American athlete born 11/25/1914 / TUE 11-25-14 / Early moon lander for short / Conifer with toxic seeds / Conventioneer's ID

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Constructor: Jeffrey Wechsler

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: JOE DIMAGGIO's 100th birthday

Theme answers:
  • CENTERFIELD (17A: Position of 62-Across)
  • HITTING / STREAK (24A: With 27-Across, record-setting achievement of 62-Across)
  • FIFTY-SIX GAMES (38A: Duration of 62-Across's 24-/27-Across)
  • YANKEE / CLIPPER (52A: With 54-Across, moniker of 62-Across)
  • JOE DIMAGGIO (62A: American athlete born 11/25/1914)
Word of the Day: ALTON Brown, host of "Iron Chef America" (57A) —
Alton Crawford Brown (born July 30, 1962) is an American television personality, celebrity chef, author, actor, and cinematographer. He is the creator and host of the Food Network television show Good Eats, the mini-series Feasting on Asphalt and Feasting on Waves, and host and main commentator on Iron Chef America and Cutthroat Kitchen. Brown is also the author of several books on cookery. (wikipedia)
• • •

This is about as dull as you can make a tribute crossword. I don't understand even making this puzzle if all you can do is plug in tired facts as theme answers. The puzzle overall is certainly competently constructed—there's not too much bad fill, and the big NE/SW corners are rather nice. But the theme? It does nothing. It has no twist, no play, no zing, no anything. Just the facts, ma'am. If you are going to pay tribute to a guy (or gal), Pay Tribute (with something genuinely inventive and creative) or stay home. Seriously, though, those big corners are nice. If I ignore the theme and just look at those, then I can work up warm feelings about this puzzle. Although that warmth might also be a. the bourbon I've been drinking tonight, or b. the mild case of rage I have over this whole Ferguson debacle. Just to end on a high note, though, a solid ovation for that NE corner—all the Downs, gold.

If there were more to say, I'd say more. But there's not, so I won't. Good day.
    Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


    Z 12:10 AM  


    JTHurst 12:12 AM  

    A clue to my reaction to this puzzle is OMGAPUTI*. I realize the theme answers created a plethora of ‘chop’ but surely the constructors do not have to use the Texter’s crutch every day. When will we have a puzzle with texter’s idioms, colleges, TV channels, Abbr, and multi word answers with no more than two letters per word? I remember looking over my mom’s shoulder when she did her daily crossword ablutions and she did not have to put up with this s**t. I didn’t mind the SOS, Sur, win, yew, fit, azo, etc. The constructor could have used eel, and Nin, and other crossword staples and I would not have minded, but please-o-please no more texter idioms. The long downs were good.

    Wow, I feel better TFLMR **

    * Oh My God Another Puzzle Using Texter Idioms

    ** Thanks For Letting Me Rant

    One of the grammar guardians please explain when I use ‘er’ and ‘or’ in describing a person or a group like: debtor or lessor as versus renter and texter.

    Whirred Whacks 12:15 AM  

    When his streak was snapped at 56 games, DIMAGGIO confided to a teammate that he was disappointed that he didn't extend the streak to 57 games. He said that he had a deal in the works with the HJ Heinz company to be paid a $10,000 bonus because they were going to play up the "Heinz 57 Varieties" angle.

    Denver QB Peyton Manning currently has a streak of 50 consecutive NFL football games with at least one touchdown pass completion (the NFL record is 54 straight games held by New Orleans QB Drew Brees). I wonder if Manning also has a deal with Heinz if he gets his TD pass streak to 57 games!

    Questinia 12:23 AM  

    {is golden}

    Moly Shu 12:34 AM  

    Agree, not so good. ICANTNOW, horrible and @JTHurst's IMO, just as bad. We did get a SUSS though. Not my kinda solve.

    George Barany 12:36 AM  

    Yes, it's hard to concentrate on crosswords after hearing the news from Ferguson. Great choice of a song, @Rex. Seeing CENTERFIELD helped, and the rest of the theme entries going in so effortlessly made up for much of the other choppiness. Not sure whether other segments of the New York Times solving demographic will be quite as enthusiastic, though.

    After being denied in game 57 of his HITTING STREAK due to two fabulous fielding plays by Ken Keltner of the Indians, Joltin' Joe got hits in another 16 straight games. DiMaggio, with a .357 batting average for the season, was indeed the 1941 MVP, beating out Ted Williams (a leftfielder, also 11 letters), who hit .406 that same year for perhaps the last time ever in MLB history.

