Title: TREE STAND
Constructor: Zhouqin Burnikel
Editor: Erik Agard
SHEER TERROR (3D: Haunted house feeling)
BEER TENTS (34D: Oktoberfest structures)
DEER TRAIL (36D: Forest path)
Theme synopsis: Each vertical theme answer contains the letter string EERT, which spells TREE when reading up. Therefore, each TREE is STANDing up in the theme answer.
Things I learned:
- VLOG (25A: Strictly Dumpling upload) Strictly Dumpling is the YouTube channel of Mike "Mikey" Xing Chen, who posts a series of VLOGs which focus on food and travel.
- SERPENT (49A: The "coatl" part of Quetzalcoatl) Quetzalcoatl is a deity in Aztec culture and literature. From the Nahuatl language, the name "Quetzalcoatl" means "precious SERPENT."
- SAIL (62A: Boat part that James Forten manufactured) James Forten (1766-1842) was an African American abolitionist. Born free in Pennsylvania, he began working as a SAIL maker with his father when he was eight years old. When he was older and owned his own SAIL making business, he developed new and improved types of SAILS. James Forten used his wealth and influence to advocate for the abolition of slavery.
- ANIME (10D: "Ninja Scroll," for example) Ninja Scroll, released in Japan in 1993, is considered by some to be one of the most influential ANIME movies ever made. Ninja Scroll increased the popularity of ANIME outside of Japan.
- OVEN (21D: Appliance for making bolillos) Bolillos are a type of bread that originated in Mexico. Similar to baguettes, but shorter, bolillos are baked in a stone OVEN.
- FASTS (52D: Observes Paryushana) Paryushana is an annual holy event in Jainism, an ancient religion that originated in the Indian subcontinent. Celebrated in August or September, Paryushana is observed by FASTS, prayer, and meditation.
Random thoughts and interesting things:
- GASP (1A: Sound of astonishment) and GHOST (1D: One haunting a haunted house) and SHEER TERROR (3D: Haunted house feeling) The upper left corner has a trio of answers getting us ready for spooky season.
- UNIT (16A: Kati or karat) The kati, or catty, is a traditional Chinese UNIT of mass. The karat, or carat, is a UNIT of purity for gold alloys.
- MOM (23A: Goldie Hawn, to Kate Hudson) I knew this fact at one time, but had forgotten about it. Fun to be reminded of the relationship between these two talented actresses.
- LEIA (43A: Young princess in "Obi-Wan Kenobi") Obi-Wan Kenobi is a Disney+ TV miniseries. The series is set ten years after Star Wars Episode III - Revenge of the Sith. Vivian Lyra Blair plays the role of the young princess LEIA.
- ALIEN (53A: "___ Superstar") "ALIEN Superstar" is a song from Beyoncé's 2022 album, Renaissance.
- GARLIC NAAN (58A: Bread paired with saag paneer) Yum!
- POOR (4D: The ___ People's Campaign (1968 economic justice campaign)) I have previously written about The POOR People's Campaign.
- OAKS (30D: Sources of acorns) A nice bonus answer in the form of a specific type of TREE STANDing in the puzzle.
- AVIV (19D: Tel ___, Israel) Tel AVIV is a city on the Mediterranean coast of Israel. The official name of Tel AVIV is Tel AVIV-Yafo, but it is often referred to simply as Tel AVIV.
- TWENTY (47D: Calling code for Egypt) The calling code is the number added to the beginning of telephone numbers to indicate the geographic location of the number being dialed. In the United States and Canada as well as U.S. territories and many Caribbean nations, the calling code is +1. African countries have a calling code beginning with the number two, and in Egypt, the code is +20 (TWENTY).
- ALA (61D: Huntsville's state (Abbr.)) Huntsville is located in northern Alabama (ALA), and is the most populous city in the state. Huntsville was the first capital of Alabama when it became a state in 1819. The capital was moved to Montgomery, which is more centrally located, in 1846.
These TREEs are not just STANDing, they seem to be doing headSTANDs. In addition to the previously highlighted answers, I enjoyed ONE AT A TIME. Thank you, Zhouqin, for this puzzle that was an excellent way to begin my Wednesday.