June 14, 2022


Constructor: Ada Nicolle

Editor: Erik Agard

Theme Answers:
ADDED BONUS (16A: Something extra, redundantly)
MONUMENTS (24A: Commemorative statues)
IT'S ON US (37A: "We're paying!")
CONUNDRUM (46A: Dilemma)
COCONUT OIL (57A: Product used in cooking and hair care)

Theme synopsis: Each theme answer contains the word UNO in REVERSE.

Things I learned:
  • SCI (30D: "___ Show" (online educational series)) SCIShow (stylized as SciShow) is a YouTube channel producing videos with educational content in a number of scientific fields including chemistry, physics, biology, zoology, geology, math, and computer science. SCIShow originally launched in 2012, and now includes the additional channels: SCIShow SpaceSCIShow Kids!, and SCIShow Psych. I do love science; I'll have to check out these videos.
Random thoughts and interesting things:
  • POLKA (13A: Genre for Weird Al) My first thought here was "parody," but since that didn't fit, I remembered that Weird Al Yankovic is also known for his POLKA medleys. Here are two of Weird Al's POLKA creations: "The Hamilton POLKA" and "Bohemian POLKA."
  • ARENA (31A: Scotiabank ___ (Maple Leafs' home) The Toronto Maple Leafs are an NHL team. Their home ARENA is the Scotiabank ARENA in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Ada Nicolle, who is Canadian, provided us with Canada-related content today in this clue and BUMS (17D: Behinds, in Canada). 
  • CPR (33A: Procedure done at 100-120 BPM) This clue completely confused me when I first read it, and made perfect sense when I uncovered the answer - a great AHA! moment.  It is recommended that (for adults) the chest compressions of CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) be performed at a rate of 100-120 beats per minute (BPM). If you are ever in a position of needing to perform CPR, start singing the Bee Gees song, "Stayin' Alive." Not only will it be motivational for the task at hand, the rhythm is 104 BPM. (And yes, this trick to keep the beat is recommended by the American Heart Association.)
  • ISAAC (45A: Poe Dameron actor Oscar) Poe Dameron is a character in Star Wars. He made his first appearance, played by Oscar ISAAC, in the 2015 movie, Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
  • DRUM (50A: Instrument for Cindy Blackman Santana) Cindy Blackman Santana is a jazz and rock drummer. She has performed with many different musicians, including being the tour drummer for Lenny Kravitz for 17 years. Since 2010 she has been the tour drummer for Santana. Several months after she joined the Santana tour, Carlos Santana proposed to Cindy Blackman during a concert, following her DRUM solo. They have been married since December 2010. 
  • ANKH (61A: Hieroglyphic meaning "life") An ANKH has a cross shape, but the upper vertical bar is replaced with a loop: . As the clue informs us, the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic was used to represent "life."
  • COUNT (62A: Chocula's title) In 1971, General Mills introduced its line of "monster cereals." The three mainstays of this line that is released seasonally around Halloween are: COUNT Chocula, Franken Berry, and Boo Berry. Two other cereals have occasionally been produced in this line: Fruit Brute and Fruity Yummy Mummy. In commercials (which I remember seeing as a child, so they are now retro...), the mascots of the cereals are often portrayed bickering about which cereal is the best...until something scares them. Although I missed it, last year - to commemorate 30 years of monster cereals - General Mills released a Monster Mash cereal. 
  • PODCASTER (2D: Gene Demby for "Code Switch," for one) Code Switch is a weekly NPR podcast featuring journalists of color having "the fearless conversations about race that you've been waiting for." PODCASTER Gene Demby is a co-host of Code Switch. I enjoyed reading this recent Q&A with Gene Demby in which he completed the sentence, "Race relations in the U.S. over the past two years have been nothing if not..." with a single word, "clarifying."
  • RUN-ON (6D: Too-long sentence) As a writer, my goal is to avoid RUN-ON sentences and when I actually want to write one as an example it is difficult to make myself do so in fact it's quite painful! Whew.
  • ARES (12D: God whose name is an anagram of his sister, Ersa) As you know, solving crossword puzzles is a great way to learn things. For example, crossword puzzles have taught me a lot about sports - "(Almost) everything I know about sports I learned from crosswords." Another area I've learned about primarily from crosswords is ancient Greek gods. ARES is the Greek god of courage and war. His parents were Zeus (god of the sky and thunder and King of the Gods) and Hera (goddess of women and Queen of the Gods). ARES had many siblings, one of whom was Ersa, the personification of dew. Ersa was the half-sister of ARES; her parents were Zeus and Selene (goddess of the Moon).

    Geography review:

    • OHIO (53A: State where "Glee" was set) Remember Glee? The six seasons of the TV series originally aired from 2009-2015. Glee was centered on a show choir (or glee club) at the fictional William McKinley High School in Lima, OHIO. Although the show was set in OHIO, it was filmed at Paramount Studios and Helen Bernstein High School in Hollywood. Here's a fun fact about Lima, OHIO: It was the hometown of comedian and actress Phyllis Diller.
    Anyone up for a game of UNO? The REVERSE card is one of my favorite UNO cards, as I appreciate the silliness of changing the direction of gameplay - particularly fun when several REVERSE cards are played in succession. This theme was a fun play on UNO REVERSE. My favorite theme answer was CONUNDRUM; such a delightful word. As an ADDED BONUS, the puzzle has tons of enjoyable fill: OLD SCHOOL, PORCUPINE, SNOOPS, and PEGASUS, just to name a few. Thank you, Ada, for this puzzle; it was a terrific way to begin my Tuesday. 


    Post a Comment