    DiMaggio was, for a while, married to Marilyn Monroe. The actress famously entertained US troops stationed in Korea, and gushed to her husband words to the effect, "You've never heard such wild enthusiasm and applause." He replied, "Oh yes I have."

    jae 12:36 AM  

    { but my eyes still see}

    SOS has been clued as a Jonas Brothers hit and as an Abba hit so why not Simon & Garfunkel for 62a?

    Anoa Bob 1:07 AM  

    Learned that JOE DIMAGGIO & TED WILLIAMS both have eleven letters in their names and that the fifth letter in each name is an "I". Tried Ted W first and it fit at a crossing with 48D SCRIPT. Other crosses quickly gave me Joe D.

    I've seen this happen in other tribute puzzles where the theme density is so high---info overload?---that the grid fill strikes me as significantly compromised.

    Agree with @Moly Shu on ICANTNOW (39D). I think it and its ilk, little two- and three-word snippets lifted without rhyme or reason from casual conversational language are subpar. I've seen these, e.g., HE HAD ONE, SHE SAT UP, etc., appearing recently in the NYT and it's not a trend I welcome.

    Amazing how often TYPEE (34D) appears in puzzle grids. Doesn't seem to be a very usable sequences of letters. And yet, it keeps turning up. Great read.

    Anonymous 1:43 AM  

    Todays LA Times puzzle is ammazingly similar

    chefwen 2:12 AM  

    I know little about baseball or its heroes and I don't think it would have made a whit of difference with this puzzle, it was easier than Mondays, for me. Why does auto correct add stuff where you don't want it? Annoying! Anyhow, finished in record time, minus feeding kitten, puppy etc. Time to go feed me.

    George 5:46 AM  

    ARM/MOTET got me, surprised it didn't get others.

    Bob Kerfuffle 6:05 AM  

    Click here for a charitable appeal from Amy Reynaldo, or Orange, of Diary of a Crossword Fiend. Relax; she doesn't want your money.

    Danp 7:11 AM  

    It's a Tuesday, but I would have liked to see PICK ME UP clued as English Tiramisu.

    Loren Muse Smith 7:13 AM  

    I don't follow baseball. Period. And after erasing "winning" and finishing this, I sat and thought about how remarkable such a streak must be. So, yeah, no clever reveal or wordplay or whatever but without working this one, I never would have known this little tidbit. These days, I'll take whatever I can get as I get pushed farther and farther back into the background when my son, his friends, and my husband sit around boisterously discussing All Things Sports. (Last night they were compiling a list of the top thirty all-time NBA players, and no one heard my twice-suggested "Pete Maravich." Pistol Pete remains off the list, and I'm being too much of a baby to try to add him after the fact. I'll show them, boy.)

    Agree with Rex – the NE and SW corners are beauts with the matching pairs


    I don't understand the hate for I CAN'T NOW, by the way.

    {sounds of}

    Thanks, Jeffrey – I'm gonna add this one to my sports trivia arsenal.

    John Crowe 7:30 AM  

    Rage? Ferguson? Rex, as an educator, I would expect your rage to be more focused towards the situation at the U of V.

    chefbea 7:32 AM  

    Easy puzzle but not much fun. Loved the clue for inits.

    Time to get started cooking for Turkey day. Gotta get out the yeast. Not making an aspic. There is another root veggie that was left out of the clue for 68 across.

    Doug Garr 7:47 AM  

    Keltner made the great plays (at third?) to end the streak. Bagby and Smith were the two pitchers (I think?) who created Joltin' Joe's ohfer. Never heard the Heinz 57 story. And the famous quote about the cheering and Marilyn Monroe comes from the Gay Talese article in Esquire. It was the head and deck of the story. And it made the anthology for Best Magazine Articles of the Year (published between 1966-1968). Joe aged well, but as his biographer pointed out, he was not a very nice guy in his dotage. In fact, he was sort of an asshole. Too bad.

    Anonymous 7:59 AM  

    Loved the music video. Thanks

    L 8:00 AM  

    For me it was a Roost/Motet. Still don't get it.

    Hartley70 8:03 AM  

    The puzzle was more interesting if, like @Loren, one knows nothing about baseball. It was a Tuesday, so it flew by, but I needed every cross to get the theme answers. When the thematic hero was revealed all I really knew about him previously was via Simon and Garfunkel and the fabulous TV series "Smash" about a Marilyn Broadway musical. The SUSPENSE made the solve more interesting.

