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Jul 1, 2015

Wednesday, July 1, 2017 Frank Virzi

Theme: Baseball - the last word is a type of pitch.
 
17A. *Place-setting piece : SALAD FORK. Forkball.

27A. *Inviolable, as rules : HARD AND FAST. Fastball.

42A. *Rough-and-tumble : BARE KNUCKLE. Knuckleball.

57A. *Statistical graph image : BELL CURVE. Curveball.

Reveal entry (symmetrically placed):

12D. When combined with 50-Down, this puzzle's game : BASE

50D. See 12-Down ... and a word that can follow the ends of the answers to starred clues : BALL

Bonus fill:

20A. Fenway Park and Wrigley Field : STADIUMS

6D. 10-time Gold Glove winner Roberto : ALOMAR The only Hall of Famer known to have spit at an umpire.
 
33D. Diamond smack : LINE DRIVE

40D. Hall of Famer Slaughter : ENOS - Once scored from first on a single.

Good morning all.  Boomer here - Happy July Fool's day.  Start dating your checks 2015 1/2. Great to see a baseball puzzle.  Made me hungry for a hot dog.  Fastball, Curve, Knuckleball made famous by Hoyt Wilhelm, the Niekro brothers, Wilbur Wood and now R.A. Dickey.  It seems the forkball is now called a split finger and notably absent is the Spitball from early baseball years.  How about the Vaseline ball from Gaylord Perry, and the beanball from the Barber, Sal Maglie, as well as Don Drysdale and many others.  Warn both benches and then start tossing people.  Here we go...

Across:       

1. Waterlogged lowlands : FENS - I have no idea what this is

5. Iditarod, e.g. : RACE - Mora Minnesota has a similar race each year.

9. Talmudic scholar : RABBI - Also in jokes with a priest and a minister

14. Bountiful place? : UTAH


15. Tel Aviv airline : EL AL

16. Wee hr. : ONE AM - I get it but I'm not sure I like it.  I will be one AM at the PBA50 Pro Am Bowling event at Treasure Island in Welch, MN this month.

19. Stunned : AGASP - the result of a bean ball?

21. Sweet liqueurs : CREMES What would a Brandy Alexander be without these.

22. She, in San Remo : ESSA - I am not good at foreign words.

23. "Uptown Girl" songwriter : JOEL - Yup, Billy, I like "The Longest Time" better.

24. "Cats" monogram : TSE (T.S. Eliot)
 
32. Early Talmudic scholar : HILLEL  - Not in Priest and Minister jokes.

34. Need to pay : OWE

35. Back in the day : ONCE

36. Morning TV host replaced by Michael : REGIS - I never knew how Philbin got so much air time speaking through his nose.

37. Apr. addressee : IRS - Ever notice when you combine THE and IRS you get "THEIRS"

38. Roper's target : DOGIE

39. __ upswing : ON AN

40. London's Virgin __ Records : EMI

41. Raises an auction paddle for : BIDS ON - I see it in sitcoms, but I never used one on eBay.

45. Heavy wts. : TNS - I understand tons, but how is TNS an abbreviation for tons?

46. God of Spain : DIOS

47. Lamb or Bacon, e.g.: Abbr. : AUTH. Charles Lamb (ELIA) and Francis Bacon.

49. Sporty Fords : T-BIRDS - The 1957 model was always my favorite.

52. Marriott rival : SHERATON

56. Speedy : RAPID - Bob Feller's fastball earned him the nickname "Rapid Robert"

58. Start of a valentine message : I LOVE - OR Bobby Valentine had a different message for umpires.

59. S.A. country on the Pacific : ECUA - Really?  Is this a postal abbreviation?

60. Mezzanine, e.g. : TIER

61. Like Venus, to Serena : OLDER

62. "__ Mommy kissing ... " : I SAW - Santa Claus. Jimmy Boyd sang the nasal version.  I think it was redone by Wayne Newton - also nasal.

63. River of Spain : EBRO

Down:

1. Hubbub : FUSS

2. Californie, par exemple : ETAT - Boo! foreign words.

3. "The Lion King" lion : NALA

4. Protect from light : SHADE

5. Firm no : REFUSAL
 
7. National rentals : CARS - Ever notice how your legs don't fit in economy, compact, and mid size?

8. Deer family member : ELK - Not the Brewer's Rob Deer family.

9. Laughed heartily : ROARED

10. Type of cake made with egg whites : ANGEL FOOD - Melts in your mouth, not in your hand.

11. Roof support : BEAM
 
13. Babysitters' challenges : IMPS - Not nice to call other people's children IMPS.  Isn't there some game that has International Match Points?  Bridge or Chess?

18. Sink clutter : DISHES - DirecTV catchers, when it's not raining.

21. Ice cream parlor order : CONE

23. Shark flick : JAWS - I cannot remember how many times I've seen this.  "I think we'll need a bigger boat!"

24. Beat : THROB

25. Tuscan city : SIENA - I had one of these in a Crayola box once.

26. "Pomp and Circumstance" composer : ELGAR (Edward)

28. Greek column style : DORIC

29. Existential woe : ANGST - How I feel about abbreviations in crossword puzzles.

30. Offspring : SCION

31. Babysitters, often : TEENS

37. Controversial radio host : IMUS - Don -- King of radio jerks!

38. Coke Zero rival : DIET RC - Diet Rite Cola was the pioneer of sugar free pop back in the fifties.  It did not taste very good but it preceded Tab which wasn't too good either.

41. Sunday shopping restriction : BLUE LAW - never heard of this.

43. One pulling your leg : KIDDER

44. Liqueur in a B-52 cocktail : KAHLUA- What would a Black Russian be without this.  Do not sub Creme de Cacao.  I can tell the difference.

48. __ cuisine : HAUTE - Rather see Terre_____, IN

49. The Andrews Sisters, e.g. : TRIO- I prefer Kingston____ or Chad Mitchell____.  The Andrew sisters were a trio but never referred to by that name.

51. Apple MP3 player : IPOD

52. Jiffies : SECS - abbreviation not shown in the clue.

53. Windy City paper : TRIB - abbreviation not shown in the clue.

54. Partner of out : OVER - Pilot in "Airplane"

55. Homebound sleuth Wolfe : NERO

57. "__ Mir Bist Du Schoen": Andrews Sisters hit : BEI - Foreign again.


The fat guy is me with my qualifying medals, getting ready to participate in the bowling event at the National Senior Games coming to Minnesota next week. Word is that there will be 9995 participants in about 17 different events.  Ages span from 50 to 102 and participants are showing up from all 50 states.  Should be a boom for the hotel trade.  If you are in the Twin Cities, I will be at Southtown Lanes in Bloomington on July 10 (singles) and July 12 (doubles).



Boomer

69 comments:

Chairman Moe said...

"Puzzling thoughts":

Ready to head home today after a great visit seeing my daughter and son-in-law in GA.

Just thought I'd share a 5-line poem (in anapest verse, of course) that I came up with:

Budding film star named Petri did wish,
That she looked just like Lillian Gish.
So she styled her hair
With some ringlets to spare;
Now the guys think that she's quite a DISH!

OwenKL said...

Rabbit, rabbit.

The puzzle wasn't too bad, but the theme stumped me until I got to the reveal, because I have never — never! — heard of a "FORK BALL"! I'm much better at crosswords than baseball or any other sport! I hated being forced to join Little League, a rite of passage that I imagine some of you had to endure, too.

Please take me out of the ball game!
The wild way I throw is laughable shame!
When I try to run bases
I trip on my laces,
And I couldn't catch a fire in a flame!

Please let me off of the ball field!
A bat is a perilous club to wield!
The last one I gripped,
When I swung it, it slipped,
That first baseman still hasn't healed!

Please let's go home from the ball park!
The other team has me pegged as a mark!
To the right field they hit,
There's a hole in my mitt,
We're going to be stuck here till dark!

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Hasenpfeffer, hasenpfeffer?

Not too bad today, but as with Owen I have never heard of a FORK BALL before in my life and that really had me scratching my head at the theme and wondering where I had gone wrong.

Minor glitch with ELLA before ESSA, but that was about it. Needed some perp help to remember ALOMAR, but not too many this time around. Also misspelled KAHLUA as KHALUA for some reason (I'm not a drinker, that's for sure) and had a brain fart trying to remember the spelling of HAUTE, but the perps came to my rescue in both places.

Seriously, though... FORK BALL? Really? I don't watch baseball (except when the Red Sox are in the playoffs, which isn't often), but I thought I was at least familiar with the terminology. Slider, curve ball, spitball, fast ball, knuckleball, screwball, even the mythical gyroball. But FORK BALL? Is this at all common?

Lemonade714 said...

