Albanian cash / FRI 4-24-15 / Gershwin musical whose name sounds like approval / Bank with landmark tower in Dallas / Charley who caught Warren Spahn's 1961 no-hitter / Three words that best describe Grinch in song / French Facebookers connections / Queen Revenge Blackbeard's ship / Otto's preceder / South American rodents / Rosa lilla tulipano
Friday, April 24, 2015
Constructor: Joe Krozel
Relative difficulty: Challenging
Word of the Day: Charley LAU (41A: Charley who caught Warren Spahn's 1961 no-hitter) —
Romulus, Michigan – March 18, 1984) was an Americancatcher and highly influential hitting coach in Major League Baseball.He was signed by the Detroit Tigers as an amateur free agent. After spending three seasons with the organization (1956, 1958–1959) he was traded (with Don Lee) to the Milwaukee Braves for Casey Wise, Don Kaiser, and Mike Roarke. After the Baltimore Orioles purchased him from the Braves in 1962, he adopted a contact hitter's batting stance (feet wide apart, bat held almost parallel to the ground). That season he had a .294 batting average with six home runs and thirty-seven runs batted in.After hitting .194 in 23 games, he was sold by the Orioles to the Kansas City Athletics on July 1, 1963, hitting .294 in Kansas City and having a batting average of .272 in 92 games. On June 15, 1964, he was traded back to the Orioles for Wes Stock. On May 31, 1967, he was purchased by the Braves, now located in Atlanta, and on November 27, 1967, he was released by the Braves.
• • •[opens puzzle] [sigh "stunt grid" sigh deep sigh pffffffffff … OK, shake it off, Rex. Shake It Off. You can do this. Clear eyes, full heart, solve puzzle!]
Some good things did happen. After falling flat with DOGWOOD at 1A: Tree with white flowers, I got LEKS (not proud) and PDS and remembered that CATALPA was a kind of tree (that I've seen only in crosswords, but still…). So crossword info retrieval system was in nice working order today. Also, very early on, things looked very promising when out of the blue, what did I see but a genuinely interesting, bold, entertaining 15: STINK, STANK, STUNK! (17A: "The three words that best describe" the Grinch, in song). I liked that so much, I took a picture:
What did I learn? I learned that CONDIMENTS come in AISLEs now, and that Juli INKSTER spells her first name without an "e" (which makes me stunned that she hasn't appeared more as four-letter fill). I learned that "OH, KAY!" … exists. I learned the Italian singular for "flower" (39D: Rosa, lilla or tulipano) (FIORE). I don't think I learned anything else. But I did get the chance to test my seldom-used run-the-alphabet skills, which was the only was I managed to finish this puzzle. You see, I came to a crashing, screeching, seemingly terminal halt at the very end when it came time to sew things up in the SW. Neither of the 15s computed and mystery names and "?" clues were conspiring to keep me baffled. Here's what I was staring down:
PS Hey check out this nice newspaper profile of my monthly guest blogger, Annabel Thompson.
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