February 4, 2023


Constructor: Brooke Husic

Editor: Erik Agard

Theme Answers:
BODY HEAT (14A: Warmth from cuddling)
BO DIDDLEY BEAT (25A: Rhythm named after a rock-and-roll legend)
BOOSTER SEAT (43A: Safety device for a child traveling by car)
BODEGA CAT (58A: Nonhuman "employee" in a New York City corner store)

Theme synopsis: A SHIP, in the form of the word BOAT, is found at the OUTside edges of each theme answer.

Things I learned:
  • BO DIDDLEY BEAT (25A: Rhythm named after a rock-and-roll legend) BO DIDDLEY (1928-2008) BO DIDDLEY was a rock and roll musician. He was honored with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1998. On his 1955 song, "BO DIDDLEY," he used a rhythm that would become known as the BO DIDDLEY BEAT. I knew of BO DIDDLEY, but today I learned about the BO DIDDLEY BEAT. 
  • BEDROOM POP (25D: Minimalist music style named after part of a house) The term BEDROOM POP is used to describe music made by musicians in their own homes, and uploaded to platforms such as YouTube, Spotify, TikTok, and SoundCloud. This style of Indie POP emerged in the 2010s.
  • YOKO (30D: "Scattered All Over the Earth" author Tawada) YOKO Tawada is a Japanese author who writes in both Japanese and German. In 2022, her book, Scattered All Over the Earth, translated by Margaret Mitsutani, was a finalist for the National Book Award for Translated Literature.
Random thoughts and interesting things:
  • OSU (17A: School in Columbus, for short) Ohio State University (OSU) is located in Columbus, Ohio. OSU sports teams are nicknamed the Buckeyes.
  • I'VE (23A: "(___ Had) The Time of My Life") "(I'VE Had) The Time of My Life" is the theme song from the 1987 movie Dirty Dancing. The song, which was sung by Jennifer Warnes and Bill Medley, won an Academy Award for Best Original Song. I just listened to this song, and watched the clip from the movie, and it was four and a half minutes well spent. I recommend it.
  • ARE (46A: "You ___ My Sunshine") I have previously written about the song "You ARE My Sunshine." 
  • BODEGA CAT (58A: Nonhuman "employee" in a New York City corner store) If you enjoy photos of CATs, and are not following the BODEGACATsofinstagram account, I recommend you do so. I have previously written about BODEGA CATs earning their keep by working as pest control. As I noted then, Willow would not make a good BODEGA CAT (too many people!), but she makes a great Hoelscher cat. 
    Willow, who is not a BODEGA CAT
  • TABATA (44D: HIIT workout style) TABATA is a form of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) based on a 1996 study by Professor Isumi TABATA. I learned about TABATA training from the August 1, 2020 puzzle.
  • RAFT (50D: Type of inflatable boat) Bonus theme answer: Here we have an inflatable BOAT, aka a RAFT, that we can SHIP OUT on.

    Geography review:

    • SRI (21A: ___ Lanka) SRI Lanka is a teardrop-shaped island in the Indian Ocean. The country is separated from the Indian subcontinent mainland by the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait.
    • CAPE COD (40D: Provincetown's peninsula) The peninsula of CAPE COD extends into the Atlantic Ocean from the southeast corner of Massachusetts. CAPE COD encompasses 15 towns, one of which is Provincetown, located at the extreme tip of the peninsula. Provincetown's year-round population of approximately 3,600 increases to around 60,000 during the summer.
    • ROME (54D: Capital of Italy) ROME is the capital of Italy. The city of ROME surrounds the smallest country in the world, Vatican City.
    In addition to the fun theme, this puzzle provides a number of delightful music-related clues and answers. Those mentioned above - "(I'VE Had) The Time of My Life," BO DIDDLEY BEAT, "You ARE My Sunshine," and BEDROOM POP, we also have Rapper LIL Kim, DUETS, and BOPS. Thank you, Brooke, for this puzzle that was an enjoyable way to start my Saturday.
    Two More Things: 1) Tomorrow is the Boswords Winter Wondersolve, and I realize I've neglected to mention it yet! There's still time to register if you'd like to spend the afternoon solving four crosswords. My husband and I will be solving as a pair. 2) The puzzle pack, Grids for Kids, created by constructors who are parents to raise money for child-centered organizations is now available.