Apr 20, 2012

Friday, April 20, 2012, Marti Duguay-Carpenter

Theme: Play Ball! 5 Puns, many hits and no errors. Or as Ernie Banks would say let's play two! Play is the operative word for this latest Friday offering from our relentless own HeartRx, as each clue is a baseball term and each fill is a play on words presenting a completely non-baseball answer. Ms. H's mind has some twists and turns, but this baseball homage to C.C. from a non-baseball fan is precious, no screwballs but plenty of curve balls. For you theme deprived, this is a classic pattern of the first theme answer in 17A and a grid spanner in the middle, with other symmetrical fill.

Let the game begin:

17A. Starting pitcher? : TUNING FORK (10) Musical clue, and a pun for pitcher as the tuning fork's main use is as a standard of pitch to tune musical instruments. Wicked clue.

23A. Strike zone? : BOWLING ALLEY (12). More sports, with the pun here
strike as in knocking them all down in Bowling (Hey Boomer) and strike in baseball.

39A. Short stop? : HIGHWAY REST AREA.(15) Here the entire clue is a pun, with making a short stop on the road, and the player in baseball positioned between second and third base, the

48A. Left field? : LIBERAL SLATE(12). Here both words are involved but separately, as the Liberal, the left wing party field being a group or slate of candidates, while one outfielder plays left field. Hope that explanation did not leave you out in LF. The terms Left and Right were coined during the French Revolution (1789-1799), referring to the seating arrangement in the Estates General; those who sat on the left generally supported the radical changes of the revolution, including the creation of a republic and secularization. Per wiki. I am not getting drawn into political foo foo.

61A. Batter? : PANCAKE MIX.(10) This one is straight batter being what you make pancakes from and batter the guy who tries to hit the ball, the batter.



1. Hidden drawback : CATCH. There is always a catch, which also gives us a hint right away of our subliminal baseball them.

6. "Hold your horses!" : WAIT. Why horses?

10. Clean, as erasers : CLAP. Ah, so many clues for this fill, some even usable.

14. Like Cirque du Soleil performers : AGILE. And flexible.

15. Takes outside : AIRS. Differences?

16. First name in country : REBA. her second name is McEntire, spelt her own way.

19. "___ Almighty": Steve Carell sequel : EVAN, This MOVIE (1:53) came after Jim Carrey's Bruce Almighty.

20. Clothes line : SEAM. A nice misdirection, not to hang clothes, but a line on clothes.

21. CIO partner : AFL. Not the American Football League, but labor's American Federation of
Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations. Love them initalisms.

22. Antioxidant-rich veggies : BEETS. A good beet borscht with a boiled potato is yum.

27. ___ Schwarz : FAO. A fun toy store in Manhattan, and the focal point in many Big MOVIES.

30. Wahine's strings : UKElele. Hi Hawaii!

31. Ballot abbr. : INDependent.

32. Dispense in shares : ALLOT.

34. Like some brides : BLUSHING. From the days of sweet innocence.

42. Line through the middle : DIAMETER. Of a circle.

43. Matter makers : ATOMS. Does matter matter, we must assess the gravity of the situation.

44. NL East city, on scoreboards : ATLanta Braves. Another baseball reference.

45. New Deal fig. : FDR. Franklin Delano Roosevelt, more attempts to get me into a political comment, HUH!

47. Eastern theater genre : NOH. Oddly, like early European theater, this Japanese dance theater featured masked performers. LINK

54. Crammer's concerns : EXAMS.

55. Over there, quaintly : YON. An accepted form, but I like " But soft, what light through yonder window breaks."

56. Chianti, in Chianti : VINO. Both Italian and Latin for wino. In vino veritas, brother!

60. Year in Trajan's reign? : ANNO. More Latin and the A in AD (Anno Domini, not after death).

64. Go off : RANT. We have not many here in a long time.

65. Fanny ___ : PACK. This is an x-rated LINK. (2:59) Buyer beware. Dont listen, I liked the pics..

66. Worth of the theater : IRENE. Not familiar with this actress.

67. CNBC topic : NYSE New York Stock Exchange.

68. Easter celebration : MASS. Also where HR and many others of us live.

69. When brunch may begin : AT TEN. Or eleven; did you salute?


1. Musical with Mungojerrie : CATS. Based on TSE's work. Mungojerrie and his partner in crime, Rumpelteazer, specialize in petty theft and mischief. I loved the play and even fed Junior Mints to the actors at the beginning of Act Two.

2. Flue symptom : AGUE.

3. "Bossypants" writer Fey : TINA. SNL alumna and star of 30 Rock which she also created.

