Sunday, March 31, 2019

Sunday, March 31, 2019, Andrew J. Ries


Today's theme is SACRIFICE. Is it the sacrifice of money that you need to make to buy a ticket to a professional baseball game? (The average price for Field Box seats at Fenway is now over $150.00 per ticket.) Is it the sacrifice in time, energy, and emotional well-being that so many diehard fans make? Or is it the sacrifice in health and longevity that professional athletes sometimes make by choosing to use steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs? I cannot say.


OKSURE, lots of people seem to like baseball. And I, myself, still enjoy a day at the park INPERSON with a friend, but you've gotta admit that the whole thing has gotten a little out of control, don't you?

But back to the puzzle, where we try to evaluate the sacrifices made to accommodate a complex theme. Today I feel there are several entries that ARENOT particularly ATHROB. There's ALLELE, ALIENEE, WAF, PERI, ELHI, and NOB, and the unusual TOILETBAG (I usually think of it as a "toiletry kit"), SCRUBSUITS (usually just "scrubs"), and WHEELNUT (usually lug nut), the old-timey MAUDE and ADLAI... and what the hell is an ONLAY (109A: Bit of dental work)? And why is the UVULA "something seen with a tiny flashlight? It's visible in any light. Because doctors sometimes shine a light onto it? OK, maybe... but is that light so tiny?

I did enjoy the clues for FLYROD (103A: Casting choice) and CHASER (11D: Drink after drink?). And I appreciate the effort of trying to make some clues more "baseball-y," like 36D: Hit sign (SRO), 56D: Related to pitches (TONAL), and 16A: Dugout propeller (OAR).

As you can see, I didn't particularly love this one. Hopefully, you liked it just fine.

- Horace


  1. Oh, it wasn't that bad. I too enjoyed the baseball sounding clues that led to non-baseball answers. Furthermore, you have to admire that each team name, hidden in the theme answers, are fully in order (with an extra letter) rather than needing to be anagrammed. SCRUBSUITS, though is just silly.

  2. 34:07
    I liked this one just fine, too. And I often like higher ticket prices because it keeps out the rabble, and kids. I'm not sure I follow some of the circles, though. I mean, GRAYSCALE has circles around the RAYSC, but aren't the Rays the team? So why the "C" circled at the end? Same with FREDSAVAGE, where FREDS is circled. Anyway, there is some junk in there, but all-in-all it's not too terrible, and my time fell right in my nice Sunday zone.

    1. Huygens - if you take the extra letters from top to bottom, they spell out SACRIFICE. Which is kind of clever because you need to sacrifice those letters to make the teams work.

    2. There's even a note to that effect (at least if your software shows notes). Which I thought was perhaps a bit too explicit, but then again I only read the note after I'd more or less figured out the theme.

    3. Thanks Colum! I see that now. And Mr. Kingdon, I use Across Lite to solve, which doesn't show notes, so I didn't see that.