    Hartley70 8:05 AM  

    Oh, and GO RED SOX!,

    Mohair Sam 8:22 AM  

    I guess I'm the only person who found this a fine Tuesday, if a bit on the easy side.

    Hey Rex, it's a Tuesday - the theme answers were just fine. Put this up later in the week and we can worry about clues for Mr. Coffee, Simon & Garfunkle, and Marilyn Monroe.

    What the heck is everyone's problem with ICANTNOW? I see iffier phrases in the puzz constantly - what's special here?

    Notice we're all short-winded today, maybe for the reason @Rex mentioned. Sad day on many levels no matter what your politics.

    Scarab 8:22 AM  


    If you use the iPad app, don't install the new version (2.4.0, I think)!

    A lot of people are reporting it just crashes. I was luckier. It loaded the puzzle. The lag time between typing and a letter appearing is bad, sometimes seconds. At one point the keyboard popped up higher, covering the bottom two rows of the puzzle. Then all the clues disappeared, and the clue area just contained the words Across and Down, superimposed on each other. I restarted the app and was able to finish the puzzle finally.

    Please learn from my error and avoid the current "upgrade."

    Oh, but hey -- streaks are back. Yay, assuming you can finish a puzzle.

    Z 8:45 AM  

    @casco kid is every bit as nice in person as he is here.

    Ludyjynn 8:52 AM  

    Early on filled-in CENTERFIELD, and from that point, the John Fogerty ditty earwormed its way into my head for the duration of the solve, making it quite enjoyable! Then, happily, Rex provided a video to top it off.

    I agree w/ @MohairSam that the puzz. was okey-dokey. This was a typical Tuesday for me.

    @JTHurst, I feel your pain re texting shortcut abbreviations in lieu of real words, but have resigned myself to them in life and crosswords. Although I may be the last person in America who has a text block on my cell phone and who has no plans to upgrade to a so-called smart phone. Call me a Luddite; okay by me. I have this quaint notion that a phone is for TALKING, period.

    Liked the "Psycho" clues.

    ICANTNOW think of anything else to add, so I will FINALIZE this post by saying, Thanks, JW and WS.

    Sir Hillary 9:03 AM  

    Fine puzzle. It's a Tuesday, so we can't go nuts.

    @Whirred Whacks' story of DiMaggio's and Heinz's lost endorsement opportunity brings to mind a story I enjoy, albeit one not many Americans have heard...

    In 1994, when I lived in London, a Trinidadian cricketer named Brian Lara -- a figure of DiMaggio-esque stature among cricket batsman -- set the international test cricket batting record of 375 runs before being put out. (The record was later broken by someone else before being reclaimed by Lara in 2004 at 400, where it remains to this day.) He had an endorsement deal with a UK jeans manufacturer called Joe Bloggs, and the "Lara 375s" were introduced not long after. Later that summer of 1994, while playing for his club team, Lara set the same record for county cricket, this time at an astonishing 501, which has not been eclipsed. Joe Bloggs was all set to roll out "Lara 501s" when Levi Strauss & Co. got wind and put a swift end to said plans. If only he had stopped at 499!

    Anonymous 9:09 AM  

    This right here is why I rarely do early week NYT puzzles. They suck. Every three-letter crossword crutch in the book, inane abbreviationsthat ought to be illegal, and cluing that... well, enough from me.

    Charles Flaster 9:21 AM  

    Real appropriate synopsis.
    Love the trivia.

    Roo Monster 9:30 AM  

    Hey All !
    Some venom for this puz, wow. It seems spot on and nicely filled to me. To put in good fill when the themers cover so much real estate is not an easy task. Sure, 22 threes, but the longer fill make up for that. Especially the SW.

    Almost a Pangram. Couldn't squeeze in that Q.

    Liked it, easy, I think decent tribute.

    STREAKing away

    joho 9:32 AM  

    @Loren Muse Smith, I took those corners even further thinking that a SUPENSE SHOCKER might go ONHIATUS. (Loved HIATUS!) And that when ICANTNOW I'll put it on LAYAWAY until I can FINALIZE the sale. Yes, indeed, beautiful corners!

    Today I realized that most times a tribute puzzle highlights a stellar career, but definitely lacks the intrigue and humor that only a clever theme can provide. I'm not knocking this type of puzzle, I'm just not as enthusiastic about this type of puzzle.

    Will has got to mix it up so that that everybody gets their favorite puzzle on one day or other.

    And what better day to run this puzzle than JOEDIMAGGIO's 100th birthday!

