Mar 23, 2008

Sunday, March 23, 2008 Alan P. Olschwang

Theme: Play Ball

24A: Two-land road feature: CENTER LINE

34A: Make no mistake: GET IT RIGHT

36A: Quit messing with: LEFT ALONE

53A: Steno's writing: SHORT HAND

68A: Spouted dispenser: MILK PITCHER

80A: Very soon: ANY SECOND

100A: One way to jump in: FEET FIRST

102A: Subway current resources: THIRD RAILS

113A: Insect eater: FLY CATCHER

No quip from Mr. Olschwang? He is either reformed or this is another constructor name printing error. It's probably latter but I prefer the former. Kind of feel like Ed Voile's work.

Nevertheless, I love this puzzle, it's the most aesthetically pleasing TMS puzzle I've ever done. Doesn't it the finished grid look great to you? Every ball player is in his proper position. Superb execution of the theme in my view.

I was overjoyed when I saw the titled theme - I love baseball, and I was able to fill in almost all the theme entries after PITCHER revealed itself.

All right, let's play ball!

Across entries:

1A: Relative of CHiPs: LAPD. My first reaction: The TV series CHiPs spin off? I just checked Erik Estrada yesterday and I remember this strange spelling CHiPs. Had no idea that CHiP refer to California Highway Patrol.

9A: Rustler's rope: LASSO. "Bola" in Spanish I gather?

20A: Israeli statesman: EBAN (ABBA). His command of English is superb, even Kissinger was mesmerized. My one-time crush Netanyahu called him "the founding father of Israeli diplomacy". Oh, by the way, ABBA is "father" in Hebrew language. I love so many of Eban's quotes: Better to be disliked than pitied; You can't achieve anything without getting in someone' way. My favorite is: "His ignorance is encyclopedic." That's me.

21A: Key above G: A-FLAT

23A: Hebrew month: ELUL (the 12th month)

27A: Dispersed: SCATTERED

29A: Man of old Rome: VIR. Or viri, Latin for man or manliness, as in virile. Look at these nuggets of information.

30A: Nine: pref. ENNEA. Greek for nine. Latin is nona/non.

31A: Actress Garson: GREER. OK, her classic is Mrs. Miniver, I have not forgotten yet.

40A: Military welfare. org: USO (United Service Organizations). I was confused by the word "Welfare". I was thinking of an organization that helps financially strapped or injured soldiers.

41A: Father of France: PERE. If I did not know French, I would probably go to the direction of founding father road.

42A: Vasco __ de Balboa: NUNEZ. Know him, but never know how to spell his name.

43A: Exclude: DISBAR. American politics can be so cruel and unforgiving. A victim-less reckless behavior brought down an otherwise brilliant governor in less than 3 days. And now rumors run amok about possible disbarment!

47A: Forewarning: THREAT

49A: Geom. figure: CIR (Circle)

57A: Caen's neighbor: ST. LO. Both D-Day cities. Here is the map. See St Lo and Caen on the left side?

58A: Mr. Serling: ROD. The Twilight Zone guy. So many noteworthy RODs in this world, those crossword guys can pick up anyone who catches their fancy at the moment.

59A:Socrates' pupil: PLATO

62A: Initials in want ads: EEO (Equal Employment Opportunity)

65A: Brain areas: CEREBRA. Single form Cerebrum. Have you visited Ken Jennings' blog before?

67A: Portuguese cape: ROCA. No idea. The dictionary says "Roca is a cape in W Portugal, near Lisbon: the western extremity of continental Europe."

71A: Paraphernalia: GEAR. I did not know the meaning of "Paraphernalia". OK, para is Greek for beyond, phere is dowry. How can it become "gear" in the end? Strange.

72A: Breakfast-time serving: OAT BRAN. Sounds very unappetizing to me. Does anyone actually eat this stuff?

74A: Neurological test letters: EEG

75A: River island: AIT. Dictionary says it's a British dialect for Island. Same pronunciation as Eight.

77A: Start of a verse: UNI (Universe)

84A: _ diem (seize the day): CARPE.

87A: Wide shots: MISSES. I misread the clue as "wild shots", and I was thinking of Phil Mickelson's wild tee shots, still, MISSES fit perfectly.

91A: Camera holder: TRIPOD

93A: Surfers' shopping place: EMALLS. Internet surfing. I like this clue.

95A: Wage-slaves' refrain: TGIF

98A: Gold in the Sierra Madre: ORO (Spanish for gold). This is one of the very few Spanish words I actually know. Let me see what is Spanish for Gold medal... Medalla de oro. Why is it feminine form? Weird. Is Oro also a feminine form? Anyone speaks Spanish here?