4. Move up : CLIMB. Like they sing LINK (2:14)
5. Mother ___ : HEN. None of my other thoughts fit.

6. Shilly-shally : WAFFLE. Didn't we just waver of this?

7. Garlicky mayo : AIOLI. Not to be confused with Japanese golfer Isao Aoki.

8. Like the vb. "go", e.g. : IRRegular.

9. Cluck of reproach : TSK. TSK, need more than one.

10. Fish hamper : CREEL. Rhymes with REEL, great for fishing poetry.

11. Rank : LEVEL. Not smelling band, but like in the service.

12. Peter out : ABATE. Wow all kinds of questions about Peter, is he a master?

13. Cultivated violet : PANSY. I know I have to avoid my PC you all do not...

18. Goggle : GAWK.

22. Getting up on the wrong side of bed, say : BAD START.

24. Lasts longer than : OUT WEARS. Not the opposite of In Wears.

25. Lake Nasser feeder : NILE. Flows south to north like the_______river in Florida.

26. Migratory antelopes : GNUS. A crossword oldie.

27. Saudi royal name : FAHD. Tricky HD word. King Fahd bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud (1921 – 2005), King of Saudi Arabia from 1982 until his death in 2005.

28. Et ___ : and others : ALII. Harder to get than ALIA.

29. Gold medalist Korbut : OLGA. 40 YEARS AGO. Reminds me of Usain Bolt's victory pose.

33. Omega, to a physicist : OHM. Because of its shape Ω, it is not confused with 0 the way the letter O is.

34. "I'm c-c-cold!" : BRR. So go put on more CLOTHES.

35. Noodle topper? : HAT. I got this one using my...oh never mind.

36. Monopoly token : IRON. Better than the shoe?

37. Sought-after clownfish : NEMO.

38. Nasty cut : GASH.

40. "___ girl!" : ATTA. The pc version of atta boy.

41. Use one's outside voice : YELL.

45. Rushes (to) : FLOCKS.

46. Delany of "China Beach" : DANA. Like Marj, she now has her own CSI type show, but rememeber when they were YOUNG.(1:51)

48. Get the hang of : LEARN.

49. "Negatory!" : IXNAY. is the Illfay.

50. Premarital posting : BANNS. The HISTORY.

51. Hog the spotlight : EMOTE. Not to be confused with email or ezine.

52. Does a film editing job : SYNCS. Synchronizes, make sure the picture and sound work in unison.

53. Six-time U.S. Open winner : EVERT. First saw her play in Gainesville in 1971 when she was in high school, impressive even then. This came later. CLIP.(9:48)

57. "How __ Your Mother": CBS sitcom : I MET.An updated Friends with more annoying people.

58. Half a round : NINE holes of golf.

59. The yoke's on them : OXEN. Another pun from our mistress of mirth marti.

61. EPA measure : PPM. Parts
Per Million. In my world, Private Placement Memorandum

62. Top bond rating : AAA.

63. Optima maker : KIA.

Answer grid.

Well I am out of time and out of steam, another lovely romp with my now regular Gal Friday, hope you enjoyed and here are her words. Thanks from the lemon patch.

Constructor's Notes:

I have solved so many puzzles with clues like
"All-star starting pitcher..."
"Number one batter..."
"A.L. shortstop..."

...and I always draw a blank! So, I decided to try my own version of a "baseball themed" puzzle. I am sure that C.C. would not approve, but here it is, for better or worse!

Notes from C.C.:

1) Of course I love the theme, Marti, you always make things light and fun. "Strike zone?" & BOWLING ALLEY is a home run. As Lemonade said earlier "
Or as Ernie Banks would say let's play two!"

2) I want to re-link this wonderful poem CrossEyedDave brought to us yesterday. Thanks for touching my soul!


Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Blew through the top half of this puzzle and then things kinda went off the rails for awhile when I stuck in OUTLASTS at 24D and refused to let it go. And it fit so well with STL at 44A, too...

I struggled a bit from that point on. IRENE was a complete unknown. LIBERAL SLATE didn't exactly spring to mind, either, even after getting most of the perps. And I really expected something a bit less generic than MASS for 68A.

This isn't a RANT by any means, however, since most of my problems were my own fault. Once I finally let go of OUTLASTS I was able to make proper headway and eventually got the job done. Plus, I really loved the punny theme (even if I'm not a huge baseball fan).

thehondohurricane said...

Good day folks,

First time I've felt up to doing a puzzle in over a week and Marti comes through with a nice challenge. It didn't take long to figure out the baseball clues were a misdirection either.

Unlike Barry, I didn't blow through anything, but did manage to make steady progress. The SW corner was the most difficult and a wag or two were certainly in order. BANNS & IXRAY were unknowns and I refused to believe they were words. 47A, NOH was an awakening too.

Loved the baseball clues and their fills. STRIKE ZONE/ BOWLING ALLEY was the favorite.

Almost forgot, DANA DELANY was a previously unknown too. Got this one done w/o look ups, but perps, wags, & swags were the order of the day.

Till Monday........

Fine 49er said...

HI C.C. - thank you for sharing your considerable puzzle skills with us.
"Yonder" is absolutely one of my all-time favorite words. Even Jimi Hendrix used it.
Fanny Pack Limerick: rating R
My fanny pack rides in the front
Above my anatomical lump
My mom said to zip it
In case there's illicit
Things hanging out in a clump.
On that uplifting note, I bid you all a good Friday.

Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning, Marti and friends. I liked the Un-Baseball terms. I'm with Hondo on this one. It wasn't an easy fill and took a couple of passes.

I liked the Matter Makers = ATOM.

Noodle Topper = HAT also made me smile.

Didn't IRON and WAFFLE come up in yesterday's discussion when some of us were Waffling over to answer Iron or IHop?

I knew the PANSY because those were my grandmother's favorite flowers.

I saw CATS, but could never understand why it was so popular.

Happy Friday!

QOD: Ugliness is in a way superior too beauty because it lasts longer. ~ Serge Gainsbourg

Abejo said...

Good morning, folks. Thank you, Marti HeartRx, for a great puzzle. I really enjoyed it. Thank you Lemonade, for the great review. Excellent Links. One was a little deep though.

Started with the downs in the NW. Got AGUE (which I think I have). Then TINA, then HEN, then CATS (which I really liked many years ago, the musical). Then the Acrosses fell.

In the Top Center WAIT and AIRS came easily, then got the rest except for AIOLI. Never heard of that. Perps helped.

With all that I was able to get TUNING FORK. Still no idea what the theme was. Got HIGHWAY REST AREA after a bunch of perps made it appear. The other two I was able to get in the same fashion, a few perps, then putting on my thinking cap. Still could not figure the theme.

IXNAY appeared after the "X" in EXAMS. Already had LIBERAL SLATE.

Thought PPM was clever.

Also had STL for 44A for a while, like Barry did. Then OUTWEARS fixed that.

Monopoly token, IRON was easy once I had a letter. I played that as a youth continually.

I'm planting some BEETS this year. I do every year. Enjoy Harvard Beets.

Monday I got a Tetanus shot (TDAP). I am going to North Dakota in June with a church group to help with the cleanup after the flooding of last year. I had to get a Tetanus update to be current. Now I am sick. I wonder if the shot caused that. I have a runny nose, scratchy voice, and a slight headache. Did not sleep very well last night.

Hope I feel better as the day progresses. See you tomorrow.


Abejo said...

Hahtoolah: I liked the music in Cats.


Hahtoolah said...

Lemonade: Your comment to 34-Down reminded me of this story that has been in the news the last couple of days.

desper-otto said...

TGIF, all!

Would you believe that I didn't get the baseball connection to those clues? (I was afraid you would.) Otherwise I was on Marti's wavelength and raced to the bottom in Monday-solving time. All the way to the DNF.

I had left a blank square near the top of the grid. Thanks to pro-biotics, my "go" was not IRRegular, but InTRansitive. That made it tough, or actually impossible, to get the second letter of the icky mayo. I tried 'M' and 'B', but finally left it blank and came here for enlightenment.

I was so happy this past Sunday, because my DNF was in a different week from the previous one. I'm not so happy today. That makes two this week. As Topol would say, "Unheard of! Absurd!", but absolutely true.

Time to take it outside for my morning 3-mile constitutional...

Avg Joe said...

You completely stumped me Marti!

I filled all the answers, and thought many of the clues were very clever. So many that offered other options that the eraser got a real workout (such as those already mentioned and edits for syncs). It took 2 or 3 re-readings to grasp what Liberal Slate meant, but I got it finally. OK. I'm good. The answers are all correct. Now then...what's the theme?

I looked at all the right answers several times. Nothing in common. I then looked at the longer downs. Still nothing. Finally gave up and came here. DOH! Not the answers, but the clues. I don't think I've ever seen anything quite like this. Very well done!!

CrossEyedDave said...

Aah... a Marti puzzle!

I intend to honor it with paper and ink, (no red letters, i want to savor this.) But, Friday, being a busy day, means i may not get to it until tomorrow. Not wanting to lose a days posts, HERE i something i thought funny.

And, when i saw this, i thought not as much of Dick Clark, and Levon, but Lucina's brother.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Marti, a great, fun puzzle. I must have been on your wave length today. Not easy, but ended up with no strikethroughs, no lookups, and no nits. I was stopped at the south center, but finally dove in with the YON/SYNC cross and decided on PANCAKE MIX, and it all came home. Favorite clues were for TUNING FORK and HIGHWAY REST AREA. IRENE and EVAN were WAGS based on the perps. I think it was Friday level; I was just lucky today. BZ

CLAP - cleaning erasers. When we were in the elem grades, at school day's end the teacher would ask one of us to take the chalk board erasers down to the cleaning machine. Somehow it was considered a privilege to wander on down, unescorted, down the hallways, through the gym and on down to the boiler room to run the eraser cleaner, and then 'wander' all the way back. (Can't picture that happening today)

Enjoy the day.

Tinbeni said...

Marti: I got a smile when I caught on to your "non-baseball" themes. ATTA-girl.
Hope you enjoyed making it as much as I did solving.

Fave was the "Negatory!" answer IXNAY.
LEARNed about AIOLI from crosswords. With 4 vowels, I don't understand why this word hasn't become crosswordese.
IRENE Worth, another CW learned gimmie.

Fine 49er: And here's our "China Beach" gal DANA Delany.

A 'toast' to all at Sunset.

kazie said...

Very clever, you outfoxed my abilities today. I got a start in the SE then the mid east, but after that there were blanks all over the place. the only theme that I got completely was PANCAKE MIX, with notable blanks in the perps of all the others.

Not having the time today to spend longer, I gave up and came here to be humbled.

Have a great weekend all of you. Thanks for the poem, CED and C.C.

Hahtoolah said...

How ironic to have this baseball misdirect theme on the 100 anniversary of the opening of Fenway Park. Marti, LaLaLinda and other BoSox fans, are you doing anything special to celebrate this occasion? My grandfather used to go Fenway Park in the early days. I doubt he was there on opening day, though.

LaLaLinda: I hope your cat is doing well. One of my cats had kidney problems so my vet suggested a drinking fountain. My husband and I thought that sounded weird, but got one anyway. My cat LOVES it and cries when we take it up to clean it. She does drink more and it helped with her kidney problems.

Mari said...

Wow, I finished a Friday pretty early! Good morning all, and Happy Friday!

Hand way up for not knowing BANN and NOH, but PERPS made them learning opportunities.

The first long clues I got were TUNING FORK and PANCAKE MIX, so I thought the theme was going to be related to food.

Favorite clue was probably 20A: Clothes Line: SEAM (I was thinking of a brand name). I also liked 60A: Year in Trajan's REign: ANNO. I thought it was going to be some Roman numerals.

I really liked CED's poem about internet friends. Thanks for sharing.

Have a Great Friday! We're almost there!

Husker Gary said...

There is a delicate balance on a Friday to obtain a decent level of difficulty without being too cute or esoteric and Marti, you are right on the money today! I had to work and said duh five times by my count!

-Before I went to an electronic device I used TUNING FORKS in the lab to get my guitar up to speed
-WAIT not WHOA. ANNO not Roman numerals. PPM not AQI.
-I have never used GOGGLE as a verb
-Cirque du Soleil is a $128 ticket in Downtown Disney
-Before we built our new house, where clothes lines are verboten, we had lines of WIRE and ROPE
-I loves my BEETs – cooked or pickled
-Is anyone capable of BLUSHING anymore?
-If that’s YON, where’s HITHER?
-Kids gave me static about wearing a FANNY PACK in theme parks until they needed something I was carrying. In loco parentis!
-Marti, you’re probably too young to remember Good Night IRENE!
-I remember this Mungo Jerry (3:33)
-There are certain friends with whom we no longer play Monopoly!
-The other China Beach gal, Marj Helgenberger, is from North Bend, Nebraska (pop. 1,200) where I play golf and that fact is proudly proclaimed on a sign outside of town.

Mikey said...

Really enjoyed this puzzle -- easy for a Friday, mostly. I cruised clockwise from 1A, and for a while wondered if it weren't Tuesday or Wednesday... until I hit the SW corner. But a lucky guess of LEARN triggered a flood of fill, and the job was done.

Favorite of the day: 17A: Starting pitcher?: TUNINGFORK. This would be a nifty clue for that other favorite, OBOE.

Never did notice the baseballishness of the theme. Duh.

An eraser-cleaning machine, Spitzboov? Wow, you went to a higher-class school than I did. We just took the erasers outside and had fog wars in the schoolyard. Probably EPA-Verboten these days.

windhover said...

North Bend has a sign announcing that you play golf there? How cool is that? ;)

Husker Gary said...

WH, What a scream!. I'm still laughing over that one! I gotta watch where I put my clauses! Remember, the Hall side of my family is from the hills of Kentucky!

p.s. My golfing is not sign worthy but the house of Marj's youth seems to be! Her mother just died recently and was a lovely lady.

desper-otto said...

Husker, your North Bend comment reminds me of the billboard of Freda, the "oldest living Lutheran in Minnesota." It's in a scene from Drop Dead Gorgeous, a mindless Kirsten Dunst movie about a teen beauty pageant. There are no socially redeeming values, but the movie does have some hilarious lines.

Avg Joe said...

I'm of the opinion that nearly every movie has at least one line or scene that makes it memorable and worthwhile, no matter how bad it was otherwise.

Case in point: In "North Dallas Forty" there's a line about legs that is absolutely priceless! Another line, "You got five minutes!", wasn't too bad either.

HeartRx said...

Morning all!

Thanks for the hilarious write-up, Lemony! And what a hoot to read some of your comments. I had so much fun making this one up. Rich actually accepted it last September, but wanted to wait until baseball season before he published it. Hahtoolah, knowing him, I think he intentionally published it on the 100th anniversary of Fenway Park, my home team's ball field!