    Bird 9:34 AM  

    Today is Tuesday so no cleverness required. However, a little more zip would have been nice. I did like the puzzle about one of my fav Yankees.

    All my rewrites were on the next-to-last row: TIE/AHEAD/SIDES.

    joho 9:35 AM  

    @Z, nice pic!

    Charles Flaster 9:41 AM  

    Easy but very enjoyable. I do not mind three letter words but forced abbreviations are annoying. Joltin' Joe was certainly an icon/legend for the times.
    Enjoyed cluing for SUSPENSE parallel to SHOCKER surrounding ON HIATUS and more '50s trivia.
    Much crosswordEASE with most prominent being EWES and TYPEE.
    Does anyone remember ASPIC from "Flamingo Kid"?

    Lewis 9:54 AM  

    I like the savory sub theme, with SALT, ASPIC, and LOX. To those who complain that the theme answers should have had more zip, I'd like to see some suggestions. I guess it should be mentioned that today is DiMaggio's birthday.

    I like the sophistication of ONHIATUS along with the down to earthiness of GOO.

    Workmanlike puzzle without an effusion of junk -- it did its job waking my brain up. Thank you, Jeffrey!

    Whirred Whacks 10:01 AM  

    @Sir Hillary
    Interesting story about the cricketer Brian Lara. Makes you wonder what other products have numbers that can be exploited by successful athletes.

    @George Barany and @Doug Garr
    I just finished reading David Halberstam's THE FIFTIES . (It was on sale for $1.99!) Halberstam relates the DiMaggio/Marilyn thing with attribution to Gay Talese. I lived in that decade and learned many new things about that period. Very good book!

    Lewis 10:07 AM  

    Factoid: Number two on the HITTINGSTREAK list is Willie Keeler (in 1896-7 with 45), and number three is Pete Rose (in 1978), at 44.

    Quotoid: "The four building blocks of the universe are FIRE, water, gravel and vinyl." -- Dave Barry

    mathguy 10:17 AM  

    Very enjoyable. A nice remembrance of Joltin' Joe on his 100th birthday.

    After doing the puzzle last night and learning that today was DiMaggio's birthday, I expected that this morning's SFChronicle would have a big story on him. Not a word. Sic transit gloria mundi.

    He was born across the Bay in Martinez but grew up here in SF where his father was a fisherman. His first pro team was the San Francisco Seals. He hit safely in 61 straight games for the Seals. I think that it is still the Pacific Coast League record.

    Anonymous 10:18 AM  

    Joltin' Joe was truly one of our American ICONS and deserving of this timely tribute!

    Job well done, Mr. Wechsler.

    Arlene 10:27 AM  

    I know there are plenty of baseball fans out there - so I respect their glee and enthusiasm over this puzzle.
    And their delight in all the trivia and lore that go along with it. Enjoy the day, boys!
    Thursday will be a turkey's turn.

    jberg 10:30 AM  

    No question but that Marilyn Monroe, Mrs. Robinson, etc. would have made this zippier; but I liked the tribute anyway. I guess if I'd known whose birthday it was from the start, it would have been too easy -- even HITTING STREAK didn't do it to me until I got the J.

    Originally, text abbreviations were supposed to give puzzles a contemporary feel, but I guess that's worn off by now. Or at least we need some new ones -- I haven't seen FOMO yet, though that's probably old hat already, given that I know it.

    I guess FINALIZE was contemporary once, too; now it's just a bit icky. I wanted FINish up there.

    Well off to work -- tomorrow, OMOO?

    Joy Moore 10:34 AM  

    Today's video brought a smile to my face and a tear in my eyes! Much better than the puzzle!

    AliasZ 11:17 AM  

    Should tribute [vowel succession, homophones, words that can start/end other words, spelled-out texting abbr.'s, etc.] puzzles be relegated to the trash bin of cruciworld?

    It is becoming increasingly difficult to come up with themes with twist, play, zing, anything to make them not dull. Just the facts do not satisfy us anymore. Let's see if we can come up with some clues for Joltin' Joe that have never been used before:

    Baseball legend:
    -...whose first name rhymes with his last (if pronounced correctly);
    - ...who was nauseated by the odor while cleaning his dad's fishing boat, but it obviously didn't stop him;
    - ...who frequented a hot spot also visited (supposedly) by JFK, and Arthur Miller;
    - ...whose parents were not extraterrestrials but were still considered "enemy aliens;"
    - ...who was not known to suffer from the rare disorder of polyorchidism. Had he been so afflicted, he would've been walked more often;

    LVII: number of games it took to stop this baseball legend from streaking;

    The greater question: should theme puzzles be entirely abandoned? I would love to have one week of themeless puzzles with increasing difficulty Mon.-Sat., then a themed Sunday.