A fun baseball theme with FORK BALL a very common term made popular by ROY FACE

I loved the puzzle Except the reappearance of ECUA. Creating abbreviations seems unfair and unsatisfying.

White Rabbit, white rabbit

HowardW said...

Rabbit redux.

Enjoyed the baseball theme. This was a speed run, although not as fast as Dee Gordon's inside-the-park home run. A couple more answers can be (marginally) linked to baseball: (Anaheim) ANGEL FOOD and (David) CONE.

Loved the reminder about "Airplane", I remember laughing so hard at the silly stuff in that movie. Thanks Boomer!

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Never saw the theme, but didn't need it to solve the puzzle. I thought the "Gold Glove" was a boxing thing, not baseball. Nicely done, Frank and Boomer. And good luck in your bowling tournament.

We still have a BLUE LAW in Texas. You can't buy beer before noon on Sunday. I adjust my shopping trips accordingly. At one time you couldn't buy a car on Sunday. The dealerships probably sponsored it.

I'm not a fan of ANGELFOOD cake. To my mind there's only one kind of cake, and that's chocolate. Other flavors need not apply.

Hahtoolah said...

White Rabbit and Good Morning, Boomer and friends. Nice write-up. FORK BALL was a new one to me, but all the other pitches made sense.

Boomer, Boston's Fenway Park is so named because that area of the city was once the FENS.

I initially tried Tempo instead of THROB for Beat. I also thought of Down and Out before OVER and Out.

I also immediately wrote in Peru, before I realized that we were going for an abbreviation. ECUA, however, didn't bother me.

I often listen on my iPod while I do the crossword puzzle in the morning.

QOD: Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you. ~ Diana, Princess of Wales (July 1, 1961 ~ Aug. 31, 1997)

Jerome said...

Congratulations on being a medalist, Boomer. But I do have questions for you-
Would you think it petty if a French crossword clued yes as "OUI, in English" and solvers then complained about a foreign word in their puzzle? And isn't it ironic that the crosswords we love at this site come from a Spanish named newspaper, and that English is mostly rooted in Latin, French, Norse, etc.

Lastly, Why do bowling shirts always look like... well, bowling shirts?

Oh, and by the way, about eight years ago I convinced a group of friends from my local watering hole to start bowling on Saturday morning just to do something different. I also insisted we do a potluck tail gate first for an hour or so. The or so became more so and for three consecutive Saturdays we never made it out of the parking lot.

Mr. Google said...

The Fens

Big Easy said...

Check date? Who writes checks anymore? Only to the IRS; everything else is either online or credit cards for me. I did notice all the BASEBALL answers but my last fill was the cross of BASE and AGASP; I had to look up agasp's meaning because I was unfamiliar with it.

I had a little trouble in the SE not knowing BEI or how to spell KAHLUA, knew PERU wasn't correct and ECUA just looked strange for an abbr. AUTH seemed like a non-word abbreviation for author.

HILLEL was an all-perp word for me. I had to do some thinking to get REGIS because I have never seen his or Michael's show.

Boomer-nice picture and just to let you know, you're not the ONLY fat guy. I can't shake my weight either.

Beach Bum said...

Did this one quickly in BWI while while waiting for my flight to BDL. Meh. Didn't think Fenway could appear as a clue with fens in the puzzle seeing's as they refer to the same thing.

Anonymous said...

TNS is an abbreviation for "tons" as "MY" is an abbreviation for "May" (or "OH" for "Ohio" – i.e., abbreviations for words that need no abbreviations).

Mr. Google said...

The length of the abbreviation depends on the size of the data field. If the field is one character long the days of the week are MTWRFSU.

If the field is two characters long, Ohio is OH and May is MY.

If the field is three characters long, as in this puzzle, tons is TNS.

CanadianEh! said...

We're celebrating Canada Day here! Parades and fireworks to come.

I found this puzzle a little crunchy on the west central shore because I wanted Tired for THROB but I got the theme. FENS replaced Bogs and I was trying to fit Joker instead of KIDDER. Didn't want to accept AGASP. I remembered ALOMAR from his days as a Toronto Blue Jay. Unfortunate news of shark attacks in N.C. reminded me of JAWS. Liked babysitter cluing and location of 31D and 13D. Also noted Firm No and Inviolable.

Off to celebrate!

Lucina said...

Hello, Friends! How nice to see you, Boomer, and good luck in the tournament.

