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Mar 6, 2015

Friday, March 6, 2015, Steve Marron

Theme: There is no "I" in Steve Marron's name

Our own tag team titan from Wednesday's well traveled and witty Steve has taken an old saw and made it into a reveal 61A. Sports cliché that explains 17-, 28-, 35- and 47-Across : THERE'S NO I IN TEAM (15) which spans the grid and explains that all the other nonsensical fill are sports teams with the letter "I" removed from the names. Really cute, and inventive, and a classic Friday structure with lower word count and fewer blocks, with the average word length almost 5 and 1/2 letters. This led to lots of 7 and 8 letter fill like ABYSMAL, ACERBIC,  AD ASTRA,  AMPERES,  ATTACHE, BASKETS, BASMATI, CATBERT, ECSTASY, ENTWINE, SEETHES, STREETS, UTENSIL, VIEWING, MANIACAL, VENDETTA. Very fresh fill and almost no common answers (IRA, TEN and AHA) another rising star emerging in the LAT world from our little Corner. Remember when we used to say, Oh great that is C.C.'s third solo, or marti's? Let's see what this transplanted Brit brought.

17A. Pennsylvania athletes : PITTSBURGH PIRATES (15) I bet it was deducing that this team left 15 letters when the Is were removed that made this puzzle possible for Steve. Well done catch.

28A. Florida athletes : MIAMI DOLPHINS (10) I love seeing my hometown team (they actually no longer play in Miami) and the fact the mirror clue is also an NFL team.

35A. Illinois athletes : CHICAGO FIRE (9). We have soccer, to go with football. Of course to Steve this too is football, so....There also is a current TV Show with this name. Am I the only one who finds it odd that things are named after a terrible disaster?

47A. Michigan athletes : DETROIT LIONS (10). Like the Dolpins they are in a long span of futility.
and the reveal as above
61A. Sports cliché that explains 17-, 28-, 35- and 47-Across : THERE'S NO I IN TEAM (15)
classic 5 theme 15, 10, 9, 10, 15 symmetry.

Across:

1. Biting : ACERBIC. What a witty way to begin.

8. Pulley wheel : SHEAVE. The things I learn here, I never knew THIS.

14. Beyond enthusiastic : MANIACAL. Is this a CSO for marti?

16. __ arch: blood vessel section : AORTIC. Is this a CSO for marti?

19. "Charlotte's Web" monogram : EBW. Elwyn Brooks White. Now I recall why I never remember this AUTHOR's full name. Notice that he likes dachshunds as well as correct use of English.

20. Like dreamers, often : ASLEEP.

21. Word of suspicion, to Tweety : TAWT I saw a puddy tat.

22. Steering aids : REINS. I like this clue so many ways, the misdirection, the sound....

24. __ moment : A HA. Is this two words?

26. Langley-based org. : CIA. Central Intelligence Agency. I had a high scholl classmate who went to work for them and I am hoping he will tell us his adventures at our upcoming 50th reunion.

27. Maritime raptor : ERNE.

32. Booyah, e.g. : STEW. Man this was hard for me, I only know the Stuart Scott version not the FOOD.

33. Tax shelter initials : IRA. Individual Retirement Account.

34. Gray wrote one in a country churchyard : ELEGY.  He originally called it Stanza's Wrote in a Country Church-Yard. LINK.

39. Teatime choice : ASSAM. Leave it to Steve to know his teas.

42. "Un-PC" was added to it in 2014 : OED. Oxford Englsih Dictionary.

43. "Take a Chance on Me" group : ABBA.

50. Company headquartered in Trollhättan : SAAB. WE had the ABBA/SAAB once before and I love it.

51. Fizzy prefix : AERate.

52. Words before hear or see : SO I.

53. Needing to be picked up : MESSY. Or perhaps this ANSWER (for Splynter?).

54. "Let it be" : STET.

56. Address label words : SEND TO.

60. Düsseldorf distances: Abbr. : KMS. The European mind, Kilometres.
,
64. Make final adjustments to, as a concert piano : RETUNE.

