Temporary price reduction to drive sales / MON 9-18-23 / Actor Danny or Stubby of old Hollywood / Utah city that shares its name with a biblical kingdom / Rapper with a Harvard hip-hop fellowship named in his honor

Monday, September 18, 2023

Constructor: Kevin Christian and Andrea Carla Michaels

Relative difficulty: Medium (solving Downs-only)


THEME: COLOR COMMENTARY (62A: Broadcast booth analysis ... or a hint to 17-, 27- and 47-Across) — theme answers are verb phrases that describe a kind of speech (or "commentary") and that also contain a color:

Theme answers:
  • TALK A BLUE STREAK (17A: Blabber continuously)
  • TELL A WHITE LIE (27A: Harmlessly deceive)
  • RAISE A RED FLAG (47A: Be cause for serious concern, say)
Word of the Day: "WHOSE Line Is It Anyway?" (28D: "___ Line Is It Anyway?") —

 

Whose Line Is It Anyway? is a short-form improvisational comedy show originating as a British radio programme, before moving to British television in 1988. Following the conclusion of the British run in 1999, ABC began airing an American version, which ran until 2007 and was later revived by The CW in 2013.

Each version of the show consists of a panel of four performers who create characters, scenes, and songs on the spot, in the style of short-form improvisation games, many taken from theatresports. Topics for the games are based on either audience suggestions or predetermined prompts from the host. The show ostensibly takes the form of a game show, with the host arbitrarily assigning points and likewise choosing a winner at the end of each episode. (wikipedia)

• • •

This theme has one thing going for it, and that's the parallel rhythms / structures of all the theme answers. Yes, they all have colors, but more impressively, they all follow a strict "[VERB] A [COLOR] [NOUN]" pattern. This gives the set a thematic coherence that transcends the mere presence of colors. The one major problem I have with the theme set is that the first two themers are very much about speaking, whereas neither the clue on 47A: Be cause for serious concern, say, nor the answer (RAISE A RED FLAG), are necessarily speech-related, so the "commentary" connection there feels particularly tenuous. Behavior raises red flags. Maybe that behavior is speech, maybe it isn't. Frequently it isn't. And nothing in the clue points toward a spoken context, so that themer really feels like an outlier. Just doesn't have the obvious emphatic spokenness that the theme seems to require. But I think this is one of those horseshoes/hand grenades situations, where meh, it's fine, good enough, and as I said at the outset, the structural consistency on this set of phrases elevates the theme, making any infelicities much more forgivable. 


As for the Downs-only solve, there were four troublesome answers, but only one was truly daunting:


That was how much of the grid I had in place before I (finally!) got ROLLBACK (6D: Temporary price reduction to drive sales). Before that, yeesh. Wasn't til I got to the crosses at the bottom half of the answer that I was able to put something together that allowed me to parse the word. I needed MOA- (which was an obvious "B"), and LE-H (which, here, was an obvious "C"), before the back end of the answer (fittingly, BACK) became clear, which then allowed me to imagine ROLLBACK. The clue on that ROLLBACK just did nothing for me. I kept wanting the answer to be some kind of "sale," but "sales" was in the clue, so I knew that was out. But from there, where to go? At sea, I was, for ... well, you can see. Something close to half the puzzle. 


Before that, I had trouble with "MAKE ME!," which is horribly clued (4D: "What are you gonna do about it?!"). Make me what? I guess you are supposed to infer that the clue / answer is in response to a very specific demand, i.e. "Stop it!" But the "it" is ambiguous and what the taunter wants you to "make" him do is also ambiguous and it just didn't play right. The other two trouble spots were minor, and were not the puzzle's fault. I could Not think of a word for [Ordinary] in five letters (it was PLAIN), and I couldn't figure out what [Many] could be with nothing in place, so I went to the SE corner to get WANE / ARCS / NYET, which was great, except ... --WAN made me think "Oh, it's ASWAN, like the dam." Only no. No. It's IOWAN, like the state. Sigh. That took a little doing / undoing / redoing. Then at the end I just couldn't come up with BUSY WORK for far too long—for many seconds after I actually had the WORK part in place (which came only after I'd changed CAMAY (!?) to CAMRY). Brain just wouldn't offer it up. Oh, and I would not commit to nearby GALA because its clue (33D: Inaugural celebration) did not seem quite accurate. It's called the Inaugural BALL. Yes, I'm sure it is a GALA event, and the answer kind of had to be GALA given the terminal "A" I had firmly in place. But still, I was not sure. Not sure sure. So I waited. Then committed after ALEUT became obvious. Then got BUSY. The end.


