Oct 19, 2014

Sunday October 19, 2014 Frank Virzi

Theme: "Double Plays" - Each theme answer is in the pattern of A B C, both A B and B C are common phrases, with B C being a baseball term.

23A. Concertina heist? : SQUEEZE BOX SCORE. Squeeze box. Box score.

38A. Formal dance for tiny, winged debutantes? : FRUIT FLY BALL. Fruit fly. Flyball. I smiled at the clue.

50A. Big push to collect singles bar come-ons? : PICKUP LINE DRIVE. Pickup line. Line drive.

66A. Gofer at a moon landing site? : TRANQUILITY BASE RUNNER. Tranquility base. Base runner.

84A. China piece commemorating a Ricky Ricardo catchphrase? : "LUCY I'M HOME" PLATE. "Lucy, I'm home". Home plate.

93A. Writing implement for Vatican edicts? : PAPAL BULLPEN. Papal bull. Bullpen.

114A. Dance for bears? : SELLING SHORT HOP. Selling short. Short hop;

Sweet theme. Rich must have been saving this puzzle for months. 

I picked Gary's Royals to win the World Series before their Wild Card game against the A's. Luck of the Lorde! "I've never seen a diamond in the flesh... " Love that song. You better remember LORDE. 
This puzzle has ten 8-letter entries. All stacked in the corner. Amazing construction.


1. "Let's get started!" : HERE WE GO. Great start!

9. An epicure has a refined one : PALATE. My very first fill.

15. Diamond covers : TARPS. And 72. Diamond brothers : ALOUs. "I've never seen a diamond in the flesh..."

20. Maker of smarTouch gloves : ISOTONER. New to me. Why not just "Smart Touch"?
I don't like the DirecTV spelling either.

21. Orbital high point : APOGEE

22. Abrasive mineral : EMERY

25. Some, in Potsdam : EINES

26. Takes to court : SUES

27. River of Flanders : YSER. And 28. Rivière filler : EAU. Or not, they speak Dutch in Flanders.

29. Turmoil : UNREST

30. Hunger : YEN

31. Artist Modigliani : AMEDEO. Sad life. Alcohol & drug. His beautiful wife killed herself along with their unborn baby the day after he died. I liked the movie "Modigliani".

33. Rulers before Lenin : TSARS

36. Fed. auditing agency : GAO (Government Accountability Office)

37. Barkeep's supply : ICE

42. Play for time : STALL

45. Lack of vigor : ANEMIA

48. Cutting rooms?: Abbr. : ORs. Tricky clue.

49. Chick's tail? : ADEE. Chickadee.

53. Grace verb : BLESS

54. Roger of "Cheers" : REES

55. TV's Mrs. Peel : RIGG (Diana)

56. Idiot box : TEEVEE

58. Gallery work : ART

59. Juice brand with the digital newsletter Lizard Tales : SOBE. South Beach.

60. Cries at fireworks : OOHS

63. Discharge : EGEST

73. Agnew's plea, for short : NOLO. Nixon is very well-respected in China due to his historical visit.

74. Deuce follower : AD IN

75. "Put __ Happy Face" : ON A

76. Pulse is one of them : VITALS

79. Latin 101 word : AMAT

80. "Back in Black" band : AC/DC. "Back in Black" is also Amy Winehouse's album (Rehab).

81. Weighed the container of : TARED. Haven't seen this word for a long time.

89. Hooting owl, to some : OMEN

90. Jellied item in British cuisine : EEL

91. Hoops venues : ARENAS

92. Chorus section : ALTOS

96. At least one : ANY

97. Final finish? : IZE. Finalize.

98. Much, informally : LOTSA

99. Go : DEPART

103. "How disgusting!" : EWW. Reminds me of my grandma's fermented soybeans. The whole kitchen smelled.

106. Blabbed about : TOLD ON

108. Crossword clue, often: Abbr. : DEF (Definition)

111. Level, in Liverpool : RASE

112. Abruzzo town in a Longfellow poem : ATRI. Adano is Hersey's town.

113. Dental restoration : ONLAY

118. __ trip : FIELD

119. Senior golfer Mark : O'MEARA. He'll be a Hall of Famer next year. So will be the great Laura Davies. I've met both in person.

