November 9, 2022


Constructor: Zaineb Akbar

Editor: Erik Agard

Theme Answers:
RAIN CATS AND DOGS (14D: Absolutely pour)
LEMON MERINGUE (14D: Lime Chiffon's friend in "Strawberry Shortcake")
EYE OF THE TIGER (18D: "Rising up, back on the street..." song)

Theme synopsis: The TOP word of each vertical theme answer can precede the word DROP, giving us RAIN DROP, LEMON DROP, and EYE DROP.

And now a word from our constructor:
Zaineb: my most favorite clues here are the ones for PROP, SMOKED, LAMPS, ISLAM, INA, &
Zubi (CAT) on a TIGER blanket
once again, many thanks to the editor ~
here is a picture of zubi on my tiger blanket :-)

Things I learned:
  • ISLAM (42A: Religion of Rabia al-Adawiyya) Rabi'a al-'Adawiyya (born between 714-718, died 810), also known as Rabia Basri, was the first female Sufi Saint of ISLAM. Rabi'a (whose name means "fourth") was the fourth daughter of her family. After her father's death, Rabia al-Adawiya became an ascetic, living a life without many material possessions in order to focus on spiritual aspects. She was a spiritual leader for both women and men, and although she didn't specifically speak of the equality of men and women during her lifetime, many scholars view her as a feminist leader.
  • NIGHT (51A: Raat ki rani, aka ___-blooming jasmine) Raat ki rani, aka NIGHT-blooming jasmine, is an evergreen shrub native to the West Indies. As its name suggests, the fragrant white flowers of NIGHT-blooming jasmine bloom at NIGHT. Not a true jasmine, NIGHT-blooming jasmine is a member of the same plant family as potatoes and tomatoes. 
  • AMULET (20D: Hamsa, for example) The hamsa is a hand-shaped AMULET commonly used in jewelry. The open hand is used as a sign of protection that also represents blessings. The hamsa is used in Muslim, Jewish, and Christian cultures, and is also referred to as the Hand of Fatima, the Hand of Miriam, or the Hand of Mary.
Random thoughts and interesting things:
  • HRT (10A: Gender-affirming treatment) HRT = hormone replacement therapy
  • COSMO (22A: Sweet-and-sour vodka drink) The cocktail known as the cosmopolitan, or more commonly, the COSMO, is made with vodka, Cointreau, cranberry juice, and lime juice. Frequent mentions of the COSMO on the TV show, Sex and the City, increased the drink's popularity in the 1990s. 
  • TV-MA (41A: Rating of some Adult Swim shows) Since 2001, Adult Swim has been the late-night programming block on Cartoon Network. TV-MA is the content rating used for shows "specifically designed to be viewed by adults and therefore may be unsuitable for children under 17."
  • HIPS (45D: "___ Don't Lie" (Shakira song)) "HIPS Don't Lie" is a 2006 song by Shakira. In 2018, NPR included "HIPS Don't Lie" in its list of "The 200 Greatest Songs by 21st Century Women."
  • IN A (48A: "Your love is one ___ million, it goes on and on and on...") "Your love is one IN A million, it goes on and on and on..." is a lyric from the 1996 song, "One IN A Million" by Aaliyah. As I've said before, using a song lyric (or a book or movie title) is a great way to add interest to a short answer.
  • RAIN CATS AND DOGS (14D: Absolutely pour) On the subject of CATS, welcome to the CATS of Sally's Take, Zubi!
  • MISO (7D: Paste made with koji) MISO is a thick paste made by fermenting soybeans with salt and kōji (a filamentous fungus also used in making sake). MISO is a staple seasoning in Japanese cuisine.
  • SMOKED (8D: Prepared like baba ghanoush) The SMOKED flavor of baba ghanoush is achieved by roasting or broiling eggplant over an open flame. The eggplant is combined with olive oil, lemon juice, tahini, and seasonings to produce an appetizer often served with pita bread.
  • LEMON MERINGUE (14D: Lime Chiffon's friend in "Strawberry Shortcake") Strawberry Shortcake is a character originally designed for greeting cards in the early 1970s. Referred to initially as Strawberry Girl, the character wore a strawberry print bonnet. Strawberry Shortcake is now a franchise that includes toys, animated TV shows, and video games. LEMON MERINGUE and Lime Chiffon are two characters from a 2021 relaunch of a Strawberry Shortcake TV series titled Strawberry Shortcake: Berry in the Big City
  • EYE OF THE TIGER (18D: "Rising up, back on the street..." song) Well, here's my earworm for the day. "EYE OF THE TIGER" is a 1982 song by Survivor. It was used as the theme song for the 1982 movie, Rocky III.
  • MILLI (28D: Rapper Flo ___) Flo MILLI's songs "Beef FloMix" and "In the Party" went viral on TikTok in 2019. She released her debut album, You Still Here, Ho? in July of this year. 
  • LAMPS (32D: Diwali diyas, for example) Diwali is the Hindu festival of lights celebrated during the Hindu month Kartika (between mid-October and mid-November). During Diwali, diyas, oil LAMPS made from clay, are lit throughout the home and outside.
  • H MART (52D: "Crying in ___" (Michelle Zauner memoir)) Michelle Zauner is the lead vocalist of the band Japanese Breakfast. Crying in H MART is her 2021 memoir, which is an expansion of an essay published in The New Yorker in 2018. In the book, Michelle Zauner discusses her relationship with her mother and her grief after her mother's 2014 death as a result of pancreatic cancer. Crying in H Mart is being adapted into a movie by Orion Pictures. 

    Geography review:

    • HONOLULU (62A: Iolani Palace's city) The Iolani Palace was the residence of the rulers of the Kingdom of Hawaii from 1845-1893. It is located on HONOLULU, on the island of Oahu.
    • ARTE (3D: Museo Nacional de ___, Mexico City) Located in the historical center of Mexico City, the Museo Nacional de ARTE is the national art museum of Mexico. 
    • KYOTO (5D: City that' an anagram of "Tokyo") KYOTO was the capital of Japan from 794-1868. Tokyo has been the capital of Japan since 1869, and is its largest city. 
     Yesterday we were raising BEDs, and today we're dropping TOPs - that's fun! Three fantastic theme answers today. In addition to the answers I've already highlighted, I enjoyed ESOTERIC, ELIGIBLE, and DOODLE. Also, shoutout to the playful and funny clue for PROP (2D: A banana used as a phone, for example). Thank you, Zaineb, for this puzzle that was a delightful way to start my Wednesday.
    One more thing today: I keep meaning to mention that if you are a constructor, I encourage you to consider applying to be on the Lil AVC X 2023 constructor roster. You'll find the application and more information here. Come create puzzles with me!


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