See you tomorrow.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]

56 comments:

okanaganer 1:06 AM  

Also looking at only downs clues it went pretty smooth (since the themers were easy to grok without looking at their clues). Like Rex, I struggled with ROLLBACK which didn't leap to mind until almost all the crosses could be guessed at.

I like how Rex posted a flag that has the colors in the same order as the themers. Is that France? the Netherlands? Russia? I'm glad our flag (Canada) isn't so basic.

Then I finished but didn't get the Happy Pencil!? Turns out for 59 down "Taper off" I had FADE, and I guess I was so close to the end I didn't bother to check that IOFAN and ODCE are not promising looking answers. Easily fixed.

[Spelling Bee: Sun currently -2, missing a 6 and a 9er; 7 day streak in danger!]

GILL I. 1:06 AM  

MOAB thought he was in fine FORM. You could tell he was LYING, though, by the ROLL of FATS around his PORT. "Must be all the MEATS you CRAM down that SARI TOMEI of yours" yelled the town MAYOR. "Your COMMENTARY does MAKE ME want to RANT about how your nose is always RED because of the YALE BREW ALES, ETAL that you SLIP into A JAR while BUSY at WORK!" MOAB threw back. "IOTA turn you into the ALDERMAN!!!"...

Those two would always CARRY on this STREAK of a BLUE SMOKE FEST. It was a RED FLAG to REVOIR. She was the little EROS of MOAB, and when he was in a JAMB, she'd be TRUE to him and CARRY his BACK.

The MAYOR had a DARK STREAK that you could see in PLAIN view. It was like a warning FLAG for A LOT of the folks. When they gathered at the IMAX, NAS and ATM tavern, LECH, WHOSE real name was NYET, would PRAY no one would utter SKOAL. ONCE it would SLIP pass, all would RAISE a BREW or some PORT and ALES to the LYING RED nosed MAYOR.

REVOIR needed to LIFT her spirits. She was into GALA ARTS and would sing an ORAL ARIA to herself when she felt BLUE. She would PRAY that the DARK STENCH hovering around the MAYOR and MOAB would RAISE the ALDERMAN to visit and TELL them this RANT is ONCE and for all just SMOKE and nothing ATOLL to RANT about. ONCE that happened, the STENCH FEST in the AREA would WANE.

The ALDERMAN succeeded! He might've told a little LIE but a WHITE FLAG of truce was raised. EROS felt like a little TYKE at the ARTS GALA wearing a BLUE, WHITE and RED FLAG draped over her CAMRY. She was no longer BUSY ATOLL wondering if MOAB was in a JAMB or if the MAYOR drank his PORT out of A JAR. The two ONCE enemies would drink TEA together (and LIE about it) and would raise a RYE to all.

"SKOAL!" yelled the folks at the IMAX, NAS and ATM tavern...."That DARK STENCH that did CARRY on in this AREA has now seen a LIFT!"... It felt like a GALA FEST ONCE again. SMOKE of joy was EVER present and no one was SARI any more.....Just ask TITO, the bartender, and his Cuban music....They all danced.

PS. Kevin and Andrea...Loved your puzzle!.







egsforbreakfast 1:20 AM  


Baby Carnivore: Should I consume the things we kill? Or should I shop at Whole Foods?
Mama Carnivore: Eat prey, love.

The 29D crossing of TELLAWHITELIE and LYING got me to thinking. And what I suspect is that the root derivation of a white lie is intertwined with Caucasianism and a myth of harmlessness. A white lie is harmless. A black lie condemns your soul to hell. So, as a moral and color-blind society, we must heretofore agree to strike “White Lie” from our word lists. That should take care of that.

58A reminds me that IOWAN IOWAN $10.

I’m sure that @Southside Johnny, the polyglot, is asking himself, after solving for 67A, how many fairy tales start with 11?

