Russian city on the Ural River / SUN 4-4-21 / Singer songwriter Parks with the 2021 album Collapsed in Sunbeams / Chinese steamed bun / Emotionally process in modern lingo / When doubled a Nabokov protagonist / Pop artist who sings Satisfied on the Hamilton mixtape

Sunday, April 4, 2021

Constructor: Angela Olson Halsted and Doug Peterson

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium

THEME: "Game Changers" — familiar phrases have one letter added to become wacky phrases clued (wackily!) in some relation to baseball; the added letters in the themers are, in order: I, N, N, I, N, G, and S, which makes for EXTRA INNINGS (120A: Ballgame extenders ... and what can literally be found in the answers to the asterisked clues):

Theme answers:
  • IDEAL BREAKER (23A: *Perfect curveball?)
  • BUNT SERIOUSLY (33A: *Batting coach's instruction to a lackadaisical hitter?)
  • LAWN STUDENTS (40A: *Apprentice groundskeepers?)
  • SO FAIR, SO GOOD (65A: *Overenthusiastic description of a routine base hit?)
  • LINE DETECTOR (72A: *Umpire's aid in judging foul balls?)
  • LABOR OF GLOVE (99A: *Long hours of fielding practice?)
  • INVISIBLE SINK (104A: *Imperceptible fastball movement?)
Word of the Day: ARLO Parks (46A: Singer/songwriter Parks with the 2021 album "Collapsed in Sunbeams") —
Anaรฏs Oluwatoyin Estelle Marinho (born 9 August 2000) known professionally as Arlo Parks, is a British singer-songwriter and poet. Her debut studio album, Collapsed in Sunbeams, was released in 2021 to critical acclaim and peaked at number three on the UK Albums Chart. (wikipedia)
• • •

NOTICE: If any of you have any idea why my site has been completely delisted by non-Google search engines, please let me know. It's ... bizarre. In the meantime, please bookmark the site so that you can arrive here without issue: rexwordpuzzle.blogspot.comOr just use Google!


 • • •

Hello and welcome to today's puzzle. Full disclosure: these are my friends, two of my favorite people in all of Crossworld. And they are (hard core) baseball fans (Angela, Nats; Doug, Yankees). I have been to (multiple) baseball games with these two. Mostly Yankees games when we're all in NYC for, say, the Lollapuzzoola crossword tournament (in late summer), or an Orioles game when we're IN D.C. (!) for the Indie 500 crossword tournament (in late spring). You see, I too am a hard-core baseball fan, though unlike them, I support a team (the Tigers) that does not, uh, win. Though perhaps I should celebrate this particular moment in the baseball season, as Opening Day was only a few short days ago, and my Tigers are currently undefeated, having beaten last year's best pitcher in baseball (Shane Bieber) in Game 1 and having given up just four runs in two games so far. Yes, today, and for probably no more than another day or two, I revel in my team's glory: the best team in baseball, by record, on this day, the 4th of April, two thousand and twenty-one ... where was I? Ah yes, the puzzle. So, I know these two, and I want to say that I love the revealer (I *was* wondering, as I was solving, "Why *these* letters?" and unlike other such puzzles, this puzzle had an answer—EXTRA INNINGS). 

Yankee Stadium, Aug. 2015
Back row: Doug, Me, Mike Nothnagel, Brian Cimmet, Erik Agard
Front row: Finn Vigeland, Angela, Brad Wilber, Penelope Harper
Not pictured: Sam Ezersky, who had to leave early :(

I have some serious baseball lingo reservations, though. First, and probably most importantly, I think the first themer is not just an outlier, but kind of a deal-... let's say, -breaker. The minor problem is that "breaker" isn't the most specific term. I guess people use it as shorthand for a "breaking ball," but mostly they actually say the whole phrase, or they say the specific pitch (curve, slider, etc.). "Breaker" feels odd, and googling [baseball "breaker"] doesn't yield great results. But the bigger problem with the first themer is that the wacky word is not the baseball word. In *every* other case (BUNT, LAWN, FAIR, LINE, GLOVE, SINK), the added letter creates a baseball-related word. But here, the "I" creates "IDEAL," which ... is not a baseball word. Added letter creates the baseball word, that's how it should go, and that's how it does go ... except here. Just weird. Also weird: trying to pass off SINK as a baseball term. Certainly a "sinker" is a type of pitch, and yes, that pitch does have, uh, "sink" to it, but SINK on its own is not really an identifiable baseball term. Lastly, I don't know why you would exclaim "SO FAIR, SO GOOD" for a "routine base hit," necessarily. A fair ball might be routine, but it also might very much not be routine. It might be extraordinary. It might be game-winning. In short, I don't see how the phrase clearly denotes an "Overreaction." I mean, it's a goofy, made-up phrase, but one as appropriate to a walk-off homerun as a leadoff single to right field. I wish the baseballness of this had been tighter, and funnier.

Super-excited to see ARLO with this new, non-Guthrie, non-"Arlo & Janis" clue. As soon as I discovered ARLO Parks's music (earlier this year), I thought, "Yes! New clue for ARLO! It's only a matter of time ..." I assumed that time would be, well, years in the future, given the NYTXW's track record with contemporary ... everything, but hurray, that time is now! Give her a listen, she's fantastic. I can imagine hearing her music in a coffeehouse, unlike FOLK MUSIC (5D: What's heard at many a coffeehouse), which I haven't heard in a coffeehouse since ... the '60s? I wasn't born then, but that's when I last heard it. Time is weird. I have spent a lot (lot lot) of hours in coffeehouses since roughly 1990 and FOLK MUSIC, maybe, sure, sometimes there's stuff that roughly falls in that category (I see one of the listed genres for ARLO Parks is "indie folk"), but still, that clue feels dated. Also, has anyone ever been RARING to go? (125A: ___ to go). RARIN', sure, we've all been there, but with the "G" ... it just doesn't square with the spirit of the verb, somehow. Too prim. Too proper. "Jeeves, I'm RARING to go, bring the car around." Can't hear it. OK, I'm going back to my couch to watch highlights of the Tigers game. See you again soon.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Joaquin 12:01 AM  

This was truly a rare gem of a puzzle. Both a clever feat of construction and fun to solve. Best Sunday in a *month of Sundays*.

Is it Kosher to say “mazel tov” to the constructors on Easter?

Z 12:29 AM  

Miggy is on pace for 81 home runs, 243 RBIs, and 162 hits. Go Tigers.
I’ve never seen why a California boy became a Tigers fan, but it’s nice to see the Old English D gracing the blog.

Nice puzzle for the first Sunday of the season.

jae 1:07 AM  

Mediumish. Clever and fun. Delightful Sunday, liked it a bunch! Nice one Puzzle Girl and Doug!

Great clue for EGG PLANTS.

