Monday March 6, 2023 Rebecca Goldstein


Hello Cornerites!

sumdaze here to blog another Rebecca Goldstein creation. Last Monday Rebecca partnered with Rachel Fabi. She is back this week with her 15th solo L.A. Times puzzle. Husker Gary posted, "Rebecca Goldstein has a PhD. in pharmacology, and now leads a small group supporting immuno-oncology drug discovery efforts at Merck in the San Francisco area." Thank you for working to make this world a better place, Rebecca!

Today's theme is:
On Deck  
We often see this phrase in XWD puzzles. It fits here because "deck" is skater slang for the wooden area of the skateboard that you stand on.

In case you thought you missed them (I'm looking at you, D-O!), there are no starred clues, circles, or early hints today. That being the case, I will begin with the reveal:

66 Across. Olympic arena that features the ends of 17-, 25-, 41-, and 52-Across: SKATEPARK.

I suggest you ask your favorite teenager for help with these SKATEPARK features. Google and I will do our best to help as well. First the full phrases:

17 Across. Commuter option: LIGHT RAIL.  LIGHT RAIL transit operates electric-powered single cars or short trains on fixed rails. "LIGHT" refers to passenger capacity as opposed to the train cars themselves.

25. Hawaiian dish with skipjack tuna: POKE BOWL.
There are many variations of POKE BOWLs.
Here is the recipe for this one.

41 Across. Dumped unceremoniously: KICKED TO THE CURB.

52 Across. Cloverleaf segment: EXIT RAMP.
You can see why it is called a "cloverleaf".
This design offers 8 EXIT RAMPs.

Here are the four red words in the context of a SKATEPARK. They say a picture is worth a thousand words....

Time for some fun SKATEPARK facts:
  • The 2020 Olympics (CY 2021) marked the debut of skateboarding as an Olympic sport.
  • Joe Ciaglia, founder and president of California Skateparks,  designed the Olympic venue. He wanted every twist and turn, every rail and ramp, to support the skater creating their masterpiece.
  • There were 4 events: men's street, men's park, women's street, and women's park.
  • Street skateboarding differs from Park in that skaters perform tricks over rails, ledges, staircases, and other obstacles typically found on the streets.
19-year-old Sakura Yosozumi from Japan won the first gold medal in Women's Park Skateboarding.

I found several of the other clues trick-y as well. Let's take a look:

1. Nile reptile: ASP.

4. Woodworking tool: RASP.  R + 1A

8. School year: CLASS.  Current HS freshmen are the CLASS of '26.

13. "Knock, knock" response starter: WHO'S. there?
Sadie who?
Sadie magic word and I'll come in!

15. Crooner Paul: ANKA.  I recently heard Jason Bateman 
say on a podcast that his FIL is Paul ANKA. 
Jason Bateman & wife Amanda ANKA

16. Put a cap on: LIMIT.  Clever misdirection!

19. State one's views: OPINE. There will be a place for you to do this below.

20. Union member?: SPOUSE.  marital union

21. Total disorder: MESS.

23. "__ whiz!": GEE.

24. Attempt: STAB.

27. "Good Will Hunting" univ.: MIT. "University" is abbreviated, so is "Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Good Will Hunting. Official Trailer (1997)
It won 2 Oscars: Best Supporting Actor for Robin Williams
and Best Original Screenplay for Ben Affleck and Matt Damon.

29. Ahmed of "The Night Of": RIZ.  ESP, for me.  Riz's IMDb link

31. "If I were __ ... ": YOU.

32. "Time's Arrow" novelist Martin: AMIS.  ESP, for me.  goodreads link

34. Guns, as an engine: REVS.

37. Mandarin greeting: NI HAO.  Hello C.C.!

44. Pitch perfect: ON KEY.

45. Potatoes, in South Asian cuisine: ALOO.  This past Wednesday we had "ALOO palak: dish of potatoes and spinach."  I liked TTP's advice, "If the clue sounds like it might be of an Indian food and references potatoes, the answer is probably ALOO. If the clue or answer is ALOO something, then you are on your own :-)"

46. "Twittering Machine" artist Paul: KLEE.  another ESP, for me.
(1922)  MoMA explains it
47. Snakelike fish: EEL.