Pretty good, consistent theme. Fun for a Monday. Thanks, Kevin Christian and Andrea Carla Michaels.

jae 3:11 AM  

Easy. Solid and smooth, a fine Monday. Liked it. Nice one Kevin and Andrea.


Croce Solvers - Croce’s Freestyle #843 medium for me or about 3.5 X a Saturday NYT. Good luck!

Lewis 5:41 AM  

My five favorite original clues from last week
(in order of appearance):

1. Noted figure in genetic research (5)
2. Draft announcement? (3)(4)(4)(4)
3. Move more (7)
4. Site of a sea change? (6)
5. Shows up in the afternoon? (8)


HELIX
ICE COLD BEER HERE
OUTSELL
CABANA
MATINEES

SouthsideJohnny 6:36 AM  

MOAB, SKOAL and Mr. Puente looked a little out of place to me - like they might be tough without the Monday-easy crosses. Rex seemed to have dropped them right in though, so maybe they are a more prevalent in CrossWorld than I recall.

Eater of Sole 7:10 AM  

New personal record time here, so have to rate this easy. Birthday gift I suppose. Should have tried downs-only, maybe I'd have had a chance with this one.

Has it only been since 2000 that we could breathe on airplanes? I would have guessed longer. It was around the same time that our fair city cleaned up the air in public buildings and restaurants as well. Some things really do improve.

David Grenier 7:27 AM  

My read on the third themer is a bit of a stretch but “raising a flag” can be communication. Flags were used in battlefields and military communications pre-radio. Semaphore is communicating with flags. Even “easing a red flag” is communicating danger.

Sure, the other two are distinctly verbal communication, but it still fits.

Lewis 7:30 AM  

What a lovely set of theme answers, all with four one-syllable words, and all with the same sing-song rhythm, capped by a nailed-it revealer. All held together by a silky-smooth group of answers, clued Monday perfect.

This is Andrea and Kevin’s fifth Monday collaboration, and may it continue!

I liked EROS echoing yesterday’s Greek mythology, as well as the libation mini-theme (PORT, ALES, BREW), not to mention the one-letter apart trio of ALEC/ALES, AREA/ARIA, and ARTS/ARCS, all starting with A.

Then, the mention of Danny KAYE made me look up that sing-song line I love from “The Court Jester”: “The pellet with the poison's in the vessel with the pestle. The chalice from the palace has the brew that is true.” (A few lines later that “chalice from the palace” is changed to the “flagon with the dragon”.)

A stellar Monday by a pair of pros that triggered my happy button. Thank you, Andrea and Kevin -- you do Crosslandia proud!

Anonymous 8:22 AM  

Easy. I am not a speed solver by any stretch of the imagination. This puzzle took just under 4 minutes. I always thought it would take 5 minutes or more simply to type in the answers if I was copying them from someplace. My average is just south of 10 minutes on Mondays. No idea of why it was so fast today. But faster was not better since I look forward to my coffee with the puzzles and I was done while it was beginning to perk.

EasyEd 8:31 AM  

Surprising personal best Monday time for me, but nothing to challenge a speed solver. The K in SKOAL gave me ROLLBACK and that led to LECH. As @Lewis indicated, thought the revealer was perfect complement to the smooth themers.

BritsolvesNYT 8:37 AM  

So… what we Brits just call Commentary you call color commentary that side of the pond? Never knew that!

pabloinnh 8:46 AM  

Well this was timely. We went to an outdoor local music fest last night, kind of a constrained space behind a building, folding chairs, small stage, that kind of thing. Shortly after we settled in, a woman came up to the folks next to us and started to blabber continuously, i. e., to TALKABLUESTREAK. She talked and talked, nor would she cease to talk. We got up and moved, but it was hard to find a spot where everyone was listening to the performers and not catching up on the news of the last five years. Maybe this is the new normal at outdoor concerts, and it was a free event, but why go to a concert if you don't want to listen to the music? I mean, really.

Otherwise this was a fine Monday with not a single proper name that was unknown, which is rare. Solid theme and nicely executed.

Well done indeed, KC and ACM. Kudos, Congratulations, And Create More of these please. Thanks for all the fun.