I had other entries that I considered:
SITUATION COMEDY (Ball field?) ...Lucille Ball, that is
BRANDING IRON (Bull pen?) ...What to use to "write" on a bull
HOUSING BOOMS (Home runs?)...Wish there were more demand right now
PRECIOUS GEMS (Diamonds?)...are a girl's best friend!
GUESSTIMATE (Ball park?)...
You get the idea!


*David* said...

Had a similar solving experience to Barry, the top fell very quickly and then I entered in OUTLASTS, OUT WEARS sounds like such an odd phrase. I knew STL was wrong so corrected that to ATL but then got tripped up wiith STATE versus SLATE. I think the last time I saw BANNS was another Marti puzzle, overall decent for a Friday.

eddyB said...

Loved this one Rx. btw, I used Yahoo Search for the "O" yesterday.
Finished in plenty time to watch the Sharks lose another.
Looks like my play off beard will come off sooner that I hoped.
Body of Proof is one of my favorites.


Ron Worden said...

Good morning and happy Friday to all. Great puzzle Marti and thanks Lemon for your writings. I always check the author before I start and a Friday with Marti is always a top pick. Have a great weekend to all, we may have to batten down the hatches here Sat. night as it may be Fla. turn for severe weather.RJW.

Lemonade714 said...

Speaking of Jim Carrey, GMA is have a reunion next week of some of the cast of In Living Color which is where he started along with the Wayans brothers, Jamie Foxx and the fly girl herself, JLo.

Speaking of LIBERAL SLATE they did Murphy Brown today.

CrossEyedDave said...

Hmmm, just took a quick break for lunch & attacked the cross & downs. (i have not looked at the blog or comments yet, no easy task.) & i think i'm in trouble.

The only thing i'm sure of is
& 37D = nemo
38D might be gash
top bond rating's a gimme, & 57D=imet but then things get hazy,,, 59D might be oxen, & 40D gotta be "atta", & 41D sounds like "yell", which makes 44A "ATL"

Negatory sounds like "nosir", & i'm pretty sure its "evan" almighty, buy 10D fish hamper=keel doesn't fit?

2D flu symptom=ache & 3D Tina is the only "Fey" i know...

Everything else is a big white expanse, its time to dig deeper.
(if only i had a longer lunch break!)

Yellowrocks said...

Marti and Lemonade, I love your wit and sense of humor. This was a terific puzzle and expo. The theme puns were cute.

Mike @8:57 Yes!! We all vied for the chance to take the erasers outside and blow up fog wars. Even in my last years of teaching many elementary kids loved to help the teacher with anything. Not at home, though. My mother complained that we gladly washed the neighbors' dishes, but carped at doing hers.

The Roman Catholic Church announced the BANNS of marriage until 1983. When I was a kid, the Lutheran Church and the Episcopal Church did also. Nowadays we rely on the civil marriage license to uncover any impediments to marriage.

I loved Gary's North Bend comment.

Lucina said...

Good day, all. Oooh, Lemonade, you are in great form today and I caught the fun between the lines!

Marti, what a fun and funny puzzle!!

I loved the non-baseball theme! It's right up my ALLEY! Great misdirection.

Oh, CED, you brought tears to my eyes. Thank you.

WEES. Yo have all mentioned the clever cluing. My momentary bumps on the road were FAUD before FAHD, OUTLASTS then OUTWEARS, TAPER until ABATE made more sense.

Fav clues:
clothes line, SEAM
matter makers, ATOMS
noddle topper, HAT

Enjoy a fabulous Friday, everyone!

Anonymous said...

HeartRx - how long did it take you to make this puzzle?

HeartRx said...

anon@11:51, It's kind of difficult to remember how long this particular one took, as it was almost 10 months ago (back last June is when I worked on it, i think).

But typically, (once I think of a theme), it takes me about a full day to find acceptable theme entries, then another few hours filling the grid, if I get lucky. I am working on one grid right now that just refuses to budge, no matter how I re-design it. I have been trying to create good fill for that one for over a year!

The clues are the most time-consuming, and take 1-2 days. I hope that answers your question?

LaLaLinda said...

Hi Everyone ~~

It doesn't get much better than a Friday with a Marti puzzle/Lemonade write-up. I loved this! I smiled at 17A- Starting pitcher, thinking - Wow ... Marti's really doing a baseball theme?? I got TUNING FORK right away and saw the error in my thinking. ;-) Fantastic job, Marti!

Knowing the fun of the theme helped with the other answers and most of this went smoothly. I had to change 'Ache' to AGUE at 2D and my toughest area was the middle-bottom. It took a while to get FLOCKS and then PACK after that. So many clever clues ... my faves were "Negatory" - IXNAY and 'Noodle topper' - HAT.

Thanks again for the thoughts and shared stories regarding my kitty concern. She seems fine, but then she always has - it's the weight loss that's worrisome. We'll have to keep investigating, I guess.

