May 4, 2022


Constructor: Zhouqin Burnikel

Editor: Erik Agard

Theme Answers:
HELLO KITTY (17A: Cartoon character with a red bow on her left ear)
PIANO KEYBOARD (23A: Part of a baby grand)
MARIO KART (51A: Game with a Bowser's Castle course)
NO KIDDING (61A: "Oh, really?")

Theme synopsis: The two words in each theme answer are connected by OK.

Things I learned:
  • FEY (37A: Ace Attorney character Maya) Ace Attorney is a series of adventure video games that have also been adapted to a movie and TV series. In the games, a player assumes the role of various defense attorneys. Maya FEY is a spirit medium who assists the playable character, defense attorney Phoenix Wright.
Random thoughts and interesting things:
  • HOSTS (1A: Brittany Luse and Eric Eddings, for "For Colored Nerds") For Colored Nerds is a weekly podcast "peeling back the layers of Black culture to reveal the heart and humor underneath." HOSTS Brittany Luse and Eric Eddings are joined by guests each week as they use "pop culture as a frame to dissect topics at the intersection of race, news, and everyday life." Brittany Luse and Eric Eddings started For Colored Nerds in 2014, and it originally ran until 2017, when the HOSTS began another podcast called The Nod. In 2021, they relaunched For Colored Nerds
  • MEAL (15A: Cha chaan teng offering) Cha chaan teng is a type of restaurant that originated in Hong Kong, and is sometimes referred to as Hong Kong-style cafe.
  • HELLO KITTY (17A: Cartoon character with a red bow on her left ear) HELLO KITTY, a character owned by the Japanese company Sanrio, made her first appearance in 1975 on a vinyl coin purse. HELLO KITTY is an anthropomorphic Japanese Bobtail cat, depicted with a red bow, and no mouth. Originally marketed at pre-teen girls, HELLO KITTY's fandom has expanded to include all ages. Some fun facts: HELLO KITTY's full name is KITTY White. She has a twin sister, Mimmy, who is depicted with a yellow bow. I was hoping there would be a
    Toby as Grogu (baby Yoda)
    cat-related clue in today's puzzle, so I could share a picture of my daughter and her cat, Toby. At my daughter's request, I recently made Toby a "baby Yoda" hat for Star Wars Day. May the 4th be with you today! (Toby is easy-going and has tolerated wearing a number of costumes over the years. I tried to get Willow to model the hat, but she would not have it!)
  • LESLIE (39A: WNBA great Lisa) Three-time WNBA MVP, Lisa LESLIE, played for the LOS Angeles Sparks from 1997-2009. She is currently the coach of BIG3 professional basketball team, the Triplets.
  • LOS (47A: The "L" in LA Galaxy) The LOS Angeles Galaxy, or LA Galaxy, are a professional soccer club. 
  • MARIO KART (51A: Game with a Bowser's Castle course) In the MARIO KART video games, players compete in go-kart races. The games feature characters from the MARIO franchise, as well as other gaming franchises such as Animal Crossing. Bowser is MARIO's archenemy, and the Bowser's Castle course (which appears in various iterations in a number of games) is based on some of the levels in the MARIO franchise video games.
  • TV AD (65A: Clio Award candidate) Clio Awards annually recognize innovation and creativity in advertising and design. Founded in 1959, the awards are named for the Greek goddess and mythological muse, Clio. You can view the 2022 Clio Award winning TV ADs here.
  • GMO (63D: Its G stands for "genetically") GMO = genetically modified organism

    Geography review:

    • CRIMSON (30A: National color of Nepal) CRIMSON is the background color of Nepal's flag, and is designated as the national color of the country. CRIMSON symbolizes courage, and is also the color of the rhododendron, Nepal's national flower.
    • BAJA (55A: ___ California Sur) BAJA California Sur is one of Mexico's 31 states. It is south of the Mexican state of BAJA California, and has coastline on the Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of California.
    Well, OK... I was able to easily drop in the theme answer HELLO KITTY, but needed to uncover a couple of more theme answers before spotting the common OK pattern and identifying the theme. HITS A SNAG, KIND OF, COCOON, and YOUR MOVE were enjoyable answers. The FAIR SHARE of today's puzzle was more than just OK, and it was a fine way to begin my Wednesday.