October 17, 2022

Title: UNO!

Constructor: Rebecca Goldstein

Editor: Anna Gundlach

Theme Answers:
WILD GOOSE CHASE (16A: Foolish, chaotic search)
SKIP INTRO (32A: Option at the beginning of a Netflix episode)
REVERSE COMMUTE (49A: Drive to work against traffic)

Theme synopsis: The first word in each theme answer is a card in the game UNO: WILD, SKIP, REVERSE.

Things I learned:
  • REVERSE COMMUTE (49A: Drive to work against traffic) The term REVERSE COMMUTE is generally used for people that live in a city, and commute to the suburbs for work. Since the majority of people commute from the suburbs to work in the city, those doing a REVERSE COMMUTE are generally traveling against traffic. This is a new term to me, but it makes sense and was inferable. As one whose work commute is walking down the hallway from our bedroom to my office, the only traffic I occasionally face is Willow walking the other direction!
Random thoughts and interesting things:
  • PADRE (8D: San Diego baseball player) The San Diego PADREs play in the National League division of Major League Baseball (MLB). The PADREs have won the National League pennant twice (1984 and 1998) since their founding in 1969, but have never won the World Series. Will this be their year? The PADREs face the Philadelphia Phillies in the National League Championship Series beginning tomorrow night. 
  • EDU (13A: www.barnard.___) Barnard College is a private women's liberal arts college in the New York City borough of Manhattan. Barnard is affiliated with (but legally and financially separate from) Columbia University, and was founded in 1889 as a response to Columbia University's refusal to admit women (which didn't happen until 1983!). Alumni of Barnard College include anthropologist Margaret Mead (1923), author Zora Neale Hurston (1928), and filmmaker Greta Gerwig (2006).
  • ASNER (15A: "Up" voice actor Ed) My husband and I rewatched the 2009 animated movie Up a few months ago. Ed ASNER voices, Carl Frederickson, the curmudgeonly main character attempting to find his way following the death of his wife. About 15 minutes into rewatching Up, I commented to my husband, "I forgot how sad the beginning of this movie is!" I highly recommend watching Up if you haven't seen it, or rewatching it if you have.
  • CHER (23A: "Burlesque" star) In the 2010 movie, Burlesque, CHER plays the role of Tess Scali, the owner of a burlesque club. CHER's performance of the song, "You Haven't Seen the Last of Me," won a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song. 
  • JUNO (25D: NASA space probe named after the wife of Jupiter) In Greek and Roman mythology, the goddess JUNO was able to reveal her husband, Jupiter's, true nature, even though Jupiter drew a veil of clouds around him. Appropriately, the NASA space probe JUNO is orbiting the planet Jupiter. JUNO was launched on August 5, 2011, and after a five-year journey, began orbiting Jupiter July 5, 2016. JUNO is taking measurements of Jupiter as well as searching for clues to the planet's formation.
  • BODEGA (39D: Corner store that may have a cat) BODEGA cats earn their keep by working as pest control. Although not technically allowed by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene - establishments selling food that keep live animals are subject to a fine - many BODEGA owners view a $300 fine as preferable to a rodent infestation. Following the Instagram account BODEGAcatsofinstagram brings me much joy; some of these cats are truly enjoying life! Willow would not make a good BODEGA cat, as she is not fond of most people.
    Willow "helping"
    She does however, enjoy being a Hoelscher cat. In this photo she is "assisting" with the setup of the game Everdell (fitting for this game-themed puzzle).

    Geography review:

    • NEON (26A: Element with a museum in Las Vegas) The NEON Museum in Las Vegas, Nevada was founded in 1996 to preserve and exhibit iconic Las Vegas NEON signs. The museum has expanded over the years and now has several exhibit areas: restored NEON signs along the median of Las Vegas Blvd., the NEON Boneyard displaying most of the museum's collection, and the North Gallery, which features Brilliant!, a 30-minute art installation. I've never been to Las Vegas, and haven't really had a desire to go until now. I believe I would enjoy visiting this museum! The NEON Museum in Las Vegas is not the only museum featuring the element NEON. There is also a NEON Museum in Warsaw, Poland
    • DOHA (41A: Qatar's capital) Qatar is a country in Western Asia, located on the Qatar Peninsula on the northeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula. Qatar borders Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf. The majority of the country's residents live in Qatar's capital, DOHA, which is known for its futuristic architecture.
    • ATL (46A: Peach State's capital (Abbr.)) The Peach State is the nickname of the U.S. state of Georgia, and Atlanta (ATL) is Georgia's capital.
    • SFO (6D: Harvey Milk Terminal's airport code) The formerly named South Terminal at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) was renamed the Harvey Milk Terminal in 2018 to honor Harvey Milk (1930-1978), gay rights activist and former San Francisco Board of Supervisors member. I have previously written about Harvey Milk, if you'd like to known more about him.

     What a fun theme! As soon as I saw the title, I began thinking of UNO cards that might make up a theme. I correctly guessed that we would see SKIP and REVERSE, but somehow totally forgot about WILD. All three theme answers are fabulous. In addition to the answers highlighted above, I enjoyed VULCAN, NEWS TO ME, GET EVEN, and OH GREAT. Shoutout to a couple of favorite clues: (19A: F1 racing or "RuPaul's Drag Race" assistants) for PIT CREW, and (55A: Body parts outlined to make turkey drawings) for HANDS. Also, this is Anna Gundlach's first solo editing byline - hooray! Thank you, Rebecca, for this puzzle that was a delightful way to start my Monday.