Title: MINOR IN
Constructor: Zhouqin Burnikel
Editor: Erik Agard
ALTERNATE ENDING (17A: DVD extra)
QUITE ENOUGH (39A: An ample amount)
PRIVATE ENTRANCE (62A: Feature of some apartments)
Theme synopsis: There is a MINOR IN each theme answer, IN the form of the word TEEN bridging the two words in each answer.
Things I learned:
- EVA (47A: Bree Runway's "2000and4___") I learned about hip hop artist, Bree Runway, from the June 26, 2021 puzzle. I did not learn (or did not remember), however, that her debut mixtape, released in November 2020, was titled 2000and4EVA.
- SUMO (58A: Rikishi's wrestling) "Rikishi" is a term for a professional SUMO wrestler. Rikishi live by a set of strict lifestyle rules, including growing their hair long.
- RYE (18D: Grain for Borodinsky bread) Borodinsky bread is a sourdough RYE loaf of Russian origin. The bread is traditionally flavored with coriander and caraway seeds, and sweetened with molasses.
Random thoughts and interesting things:
- NENE (14A: Quotable Leakes) NENE Leakes was an original cast member on the reality TV series, The Real Housewives of Atlanta. She is known for her zingers and one-liners, such as, "Why be so nasty and rude, when I can be so fierce and so successful?"
- OSAKA (16A: Tennis player who lit the Olympic cauldron in 2021) A native of Japan, Naomi OSAKA was chosen to light the Olympic cauldron during the opening ceremony of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics on July 23, 2021.
- ALTERNATE ENDING (17A: DVD extra) This answer reminds me of the fabulous movie, Clue, which, inspired by the game on which it is based, has three possible endings. I saw Clue in the movie theater when it first came out. Each theater received one of the three ALTERNATE ENDINGs. The advantage of watching the movie now on DVD or via streaming services, is that you get to see all three possible endings. Here's a fun fact about the movie Clue: The movie's set was bought by the producers of the TV series, Dynasty, who used it as a hotel set.
- DOG (50A: Wasabi the Pekingese, e.g.) Wasabi the Pekingese won the 2021 Westminster DOG Show. In 2019, Wasabi won the American Kennel Club National Championship.
- TACO (66A: Choco ___ (rhyming dessert)) Made by Good Humor-Breyers, and marketed under the Klondike brand, a Choco TACO consists of a waffle cone-like shell filled with vanilla ice cream, fudge, peanuts, and a milk chocolate coating. The Choco TACO was invented in the 1980s, but wasn't available nationwide until 1996.
- PURR (67A: Happy kitty sound) Willow is definitely a happy kittytwo days in a row. Appropriately, as I was typing this, Willow hopped up on the back of my chair and began to PURR in my ear.
- ARAB (6D: The ___ American News (Dearborn-based newspaper)) Dearborn, Michigan - part of the Detroit metropolitan area - has the largest proportion of ARAB Americans in the United States. The ARAB American National Museum is located in Dearborn, and features a gallery about prominent ARAB-Americans including Helen Thomas and Ralph Nader. The ARAB American News has been published since 1984.
- OVEN (57A: Appliance for roasting kabocha) Kabocha is a type of winter squash. It is sometimes referred to as Japanese pumpkin, due to its squat, pumpkin-like shape. Its skin is deep green with lighter colored stripes.
- MEAL (59D: Yum cha, for example) Yum cha, a MEAL involving dim sum and tea, is the Cantonese equivalent of going out for brunch.
- TUNIS (9A: African capital on the Mediterranean) Tunis is the capital and largest city of Tunisia. We saw TUNIS in the puzzle just over a week ago, so you may remember that Tunisia is the northernmost country in Africa.
Today's MINOR is not Spanish or math, or some other academic subject, but rather a MINOR in the sense of not yet being an adult, but still a TEEN. I'm feeling smart today for guessing the theme approach from the title before I began solving. This does not happen often, so I'm going to enjoy that feeling for a bit! I enjoyed the EDIT/DELETE crossing in the upper left corner. I don't enjoy encountering a QUAGMIRE in real life, but it was great to see it in the puzzle. This is another asymmetrical offering from Zhouqin Burnikel. The asymmetry today is so slight one could easily overlook it; it results from the one black square at the junction of ETS and ATE IN. I'm guessing that square made that section easier to fill. This puzzle was a fine way to begin my Wednesday.
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