Frantic Sloth 1:27 AM  

What Rex, @Joaquin, and @Z said. (Except for the Tigers)๐Ÿ‘

๐Ÿง ๐Ÿง 

egsforbreakfast 1:36 AM  

I liked the concept more than the execution. It is great that INNINGS Is extra to the themers once you’re done and stop to look at it. But IDEAL? LAWN? SINK? These are a (st)retch.

Liked the baseball nods to NLCS and LOUS, especially with the latter monstrously crossing ROOS.

Had plenty of fun doing this. Thanks AOH and DP for a nice D(ouble) P(lay).

Mark 2:45 AM  

It's also passover...

Anonymous 3:20 AM  

Once again, I am super impressed (maybe oddly impressed) by how Rex applies his PhD-level skills to
the deconstruction of this puzzle; he considers the word usage of a quotidian crossword puzzle as if he
were analyzing a Milton poem.

Anyway, for the second straight Sunday I was able to solve the puzzle without
sussing its theme. Last week, I did not see the connection between the phrases and the puzzle’s “over the moon”
theme; and this week, I solved the puzzle without realizing that each wacky theme included one of the letters
in Innings. I say all this because I am not sure if the bigger problem is my inability to identify the verbal trick, or
that I am able “unlock” the puzzle’s door without having understood its key. In a way, I feel like I am breaking
in, i.e., cheating. I just wish that a puzzle was almost uncompleteable unless it’s theme is deciphered.
Otherwise, what’s the point. Right?


okanaganer 3:23 AM  

OK a baseball theme. Really, a bit lame, but fair enough...

When I was a kid (1970s), the Montreal Expos were the only Canadian team in MLB, and struggling to rise from last place. But I loved them, and tried to follow them... although our smallish town newspaper didn't reliably publish the game results or standings. I bought The Sporting News every week, even though it was a week out of date, just to see them. I dreamed about owning an Expos cap (never came true, sadly (:-) I made an Eastern Division standings chart on the wall of my bedroom and updated it daily with the games because the newspaper didn't.

Then Toronto got a team. In my early thirties, the Blue Jays won the World Series... twice!! I lived in downtown Vancouver, and the first time, the streets instantly filled with people celebrating. Celebrating a Toronto team! (make no mistake this was a major departure; BC folks HATED Toronto and anything to do with it. But they still celebrated this thing because... Canada!!)

Now, I don't follow baseball much. Too bad, my loss I guess. But wishing you baseball lovers well. We need more joy.

Swimwolff 4:29 AM  

Love the Ol’ English D!

Lewis 6:03 AM  

So, I loved this puzzle, and it kind of went like this.

First, trying to figure out the theme answers before they totally filled in from crosses was not only fun but required the kind of work my brain loves.

Then, there were many original clues, which gave the puzzle freshness – that is, there was not so much to simply slap down because I’ve heard the clue before.

Then, there was the overall silliness, and god bless that. Plus little lovely details like IHOP over IHOPE, and WALDO / ARLO / SANTO / LASSO / ALTO / SOSO / CAMO / RIO / INTRO / TORO / OBOE.

Finally, after I finished, I thought, “Hey, let’s pick out the extra letters from each theme answer and see if they anagram to something interesting, which would be fun to share with commenters. Which is when I N N I N G S emerged. And let me tell you, that was a holey-moley moment.

So, I loved this puzzle! Thank you for it, Angela and Doug!

Colin 7:22 AM  

Having started this late last night, I had to sleep on this one to finish solving this morning. And I didn't get the theme until the puzzle was completed, although I knew I was adding letters in a baseball-themed puzzle. (Silly me, I thought I was adding all extra "n's" when of course I wasn't!) As I struggle to come up with interesting and clever themes as a novice constructor myself, I've come to appreciate how difficult something like this is - I'll give a pass to the IDEALBREAKER criticism by Rex, for example.

I was not happy with SOLIDEST - does one really say, "LEBRON had his SOLIDEST game yet this season"?.... I am OK with RARING, however. Debated between DARWIN and Newton for the Westminster Abbey lie-in, although I figured out EWERS to seal this (having used EWERS in my own construction earlier in the day!).

Thanks, Angela and Doug!

amyyanni 7:36 AM  

Loved it! Also a fan (and being from Detroit, the Tigers were my first team. Grampa told me to root for the home team, and then I moved to Boston.)
We're in a 'rebuilding' year with lots of young players, so patience is in order. Just so glad baseball is back. Favorites here are "Invisible Sink" and So Fair, So Good. So Good, So Good, So Good! ...going to go feed Caroline, the cat.

Son Volt 7:37 AM  

Lots of fun here for a Sunday. Nice revealer - couple of wacky themers but mostly fine. Liked BUNT SERIOUSLY and LABOR OF GLOVE best. Overall fill was fine - couple of GROANs here and there but smooth and went right in. Knew the EGGPLANTS trivia and liked the additional baseball related tidbits especially NLCS.

Enjoyable, timely puzzle. Didn’t go to opening day this year - but will be following the interlocking N Y for the next few months. Here’s hoping Covid doesn’t interrupt. Happy Easter everyone.

bocamp 7:42 AM  

Thank you @Angela & @Doug; loved your Sunday baseball offering! Knocked it out of the park. ⚾️

Easy-med solve.

Good start in the NW; worked counterclockwise for the win. No major league curve balls along the route.

Baseball is "like a box of chocolates", you never know what you're going to get.

Harry Caray leads 'Take Me Out to the Ballgame'

yd pg -4

Peace ~ Empathy ~ Amity ~ Kindness ~ Hope ~ "With malice toward none; with charity for all" (A.L.) ๐Ÿ•Š

Barbara S. 8:18 AM  

After my struggles of yesterday, this was a walk in the (ball)park. I thought it was extremely clever that the 7 themers each added one of the letters in the word INNINGS and in the proper order – wow. We’ve seen the add-a-letter type theme countless times but I feel it's rare when the additions are different from one another and spell out a word. I didn’t find every themer roll-on-the-floor funny but I thought they were just fine, my favorites being BUNT SERIOUSLY and LABOR OF GLOVE (hi @Son Volt). I leave the question of their accuracy in relation to baseball terminology to others. Kudos to the constructors – an excellent job all around.

I wanted CHOMP for 1A, but didn’t fill in anything until the NW started to take shape. I got my start with IT’S ALIVE at 22A, a dynamic beginning. I had lots of small mistakes here and there such as rEm for BED, OmSK for ORSK and APIARIan for APIARIST. Mostly I delayed filling stuff in until I was sure. When the grid was completed I got the “keep trying” message and it took a while to find the trouble spot, which was SCRapS for SCRUBS and pAO for BAO. That looked plausible enough because I didn’t know the Chinese bun, but I had to admit that STaF on an Oreo package made no sense.

Today there are two passages by MAYA ANGELOU, born Apr. 4, 1928. Many thanks to @Gill I. in her role as guest-quoter.

