February 26, 2021


Constructor: Rachel Fabi

Editors: Erik Agard & Amanda Rafkin

Theme Answers:
TORI KELLY (17A: "Nobody Love" singer)
ENCHANTED FOREST (35A: Mysterious fairy tale setting)
LEMON LIME (57A: Citrusy soda flavor)

Theme synopsis: The BACKS of the theme answers are shades of GREEN. We have KELLY GREEN, FOREST GREEN, and LIME GREEN.

Things I learned:
  • SZA (6A: "All the Stars" singer) SZA is the professional name of singer and songwriter Solána Imani Rowe. SZA and Kendrick Lamar recorded the song "All the Stars" for the soundtrack album of the movie Black Panther
  • TORI KELLY (17A: "Nobody Love" singer) "Nobody Love" was the lead single from TORI KELLY's album, Unbreakable Smile. TORI KELLY appeared on the fourth season of the TV series, The Masked Singer. Her costume was a seahorse. 
  • SPIT (26A: Fast-paced two-player card game) In the card game SPIT, also referred to as Slam or Speed, the goal is to get rid of all of your cards before the other player gets rid of all of theirs. I have never played SPIT, but reading about it reminded me of the game Nerts (which my family has always called Nuts) in which multiple people are essentially playing competitive solitaire.
  • DNA (34A: "Native American ___: Tribal Belonging and the False Promise of Genetic Science" (Kim TallBear book)) Kim TallBear is a professor at the University of Alberta. She specializes in racial politics in science. Her first book, Native American DNA: Tribal Belonging and the False Promise of Genetic Science, takes a look at DNA testing, discussing its potential use to justify racism. 
Random thoughts and interesting things:
  • LIMIT (12A: "The ___ does not exist") It's a math clue! (And also a Mean Girls clue.)
  • LOUD (14A: The second "L" of lol) While some people may use lol to mean "lots of love" or "lots of luck," it is most commonly used to mean "laugh out LOUD."
  • ADOBO (52A: Marinated Filipino dish) To make ADOBO, raw meat or fish is immersed in a stock of paprika, oregano, salt, garlic, and vinegar. The method was initially used to preserve food, but has come to be used as a way to flavor foods before cooking.
  • ANN (64A: Boxer Wolfe who appeared in "Wonder Woman") ANN Wolfe is a retired professional boxer. She played the role of the Amazon Artemis in Wonder Woman
  • NIGIRI (2D: Non-rolled sushi dish) NIGIRI, or "hand-pressed sushi," consists of a mound of rice pressed into an oblong mound, and then topped with salmon, tuna, or other seafood.
  • TIL (4D: "It Ain't Over ___ It's Over") "It Ain't Over TIL It's Over" is a Lenny Kravitz song from his 1991 album, Mama Said. It is also the title of a 1994 album by Fast Eddie Clarke.
  • ALEXIS (9D: Annie Murphy's "Schitt's Creek" role) Schitt's Creek is a TV series about a formerly wealthy family that relocates to a small town named Schitt's Creek, which they once purchased as a joke. ALEXIS is one of the adult children of Johnny Rose and Moira Rose. My husband and I were once fortunate enough (in pre-pandemic times) to attend a taping of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Dan Levy, who plays David, the other adult child on Schitt's Creek, was a guest. As he talked about Schitt's Creek, he told us that CBS required that every time the name of the show was mentioned, it had to also be printed on the screen so people realized how it is spelled. This amuses me!
  • SELF-CARE (26D: Important component of activism) I liked this clue. SELF-CARE is so important. As the saying goes, "You can't pour from an empty cup."
  • READ UP ON (28D: Learn more about) For example, you might READ UP ON some of the answers in a crossword puzzle by checking out this blog!
  • PANEER (46D: Cheese sometimes served with saag) PANEER is a fresh cheese made from cow or buffalo milk. Saag is a dish made from leafy greens such as spinach, mustard greens, collard greens, or finely chopped broccoli.
  • DEJA (53D: ___ vu) DÉJÀ vu is a French phrase meaning "already seen." It refers to the feeling of having already lived through a situation.
  • DEJA (53D: ___ vu) Haven't I written about this answer already? (It was too perfect an opportunity to pass up.)
GREEN is the color of the day! (Maybe this puzzle should have been published on St. Patrick's Day.) My favorite theme answer was ENCHANTED FOREST. It was fun to see WETSUIT and SEA appear appropriately near each other in the puzzle. I also enjoyed the answer SOLITUDE, which is often a component of SELF-CARE for me. Other fun answers: CATWOMAN, HUMANIST, ICICLE, and BALL PIT. This puzzle was a delightful way to begin my Friday.