120. Spouse : HELPMATE

121. Grows faint : FADES

122. Low plants : BUSHES

123. Buttercup kin : ANEMONES. Delicate flowers.


1. __ fit : HISSY

2. Relative of -ish : ESQUE

3. Where Joan of Arc died : ROUEN. Also where Madame Bovary met with her lover every week. That book touched my heart.

4. Hot times in Paris : ETES. Just plural for "summer".

5. Heartache : WOE

6. DNA polymerase, e.g. : ENZYME

7. Hornless honkers : GEESE

8. Spherical : ORBED

9. __ Romana : PAX

10. Cathedral area : APSE

11. Ricky Martin's "Livin' La Vida __" : LOCA. Where were you in 1999?

12. Rainforest rodent : AGOUTI

13. Thrice, in Rx's : TER

14. Letters on some loafers : EEE

15. Itty-bitty : TEENSY

16. Boy in "The Kite Runner" : AMIR. Thank God they named him AMIR, otherwise this would need a dreaded "Var" mark.

17. Deserter : RENEGADE. I like this word.

18. Events for select customers : PRE-SALES

19. Cardiac contractions : SYSTOLES. New word to me.

24. Argentite, vis-à-vis silver : ORE. Hence the Ag symbol.

29. Clickable addresses, for short : URLS

31. Censorship-fighting org. : ACLU. My brother cannot see our blog right now. Blocked in China. No idea why. Lots of sites are blocked.

32. "Part __": Katy Perry hit : OF ME

34. Pot boiler : STOVE

35. "It's __ country!" : A FREE

37. Sorts : ILKS

39. Purged : RID

40. Nasser's confed. : UAR. United Arab Republic.

41. Substance used by whales as a feeding filter : BALEEN. Another learning moment for me. Inside their teeth.

42. Weight watcher of rhyme : SPRAT. Fun clue.

43. __ del Fuego : TIERRA

44. Perfumery compound : ACETAL

45. Out : ALIBI

46. Duran Duran bassist __ John Taylor : NIGEL. I drew a blank.

47. An official lang. of Malta : ENG. I thought it would be Italian.

51. "Remembrance of Things Past" author : PROUST

52. "__ possibility" : IT'S A

53. Kicked off : BEGUN

57. Cinéma __ : VERITE

59. Mollusk with an ink sac : SQUID. Squid with salt and pepper is delicious!

60. Chiwere speaker : OTO

61. Olive __ : OYL

62. "Veep" airer : HBO

64. Transport on treads : SNO- CAT

65. Take care of : TEND TO

67. Catholic devotion : NOVENA. Nine days of prayer. Gimme for Lucina, who attends church even when traveling.

68. Etched: Abbr. : INSC. OK, inscribed.

69. Pago Pago's land : SAMOA

70. Semi-hard cheeses : EDAMS

71. Hurries : RACES

77. Alaskan native : ALEUT

78. Puts to sleep : LULLS

79. Philip of "Kung Fu" : AHN. Korean name. Same character as ANG (as Ang Lee), or just AN (as in my hometown Xi'an).

80. Partner : ALLY

81. "As if there weren't enough," after "to" : TOP IT OFF.  This is a long partial then, no, Marti?

82. Vast rainforest : AMAZONIA

83. Driven away : REPELLED

85. Sharp bark : YAP

86. Dander : IRE

87. Sew up : MEND

88. Sound after running : PANT

90. Poet's deep black : EBON

94. Insurer of Bob Dylan's vocal cords : LLOYD'S. Gimme. I used Bruce Springsteen last time.

95. Soup scoops : LADLES

96. Specialized cactus branch : AREOLE. New term to me.

100. Fraction of a joule : ERG

101. Old Turkish bigwig : PASHA. AGA is another one.

102. Visibly frightened : ASHEN

103. One of the Coen brothers : ETHAN. MN is a fertile ground. Honeycrisps are now $1.69/lb, by the way. I bought a tote of SweeTango last week when they're on sale. Even better than Honeycrisps. Not available in your area.

104. Created, in a way : WROTE

105. Erases : WIPES

107. Cartoon chipmunk : DALE

109. Valley where David fought Goliath : ELAH

110. Let go : FIRE

112. Prefix with sphere : ATMO

114. React to a jilting, maybe : SOB. Remember this girl?

115. Big bird : EMU

116. "Stillmatic" rapper : NAS

117. Tach measure : RPM



OwenKL said...