65. Family feud : VENDETTA. I recently rewatched one of my favorite Natalie Portman movies.

66. They may be intangible : ASSETS. Goodwill, for example.

67. Setting piece : UTENSIL.

Down:

1. Electrical units : AMPERES.

2. Scott Adams' Evil Director of Human Resources : CATBERT. He has such a strange mind.


3. Wrap around : ENTWINE.

4. Grafton's "__ for Ricochet" : R IS. Between Wheel of Fortune and Sue Grafton there is always a saving fill.

5. Rum desserts : BABAS.

6. Post-op areas : ICUS. Intensive Care Units.

7. Red Sox great Yastrzemski : CARL. Not to be confused with another Carl, 13D. "Understanding is a kind of __": Sagan : ECSTASY.

8. The tenth Muse, to Plato : SAPPHO.

9. Old TV knob : HORizontal.

10. Proof word : ERAT.

11. Diplomatic official : ATTACHE.

12. Taking in : VIEWING.

15. Part of XXL: Abbr. : LGE.

18. Proceed : HEAD. Like head home, or HEAD EAST.(5:17).

23. Air freshener scent : NEW CAR.

25. Ray or Jay : ALER.

28. Emcee's aid : MICrophone.

29. The Era of __: period in Notre Dame sports lore : ARA. Parseghian.

30. Toon with a cat named Bowser : MAGOO. No memory of this feline.

31. Satisfy : PLEASE. It will satisfy me if you say please....

36. Health care orgs. : HMOS.

37. Vintner's prefix : OEN. We usually have Oeno.

38. Hose users: Abbr. : FDS. Fired Departments.

39. Words on the Royal Canadian Air Force badge : AD ASTRA. Latin for 'to the stars.'

40. Is ready to blow : SEETHES.

41. "__ of Philadelphia": Oscar-winning song : STREETS. Not a happy SONG.

44. Court scores : BASKETS.

45. Long-grained Asian rice : BASMATI. We ue primarily Jasmine.

46. Beyond poor : ABYSMAL. Fun word.

48. Pre-game decision makers : TOSSES. Of a coin.

49. Property encumbrance : LIEN. Oh goody, a real property law word.

53. Eiffel's world : MONDE. Just French.

55. Level : TRUE. True dat!

57. Fall mo. : NOVember.

58. "Mon __!" : DIEU. OMG! More Frawnche!!!

59. Salon treatment : TINT. Hair salon.

62. Sinusitis-treating MD : ENT. Ear Nose and Throat.

63. Top __ : TEN. This is absolutley in my top ten favorite Steve Marron puzzles! Great Job! I did get a chance to ask Steve the genesis of this puzzle and he said, "I was working at home one morning and watching the Dan Patrick show on NBC Sports and he started to question the "No "I" in Team" tenet and that's what got me thinking." Remember to set your clocks ahead, and beware the Ides.  lemonade out.

63 comments:

OwenKL said...

Came close, but no cigar. Had to look up Chicago sports teams, because FDS escaped me, and ALER was a complete unknown which defied looking up. Got the reveal, THERE'S NO I IN TEAM early, and it helped even a sports know-nothing like me with some entries, but CH(i)CAGO F(i)RE? I did consider that, but in terms of firefighters working as a team, not as a soccer team! Most interesting missteps: 10d STET>ERAT, 50a LEGO>IKEA>SAAB. The motto of the L.A. Science Fantasy Society is De Profundis AD ASTRA ("From the Depths to the Stars").

The coach said THERE'S NO I IN TEAM
So they worked to become a machine.
Still they lost every game
So decided to blame
That there's two I's in winning, 'twould seem!

There once was a pooh-bear named Peters
Who was mascot for the Wyoming league leaders.
The team won the day,
But to match the cliché
Their name was the Ch-nne Hon-aters!

(You indulgence requested on that last one, since a pooh-bear would be a hunny-eater, and a honeyeater is a type of bird.)

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Got the theme answer and figured out what was going on, but I still nearly turfed it. The NE corner was especially brutal with the completely unknown SHEAVE sitting above the completely unknown (but ultimately guessable) AORTIC. With only a few crosses in place, I somehow managed to guess SAPPHO and ECSTASY. First, however, I had to remember that PITTSBURGH had an H on the end so I could get PRATES.

Even with all that in place, I still nearly croaked it at the crossing of FIRE and FDS. I'm not into soccer and simply have never heard of the CHICAGO FIRE (or FRE, as the case may be). All the other teams were extremely well-known to me, so I figured this one would be as well. CUBS? BULLS? WHITE SOX? Nothing fit. I finally guessed that hose users could be Fire Departments and went with FDS to get the *TADA*, but it was touch and go there for a bit.

Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning, Lemonade and friends. I got the unifier on the first pass, so was able to easily fill in the rest of the theme answers except, as Barry noted the CHICAGO F(I)RE. That was a complete unknown, and FDs never occurred to me.

Something is strange with the blog today. At two spots in commentary, there is an insert where the commentary can be scrolled through. Weird!

QOD: If people knew how hard I worked to get my mastery, it wouldn’t seem so wonderful at all. ~ Michelangelo (Mar. 6, 1475 ~ Mar. 18, 1564)

Rainman said...

Sagan could just as easily have said, "There's an ECSTASY in learning when to quit," and I found that moment early.
Knowing his 'ECSTASY = learning quote,' one of my favorites, helped me get through this with red-letter help. Ah, that Carl, what a sense of humor. Sagan is also often attributed the "Making pizza from scratch requires your creating the universe first." Something like that.
I got fed up with the clueing early on even after I got the theme about halfway through. (What's the problem with including Carl Sagan's first name? Might give the quote away?) If you had the fill, ECSTASY, would you have sought a Sagan quote to clue it?
(I was living in downtown SF when I heard that Scott Adams was doing his Dilbert strip near my office... while still working for AT&T!!! (They probably asked him to leave, but I can't recall. He left.) Any of us working in a corp. environment like that can indeed enjoy a Dilbert com-toon-mentary. Pointy-hair boss, hah. Wally, hah.) My tolerance level is apparently getting unusually low. I just thought to myself, I've got better things to do, and I do. Zzzz... no bumpa, please.

Lemonade714 said...

No idea what caused the loop in my links but they have been updated.

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Great sports fan that I am, I have trouble recognizing the team names, even when they're spelled correctly. It took me forever to accept "TEAM" rather than "THEM" in 61a. And I was thinking "Booyah" was something the Marines liked to holler.

Spent several years as a field rep for a crane manufacturer, so SHEAVE was a gimme. It's pronounced like shiv. The long-e version is a grain bundle..."Bringin' in the sheaves.."

Steve, I got it, but it was a struggle. Guess that's what Fridays are for. Congrats on another solo. Lemon, not sure what happened to your links, but they turned out weird.

HeartRx said...

Nice job, Steve but hoo boy, was this ever a slog for me. I started out by filling in PITSBURG PIRATES with the P***BURG**RATES in place. Bzzzzt!!

You'd think I would know better, how to spell PITTSBURGH. But it took me forEVAH to fix that mess, and only after I had the revealer in place.

Same problem as others with FDS and CHCAGO FRE.

Oh well, maybe tomorrow will give me a reprieve.

Avg Joe said...

A very clever and challenging offering Steve. And congratulations once again. This is your second solo, correct?

Had to really work at it, but did manage to get it done. Last fill was the F in FDs and Fre. The former was hard to grasp, the latter was an unknown. But it seemed like the most likely choice, so I went with it.

kazie said...

Even after sussing the theme, I had no hope. Before getting started, I'd marked all that I had no idea of (including all the team names) and there were 17 clues marked.

I ended up getting the bottom half done, but had no hope in the top half.

What is ALER, or Ray and Jay for that matter? And what is an ERNE? Being no fan (read that as hater of team sports) of sports made this impossible.

Argyle said...

erne, sea eagle

Tinbeni said...

Lemon, nice write-up and links.
Especially liked seeing ABBA, a CSO to our Mari,

Got the theme reveal; THERE'S NO I IN TEAM ... just couldn't come up with the CHCAGO FRE.

Fave was the RUM BABAS ... go figure.

Hmmm, was sitting outside, doing the crossword wearing shorts, a T-Shirt, barefooted, sipping coffee and realized it's kinda nice here today.
Cheers!

Big Easy said...

Well boys and girls, there was no AHA moment today. I never heard of SAPPHO or SHEAVE and even after filling in HE_D, I just couldn't complete the word. Plus the iffy spelling of Tweety's word- TAUT, TAOT, or TAWT- wouldn't let VIEWING fall into place.

I was lost early on and knew 17A had to be PITTSBURGH, but the letters were in the wrong place. But it was hard to get started. Then I had an AHA moment ( but not at 24) in the SW and the puzzle began to fill in.

Some wild words today- ABYSMAL, VENDETTA, BASMATI, MANIACAL, CATBERT. ADASTRA & ASSAM WERE 100% perps, as were STEW and EBW; and CHICAGO FRE was a WAG. I thought SAAB bit the dust. They did. I just read someone bought their unfinished cars and plans to complete them.

BOOYAH- stew?? I've only heard the MARINES use that term. So I am leaving you nice people and my paper is MESSY because I use ink, not a pencil

kazie said...

Argyle,
Duh moment, I guess. Thank you! I was thinking in the water, so had ORCA and didn't take flight on that one, even with the blog answer.

SwampCat said...

Waaaay over my head, Steve, but the fills I got were such fun...and so new....that it was fun even if I didn't finish.

And Lemon, the write up was great as usual. The links mush have been fixed by the time I got here.

Owen, once again, you have hit a homer! Thanks for the chuckles.

So it was a good day, even without a TaDa.

Jinx in Norfolk said...

There may be no "I" in team, but there is an "m" and an "e". Had to look up aortic & Sappho. Fun puzzle.

HowardW said...

kazie: "What is ALER, or Ray and Jay for that matter?"
The Tampa Bay RAYs and Toronto Blue JAYs are teams in baseball's American League, so they are ALers.

It's a big help to be a sports fan for some of these!

As for the puzzle's theme, see here.

kazie said...

Thanks HowardW,
I did suss the theme, because perps helped, and I had heard that quote somewhere, but was thinking of Ray and Jay as possible player names. I think I was so put out by so much sports in this, I just wasn't thinking things through enough.

Big Easy,
I too couldn't think what the correct spelling of TAWT would be.

In addition, I'd forgotten the superfluous H at the end of Pittsburgh. It must be derived from the English burrough, not the German Burg (fortified castle).

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

Got off to a great start with ACERBIC / AMPERES, then pretty much WBS.

PTTSB gave me NO I, which then gave me most of the theme fill. Those perps were vital in completing this.

THE F of CHCAGO FRE / FDS was the last to fall.

Congrats, Steve - this is outstanding, and really hard.

The DETROT LONS are improving. Totally got destroyed by the refs in the Cowboys game. They should be in the playoffs next year.

To those who don't know, the Blue Jays and Devil Rays are teams in the American League - hence ALERs. We've had ALER and NLER a lot in the past.

Led astray by AORTAL and IKEA.

SAPPHO was a total swag. SHEAVE came from perps.

CARL couldn't appear in the Sagan clue because it was n the FILL.

Cool regards!
JzB

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Can't believe it but I got all the way through this on a Friday without white-out. AHA. Only unknown was ALER; after deciding on CHCAGO FRE.
Got the schtick early with PITTSBURGH PIRATES without the I's. Just had to pick the right teams afterward. Trollhåttan seemed Swedish somehow so went with SAAB. Guessed at AD ASTRA; we've had it befopre.
Initially the large number of longer fill, across and down seemed daunting, but they mostly turned out to be everyday words in general use.
First fill was SHEAVE; with HOR down.

Thanks Steve for a fun outing, and to Lemon for a good intro as usual.

Sunny here today; 0º this morning. Lots of ablation going on to reduce our snow cover.

Lucina said...

Hello, puzzlers. No ECSTASY today. I'm sorry, Lemonade, but I don't share your enthusiasm for this puzzle. While I admire the skill it requires to construct one, a sports themed one leaves me cold.

However, I did manage to finish this and once I saw the theme, the nonsense team names released their secrets.

The words Lemonade listed at the beginning saved this from being a total disaster.

Nice job, Steve, but not my cup of tea.

Have a fun filled Friday, everyone!

Tinbeni said...

Jazz @9:12
The Tampa Bay Rays dropped the name "Devil Rays" before the 2008 season.

Henry Hook said...

THERE’S NO “I” IN TEAM.

http://www.crosswordfiend.com/blog/2013/10/26/sunday-october-27-2013/#bg

Ergo said...

Thank you Steve and Lemon.

Despite the challenges, or perhaps in light of them, this was an excellent DNF.

All it took was leaving the H off of PTTSBURGH to throw the NE section into a warzone.