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”


“As I ate she began the first of what we later called ‘my lessons in living.’ She said that I must always be intolerant of ignorance but understanding of illiteracy. That some people, unable to go to school, were more educated and even more intelligent than college professors. She encouraged me to listen carefully to what country people called mother wit. That in those homely sayings was couched the collective wisdom of generations.”
(This passage from I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings)

Z 8:22 AM  

@Anon / tc - First, there are some who consider not figuring out things like the extra letters spelling INNINGS a DNF. I tend to agree with that but don’t generally label such failures as DNFs here. I’m also very much of the mind that we all get to define DNF for ourselves.
Second, figuring out such things can very much depend on whether or not one recognizes something is going on and then believes figuring it out is possible. I, too, thought we were just adding N’s but hadn’t really stopped to think about it when I got to “can literally be found...” Having already noted the extra N’s in some theme answers I wrote those letters in the margins, noted that a couple had I’s, not N’s, and finished the solve knowing what I was looking for in the last couple of themers.
To your other point, I think generally most puzzles with a meta element can be filled correctly without understanding the meta element. These meta elements are bonus puzzles within the puzzle.

August West 8:30 AM  

”Lawn” is not a baseball term.

SouthsideJohnny 9:00 AM  

It was kind of fun grok king out the themers as a lifelong hardball fan. One thing I’m never a fan of though is when the NYT gets into one of their “Pied Type” modes and just starts jamming together random letters with the hope that they can find some foreign word or abbreviation to attribute to it (staring directly at you, AMB). Today, they actually came close to doing that to an actual section (where we have NCOS, CAMO, ALA, OLAV and SADE all crossing each other - nary a real word between them). Sorry, that is just too hardcore for me (and I’ve been solving long enough to recognize that some of those are pretty standard crosswordese). I’m just not ready to give up on the (perhaps overly naive) notion that a really good crossword puzzle should contain, you know, words.

John H 9:02 AM  

Invisible sink. LOVE IT!

TJS 9:06 AM  

@okanager, I remember seeing some of those early Montreal Expo games in Chicago when the Cubs would play up there. Always thought it was cool that they named the fiery red-haired Rusty Staub "le grande Orange".

First puzzle solved on my new laptop and can finally reassign my cell phone to its' intended purpose, Thank God.

A pleasant Sunday. Enjoy your Tigers brief residence at the top of the AL Central, @Z. It will be occupied by the White Sox in the Fall.

Birchbark 9:09 AM  

I solved the themers in order, so mid-way through assumed the extra letter had to be "I" or "N" . Neat that they spell "INNINGS."

Tracy Chapman and Phoebe from "Friends": Iconic FOLK singers who defined coffeehouses in the 1990s when they left bohemia to become a commercial phenomenon. I'd say the clue is JUST SO.

Happy Easter: now to make a frittata, our traditional brunch. I sautรฉed ground veal and ground ham with garlic last night, which I'll add to the frittata along with chopped fresh mint. Sometimes we serve it with a green salad if its late in the morning, but today yogurt and fruit. And an Italian frosted sweet bread called paloma, which my sister made, and my daughter picked up last night on her way home from her job at Dunn Brothers Coffee, where they play FOLK music.

RooMonster 9:19 AM  

Hey All !
Well, disappointed as I solved, as could not see just what the puz was asking/ giving. Answered the Revealer first, then first themer I got was LINE DETECTOR, and thought IN would be EXTRA letters in each themer. (My bad, as it's just the N there.) But that was enough to screw me up for the rest of the themers. When I got LAWN STUDIES, I let out a Huh?, as it was only an EXTRA N. Then BUNT SERIOUSLY, only the N, and I was all ASLOPE. Just couldn't bring it all together. Now I see Rex's explanation, 1) KICKS the puz UP A NOTCH, 2) wish I would've grokked it.

Did finish solving, still perplexed by what was happening, got the Almost There! message, and by then didn't care about a DNF, so hit Check Puzzle to find I had two wrong letters. INVISIBLESINe/ORSe (that was my last themer, and so lost at sea at that point, wouldn't have seen SINK even if I fell into a SINK! And who "knows" ORSK?), SANTa/LASSa (another my bad there.) Surprised there wasn't more wrongness!

Glad most enjoyed this one. I was glancing at @Nancys wall, awaiting the chance! But plodded on, MI NERVA shot! ๐Ÿ˜

Initial smash-up in lower-west-center with LTDS, IHOP, SPF, THECW. Although, as a classic car fan, do like LTDS.

LINE DETECTOR went through DETECors (sheesh Brain!), DETECion (again, not seeing I was missing a T), DETECTOR. Made me actually erase LEBRON thinking the constructors were throwing some obscure old King at me!

The ole brain wasn't awake today, apparently. It happens!

Five F's
One ROOS - Har

kitshef 9:40 AM  

I seem to be big outlier today, as I thought this was a total snoozefest. (My comment at was, in total, "Zzzzzzz".)

I had only two entries where I though "that's cool": SYSTOLE, BEDE, APIARIST. A couple of others (SET LISTS, DORSALS), were somewhat marred by being pluralized. Five good words on a Sunday is possibly a record low. Similarly, the theme brought only a shrug.

I do give credit for the baseball clue for LOUS, and for the column with I HOP I HOPE.


pmdm 9:49 AM  

The puzzle deserved a whole bunch of good cheer and that's what's been posted so far. So why bother coming back?

Both Z and Shortz believe the solvers make up their own rules about what is acceptable when solving a puzzle. As do myself. I am so bad with PPP I know by Thursday I will have to research some of the clue to get the correct entries. And if I don't suss out a meta extra, like today it's probably because I don't want to spend the time, not because I can't No matter. If I enjoy the solve, the puzzle was a success (and I was in my mind a success). And I enjoyed the puzzle today. I guess that's all I ask for.

Happy Easter/Passover.whatever else you celebrate. If baseball has arrived, can the Tour de France be far behind?

Mr. Grumpypants 9:57 AM  

This was fun. I'm biased perhaps, because at the second long across,I guessed that the added letters might spell something, went down to the SE, and sussed the theme -- which helped me get a few of the theme answers with few crosses. A nice Sunday morning romp to open the season with.

DeeJay 9:58 AM  

I had EATUP at 1A, which led to PERK MUSIC,which I'd never heard of, but kind of appropriate for a coffee shop, right?

Ellen C 10:08 AM  


Nancy 10:12 AM  

NL what???? I was watching the team in 1969 and they won the NL pennant race. But those stupid initials: NLCS????? What's that?????

I had StRipS instead of SCRUBS for "cancels". It didn't seem quite right, but I never thought of SCRUBS. Perhaps I should have used my Roget's. So now I have NLT-. National League Title Game? Oh, I don't know!!!! I hate initials, I just hate them.

Oh, and I had STir instead of STUF for the Oreos. Maybe you're mixing it into cake batter? How the hell should I know?

I was never going to get SO FAIR SO GOOD from ?OR?IRSOGOOD. Wouldn't have guessed it in a million years.

