Gendered Seinfeld accessory / FRI 8-19-16 / Certain grenade for short / Fierce onetime Beyonce alter ego / Beatles title girl with little white book / On hoof in dinner lingo / Non-humanities acronym / Early Judaic sect / Nonactor with cameos in more than 20 Marvel movies
Friday, August 19, 2016
Constructor: Paolo Pasco
Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium
Walter Emmons Alston (December 1, 1911 – October 1, 1984), nicknamed "Smokey", was an American baseball player and manager in Major League Baseball (MLB). He is best known for managing the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers between 1954 and 1976. Alston signed 23 one-year contracts with the Dodgers. He had a calm, reticent demeanor, for which he was sometimes also known as "The Quiet Man". (wikipedia)
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WHAT'S THAT?")), and down it went, this puzzle, though I did get an unexpected fight from the NE corner thanks largely to Walter ALSTON, whose name means nothing to me despite my being a baseball fan and, in my youth, a Dodger fan. Problem: I started paying attention to baseball / collecting baseball cards in 1978, which means baseball consciousness began with the 1977 season, which means I missed the ALSTON era entirely. Why does no one every mention his name ever? He's in the Hall of Fame, but not so's you'd know. 23 years is a Long time to manage a major team and leave, like, no impression. Blame Lasorda, I guess (who was a bona fide media star, and who won more than one World Series). ALSTON won a World Series in Brooklyn, but it was waaaay in the beginning of his managerial career. Anyway, ALSTON grid-blocked me, man. Not cool. Also had some issues with USO TOUR (12D: Entertainment for general audiences?) and HILLY (10D: Good for sledding, say). For the latter, I really wanted something snow ... y.
Very cool how he stacked BRING IT ON and IT'S GO TIME (58A and 61A: "Let's do this!"). Much much much more impressive to stack long answers with identical clues than to do the more typical stupid thing of having successive Across (or Down) answers have the same clues, as if anyone just goes through the clues in order. I was a victim of my own big vocabulary (or my own dimwittedness, take your pick) when I got to 43D: Model and had EPI- and went with EPIGONE! Who does that? No one. I am the sole human on the planet who did that. Congratulate me. [Rush, e.g.] for REED was tough, despite the fact that I recently swam in a large pond that was bordered by rushes and I even referred to them as rushes so that meaning should've been near the surface of my mind. But wasn't. [Batman?] for CASEY was also tough (the reference point there is the poem "CASEY at the Bat," in case you somehow didn't know). But everything in between was cake. Fun cake. Yummy cake. Good puzzle.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
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