Title: Dew Drops
Constructor: Rebecca Goldstein
Editor: Amanda Rafkin
Guest blogger: Matthew Stock
KEHINDE WILEY (4D: "Judith and Holofernes" painter, 2012)
MOVING SIDEWALKS (5D: Conveyors also known as travelators)
WORLD WIDE WEB (21D: Another name for the internet)
Theme synopsis: This puzzle's three longest down entries each contain the string D-E-W (underlined above), each time occurring progressively lower in the entry, so the DEW literally "drops." (Lovely!)
Things I learned:
- OREO (2D: Cookie with a Firework variety) Firework Oreos, it appears, came out in 2017 and feature poprock-like rainbow candy in the creme filling.
- KEHINDE WILEY (4D: "Judith and Holofernes" painter, 2012) I know Kehinde Wiley from his portrait of President Obama that now lives at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, but hadn't seen "Judith and Holofernes" before. In it, Wiley depicts a biblical story with a Black woman from New York as the main focus. You can see it at the North Carolina Museum of Art.
- AMPM (25A: West Coast convenience store open 24 hours a day) I haven't spent a ton of time on the West Coast, so I had to get to this answer through its crosses. I smiled when I finally figured it out, though!
Random thoughts and interesting things:
- TRAILHEADS (57A: Beginning points of hikes) Yesterday, I went on a lovely nature walk in Gainesville and got to see a bunch of beautiful migrating birds! Let me know your favorite TRAILHEADS in the comments (and check out the board game Parks if you're in need of a nature-inspired indoor diversion).
- STEM (37A: ___ cell research) Nearly 14 years ago, my mom was diagnosed with a rare form of t-cell lymphoma. She underwent tons of treatment and eventually a successful STEM cell transplant. Thanks to research like that mentioned in this clue, she's still with us and as healthy as ever. If you'd like to contribute to finding a cure for blood cancer, check out my dad's fundraising page for an upcoming race he is running.
- NOLA (29D: Southern Decadence city, for short) Southern Decadence is a week-long LGBT celebration event that's been held in New Orleans (NOLA) since 1972. It culminates each year with a parade in the French Quarter. It has grown to around 250,000 attendees annually, which, per the celebration's website, puts it in the top three NOLA tourist attractions by economic impact.
Hi friends! Happy October (!) from Gainesville, Fl., where we've thankfully dodged the entirety of Hurricane Ian. We had some higher-than-normal winds on Wednesday and Thursday, but yesterday and today have been completely normal, weather-wise. Hope everyone else reading this is safe.
I always look forward to seeing Rebecca's byline and enjoyed this puzzle top to bottom. I loved the use of vertical themers to represent "Dew Drops" and was delighted by all four long Across bonuses — LOSING TIME / NO SPOILERS / MERIT BADGE / TRAILHEADS are all top-notch! Elsewhere in the fill, I smiled at LORAX / TAZ / WAVE with their Scrabbly letters all seamelessly incorporated, as well as the simple but evocative clues on SEA and BEEP. Thanks, Rebecca, for an enjoyable start to my Saturday!