January 26, 2022


Constructor: Zhouqin Burnikel

Editor: Erik Agard

Theme Answers:
HINGE DATE (18A: Possible result of sending a Rose)
HANDLE WITH CARE (48A: Warning on a fragile package)
LOCK HORNS (62A: Butt heads)

Theme synopsis: The first words of the theme answers are parts of a DOOR: HINGE, FRAME, HANDLE, and LOCK.

Things I learned:
  • AGEISM (23A: Old Lesbians Organizing for Change focus) The members of Old Lesbians Organizing for Change are all over 60 years old. The organization formed in 1987 and, according to their website, works to "confront AGEISM in our communities and our country," using education and public discourse. One of the projects of Old Lesbians Organizing for Change has been the Old Lesbian Oral Herstory Project, a collection of interviews of their members. I'm not quite over 60 yet, but in the past few years I have definitely become more cognizant of the threads of AGEISM embedded in our society. As a friend of mine put it, "Nothing is as invisible as a middle-aged woman."
  • OBOE (65A: Instrument for Elaine Douvas) Elaine Douvas is the principal OBOE for The Metropolitan Opera, and an OBOE instructor at The Juilliard School.
  • ORIGAMI (6D: Akira Yoshizawa's art) Considered the grandmaster of ORIGAMI, Akira Yoshizawa estimated that he created more than 50,000 ORIGAMI models in his lifetime. He is credited with elevating ORIGAMI from a craft to an art form. He also devised a system of symbols, arrows, and diagrams still used in ORIGAMI instruction. Akira Yoshizawa died in 2005 on his 94th birthday. The article I've linked to has some photos of his fabulous work.
  • ERICA (31D: Voice actress Mendez) ERICA Mendez's first major role was as the voice of Pac-man in the video game, Pac-man and the Ghostly Adventures. Since then she has voiced numerous characters in animated films and video games.
  • ADHD (41D: Black Girl Lost Keys subject) Black Girl Lost Keys is a blog with the tagline, "Black Neurodivergence, Mental Health, and More!" It is written by RenĂ© Brooks.
  • LOBE (55D: Place for a jhumka) Jhumka are a style of bell-shaped earrings (worn on the ear LOBE).
  • ICON (56D: "She's an ___, she's a legend and she is the moment) I had no trouble figuring out this answer, but I had no idea of the origin of this quote. (This is the risk of not watching TV and not being up on popular culture.) It appears this quote, "She's an ICON, she's a legend, and she is the moment," was originally said by TV host, Wendy Williams in 2019, referring to rapper Lil' Kim. Since then, the words have been used in multiple memes and have been used to refer to a number of subjects, including Peppa Pig.
  • BRIT (57D: ITV viewer, typically) Independent Television (ITV) is a BRITish TV network.
Random thoughts and interesting things:
  • HINGE DATE (18A: Possible result of sending a Rose) I learned about the HINGE dating app from the June 7, 2021 puzzle. HINGE has a feature that allows you to send someone a Rose - apparently indicating a strong interest, which may result in getting a HINGE DATE.
  • YEN 20A: Its symbol is the same as the yuan's) The YEN is the currency of Japan. The yuan is the base unit of a number of currencies used in past and present-day China. The symbol for both the YEN and the yuan is ¥.
  • ROE (36A: Eggs in a kaisen don) Kaisen don is a rice bowl dish inspired by chirashi (which we saw a few days ago as a clue for ROE).
  • SMU (38A: School in Dallas) Southern Methodist University (SMU) is located in University Park, Texas, a suburb of Dallas.
  • FBI (28A: COINTELPRO org.) COINTELPRO, a name derived from "Counter Intelligence Program," was a series of covert FBI projects aimed at disrupting and discrediting certain political organizations. The illegal operations were discovered as the result of a 1971 burglary in which an FBI office was broken into. I wrote about that burglary in my write-up of the December 8, 2021 puzzle
  • TET (51D: Longest Vietnamese holiday) The celebration of TET, also known as the Vietnamese Lunar New Year, celebrates the arrival of spring. The festivities usually last at least three days.

    Geography review:

    • ASIAN (26A: Seoulite or Tokyoite, for example) Seoul is the capital of South Korea. Tokyo is capital of Japan. South Korea and Japan are both in East Asia, making their residents and citizens ASIANS.
    • BASIN (34A: Great ___ (western U.S region)) Great BASIN refers to an area of the U.S. covering most of Nevada, and about half of Utah. The area also extends into parts of California, Idaho, Oregon, and Wyoming, as well as Baja California, Mexico. The area is notable for being a large area of watersheds with no outlets to the ocean.
    • OAHU (5D: Island home to the only royal palace in the U.S.) The Iolani Palace was the residence of the rulers of the Kingdom of Hawaii from 1845-1893. It is located in Honolulu, on the island of OAHU.
    • ALTO (59D: Palo ___, California) Palo ALTO, California is in the San Francisco Bay area. As I have noted previously, Palo ALTO is named after a tree.
    I enjoyed this creative theme. I particularly appreciated the fact that each DOOR part has a different meaning in the theme answer than it does when used to describe parts of a DOOR. That's a nice extra bit of elegance. HANDLE WITH CARE was the only theme answer I was immediately able to fill in without some help from crossing answers. In addition to the theme, I like the words FLUKE and SWOONED. This puzzle was an enjoyable way to begin my Wednesday.