A RAPID romp from Frank Virzi with only one write over: TIRED/THROB,

CSO to Dudley!

Although I'm not a sports fan I have heard of the types of throws mentioned except FORK BALL. And AGASP sounds really strange to me.

Have a pleasant day, everyone!

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

Fun solve with no major speed bumps. Needed the reveal to get the theme, however.

Thanks, Frank, for starting July with a bang and thanks, Boomer, for your witty and amusing expo. You wear your medals well; good luck at the Tournament.

July is beginning the same way June ended; gloomy and rainy.

Have a great day.

thehondohurricane said...


Pitch notably missing was Slider. Maglie and Don D were from different eras. The Dodger most compared to Sal was Preacher Roe. Saw a couple games when they were paired up. By the middle of the game every player usually had a dusty rear end from being knocked down. But the never dusted each other off.

Tim Wakefield of the Red Sucks..aaah..Red Sox was a very successful knuckle ball pitcher. The pitch extended his career by several years. My opinion is if you are not familiar with FORKBALL, you are not a true baseball fan.



Tinbeni said...

Pinch, Pinch ...

Boomer: Nice write-up. Good Luck in the Tournament.
Frank: Thank you for a FUN Wednesday puzzle and theme.

Fave today, of course, was KAHLUA.
Though the reference to the FORK BALL was a close second.
And I agree with Hondo, that if you don't know FORKBALL you don't know BASEBALL.

Cheers!

Husker Gary said...

Musings
-A fun puzzle with common and slightly esoteric baseballery with a wonderful write-up by one of our favorite Burnikels.
-I well remember Elroy Face’s FORKBALL
-Like others before and after him, Jim Bouton was famous for learning the KNUCKLEBALL after his FASTBALL lost its zip
-A teacher grading on a true BELL CURVE would be fired
-Look who OWES the IRS
-SHADE provider that we use all the time
-That darned mechanical shark’s failures almost shut down JAWS. Richard Dreyfuss also thought he had made a big mistake by taking that role
-BLUE LAWS in my hometown took my dad’s considerable beer purchasing out of town on Sunday
-Good luck, Boomer!

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Nice breezy intro, Boomer. Thank you.

Enjoyed the baseball theme in today's puzzle. No real nits. We've had ECUA before, although I'm with Boomer. I think TRIB is OK; it's made its way into the language as a short cut word.
ANGST and BEI were gimmes for me.
TNS - I've never see it. Ton is short enough, anyway.
DORIC - Nice shout out to one of our Posters.

Happy Canada Day to Canadian Eh, and all the other Canadians who visit this Corner. Hope your weather is better than ours.

HeartRx said...

Baseball...meh.

Boomer - thanks for the fun write-up!

Dudley said...

Rabbit Rabbit

Hello Puzzlers -

There's a whole lot of agreein' goin' on here between me and the earlier posters.

Starting off with Owen 5:29, that's exactly what baseball felt like to my young self. It's an excellent means of humiliating those who are not good at it.

Then, WBS at 5:53. Never heard of a fork ball.

Next, D Otto at 7:11 spoke truth: cakes other than chocolate need not apply.

Mr. Google is spot-on at 9:13. Early on in the computer world, compact data fields made us do awkward things.

Lucina 9:29 has made me smile!

Hondo may well be right at 9:37, but since I'm neither familiar with a fork ball nor a true baseball fan, I'm manifestly unqualified to tell.

kazie said...

A whole puzzle all about things I know nothing about, so a lot of wags and perp help needed to get through it all, and one cheat--I looked up ELGAR, or I'd never have got the central midwest out.

unclefred said...

Nice write-up, Boomer, Thanks, big-time! "Roper's target" slowed me down for a while when I confidently wrote in "MOVIE". DOH! Also, got the "base-ball" theme right off the bat, but couldn't for the life of me imagine what a salad fork had to do with it. That threw me off the scent for a while, but eventually completed the CW, a bit over my usual time for a Wednesday CW. Thanks for the limerick, Owen, being a poor athlete myself, and having made a COMPLETE FOOL of myself trying to play second base once (it was so bad my friends at the game pretended they didn't know me!!) it's nice to see someone else fess up to not being good at baseball. Overall, though, a fun CW, Thanks Frank Virzi!

JD said...

Good morning Boomer and all,

I enjoyed your write up MUCH more than today's ball game. Pretty much what Kazie said, although I may have cheated a few extra times to keep-a-goin'. Things made sense, but unfortunately AFTER the perps filled them. Like D-Otto I thought Gold Gloves were for boxing.

