September 21, 2022


Constructor: Erik Agard

Editor: Erik Agard

Theme Answers:

Theme synopsis: The clues for the theme answers, in order, are reminiscent of a repeated lyric (BA-DE-YA) from the Earth, Wind & Fire song, "September," which begins, "DO YOU REMEMBER / the 21st night of September?"

Things I learned:
  • ANNA (38A: Actress Diop) In the TV series, Titans, ANNA Diop played the role of Starfire, an extraterrestrial royal from the planet Tamaran. She also starred in the 2022 horror movie, Nanny. ANNA Diop was born in Senegal, and moved to the United States when she was six years old.
  • ESSAY (54A: Haunani-Kay Trask's "The Color of Violence," for example) Haunani-Kay Trask (1949-2021) was an indigenous author and activist, and a professor of Hawaiian Studies the the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa. Her ESSAY, "The Color of Violence," was published in a 2004 issue of Social Justice. The ESSAY discusses colonization, genocide, and colonialism. Here's a sentence from the ESSAY: "The color of violence, then, is the color of white over black, white over brown, white over red, white over yellow."
  • CRAIG (6D: Main character in "Friday") Friday (1995) is the first of a series of stoner movies written by Ice Cube and DJ Pooh. Subsequent movies in the series include Next Friday (2000) and Friday After Next (2002). Another installment, Last Friday, is in the works.  Ice Cube plays the role of CRAIG Jones.
Random thoughts and interesting things:
  • GOT (8A: "How I ___ Over") How I GOT Over is the title of a 2010 studio album by The Roots, as well as the name of a song on the album. 
  • RUH (14A: "___-roh!") My thought upon seeing this clue, " do you spell RUH-roh?" This canine version of "uh-oh" is associated with Astro from The Jetsons, and with Scooby-Doo
  • ID TAG (22A: Engraved item on a dog collar) and BANDANA (2D: Neckpiece for a dog) Speaking of canines, here's a nice pair of clues for the dog-lovers. 
  • LIE (25A: Two truths and a ___) Two truths and a LIE is a game frequently used as a get-to-know-you-better activity. Each participant makes three statements about themselves - two are true and one is a LIE. The rest of the group tries to identify the false statement. I recently played two truths and a LIE at a dinner party my husband and I attended. These were my three statements (Can you spot the LIE?):
    • I was born in Missouri.
    • I used to perform as a ventriloquist.
    • I have been hang-gliding.
  • TITO (39A: "Oye Como Va" composer Puente) I have previously written about "The King of the Timbales," TITO Puente, whose most popular song was "Oye Como Va."
  • DISPENSED (49A: Given out, like paper towels or Pez) I like this clue. Maybe it's the unusual pairing of paper towels and Pez? Or maybe I just like any mention of Pez. I'm not a particular fan of Pez candy, but the goofy plastic dispensers that DISPENSED candy from a character's neck make me laugh.
  • SELFISH DNA (4D: Genetic material whose only function is to replicate itself) SELFISH DNA, also known as SELFISH genetic elements, has been observed in most types of organisms. Here's a SciShow video explaining SELFISH DNA if you'd like to learn more.
  • RADIO EDIT (16D: Version of a song made for the airwaves) I liked that RADIO EDIT goes through the three theme answers. It seems appropriate. (🎵BA-DE-YA...🎵)
  • U.S. PRESIDENT (20D: Louis Armstrong reportedly used one to smuggle weed through customs) The story is that in 1958, Louis Armstrong and Richard Nixon crossed paths at an airport, and Richard Nixon helped carry some of Louis Armstrong's luggage. One of the bags contained a stash of marijuana. This occurred before Richard Nixon became a U.S. PRESIDENT. (He was Vice President at the time.) Appropriately, the link I've shared is from a website called DO YOU REMEMBER?
  • ASHE (47D: Arthur ___ Stadium (major tennis venue)) The Arther ASHE Stadium is located in the borough of Queens in New York City. Named after tennis great, Arthur ASHE, it is the largest tennis stadium in the world, and is the main venue for the U.S. Open. 

    Geography review:

    • CALI (21A: West Coast state, for short) If you are wondering which of my above statements is a LIE, you might check out what I wrote about California (CALI, for short) on June 9, 2020. 
    • OSLO (29D: Capital of Norway) OSLO is the capital and most populous city of Norway. OSLO is also home to the Mini Bottle Gallery, a museum and event space displaying a collection of... you guessed it, thousands of miniature bottles! 
    When I opened today's puzzle and saw the title, I started laughing. I have had the song, "September," stuck in my head ever since I wrote about it yesterday. I was wondering how "DO YOU REMEMBER / the 21st night of September?" would play out as a theme. A lovely "Aha!" moment when I came to the BA-DE-YA clues, and more laughter. In looking for information about "September," I found this NPR article in which one of the song writers, Alice Willis, says, "I learned my greatest lesson even in songwriting from [Maurice White], which was never let the lyric get in the way of the groove." In addition to the theme, I enjoyed the answers ONE OF US, GRADUATE CLASSES, BUTTERNUT, and ATTITUDES. Thank you, Erik, for this puzzle that was a delightful way to start my Wednesday morning on the 21st of September.


    1. Thanks, Sally.

      ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT, ERIK ! Perfect timing, too ! One of my all time favorite songs that makes me remember listening to EW&F, The O'Jays, The Spinners and others back in the late 70's while stationed in Germany. When this song came out, it was being played loudly multiple times every night on great stereo systems on all three floors of the barracks, and nobody complained. Great vocals, great horns and overall such a feel good song.

      Ba de ya, say do you remember
      Ba de ya, dancing in September
      Ba de ya, never was a cloudy day

      1. thank you so much!! i was just listening to some spinners this afternoon!

        and Sally, thank you for the wonderful post!!



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