March 24, 2021


Constructor: Zhouqin Burnikel

Editors: Erik Agard & Amanda Rafkin

Theme Answers:
FEELS SMALL (15A: Experiences a sense of inferiority)
FLAG FOOTBALL (21A: Relative of two-hand touch)
FLY ON THE WALL (48A: Unnoticed observer)
FREE FOR ALL (58A: Chaotic situation)

Theme synopsis: The word FALL has come APART in each theme answer, with the F- at the beginning of the answer, and the -ALL at the end.

Things I learned:
  • OKRA (17A: ___ Ohitashi (Japanese salad)) OKRA Ohitashi is a salad of boiled OKRA in a soy sauce-based marinade.
  • ALMA (55D: Author ___ Luz Villanueva) ALMA Luz Villanueva writes poems, short stories, and novels. Her 1988 book, The Ultraviolet Sky, won the American Book Award.
Random thoughts and interesting things:
  • TED (18A: "Queer Eye" food and wine specialist Allen) In addition to his time on Queer Eye, TED Allen has hosted the cooking competition show, Chopped, since it began in 2009. Chopped is one of my favorite Food Network shows to binge on when I am staying at a hotel (since I don't have a TV at home).
  • TRACEY (28A: Comedian Ullman) TRACEY Ullman has starred in a variety of TV comedy series, including The TRACEY Ullman Show, TRACEY Takes On..., TRACEY Ullman's State of the Union, and TRACEY Ullman's Show. Here's a fun fact, she's also co-written a book about knitting (with Los Angeles yarn-store owner Mel Clark) titled Knit 2 Together: Patterns and Stories for Serious Knitting Fun
  • DAD (39A: Bruce, to Alison, in "Fun Home") Fun Home is a 2006 graphic novel by Alison Bechdel. In the memoir, Bechdel looks at her childhood and youth, and her relationship with her DAD, Bruce. Fun Home has been adapted into a stage musical which I have seen and highly recommend once live theater is once again a possibility.
  • VERB (53A: Word ending in -ize, often) Were you trying to come up with a specific word that ends in -ize, such as polar? Me, too. This is a clever tricky clue. 
  • WHY ME (63A: Response to being chosen for audience participation, maybe) This would definitely be my response to such a situation!
  • RICOH (29D: Tokyo-based printer brand) The electronics company, RICOH, was founded in 1836. Its headquarters are in Ota, Tokyo, Japan.
  • ADA (30D: Org. that recommends daily flossing) Oof, today's puzzle has served me a dose of guilt! Although I know the American Dental Association (ADA) recommends daily flossing, my flossing habits are best described as sporadic. 
  • RUN (59D: Compete like Wilma Rudolph) Wilma Rudolph won three gold medals at the 1960 Olympics in Rome, Italy, making her the first American woman to win three gold medals at a single Olympic Games. After her Olympic success, the governor of Tennessee wanted to have a parade to honor her. Wilma said she wouldn't attend unless Blacks were able to attend, and her parade was the first non-segregated event in Clarksville, Tennessee.
Geography review:
  • IDA (36A: Potato state (Abbr.) The potato is the state vegetable of IDAho. The state produces about one-third of the potatoes grown in the United States.
Sometimes when I am solving a puzzle, the answers tell me a story that is not necessarily related to the puzzle's theme. Today was one of those days.
WHEE! The store's much-anticipated ONE DAY SALE quickly turned into a FREE FOR ALL. More than one TUSSLE broke out as customers used their ELBOWS to push each other aside and take advantage of low prices that were almost a STEAL. The STAFF was SO SAD as they EYED the SMUG LOCALS START to wreak havoc. One employee, who kept her WITS about her, decided to TAKE A STAND and put an end to the BAD day. She locked the doors, PLED with people not to FRET, and said, "I will let you out when you pay what you OWE." Although standing TALL, inside she was wondering, "WHY ME?" I wish I had been a FLY ON THE WALL at this EVENT.
Apparently I'm going to have a wacky Wednesday; this puzzle was a great way to begin it.