May 27, 2021


Constructors: Rasa Guarnaccia & Brooke Husic

Editor: Erik Agard

Theme Answers:
ONION DOME (18A: Bulbous roof style)
CRESCENT MOON (28A: Symbol on the Turkish flag)
DINNER JACKET (47A: Formal garment named for a meal)
JELLY SHOE (60A: Piece of plastic footwear)

Theme synopsis: The first word of each theme answer is a type of ROLL. We have an ONION ROLL, CRESCENT ROLL, DINNER ROLL, and JELLY ROLL.

And now a word from our constructors: 
Rasa and Brooke: From both of us: This is our third puzzle together, and it's our favorite theme so far! In addition to the overall snacky vibe from the theme, our favorite clues are 17A and 56D. We also particularly love the theme answer at 60A.

Things I learned:
  • CNN (39D: Fredricka Whitfield's channel) Fredricka Whitfield is a journalist, and currently anchors the weekend edition of CNN Newsroom. I found these words of hers impactful. 
  • IRBY (48D: "Meaty" author Samantha) Samantha IRBY is a comedian and author. She has published three books of essays: Meaty, We Are Never Meeting in Real Life, and Wow, No Thank You. I realized while writing this that I have heard of Samantha IRBY, as my daughter just finished reading Wow, No Thank You. (She says it was great!) It has been announced that Samantha IRBY will be a co-producer and writer for HBO's Sex and the City reboot.
Random thoughts and interesting things:
  • UNIT (16A: Curie or centimeter) The curie measures radioactivity, and the centimeter is a UNIT of length.
  • FRITO (17A: ___ pie (dish that might be served in a bag) FRITO pie - yum! FRITO pie is a casserole with the basic ingredients of chili (or taco meat), cheese, and FRITOs, with optional additions of salsa, sour cream, onions, and rice. Instead of baking the dish as a casserole, FRITO pie can be prepared in individual bags. Single-serve bags of FRITOs are cut open, and the remaining ingredients are added to the bag, providing a mobile meal. This variation of FRITO pie is also known as a FRITO boat, or a walking taco. When my daughter was involved in high school show choir competitions, walking tacos were a popular item for hosting schools to serve as a fundraiser, thus I always associate walking tacos with show choir.
  • ONION DOME (18A: Bulbous roof style) As the name implies, the shape of an ONION DOME resembles an ONION. The diameter of the DOME is often larger than the section of the building upon which it sits. Classic examples of buildings with ONION DOMEs include the Taj Mahal in Agra, INDIA, and St. Basil's Cathedral in Moscow, Russia.
  • ARIES (24A: Mariah Carey's zodiac sign) The first astrological sign of the zodiac, ARIES is the sign for people born between March 20 and April 19. Mariah Carey's birthday is March 27. (Today I learned that Mariah Carey and my mom share a birthday!) Interestingly, sources vary on the year Mariah Carey was born (either 1969 or 1970, depending upon who you ask). Other ARIES celebrities are Lady Gaga, Celine Dion, and Kate Hudson.
  • CRESCENT MOON (28A: Symbol on the Turkish flag) The flag of Turkey is red, and features a white star and a white CRESCENT MOON. 
  • JELLY SHOE (60A: Piece of plastic footwear) JELLY SHOEs are made with a semi-transparent material, and the material is frequently infused with glitter. The exact origins of the JELLY SHOE are unclear, but they were quite popular in the early 1980s (at which time you could buy a pair for less than a dollar!), and have experienced periods of popularity since then.
  • TOWN (66A: "Just a small-___ girl...") "Just a small-TOWN girl/ Living in a lonely world / She took the midnight train goin' anywhere..." These lyrics are from the 1981 Journey song, "Don't Stop Believin'."
  • TAIL (3D: Part that a lizard might regrow) Some lizards have the ability to regenerate their TAIL after losing it as a means of escaping predators. The newly-grown tail differs from the original, being made of cartilage instead of bone.
  • POISON (15D: "That girl is ___" (Bell Viv DeVoe lyric)) "That girl is POISON," is a lyric from "POISON," the 1989 debut single of the group Bell Viv DeVoe. 
  • STROKER (25D: "Oklahoma!" Tony winner Ali) I first learned about Ali STROKER from the July 1, 2020 puzzle. She has been featured in the crossword two times since then, but this is the first times we've seen her last name in the puzzle. 
  • WASABI (45D: Pickled ginger's neighbor, often) This clue made me smile. Pickled ginger and WASABI are often neighboring accompaniments on orders of sushi.
  • RODENT (49D: A capybara is the biggest one) Capybaras are RODENTs that are about four feet in length, two feet tall, and weigh about 100 pounds. These semiaquatic animals are found throughout South America. This made me think of the R.O.U.S.s. (Where are my fellow Princess Bride fans at?!)
  • HIJAB (50D: Headcover for Halima Aden) In 2019, Halima Aden became the first model to wear a HIJAB and burkini in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. Aden spent the first seven years of her life in a refugee camp in Kenya. She is Somali-American.
  • CHOW (56D: Puppy ___ (snack for humans)) Ah, delicious puppy CHOW! Chex cereal (I usually use Crispix) coated with a mixture of melted butter, chocolate chips, and peanut butter, then coated with powdered sugar. What's not to like? I once made five different variations of puppy CHOW to send in a care package to my kids when they were in college. 
Geography review:
  • INDIA (67A: Country home to the Ganga) The Ganga, also known as the Ganges, is a river that runs through INDIA and Bangladesh. The Ganga is a sacred river to Hindus.
  • LAS (61D: ___ Vegas) As mentioned yesterday, Las Vegas is the largest city in Nevada.
Sometimes it's okay to PLAY with your food, and this puzzle is on a ROLL! I would happily eat any of the types of ROLLs featured here, as well as FRITO pie and puppy CHOW. This puzzle was a delicious way to begin my Thursday.