September 18, 2022


Constructor: Zhouqin Burnikel

Editor: Amanda Rafkin

Theme Answers:
PARTY POOPER (29A: Wet blanket)
PAY THE PIPER (64A: Face consequences for wrongdoings)

Theme synopsis: The word PAPER is CUT by each theme answer.

Things I learned:
  • ARROW (9A: Bit of ammo for Hou Yi) Hou Yi, also known as Lord Archer,  is a figure in Chinese mythology. The story is told that there used to be ten suns, and when they refused to take turns shining, Hou Yi shot down nine of the suns with his ARROWs.
  • COD (48A: Klippfisk fish) Klippfisk is the name used in Norway to refer to dried and salted COD, also known as salt COD.
Random thoughts and interesting things:
  • AGES (1A: They increase on Tet) TET is the Vietnamese Lunar New Year. In the Vietnamese tradition, a person is considered to be one when they're born, and you get a year older each year on TET. 
  • PORK (14A: Meat in tonjiru) I learned about the Japanese soup, tonjiru, from the June 19, 2022 puzzle. The soup is made with PORK and vegetables, and flavored with MISO.
  • SLOTH (20A: Slowest mammal) The SLOTH is known for being slow, but just how slow is it? The maximum speed for a SLOTH is 0.17 miles per hour. A SLOTH can't keep this pace up for long, however, and can only cover about 120 feet (1/3 of a football field) in a day. As a SLOTH obviously is unable to outrun a predator, it instead depends on camouflage to keep it safe.
  • STEW (36A: Nikujaga, for example) Nikujaga is a STEW of Japanese origin, consisting of meat, potatoes, and onion, flavored with soy sauce and mirin. We've seen nikujaga in previous clues. 
  • ODIN (40A: Norse god with an eye patch) In Norse mythology, the god, ODIN, is often portrayed as one-eyed (with an eye patch), long-bearded, and wearing a cloak and broad hat.
  • PAY THE PIPER (64A: Face consequences for wrongdoings) The saying, "PAY THE PIPER," comes from the fable about the Pied PIPER of Hamelin. In the story, a piper is hired to clear the rats from the city of Hamelin which he does by playing a song on his pipe. When he isn't paid for his work, the PIPER leads away all of the town's children. The moral of the story: PAY THE PIPER.
  • TOP (67A: Shacket or cami) A shacket is a shirt / jacket crossover. A cami, short for camisole, is a sleeveless garment. You only need to recognize one of these TOPs to successfully answer this clue.
  • HEM (73A: Edge of an ao dai) I have previously written about the Vietnamese national garment, the áo dài.
  • ERROR CODES (3D: 403 Forbidden and 404 Not Found) A more accurate answer would be FRUSTRATING ERROR CODES (at least in my experience...).
  • ALTO (7D: Bonnie Raitt's vocal range) Oh, this is an opportunity to Share a Bonnie Raitt Earworm! How about the 1991 song, "Something to Talk About." 
  • TWIN (31D: Tamera or Tia Mowry) TWIN sisters, Tamera and Tia Mowry have played identical TWIN sisters in the TV series, Sister, Sister (1994-1999), and in the Disney Channel movie, Twitches (2007).
    Side A of today's MUG
  • MUG (52D: Hot beverage holder) As I have previously mentioned, I have a MUG collection, and it gives me great joy to select each day's MUG based on how I'm feeling, or what's happening that day. It just so happened that the MUG I picked this morning is the newest addition to my collection, a gift from my husband about a week after the Season 2 finale of Only Murders in the Building. I chose this MUG because this afternoon we're going to see the movie, See How They Run, so I was searching for a mystery-related MUG. This is only the second movie we've seen in a theater in the last three years, so it feels like an event!
    Side B of today's MUG
  • SPAM (63D: Canned meat with its own museum in Minnesota) The SPAM Museum is located in Austin, Minnesota. As you might guess, the museum tells the history of SPAM, as well as the culture surrounding the canned precooked meat product. Admission is free, so next time you're in Minnesota, consider adding the SPAM Museum to your itinerary.

    Geography review:

    • ASU (9D: School in Tempe, for short) Arizona State University's (ASU) is located in Tempe, Arizona though it has campuses and learning centers across the state. ASU sports teams are known as the Sun Devils.
    • RED SEA (30D: Body of water parted in Exodus) The RED SEA is an inlet of the Indian Ocean that lies between Africa and Asia. The countries that border the RED SEA are Egypt, Sudan, Eritrea, Djibouti, Yemen, and Saudi Arabia. The clue is referring to the story found in Exodus (the second book in the Hebrew Torah and the Christian Bible) that tells of Moses parting the RED SEA. 
    • EURO 33D: Coins in Capri) The island of Capri is located in the Tyrrhenian Sea (part of the Mediterranean Sea) off the coast of Italy. As an administrative region of Italy, the currency used in Capri is the EURO.
    • STL (47D: Missouri airport code) The St. Louis Lambert International Airport (STL) is named for Olympic medalist Albert Bond Lambert, who was also an aviator. I have been to the St. Louis airport four times so far this year, but never to fly myself, only to pick up or drop off others.
    Thankfully, this puzzle was not at all painful, unlike an actual PAPER CUT! (Insert RIM SHOT here...) No need to be a PARTY POOPER, this is an enjoyable take on a classic theme type. Fun answers include EATS IT UP, SPLICE, SO TRUE, and PRICE MATCH. Thank you, Zhouqin, for this puzzle that was an excellent way to start my Sunday.