I got everything else, but this puzzle felt really long to me. Endless, in fact. Anyone else?

Teedmn 10:16 AM  

Lots to slip up on today, for me. Going Greek (and the wrong goddess to boot) in the NE held me up a long time as Artemis had only the E in common with MINERVA. Sheesh. And AUT before NSW. At least I knew EVERY good bird does fly and DENS.

I had a taper for my candle choice. I went opposite on 45D first and had thin Oreos, not STUF. The USO tour sent Hope around the world. I was unruffledly Serene and I wanted TRiage to be an ER concern. That I fought my way through all of that to success is immensely cheering on this gorgeous Easter Sunday. (It will be nearly 80 degrees north of the Twin Cities today, unbelievable.)

Theme - I liked it. I got the EXTRA INNINGS filled in first and the first few theme answers after had added N's (natch, there are three N's in INNINGS) but it confused me to see the other letters (hi @Colin and @Roo) until I finished and saw the full picture.

BUNT SERIOUSLY is great, LABOR OF GLOVE and SO FAIR SO GOOD are very nice. The clues didn't always mesh perfectly but overall, I think Angela and Doug hit one out of the park. Thanks, FOLKs!

And har, I've been hearing ARLO Parks' song on the radio for weeks now, didn't know the artist. I like it.

Ellen C 10:22 AM  

Figured out the theme early and appreciated the use of different added letters. I was sure Rex would rant about this. Perhaps he couldn't be objective given his relationship w the constructors and his giddiness about the Tigers. Game Changer suggests changing game-related words to something else, not the reverse. Hated solidest. Loved learning about eggplants. Lots of PPP, tho I managed to get more than my FAIR share. Wanted this puzzle to be more enjoyable

Anonymous 10:22 AM  

Thank you @Z for your thoughtful response!

Sharing a response definitely becomes more meaningful when you feel someone has actually read what you wrote.

To wit, the reason I struggled mightily (and failed) to decipher the theme was that first two theme answers I figure out were: 1) extrainnings and 2)invisisbkleink. Even though I did "complete" the puzzle I was unable to move past the double "ins" in these two answers.

Just my luck! And my stubbornness!


Mr. Cheese 10:28 AM  

All baseball fans feel something when a new season arrives... even you Rex. So why do you have to nitpick.
Just enjoy the Tiger’s good start however brief their success will be.
I REALLY loved this puzzle and didn’t care that some of the theme answers were “slightly” off.
Chill out, Rex!

Hungry Mother 10:33 AM  

Lots of fun, but the theme just allowed for the transformation of a themer after it was filled in. A bit on the sloggish side in places, but very fair.

Sixthstone 10:38 AM  

Nice puzzle, but it's a crime not to have a cold beer anywhere in site with this theme.

Lewis 10:46 AM  

I love, in Rex's picture, seeing Erik Agard with his pre-explosive hair style. (Both looks are terrific!)

DP 10:53 AM  

Can someone help me out? Why is the answer to 73D, IHOP, “fittingly”? I’m missing something here.

DP 10:58 AM  

Oh, never mind.

Mill City Architect 11:02 AM  

Why no outrage over SOSO crossing SOFAIRSOGOOD, let alone existing in the same grid? Guess Rex was ‘duped’ by his BB BFFs.

Colin 11:03 AM  

@Nancy, 10:12 AM: And now we know you're not a baseball fan, LOL? NLCS = National League Championship Series. Yes, you know they took the pennant. This is one step higher than the NLDS (= National League Division Series) champions, and one step below the World Series champions. I'm also not a huge baseball follower, but know each fall, they talk about the NLDS, ALDS, NLCS, ALCS, etc., etc.

SCRUBS: Probably most familiarly associated with NASA missions (at least to me), as in scrubbing a launch.

And the only reason I knew STUF was that in a recent puzzle, I was reminded of Oreo "Double Stuf" cookies, which have double the amount of filling.

Anonymous 11:06 AM  

I love baseball and I loved this puzzle...I have nothing against the Tigers (my husband played minor league for them a zillion years ago) but cmon man....Jacob deGrom is the best pitcher in baseball...

Your searches may be hidden because you put too much politics in your blog...stick to the puzzle please...only google loves the radical left...

Great job Doug and Angela ! (Doug...the Yankees? Cmon man ! )

Anonymous 11:10 AM  

Wow! This here is a friend of Rex review if ever there one. He is gentle, almost diffident in his (as far as he goes) absolutely-correct analysis of why some of the themes fail. But he doesn’t go far enough. Lawn is not a baseball term, as someone above noted. So by my count, 4 of the seven theme answers aren’t’ good, at best, or flat stink. If a constructor who wasn’t a pal had authored this, OFL would’ve screamed bloody murder. Not to mention calling for Shortz’s head.
Instead we get nice Rex, treating his friends with kid gloves. Swing and a miss on the puzzle. And a gigantic whiff on the review, from the world’s worst umpire:Michael Sharp. King of home cooking calls.

Amie Devero 11:13 AM  

Sorry to be the spoilsport, but for those of us who have never seen a baseball game and don't understand it or know it's jargon, divisions, players, teams, etc, this was horrible. It was impossible to have any appreciation for whether theme answers were correct or not. I truly resent puzzles that lock out entire populations.

Amie Devero 11:14 AM  

They offer each of those items on the menu, and each is from a non-American country's cuisine. And IHOP is an acronym for International House of Pancakes.

pabloinnh 11:15 AM  

Anything related to baseball is aces with me, so I liked this one fine. Zipped right through it in the time it takes to play a couple of innings, liked the themers, got to the revealer, and neglected to go back and find the prize in the box of Cracker Jack, so I missed that part, which is OK with me.

I always like it when I guess something like SEADOG right away and it turns out to be right.

@okananganer and @TJS-Went to some Expos games before they moved, first at Jarry Park, a pretty good version of a AAA ballpark, and later at Olympic Stadium (The Big O), an abominable place to watch baseball, seated 80,000 and rarely had a quarter of that in attendance. It was fun to hear all the announcements in French and English, in that order, of course.

Today was the first Easter in quite a while that I haven't played guitar for our outdoor Easter sunrise service, for which I am thankful, as it was 18 degrees here when the sun was coming up.

Thanks to AOH and DP for such and Accurately Delivered Overhand Delightful Puzzle.

Sam Weisberg 11:18 AM  

I found “Orsk” vs “Omsk” (which I had on there for the longest time) to be particularly obnoxious. Omsk is relatively obscure as it is (in fact, I learned about it THROUGH doing the crossword, which I’m sure is the case for most NON geography whizzes out there)...but...ORSK?!

Sam Weisberg 11:21 AM  

That took me a while too; poorly worded. They mean that because “I” stands for “international” in IHOP, therefore it is “fitting” that they serve “international” items like FRENCH toast and BELGIAN waffles. Yuk yuk.

thefogman 11:27 AM  

Okay I guess. A few of the puns were hits, but none of them were home runs.