Loved your poem today, Owen.
Happy Canada Day to all our Corner Canadians!

C6D6 Peg said...

Nice summer puzzle saluting America's pasttime. Thanks, Frank! Was a big challenging in the West. Couldn't remember ELGAR.

Thanks for the "pinch hitting" Boomer. Good luck in the tournament!

Argyle said...

Rabbit Rabbit!

The Gold Glove award and the Golden Gloves competitions are two different things. First is baseball and second boxing.

Bill G. said...

Hi everybody. I'm sure people could be surprised at crossword information that I don't know but I do know of a forkball. A normal grip to throw a fastball is with one's index and middle finger on the top providing backspin. A forkball is thrown with those same two fingers spread way far apart and the ball jammed in between them. With no fingers on the top, the ball has little or no backspin when thrown resulting in a fast pitch that has a surprising drop. It comes up to the plate looking like a fast ball and then the bottom drops out, much like a spitball in days of yore. It's very tough to hit.

Have you gotten to see the conjunction? It was very pretty last night. It will be almost as close tonight. Look for it in the west at between 8:30 and 9:30.

Avg Joe said...

Add me to the list of those who can't be considered a baseball fan. Never heard of a fork pitch, but the others were familiar. And the puzzle was enjoyable despite that.

While it's been 5 decades, I still remember that warm fuzzy glow brought on by being picked last, then relegated to right field. But, it builds character, as they say.

Good luck in the tourney, Boomer. And thanks for pinch hitting.

coneyro said...

Baseball today...Not one of my favorite subjects, but living with a huge sports fan made this puzzle easy.

Regarding FORKBALL. It is a deceptive pitch that starts off like a fastball. Instead of going straight, it can drop or go left or right.

I lived in Coney Island, Brooklyn, the "Poor Man's Riviera". When JAWS came out, there was a noticeable drop in the amount of bathers willing to venture into the water. That movie scared the daylights out of so many people. A similar fear after the film "Psycho". Taking a shower to this day still gets me unnerved. I feel like I'm being watched. It's creepy.

My husband's first car in the early '70's was a bronze TBIRD. It was a beautiful car. At that time "bigger was better". No four cylinder subcompact or high gas mileage, but who cared? Big and roomy and bold. Great adventures with it.

Desper-otto....If you like dark rich chocolate cake, look up the recipe with KAHLUA as an ingredient. One of the most delicious (and fattening) indulgences ever.

My favorite ice cream parlor was Jahn's in N.Y. Kitchen sink sundae fed about six people, and real egg creams. It was nice to live in a time when what we consumed was based on our particular preferences, instead of, "is it good for you?" The joy of eating has been taken from us. Kale fries? No thanks, I'll take the potato variety.

Don Imus and Howard Stern may be nasty, but it sure pays their bills. The joke is on us, and they're laughing all the way to Howard's $52 million dollar home.

My midweek tirade is concluded. All my best..

Bronx Boy said...

Though coneyro is from Brooklyn, it should be noted that her favorite ice cream parlor, Jahn's, began in the Bronx . . . though I just learned there were other locations, including Brooklyn . . . and even Florida!. Who knew.

Janice Green said...

I know a fork ball - its the one aimed at the Ump, because all umps speaketh with a forked tongue.

Tibbar, Tibbar. Etihw, etihw. Thats good supersition with reverse hex. Keeps away the evil eye.

Chickie said...

Hello Everyone, Diet RC and Elgar had to be looked up. So a DNF for me today. I didn't play much baseball as a child, only in elementary school P.E. But I did learn the rules which have made watching baseball much more fun.

As for the puzzle, I put in Peru--hey it fit, but didn't last long. Oh! TSE, not Cats the musical. I'm not a coke drinker and we don't buy soft drinks, so RC cola was way beyond my ken. Bog before Fens, and Mess before Fuss really messed up the NW corner.

Thanks, Boomer for a great write up and Good Luck in the upcoming Nationals. I'm sure you'll be adding another medal to that group.

Owen, I had a good chuckle over your BB pomes.
Have a great day everyone.

Chickie said...

Happy Canada Day to those who celebrate today.

Meant to say Bogs before Fens and Eden before Utah. That corner was erased so much I wore the print off the page.

desper-otto said...