DNF in 4 places. The theme was mostly well executed (selling short is something bears do, not what they are; is short hop a legit baseball thing?), but some frustrating naticks. ORBED (my dictionary only gives it as a past tense verb, to have made spherical, not a adjective as the clue indicated), AMEDEO, REES, OMEARA, NAS (never heard of any of them), ELAH (obscure, but I pride myself on knowing Bible literature well enough I should have remembered it), AREOLE (that's the little knob a cactus spine grows out of, hardly an entire branch!), RASE (should have remembered that Brit spelling of raze, but the clue had me trying to think of an adjective, not a verb).

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Loved the theme today, once I got it. All of the theme answers were pretty straightforward, except for SELLINGSHORTHOP, which I really though was going to involve a SHORTSTOP and got a bit flummoxed when there weren't enough letters.

The rest of the puzzle was mostly smooth, and I did manage to finish unassisted, but there were some clues/answers that vexed me along the way:

* AMEDEO was a complete unknown and just looked wrong in the grid.

* ACETAL was also unknown, but at least looked like a real word.

* The clue for AREOLE (which can also be a variant spelling of our favorite AREOLA, apparently) completely flummoxed me.

* I simply couldn't parse the clue for TOP IT OFF and wanted INLAY instead of ONLAY.

* I thought that HERE WE GO is something you might say after saying "Let's get started" and the two are not equivalent.

* ORBED???

Anyway, in a grid this large there are bound to be less-than-stellar spots here and there, and since the theme was so nice (and the rest of the fill/clues was fine as well), I still enjoyed the experience.

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

On my tablet I have to check "info" to see the name of the constructor. I hadn't checked it, but suspected it was C.C. with all of the baseball references. Nope.

I've watched Christopher Kimball TARE his digital scale on America's Test Kitchen -- put the bowl on the scale, set the reading to zero, then add the ingredient to the bowl to the proper weight. Handy for baking, I guess. Anybody here use a kitchen scale?

Learning moment: RENEGADE = deserter. I just thought it was a rebel.

Al Cyone said...

The Week in Review:

M 5:05 T 5:21 W 7:33 T 9:26 F 18:46 S 19:03 S 43:02

Whew! I was going to turn on the red letters at my usual 30-minute limit but I hated to break my streak. So I spent a frustrating ten minutes trying to figure out where I went wrong. I strongly suspected it was with 104D ("Created, in a way"), because nothing I put there made sense. But there was at least one other place that could have been at fault (the cross of EINES and AMIR). At the 40-minute mark I still couldn't bring myself to wave the white flag (throw in the towel?). Then, for some reason known only to crossword puzzle solvers, I thought to change EEW to EWW (I think EEK may have been an early entry and the middle "E" stuck). The "TaDa!" came seconds later.

Like others, I was stymied on Friday with TOIL/MOIL. At one point I thought I had it figured out with MIAMI afterNOON but, of course, NOIL made no sense. Then the V8 can hit me.

See y'all next weekend.

Splynter said...

Hi there~!

Thanks for the compliments yesterday~!
I went with my "wingman" to the meeting I heard the blue-eyed girl attends, but she wasn't there ;7(
Maybe Tuesday night at my home group where I've seen her three times now. Dudley, I hope she's the no "B.S." type, too - she's beautiful, elegant, sophisticated, and soft-spoken - a rare find in the program; I thought she was lost the first time she came in....

As for the tie, HeartRx, that day was a memorial service, so I was being subdued - but I think I liked your conservative tie the best~!


HeartRx said...

Good morning everyone!

I got a slow start, but everything finally came together in less than normal Sunday Solving Time. C.C., I shuddered at the partial TOP IT OFF. The clue could have read "Put gas into an almost full tank." I am always "topping off" my car before I travel any distance. I am paranoid about running out and being stranded.

d-otto, I do use a digital kitchen scale sometimes. It's handy when I am making hamburger patties and want them all to be the same weight. Or if I take meat out of the freezer and want to know how much it weighs. That's about it, though.

Splynter, I linked the "conservative" look best, too!!

Have a relaxing day, everyone.

Big Easy said...

For the THIRD day in a row I have come up short missing exactly one letter at the crossing of 79A & 57D " AMA__ and VERI_E. My guess was wrong with S instead of T.