99A: Some NCOS: CPLS (Corporal).

106A: Islands off Ireland: ARAN. Here is the map, quite close to Galway.

107A: Iroquois tribe members: ERIES

108A: Starbucks jumbo-size: VENTI. Too bad, their stock price has tanked.

110A: Broken: FRACTURED

112A: Longfellow character: ALDEN (John). No idea. Only know a few lines from Leonard Cohen, that's about all the English poems I've touched. OK, “The Courtship of Miles Standish”, looks like a love triangle story to me.

115A: Salamander: NEWT. Let's try Contract with America author Gingrich, or even better Clinton's "Cry Baby" Gingrich. This guy actually has some great ideas.

118A: Performing: DOING

119A: End of the small intestine: ILEUM. Plural ILEA. ILIUM is the "upper portion of either hipbone", plural ILIA. These Latins are all Greek to me.

120A: Singer Ed: AMES. My ignorance is really encyclopedic and far-flung. Have never heard of him.

121A: Adam's grandson: ENOS. Or Slaughter of Cooperstown.

122A: Sports pages' figs: STATS. My husband pores them over like it's our financial statement.

Down clues:

1D: Christopher or Pinky: LEE. Know neither of them.

2D: Silent communication, briefly: ASL (American Sign Language). It's also called Ameslan.

3D: Break because: PAUSE TO. I don't like the clue.

4D: Sweet sounding: DULCET. I did not know this word. Somehow I want it to be sucre, which sounds so sugary and sweet.

5D: Religious denomination: SECT

6D: Lookout man, for example: ABETTOR

11D: Split into splinters: SLIVERED. Wonderful alliteration. I love it.

12D: Disinfects: SANITIZES

13D: Cheri of "Saturday Night Live": OTERI. Learned Michael Lorne (SNL producer) and her name from doing crossword. I've never watched SNL.

14D: Overseer: SUPERVISOR

15D: Man who died from lying: ANANIAS. Nope. I like this word though: a chronic liar. But "Every man is born truthful and every man dies a liar." Forgot who said that.

16D: Calling into play: USING

17D: Singer Cherry: NENEH. Swedish singer, how am I supposed to know her?

18D: Bothered: ATE AT. I start to like this kind of answer, with a preposition in to throw you off. Much better than excavating some obscure dead actors to frustrate me.

25D: Some M.I.T. graduates: EES (Electrical Engineering)

28D: Plains tribes: ARAPAHO. It's a "tribe of North American Indians of Algonquian speech stock, once dwelling in the Colorado plains and now in Oklahoma and Wyoming." No idea. These Indian tribes give me problems too.

I don't think I am good at anything actually. I do know the madman Ahmadinejad, and I know the new Russia puppet Dmitri Medvedev, and I know how to pronounce their names correctly. That's about it.

32D: Hebrew letter: RESH (20th letter). A big sigh here. No idea.

35D: Rug rat: TODDLER

37D: Apollo's mother: LETO (Greek). Roman is LATONA. Apollo's birthplace is DELOS (Oracle of Apollo)

38D: Blinkers: TURN SIGNALS

44D: Relative of toucan: BARBET. So pretty. What kind of berry is that?

45D: Greek malls: AGORAE. This clue made me laugh. Let's go to the mall, Socrates!

46D: Detection Device: RADARS

48D: Abbr. on a cornerstone: ESTAB

49D: Reduce the air intake: CHOKE

51D: Blah, blah, blah...: ETC ETC

54D: "Misery" director: REINER (ROB). Only saw his A Few Good Man.

59D: French writer Marcel: PROUST. "Remembrance of Things Past" is simply too complicated for me to digest. My mind is not sophisticated enough to understand those convoluted western philosophical thinking. They give me headache.

60D: Repair-shop car: LOANER

61D: End of many plays: ACT III

64D: Online currency: ECASH. I like this ECASH, EMALL, EJOKE stuff.

68D: Bullfighter: MATADOR. Mata(r) is spanish for "to kill". Odd. How can "To Kill" evolved into a bullfighter? Torero sounds reasonable to me, as "Toro" means "bull" in Spanish.

70D: Make haste: HIE


76D: Bloodhound, at times: SNIFFER

79D: In particular: SPECIALLY

81D: French designer's monogram: YSL (Yves -Saint-Laurent).

85D: Worker: EMPLOYEE

88D: Shrill: STRIDENT

92D: Omen: PORTENT

94D: Michaels and Hirschfeld: ALS. Do you believe in Miracles? YES!