Unknown 11:37 AM  

Search engine issues:
- Duckduckgo/qwant - looks like you are non-existent for search terms 'rex puzzle' or 'rex crossword' and buried in t-rex puzzles or "" site. Maybe some SEO levers are being pulled?

Unknown 11:38 AM  

Rarin' to go is certainly in my jargon

Anonymous 11:39 AM  

For 107D, the paper route hour, SIXAM, if you live in Bloomington, Indiana, the correct answer is "whenever I fu*king feel like it," which, I quickly realized, didn't fit. When the NYT fired our regular deliverer last summer (they had to get rid of him--he was competent), we were left with a system where the NYT, the WSJ, and the local paper were all handled by the same delivery service, thus saving the NY Times a few dollars a week and throwing the former carrier into poverty and potential homelessness (as he told us in a farewell note that was really asking for a farewell gratuity, which I gave--such a "woke" NY Times!!). Now I get thrown onto my yard what ever the carriers find near the front seat of their cars--newspapers, child-car seats, empty coke cans. Most days I get two copies of the NY Times, and months ago I was getting the WSJ as well, and occasionally the local paper, which I don't subscribe to. This past Thursday I got two copies of the NYT. Friday I got no paper at all. Saturday I got the Saturday NYT bundled with the Friday copy in one package, a second copy of the NYT in another. Today, I got one copy of the NYT, but I check the yard occasionally expecting a second--but usually if the second doesn't come by noon I give up.

Anon. i.e. Poggius
ps to DP: I didn't get the IHOP clue either.

Carola 11:40 AM  

I went from "Why am I adding random Ns to phrases that have nothing to do with each other" (after getting LINE and LAWN and not recognizing the latter as having anything to do with baseball) to "And now I'm adding a random S?" (SINK) to turning the corner and encountering EXTRA INNINGS to Ah! + a jolt of eagerness to figure out the rest. My favorite was the rapturous SO FAIR! SO GOOD!

Do-overs: TRiage (hi @Teedmn), Atilt, To go before TALL. No idea: NLCS, THE CW, and me too, for "Omsk, okay fine, now ORSK?"

Julie 11:44 AM  

Don’t like ASLOPE. “Your bookcase is ASLOPE?” Also didn’t care for SOLIDEST. This was my second Sunday puzzle-yay me!

Anonymous 11:59 AM  

I didn’t like this one very much ... felt like it was missing something and the extra letters didn’t provide enough of an aha moment for me. It took reading your post to get that the extra letters spelled innings. My bad ... now I like the puzzle a lot more!

Anonymous 12:08 PM  

On NLCS, 43D, and to Nancy (10:13), a query clarified by Colin at 11:03.

Yes, winning the NLCS and ALCS is winning the pennant, and occasionally announcers still refer to it that way. I think owners prefer not using the term "pennant" because it might diminish the significance of, evidently since 1969, the divisional series, and diminish the World Series, still termed the goal everyone is seeking, as if the NLCS were something like the semifinals. Even before the NLCS, baseball traditionalists complained about the overemphasis on the World Series as a modern affectation, something children talked about who really didn't know the sport. Perhaps the most iconic (?) moment in baseball was "the shot heard round the world" and the announcer screaming into the microphone "The Giants Win the Pennant!"--it's beautiful to watch, and I still google it up occasionally. If any Giant after the game had said what might be said today, "it won't mean anything unless we win the World Series," he would have been thrown out of baseball. Pete Rose of all people had it right--it's nice to win the World Series but what you really want is to win the pennant. You want to GET to the World Series, and then, he said, you play for fun.

Anon. i.e. Poggius

Nancy 12:14 PM  

Some of you will have heard this before, but this is for @Colin (11:03). I'm LOL-ing him back. Alas, Colin, I was a huge, passionate baseball fan as a child, but then they went and stole my beloved New York Giants from me and plunked them down in a windy stadium thousands and thousands of miles away. Can there be any disillusionment so profound as that of a disillusioned child?

As a booby prize, baseball fobbed off on me (some years later) The NY Mets. Instead of the incomparable, absolutely marvelous (best player of all time) Willie Mays, I now was supposed to root for some hapless, hopeless 3rd-rater known as "Marvelous Marv Thornberry". Not so marvelous. The expected transfer of my affections never took hold.

But I did watch the end of the 1969 season as the 'Miracle Mets" achieved a championship that seemed highly improbable. When they reverted to their hapless selves not long after, my interest didn't just wane -- it disappeared entirely.

And back then, Colin -- maybe because we didn't have texting and IM-ing and email -- there was much less in the way of the endless use of initials we have now. NDLS? ALDS? NLCS? ALCS? These terms weren't used -- not even in tabloids like The Daily News. People were actually prepared to write out words like "Championship" and "Division".

I enjoyed your shout-out, Colin. Thanks.

Anonymous 12:15 PM  

“This is a Wendy’s, sir”

thfenn 12:34 PM  

Loved this puzzle, one of the most fun in a long time. Baseball, birds, bees, wine, a brewery - clue after clue (or answer after answer) resonated or brought a smile for one reason or another. It's Easter, it's spring, life's looking up, and this puzzle played its part.

A 12:35 PM  

Happy Walk Around Things Day!

If I’d known it was WAT Day while I was solving today, maybe I wouldn’t have minded the GLOBAL trek 50 times around the puzzle before finally seeing the trick! BUNT SERIOUSLY, I got the revealer before any of the themers, and thought, “ok, there’s an extra ‘in’ in ‘ing.’” Whatever that convolusion may mean, I have no idea, but it’s directly the fault of Thursday constructor Ezersky and his cryptic acrostic accost. Arrgh.

After a bit, I got my first themer and thought, “oh, ok, it’s just an extra ’n.’ Whew! Then another fell, and I thought, “oh, so it can be either an ’n’ or an ‘i.’ All the while struggling for obvious answers like SNARF MANNERED LUSHES, and cursing my ignorance of the Mets and GOT.

By the time I had painstakingly unraveled everything except the SE corner and the “long hours” themer, I was so desperate I just started throwing in what I thought were likely letters. Et voila! The GLOVE OF LABOR gave me the ONE TWO, the super ‘duh’per “AHA!” moment. The absurdity of my machinations was revealed like INVISIBLES INK. Sad thing is, I bet nobody else got such a huge kick out of it, because nobody else went through the TRAUMA I did to get there. Oh, well, if playing the horn has taught me nothing else, it’s how to laugh at myself. Sure got my giggles today.

Fun themers, some more GROAN-worthy than others. LAWN STUDENTS makes me think of gnomes, posing with chin on fist.

Noticed IHOP/IHOPE, INTRO/EXTRA (-vert), and a short string of things medical - TRAUMA, SINAI, SCRUBS.

BTW, when I think of a word for ‘most reliable,’ SOLIDEST is JUST SO NOT IT!

