June 10, 2021


Constructor: Neville Fogarty

Editor: Amanda Rafkin
******This puzzle is part of the USA Today Pride Puzzle Series******

Theme Answers:
COMMON SENSE (18A: Good judgement)
CHILDHOOD HOME (36A: Last line of defense in soccer)
COLOR SCHEME (54A: Interior designer's suggestion)

Theme synopsis: The word COME has been split by each theme answer. The letters of the word COME appear on the OUTside edges of each answer.

Things I learned:
  • TEDDY (62A: Singer/songwriter Geiger) TEDDY Geiger released her debut album, Underage Thinking, in 2006 at the age of 18. The album included the single, "For You I Will (Confidence)," which was used as an opening theme for the last five episodes of the short-lived TV series Love Monkey. TEDDY also made guest appearances on the show. Her latest album, LillyAnna was released in 2018. 
  • STONE (63A: "___ Butch Blues") STONE Butch Blues is a book by Leslie Feinberg. The historical fiction novel is about life as a butch lesbian in 1970s America, as told through the story of protagonist Jess Goldberg. The book was originally published in 1993, with a 20th anniversary addition released in 2014 shortly after Feinberg's death at the age of 65. A free PDF of the book is available on Leslie Feinberg's website.
  • RACED (4D: Competed like Abbie Eaton) Abbie Eaton is a race car driver. She was the test driver for Seasons 2 and 3 of the British TV series, The Grand Tour. Eaton has RACED since she was 10 years old. Since 2019, Abbie Eaton has been a Driver Ambassador for Racing Pride, an organization working to promote inclusivity in the motorsport industry. 
Random thoughts and interesting things:
  • EMO (14A: Paramore genre) EMO is a rock genre characterized by emotional, and sometimes confessional, lyrics. The band Paramore's 2017 single, "Hard Times," is (as one might expect from the title) about what it feels like to go through hard times. 
  • ADULT (15A: Person whose voice is garbled in "Peanuts") What a nice clue! If you have ever seen a Peanuts special, you probably heard the sound in your head as you filled in the answer of ADULT. 
  • YANG (29A: Bowen of "SNL") Bowen YANG has been part of the SNL cast since 2019. He also co-hosts a comedy pop-culture podcast, Las Culturistas, with Matt Rogers. This answer is timely, because Bowen YANG is going to be a guest on  the New York Times Crossword Live event today at noon eastern time. (That's 11:00 central time...setting an alarm so I remember!)
  • IMPALA (2D: Animal hidden in "Blenheim Palace") Blenheim Palace is a country house in Woodstock, England. Built in the early 1700s, it is one of England's largest houses. To my knowledge, there is not an IMPALA living at Blenheim Palace, but if it's well hidden, it's possible there is and it hasn't been discovered. Fun clue!
  • ELM (7D: The Liberty Tree, e.g.) The Liberty Tree was an ELM tree near Boston Common in Boston, Massachusetts which became a rallying point for colonists resisting British rule in the 1760s and 1770s. The Liberty Tree was cut down by a Loyalist in 1775. The Liberty Tree Plaza was opened in 2018 at the site where the ELM tree once stood.
  • DOG-PILE (21D: Group on top of a loose football) This answer reminded me of a story about my daughter. Two things you need to know about this story: 1) We don't own a TV, and 2) Neither my husband nor I are into sports. When my daughter was about five years old, we were out to eat at a restaurant that had a TV. I was seated with my back to the TV, and my daughter was across from me. All of a sudden my daughter said, "Mommy, those men are piled on top of each other!" I turned around and saw there was a football game on TV, and a DOG-PILE had just occurred. That was the moment we realized our daughter had never seen a football game! We explained that the men were playing a game. A few minutes later my daughter said, "Mommy, they're doing it again!"
  • ACHE (31D: Feeling after capoeira class, maybe) Capoeira is an Afro-Brazilian martial art combining elements of dance, acrobatics, and music.
  • HAM SALAD (37D: Nonkosher sandwich filling) This answer also reminded me of when my children were young. One of their favorite lunches was HAM SALAD served in an ice cream cone instead of on bread.
  • AVATAR (44D: Sci-fi movie that takes place on Pandora) AVATAR is a 2009 movie set in the mid-22nd century. In the movie, Pandora is a habitable moon in the Alpha Centauri star system.
  • GREY (52D: Alexandra of "Chicago Med") Alexandra GREY played the role of Denise Lockwood on the TV series, Chicago Med. She also played the roles of Melody Barnes on the TV series, Empire, and Parker Phillips in season 5 of the (2016-2021) TV series, MacGyver
  • CAT (54D: Colonel Meow, for one) Colonel Meow, a Himalayan-Persian CAT, was an internet celebrity known for his scowl and long fur. (He temporarily held the Guinness World Record for the longest fur on a cat in 2014.) Colonel Meow died in 2014. My cat, Willow, was delighted by this clue.
Geography review:
  • RAIDER (20A: Las Vegas football player) The Las Vegas RAIDERs are an NFL team, and play their home games at Allegiant Stadium in Paradise, Nevada.
A straightforward and delightful theme that I was able to guess from the title. An enjoyable set of theme answers here. I appreciated that the theme answers exhibited all of the possible breaks of the word COME. I like COMMON SENSE, both as a theme answer and when it is displayed by those NEARBY. And I wonder, "What was the COLOR SCHEME of your CHILDHOOD HOME?" I enjoyed the cluing today. In addition to those mentioned above, shoutout to APT (17A: Like the name Lily for a florist), BLOOD (23A: Word before "orange" or "bank"), and BITE ME (45D: "Kiss my grits!") Today is Neville Fogarty's first USA Today crossword (since I have been blogging, at any rate), so welcome! I have solved Neville's puzzles in other venues, and was happy to see his name on the puzzle today. This puzzle was a great way to begin my Thursday.
Thank you for all the love and support yesterday. It is a joy to write this blog every day and discuss the great USA Today crosswords! I mentioned yesterday that I would be telling you about some things I'm going to focus on in the upcoming year, and here's the first one. I've decided that on the 10th of every month I'm going to mention my website's Donate button. I find it awkward to talk about money, so I'm setting a specific day to do it each month. This blog will always be ad-free and available for free; I feel strongly about that. The Donate button is optional, but if you appreciate the blog and are in a position to do so, please consider "buying me a pizza" occasionally. (Some people say, "buy me a coffee," but I don't drink much coffee, and I love pizza!) And to those of you who have donated during the first year of SALLY'S TAKE, thank you so much! I appreciate you. (Okay, I did it. Now I don't have to talk about money for another month.)


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