@Roo- 1 (one) EMMA, so I get a single "nyah". On to Croce and the Monday NYer. Just right on a rainy day.

bocamp 8:46 AM  

Thx, Kevin & ACME; perfect Mon. puz! 😊

Med.

Felt easier, but avg time, so…🀷‍♂️

Seemed very much on my wavelength.

Hooray for the RED, WHITE & BLUE ~ Tony Gentile

Got 'The Hustler' & 'My Cousin Vinny' cued for streaming this week.

Good trip! :)

Thx @jae; on it! :)
___
Emily Cox & Henry Rathvon's Feb. 21, 2010 cryptic from xwordinfo.com was fun to redo, having done it earlier this yr.
___
On to Tim Croce's #843.🀞 with Elizebeth Gorski's Mon. New Yorker on tap for tm.
___
Peace πŸ•Š πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡¦ ~ Compassion ~ Tolerance ~ Kindness ~ Freudenfreude ~ Serendipity & a DAP to all πŸ‘Š πŸ™

RooMonster 8:51 AM  

Hey All !
Nice to have an ACME sighting! Miss your commentary here.

Nice theme set, leave it up to Rex to find a flaw. The RED one is not spoken. Raise your hand if you cared about that at all. *Crickets* Oh, OK, I see now that since the Revealer is COLOR "COMMENTARY", he's saying that the RED is not "commentary" per se. I'll cut ya a little slack, Rex! 😁 Although, it could just be a comment, ala not spoken, like a "just sayin'" type thing. Am I reading into this too much?

Anyway, pretty quick puz for me today. Usually I'm hovering in the 7-8 minute range, today was 6:13! #Humblebrag

Would BE A RED HERRING be any better? Thought not. SPEAK A RED BREATH? Har.

OK, getting silly. Time to go.

Monday. SPLUT!

Three F's (one right out the gate!)
RooMonster
DarrinV

Smith 8:55 AM  

Found it easier than @Rex this morning. Don't know why but getting the first 4 downs in and seeing TALK made A BLUE STREAK want to go there... and as I continued across doing the downs it filled in super smoothly...ex ROLLBACK which didn't.

Briefly had ipaS before ALES, not at all sure of beer lingo! But over to the east there I could see a WHITE LIE forming so TELL A was required, so that took care of that.

Nice quick start to Monday, thx Kevin & Andrea!


kitshef 9:05 AM  

LENA Dunham has now been in enough puzzles that I apparently can fill her/him in without crosses.

RAISE A RED FLAG doesn't really feel like 'commentary' to me, particularly as clued.

make-WORK before BUSY WORK, and very briefly eLDERMAN before ALDERMAN.

kitshef 9:10 AM  

Croce 843 on the easy side. I had ... something else for a while at 32A.

Son Volt 9:10 AM  

Elegant early week theme. Neat themers and an apt revealer. Liked the two non-theme downs DARK MEAT and BUSY WORK. Agree with the big guy that MAKE ME is awkwardly clued. Only one real plural - BCCS but it’s a doozy.

No STENCH here - a pleasant Monday morning solve.

APB

kitshef 9:15 AM  

@okanaganer - the flag is France's. Netherlands has the same colors horizontally, but not in the same order. Ditto for Luxembourg and Russia. Pre-breakup Yugoslavia would have been perfect, with the stripes being horizontal and in the same order as the puzzle.

Bob Mills 9:23 AM  

Nice puzzle. Only tricky part for me was getting BUSYWORK (I had "easywork" at first.

I wish the revealer had added a patriotic word or phrase to the clue for COLORCOMMENTARY.

jberg 9:30 AM  

I did notice that the third commentary was not spoken, but like @Daniel, I considered that to RAISE A RED FLAG is to make a commentary on the situation, so good enough. If one is going to stick to the tricouleur, it's hard to think of a better answer -- drag a red herring fits, but is a) incomplete, and b) still not verbal.

(@Roo, the point of such discussion is not to find fault with the puzzle, but actually to notice the skill of the constructors in making both words of the revealer apply to the theme answers.)

I'm still trying to figure out how, for Rex, doing downs-clues-only, it was obvious that MOAB was not MOAt.

TITO Puente, Danny KAYE, and Stubby KAYE were all very famous back in the day--but that day was many years ago. No problem for me, I have to admit.

Charles DeG 9:35 AM  

@Bob M - Vive la France! Happy now?

Gary Jugert 9:36 AM  

It's RED, WHITE and BLUE, not any other order. What are they down at the NYTXW? A buncha commies?

-Black is the color of my true love's hair.
-Green with envy.
-Shrinking violet.
-She's my brown eyed girl.
-A hint of pink in the middle.
-Compare apples and oranges.
-When I am an old woman I shall wear purple.
-Ya yellow-bellied yahoo.

Uniclues:

1 🎡 Bring us our booze, baby. 🎢
2 Karen goes off on those of the back dock.
3 Purpose of supervisors.
4 Eau d' rubber chicken and equivocation.
5 Beach vista.

1 PORT CARRY ARIA (~)
2 SMOKE RANTFEST
3 MAKE ME BUSY WORK
4 ALDERMAN STENCH
5 A LOT OF DARK MEAT (~)

My Fascinating Crossword Uniclue Keepsake from Last Year: Result of smoking. AT FIRST, YOU'RE GROUNDED.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Anonymous 9:37 AM  

Like the 4 minute mile, I have been trying to crack the 4 minute puzzle solve, and today was 4 minutes flat - - a new personal record but one second off the elusive Roger Bannister-esque time.

Carola 9:39 AM  

Very nice! A creative nod to three colorful English expressions and so elegant and tidy - like @Rex and others, I appreciated the perfect parallel construction, having spent decades writing "non-parallel construction" in the margins of student essays that lacked it. How a grammar lover gets her jollies. Elsewhere, I especially liked MAKE ME over BUSY WORK - a flashback to my son's teen years' attitude to dopey homework assignments. Also the RANT FEST - @Gill I., the one between MOAB and the MAYOR really made me laugh.

Do-overs: Pier before PORT, Alter before ADAPT. Help from previous puzzles: NAS.

mmorgan 9:48 AM  

I did it!! My first complete 100% Downs-Only solve! What a thrill! Thank you ACME (and Kevin)!!!

Gary Jugert 10:07 AM  

Ohh rats, I forgot to mention, (sorry for a second post) the reveal for this puzzle should have been our beloved Colorado congresswoman from the 3rd District Lauren Boebert. She got kicked out of a musical at our main theater here and if you haven't seen the video it's worth a Google, because she was TALKING A BLUE STREAK (in addition to vaping, singing loudly as if she had injested cocaine, and getting felt up by her fella). Yesterday she TELLS A WHITE LIE like it's not RAISING A RED FLAG about the incident. Once again, I will apologize on behalf of all of Colorado, for our Republican voters on the western slope who knowingly and willingly and unironically thought all of the nation needed to witness the antics of this person. I've been going to that theater for more than 40 years and have never seen COLOR COMMENTARY like that ever. Oh, and off topic, go Broncos.

jb129 10:27 AM  

Very easy, enjoyable Monday. Thanks, Andrea & Kevin.

JD 10:29 AM  

Filled it in. Nice theme, no junk. Like Rex, was expecting the third theme to be form of speech but it the crossed disabused me of that notion.

@BritsolvesNYT, Color Commentary is part of sports broadcasting. It's usually a former athlete who add anecdotes or inside information related to the sport.

Nancy 10:30 AM  

An easy, pleasant puzzle with a cute revealer and no junky fill. But the revealer could have been clued entirely by TALK A BLUE STREAK -- which is right on the money for what COLOR COMMENTARY is all about.

Fair warning: RANT coming.

One of the worst inventions of my lifetime -- right next to the jackhammer and Spandex -- is COLOR COMMENTARY. Or as I like to call it: ATHLOBABBLE. This neologism can be modified to fit the arena: at Wimbledon, it's WIMBLEBABBLE and at the Billie Jean King center at Flushing Meadow, it's BILLIEBABBLE. Its worst practitioners in chronological order: Bud Collins, Mary Carillo, and John McEnroe. (Patrick's a little better.)

I often want/wanted to say to these people: "I'm sorry, but is this match interfering with your conversation?"