Thanks, Ms. Halsted and Mr. Peterson, for the fun walkabout!

Ken Freeland 12:36 PM  

Agree 100% with @SouthsideJohnny...too many nonsense letters in the answers. Like @Colin,I had to sleep on this one to finish it off. Here's why: I raced through the north half, relishing the low PP quotient and thoroughly enjoying the clean cluing. But, I forgot to knock on wood, and when I came to the southern half, there it was, all chunked together. What a slog and struggle to work through... Yuck!

Joaquin 12:50 PM  

Useless fact: The city of ORSK is 6.5 times the size of Natick, but Natick is almost 100 years older.

TTrimble 1:12 PM  

Definitely some traps for the unwary in this one. I had OmSK before ORSK (which I hadn't heard of), USO tour before USO SHOW, and ASLant before ASLOPE. I had rEED before WEED (is Goldenrod one of those plants thick with allergens?). I also had Newton before DARWIN (an unlucky guess). All those got me in some HOT WATER.

The theme construction seems admirable. Coming up with those and then building a puzzle with interest around them seems like a real creative challenge. I like APIARIST (were it not for the S, I'd expect to see this in an SB), SYSTOLE, and the fun facts embedded in the clues for SWIFT and EGGPLANTS. I don't know jack about baseball -- only a rudimentary knowledge of the rules -- but that didn't detract from the fun.

In answer to a couple of queries: the I in IHOP is "fitting" because it stands for International, and you could consider "French" toast and "Belgian" waffles as "international". Silly, I know. (I'm reminded just now of a phrasing heard in recent months that I find odious: "vaccinations in American arms". It just sounds so dumb. Yes, my left arm might be American, but my right leg is German. I have a wee bit of Irish in my duodenum.)

Nancy 1:29 PM  

@Poggius -- Before I run out into the beautiful sunshine, I just have to boast that How many people on the planet today can say that?

When I got home from P.S.6 sometime after 3 p.m., my mother of course had the game on. I think I got home At either the bottom of the 8th INNING or the top of the 9th. Anyway, I saw the entire bottom of the 9th unfold.

With two men on base, Bobby Thompson took a called first strike. I can still hear my mother's words. "He's going to strike out! He's such a bum! He can't hit in the clutch!"

(No one ever suffered during baseball games the way my mother did. But a good prognosticator she wasn't.)

I think Thompson connected on the next pitch. I can remember Russ Hodges screaming over and over "the Giants win the pennant!!!" as though it were yesterday. It's the most exciting moment in all of sports -- ever!!!! I think most sports lovers -- even those who love other sports more -- do agree on that.

Z 1:29 PM  

@TJS - Two, no, three things give me hope. The 2008 Tigers. That dinosaur the Southsiders hired as manager. And, apparently, the fact that the Southsiders have the same bullpen the Tigers had in 2008 (and 2009 and 2010 and ... What? I’m not bitter). But, yeah, I have to crow now because this is unlikely to last. Baseball Prospectus put the high end of Tiger victories this year around 70.

Hand up for OmSK first.

Why is Rex being so nit picky? Why is Rex going so easy on his friends? It’s almost as if complaints about Rex aren’t really very reflective of what Rex writes.

@Mill City Architect - Good catch. SO FA(I)R SO GOOD is pretty far from SO SO, but SO SO is definitely sub-optimal.

@anon / tc - When I do that I call it being “locked in on the wrong answer.” What makes a good challenging puzzle for me is the kind of word play where I need to re-think my assumptions. This also helps with figuring out meta elements. This is also why putting the puzzle down and coming back seems to work, the stubborn part of my brain goes to sleep and the more limber subconscious goes “hey, what about this?”
Also, while some skip anonymous comments, many read everything.

****SPOILER ALERT FOR THEMELESS #10 by @michael*****

Loved the clue “Bong hit?” and that I got the answer immediately because of 15A in Friday’s puzzle.

Nancy 1:34 PM  

My boast of having watched that game as it unfolded was erased when I tried to italicize it, so my first sentence doesn't make much sense. But I was watching In the Moment. I hope y'all figured that out.

Z 1:38 PM  

Oh - A link might be good - I found Themeless #10 listed on Will Nediger’s March Indie Puzzle Highlights blog post. If you’re interested in going past the big brands let me suggest following Crossword Butler on Twitter. For instance, if you Love Ross Trudeau, Crossword Butler will let you know every time he posts a puzzle on his indie site.

Anonymous 1:50 PM  

After your cancelling of KKK,NRA, and all things Trump. . . Maybe someone is cancelling you. . . What's good for the goose, comrade.

Barbara S. 2:05 PM  

I’ve always wondered about the word RARIN’/RARING – where on earth does it come from? What is this unknown verb "to rare"? Today I was finally moved to look it up. According to Merriam-Webster it’s “from the present participle of English dialect rare to rear, alteration of English rear”. So when we’re RARING to go, we’re really rearing to go, I assume in the sense that horses rear when excited or agitated. I love words.

Joe Dipinto 2:06 PM  

John and Mitchie were gettin' kind of itchy
Just to leave the folk music behind

Got EXTRA INNINGS; got INVISIBLE SINK; thought "why an extra S?"–wait lemme guess: counted the themers–yep, seven, just enough to spell i-n-n-i-n-g-s; should I bother with the rest of this? zzzzz

For pabloinnh: the tenor aria from Bach's "Easter Oratorio".

Masked and Anonymous 2:09 PM  

Sorta a season opener puz. TIS OK, I reckon -- but not very Eastery, other than that there one EGG plant dealy.
Add-a-letter theme did have some humor to it, which sure ain't all bad, for a SunPuz.

staff weeject pick: Many excellent choices today, but will have to go with BAO, since the official M&A Help Desk Dictionary never heard of it. Always a dependable, desperate sign.
Also, this opens things up for an excellent future BAO-WOLF theme entry and clue.

Some fave sparklers: ITSALIVE [schlock flick reference]. FOLKMUSIC [had FOLKGROUP/TRIAGE, for way too nanosecond-carnage-long]. IHOPE right below IHOP. And, of course, EGGPLANTS.

No Down ?-marker clues at all, but IHOP clue was nicely raised-by-wolves styled. But, hey -- just awful thanxful, that HUMBERT weren't given some kinda what "Gaetz did on Sesame Street" clue.

Thanx for gangin up on us, Angela darlin and Doug dude. Good job, on handlin 8 themers. And congratz to Ms. Halsted on her first half-SunPuz.

Masked & Anonymo9Us

modest Easter Bunny droppings:

Anonymous 2:12 PM  

Another fig newtoN over DARWIN. Why? Even back then, opposition to the notion of evolution over God's Plan was a strong as ever. Plant him in Westminster?? What would Kenneth Copeland say? Oh my.