This is for OwenKL, Dudley, Avg Joe, UncleFred, and for me: Right Field

SwampCat said...


Rabbit rabbit.

I'm with Owen on the BB miseries, but the puzzle came together quickly. I had salad fork before the theme so I didn't worry about what kind of ball that would be! I,too, had down and out before over and out, but bell curve took care of that. And I had TBird first, so the three Andrew Sisters were no problem, though I never heard them referred to as a trio.

Thanks Boomer, Owen and Frank for a good morning.

And Happy Canada Day to one and all.

Jayce said...

Your writeup was a pleasure to read, Boomer. Thanks for writing it. Good luck to you.

Peru before ECUA, movie before DOGIE, and handandfoot before HARDANDFAST. Liked the clue for UTAH. Didn't like the clue for SECS. Didn't like BEI Mir Bist Du Schoen. Didn't like TNS. Knew ELGAR and JAWS immediately.

Best wishes to you all.

Anonymous said...

Like Boomer said the term FORKball has been replaced with the term split-finger fastball but the grip is still the same.

I solved this on paper and thought, "whooo boy, the right fielders on the blog are going to be carping today!" Funny, I was a right fielder most of my youth and usually batted ninth, but I still grew up with an deep-seated love for the game. I still remember all three of my highlights(1 game saving catch and 2 hits) over a 5 year little league career. The friendships, lessons learned and after game(winning ones only) trips to the tasty freeze will live on forever.

Its a tall order but watching Ken Burns' documentary "Baseball" should be viewed by all Americans as it tells our nation's story. Major themes explored throughout the documentary are those of race, business, labor relations, and the relationship between baseball and society. The series had an audience of 45 million viewers, which makes it the most watched program in Public Television history. I read once that Burns was looking to continue to tell America's story after his Civil War story ended and decided the best vehicle to do so was baseball and it shaped or mirrored our society's evolution. The storyline stopped with the 9th inning in 1994 so when more themes can to be Burns decided to add a 10th inning(episode) described here by Ken( must view for New Englanders and New Yorkers). I'm still looking for the prologue to the original documentary. More later.

Argyle said...

LaVerne, Patty, Maxene Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen

Anonymous said...

Here is Baseball, Inning 1.

If you have a little spare time, please watch the first 15 minutes. From Walt Whitman's beautiful prose to Jimi Hendrix's blistering rendering of the Star Spangled Banner. With commentary from Bob Costas to Billy Crystal and many other respected Americans. If this doesn't move you then...well...as the kids say, "whatever".

Anonymous said...

Anyone who says anything like "I don't know anything about sports" or "I don't know anything about opera" or "I don't like foreign languages" or "I don't like abbreviations" or "I don't go to the movies" or "I don't watch TV" should probably look for a different hobby. Maybe bowling.

Bill G. said...

I'm almost embarrassed to write it but I agree with most of Anon's expounding at 3:14, 3:36 and 3:42. I remember my classmates choosing up for a ball game during recess in about fourth grade. I wanted desperately to fit in but I was picked last; worse than that, I was assigned the task of umpiring. Then later on my two best friends were on a Little League team. I went out too. My father, trying to encourage me, told me he'd give me a dollar if I hit a grand slam. I came up three times with the bases loaded. I struck out three times. Still, I grew up liking baseball and got better as I grew up. After coming west to Manhattan Beach, I even captained a few slow-pitch softball teams that won the league.

Dunno why but I never watched the Ken Burns' saga about baseball when it came out but I'm enjoying the link that our friendly Anon provided. I have no way of being sure if it's the same Anon for all three posts. That's one of the drawback of anonship.

3:42 Anon said...

The 3:42 Anon was not the same as the previous Anons.

Tinbeni said...

Gee, I guess I had a "Non-Normal" childhood.

We played Sports all-year-round here in Florida

I only played a lot of Baseball ... but also Football, Basketball, Track, Swimming in the Gulf-of-Mexico and Beach Volleyball.
Later, after college I took up Golf and played on a Company Softball Team.

I was never "the-last-kid-picked" ... hell, if I wasn't the Captain (doing the picking) I was probably "the-first-kid-picked."

But I can understand why so many "put-down-sports" ... especially if they never played them.

To Each His Own.

Lucina said...

There are many activities I don't like, chiefly sports, but I'm willing to learn, which I do in crosswords and this Blog. Just because I and others don't like something doesn't mean we should avoid them altogether. I love learning new things!

