March 26, 2022


Constructors: Amanda Rafkin & Brooke Husic

Editor: Erik Agard

Theme Answers:
PATTI LUPONE (15A: Actress in the 2021 Broadway revival of "Company")
PANTYHOSE (26A: Alternative to stockings)
PANIC MODE (43A: High-urgency mindset)
PARKING ZONE (56A: Carpool lot, for example)

Theme synopsis: The word PANE is BROKEN by each theme answer.

And now a word from our constructors:
Brooke and Amanda: Seems like some major cleanup is needed after it went down. Hope you enjoy this musical-heavy puzzle :)

Things I learned:
  • RAGE (45A: "Afro Puffs" rapper The Lady of ___) "Afro Puffs" was released in 1994, and was The Lady of RAGE's first single. The song's title is a reference to the afro puffs hairstyle.
  • SLOANE (60A: Tennis champion Stephens) SLOANE Stephens has won seven WTA (Women's Tennis Association) championships, including the US Open in 2017.
  • ASHA (20D: Singer Bhosie) ASHA Bhosie's work includes traditional Indian classical music, pop, film music, qawwali (Islamic devotional singing), and folk music.
  • ESPY (28D: Award for Chris Nikic) At the 2021 ESPY Awards, Chris Nikic was awarded the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance for being the first person with Down syndrome to complete an Ironman triathlon. I recommend spending four and a half minutes of your day watching his ESPY acceptance speech
Random thoughts and interesting things:
  • PATTI LUPONE (15A: Actress in the 2021 Broadway revival of "Company") Best known for her appearances in stage musicals, PATTI LUPONE was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame in 2006. She has won two Tony Awards, two Olivier Awards, and two Grammy Awards. She is currently starring on Broadway as Joanne in Stephen Sondheim's musical, Company. I was excited to see this clue and answer. Although I have never seen Company, my husband and I have tickets to see it on Broadway in June!
  • I AM (33A: "___ Her" (Shea Diamond song) Shea Diamond wrote "I AM Her" while she was in prison, incarcerated after robbing a convenience store hoping to get money to pay for gender affirming surgery. This Billboard article tells more of Shea Diamond's story. I first learned about Shea Diamond from the May 4, 2021 puzzle. 
  • TET (34A: Holiday when xoi gac is served) Xôi is a Vietnamese dish made from glutinous rice. Gấc is a type of melon with a vivid red-orange color. Combine the two to get xôi gấc, a sticky rice dish with a bright red color that may be served for celebrations of TET, the Vietnamese Lunar New Year.
  • CATSIT (49A: Scoop litter at someone else's house) When we return
    home after having someone CATSIT, Willow lets us know that she is less than pleased. That is why she's ignoring this answer. 
  • BANANAS (51A: Fruits in Samoan poi) Samoan poi is a dessert made by mashing BANANAS with coconut milk. It is usually eaten chilled.
  • ARI (55A: "Pressure" singer Lennox) "Pressure" is a 2021 song by ARI Lennox. The music video pays homage to Diana Ross and Donna Summer.
  • MAN (62A: "The ___-Moth" (Elizabeth Bishop poem inspired by a misprint of "mammoth") It was just last month that we saw Elizabeth Bishop as a theme answer in a puzzle. Her puzzle "The Man-Moth" was inspired by a New York Times typo.
  • BLUE (9D: Crow Nation flag color) The flag of the Crow Nation is light BLUE, with the tribal seal in the center. 

    Geography review:

    • SAN (1A: ___ Francisco) SAN Franciso, California has several nicknames, including "The City by the Bay," "Golden Gate City," and "Fog City."
    • MANGO TREE (7D: National symbol of Bangladesh) Bangladesh is a country in Southeast Asia. Its capital is Dhaka. Since 2010, the MANGO TREE has been the national TREE of Bangladesh.
    • NOVA (52D: ___ Scotia) NOVA Scotia is one of Canada's 13 provinces and territories. It is the second-smallest province, only larger than Prince Edward Island. Forty-five percent of NOVA Scotia's population lives in its capital, Halifax. Although it's been almost 33 years (!) since I've visited NOVA Scotia, it holds a special place in my heart, as my husband and I spent our honeymoon there.
    I hope you didn't have bare feet while solving this puzzle! This is a classic split word theme, and is executed with a great set of theme answers. PANIC MODE is my favorite. I also really enjoy this grid shape. The grid is symmetrical, and I find the design pleasing, especially the almost-diamond pattern in the center part of the grid. My favorite clue today is the one for KNEE (24A: Joint that a Lego person lacks). This puzzle was an enjoyable way to begin my Saturday.