Anonymous 2:22 PM  

Stunned that no mention was made of the 38-Down entry, HUMBERT. Humbert Humbert is a pedophile, and in this day and age, seeing it in a puzzle is surprising, to say the least.

Anonymous 2:22 PM  


you're diatribe reads familiarly. and I can empathise. here in NE, not all that far from NYC, same sort of sh!t. had a subscription, but bailed out after a month over non-delivery. hubby tried again, with same result, but with the added gift of a direct phone line to the distributor. verbal nagging kind of worked. almost (once or twice in a few years) never get it after calling, but it appears that new deliverers are assigned, and performance improves. for a while.

Anonymous 2:27 PM  

Well, surprise. One might think ORSK is yet another Soviet planned city (think, Brasilia) out in Siberia. The wiki fixes that.

old timer 2:40 PM  

DNF here. Because ORSK. I was so sure it was OmSK, and never heard of ORSK. I would have been better off not knowing either city, because LABOR OF GLOVE should have been obvious. I thought the puzzle was otherwise OK for a Sunday slog.

I smiled at IHOP because decades ago, my best friend and I went out for breakfast every Sunday at an international pancake house in Palo Alto that was far superior to any IHOP. I often had the crepes, if I did not have their version of a Denver omelet. They also had great Swedish pancakes with lingonberry jam.

We get our Times delivered by the same person who delivers our local paper. This is I think almost universal outside the New York area. And our service has been great, and our tips have been generous, in recent years, but there were times before the current driver when I had our local paper's number memorized, and followed up my complaint with demanding a refund from the Times. I knew very well that the delivery person would be dinged three or four dollars for a missed Sunday, and I wanted that person to quit in dismay, as well as get a bad mark with the local circulation manager. Worked after a while, hence the current, excellent service.

Didn't feel guilty about that either -- decades ago, a friend and I did the Sunday paper route in Western San Francisco. Paid quite well, and actually we split the money with his daughter and another little girl, who did all the work except for driving.

okanaganer 2:52 PM  

Rex, your site comes up just fine for me on a search in Bing and DuckDuckGo.

Steve M 3:08 PM  

Well I celebrated the Rockies undefeated season two days ago so there ๐Ÿ˜‰

Irishmaineiac 4:31 PM  

Well, the Red Sox are about to be 0 and 3 in a few minutes. They're being swept by the Orioles. Yes, the Orioles.

Barbara S. 4:36 PM  

@Poggius (12:08 PM), @Nancy (1:29 PM)

"Russ feels the crowd around him, a shudder passing through the stands, and then he is shouting into the mike and there is a surge of color and motion, a crash that occurs upward, stadium-wide, hands and faces and shirts, bands of rippling men, and he is outright shouting, his voice has a power he'd thought long gone -- it may lift the top of his head like a cartoon rocket.

He says, 'The Giants win the pennant.'

A topspin line drive. He tomahawked the pitch and the ball had topspin and dipped into the lower deck and there is Pafko at the 315 sign looking straight up with his right arm braced at the wall and a spate of paper coming down.

He says, 'The Giants win the pennant.'

Yes, the voice is excessive with a little tickle of hysteria in the upper register. But it is mainly wham and whomp. He sees Thomson capering around first. The hat of the first-base coach -- the first-base coach has flung his hat straight up. He went for a chin-high pitch and cold-cocked it good. The ball started up high and then sank, missing the facade of the upper deck and dipping into the seats below -- pulled in, swallowed up -- and the Dodger players stand looking, already separated from the event, staring flat into the shadows between the decks.

He says, 'The Giants win the pennant.'

The crew is whooping. They are answering the roof bangers by beating on the walls and ceiling of the booth. People climbing the dugout roofs and the crowd shaking in its own noise. Branca on the mound in his tormented slouch. He came with a fastball up, a pitch that's tailing in, and the guy's supposed to take it for a ball. Russ is shouting himself right out of his sore throat, out of every malady and pathology and complaint and all the pangs of growing up and every memory that is not tender.

He says, 'The Giants win the pennant.'"

Don DeLillo, Underworld

Anonymous 4:44 PM  

you are diatribe??

Joaquin 4:49 PM  

@old timer (2:40) - Your remembrance of dining at IHOP with your friend in SF brought to mind my similar story. For several years, after my mother died, my father and I had a Thursday morning breakfast date, usually at an IHOP in West LA. We did that right up until he died, which was on April 4th 2008. So today is that anniversary for me. Some coincidence!

Aelurus 4:55 PM  

Good Sunday puzzle for baseball’s return! I, too, saw and grokked the revealer early because, surprisingly, it highlighted its empty squares (RARING to go, I guess) when I clicked on the first themer on my iPad. Still, like others, also thought it was adding random I’s and N’s and so also missed the very cool INNINGS placement. Thank you, Rex and others, for that aha explanation. And thanks to Angela and Doug for a Sunday with much fun.

@Colin 11:03 – I wonder why Oreos’ Double Stuf cookies have twice the filling but half the f’s (@Roo 9:19 – could have been six F’s, but how nice to have another shoutout within the puzzle).

@TTrimble 1:12 - Yes, fun fact for the SWIFT clue, which I spent some time trying to come up with before going for the crosses. What an amazing physiological feat. I have been spending some time checking in on the Loch of the Lowes osprey cam because the birds are back at the nest for the season. Like so much last year, the nest went empty when there was unusual human disturbance and the pair took off for a quieter place to raise a family. First time since 1990 the nest did not host a pair. By end of August each year, the chicks fly off, by themselves!, for Africa, navigating faithfully for the first time in an as-yet-unknown (to us) way. After about two years, they return to Scotland to establish their own nests. Unless a bird is prevented from returning, the parents unerringly find the same nest year after year. It’s a nice site, too, for lovely bird sounds at any time as it’s 24/7 with audio.

@Barbara S. – thank you for the wonderful quotes you post every day - and @Gill I, thank you for the guest appearance today. One of my favorite Maya Angelou quotes: “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” Something I think the commentariat here does every. single. day.

@Nancy from some time ago (where do my intentions go??) – I am working on that bio thing when I can because I know the feeling when I check on someone’s link and there’s not even one thing there.

Happy Easter and last day of Passover, everyone. I was wondering if perhaps the extra letters in the puzzle might be thought of as its own hidden Easter egg?

Aelurus 5:11 PM  

Oh! And a Maya Angelou quote with a baseball theme: "I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back."

JC66 5:24 PM  

@Poggius, @Nancy & @Barbara S

Thanks for the memories.

I was 12 years old and waiting outside for Hebrew School to start and one of the other kid's mother was listening to the game on her car's radio. We were all crowded around and went nuts when Thompson delivered, but we could still clearly hear Russ Hodges' call. I was a Giants fan by default since I was 8 or 9 (hated the Yankees and didn't get to Brooklyn until I was 20) and, like @Nancy mourned their absconding to the West coast.

I had similar experience listening to the 9th inning of Don Larsen's 1956 World Series no-hitter in a high school English class on a classmates portable radio. Again, we were all gathered around (including the teacher) but I don't remember the announcer's call.

