August 10, 2021


Constructor: Erik Agard

Editor: Erik Agard

Theme Answers:
COLOR EDITIONS (20A: Versions that aren't black-and-white)
PUEBLO REVOLT DAY (39A: Hopi observance on Aug. 10)
CENTRAL OREGON (53A: Middle region of the Beaver State)

Theme synopsis: Each theme answer contains INSIDE KNOWLEDGE, specifically, the word LORE.

Things I learned:
  • PUEBLO REVOLT DAY (39A: Hopi observance on Aug. 10) Over a decade ago, the Hopi tribal council voted to recognize August 10 as PUEBLO REVOLT DAY. (Along with this decision, they chose to no longer recognize Columbus Day as a holiday.) PUEBLO REVOLT DAY commemorates the PUEBLO REVOLT of 1680, which dislodged Spain (albeit temporarily) from the area now known as New Mexico. According to Joseph Aguilar, an archaeologist, "The revolt's biggest legacy is that it allowed people to remain in their homelands and maintain sovereignty, language, culture." I appreciate learning this piece of history, especially today, on PUEBLO REVOLT DAY.
  • O'NEAL (21D: "Super Fly" star Ron) In the 1972 movie Super Fly, Ron O'NEAL played the role of Youngblood Priest, a cocaine dealer in Harlem who is trying to quit the drug business. O'NEAL reprised the role in the 1973 movie Super Fly T.N.T.
  • DRESS (52D: Bodycon garment) A bodycon DRESS is a close-fitting garment made of stretchy fabric. Bodycon may stand for "body confidence," "body contouring," or "body conscious," depending on what article you're reading.
Random thoughts and interesting things:
  • SMITH (8A: Rocker Willow) Willow SMITH, also known mononymously as WILLOW, released her first single, "Whip My Hair," in 2010 when she was 10 years old. The song reached number 11 on Billboard's Hot 100 chart. Willow SMITH is the daughter of Will SMITH and Jada Pinkett SMITH.
  • GURU (16A: ___ Nanak) I learned about GURU Nanak, the founder of Sikhism, from the July 19, 2020 puzzle
  • SAGA (45A: Story of significant length) I liked seeing SAGA in this hidden LORE puzzle. The two words feel related to me.
  • AUNT (48A: Family member such as Sally in the mnemonic PEMDAS) Speaking of being related... This is such a fun way to clue the word AUNT! (I'm not just saying that because the clue has my name in it.) PEMDAS is a mnemonic device for remembering the correct order to perform mathematical operations. PEMDAS, or Please Excuse My Dear AUNT Sally, is a reminder of Parentheses, Exponents, Multiplication, Division, Addition, Subtraction. The "family member" hint allows a solver to figure out the answer even if they're unfamiliar with the PEMDAS mnemonic.
  • ANT (46A: Non-bee insect with a queen) And now for a different kind of ANT. I wrote about the queen ANT in August of last year
  • EIDI (54D: Holiday money) EIDI is a gift of money given as part of the celebration of the Muslim holidays Eid-al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha.
  • NINE (59D: Two plus three plus four) Someone snuck math into our word puzzle! (For the record, I'm a fan.)
Geography review:
  • IRAQ (10A: Country whose official languages are Arabic and Kurdish) Prior to 2005, Arabic was the only official language in IRAQ. Kurdish was added as an official language when the new Constitution of IRAQ was approved. Three languages are recognized as minority languages: Turkmen, Syriac, and Armenian.
  • STL (27A: City where Moses Dickson started the Knights of Liberty, for short) and LOUIS (25D: The L in 27-Across) Moses Dickson and eleven other men created the secret organization Knights of Liberty in 1846 in ST. LOUIS, Missouri. The organization planned an uprising against slavery, but as the time of the planned uprising neared, it became obvious to the leaders that Civil War was imminent. The organization then used its network to help escaped slaves traveling via the Underground Railroad.
  • GREECE (43A: Neighbor of Albania) In addition to Albania, GREECE is a neighbor of North Macedonia, Bulgaria, and Turkey.
  • CENTRAL OREGON (53A: Middle region of the Beaver State) CENTRAL OREGON is made up of three counties in the middle of the state - Deschutes, Jefferson, and Crook counties. OREGON is nicknamed "The Beaver State," in recognition of the importance of the fur trade on the state's economy at the time it became a state. 
The puzzle's title tipped me off to look for a hidden word, and LORE was a nice find. As I mentioned above, I appreciated learning that today is PUEBLO REVOLT DAY. The other two theme answers are serviceable, but not flashy, and I'm okay with that to highlight the central theme answer. I imagine I'm not the only solver who is learning this piece of history from this puzzle. Let's hear it for educating ourselves and not being IGNORANT (10D: Uninformed). 
The first thing I noticed about today's puzzle was the grid shape - I really like the "eye" shape in the center. The puzzle has 180-degree rotational symmetry, but it almost has left-right and top-bottom mirror symmetry as well. It's quite striking. This puzzle was an enjoyable way to begin my Tuesday.
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