Otherwise a really, really good brain exercise. Thank you!

Abejo said...

Good morning, folks. Thank you, Steve Marron, for a fine puzzle. Thank you Lemonade, for a fine review.

This puzzle was daunting at first. But, I picked away, bouncing here and there, plugging in S's where plurals were, my first words were ARA and IRA. So, I was off and running.

Took me two and half hours. That is pretty good for me on a Friday.

After much of the puzzle was done I finally saw the theme. That really helped me.

The B in CATBERT was a wag. I lucked out.

MONDE was easy after five perps. Still do not know what that word means.

BASMATI was unknown. Seven perps and it was mine.

Enjoyed learning SHEAVE. I shall remember that word.

See you tomorrow. Potentate's Ball is on the schedule.

Abejo

( )

DeGaulle said...

"MONDE" is French for "world". As in the phrase, "tout le monde est ici", meaning "everyone (all the world) is here".

thehondohurricane said...

Good morning to all,

A great puzzle, right in my wheelhouse (for the most part) and pretty easy after I sussed the theme. Thanks Steve, I needed a puzzle like this to restore my confidence that Im not totally losing it.

The NE corner was almost my downfall and took several lucky wags to get thru it. I knew it was TAWT, but I couldn't decide how to spell it. ECSTASY & VIEWING, both wags, got me rolling. SHEAVE is a" never heard of it before" word for me.

Time to go back to clearing snow. We are supposedly looking at a break from the storms which is good because there is no room for any more. My driveway has shrunk in width by at least two feet. One of the disadvantages living in the woods.

Husker Gary said...

What fun during my convalescence! I got the “gmmck” “quckly” “whch” was helpful and then the reveal “whch” was a real hoot. Lemon’s assessment just “rght”!

Musings
-A common place to see a SHEAVE
-My first steering aid (fabulous) were these Disney RAILS
-Me too on Booyah
-Is it possible to have a completely PC language?
-ABBA music makes my heart happy
-SO I sez to the guy
-Being a diplomat is not safe anywhere any more
-Ah, how I loved Ray and The Ace Trucking Company
-He had to ask nicely (but didn’t say PLEASE) (1:36)
-I SEETHED on Wednesday at a woman who was giving us ABYSMAL post-op instructions and finally said, “That’s enough, I want to go home!” The next day we got an incredibly competent home health care worker.
-Good to see you back in the game too, YR!

C6D6 Peg said...

Really nice puzzle, Steve. Loved the fresh fill, as Lemonade pointed out. It's always fun and challenging when it's not the same fill puzzle after puzzle.

In the end it was a DNF due to AHA and SAPPHO.

Thanks, Lemonade, for your insightful write-up.

Abejo said...

HG: Hope you are feeling better.

Abejo

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

Feeling smug this morning! When it was obvious there were too few spaces for Pittsburgh, I said "I'll bet it's because there's no I in team". With that in mind I was able to zip right through. Nicely done, Steve!

C.C. from yesterday - you mentioned the difficulty maintaining grid symmetry. I'm interested in your opinion: is grid symmetry important? I realize it's traditional, but it seems to me that constructors could be afforded some leeway. After all, exact symmetry is fairly hard to see in a busy puzzle. Would you rather have more relaxed rules? Marti, Steve, Argyle, JzB, other constructors, what's your opinion?

Irish Miss said...

Hi Everyone:

This was a bear but I did finish w/o help, although perps and a wag or two were necessary. Had no trouble with the theme answers.

Nice job, Steve, and great expo, Lemony.

Very cold here but lots of sunshine.

Have a great day.

Bluehen said...

This was a tough slog, but I finally made it through for the "tada". Like a lot of others, the "F" in FDS was the last to fall. Growing up in the corn belt, I was familiar with Bears and Cubbies and Sox and Bulls and Blackhawks and, because of UD alumna Elena Delle Donne, even the Sky, but none fit. Then from within the deep, dark recesses of my memory, I dredged up the Chicago Fire soccer team. The only reason I remembered it was because of the silly team name. Who names a team after a disaster? Thanks, Steve, for a great puzzle with some fun cluing and some learning moments.

Thank you, Lemonade714, for your usually erudite expo with some great links. I especially liked the ABBA one (when the darker haired one turned her back to the camera).

Anonymous said...

