April 24, 2021


Constructor: Erik Agard

Editor: Erik Agard

Theme Answers:
PUT ONE PAST (17A: Deceive)
PUBLISH OPERISH (40A: Phrase describing academic pressure)
PAD OPAPER (64A: Place to jot down notes)

Theme synopsis: Each theme answer is a three word phrase whose words have the initial letters P-, O-, and P-.

Things I learned:
  • NEO (45A: Prefix for "pronouns") NEOpronouns are words created to serve as nongendered pronouns. For example: Ze and zir. NEOpronouns can also be "noun-self pronouns," using a preexisting word as a pronoun. This term was new to me. The New York Times recently published an article on NEOpronouns which explains their use in depth, as well as examining reasons behind their use.
  • SEALIONING (11D: Asking seemingly innocent questions in order to waste someone's time) This is my day to learn new vocabulary! This term was also new to me. SEALIONING is a type of trolling or harassment, characterized by asking questions, as defined in this clue. The term originated with a 2014 Wondermark webcomic by David Malki, "The Terrible Sea Lion."
  • DREAM (36D: Filmmaker hampton) DREAM hampton is a filmmaker, producer, and writer. She executive produced the 2019 documentary, Surviving R. Kelly, about the decades of sexual abuse  allegations against singer Robert R. Kelly. DREAM hampton was born in Detroit, and says she was named after Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a DREAM" speech. She stylizes her name as dream hampton as a nod to author bell hooks. 
Random thoughts and interesting things:
  • MWAH (6A: Sound of blowing a kiss) Did you make a MWAH sound while filling in this answer? No? Just me?
  • OREO (15A: Deep-fried ___) Ha! I started out with "okra" as an answer here until the crossing answer of AESOP revealed the error of my ways. A deep-fried OREO is exactly what it sounds like, an OREO dipped in batter (typically buttermilk pancake mix) and then deep-fried. The deep-fried OREO was first introduced at the Los Angeles County Fair in the early 2000s by Charlie Boghosian, a food vendor known as "The Man Who Fries Everything." I haven't tried a deep-fried OREO, but I did try a deep-fried Snickers one year at the Iowa State Fair. Neither dish should be a regular part of your diet, for obvious reasons!
  • PIE (25A: Dessert with a crust) This is the second day in a row that PIE has appeared in the puzzle, making me want to make (and eat!) a PIE. The last two kinds of PIE I have made have been coconut custard and French silk. What kind of PIE do I want to make next?
  • SAY (48A: "___ My Name") "SAY My Name" is a song from Destiny's Child, off of their 1999 album, The Writing's on the Wall. The song won two Grammy awards, and the music video won an MTV Video Music Award. 
  • MORE (54A: A larger amount) and LESS (58D: A smaller amount) I'm a fan of this clue pair, MORE or LESS.
  • ERIN (68A: "The Office" receptionist) The Office is a TV series that has British, German, and American versions. The U.S. version ran for nine seasons, from 2005 to 2013. Ellie Kemper played receptionist, ERIN Hannon.
  • SIKHS (24D: People named Singh, often) SIKHS are people associated with the religion Sikhism. A monotheistic religion, Sikhism originated in the Punjab region of South Asia in the 15th century. Male SIKHS generally have Singh, which translates as "lion," as their middle or last name. Female SIKHS have Kaur, which translates as "princess," as their middle or last name.
  • INUK (28D: Singular of "Inuit") The Inuit are a group of indigenous peoples that live in parts of Greenland, Canada, and the United States (Alaska). 
  • MEOWS (31D: Cat sounds) I'm always happy to see a cat clue. My cat,
    Willow, frequently helps me write the blog, and today was no exception. MEOWS are often a part of this process.
  • ATARI (53D: Video game company that made Pong) The classic arcade video game, Pong, was first released by ATARI in 1972. It had a table tennis theme, and featured simple two-dimensional graphics. Pong is notable as the first commercially successful video game.
Geography review:
  • ITALY (69A: Milan's country) Milan is the second most populous city in ITALY. (Rome is the first.) Milan is located in northern ITALY, and is the capital of Lombardy, one of ITALY's 20 administrative regions.
  • BISSAU (35D: Guinea-___) Guinea-BISSAU is a country in West Africa. It is located on the Atlantic Ocean, and borders Senegal and Guinea. The capital and largest city of Guinea-BISSAU is BISSAU.
Of all the POP QUIZZES I have taken in my life, this one may have been the most enjoyable. Great fill all around, and nice cluing. This puzzle was a great way to begin my Saturday.
Two more things:
  • If you're looking for more puzzles, I gave some recommendations in yesterday's blog post
  • If you're participating in the virtual American Crossword Puzzle Tournament (ACPT) this weekend, as I am, good luck and have fun. Maybe we'll see each other online! This is my first ACPT - I had planned to attend the 2020 ACPT in person. I am not a speed solver, so my emphasis is on having fun, and I'm hoping to finish in the top 98%. I also put a puzzle on the virtual puzzle table organized by Rachel Fabi and Nate Cardin, so feel free to check that out.
Happy puzzling!