Sunday, June 26, 2016

Sunday, June 26, 2016, Priscilla Clark and Jeff Chen

Sports Page Headlines

Great Sunday theme! The answers are funny because they are true. And by true, I mean because they seem like they *could* appear on a sports page. Well, I'm not actually sure about that. I know a fair amount about sports as concerns the rules of play and the teams involved, but I know very little about  leagues, subdivisions, and so forth. So, maybe the Mariners can never play the Pirates due to some obscure geographical, financial, or random circumstance, but, if they could, and did, this would be a nice headline: MARINERSBATTLEPIRATES. Ha! I think all the theme answers are pretty damn good, but PADRESBOWTOCARDINALS might be my favorite. It's also where I got a little hung up. I guessed 'nod' in place of BOW, and refused to recognize my mistake. Horace showed me the error of my ways.

There's a lot of good material in this grid. I love OHBOOHOO (20A. Unsympathetic response to a complainer) and vow to incorporate it into my everyday vocabulary. Maybe I'll also incorporate HOTPANTS into my wardrobe. Ha! The ADOBE/ABODE pairing at 15 & 80A is nice. I noticed four queens in the grid: BEE, BEY, DRAMA, and SHEBA (admitted, that last is somewhat oblique).  And speaking of counting, maybe Huygens enjoyed the math involved in 65A, Eight days after the nones (IDES).

I learned that UCLA is the most-applied-to sch. in the U.S. And that a BIALY is a kind of savory baked good. Who knew?

I know the question mark clues are somewhat controversial with this crowd - although I think that's less the case on a Sunday - but I, for one, welcome today's interrobang overlords. To wit:
Dear one? at 100A (DIARY).
22A. Italian vessel? (CRUET) - excellent clue and answer.
131A. Faulty connections? (BADDATES) - nice double DD in this one, eh?
And how about 84D. Gets fitted for a suit? (LAWYERSUP). Now that's legit. :)

In short, I am straight liking this puzzle. GTG.

~ Frannie.


  1. I had a fun time figuring out the theme answers. NATIONALSTOPPLEROYALS seems slightly off - who are these "nationals" in the wacky non-baseball sense? Peasants? I think this one should have been "Yankees topple Royals". I loved Queen BEE and Queen BEY. That's nice work.

    In the interests of clarification, I have no problem with a well-worked question mark clue. I just think there are plenty that could be done without a question mark, and the revelation of the answer would be that much more fun.

  2. 36:41
    This ran a bit fast for my taste, but I really enjoyed the theme, even though I don't generally enjoy sports too much. YANKEESDEFEATREDS (68A Cold War synopsis) is excellent, as are HOTPANTS, both of which I starred. I agree with Frannie on the ADOBE/ABODE pairing, but I put IDES in without doing much math at all. Interesting trivia re: COURIC, and it would have been nice to see a more risque clue for ASSES. 17D Pitched poorly (OUTOFTUNE) was some nice misdirection given the theme, IMO. What about COATRACK? B-?

  3. I liked this one. Breezed through it, but fwowed (how does one spell that, anyway?) on BIALY. I've made the "biali" mistake before, and even as I entered it I thought I'd better go back and check it before the end... but did I?

    I think my favorite might be TIGERSCANTHANDLECUBS (despite the interleague play) because "can't handle" is a nine-letter space to fill, and it seems to me an inspired solution. I also loved "Cowardly Lion harasser" (TOTO). That's quality cluing!