Hahtoohah ~~ this cat has been drinking what we call her "faucet water" for some time. She jumps up on the counter, I turn it on and she's happy. The other two have been watching and have just recently tried it out. I did have a fountain for them but had problems with it and just went back to water bowls.
The Fenway 100-Year Celebration starts at 2:00PM and I'm wearing my Red Sox home jersey imagining I'm there while sitting on my couch. ;-) I haven't been to a game since we went twice in 2005. It should be fun to see former players, managers, etc., but I'm not real hopeful about the outcome of the game. Oh well, it's a long season!

Have a great day!

Lemonade714 said...

hearti, do you use the compiler after you set your grid design with the theme answers? Then massage the clues?

Anonymous said...

Merci, Hearti.

Seldom Seen said...

Great job, Marti.

I was just thinking about some non-baseball things...

Vexatious Varsovian?
Bermudian bad spot?
Colonial city?
Refrigerator box?
Sole Scarlet Stool?
Wisconsin mascot's impression?

My apologies...

Misty said...

Terrific Friday puzzle and a surprising speed run for me, given that I'm not sporty. A relief after my DNF early in the week. Loved the write-up, Lemonade, and your musings, Husker Gary 8:34. But the real bonus was seeing Marti's alternatives, which are fabulous! Hope you get to use them in other puzzles. At my age, I promise I won't remember them.

Abejo, hope you feel better after your tetanus shot. And LaLa Linda, hope your kitty feels better soon.

Speaking of kitties, the only time I saw the musical "Cats" was on a trip to Norway with my mother many years ago. The whole musical was in Norwegian, so I have no idea what it's about. But the set was beautiful, and watching a troupe of tall Vikings playing kitty cats on stage was totally awesome!

Irish Miss said...

Hi everyone:

Congrats to Marti for a great theme ( which I didn't get) and to Lemon for a sparkling expo.

I breezed right through until I hit the SW corner which was a little tricky until 48D Learn started the ball rolling. (Pun intended). Finished w/o help and no write-overs, always nice.

Fav clues: clothes line- seam; the yoke's on them-oxen;noodle topper-hat.

Happy Friday everyone.

HeartRx said...

Lemon @ 12:14, it depends on the theme. Sometimes I let compiler suggest possible grids. If I want a Monday puzz, I choose a design with more blocks and word count. Vice versa for a Friday.

Then I manually select the fill. But if I don't like the fill I am getting, I will go back and redesign the grid myself to get rid of any problem areas.

Clueing is the last step, correct.

Lemonade714 said...

I agree you put forth some sublime alternatives.

I am just wondering why in all the years we had crocuses (croci?) in our yard, no one (meaning my parents) ever told me about saffron sitting waiting to be plucked to make this plucky youngster oodles of money? Yes, this is late in being said, but it has been eating at me, and I had yellow rice for lunch.

mtnest995 said...

Marti, you hit another home run. Lemon, your play-by-play commentary was terrific.

Nice to see a puzzle with no r-n combinations that look like "m". Minor stumbling block came at 22D where I had bad Karma instead of bad start, but perps fixed it.

Outstanding fill and clever clueing helped make this my favorite YTD puzzle.

Other than the theme clues and fill, loved hat for noodle topper and negatory/ixnay.

Have a great weekend - looks like we're in for a hot one. 90 tomorrow - yikes.

Bill G. said...

Fun puzzle but it was hard for me. Nice work Marti! I got about 90 percent of it done before I turned on the red letters.

Hahtoolah, I completely agree with you about Cats. One good song but not much else to hold my interest.

Dana Delaney seems like a perfectly fine actress but for whatever reason, I don't find her appealing. I can't imagine being happily married to her. I'm sure she would feel the same about me.

I'm hoping we will miss most of the upcoming heat wave since we live pretty near the coast.

Not that it's important at all but Ukulele is misspelled in 30A in the writeup. It's an easy word to misspell since it's abbreviated Uke. I probably spelled it incorrectly too until it showed up misspelled in a puzzle about a year ago. My spell checker kept rejecting it until I looked it up and found out how to spell it. It seemed as if it had slipped past Rich also since it wasn't listed as a variant.

Anonymous said...

Crosswords are harder to solve when I mentally add letters to the solution. 23A BOxxINGALLEY became BOxxING GALLEY. Strike zone -- labor dispute (but no marching on company property), boxing fight (no hitting below the belt or nibbling at ears), lightning (which lead to tornado alley for some odd reason, which brought upon a light bulb, yes, it's BOxxING ALLEY). That piece of enlightenment was followed by WTF!

Can't truly say that I enjoyed todays venture. AGUE/ache, WAIT/whoa, ALII/alia, etc…

Lemonade714 said...

Bill G. you are absolutely correct, in my effort to move quickly and merely add letters, I forgot the second U in Ukulele, adding only the 'lele'. mea culpa.

I also must confess in my 50+ years of considering the possibilities of various and sundry famous female celebrities, I have not once pondered whether I would be happily married to any of them. I do believe if you and Dana Delany were married you would be quite happy. I am sure she would enjoy the various videos you unearth as well as doing the puzzle.

Seldom Seen said...

Here is some more baseball stuff.