So, HERE WE GO, which happened to be my second to last fill before HISSY. I couldn't get started on the NW with the the only fill being YSER. This puzzle had Latin, German, French, and ENG (47D). I put EMMA initally for RIGG, INLAY instead of ONLAY, BEGAN for BEGUN, OIL for OYL, HEMI for ATMO, RUSHES for BUSHES and UTE for OTO. There were so many unknowns that I had to gradually solve. AMEDEO ACOUTI AHN ACCETAL AREOLE ORBED REES ROUEN SYSTOLES VERITE (which I didn't) EWW(is that made up?) PROBST NIGEL . I liked the clue for the ALOUS and VITALS. But we also had many abbr., suffixes, prefixes, and quasi words -ITSY TEENSY LOTSA ESQUE IZE INSC DEF EEE TER RPM URL ACDC-and those types make me grind it out, which being a RENEGADE, I feel compelled to do once I start a puzzle.

So I will shut my YAP and say everybody have a nice day.

Big Easy said...

Owen- short-selling not only requires that you need to be right; you also need to be right at the right time. The only time that I ever sold a stock ( CAH) short was back in 1999. I shorted 1500 shares at $60.00 and watched it go UP. I knew that there was no way it was worth its price, but you always cut your losses, and I bought it back ( shorting involved selling first and buying back later) and lost about $10,000. AFTER I licked my wounds over lost money, the stock subsequently dropped to around $40 a couple of years later. 15 years later it has finally climbed back to its 1999 level. I was correct but made my trades at the wrong time.

Shorting a stock is not for the faint of heart.

Avg Joe said...

A very enjoyable theme, and a pretty challenging puzzle. _ox score filled with perps early and the theme became apparent with a few well placed guesses. Lots of unknowns, but most had enough help to prevail. However, I've gotta take a FIW cuz my INSC started as ENGR (engraved) and I forgot to change the E to I.

D.O. I have a kitchen scale. I use it almost exactly once a year to weigh powdered sugar for some Christmas candies I make. Other than that, it weighs dust in the pantry.

Today's baseball theme gives me a good excuse to link today's Pearls Before Swine. A clever update of the old Abbot and Costello routine.

Husker Gary said...

C.C. blogging a fun baseball puzzle just seems right

-A very famous BOX SCORE. Sal did well too!
-The Royal’s BULL PEN is untouchable after 6 innings
-The in-between HOP is the hardest to catch
-Tides are lower when the Moon is at APOGEE
-Wait a minute, someone in D.C. is auditing this mess?
-Joann inherited Mediterranean ANEMIA, thalassemia, from her Greek father
-If BLESSing food and saying a NOVENA work for you…
-The world’s largest fireworks consumer - OOH!
-Last week my blood work and VITALS came back “perfect” so get used to me
-We had kids “TARE out” balances frequently
-Even with all their resources, the Romans couldn’t keep the PAX
-The ALCU defended these guys in Skokie, IL
-I am touched by those here who TEND TO dependent family members
-I took Goliath and laid the points…
-Dander that IRES my sister
-What baseball star said of his All Star selection, “If I ain’t startin’ I ain’t DEPARTIN’”

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

Thoroughly enjoyed solving this made-for-CC home run! And so timely with the World Series coming up.

Even though there were a few unknowns, such as agouti, Amedeo and Ahn, the perps were strong and the TADA came with no assistance. Tin's dreaded nemesis, _ _ _ , struck again at 37A.

Thanks, Frank V and CC for a satisfying Sunday solve.

Have a great day.

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

I wish that we could just throw away the old tradition of making a perfectly symmetrical grid. Today is a good example: the black squares are symmetrically placed, but you have to study them to see it. Nobody would notice or care if there were an imbalance. Why not free up the constructor so that he/she could, perhaps, eliminate nose-wrinkling fill?

HeartRx said...

BigEasy @ 9:49, I had a good friend who dabbled in the stock market, but had never sold short. He looked at several industries and did lots of research before he decided to sell American Airlines short on September 10, 2001...needless to say, the FBI was knocking at his door a few days later.

Lucina said...

Greetings, Puzzlers.

C.C., you were on my mind throughout this baseball referenced puzzle though for me it was a slog.

I appreciate the elegance of its construction and had a few triumphs along the way especially when I saw my full name in the grid. CSO!

Yes, NOVENA was a gimme as was PAPAL BULL (PEN).

I liked the cluing for SPRAT and recalled SOBE from a previous puzzle.

Thank you Frank Virzi and C.C. for today's challenge.

Have a sensational Sunday, everyone!

Bill G. said...

That was a pleasant and enjoyable Sunday puzzle. Frank got me in a couple of places. I too had Emma before RIGG. Also, I was sure Trey would follow 'Deuce' but no. The crosses filled in ADIN and it took a while before I parsed it as AD IN; and that's with me as a tennis player too. Thanks Frank, Rich and CC.

A couple of months back, I paid the modest fee and subscribed to the NYT puzzles. They have a well-deserved reputation as the gold standard. After all these years with the LAT puzzles and Rich, the LAT clues often feel tricky but fair. However, NYT clues sometimes leave me with the feeling of tricky and unfair. But that's just me.

Q. When you pat a dog on its head he will wag his tail. What will a goose do?
A. Paul Lynde: Make him bark?

Spitzboov said...

Good afternoon everyone.

Liked the baseball related theme. Not too difficult and fair enough. Perps were ample enough.

42d SPRAT - Knew a John Sprat in Ontario Hydro.
90a Jellied EEL - Our family was partial to Smoked Eel (Rökert Aal).
25a EINES - One of those words with several,somewhat related meanings and whose ending is inflected by gender and case. Words like Etwas and Einige are more frequently used to convey the meaning of 'some'.

Have a great day.

Yellowrocks said...

This took me more time than a usual Sunday.
I visited ELAH in Israel. Did you go there, Lucina?
I have heard OFF WE GO and HERE WE GO said just before starting.
smarTouch is just one of many brands made by ISOTONER, so the clue is fine by me.
ORBED is frequently used in poetry about the full moon.

The full-orbed moon with unchanged ray
Mounts up the eastern sky,
Not doomed to these short nights for aye,
But shining steadily.

She does not wane, but my fortune,
Which her rays do not bless,
My wayward path declineth soon,
But she shines not the less.

And if she faintly glimmers here,
And paled is her light,
Yet alway in her proper sphere
She's mistress of the night.
Henry David Thoreau

Blue Hen, best wishes to your wife om her hip replacement.

HeartRx said...

Spitz, thanks for helping me realize why I wanted "etwas" at 25-A.

Chairman Moe said...

to Husker Gary @ 10:12 and C.C. and any other baseball fans . . . now that the World Series is ALMOST here! Your link to the BOX SCORE of Larson's perfect game gave me some inspiration to do the following limerick story:

The young pitching ace tweeted on Twitter,
About throwing his recent no-hitter;
The tweet said his success
Was because, he confessed,
That the bulk of his pitches were spitters!

Of course once the Tweet hit it went viral,
And his fans seemed wrapped up in denial;
To think this pitching ace
Would this great game disgrace,
They no longer treat him as their idol!

At his "presser" he claimed, he's no fool,
And he knew that the pitch broke a rule;
But he's proud of his "work",
As he said, with a smirk:
"I just wanted to do it 'old school' "!

I'm not very good at predicting results, but I'm leaning toward the GIANTS; maybe in 6 games or fewer. Thinking the ROYALS' magic may be coming to an end . . .

Anonymous said...

Nice, fun puzzle right before the World Series. Right up C.C.'s alley! Like D-O, thought it might have been one of her creations.

Moon said...

Great comic Joe. When Would you plays piano too.

OwenKL said...

CCW has nothing identical, and what it does have is only crosswordese.
LAT 37d. Sorts : ILKS
ST 2d. type : ILK
LAT 26a. Takes to court : SUES
ST 45a. Didn't take it lying down, say : SUED

Lucina said...

Yes, I did visit ELAH. Israel surprised me with all its varied landscapes.

Jayce said...

Fun theme, and some fill that made me go "Huh?" Plenty of unknowns, but step by step I got 'er solved.
Nixon was actually a pretty good president during his first term, but derailed horribly during his second term.

Avg Joe said...

For those that get the week old NYT Sunday puzzle, today's has the same gimmick we saw earlier this week here...more or less. I enjoyed it a lot. And as a bonus, the guy they named the ale after didn't like it. At all!

If I had a heart, it's cockles would be warmed. :-)

Ergo said...

I'm really disappointed in myself. After all of the discussion a week ago about SOBE, and I still couldn't bring it to mind.

A few too many obscurities for my liking. Yeah, I know, I know, every puzzle has to rely on a few. I just wished they relied on the ones I knew! (It's been ages since I've seen 'Tibetan Yak.')

Thanks C.C. for the write up. Based upon the comments I take it you're a (Royals) baseball fan.

C.C. Burnikel said...

I made the bet before Royals/A's wild card game and will win $40 if Royals win the World Series.

Chairman Moe,
With your Ryder Cup predictions coming so close, now I'm nervous.