October 19, 2021

Title: ADD A CUP

Constructors: Brooke Husic & Mark Valdez

Editor: Amanda Rafkin

Theme Answers:
WORLD RECORD (17A: Something an elite athlete might set)
COFFEE GROUNDS (39A: Filters keep them out of espresso)
FRUIT ROLL-UP (62A: Sticky treat that might have a tongue tattoo)

Theme synopsis: You can ADD the word CUP to the first word of each theme answer to make a new phrase. We have WORLD CUP, COFFEE CUP, and FRUIT CUP.

And now a word from our constructors:
Mark: This one was one of my favorite puzzles to clue with Brooke, and I realize now there are a lot of music related answers/clues! We have 13A, 29A, 50A, 58A, 18D, and 59D (I always just hear the Demi Lovato song here). Had I known 13A had a new album to cry to this fall, I would have clued it with her new song "Easy on Me." Maybe I should put together a Spotify playlist to go along with this puzzle ... And, now I'm thinking about Matthew Stock's awesome karaoke Sunday NYT puzzle from February this year.
Brooke: I'm super honored that Mark included me on this theme idea! I definitely second him that we had a ton of fun cluing this together — I super admire his pop culture expertise and extremely funny voice. I very much love our music vibe in this one (just wait til you see our next collab) and I also think there's a nice sports vibe too with WORLD RECORD, Sunisa LEE, and Naomi OSAKA. And of course, Mark and I are both thrilled to clue SNAP as "Bend and Snap."

Things I learned:
  • DANIELLE (41D: Actress Brooks) DANIELLE Brooks played the role of Tasha "Taystee" Jefferson on the Netflix TV series, Orange is the New Black.
Random thoughts and interesting things:
  • ADELE (13A: "Rumour Has It" singer) Oh my goodness, this puzzle is an earworm festival! I'd say you could take your pick, but in my experience an earworm generally chooses you, not the other way around. As soon as I read this clue, I started singing (in my head because I was the only one awake), "Rumour has it...rumour has it...rumour has it..." This song is from ADELE's 2011 album, 21. As Mark mentioned in his notes, ADELE has a new album coming out next month. The first single from that album, "Easy on Me," was released a few days ago.
  • LEE (19A: Olympic gymnast Sunisa) Sunisa LEE won the all-around gymnastics gold medal at the 2020 Olympics (held in 2021). It was just a couple of weeks ago that we saw Sunisa LEE in the puzzle as a theme answer.
  • YMCA (29A: Village People song about where it's fun to stay) This clue provided my next earworm: "It's fun to stay at the YMCA/ It's fun to stay at the YMCA." "YMCA" was released in 1978, and was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2020. When we saw "YMCA" in the puzzle last year, I wrote about why I delegated my husband to chaperoning parties when our kids were in junior high.
  • OSAKA (43A: 2020 US Open champion Naomi) I'm always thrilled when I know the answer to a sports clue without the help of crossing answers. I admire Naomi OSAKA not only for her sports ability, but for the way she uses her platform to raise awareness and advocate for others. During the 2020 US Open, at the beginning of each of her seven matches, Naomi OSAKA wore a mask displaying the name of a Black person that was a victim of police or racist violence.
  • SNAP (50A: "Bend and ___" ("Legally Blonde" song)) "Bend and SNAP" is a song from the 2007 musical, "Legally Blonde." The musical is based on the novel by Amanda Brown and the movie of the same name
  • SINCE (58A: "___ U Been Gone" (Kelly Clarkson hit)) Kelly Clarkson recorded "Since U Been Gone" in 2004. 
  • FRUIT ROLL-UP (62A: Sticky treat that might have a tongue tattoo) This was a fun way to clue FRUIT ROLL-UP. Some FRUIT ROLL-UPs feature a temporary tattoo that you can transfer to your tongue. 
  • HSN (70A: QVC alternative) If you like to shop from home, both QVC (Quality Value Convenience) and HSN (Home Shopping Network) air TV shows featuring sales pitches for a variety of products. As of 2017, HSN is owned by QVC. 
  • MALALA (10D: Nobel laureate Yousafzai) MALALA Yousafzai was a co-recipient of the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize, sharing the prize with Kailash Satyarthi of India, for their work advocating for the right of all children to education.
  • RED (18D: Taylor Swift album with a color for a title) There's a plethora of earworm opportunities on Taylor Swift's 2012 album (rereleased in 2021), RED. Perhaps "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together," or (a frequent earworm of mine) "I Knew You Were Trouble" (when you walked in...)
  • MET GALA (26D: Museum ball that had a camp theme in 2019) The MET GALA is an annual fundraiser for the New York City's Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute. In case you missed the camp fashion of the 2019 MET GALA, BuzzFeed has a recap for you.
  • PAN (66D: David Rose's sexual orientation in "Schitt's Creek," for short) Dan Levy played the role of the PANsexual character, David Rose, on the TV show, Schitt's Creek.

    Geography review:
    • TULSA (69A: City in Oklahoma) In 2020, the Supreme Court ruled that a large part of eastern Oklahoma, including TULSA, is within a Native American reservation.
    • AUSTIN (47D: Texas city that hosts SXSW) SXSW, or South by Southwest, is a conglomeration of festivals - music, interactive media, and film - held in AUSTIN, Texas. SXSW is held annually when there is not a pandemic happening. 
    As per usual, and especially appropriate today, I enjoyed a CUP of tea while solving this puzzle. As I was summarizing the theme, I imagined someone eating a FRUIT CUP out of a COFFEE CUP while watching the WORLD CUP. In addition to all of the fun musical clues and answers today, I especially enjoyed the fill-in-the blank conversational clues. "I don't wanna hear a PEEP out of you!" "BEEN there, done that!" "Is that your CARD?" "No IFS, ands or buts!" and "Sorry NOT sorry." (Though not clued as the song, as Mark mentioned, here's some bonus music content: "Sorry NOT Sorry," the 2017 song by Demi Lovato.) This puzzle was PERFECTO - a great way to begin my Tuesday.
    One more thing: Last night I had the absolute joy of being the featured solver for Boswords. I enjoyed chatting with Andrew Kingsley and the constructor of this week's puzzle, Byron Walden. You can find last night's broadcast on the Boswords Twitch channel, and I'll share the clip of the interview once it's available.