If you only had one play-by-play announcer and no COLOR COMMENTAtor, there'd be no second person for him or her to babble to, right?

But at least tennis ATHLOBABBLE is not riddled with testosterone. Any football I watch, I have to mute the sound. I mean, if you're a woman and you listen to that macho drivel for three hours, you'll end up growing a beard, I swear you will.

In fact, COLOR COMMENTARY may be even worse than the jackhammer and Spandex.

(Rant over.)

Steve McCraw 11:15 AM  

I struggled a bit with Cheers in Stockholm because the word is SkΓ₯l. It is pronounced Skol, so I suppose adding the "a" doesn't change the pronunciation, but I have never seen it spelled that way. Skoal is a brand of smokeless tobacco.

Upstate George 11:20 AM  

Nancy, I'm right with you on color commentary. Many years ago, a gent named John Snagge used to be the commentator for broadcasts from Wimbledon. One time, he watched a rally of easily 20 strokes in perfect silence, only commenting at the end: "Oh my." That's commentary.

Joe Dipinto 11:35 AM  

GALA is fine. "Inaugural" doesn't have to refer to post-presidential-election activities. An inaugural event can be held for the start of any person's tenure in a high-profile position, or for the opening of a major institution.

jae 11:39 AM  

@Nancy - delightful rant! Golf commentary is also annoyingly inane.

Anonymous 11:40 AM  

Nice to see LECH WaΕ‚Δ™sa in a crossword: it’s the Nobel Prize winner’s favorite pastime.

burtonkd 12:04 PM  

@Nancy - I think the consensus is that John McEnroe is a fantastic commentator, adding so much in terms of context, a player's mindset, needed changes of strategy, insider tennis talk made accessible, etc. He also doesn't talk over points: If I don't get to watch a match live, after every point, I hit fast forward to skip ahead to the next serve, and realize that I don't hear a word unless I get the timing wrong. I'm with you on Mary Carillo and football announcers, although there are some very good ones, frequently former quarterbacks or coaches. John Madden, Tony Romo to name 2.

Good Monday puzzle, but over in a flash.

Visho 12:16 PM  

Loved your rant!! And so agree!

Whatsername 12:20 PM  

@Nancy (10:30) I second your rant and that’s from a woman who regularly watches football games for 3 hours at a stretch. I wish I had a dollar for every time I’ve ever yelled JUST SHUT UP at the television. Al Michaels is the only one I can stomach for a full game but he’s always been the consummate professional. And don’t get me started on those yahoos who do the pregame shows. Most of them are insufferable.

Masked and Anonymous 12:34 PM  

yep. Noticed the same thing @RP did, about that RAISETHEREDFLAG themer, commentary-wise. Concerned m&e for a coupla nanoseconds.

Possible extra themer: PROPOSEASILVERBULLET? EMITAPURPLEHAZE? SINGAGOLDENOLDIE? CALLAYELLOWBELLY? RATEASCARLETLETTER? EXPLAINABLACKHOLE? THREATENAPINKSLIP? EMANATEAWHITENOISE? ABSORBANULTRAVIOLETRAY? REQUESTAGREENCARD? CONCOCTANECRUCLUE? Day-um, that's a pretty extra-wacko list.

staff weeject pick: NAS. Short for Nasir (his first name), I reckon. Cool. Wouldn'ta been a real good move for TITO to have done that, tho…

fave moo-cow eazy-E MonPuz clue: {The IRS's 1040, e.g.} = FORM. Audited & filed that entry, pretty darn pronto. Nice to get that gimme, right outta the chute.

other fave stuff: Any clue with "blabber" in it. DARKMEAT. BUSYWORK. STENCH. MAKEME.

Thanx for the hues and cries, Mr. Christian dude & Ms. ACME darlin. Charminly easy-ish. Come on back any old Monday. EDUCEDAROSYOUTLOOK.

Masked & Anonymo2Us


**gruntz**

ac 12:52 PM  

great puzzle... and I don't see the issue with raise a red flag you can only do said action by Saying something its not implicit unless its spoken... you can't raise a red flag unless you Say Something! how else could you?

TGIM..