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 3:42, you said it. If you like crosswords try to read up, even marginally, on these things. You will be surprised how much it helps. Another "out" that annoys me is "that was before my time." Think of all your knowledge. You know about many things that happened decades or centuries before you were born.

SwampCat said...



Lucina, I think you brought up a good point. I am confused by all these commenters, mostly Anons, who fuss at those of us who admit we don't know everything. Hey! We're here! If we didn't want to learn new things we wouldn't be here talking about them. We just admit to gaps in our knowledge.

Anonymous said...

Yup, the excuse "I was never good at that and was often hurt by this fact" is a poor excuse for not liking something. If anything, it should make you admire those who excel at that activity even more! I couldn't carry a tune in a bucket which leaves me in awe of people like Freddy Mercury, Adele and Emmylou.

The thing that gets me about some commenters here is that I have never said nor read anyone writing something like, "Authors, ugh!" or "Ballet, meh!" or "history? Blech!" so why do we see so often, to the point of nausea, "sports? don't know and don't care!" It comes across to me as an air of condescension. Which is sad.

3:42 Anon said...

SwampCat: It's not that I have a problem with people who don't know everything. No one does.

It's just that some people seem to almost be proud of the fact that they have no interest in, say, sports or movies or television or popular music. Or foreign languages.

Avg Joe said...

D-Otto, that song is a perfect fit. I've never heard it before. Sums it up better than anything I've read or heard. Bravo!

There's more than a little irony in the fact that the conversation here today dealt more with the stand alone fill of 29d than the theme itself. I guess you only know about the right field blues if you've been there.

Anonymous said...

Oh, woe is me, Joe.

Anyone who claims the know nothing of the methaphorical right field blues in sailing on that river that passes neath the Qast Nil Bridge*.

*obscure Jeopardy reference from a recent episode. Maybe yesterday?

Cry me a river said...

Forgive the typos. I don't type as fast as I rant!

btw it should have been:

Anyone who claims they know nothing of the metaphorical right field blues is sailing on that river which passes neath the Qasr Al Nil Bridge in Cairo. Which is to say, Joe, we have all been there!

Avg Joe said...

Listen Richard. I didn't say I knew nothing about baseball or any number of other pursuits that work their way into puzzles. And I wasn't bitching that the puzzle was unfair. I solved it correctly and enjoyed it, as stated earlier. But I think if you read the entirety of the days comments you see two clear camps. Those that were involved with enthusiasm in youth sports and those that were relegated to the sidelines. Childhood is brutal. Sports are but one aspect of it, but I find it ironic that the days conversation has fixated on that portion of the larger discussion. That's the only point I was making.

Anonymous said...

Who's Richard?

Richard said...

My point was only that if you were teased or otherwise humiliated during a childhood activity, that shouldn't preclude one from enjoying and appreciating the activity even more so.

My example was that even though I can't sing worth a lick and was shamefully shoved to the right field of the school crier, does not hinder me in the least, of appreciating and admiring people like this.

Childhood is brutal? Ha. Those were the days. Long hot summer days playing ball in the grass, barefoot.

Misty said...

I did the puzzle this morning and enjoyed it--many thanks, Frank. Then off to the hospital where Rowland is not in great shape and will probably be moved to Skilled nursing tomorrow. He now has a feeding tube, but still very little strength or energy. But we still did a little easy crossword puzzle--with me reading clues and him trying to come up with answers. Hope once he settles into Skilled Nursing he'll start getting a little stronger and feeling a little brighter.

Nice to see your expo, Boomer. Have a good day, everybody.

Pat said...

This was a good puzzle. I don't know much about baseball but that didn't hold me up with the solve.

My favorite activity growing up was reading. The best thing to do in the summer was go to the bookmobile and get my max 6 books for the week. I hated sports, got so frustrated with my inability to catch/throw that I'd end up crying. When DH and I bought our first house it came with a pool table. The first time we played he kept telling me to aim at the center of the ball. I kept saying that I was. We figured out that my perception of center is high and to the right of the actual center. Maybe that explains why I was such a failure at activities that require hand/eye coordination. Maybe others have that kind of issue?

Happy first day of July!

Pat

Spitzboov said...

Baseball - Got pretty good at hitting fungoes. Never had enough for a true game in our rural area. Still, my favorite sport.

Dick Clark said...

OK, that video wasn't the best example of musical appreciation. I just liked that one line.

