Azalea of rap / MON 3-13-17 / Fashion house founded in Milan / Start of playground joke / punny description / Four-time MLB All-Star Jose
Monday, March 13, 2017
Constructor: Alan DeLoriea
Relative difficulty: Medium (avg Monday)
THEME: POINT OF NO RETURN (60A: Punny description for 17-, 26- or 48-Across) — three themers are ... points of no return ... punnily ... I guess ...
- BERMUDA TRIANGLE (17A: Atlantic site of strange disappearances) (so ... boats and planes don't return from here ... sometimes ...)
- FINAL SALE (26A: "As is" transaction) (here, you can't return whatever you bought...)
- TENNIS ACE (48A: Excellent service) (and finally, you can't return your opponent's serve...)
José Bernabé Reyes (born June 11, 1983) is a Dominican professional baseball infielder for the New York Mets of Major League Baseball (MLB). He previously played, most notably at shortstop, for the Miami Marlins, Toronto Blue Jays and Colorado Rockies.
Reyes is a four-time MLB All-Star. He led MLB in triples in 2005, 2006, 2008, and 2011. Reyes also led the National League (NL) in stolen bases in 2005, 2006, and 2007. He was the NL batting champion in 2011. He is also the New York Mets' all-time leader in triples and stolen bases. (wikipedia)
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FINAL SALE and TENNIS ACE strike me as pretty weak answers, generally. So the theme feels pretty tepid. The grid is halfway decent for a Monday. I mean, DIALER is ridiculous, but most of the rest of it holds up, and though there's nothing wonderful here, there's a lot of very solid, varied, interesting answers. I think of "denim" as the fabric, and JEAN as ... I don't know what. Half a pair of pants? It's really only ever used adjectivally, predominantly before jacket, or, less appealingly, shorts (although those are just called JORTS now ... I think).
I had the most trouble with YO MAMA (the phrase "playground joke" really gave me very little idea of where the answer was heading) and ASIATIC (which is just a fancy way of saying "Asian"??). Otherwise, at 2:52, my time was dead-normal for a Monday. It's a place-filler puzzle, but I've certainly done worse. And hey, nice clue on NERDY.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
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