February 25, 2021


Constructor: Patrick Jordan

Editors: Erik Agard & Amanda Rafkin

Theme Answers:
IMAGINE THAT (20A: "Who'da thunk it?")
ANNE TYLER (33A: "Breathing Lessons" novelist)
ALONE TIME (40A: Busy parent's recharging period)
PROPANE TANK (52A: Grilling accessory)

Theme synopsis: Each theme answer contains the word NET in the INNER part of the answer and spread across two words. When we complete our INNER NET SEARCH, we find the SITE (43D: Webpage) we are looking for, intersecting the last theme answer.

Things I learned:
  • RICE (64A: Sakkarai pongal ingredient) Sakkarai pongal, also known as chakkara pongal, is a sweet RICE dish popular in South Indian cuisine. The word "pongal" means "bubbling up" in Tamil.
  • NBC (41D: "Superstore" network) Superstore is a TV series centered around a group of employees working at the fictional superstore, Cloud 9. 
  • PRAY (54D: Use a mala) Commonly used in Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism, and Sikhism, a mala is a string of PRAYer beads. A mala typically (though not always) contains 108 beads. Sometimes a 109th bead of a distinctive size or color will be present. 
Random thoughts and interesting things:
  • SITAR (8A: Hindustani classical music instrument) A SITAR is an instrument with 18, 19, 20, or 21 strings. The instrument is played by plucking the six or seven strings which run over raised frets on the SITAR. The remainder of the strings are under the frets, and are "sympathetic strings" which resonate with the played strings. 
  • ANNE TYLER (33A: "Breathing Lessons" novelist) ANNE TYLER won a Pulitzer Prize for her 1988 novel, Breathing Lessons. The book has been adapted into a TV movie and a stage play.
  • ALONE TIME (40A: Busy parent's recharging period) This is a nice clue. At first I thought the answer might be A LONG NAP, which also fits the clue, but is not quite long enough.
  • EGO (51A: Nwodim of "SNL") EGO Nwodim joined the Saturday Night Live cast in 2018. Before joining SNL, she performed a one-woman show at the Los Angeles UCB theater titled Great Black Women...and Then There's Me.
  • NERDS (65A: ___ Rope (Wonka candy)) It was from the November 12, 2020 puzzle that I learned about NERDS Rope, gummy strings coated with NERDS candy.
  • YETI (1D: Abominable snowman) YETI sighting! This is the third YETI sighting this month, the word also appeared in the puzzle on February 13 and February 16
  • REPLY (12D: Not leave someone on read) To "leave someone on read" means that you have read a message, but did not REPLY. This phrase refers to the "read" message that appears when a text is read, unless the recipient has turned off that particular setting.
  • IONS (21D: Cyclotron particles) A cyclotron is a type of particle accelerator - a machine that uses electromagnetic fields to propel IONS at high speeds.
  • HERO (29D: Villain vanquisher) I enjoyed the alliteration of this clue. Villain vanquisher has such a nice ring to it!
  • STARR (38D: Singer Kay) Kay STARR was the professional name of Catherine Laverne Starks, a pop and jazz singer whose singles "Wheel of Fortune" and "Rock and Roll Waltz" were number one hits in the 1950s.
  • ARID (55D: Word found in Kalahari dessert") Good find. One might say, "NICE!" (56D: "Impressive work!")
Geography review:
  • ATHENS (27A: Greek capital) ATHENS, Greece is one of the world's oldest cities, having been established around 7,000 BCE.
  • ERIE (61A: Lake bordering four states) Geography quiz: What are the four states bordering Lake ERIE? You'll find the answer at the end of the blog.
NICE! I enjoyed the title of this puzzle, a punny play on internet search, and the bonus find of the SITE intersecting the last NET. My favorite theme answer was IMAGINE THAT. It was nice to see some words that aren't as frequently seen in puzzles, such as GAMUT, and TACIT. This puzzle was a delightful way to begin my Thursday.

Geography quiz answer: The four states bordering Lake ERIE are Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York.