Title: THE SKIES WILL BREAK
Constructor: Neville Fogarty
Editor: Amanda Rafkin
SKELETON KEY (20A: One can open many locks)
SKETCH COMEDY (35A: "I Think You Should Leave" genre)
SKULDUGGERY (52A: Trickery)
Theme synopsis: The word SKY is broken by each theme answer.
Things I learned:
- BAHA (15A: ___ Men (junkanoo band)) A junkanoo is a street parade featuring music, dance, and costumes. The celebration originated in the Caribbean, where the parades are often held on Boxing Day and New Year's Day. The BAHA Men are a junkanoo band from the Bahamas. I thought I was unfamiliar with the BAHA Men, but discovered they sang the song, "Who Let the Dogs Out," which won a 2001 Grammy Award for Best Dance Recording, and is often heard at sporting events.
- ERIC (60A: Serena's brother on "Gossip Girl") Gossip Girl is a TV show based on a series of novels of the same name. The series is narrated by the title character, an omniscient blogger voiced by Kristen Bell. Gossip Girl originally aired from 2007-2012, and was rebooted in 2021. ERIC van der Woodsen is a recurring character played by Connor Paolo.
- OVEN (61A: "Why do they call it ___ when you of in the cold food of out hot eat the food?" (internet meme)) According to Know Your Meme, this question was asked on Twitter in 2018, but became popular when someone combined the question with a Garfield comic frame showing Jon putting food in the OVEN while Garfield looks on. Now that I see the meme, I'm pretty sure I've seen it before. Fortunately, the answer was fairly inferable (once I made sense of the grammar-challenged question).
- KATE MARA (36D: "The Martian" actress) The Martian is a 2015 movie based on the 2011 novel of the same name by Andy Weir. The movie centers on NASA's attempts to bring home an astronaut stranded on Mars. KATE MARA plays the role of astronaut and system operator, Beth Johanssen.
- MEI (38D: Overwatch climatologist) Dr. MEI-Ling Zhou is a playable character in the video game Overwatch. MEI is a climatologist looking to preserve the environment and ecosystem, and has weather-altering devices that can be used to combat opponents.
- ONEIDA (44D: People whose men wear a gustoweh) A gustoweh is a traditional fitted hat worn by ONEIDA men, as well as by men in the other Haudenosaunee nations, the Mohawk, Onondaga, Cayuga, and Seneca. The gustoweh is decorated with hawk, pheasant, or turkey feathers.
Random thoughts and interesting things:
- OPEN (9A: "___ Water" (Caleb Azumah Nelson book)) I have previously written about OPEN Water.
- RIOT(13A: ___ grrrl (feminist punk movement)) I learned about the RIOT grrrl movement from the January 29, 2021 puzzle.
- SELES (24A: Monica who won nine Grand Slam singles titles) Monica SELES is regarded as one of the greatest tennis players of all time, and was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2009. In 1993, after she had won eight Grand Slam singles titles, Monica SELES was stabbed by an obsessed fan of Steffi Graf during a quarterfinal match in Germany, leading to a two-year hiatus from professional tennis. Monica SELES won the 1996 Australian Open, her ninth Grand Slam title.
- SKETCH COMEDY (35A: "I Think You Should Leave" genre) I Think You Should Leave is a Netflix SKETCH COMEDY show created by Tim Robinson and Zach Kanin. Many of the show's sketches involve someone making an embarrassing mistake and refusing to admit it.
- EDM (51A: Club music genre) EDM, or electric dance music, is a broad label for percussive electronic music that includes the genres dance-pop, house, techno, trance, drum and bass, dubstep, and trap.
- NOVELS (3D: Jesmyn Ward creations) Jesmyn Ward is a professor of creative writing at Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana. Her NOVELS include Where the Line Bleeds (2008), Salvage the Bones (2011), Sing, Unburied, Sing (2017), and Navigate Your Stars (2020). Two of her NOVELS, Salvage the Bones and Sing, Unburied, Sing won National Book Awards for Fiction.
- SIXES (19D: At ___ and sevens (in disarray)) I was curious about the origin of the idiom, "at SIXES and sevens." As with many idioms, the exact origin is difficult to trace. "At SIXES and sevens," may have its origins in a dice game played in the 1300s in which throwing on a six or seven meant risking your entire fortune.
- PETS (33D: Garfield and Odie, to Jon) As a Garfield fan, I appreciated this clue when
I first read it, but when I learned more about the OVEN meme, I appreciated it even more as a subtle cross-reference. Over the years, my family has had a variety of PETS - cats, dogs, guinea pigs, fish, a gerbil, and a hedgehog - but at the moment, our cat, Willow, is our sole pet (and she is quite content with this situation). If you would like your PETS featured on SALLY'S TAKE, send me a photo and a brief description, and I will happily work them into the blog when an opportunity presents itself. Thank you to those that have already taken me up on this offer. It has been fun to have photos of PETS arrive in my inbox!
- DUET (54D: "Islands in the Stream," e.g.) "Islands in the Stream," is a 1983 DUET sung by Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton. The song was written by the Bee Gees, who released a version of it in 2001.
- EURO (14A: Currency in Ireland) Yesterday we saw EURO clued as [Currency in Germany]. Ireland and Germany are two of the 19 European countries that use the EURO as their currency.
- ACADIA (42A: Maine national park) ACADIA National Park is located on the Atlantic coast of Maine, and includes parts of several islands off the coast. ACADIA was established as a park in 1919. It includes Cadillac Mountain, the tallest mountain on the eastern coastline. I've mentioned previously that my husband and I are on a quest to visit as many National Parks as we can. ACADIA is one we haven't been to yet. I look forward to exploring it one day.
"THE SKIES WILL BREAK" is a 2016 song by Corrine Bailey Rae, and it makes a fun theme for this puzzle. I love the theme answer SKULDUGGERY; it's such a great word! Other enjoyable answers: SKIN DEEP, E-HARMONY, TEAMED, and OINKED. Thank you, Neville, for this puzzle that was a fantastic way to start my Saturday.