95D: I am open to instruction: TEACH ME. Yes, please!

96D: Elegantly stylish: GENTEEL

100D: Noisy quarrel: FRACAS. Oh the Ferraro fracas! I actually admire her never-back-down attitude. She stands up for what she believes, even if it's wrong.

101D: Castle and Dunne: IRENES

102D: Boob tube spots: TV ADS

103D: Athenian slave: HELOT. The dictionary says that HELOT is "one of a class of serfs in ancient Sparta, neither a slave nor a free citizen.". So technically the clue is not correct then?

104D: Type of ink: INDIA. Also called Chinese ink.

105D: Classic Michael Caine film: ALFIE. I only saw the Jude Law's Alfie.

106D: Garfunkel or Buchwald: ART. Never have time to read Buchwald I'll always have Paris. But Paris is in my mind.

I am done!



Dick said...

cc I think 34A is getitright or gotitright. What do you think?

C.C. Burnikel said...

Good morning Dick,

Thanks for pointing out the mistake. I've corrected it.

My mind was not very focused this morning.

Dick said...

cc For 3D it worked in to be PAUSETOR and I don't have a clue what this would be.

Dick said...

When we were in Costa Rica last year we saw many tucans and they are a beautiful bird.

Dick said...

Except for the comment above I have the same solution as you. This puzzle was fun and did not cause too much angst. Have a great day. See you on Monday.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Here's my husband's explanation:

Yesterday the PGA had to take a break because of the rain.

Yesterday the PGA had to PAUSE FOR the rain.

Dennis said...

Happy Easter, everyone; hope it's your best ever.
(I don't get the same Sunday puzzle, but it's always enjoyable to read C.C.'s and everyone else's comments).

C.C. Burnikel said...


My answer for 3D: Break because of (PAUSE FOR) is correct, isn't it?

Dick's PAUSETOR does not make much sense to me. I wonder what he put for 36A: Quit messing with (LEFT ALONE).

How I wish you were solving this puzzle!

Dennis said...

Pause for seems correct.

Dick said...

cc I went back and checked 36A and left alone is correct and makes pausefor reasonable. I originally had letsalone for 36A Thanks again and do have a Great Easter!!

Anonymous said...

79A is specially, not specialty.
you have 119A ileum correct

Dr. Dad said...

3D - Take a break for something means to "pause for." This is in keeping with 36A as "left alone" because the "quit" in the clue is past tense, not present tense. It also coincides with 4D which is "dulcet" that means sweet sounding, e.g. in music. Anyone who saw the finale of MASH will recall that Charles Winchester kept telling the minstrel musicians to play the Mozart piece "Dulcet" pronounced dole-chay.

Boomer said...

Very clever puzzle, however...he should have found a way to get diamond, fence, base, dugout, fans, ump, home, plate, etc. in the down words.

jolienb said...

As a softball player of 13 years, I really love today's theme. Unfortunately I was in a puzzle-funk and had no enthusiasm to finish the puzzle on my own.
So here I am, reading the answers...
Have a Happy Easter all!

winfield said...

Ed Ames was famous for playing Mingo, an Indian on the Daniel Boone show and I believe on Broadway the Indian role in One Flew Over the Cuckoo nest. He also sang with his brothers and had a solo career as a singer. He is most famous for throwing a hatchet on the Carson show at a cowboy outline and it landed right in the crotch. Not only was it a direct hit but it landed upright so it looked like an erection. I was surprised it wasn't cut out since tv was very conservative in those days.

sallyjane said...

C.C., I smiled when I saw the theme of today's puzzle, because it has been apparent that you are quite a fan! My family is, too, in fact, both of my grown sons love it so much they still play townball in Victoria!

Can you believe I didn't notice the positions were laid out in field order until after I was finished with the puzzle? Duh!

No complaints about the puzzle at all. Well executed throughout, IMHO!



C.C. Burnikel said...


I checked the meaning of "Dulcet" yesterday, never bothered to see how it was pronounced. Thank you.


Ah, you made me feel so clever. I figured out all the positions after I got "PITCHER".

M.E. said...

Husband and I have been working on this puzzle and I just discovered your blog by googling for "nine: pref". The reason: What does "pref" mean? It bugs me when I see it, even if I'm able to figure out the answer.

I, too, loved the Greek shopping mall! :-)

Going to add you to my Google reader now...!

C.C. Burnikel said...


Pref: prefix.

ENNEA is for nine, as in enneangle, enneahedron.

M.E. said...

Oh DUH! *hand slapping forehead* Of course. But thank you very much!