Anyway, here is some better tunagement.

Boy!, he's sweating as hard as any Met during the dog days. (which he is a big fan of, i think)

Dudley said...

Pat 5:57 -

I've wondered the same thing, more or less. I remember having trouble playing catch in second grade. I couldn't get my glove where the ball was. Two or three years later it came to light that I was strongly nearsighted; why the discovery took so long I can't say. I have long wondered how life would have differed had I been fitted with proper eyeglasses at an earlier age. Would my eye/hand coordination have been on par with my peers'? Might I have been salvageable as an athlete?

Considering the emphasis on sports prowess in my youth, I suppose it would have done my miserable social life quite a bit of good had I at least had the skills to be on a team or two. Absent that, I found myself relegated to the useless societal fringe.

Lemonade714 said...

I was never the first not the last picked but I enjoy sports, though I do not watch much anymore. I also was required by the choir master at 13 to lip sync because my singing was so bad it hurt all the rest but I love music, worked and still work with musicians.
Like puzzles.life is meant to be enjoyed

Spitzboov said...

The skies cleared over the upper Mohawk valley tonight and we were able to observe Venus and Jupiter, just past conjunction. In a few more days, they will appear too close to the sun to be observed easily.

Anonymous said...

Me thinks that Jerome@7:45a set the vibe to too-provocative too early in the day.

Yet Another Anon ( Richard the second ??) said...

I just wanted to let Misty know that I sympathize and feel for her in these trying times, and hope that she and her husband may have better life and prognosis as time moves on. You are both in my mind and my prayers. I did want to comment the same thoughts yesterday, but I'm sorry I didn't - I should have. I read your posting and think - there, but for the grace of god, go I. Good and kind wishes.

As for the rest of you out there, - the baseball failures and last-ones-chosen - its good to post your ANGST and get it out of your system. After all, if this blog posting can't be used for anonymous psycho-analysis - then what good it is useful for ? Plus think of all the money you're saving by not going for some real time shrink. And the free advice you'll be getting - is just as good.

As for you Dudley - despite your eye correction problems - you did real good - and became an airplane pilot - so your eyesight must be pretty good now.

Bill G. said...

I don't want you guys to think I was just whinging about my lack of athletic prowess. True, my youth did not result in any feeling of success at athletic endeavors. However, I did better as I matured. I had success at slow-pitch softball, pick-up basketball games, I took lessons and was a way better-than-average table tennis player and I trained hard and ran a sub-four-hour LA Marathon. I have a hard time believing I accomplished that athletic feat. It was way beyond my expectations for myself.

So in spite of a slow start, I grew to enjoy athletic endeavors and I like watching sports, including baseball. This puzzle was right in my wheelhouse.

SwampCat said...


Oh my! What a weird day this has been! I was NEVER good at sports, and don't particularly enjoy them.....BUT I aced this puzzle and loved it!!

I'm not sure what lesson there is to be learned in that, but all this pseudo-psychoanalysis and just ...er...angst.... seems misplaced to me.

As Lemonade said, life and puzzles are to be enjoyed! What's all the rest of this dribble?

Anonymous T said...

Hi all!

Late to the party, but I wanted to thank Frank & Boomer. Thanks guys.

I ended in a DNF @25d & 26d xing 32a.

HAnD AND FooT was not 27a (I eventually fixed that when the theme turned into pitches instead of different BALL games), but boy did it slow down the solve (not that my fill made sense to me, but hey, I don't know everything...)

On sports... Wow, what a FUSS today. I LOVE baseball. I was good in the field (mostly @ short* but every position sans pitcher). I was, however, a poor hitter; I'd wait until I was walked and then stole the bases (being a little Dago has its advantages).

For the record - I was always picked last / second to last for any physical event esp. basketBALL (being a little nerdy Dago has its disadvantages too).

Fav - BELL CURVE - I see sigmas... 47a was a V-8 moment and a smile; RAPID under TBIRDS is cute too.

Bill G - I SAW the conjunction the other night. So cool.

Cheers, -T
*I once made an unassisted triple-play while at short. Bases loaded - no outs; lined over 2nd, catch, step, and tagged the runner coming at me from 1st. We still lost the game, but there's my story.

Lucina said...

Dudley:
You, on the societal fringe???????????? Impossible.

Bill G. said...

Lucina, how's your weather? It's been hot and humid here.

AnonT, I'm glad you saw it and liked it. It's cloudy here tonight.