49. TD's six: PTS.  "Touch Down" is abbreviated, so is "PoinTS".

51. Mary __ cosmetics: KAY. a multi-level marketing company established in 1963 and headquartered in Addison, TX

57. Rx writers: DOCS.

59. Movie night room: DEN.

60. Woodwind for Elaine Douvas: OBOE.
Elain Douvas, Joel Noyes (cell0), and Bryan Wagorn (piano) perform Henri Brod's Duo from Lucia di Lammermoor, Op. 55 for OBOE, Cello & Piano

61. Enticing scents: AROMAS.
64. Spy collection: INTEL.

68. After-bath wrap: TOWEL.  After completing a marathon in Kochi, Japan, I was given a TOWEL instead of a medal. I was not expecting that! It is 7.5 X 44 in. (19 X 112 cm.) -- more like a scarf but definitely a towel. I saw a lot of locals (mostly men) wear similar towels around their necks to stay cool in the humid climate. 
TOWELs are popular in Japanese culture as are niche museums. Here is a link to a Towel Museum.

69. Not all: SOME.

70. Sparkling wine region: ASTI.

71. Makes out, in Manchester: SNOGS.  "Makes out" is a hint that the answer will be slang and "Manchester" is a hint that it will be British English.

72. Affirmative votes: YEAS.  Aye, "YEA" means "yes".

73. QVC alternative: HSN.  both are TV shopping channels

1. Puncturing tools: AWLS.

2. Model in a bottle: SHIP.  Fun clue!

3. Toy with a handlebar and a big spring: POGO STICK.

4. Unique person: RARE BIRD.  4 RARE BIRDs

5. Political commentator Navarro: ANA.  This is ANA's CNN Political Commentator page.

6. Cut corners: SKIMP.

7. Hunter-gatherer diet: PALEO.  DH likes to tell me that if we were cavepeople, I'd know where to find all the best berries.

8. Reason to say "Whew!": CLOSE ONE. What was that?

9. Carmex target: LIP.  Were you thinking "CarMax"?

10. Buddy in Barcelona: AMIGO.  "Barcelona" is a hint that the answer will be in español.

11. Muscular power: SINEW.

12. Stainless __: STEEL.  "Spaghetti" would not fit.

14. Closed: SHUT.

18. Figure in Russian history: TSAR.

22. Chicago WNBA team: SKY.
26. Lincoln competitor: BUICK.  For these "competitor" or "peer" clues, I try to think within a timeline.  Even though it has 5 letters, "Tesla" is off the table for this one.

27. Shark name that comes from Maori: MAKO.

28. "Let's do it!": I'M IN.

30. Actress Catherine __-Jones: ZETA.

33. Shooting sport: SKEET.  also an Olympic event

35. Abbreviation on a TV remote: VOL.  "TeleVision" is abbreviated, so is "VOLume".

36. Intersection sign: STOP.
In Mathematics, the intersection sign is an up-side down letter U.

38. Angry shout from a green Avenger: HULK SMASH.  I wanted "HULK angry!" but "angry" was in the clue so I had to keep thinking.

39. Locale: AREA.

40. Follow orders: OBEY.

42. Exasperated expressions: EYE ROLLS.

43. Much-anticipated nights out: HOT DATES.

48. Scientist's workplace: LAB.

50. Aching: SORE.

52. Changes the narrative?: EDITS.

53. Noble gas whose name comes from the Greek for "strange": XENON.  The pronunciation is "zee-naan". In this case, the Greek word "strange" is more like "not common". The name fits because XENON only exists in one in 20 million parts of the earth's atmosphere. In other words, if the earth's atmosphere was a huge sports stadium divided into 20 million seats, only one seat would represent XENON.

54. Split evenly: IN TWO.  The math teacher in me wants to point out that "TWO" is not necessarily "even".

55. Overgrown, in a way: MOSSY.  winner of today's Giant Leap award

56. Black tea grade: PEKOE.
Click to enlarge.

58. __ América: international football tournament: COPA.  website

62. __ and crafts: ARTS.

63. Largest organ in the human body: SKIN.  The liver comes in at #2. Lungs are #3.

65. Brain scan letters: EEG.
An Electroencephalogram is a noninvasive test that records electrical patterns in your brain. The test is used to help diagnose conditions such as seizures, epilepsy, head injuries, dizziness, headaches, brain tumors, and sleeping problems. 

67. Reddit Q&A: AMA.  Even though I've never read an AMA, I've seen this one enough now to know it right away.

Finally, let's 'drop in' on the grid:

That's the end of Rebecca's gnarly puzzle.  L8er sk8ers!