Thursday, April 5, 2018

Thursday, April 5, 2018, David J. Kahn


What a beautiful day for a ball game. Let's play two!

When I was a kid, I used to spin fantasies of the Red Sox winning the World Series (seemed impossible back then). Invariably, it would come down to exactly this situation. BOTTOMOFTHENINTH, BASESLOADED, TWOMENOUT, FULLCOUNT, DOWNBYTHREE. And Jim Rice would stride to the plate. Or sometimes it was Dewey Evans. Anyway... Pow! There it goes!

Let's just forget I had to wait another 20 years or so to see the Sox actually win it all.

Anyway, it's Spring, based on the calendar. It's 36 degrees outside, based on reality. The Sox are in extras right now in Boston against the Rays, so the game is AFOOT. The jokes in today's puzzle are definitely groaners. My favorite has to be 17A: Bass part in Beethoven's "Choral" Symphony? Some extra theme material today include Mr. Nolan RYAN, NYMET, STL, and TEN, the astonishing number of World Series rings owned by Yogi Berra as a player.

Some good clues today. I particularly like 10D: Met demands? (ARIAS). I'm less fond of 5D: Need for making soap from sap? (ANO). To that, I say MEH!

Actually, can you say "meh" with an exclamation point? That seems to be the exact opposite of its meaning.

I am amused that KAFKA crosses FATES, especially when clued with such a fatalistic quotation.

On the whole, although I enjoyed solving this puzzle, it felt more like a Wednesday offering. I'm still waiting for Thursday to regain its tricksiness.

On to the turn!

- Colum


  1. 8:54
    Agree about the difficulty level, but as we've read and said in the past, all Will Shortz is aiming for is that Thursday be slightly harder than Wednesday and slightly easier than Friday, and that was the case for me this week.
    Cute (but not too tricky) clue for SANANDREAS (It's California's fault), and I really liked "Yarn that stretches" for SAGA. Heh.

    And LOU should be added to the bonus material, too (Brock in Cooperstown). He was always the easiest one to identify when my brothers and I would play "name that batter" as we mimicked at-bat antics. And me, I enjoyed the clue for ANO. :)

  2. Well, I liked ANO and perhaps more to the point, I totally fell for it. Had LYE for a while, was trying to wrack my brain about soap making, all that sort of thing. Eventually got it from crosses and was like "oh, I see what they did there. Pretty clever".

    My time was 26:27 which is typical to fast for a Thursday and would have been faster if I had noticed the spelling of Parlement sooner.

  3. 18:16
    Like Mr. Kingdon, This is a typical time for a Thursday for me. MEH theme, which I figured out from BOTTOMOFTHENINTH (also my favorite of the bunch). I was happy with the clue for EWOK, and look forward to seeing that movie again in the near future; maybe I can convince Sue to view "Empire" tonight, which will get us one step closer to that goal. I never heard of LOU Brock, unsurprisingly.