Boys will be boys.

The right fielder is laughing so hard he buries his face into his glove.

Daily Grind said...

After Monday and Tuesday, even the work week is WTF.

Lucina said...

You are sooooo funny! Bill G. seems like a wonderful husband and father. Dana should be so lucky!! Of course I know nothing about her marital status or her personal life.

CrossEyedDave said...

puzzle update...

Did not fall into the 6A WHOA trap!
Keel turned into "creel", (i had the sound right, minus a vowel.) & once i got "mailorder" brides out of my head, blushing appeared. But i was totally stuck in the SW. Saudi royal was FA--, & line through the middle would only elicit "drive" due to the baseball clueing theme. 24d i confidently penned in outwiats spelled wrong even with 6A staring me in the face, but that "W" had me thinking "parkway" rest area.

I asked my cat for advice, but her only input was "take a nap." (so i did.)

Brain refreshed, Nosir turned into Ixnay, & i am down to "ONE" letter, & i can't get the dang thingy! At this moment 24D has turned into "outweats" & "left field" is LI-ETALSLATE?

Still have not read the Blog, & i am sure Anons are screaming "idiot". Any other puzzle i would give up, but not a Marti...One letter will not best me! I WILL BE BACK! (i hope)

CrossEyedDave said...

running the alphabet thru the beginning of 50D did not help. But running it thru the "T" in "outweats" makes me think it must be "outwears", which makes 48A appear to be "liberalslate?" Could 45D rushes to not be "flock" but "stock" making it liberal state???

(No, i'll never give up on FDR, i must be doing something wrong.)

Lemonade714 said...

liberal slate FDR? huh?

mtnest995 said...

CED, you cracka me uppa. Primarily because I've been in that situation more than once (we all have been at some point, I'm sure), but fortunately today wasn't one of them.

Sometimes you feel like a nut and sometimes you don't. As for moi, I'll stick with the dark chocolate Reese's.

And tomorrow you may feel like a genius and I'll feel like an idiot. But it's all good.


Anonymous said...

Lemon, those are answers to today's puzzle.

HeartRx said...

CED, I admire your stick-to-it-ive-ness!! ATTA boy!

Lemonade714 said...

How long did it take you to solve today marti?

Anonymous said...


Jayce said...

Marti, outstanding job on the puzzle today. I liked it a lot.

HeartRx said...

Lemon@4:41, HaHa, my "best" time was 2:13. But then, I am not that fast at typing ;-)

CrossEyedDave said...

Ok, i finally got it done, i just decided that Liberal Slate "is what it is" & that's that.

My only complaint is to Lemonade's write-up, your 34A link pic is so small, i have my telescope set up across the room, & i still can't focus on those Ski Bunnies!

Marti, Ya got me! it wasn't until i read Lemonade's wonderful write-up that i realized i finished it wrong! I did not see it because it was perps, but 68A Easter Celebration came out "MAHS." 52D does a film editing job, i put "synch" not realizing it was plural!

I screwed up Mass, ( i hope God doesn't read Blogs)

(oh crap, of course he does, i'm doomed!)

(with apologies to C.C.'s Blog rules, but then "God" is not a religion, (is it?)

dodo said...

Hi group,

It's ironic that my favorite CW puzzle of all time should be about baseball! I really love this one, Marti, No 'stats' or their ever-lovin' initial names; no memory challenges into the dark past of America's "favorite" Sport!. It's the perfect puzzle, Marti, especially for me. A thousand thanks! And Lemonade, your review certainly did justice to such a fine piece of work!And to think I almost skipped it, as I sometimes do on s Friday.

Even the SW corner did not daunt me.I was a little doubtful about
"emote" but happily, it worked!

Mtnest, I must be in the same weather pocket as you. It's turned into summer here, with a vengeance.

LA CW Addict said...

Without first reading what other bloggers have written, I would like to thank Lemon for the link to Evan Almighty. I lmao, and now I want to rent the movie. It was also great seeing Chris Evert play tennis again- such a great pro! This leads to another thought - how fortunate we are that we can go back and view these things compared to when I was a kid! Back then, you had to practically be there if you wanted to see something, otherwise you were mostly out of luck unless somebody in your family happened to have a movie camera, which was rare.

Marti - did not have too much difficulty until I got to the SW corner. OMG - never heard of Liberal Slate, so did not know if I was looking for a slate or something late. Also did not know Banns, not being Catholic. Had LEARN but changed it to GRASP which did not help things at all, but once again, a lovely challenging puzzle! My favorite clues were "the yoke's on you" and BATTER?

Hope everybody has a wonderful weekend!

LA CW Addict said...

Forgot three other points, and this is after I have read the blog:

1) I never thought the word emote meant hogging the spotlight. I thought emote meant to overact, and one can overact without taking over the scene or the set. I was entertaining USURP or ELOPE as possible fills for this clue!

