second, minute, or hour, (I wasn't thinking large enough!), or for words that could precede time. (I almost had myself convinced that "right time" was a phrase, even though the word in the theme answer is UPRIGHT.) There was a nice "Aha!" moment when I looked at the grid and saw SAT, SUN, MON cascading in stair-step fashion. For non-theme answers, I liked UNDERDOG, TOY PIANO, and SOURPUSS, and I enjoyed the clue for REFRAIN. This puzzle was an enjoyable way to begin my Sunday morning. 


  1. I think you meant that Stevie Wonder sang it in 2012, not 1012

    1. Oops! You're right - thanks! (Kind of fun to think about Stevie Wonder and the Queen time traveling to 1012, though...)


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