    But what am I talking about? I love baseball, the Yankees, and this is JOE DIMAGGIO 100th birthday, not a celebration of AROD's return. For now, tribute puzzles are with us, and I enjoy them. My favorite tribute puzzle of all time however remains the "Cryptic Tribute" of June, 2012, by our friend George Barany.

    And my favorite Bach MOTET remains Jesu, meine Freude, BWV 227. Has more perfect music ever been composed?

    Leapfinger 11:21 AM  

    Consider ASPIC vs toothPICk ... eeEWE!!

    Tributes by definition are nostalgic rather than zippy; this one was nice, and as noted, cornered beautifully, like a Porsche.

    My all-purpose nit is that it isn't the Yankee Clipper's birthday; it's the 100th anniversary of his birth.

    Pedantic is as pedantic does. Heading due NorthYEAST now.

    retired_chemist 11:22 AM  

    The NYT Scorecard today showed 500 solvers. Last night ditto, except some were in the 11 minute range. Today is still shows 500, but #500's time is 7:11. The scorecard also says 6,970 solvers, a number I find incredible based on the history. Clearly SanFranMan's statistics won't work if this is what the future holds. I rated it a medium puzzle with a medium time, but I am disappointed I can't check the NYT scorecard to see how I did comparatively.

    I don't see the distaste this puzzle elicited from our leader and others. Unexciting and familiar theme facts, but that's OK with me. There were several places that one had to think through - options such as 1A pierS or boaTS, 67A ahead, 70A flour, remembering which one was 28A, etc. None very hard to SUSS out (49A) but still they contributed to a solid Tuesday.

    Thanks, Mr. Wechsler.

    Elaina 11:25 AM  

    I know virtually nothing about sports. I got the J in 53D and immediately wrote in JessieOwens for 62A. So 38A HAD to refer to the Olympics. Luckily that didn't last long.
    Are motets really sacred? I thought they were similar to madrigals - quite secular. I better google.
    Generally easy for me in spite of lack of sports knowledge.

    Z 11:36 AM  

    @retired chemist - If I'm reading Rex right, it's the rather straightforward cluing. How about cluing the themers with some creativity and let us uncover the theme, maybe with a hint at 62A. To me, the theme cluing was almost condescending in its simplicity. I should note, though, that my rage is more than mild, so it may be harder than usual to enjoy a puzzle I might otherwise like.

    Three and out.

    Anonymous 11:36 AM  

    And then there's SEMITE (Jew or Arab) that drew no comments. Odd that Arabs as a group are remarkably anti-jewish/semitic and yet, they are semites. Hasn't anyone told them ;)

    the redanman 11:43 AM  

    A puzzle as pathetic as this, full of knee jerk route crosswordese, you don't even hesitate to enter AVIA rather than NIKE.

    Andrew Heinegg 11:44 AM  

    My perspective is that, if you can finish a puzzle without taking a breath, so to speak, then that puzzle, no matter the day of the week, should have had more meat to it. You want it to be at least a little thought provoking and this one does not succeed.

    While the situation in Ferguson is sad, the saddest aspect of it is that no outcome from the grand jury would have been satisfactory to all. It is the widespread perception among minorities and police that the other group is never to be trusted both as group and as to the individuals in that group that is truly sad. We need to heal and I do not believe we are headed in that direction.

    Anonymous 12:30 PM  

    Yesterday's app update includes the return of streaks. Today's theme seems to be a reference to that. Lots of people complaining the upgrade is buggy, but it runs fine on my iPad Mini 3.

    Hungry Mother 1:45 PM  

    Hoka One One would have to go for a soccer star

    pb 3:01 PM  

    Would have liked to get brother DOM get in there--"The Little Professor" or "brother of 62 across".

    Amelia 3:12 PM  

    Haven't done the puzzle yet, but have done some baseball-themed Bowery commercials with Mr. DiMaggio. (1989 or so.) Discussed mostly baseball with him for hours on end. Interesting guy. What he had to say about the Mick most interesting of all.

    mac 3:50 PM  

    Good Tuesday, easy and fast. Lots of nice words and expressions: on hiatus, shocker, spigot and suss especially.

    "I can't now" sounds a little odd to me, I guess I would say "not now".