2) Misread crammer's worry as Kramer's worry. For some (stupid) reason, I was trying to make this into something about Seinfeld. Shows how tired one's brain gets by Friday! If I had read the clue correctly, very possible I might have finished this without errors. I remember pulling lots of all-nighters worrying over exams and they were terrible nights! Would not want to relive those times

3) We have been seeing UKE a lot lately!

mtnest995 said...

Yep, dodo, we're in Merced and it's 86. Encourages me to have a lot more respect for all those runners ( including our daughter) who ran the Boston Marathon on Monday in 88 degree heat. I was exhausted and hot after going out to the mailbox and back.


CrazyCat said...

What Dodo said!

Learning moments - BANNS (think I've seen it in a CW, but forgot) and Shilly Shally. Sounds like the same as Dilly Dally - one of my mother's favorite expressions.

As always Lemonade 714 - Your write-up was right on!

When I left the gym at 3:00 my car said it was 97 out. Yuck. Just finished a "friends with dogs" walk and was grateful for a light breeze.

HeartRx said...

dodo, I am so happy to hear you liked this "pun-ny" baseball puzzle. I really should be more "in to" it, since the Red Sox have such a great history. But golf is just so much more appealing, for some reason...Hey, that gives me another idea!

Par..for the course
Bogie...and Bacall

I'm off to explore another theme!

Lemonade714 said...

Birdie Tebbets and you claim you do not know sports? Hearti you are exposed!

Yes, constructor/solvers solve their own because of the changed clues and the long lag time from creation to publication.

Huge thunder storm coming

Chickie said...

Hola Everyone, Atta Girl, Marti. Another great puzzle from one of our own. Thanks Lemonade for a hilarious writeup. I always look forward to the linkup of these two people. One constructing the puzzle and one deconstructing it! Fun!

I loved the baseball theme, but alas I only got 4 of the 5 theme answers. The SW corner made it a DNF for me today. I had put in Emote, then erased it, the same with Banns, and erased that. Neither would fit with CVII. I was really reluctant to give up that Roman Numeral. With a good smack of the V-8 can and coming here to get Anno I finally finished that corner.

Cross-eyed Dave, I loved your poem. Some of us will never meet other than on the internet, but some of us have been sooo lucky to meet each other and we were able to give real hugs. There is nothing more exciting than finding new friends--in person or on this blog.

Bill G. said...

Crazy Cat, you should head toward the ocean. The fog has been lurking just at the shoreline. It has starting rolling in this afternoon and it's down to 60 degrees.

CW Addict, I agree with you abut EMOTE. I had exactly the same reaction when doing the puzzle. But then I told myself it was Friday, so OK. I have very unpleasant memories of cramming for exams too. Way too stressful.

Lemonade714 said...

Chickie: You said, " One constructing the puzzle and one deconstructing it!"

I love it, my new career puzzle deconstructor!!

CrazyCat said...

@Bill G I just heard on the weather that's is 58 at the coast. I'm jealous. Happy to hear its going to cool down next week. I need to plant my tomatoes STAT!

Lemonade - I love that too.

LaLaLinda said...

Well, the Red Sox didn't win but I didn't really expect they would. However, the ceremonies for the Fenway Park 100 year celebration more than made up for it. I was teary through the whole thing.

There were so many players I remember from the "good old days." Seeing Carl Yastrzemski again - wow! He was my first Sox hero back in 1967 when I first became a fan. I was thinking of how much my father would have loved this. The music, the cheering, the memories ... all very emotional.
I had recorded it so I watched it a second time and cried again. Geez ~ maybe now I should delete it ... maybe. :-)

LA CW Addict said...


I logged off and then rebooted because I was so upset when I read your last entry.

DEFINITELY DO NOT delete until you are ready. You are under a great deal of emotional stress right now, so nobody thinks clearly under these circumstances. The cat business only adds to your stress.

When you put the part about how your father would have loved to have seen the events at Fenway, I too choked up. I lost my Dad on 12/29/10, and still am not the same. I did not know about this blog at the time. If I had, I thought, how nice it would have been to stop in and see Dad on my way home from work, so that we could have shared so many of the music clips and movie out-takes provided by you kind folks. Oh, how we would have enjoyed this. So now, I am crying... and LaLa, you have got to just hang in there. Life goes on whether we like it or not, and we just have to do the best we can!
I sure hope I helped, and I care.

fermatprime said...


Fun puzzle, Marti! Swell writeup, Lemonade!

Did I tell you all that after 11 months the LADWP finally hooked up my solar? Of course, then termite people had to remove the panels so that they could replace the garage roof! Well, they are hooked up again!

I have a 15 year-old cat that was injured by a neighbor's car on his property. By the time he was discovered, his kidneys had failed. After $800 and extensive treatment, he is doing OK. However, he gave up washing himself and looks terrible.

Do I have to get him a rabies shot in order to take him to a groomer?

Really hot in San Fernando Valley. Need to get the air conditioner in my room here working. Reallly should not be expensive. Right?

Happy weekend to all, and best thoughts for all of the kitties "on" this blog!