July 3, 2021


Constructor: Stella Zawistowski

Editor: Amanda Rafkin

Theme Answers:
BILL RUSSELL (17A: Celtics center who was a 12-time All-Star)
COIN FLIPS (33A: "Heads or tails" tosses)
STORE AWAY (44A: Put aside for later)
MENU OPTIONS (60A: Save, Undo and Print, e.g.)

Theme synopsis: The first word of each theme answer can follow the word DOLLAR. Our FISTFUL OF DOLLARS includes a DOLLAR BILL, a DOLLAR COIN, the DOLLAR STORE, and a DOLLAR MENU.

Things I learned:
  • BILL RUSSELL (17A: Celtics center who was a 12-time All-Star) During BILL RUSSELL's 13-year career (1956-1969) as center for the Boston Celtics, the team won 11 NBA championships. BILL RUSSELL was also the captain of Team USA at the 1956 Summer Olympics, where the team won the gold medal. In 2017, the NBA began awarding a Lifetime Achievement Award to honor extraordinary success on and off the court. BILL RUSSELL was the inaugural recipient of the award. There is a statue of BILL RUSSELL on City Hall Plaza in Boston.
  • MOO (64A: ___ yang (Thai grilled pork)) MOO yang is a Thai dish of pork chops that have been marinated and are then grilled. According to Mink, who blogs at Let's Cook Some Food, and is originally from Bangkok, in Thai, "MOO" means "pig" or "pork," and "yang" means grill.
  • CBS NEWS (20D: Norah O'Donnell's employer) Norah O'Donnell is an anchor for CBS Evening NEWS, and a correspondent for 60 Minutes. Norah O'Donnell has received two News & Documentary Emmy Awards for her work: Outstanding Live Coverage of a Breaking News Story in 2008 as part of the NBC News Election Night coverage team, and Outstanding Investigative Report in a Newscast in 2018 for her six-month investigation and report on "Sexual Assault in the Air Force Academy," which aired on CBS This Morning
  • ELI (45D: Jazz saxophonist ___ "Lucky" Thompson) ELI "Lucky" Thompson played alto and soprano saxophone. His jazz renditions included elements of swing and bebop.
Random thoughts and interesting things:
  • SAD (25A: Like the blue emotion in "Inside Out") In the 2015 Pixar animated movie, Inside Out, a young girl's emotions are depicted as colorful beings. SADness, voiced by Phyllis Smith, is blue. Inside Out is one of my favorite animated movies, and I've been collecting puzzle mentions of the emotions. Anger (red) was the first to make an appearance, followed by Fear (purple). Keep an eye out for Joy (yellow) and Disgust (green).
  • PANEL (37A: "Top Chef" group) Top Chef is a reality competition TV series that first premiered in 2006, and is still in production. Throughout each season, chefs compete in culinary challenges which are judged by a PANEL of professional chefs.
  • MENA (41A: Actress Suvari) I learned about MENA Suvari from the December 11, 2020 puzzle. At that time I noted her acting credits include multiple movies and TV shows that include the word "American" in the title (5 movies, 4 TV shows). In 2000, Entertainment Weekly chose her as the most "patriotic" artist of 2000 in reference to this trend, and at that time she had only starred in three movies with the word "American" in the title: American Pie, American Beauty, and American Virgin
  • STILL (48A: "___ I Rise ") "STILL I Rise" is a poem by Maya Angelou, first published in her 1978 book of poetry, And STILL I Rise
  • ARE (49A: "___ You My Mother?") This was a fun way to clue the word ARE. ARE You My Mother? is a classic children's picture book by P.D. Eastman. ARE You My Mother? is also a 2010 album by indie rock musician, Kathryn Calder. ARE You My Mother? is also a 2012 graphic memoir by Alison Bechdel (who also wrote Fun Home). 
  • APE (70A: Bonobo, e.g.) The bonobo is an endangered species of great APE, threatened by commercial poaching as well as habitat destruction. The bonobo is in the same genus as the chimpanzee.
  • SELA (6D: "FBI" actress Ward) FBI is a TV series which premiered in 2018. The show centers on a New York office of the FBI. During the first season of the show, SELA Ward played Special Agent in Charge Dana Mosier.
  • KIDS (29D: "Silly rabbit, Trix are for ___!") Fun clue! The Trix rabbit has been the mascot of Trix cereal since 1955. Before the "Silly Rabbit" was an animated character, he was a hand puppet. The tagline, "Silly rabbit, Trix are for KIDS!" was written by illustrator Joe Harris, who also created the character Underdog.
  • SOO (63D: Phillipa of "Hamilton") Phillipa SOO originated the role of Eliza Hamilton in the Broadway production of Hamilton
Geography review:
  • SCOT (36D: Person from Edinburgh) Edinburgh is the capital of SCOTland. One of Edinburgh's nicknames is "Athens of the North."
  • TAMPA (53D: City that's home to the Gasparilla Pirate Festival) The Gasparilla Pirate Festival has been held in TAMPA, Florida since 1904. An invasion by the mythical pirate, José Gaspar, or Gasparilla, is the theme of the festivities which include a parade. The 2021 festival was canceled, but the 2022 Gasparilla Pirate Festival is scheduled for January 29.
We're rich! Well, four DOLLARs may not exactly classify us as rich, but they do make for an enjoyable theme for a puzzle. In addition to the theme, I liked the duo of TRI- answers, TRICYCLE and TRIDENTS, and I find myself hungry for grilled pork and TAMALES, paired with a refreshing LIMEADE. This puzzle was a delightful way to begin my Saturday.