    Josh 4:27 PM  

    I hate to agree with Rex, but there it is. Dull theme. Decent but certainly not sparkling fill.

    Lovely NE corner--all the downs are great, and the mini-"Psycho" theme is great.

    I like LAYAWAY, and it's always good to see ALTON Brown in a grid. (It's the time of year to check out his "Good Eats" episode about brining your turkey.)

    Masked and Anonymo3Us and one YEW 5:06 PM  

    Kinda like this puz. It got its LICs in. Lots of theme material, and lots of long stacks. And still had room for GOO.

    Joltin Joe is fine by me, as a puz theme. Stuff I mainly know him for, which woulda made a pretty good second whole set of themers:
    * Really short marriage to Marilyn Monroe.
    * Mr. Coffee ads.
    * Simon & Garfunkel song lyrics.
    * Feisty DIMAG entries in a few NYT Puzs.
    * Think he was on Soupy Sales one time.


    **happy runtsgiving**

    Teedmn 7:47 PM  

    Funny story I read in the local paper some time back - there was a restaurant in Fridley, MN (Twin Cities suburb) (and I ate there at least once) named Joe DiMaggio's. Apparently baseball's Joe caught wind of it and contacted the owner, and made threatening noises. Turns out the owner's name was also Joe DiMaggio, and as he told Joltin' Joe, he had had it longer too, being a few years the elder.

    A fine Tuesday puzzle. I see our friend ANAT is still being studied by med students :-). A slightly different clue for ANTE than the usual poker reference. Liked ON HIATUS and LAY AWAY is certainly timely. Thanks, Mr. Wechsler!

    jae 8:55 PM  

    Just did the LATimes Tues. puzzle. It was more difficult and more fun.

    Questinia 9:17 PM  

    @ retired chemist. I finished in just over seven mins., finding it med-challenging and not knowing the baseball piece of it I saw myself go from 100=>200=>500 ...... and beyond ∞! It seems I tend to make up for it later in the week. I think the times were super low. How quickly do those digits fly across the keyboard for those people?

    Z 9:28 PM  

    For @Ellen S

    rain forest 12:01 AM  

    From syndiland:

    I haven't done this puzzle yet, don't know what it's about, and won't until 5 weeks elapse, but I just want to say that the best things about the blog are M&E, r.alph bunker, and Z. Keep it up guys. Just know that from people who solve these beauties much later, you are much appreciated. I'd write you a reference if you felt the need.

    dick swart 1:51 PM  

    Slithy Toves always welcome here!

    spacecraft 11:31 AM  

    I find it amazing how many tribute-worthy subjects lend themselves to crossword grids. How do you even notice that CENTRFIIELD (cue Fogarty) and JOEDIMAGGIO have the same number of letters? Or that HITTING STREAK is 7/6 and YANKEE CLIPPER is 6/7? Once you notice it, though, you cannot NOT make a tribute puzzle.

    Continuing to be at odds with OFL today, I must say the fill has many defects: ATA INITS (RMN) UNH MEUP (!) are bad enough; then we get into the tired crutches: TNT SRA IMO and that old RD--random direction.

    Then there's ICANTNOW. Ick. Yes, there are some good long downs--though I'd fall short of calling the NE "pure gold--" but I can't work up more than a C- for the fill. Theme and execution are just fine by me; brings it up to a B-.

    The rating of medium puzzles me. If you're talking about the <1% of the population that "don't follow baseball at all," this might play like a medium. Otherwise, easy-peasy.

    1069. Like Joe, I keep falling just short.

    rondo 1:24 PM  

    EZ - not medium at all. And OK even though:
    20+ 3 letter answers again - you know my thoughts.
    I think my blood is changing to TYPEE.
    BEFOGS sounds made-up, unnatural at best.

    11910 - almost like the TV show?

    DMG 2:36 PM  

    Once again my post made about two hours ago has vanished! I know it was there 'cause I checked. Where do,they go? This is just a test!

    leftcoastTAM 4:15 PM  

    The Bach motet is mesmerizing. Thank you AliasZ.

    rain forest 4:47 PM  

    Rest easy @DMG, you're there.

    I'm not quite old enough to have seen Joltin' Joe, but I was pleased to see this tribute puzzle. 56 games-amazing.

    Didn't mind all the three-letter stuff, and most of it was OK by me. Like a few others, I don't know why ICAN'TNOW is rilesome.

    Regarding the Ferguson "situation", it just seems that there are competing forces, but only one has a gun and seems only too eager to shoot it.

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