She said: "Being no fan (read that as hater of team sports)"

I wonder what childhood trauma caused this opinion. I mean, I can understand someone saying, "Opera does nothing for me" or even "I find ballet laughable". Maybe, "reading is a waste of time" or "golf is a good walk ruined". But to come out on several occasions(read that as EVERY time sports is a theme) to say you HATE something as benign as team sports seems ridiculous.

Now, I hate ISIS, racism, and puppies but other than that I can take it or leave it.

Jayce said...

Whew, this was very hard! I had to cheat my ass off, including going through the alphabet at the "F" in FDS until the letter turned black. Even at that I didn't know what an "FD" is. Well at least I knew SAPPHO, MONDE, ELEGY, and CATBERT right off the bat. Good job, Steve!

coneyro said...

My head hurts!

I saw the word ATHLETES and knew I was in trouble. I DO NOT like sports.

I knew something funny was going on with the spelling, because PITTSBURGHPIRATES didn't fit
in 17A, and that HAD to be right. So I checked the other clues around it, and AHA moment. No I's.
The only club I didn't know (and I'm glad I wasn't the only one), was the Chicago soccer team. My husband helped me with that one. The only CHICAGO FIRE I know is that great tv show which I faithfully watch.

Proudly filled in CARL for 7D by myself.

Need more food-related clues. I like them. ASSAM and BASMATI were fast fills.

SHEAVE, ELEGY, CATBERT, ALER (thanks for the clarification Jazzbumpa), ARA (husband knew It) ADASTRA...beyond me.

Well, let me go take something for the pain.

Have a TGIF.

Dudley said...

Puppies? What's the matter with puppies?

Anonymous said...

Ok, I'll give you that, puppies are cute, but I'm maintaining my hatred towards terrorism and racism.

Ba-dah, boom. Tsssh. [rimshot]

coneyro said...

RE:Anonymous @12:09

I usually don't respond to personal negative comments, but what you opined annoyed me.
Many people are not sports fans(me included), and I would go so far as to say some DETEST the mere mention of related topics.
Sports widows don't find anything benign about what they go through all year. I know from experience.

You HATE puppies. Now THAT is something to sit on a therapist's couch and expand on.

Like what you like, and let other dislike what they dislike. No comment is necessary. Nuff said....

G H W Bush said...

I hate broccoli.

Occasional Lurker said...

Thank you Steve, for a challenging puzzle and Lemonade for an interesting blog. I too am fond of jasmine rice, especially the Three Elephants and The Elephant Family brands from Thailand.

I thought ERNE was Bert's friend, and they are a team, and there is no i in team .... so.

Are raptors limited to birds of prey, or do they include fish and mammals like sharks and whales ?

Steve, not enough foodie references and too much sports ....

Anon, I don't really hate team sports, but I really, really, really don't like them. ;-) To each his own. I'm still sore I missed the Superbowl though - the halftime show, that is.


Bluehen, on the ABBA video, I too kept thinking why 'the dark haired one' - Anni-Frid Lyngstad - kept turning her back to the camera. Was it to show off her booties ? Actually, I think its because those are the lines in the lyrics that she doesn't sing - Agnetha sings alone. So Anni-Frid kept turning away so she wouldn't have to pretend to mouth the words and lip sync - unlike, say, Milli Vanilli. ;-)

Anonymous said...

OK, you got me. I still hate terrorism but I can learn to live with racism.


Why ? Because otherwise we'd just be one big happy family. Who, in their cotton pickin' mind would want such a huge family ? ( Oh, the horror of it all !)

As for puppies - they just grow up to beget more puppies !! Now, if cats started feasting on rats, and dogs started feasting on cats - the human race would have a decent chance of surviving - til social security ran out.

Tough problems need tough decisions.

Jayce said...

As Ogden Nash wrote:
The trouble with a kitten is that
it grows up to be a cat.

OwenKL said...

As one who had to endure the torture of PE through high school, always being picked last for teams, always just plain being picked on because of my physical ineptness, never able to keep up anywhere near the pack when running laps, or even the next slowest guy besides myself, never really understanding the rules of any team sports, I think I can reasonably say I HATE TEAM SPORTS! (OTOH, I was decent at individual sports: badminton, bowling, fencing.)

OwenKL said...

