April 18, 2021


Constructor: Zhouqin Burnikel

Editors: Erik Agard & Amanda Rafkin

Theme Answers:
DOWNWARD DOG (16A: Yoga pose on hands and feet)
HOUSEHOLD NAME (37A: Person well-known to the public)
FISHER PRICE (61A: Toy brand)

Theme synopsis: The last word of each theme answer is a type of TAG. We have a DOG TAG, a NAME TAG, and a PRICE TAG.

Things I learned:
  • MSG (43A: Dashi powder ingredient) Homemade dashi is made by heating water containing edible kelp and other ingredients, and then straining the liquid. Dashi powder may be used instead of making homemade stock, and can be used as a base for miso soup, noodle broth soup, and other dishes. MSG, or monosodium glutamate, is added to dashi powder as a flavor enhancer. 
  • GIA (65A: Model and activist Love) GIA Love is a Black trans women. She was featured in the 2016 documentary, Kiki, which looked at the lives of LGBT youth in the ballroom scene in New York City. GIA Love works at BTFA (Black Trans Femmes Artists) collective, and is a consultant for Trans Equity Consulting
  • STREAM (5D: Valkyrae broadcast) Valkyrae is the online alias of Rachel Hofstetter. She is known for her liveSTREAMs, and is one of the most viewed STREAMers on YouTube. She is a co-owner of the lifestyle brand and gaming organization, 100 Thieves, and is the first female gamer and content creator for that company. 
  • SHAOLIN (26D: Kung fu style) SHAOLIN Kung Fu is one of the oldest styles of kung fu. It was developed in the SHAOLIN temple in China, which was believed to have been founded in the fifth century.
  • RED (64D: Gochugaru color) Gochugaru is also known as Korean chili powder. Made from sun-dried Korean chili peppers, it has a vibrant RED color. 
Random thoughts and interesting things:
  • SLUGS (5D: Garden mollusks) SLUGS are a type of shell-less mollusk. I generally have a "live-and-let-live" approach to creatures in my garden, until they start completely destroying plants. Garden SLUGS can eat the leaves off of plants faster than they can grow, and a couple of times we've had to address this issue in our backyard garden beds. This is why I know that SLUGS are attracted to beer, and setting out shallow dishes of beer at night will decrease the population of SLUGS in your garden. 
  • TESLA (14A: Coil inventor Nikola) It's just been a few days since we last saw Nikola TESLA in the puzzle. One of Nikola TESLA's inventions was the TESLA coil, an electrical resonant transformer circuit. TESLA invented the coil in 1891. Although they've been used in a variety of applications, today the main use of TESLA coils are for entertainment and educational purposes. Tesla coils can even be used to play music. (I posted a link to this video last September, but it's really cool and worth re-posting!)
  • DOWNWARD DOG (16A: Yoga pose on hands and feet) DOWNWARD DOG was recently a theme answer in the Dually Noted puzzle constructed by Paolo Pasco. In that write-up, I noted that during the DOWNWARD DOG pose, one's "hands and feet are on the floor." At the time, I did not know I was foreshadowing this clue.
  • AREPA (44A: Food that's 28-Across with a P added) Arepa is made of ground maize dough. It is sometimes served with cheese and meats, and can be split to make sandwiches. AREPAs are associated with the cuisines of Columbia, Venezuela, and Bolivia.
  • SCONES (1D: British pastries) SCONES are slightly sweetened biscuits that are a staple of afternoon teas. Some people pronounce the word to rhyme with the word "ons," while others rhyme the word with "owns." However you pronounce the word, SCONES are delicious, particularly with clotted cream and jam.
  • ADOBO (13D: Filipino stew) The main ingredients of Filipino ADOBO are vinegar, soy sauce, black peppercorns, and bay leaves. The dish may be cooked with pork or chicken, or only vegetables.
  • TOFU (24D: Vegetarian jiaozi ingredient) Jiaozi are a a type of Chinese dumpling sometimes referred to as potstickers.
Geography review:
  • LAS (18A: ___ Americas International Airport) LAS Américas International Airport is located in Punta Caucedo in the Dominican Republic. You may remember from a couple of days ago that the Dominican Republic and Haiti are located on the Caribbean Island of Hispaniola. Opened in 1959, the name of LAS Américas International Airport was officially changed in 2002 to "Aeropuerto Internacional Las Américas - José Francisco Peña Gómez," but it is still referred to by its previous name. 
  • OSLO (29A: Capital of Norway) OSLO is also Norway's most populous city and the economic and governmental center of Norway. 
  • RENO (52A: City hidden in "fair enough") RENO, Nevada is located near the California-Nevada border, near Lake Tahoe.
  • USD (7D: Sch. near Sioux Falls) The University of South Dakota (USD) is located in Vermillion, South Dakota, about 60 miles southwest of Sioux Falls (and 40 miles northwest of Sioux city, Iowa). 
  • ASIA (33D: Sichuan's continent) Sichuan is a province in southwest China. 
A fun game of TAG to play on a Sunday morning. This puzzle made me hungry with its mentions of AREPA, SCONES, ADOBO, TOFU, seasoned with dashi powder and gochugaru. I enjoyed the answers IN A SENSE, HERE IT IS, and OH WELL. This puzzle was a fine way to start my Sunday morning.