April 14, 2021


Constructor: Zhouqin Burnikel

Editors: Erik Agard & Amanda Rafkin

Theme Answers:
CHEDDAR CHEESE (19A Dairy product that may be extra sharp)
CEDAR CHESTS (37A: Traditional linen holders)
SOLAR CHARGERS (56A: Green power sources)

Theme synopsis: The word ARCH acts as a BRIDGE in each theme answer, connecting the two words in each phrase.

Things I learned:
  • CEO (Bethany Yellowtail, for the fashion line B. Yellowtail) Bethany Yellowtail is a fashion designer and CEO for her fashion line, B. Yellowtail as well as the B. Yellowtail Collective. Through her work, Bethany supports Native American, First Nations, and indigenous entrepreneurs. Bethany is a member of the Northern Cheyenne Nation, and grew up in the Mighty Few District of the Crow Nation.
  • CASHEW (2D: Ingredient in gai pad med mamuang) I know this dish (or its relative), I simply didn't know this name for it - it's also known as Thai CASHEW chicken.
  • RAP (26D: Saweetie genre) Saweetie is a RAP artist and songwriter. Her debut EP, released in 2018, was titled, High Maintenance.
Random thoughts and interesting things:
  • TIDAL (29A: Fiona Apple album that features "Criminal") Fiona Apple's album, TIDAL, was released in 1996. The most popular single from the album was "Criminal," which won a Grammy Award for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance in 1998.
  • NOV (35A: World Vegan Day mo.) World Vegan Day was established in 1994 by Louise Wallis, who was chair of The Vegan Society in the United Kingdom at the time. The event is observed by vegans around the world on NOV. 1 of each year, and begins World Vegan Month, which lasts throughout November. (World Vegetarian Day is celebrated on October 1, kicking off October as Vegetarian Awareness Day.)
  • ME A (42A: "Just Give ___ Reason") "Just Give ME A Reason" is a 2013 song by Pink, featuring Nate Ruess, the lead singer of the indie pop band fun.
  • TIP JAR (51A: Container next to a cash register) Or a "Donate" button on a daily blog, say. ;-)
  • DAYS (67A: Ramadan lasts for 29 or 30) Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. Muslims around the world observe Ramadan by fasting from sunrise to sunset during the 29 or 30 DAYS of the observance. Families often gather before dawn to share a pre-fast meal, and again after sunset to break the fast. This year Ramadan began yesterday (April 13), and lasts until May 12.
  • FERRET (5D: Pet whose name comes from the Latin for "little thief") The FERRET is the domesticated form of the European polecat, and is related to the weasel. Just a few days ago we learned how many teeth an adult ferret has - do you remember?
  • INCAS (30D: Early growers of potatoes) Believed to have been the first to cultivate potatoes, the INCAS grew them in the Andes mountain range, in the area now known as Peru. The INCAS domesticated wild potato plants and preserved the food by dehydrating the potatoes into a substance called chuño. The potato was such a part of their culture, that Incan units of time corresponded to how long it took to cook a potato to various consistencies.
  • CHOP SUEY (37D: Dish known as cap chi in Indonesia) CHOP SUEY consists of meat and eggs cooked quickly with vegetables, and served in a thick sauce.
  • ART (40D: Ink wash painting, e.g.) Ink wash painting is an East Asian ART that uses black ink in varying concentrations. It is a monochrome technique, with an emphasis on brushwork.
  • EATS (54D: Has a bowl of groundnut soup, say) Groundnut soup is made with peanuts, and is a staple of African cuisine.
  • RHEA (57D: Comic Butcher) RHEA Butcher hosts a baseball-focused podcast titled Three Swings. Their most recent album is titled, Pull Yourself Up By Your Bootleg.
  • HAD (60D: "You been misled! You been ___! You been took!") I wasn't able to find the text of a speech that used these exact words (though I did not have time to do an exhaustive search), but the sentiment is one Malcolm X conveyed when he spoke to Black people about the way they were treated by white people. I did find this short musing about Malcolm X by Ta-Nehisi Coates which used this quote as the title.
Geography review:
  • CHI (41D: The Windy City, for short) I have a small mug collection. Okay, it's not really small.
    A few years ago, my supportive husband made a beautiful mug rack that displays 132 mugs. (I try to keep my mug collection under this number, with the exception of seasonal mugs.) These mugs bring me great joy, and each morning - before I begin solving the puzzle - I choose my mug for the day. The choice often reflects my mood, or what's happening that day. This picture shows the mug I chose for today. Turns out it was appropriate for today's puzzle! CHIcago, Illinois was given the nickname "The Windy City" in 1893 by an editor of the New York Sun, Charles A. Dana. He used the term to refer to the city's "full-of-hot-air politicians." Situated on the shore of Lake Michigan, Chicago is actually windy! It's not the windiest city in the United States, though. That title belongs to Boston, Massachusetts. I chose today's mug - not knowing how appropriate it would be - because I'm headed to Chicago later today to spend a few days with my daughter.
An ARCH BRIDGE is a bridge shaped as a curved ARCH. The ARCH BRIDGE in Bristol, Maine was probably built before 1800, and is on the National Register of Historic Places. It's also a fine theme for a crossword puzzle. Nice theme answers today anchoring a thoroughly enjoyable puzzle. CEDAR CHESTS brought back memories of the aroma of CEDAR. The theme answer CHEDDAR CHEESE, along with the clues referencing potatoes, CHOP SUEY, and groundnut soup have me feeling hungry! This puzzle was an enjoyable way to begin my Wednesday.