Even though I loathed the Yankees, I couldn't help rooting for Larsen.


As the clue indicates, 1969 was the first year of the NLCS, so, based on your lost interest in baseball, it's not surprising you aren't familiar with it.

TTrimble 5:39 PM  

@Barbara S. 4:36 PM
Yeah, that Prologue from Don DeLillo, "Pafko at the Wall" it might have been called originally, is an amazing piece of writing.

The rest of the book was a bit of a letdown, after that tremendous opening with its magisterial sweep.

sixtyni yogini 6:41 PM  

Rex, I use DuckDuckGo and you always come up. Who’s not listing you?

IMHO the critique was good ๐ŸŽฏ and fair today. (Agree)
Love the puzzle and baseball, flaws and all. ⚾️๐Ÿงฉ⚾️
๐ŸšจBut off-topic alert ๐Ÿšจ Does anyone besides peeps in Great Britain ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง and India ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ understand Cricket ๐Ÿ ? (I’ve tried!j
๐Ÿฃ Happy Spring and/or Easter ๐Ÿฃ whichever you prefer.

pabloinnh 8:11 PM  


Sorry to be so late with thanks for the Bach. Now that's a tenor who knows how to tenor. Lovely stuff.

I had to settle for recording the tenor part of a Billings shape note Easter piece which was then edited to combine with the three other parts, and actually came out pretty well Shape note is fun once in a while, reminds me of my first church choir, the "All Loud All The Time Methodist Choir".

A 8:13 PM  

@Joaquin, thanks for sharing your story about the Thursday morning dates with your father. I have fond memories of taking my mother to IHOP for the whole wheat pancakes.

@Aelurus, I enjoyed your posts! Glad to hear the ospreys are back. I think we humans underestimate our fowl friends.

TTrimble 8:45 PM  


td 0. First time in a long time.

Anonymous 8:48 PM  

Z 1:29.
Nope. Reasonable people can reach different conclusions after reading the same thing. If we were to accede to your assessment that people are somehow misreading Rex because they come to different conclusions, it would render opinion impossible. It would in fact render Rex himself obsolete. Follow your position to,it’s logical end and you’ll see that is the immutable conclusion. After all, once an opinion is rendered, there can be no disagreeing about what the opinion means.

albatross shell 8:58 PM  

Gee whiz. I thought the 1951 Giants were cheating just like the 2017 Astros. Don't forget Mazeroski's homer (hey, his name has a hidden zero in it) against the Yanks which was even better cause it was the Series and it was the Yanks. Of course a city rivalry has its own power. And it was maybe still in the radio era.

I like baseball. I like the themers. I didn't find the various "flaws" in the theme answers bothersome. I realized early on (from the revealer) that the I, INS or something was going to make EXTRAINNINGS. I thought maybe TEN and ELEVEN might be spelled out. So after the first 4 or 5 I was pretty sure what was going on. But strangely I had more fun with puzzles with much weaker themes. I was somewhat bored. Maybe the fill? Maybe its because its my 5 year colontorture test on Tuesday. Liquid diet tomorrow and yuck. This time know I want no, no, no further mention of it. The Zits cartoon today was bad enough.

Barbara S. 9:06 PM  

@Aelurus (4:55, 5:11 PM)
Thanks for the additional Maya Angelou quotations. They're both great and the baseball one is particularly apropos!

@TTrimble (5:39 PM)
I agree with you about the DeLillo. The description of the Giants' win and the creepily vivid portrait of J. Edgar Hoover are the most memorable parts of the book.

Z 9:34 PM  

@Anon8:48 - If we were to accede to your assessment that people are somehow misreading Rex - If only I had said that. I was just repeating the observation that when we opine we often reveal more about ourselves than the subjects of our opinions.

Anonymous 9:57 PM  

Z, claimed that people were commenting on things Rex didn’t say. Please.

Westword 1:26 AM  

Re: search engine — duck and bing tell me about the site but don’t give a url to the site.

Anonymous 6:32 AM  

Sigh. At the risk of derision, may I point out that baseball isn't a hot topic for everyone?

Many years ago, there was a rebus puzzle for Easter where the substitution was an "egg", it is my all-time fave Sunday puzzle.

Timing-wise, could have done something similar this weekend. Just saying.

bocamp 7:10 AM  

@TTrimble 8:45 PM ๐Ÿ‘

Peace ~ Empathy ~ Kindness to all ๐Ÿ•Š

Georgia 5:25 PM  

I'll never understand why people come to this man's blog and then go out of their way to be unkind. I do understand why they hide behind "Anonymous."

ghkozen 10:57 PM  

They need to stop having puzzles about the absolutely inane sport. As soon as I realized it was all baseball I wanted to stop entirely and just not suffer through it. Hot trash.

ghkozen 11:30 PM  

Like... don’t know how to say how much I loathed this puzzle. One of my least favorites in years. In addition to making me wade through waste deep baseball sewage, it also wants me to know the *checks notes* 80th largest city in Russia?

Rex complains about bad puzzles all the time, but wow. This was so much worse. The kind of puzzle that makes you want your subscription money back. Just no joy to be had anywhere whatsoever.

Betty R. 10:15 AM  

Is it cheating to start with the SE corner? I like to try to suss out the key first. I thought this one was fun despite the quibbles over strict baseball terms. Tampa Bay Rays fan because of the AAA Durham Bulls!

The Snarky VC 4:32 PM  

Go Tribe!

Spencer 7:11 AM  

Brought Hope to the world could have been US Soccer (Hope Solo at the World Cup), although I guess Hope Solo has fallen out of favor given her domestic issues. USO/Bob Hope clues are getting dated imo...

spacecraft 10:45 AM  

The first baseball game I ever attended was Phillies v. Giants in the Polo Grounds. I saw Richie Ashburn foul off at least 15 pitches before blooping a double into left center: typical "hit 'em where they ain't" strategy for ol' #1. Unfortunately, a flash-in-the-pan Giant named Dusty Rhodes blooped two homers down the foul lines, both just barely clearing the wall, and the G-men won. Those were the days!

This was a good, clever and enjoyable solve. Yes, a couple of the themers were a little off, but under the circumstances a remarkable feat. Birdie.

Burma Shave 12:54 PM  


'TIS hard ON, THE old SYSTOLE.


rondo 8:10 PM  

Had the INNINGS thing figured out as I went along cuz the game changers were different letters. Fun to have a sort of meta thing involved.

SADE will always get a yeah baby from me. I've brought her MUSIC halfway around the world and it works EVERY time. SMOOTH Operator particularly GOOD.

Other than the JUSTSO SOSO SOFAIRSOGOOD and the IHOP on top of IHOPE repetition not too bad.

Diana, LIW 9:20 PM  

Got 99.2% of it. And, of course, liked the punny phrases.

Lady Di

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