THURSDAY, Oct. 16, 2008 - Ian Tullis (Beverage brand whose logo is two lizards / Western end of i-190 near i-294)
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Relative difficulty: Easy
THEME: EXPANSION TEAMS (48A: 20-, 25- and 42-Across, so to speak) - baseball team names "expanded" by the addition of one letter.
I got home from prison about 7 hours ago, and in fifteen minutes I have to go BACK to get fingerprinted (I teach English there). I do everything on the prison's schedule, within their absurd windows of time. I am so tired that that is all I can say. No write-up today until probably noon, unless PuzzleGirl decides to jump in and make something happen. She's likely sleeping at the moment. My short take on this puzzle: not a fan. Which is a shame, as I tend to love baseball. The theme doesn't cohere at all. Why those teams? They aren't actually EXPANSION TEAMS. The added letters aren't the same, or in the same place. They aren't even all in the same division. I don't know. Add one letter to get three loosely related puns - that's a theme?
Clearly I am cranky from the low sleep, so I'll stop now and let you all have at it.
Hi, everybody. PuzzleGirl here, stepping in for our fearless leader. The comments have already started coming in so I'm going to try to get this up ASAP.
Rex already explained the theme. Not very tight or consistent. Probably more so for people who know which MLB teams are actual expansion teams because they have an added layer of WTF? Me, I'm kind of getting used to the idea that new teams pop up every so often when I'm not paying attention. What really gets under my skin is all the corporate naming of the stadiums. When I was a kid I used to think that buildings were named for people as a tribute to some sort of greatness. I had no idea it was about money. I think these corporations would get good press if they would name the stadium after someone great/influential/somehow-related-to-the-sport-involved. Instead they act like Oprah, who, every month, puts herself on the cover of her magazine. Wow. I bet Rex had no idea I was going to go off on a rant like that. Why don't we just go ahead and talk about the puzzle now?
- 20A: Some Cubans in Texas? (Houston Castros)
- 25A: Where hot jazz developed? (Chicago clubs)
- 42A: Broadway deli offerings? (New York meats)
- 6A: Historic mansion in Newport, R.I., with "the" (Elms) - I would love to know why every time I see a reference to an "historic mansion" somewhere in the northeast my mind immediately goes to "The Amityville Horror."
- 18A: Holey things (tori) - I was thinking sieve, strainer, etc. Something full of holes. This is the plural of torah, right? And a torah has a hole in it? Because it's a scroll? Whatever. [Thanks to everyone who explained that tori is the plural of torus. Mmmm, donuts.]
- 24A: Western end of I-190 near I-294 (O'Hare) - Anybody outside of Chicago get this one easily?
- 37A: "Go, and catch a falling star" poet (Donne) - I'm sure Rex would have something appropriately brilliant to add about Donne here. Unfortunately, I lost my college brain many years ago.
- 40A: International Olympics chief Jacques (Rogge) - Who?
- 56A: Floated downstream, in a way (tubed) - Reminds me of the time back in high school when my friend Suzy and I and our two boyfriends went on a camping trip up to a river in Wisconsin somewhere. Suzy and I both told our parents that we were sleeping over at each other's house. Every time I remember one of these events, PuzzleDaughter's future teenage years get a liiiitle bit less fun.
- 61A: "Day Is Dying in the West," for one (hymn) - From the title, I thought this hymn might be scary, but my cursory glance through the lyrics indicates that it's just about taking time to worship while the sun is setting. Oh, and if by some chance you have the karaoke file for this hymn, the Digital Hymnal website would love for you to share it with them. I don't think I have it, but I'm going to look through my karaoke files to make sure.
- 1D: Part of a price: Abbr. (cts.) / 2D: Cunning (arch) / 3D: Ancient dynasty of northern China (Liao) - Wow. Tough corner.
- 29D: Silver topper? (Lone Ranger) - Rex would probably say this answer needs to have a "the" in front of it, and I would agree. Also, I think that a "?" clue is intended to direct you away from the answer it's actually looking for. And, generally, it directs you to something specific (see 6D: Buggy field? (entomology), which made you think of, like, a cornfield with a lot of bugs flying around, right?). "Silver topper" didn't do anything for me though. Is a topper a hat? A topping? And what kind of silver would it be on top of?
- 46D: Kind of whale (sperm) - Eewwwww.
- 14A: Done to death (trite) - Awesome clue.
- 5D: Affairs, slangily (beeswax) - Great clue/answer combo. Makes me think of Gilda Radner's "Lisa Lubner" character.
- 35D: They may be even, ironically (odds)
- 45D: "Uh-uh" (ixnay)
- 58A: Wrapper weight (tare)
- 59A: Start a hand, maybe (ante) - Raise your hand if you initially entered deal.
- 11D: Piece among the crown jewels (tiara)
- 33D: Measurement with square units (area)
- 51D: "I'm _____ you!" (onto)
- 52D: Wharton degrees (MBAs)
- 57D: Banned pesticide (DDT)
Signed, PuzzleGirl, on behalf of H.R.H. Rex Parker
P.S. This is for Orange:
P.P.S. in the interest of blogging every clue that uses the word "slangily," I am tacking on reference to this great answer: THE SAUCE (38D: Alcohol, slangily). THE SAUCE is for SOTS, TOSSPOTS, elbow-benders, those who say "HIC," and those everywhere looking to avoid the D.T.s.