Puppies and kittens and bunnies, Oh my!
Fluffy and fuzzy and cutie pie!
Laughter is frantic
When viewing their antics --
They're secretly plotting "All Humans Must Die!"

Anonymous said...

In spite of my aggressive disinterest in sports, I managed to get through this one and it wasn't too bad.

Once I got the theme, I saw the light at the end of the dark tunnel. Never heard of CHICAGOFIRE, but ALER made more sense than ALEV.

STET threw me for a loop 'til the very end.
I thought the Canadian badge would say AD ULTRA (to beyond), but the clash forced me to concede AD ASTRA. Are those Canadian pilots astronauts?

I'm not much of an OENophile but I got that one.

The A from the PRATES cinched ERAT rather than QUOD for me. Q.E.D..

Nitpick:
AER made less sense to me than PER (oxide) as "fizzy" implies effervescing and not everything that's aerated is fizzy.

-BDole

Jerome said...

Henry Hook visiting Crossword Corner? My, my, Henry, how sweet and kind and gentle and thoughtful of you. What happened?

CrossEyedDave said...

DNF

I did not realize this was "our" Steve!

I do not know why, but I got the idea somehow after the Pittsburgh Pirates that they would all be Baseball Teams. This led to my trying to fit the Miami Marlins where Dolphins belonged, & when that didn't work my lack of sports knowledge made me think there might be another Miami Baseball Team?

The NE corner killed me...

Sadly, there is no joy in Mudville tonite, as I could not bring in the sheaves...

Anonymous said...

I love how crosswords help to expand our knowledge in various subjects that we are not familiar with, except sports. I'm good with learning new things that I want to learn about. Sports are stupid and serve no purpose in life.

Anonymous said...

OwenKL, I can sympathize. I remember well the days back in school when we had reading class. The teachers would call on the students to read aloud and I dreaded the times when they would call my name. I could feel the heat in my face as it turned beet red and sweat would form in tiny droplets on my forehead and above my lips. My mouth would go dry as I stumbled over the words and pronunciations. I kept my head down and struggled through this exercise for years and years as I felt the judgmental eyes bearing down upon me just praying for the teacher to let me off the hook and call on another student. I grew to hate reading. I hate books, poetry and all related aspects of the written word.

Lemonade714 said...

Jerome

Do you know Henry Hook? His puzzle was a completely different take on the subject

desper-otto said...

Anon@4:30 -- For someone who hates the written word, you seem to write pretty well.

Jerome said...

Lemon- No, I've never met Henry. I was a tad surprised that he sent a post without a trace of acerbic wit.I'd love to meet him, though. Henry is such a puzzle legend that it has been said being introduced to him is like meeting Elvis.

Bill G. said...

Here's a memory of the way things used to be. It's a story of a loyal little dog and it's about Charles Kuralt. I loved his "On the Road" series. He found great off-beat stories and then told them with such beautiful prose that it almost seemed like poetry. This is not a big heroic story but a little story told by a master story teller. Blackie

Rainman said...

Thanx, Bill G,

Lots of warm, terrific stories like that of Blackie.

Give me a call or personal enote sometime. Thanxagain.

Avg Joe said...

Owen, I could almost have written that philippic. I could hold my own in track events, but any sport that involved manual dexterity and hand eye coordination, I was inept. Tennis, bowling, archery? While certainly no pro, I was adequate. Good grief, for 3 years when I went out for basketball I got the position of scorekeeper. Seriously.

But it hasn't completely soured me on team sports....as long as I don't have to play. The thing I dislike much more than playing is being forced into a conversation by some Monday morning quarterback that knows every play, every stat and every person or that ever played or coached the game. That's tough to avoid in Nebraska.

SwampCat said...

All this discussion of sports has been interesting to me, a non-sports fan. Anon at 4:22 said "sports are stupid and serve no purpose." Actually, they can, and do.

After hurricane Katrina and its aftermath washed away much of New Orleans, the Saints "rescued" the city. With a wounded, fired quarterback and a rookie untried coach, along with a rag tag bunch of misfit players, they brought excitement and hope back to the woebegone city. It took them another three years to win a Super Bowl but by then no one in New Orleans was surprised. They restored confidence and dignity to a city that was hurting.

If this sandlot team could win football games, the rest of the city could pull itself together.

