August 17, 2021


Constructor: Zhouqin Burnikel

Editor: Erik Agard

Theme Answers:
SUPER DUPER (17A: Terrific)
FAT ACTIVISM (31A: Movement that advocates against systemic weight bias)
RUBY BRIDGES (50A: "Through My Eyes" autobiographer)
BLACK GRAPE (68A: Dark-colored fruit)

Theme synopsis: The first word of each theme answer can be placed in front of the word TUESDAY to form a new phrase. We have SUPER TUESDAY, FAT TUESDAY, RUBY TUESDAY, and BLACK TUESDAY.

Things I learned:
  • ESPY (49A: 2019 award for Allysa Seely) Allysa Seely is a paratriathlete. She won a gold medal for Team USA at the 2016 Summer Paralympics, the first Paralympics at which the paratriathlon was an event. In 2019, Allysa Seely was awarded a Best Female Athlete with a Disability ESPY.
  • DARA (59A: Swimmer Torres) DARA Torres competed in five Olympic Games - 1984, 1988, 1992, 2000, and 2008 - winning at least one medal at each Olympics. She has won a total of 12 Olympic medals: four gold, four silver, and four bronze. I am certain I've heard DARA Torres's name before, but I could not come up with it and was grateful for the help of crossing answers.
Random thoughts and interesting things:
  • TOM (36A: Male cat) Last week I shared a photo of
    Willow doing her Smudge the Cat impersonation. While we were in Seattle, I happened to take a photo of one of my son's cats, Mister (a TOM cat), in the same pose.
  • KNEAD (42A: Jiaozi recipe verb) Jiaozi are a kind of dumpling consisting of ground meat and/or vegetable filling wrapped in a thinly rolled piece of dough. In making jiaozi, the dough is KNEADed.
  • RUBY BRIDGES (50A: "Through My Eyes" autobiographer) The 1999 book, Through My Eyes, uses photographs, quotations, and RUBY's own words to tell the story of RUBY BRIDGES, the first Black child to attend William Frantz Elementary School in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1960.
  • UNITED (63A: The U in UNCF) The UNITED Negro College Fund (UNCF) provides scholarships for Black students.
  • EELS (73A: Fishes sometimes steamed with douchi) Douchi is also known as fermented black soybeans. 
  • DOSAS (74A: Pancakes sometimes filled with paneer) DOSAS are thin pancakes in South Indian cuisine made from a fermented batter of lentils and rice. Paneer is a cheese similar to cottage cheese.
  • POSE (1D: Navasana, e.g.) Navasana is a seated asana in yoga also known as Full Boat POSE.
  • SMILES (12D: Says "Kimchi!") Photographers often instruct their subjects to "say cheese!" because  doing so forces one to bring their teeth together in a way that opens up the lips. What do photographers in Korea ask people to say in order to elicit SMILES? As the clue informs us, it's "kimchi!" Read this article to discover in which countries photographers ask their subjects to say the equivalent of "apple," "marmoset," "omelette," and "eggplant."
  • HARLEM (13D: Neighborhood with an early 20th-century Renaissance) The HARLEM Renaissance was an intellectual, social, and artistic movement in the 1920s and 1930s.
  • KICK (26D: Shaolin move) Shaolin Kung Fu, which I learned about from the April 18, 2021 puzzle, is one of the oldest styles of kung fu.
  • TIRES (58D: Foursome on a golf cart) Ha! This clue misdirected me, stumped me, and then made me laugh.
  • CIA (69D: School with Baking and Pastry Arts degrees, for short) This CIA is not the Central Intelligence Agency, but rather the Culinary Institute of America, whose primary campus is in Hyde Park, New York.
Geography review:
  • OMAN (14A: Sultanate in the Arab League) The full name of OMAN is the Sultanate of OMAN. The capital of OMAN is Muscat.
When I see a puzzle constructed by Zhouqin Burnikel on a day other than Sunday or Wednesday, I know there's probably a specific reason - such as running a TUESDAY PUZZLE on the corresponding day of the week. When I first saw the title of today's puzzle, I wondered if it was truly the title, or a placeholder that hadn't gotten replaced with the real title. (I was reminded of Zhouqin Burnikel's FOUR BY FOUR puzzle that was originally posted as if it were constructed by "FOUR.") The theme answers here are all stellar and seemingly unrelated, making for a beautiful "Aha!" moment when I looked at the completed puzzle and said, "SUPER DUPER? SUPER TUESDAY!" In the puzzle's own words: LET'S BE REAL, this theme...IT'LL DO. I also enjoyed the answer I IMAGINE SO. That I-I looked like it must be wrong when I first filled it in. This TUESDAY PUZZLE was a delightful way to begin my TUESDAY.