Anonymous 12:55 PM  

Or moan
Or moas

Carola 1:34 PM  

@Nancy re: RANT - I am so with you. "My" sport is collegiate women's Division I volleyball, which is finally getting much deserved attention from major TV broadcasters. The downside? Right, the non-stop COLOR COMMENTARY, filling every nanosecond with the self-evident, the trite, the irrelevant, the downright wrong.... I watch on mute.

Anonymous 2:28 PM  

Totally agree. I’m Danish and while we also say skΓ₯l the alternate (old fashioned) spelling would be skaal. I would have thought the same for Swedish.

Anonymous 3:05 PM  

Skimmed the comments and didn't see this, apologies if I missed it. Note to Rex: "Rollback" is Walmart's version of "sale price". Props to you that you don't know this!

kitshef 3:15 PM  

+1 for Nancy's rant and x10 for 'sideline reporters'. Why do all sports divisions spend so much money to hire extraneous people that detract from the experience of watching sports?

Mike Kelley 3:38 PM  

@Whatsername I was doing the same thing last night on Sunday Night Football. Collinsworth, especially. Color commentators think they're like the DJs of yore (talking up each play right to the snap, as the DJs would talk up a record intro right to the first lyric) so there isn't an IOTA of silence. And oh, the inanity, with such useful insights as "They're going to need to score more often if they plan to catch up." I understand that stations used to offer a "stadium feed" alternate audio channel on broadcasts that just gave you the crowd noise with no announcers but have since stopped. I want that back.

dgd 5:21 PM  

Sari Tomei really made me laugh! (And puns usually don’t)

Anoa Bob 5:36 PM  

Here's what I do much of the time while watching sports on TV. I mute the sound and turn on some music. It's surprising how little I miss without the commentary. About the same as if I were watching the event live. Plus the commercials lose much of their intrusive obnoxiousness.

dgd 5:38 PM  

Beach vista/a lot of dark meat
Is one of your best!

Anonymous 6:09 PM  

Same here - I just couldn’t see it as Skoal, very frustrating

Whatsername 6:31 PM  

@Mike Kelley (3:38) Collinsworth is the worst IMO, followed very closely by Joe Buck. Like fingernails on a blackboard. And apparently we aren’t the only ones who think so. I discovered there’s a whole Facebook page devoted to the subject.

Nancy 7:50 PM  

@Carola -- Well, at least the golf commentators whisper. Although it is the sort of over-the-top stage whisper that calls attention to itself.

@burtonkd -- I used to love McEnroe's commentary, but not so much anymore. When he first started out, he never talked over points and he put the viewer right on the court with the players: how they moved and where they stood and what grip they used (and what shots it didn't work so well for) and was it the new balls that caused that errant shot and should his strings be tighter and which shot is hardest to hit with a pulled right thigh muscle and why his opponent should be hitting the ball there. He was a repository of inside, behind-the-scenes tennis shot-making and strategy and I adored him.

But he's covered many too many hours-long matches with no suspense at all as to the outcome and his boredom shows. When it's a first week mismatch and it's early in the set (early being before it's say, 4-3) he talks about everything BUT what's happening on the court: What happened three months when the players faced each other in Miami; who's that basketball player sitting in Player A's box? And will the Lakers beat the Celtics in the game tonight? and Who do you think will meet in the quarters of the women's draw? He just won't shut up until the set becomes close and/or the outcome seems uncertain.

When Mac is blabbing away, nonstop, about anything and everything, I know it's not a very good match and I should probably go do something else. But in the late stages of a well-played thriller, admittedly there's NO ONE I'd rather have calling it. At his best he's brilliant.



CWT 12:16 AM  

I agree completely, but let me add that these days the baseball broadcasters are even worse. They yak back and forth, paying no attention at all to what’s happening in the game!

CWT 12:19 AM  

Yeah, you’re right, but “shoal” is by now a pretty common (more or less accepted) misspelling in English

Anonymous 12:36 AM  

Cute theme and construction. Good puzzle for newbies.

Certain irony in those who obliterated the historic three posts and out daily limit on this blog complaining about professionals who comment on sporting events for a (very lucrative) living. Joe Buck BTW is a play by play announcer not a color commentator. His color commenters - Troy Aikman (football) and for years the wonderful late Tim McCarver (baseball) did not suffer from logorrhea.

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