September 28, 2022

Title: OMEGA-3

Constructor: Zhouqin Burnikel

Editors: Anna Gundlach & Erik Agard

Theme Answers:
INCOME GAP (17A: Disparity in wealth distribution)
GIVE IT SOME GAS (28A: "Put the pedal to the metal!")
HOME GAMES (61A: The Mets play them at Citi Field)

Theme synopsis: Each of the 3 theme answers contain the word OMEGA.

Things I learned:
  • CLAY (7D: Taboon oven material) A taboon oven is made out of CLAY and shaped like a truncated cone. There is an opening at the top of the oven used to stoke the fire. 
Random thoughts and interesting things:
  • KENO (13A: Lotto variety) KENO is played at casinos, and offered as a LOTTO option in some states. A player buying a KENO ticket chooses a set of numbers. A set of numbers are then chosen at random, and players win based on the number of matches made.
  • LILY (14A: Flower with edible bulbs) Although lilies are often grown for their ornamental flowers, the bulb of a LILY is edible. LILY bulbs are root vegetables, and are commonly used in Chinese and Japanese cuisine. 
  • HYENA (21A: Scavenger like Shenzi) Shenzi is a HYENA from The Lion King. Shenzi, along with two other HYENAs named Banzai and Ed, serve as henchman for Scar. Whoopi Goldberg voiced the role of Shenzi in Disney's original 1994 animated version of The Lion King.
  • YOGA MAT (57A: Surface for Mountain pose) In modern YOGA as exercise, mountain pose is a standing asana, and is the beginning of many YOGA sessions (and sometimes used between poses). To get into mountain pose, one stands on the YOGA MAT with feet together and arms at one's side. 
  • HOME GAMES (61A: The Mets play them at Citi Field) The New York Mets are a Major League Baseball team. As the clue tells us, the Mets play their HOME GAMES at Citi Field in the New York City borough of Queens.
  • EELS (68A: Unagi Day fishes) I have previously written about the Japanese summer tradition known as Unagi Day. EELS are eaten to provide stamina for the summer.
  • MIRIN (18D: Rice wine used in tare sauce) The rice wine known as MIRIN is similar to sake, but with a lower alcohol and higher sugar content. MIRIN is commonly used in Japanese cooking. Tare sauce is a general term that refers to dipping sauces used in Japanese cuisine.
  • TACO (27D: Food with a "dorado" variety) A TACO dorado, also known as a taquito, is a filled corn tortilla that is fried. 
  • ISAAC (29D: Director Lee ___ Chung) Lee ISAAC Chung is the director of the semi-autobiographical 2020 movie, Minari, which I have written about previously. Minari won a Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film. 
  • TEA BAG (41D: Pu'er pouch) If your TEA BAG holds pu'er, you are ready to make a variety of fermented tea traditionally produced in Yunnan Province, China.
  • ORCA (56D: Whale fond of beach rubbing) Beach rubbing is the name for a behavior witnessed in ORCAs. As the term suggest, the ORCAs rub their bodies along pebbles at the bottom of the ocean. ORCAs sometimes exhibit beach rubbing behavior in the shallow water near the shoreline, and there are certain beaches known as being good places to witness this behavior. Scientists think beach rubbing is a social behavior.

    Geography review:

    • ASIANS (34A: Tibetans and Tamils) Tibetans are an ethnic group whose traditional homeland is the region of Tibet in East Asia. Tamils are an ethnographic-linguistic group (linked by a common ethnicity and language) who originate from the southern part of India. Tibetans and Tamils are ASIANS.
    • ERIE (16D: Great Lake whose average depth is 62 feet) Lake ERIE is the shallowest of the Great Lakes. Our crossword friend ERIE is making its fifth appearance of the month today.
    This puzzle is here with your daily dose of OMEGA-3. VIRGIN MARY and SUCH IS LIFE are nice long bonus answers. Thank you, Zhouqin, for this puzzle that was a great way to begin my Wednesday.