Czech martyr Jan / SAT 6-2-12 / Trouper's skill / 2009 Wimbledon semifinalist Tommy / Hodges who called baseball's shot heard round world
Saturday, June 2, 2012
Constructor: Tim Croce
Relative difficulty: Easy
Word of the Day: RUSS Hodges (3D: Hodges who called baseball's "shot heard 'round the world") —
Russell Pleasant Hodges (June 18, 1910 – April 19, 1971) was an American broadcaster who did play-by-play for several baseball teams, most notably the New York and San Francisco Giants. [...] On October 3, 1951, Hodges was at the microphone for Bobby Thomson's famous Shot Heard 'Round the World. It was Hodges who cried, "The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant!" // This famous moment in sports broadcasting was nearly lost. This was in an era before all game broadcasts were recorded. However, in his autobiography, Hodges related how a Brooklyn fan, excited over what appeared to be a certain Dodger victory, hooked up his home tape recorder to his radio. The fan wanted to capture Hodges "crying." Instead, he recorded history; the next day, he called Hodges and said, "You have to have this tape." (wikipedia)
• • •CONCEALED WEAPON (33A: It may be pulled out while holding something up) and IMMEDIATE DANGER (39A: Cause for urgent action) in the middle section is a nice touch. Having DEEPEST RECESSES (60A: Least accessible parts) at the bottom of your grid is a bit like having REASSESSMENTS, well, anywhere in your grid, i.e. it makes your grid Much easier to fill than a somewhat less S-less (or E-less) word would. I like the long linking Downs today (i.e. "I DO INDEED" and EXAM TABLE, each of which links one triple stack to the next). There are a lot of 3s, and some ugliness comes with that, but nothing so ugly that it made me wince. I finished under my normal Saturday time and would've finished *well* under if I knew any German (ABEND and IHN were the two hardest words in the puzzle for me to get, and the only ones I can't remember ever seeing before) (28A: "Guten ___" (German greeting) + 19A: Him, in Hamburg).
TOTO and SOS and SRIS, and then gently pushed my way forward, first testing out ROUNDABOUT (yes!) then using that to get EBON and NACHO (6D: Taquería tidbit) and knocking the top out from there. The IHN / ABEND issue meant I couldn't find the handle on "I DO INDEED," which means the middle part was hardest for me to get into and far slower to come together than the other two sections. I had to fight my way in through the middle, with the help of SAL and ANDREW. Soon, I had the whole middle filled in. An answer on either end and the 15s started to fall. EXAM TABLE (36D: Fixture in a doctor's office) went down nicely, and the bottom ended up being the easiest section of all. Somehow from -IMB- I was able to get DIAMOND JIM BRADY (53A: Tycoon who was the first person in New York City to own a car), and once you've got one 15, you pretty much have them all—just a matter of time. Finished up somewhere around HEW / WYES (52D: Some branched pipes).
IT TAKES A VILLAGE") would be something by Horatio Alger for some reason. I did not know RUSS Hodges but I did ... some part of my brain did. Felt like I was not guessing so much as ... scratching off the covering on a RUSS lotto ticket. It was just ... there. Never saw HUS (13D: Czech martyr Jan) or HAAS (50D: 2009 Wimbledon semifinalist Tommy), thank god, as I would've remembered neither. I would never have but DST and WWI together, but ... there it is (56D: Syst. first implemented during W.W. I). I think that's it. Oh, lastly: sometimes bad fill perversely pleases me. I consider NOE (32A: San Francisco's ___ Valley) pretty bad, or at least suboptimal, but somehow it's utterly redeemed for me by being symmetrical with its anagram, NEO (40A: Gothic leader?). Weird how my brain can be placated by strange coincidences like that.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld