Theme: Baseball - the last word is a type of pitch.
17A. *Place-setting piece : SALAD FORK. Forkball.
27A. *Inviolable, as rules : HARD AND FAST. Fastball.
42A. *Rough-and-tumble : BARE KNUCKLE. Knuckleball.
57A. *Statistical graph image : BELL CURVE. Curveball.
Reveal entry (symmetrically placed):
12D. When combined with 50-Down, this puzzle's game : BASE
50D. See 12-Down ... and a word that can follow the ends of the answers to starred clues : BALL
20A. Fenway Park and Wrigley Field : STADIUMS
6D. 10-time Gold Glove winner Roberto : ALOMAR The only Hall of Famer known to have spit at an umpire.
33D. Diamond smack : LINE DRIVE
40D. Hall of Famer Slaughter : ENOS - Once scored from first on a single.
Good morning all. Boomer here - Happy July Fool's day. Start dating your checks 2015 1/2. Great to see a baseball puzzle. Made me hungry for a hot dog. Fastball, Curve, Knuckleball made famous by Hoyt Wilhelm, the Niekro brothers, Wilbur Wood and now R.A. Dickey. It seems the forkball is now called a split finger and notably absent is the Spitball from early baseball years. How about the Vaseline ball from Gaylord Perry, and the beanball from the Barber, Sal Maglie, as well as Don Drysdale and many others. Warn both benches and then start tossing people. Here we go...
1. Waterlogged lowlands : FENS - I have no idea what this is
5. Iditarod, e.g. : RACE - Mora Minnesota has a similar race each year.
9. Talmudic scholar : RABBI - Also in jokes with a priest and a minister
14. Bountiful place? : UTAH
15. Tel Aviv airline : EL AL
16. Wee hr. : ONE AM - I get it but I'm not sure I like it. I will be one AM at the PBA50 Pro Am Bowling event at Treasure Island in Welch, MN this month.
19. Stunned : AGASP - the result of a bean ball?
21. Sweet liqueurs : CREMES What would a Brandy Alexander be without these.
22. She, in San Remo : ESSA - I am not good at foreign words.
23. "Uptown Girl" songwriter : JOEL - Yup, Billy, I like "The Longest Time" better.
24. "Cats" monogram : TSE (T.S. Eliot)
32. Early Talmudic scholar : HILLEL - Not in Priest and Minister jokes.
34. Need to pay : OWE
35. Back in the day : ONCE
36. Morning TV host replaced by Michael : REGIS - I never knew how Philbin got so much air time speaking through his nose.
37. Apr. addressee : IRS - Ever notice when you combine THE and IRS you get "THEIRS"
38. Roper's target : DOGIE
39. __ upswing : ON AN
40. London's Virgin __ Records : EMI
41. Raises an auction paddle for : BIDS ON - I see it in sitcoms, but I never used one on eBay.
45. Heavy wts. : TNS - I understand tons, but how is TNS an abbreviation for tons?
46. God of Spain : DIOS
47. Lamb or Bacon, e.g.: Abbr. : AUTH. Charles Lamb (ELIA) and Francis Bacon.
49. Sporty Fords : T-BIRDS - The 1957 model was always my favorite.
52. Marriott rival : SHERATON
56. Speedy : RAPID - Bob Feller's fastball earned him the nickname "Rapid Robert"
58. Start of a valentine message : I LOVE - OR Bobby Valentine had a different message for umpires.
59. S.A. country on the Pacific : ECUA - Really? Is this a postal abbreviation?
60. Mezzanine, e.g. : TIER
61. Like Venus, to Serena : OLDER
62. "__ Mommy kissing ... " : I SAW - Santa Claus. Jimmy Boyd sang the nasal version. I think it was redone by Wayne Newton - also nasal.
63. River of Spain : EBRO
1. Hubbub : FUSS
2. Californie, par exemple : ETAT - Boo! foreign words.
3. "The Lion King" lion : NALA
4. Protect from light : SHADE
5. Firm no : REFUSAL
7. National rentals : CARS - Ever notice how your legs don't fit in economy, compact, and mid size?
8. Deer family member : ELK - Not the Brewer's Rob Deer family.
9. Laughed heartily : ROARED
10. Type of cake made with egg whites : ANGEL FOOD - Melts in your mouth, not in your hand.
11. Roof support : BEAM -
13. Babysitters' challenges : IMPS - Not nice to call other people's children IMPS. Isn't there some game that has International Match Points? Bridge or Chess?
18. Sink clutter : DISHES - DirecTV catchers, when it's not raining.
21. Ice cream parlor order : CONE
23. Shark flick : JAWS - I cannot remember how many times I've seen this. "I think we'll need a bigger boat!"
24. Beat : THROB
25. Tuscan city : SIENA - I had one of these in a Crayola box once.
26. "Pomp and Circumstance" composer : ELGAR (Edward)
28. Greek column style : DORIC
29. Existential woe : ANGST - How I feel about abbreviations in crossword puzzles.
30. Offspring : SCION
31. Babysitters, often : TEENS
37. Controversial radio host : IMUS - Don -- King of radio jerks!
38. Coke Zero rival : DIET RC - Diet Rite Cola was the pioneer of sugar free pop back in the fifties. It did not taste very good but it preceded Tab which wasn't too good either.
41. Sunday shopping restriction : BLUE LAW - never heard of this.
43. One pulling your leg : KIDDER
44. Liqueur in a B-52 cocktail : KAHLUA- What would a Black Russian be without this. Do not sub Creme de Cacao. I can tell the difference.
48. __ cuisine : HAUTE - Rather see Terre_____, IN
49. The Andrews Sisters, e.g. : TRIO- I prefer Kingston____ or Chad Mitchell____. The Andrew sisters were a trio but never referred to by that name.
51. Apple MP3 player : IPOD
52. Jiffies : SECS - abbreviation not shown in the clue.
53. Windy City paper : TRIB - abbreviation not shown in the clue.
54. Partner of out : OVER - Pilot in "Airplane"
55. Homebound sleuth Wolfe : NERO
57. "__ Mir Bist Du Schoen": Andrews Sisters hit : BEI - Foreign again.
The fat guy is me with my qualifying medals, getting ready to participate in the bowling event at the National Senior Games coming to Minnesota next week. Word is that there will be 9995 participants in about 17 different events. Ages span from 50 to 102 and participants are showing up from all 50 states. Should be a boom for the hotel trade. If you are in the Twin Cities, I will be at Southtown Lanes in Bloomington on July 10 (singles) and July 12 (doubles).