This Sunday by Tracy Gray has a theme of famous places that contain ME in them, because the conceit is that the places are where people took selfies. CHRIST THE REDEEMER, JEFFERSON MEMORIAL, MADAME TUSSAUD'S, MALL OF AMERICA, and so on are all clued with cutesy "Facebook status" descriptions, which doesn't really add to theme except to justify the "ME" part. It seems like all this does is promote the idea that taking pictures of yourself is somehow inherently egotistical and that it's somehow a modern phenomenon and due to social media. The millennials, the me-generation.
I didn't know offhand that Bei Bei and Bao Bao were PANDAS but it seemed likely, so I wrote it in immediately. Bao Bao used to live at the Washington DC zoo and Bei Bei is her surviving cub.
I'm not sure I call "valuable China" ARTWARE.
I had forgotten that the Henley Royal Regatta is the annual boat race on the RIVER THAMES, which kept me from filling that one in quickly.
The clue "who played Ernestine" (Lily TOMLIN) refers to her telephone operator character on "Saturday Night Live."
SAO Miguel Island, a.k.a. the Green Island, is the largest island in the Portuguese archipelago the Azores.
WILLIE Geist is a TV anchor who currenly has a show called "Sunday Today," but you may know him as a "Morning Joe" co-host or for his NBC sports commentary. I don't. I'm surprised someone born in 1975 goes by "Willie."
A top with a built-in bra is a CAMI. That is short for camisole. Wikipedia?
Since 1989, some camisoles have come with a built-in underwire bra or other support which eliminates the need for a bra among those who prefer one. Starting around the 2000s, camisoles have been known to be used as outerwear.I didn't know a TB TEST is given on the forearm. It is also called the Mantoux test.
Totally new word of the puzzle: ORANT, "praying figure in Christian art." Also known as orans. It is usually a female figure, with elbows close to the body, arms raised up. Is it etymologically related to orison? Seems likely, but I don't know!
I know LSU (geaux tigers!) but I didn't know their mascot was called Mike. The school is now on Mike VII. They have a vet on staff and a well-maintained habitat for him.
"Cassiterite, e.g." is TIN ORE. Most of it is found in Bolivia and Rwanda. This is the third ore I've learned since starting this blog, along with galena and cerussite.
For "seal the deal" I had *ACE IT for quite a sad while. It's ICE IT, while "get the better of" is the rather clunky ACE OUT.
Never heard of Arequipa, second-largest city in PERU. Its Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Figuring out whether "speck" was *ATOM or IOTA was tough since the crossfill was "analogy connector" which could be *AS TO or IS TO.
Clever clues: "Mike's place" is PODIUM. "Bad place for a frog" is THROAT. "Alabama and Kansas" is BANDS. "You might take it to go" is EX-LAX.