September 23, 2022


Constructor: Brooke Husic

Editor: Erik Agard

Theme Answers:
BUY LOCAL (18A: Support artisans from the area)
BI VISIBILITY (38A: Goal of an annual Sept. 23 observance)
BY THE WAY (60A: "Oh, meant to say...)

Theme synopsis: Each of the theme answers begins with a homophone of the word BYE, giving us a BYE BYE BYE trio.

And now a word from our constructor:
Brooke: neville's universal puzzle from june 13, 2021 now has an even more appropriate title -- you did hear it there first! an honor to cite prior art when it's by constructing great and kindest-person-around neville.
i'm really glad to get 38-across in a puzzle, especially today! and i really like my long "bonus" down answers in 4d, 8d, 19d, and 41d. i like the 4d+6d clue combinations and the 50d clue, and all the musical references!

Things I learned:
  • STARR (57A: Nigerian singer Ayra) In 2019, Ayra STARR began uploading covers of songs on Instagram. Then she posted an original song, and that led to a record contract with Nigerian label, Mavin Records, and a 2021 album titled 19 & Dangerous. The Nigerian singer says she chose the stage name Ayra because, "It means woke and eye-opening and that's what I stand for." Earlier this year, Ayra STARR won a Nigerian Entertainment Today (NET) Award for Female Breakout Artist of the Year.
  • GUJARATI (8D: Western Indian language) Gujarat is a state along the western coast of India. GUJARATI is the language spoken by the state's indigenous people, and is the state's official language.
  • EVA (35D: "Kana Yarri" rapper ___ B) EVA B is a Pakistani rapper. She writes and sings in Urdu and Balochi.
Random thoughts and interesting things:
  • UBE (22A: ___ halaya (purple dessert)) UBE is a species of yam that is a vivid purple color. The Philippine dessert, UBE halaya, is made from boiled and mashed UBE.
  • BI VISIBILITY (38A: Goal of an annual Sept. 23 observance) Today is BI VISIBILITY Day, also known as BIsexual Pride Day, or Celebrate BIsexuality Day. Celebrated since 1999, the goal of the observance is to raise BI awareness and challenge BI erasure. In other words, as the clue hints, the goal is BI VISIBILITY. It's always satisfying to have an answer appear on an apt day. 
  • SAT (69A: Got in position for vipassana meditation) Vipassanā is an ancient meditation technique from India. Vipassanā means "to see things as they really are." The technique involves sitting and observing your thoughts and emotions without judging.
  • BREAK UP SONG (4D: "Ex-Factor" or "Drivers License") "Ex-Factor" is a 1998 song by Lauryn Hill. "Drivers License" is a 2020 song by Olivia Rodrigo. Either of these songs would be right at home on a BREAK UP SONG playlist. 
  • ONE (9D: Number that Ozzie Smith wore) My main exception to my "(Almost) Everything I know about sports I learned from crossword puzzle" rule is St. Louis Cardinals baseball. (Almost) Everything I know about Cardinals baseball I learned from my dad or my son. Therefore, I know about Ozzie Smith, who played for the St. Louis Cardinals from 1982-1996, and whose nickname is the "Wizard of Oz." Ozzie Smith is in the St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame, and the Cardinals have retired the jersey number ONE which he wore. In August, I attended a Cardinals game with my family, and Ozzie Smith was also in attendance, as it was Hall of Fame weekend.
  • ADA (10D: Law passed shortly after the Capitol Crawl in 1990) On March 13, 1990, about 60 people crawled up the Capitol steps to demonstrate the need for accessible architecture. This demonstration, known as the Capitol Crawl, was part of a march to advocate for the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). 

    Geography review:

    • BRIT (4A: Person from Wales or Westminster) The official name of Britain is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The four countries in Britain are Wales, England, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. Westminster is an area of London. Therefore a person from Wales or Westminster would be a BRIT.
    • EAST (16A: Mississippi-to-Alabama direction) While we're traveling EAST from Mississippi to its neighbor state of Alabama, let's review some state capitals. The capital of Mississippi is Jackson, and the capital of Alabama is Montgomery.
    • PARIS (33A: The Louvre's city) The world's most-visited museum, The Louvre, is located in PARIS, France. Among the artworks on display at the Louvre are Leonardo da Vinci's painting, Mona Lisa, and Alexandros of Antioch's sculpture, Venus de Milo.
    • SOMALI (63A: Person from Merca or Mogadishu) Merca and Mogadishu are cities in Somalia, an East African country located in the Horn of Africa. Mogadishu is the country's capital.
    • ESE (27D: Suffix for "Gabon" or "Japan") Gabon is a Central African country with coastline along the Gulf of Guinea. Its capital is Libreville. Japan is an East Asian island country in the Pacific Ocean. Its capital is Tokyo.
    • BORICUA (41D: Puerto Rican) A BORICUA is a person native to Puerto Rico, or of Puerto Rican descent. BORICUA is the Spanish word for Puerto Rican.
    • HAWAII (50D: Its motto is "Ua Mau ke Ea o ka 'Aina i ka Pono") The motto of HAWAII,  "Ua Mau ke Ea o ka 'Aina i ka Pono," translates to "The Life of the Land is Perpetuated in Righteousness.")

    I like all of this puzzle's theme answers, and appreciate the appropriateness of BI VISIBILITY appearing today. I appreciate Brooke giving a nod to Neville Fogarty's Universal puzzle with the same theme. It's not uncommon for constructors to come up with the same or similar themes. It's fun to note that although the theme is the same, these two puzzles have completely different sets of theme answers. Shoutout to the clue for BARE FEET (38D: What hula dancers have that clog dancers don't). I really enjoyed this clue (and I enjoy having BARE FEET whenever possible). Thank you, Brooke, for this puzzle that was a fabulous way to begin my Friday.