Think about it. Much of the country was willing too let us slip away into the sea. What decent player would want to come to a city like that...with a losing team?

But those who came, and played hard and won... inspired the recovery of the city.

And no, I'm not at all a sports fan. I did not get one single theme answer of Steve's lovely puzzle because
I do not know the names of sports teams! But I dont "hate" sports. Sports can serve many purposes.

Lucina said...

Anonymous@4:30:
I echo the sentiments applauding your writing skills. For someone who hates reading the written word, you express it in lovely phrases.

tawnya said...

hello all!

quite a puzzle today - fantastic job Steve! i was wondering if that was you when i started and knew i could rely on the corner to tell me. congrats! it was hard but enjoyable and i got the theme right away but all i could think of was this

for the record, i love baseball. and i am in heaven that spring training has started! go Dodgers!!!

hope you all have a great weekend!!

enjoy :)

tawnya

Lemonade714 said...

Of course the s skeptic in me wonders if it was really Henry Hook or just someone familiar with the puzzle.

Steve said...

I guess we've got a 50/50 split over the like/don't like votes, but to the "don't likes", thanks for the reasons why. All feedback, good or bad, is filed away for the next time!

Thanks to "Henry Hook" for the link to another take on the same theme - you can be sure that we all look for a theme previously used and run away very quickly if it's not original. I never want to see something that was done before. In this case, I rest a little easy in that the reveal may be the same, the theme nothing close, although very ingenious.

@Dudley - I'm probably on the OCD spectrum when it comes to symmetry in a puzzle - when I see one that's not, I know something's afoot. I can just about cope with a puzzle that blows the rules, but there'd better be an awesome grid design or theme to justify it. It's irrational, I know.

@AvJ - yes, I can chalk up two on my own, but I would be zero for none if it wasn't for C.C. encouraging me to start constructing.

One last, and very important thing - this blog is a very nurturing, friendly place (and occasionally argumentative) place, and you all should be proud of the vibe that encourages us all be seen and heard - we all contribute to this and we should all be happy to be part of this community.

No, we're not going to save the world here, but we certainly make it a nicer place to live.

Bill G. said...

Tawnya, do you think the Dodgers games are going to be blacked out again this year? I could switch back to Time Warner but I've grown to dislike them so much that I would feel bad about myself if I did.

I was never good at sport in elementary school. I came up in Little League three times with the bases loaded and made out three times. One time in fifth grade they were choosing up sides for a softball game. I got picked last to be umpire... I got better in college and afterward. I played tennis pretty well, captained my own slow-pitch softball team that won the league once, took table tennis lessons from an Olympian and got pretty darn good. But I still remember the sting of being picked last to be umpire...

Rainman, I'm glad you liked it. Now that I've stumbled on the old tapes of his "On the Road" shows on YouTube, I'm going to watch them all over again.

Anonymous T said...

I've only made it through the 11:30a comments so far said...

Marron? I've done his puzzle(s?) before I liked... And I felt comfortable in this one. No wonder; it was our Steve!

What Marti said... The misspelling of Pitsburg [sic] helped when CATBERT came - AHA no I. My TEAM of neurons got the theme c/a and reveal then pretty much stopped there feeling quite PLEASED. Honestly, they still had too much to do and were too tired after a week of long days to worry about what kinda rice at 45d and other trivial pursuits. I gave the team a rest.

Thanks Steve for a really fun puzzle and Lem for the non-theme tidbits.

Cheers, -T

Anonymous T said...

I just caught up w/ all the post 11:30a comments and see I missed alot of fun today.

Anon@4:30 I hated the stand & read thing too. I stumbled and mispronounced so poorly the class thought it was a joke and I was put in a corner. Later in life (post grad school) I found out I am dyslexic. Makes sense - the way I learned as a kid to cope w/ stand & read was to read the lines backwards 1st, then forwards thus losing the dunce cap.

Re team sports - always picked last 'cuz I was small and scrawny. What helped the team was that I was also scrappy - so much so that I wouldn't let go of the football even as the other team, once, threw me over a fence! I didn't drop the ball though... Ah, Catholic school :-)

Thanks for commenting on your puzzle Steve. You're right, this community of puzzlers makes things in the world ever so much better. You made a fun puzzle for us today and I appreciate your effort.

Cheers, -T