Monday, April 3, 2017

Monday, April 3, 2017, Agnes Davidson and Zhouqin Burnikel


It's Opening Day for Major League Baseball today, and the NYTX is celebrating with BALLPARKFIGURES (39A: Rough estimates ... or what the ends of 17-, 24-, 52- and 65-Across are?). Here in Boston, the early morning temperature is in the mid-thirties and there's still some snow on the ground. Hardly the kind of weather one associates with a day at Fenway. [It warmed up about twenty degrees and ended up being a pretty nice day for a game after all. - Ed.]

This played slightly tougher than Mondays usually do for me, mostly because of the SCRAG (22D: One who's all skin and bones)/RHEAS (32A: Cousins of emus) cross. I'm not sure I've ever heard anyone use the term SCRAG before.

I guess the theme density up top must have created some challenges, as we have a not-so-lovely string of PATEK, OTERI, and RERAN up in the North, and I never love seeing brand names like ALEVE, KIA, or AFLAC. But I'm not IRATE or anything, and really, the crosswordese is usually just a BLUR on a Monday. OREO, AFRO, NTH, SKA, NAPA, NERO, LEA, ARIA, ERAS... and then there's INE (10D: Suffix with serpent). SOB.

1A: Inflated senses of self (EGOS): C-  Deduction for plural. Odd clue.
Favorite clue: 13D: Tree huggers? (SLOTHS)
Strangest clue: 26D: Fruits that are a little grittier than apples (PEARS)

- Horace


  1. 3:46
    A ton of crosswordese, as you mentioned, but I overlook all of it because the Red Sox won opening day. Good times.

    On the other hand... is PUMPKINCOACH really acceptable?

  2. 8:26 (typical for Monday)

    You know, I can't argue with "strange" regarding the PEARS clue, but if I think about the texture of a pear, I'd have to say I agree. So thumbs up on this one.

    My big gripe was TOILE crossing KALEL. Had to guess on that. On the plus side, after I was done an internet image search for toile shows a whole bunch of beautiful (to my eyes) results.

    Little surprised they missed the baseball clue for ERAS. I mean, maybe not a great way to clue it in general, but for a baseball themed puzzle?

    Not sure what would be wrong with PUMPKINCOACH. I mean, a coach is a thing, and Cinderella's was made from a pumpkin, so......

    Overall, well not great for the reasons given in the review. I'll agree with the high marks​ for SLOTHS. That was my favorite answer too.

  3. I don't like WATER PITCHER (52A: waiter's refilling aid). Not a term I ever hear used. The term is PITCHER. Perhaps it has water in it. Just feels like a stretch to make the theme.

  4. 7:16
    I'm not thrilled with PUMPKINCOACH, and what, KALEL is not well known? BAE is current, but not something that I use. Shout out to NASA (not NAPA).