Hey, everybody! Glad to be back again for another week of blogging. It's been a highly eventful weekend for yours truly, including the great and exciting opportunity to sing Mozart's Requiem with the Philadelphia Orchestra at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, where the orchestra has its summer residence. It was awesome! Such an amazing ensemble.
Today, also exciting, I went with my brother and nephew to the Baseball Hall of Fame. For somebody who's lived less than two hours from Cooperstown for ten years, and who has been a diehard Red Sox fan for all of his life, it's been pretty odd that I haven't made the trek before this, but no point in crying over spilled milk. I caught, just out of the corner of my eye, a replay of Bucky f-ing Dent's homerun, but was assuaged by footage from 2004 and 2018.
But let's get this ball rolling on the blog, shall we? Literally, as it turns out. Mr. Steinberg has provided us four 2x2 squares where the word BALL rolls around as it moves from left to right, along with four long answers where the alternate configurations of the word make sense. In order to make the answers work, you have to roll with the punches through the extra letters. The odd one is clearly THEHOTL[BA]LTIMORE. Even though the clue specifically tells you the E is missing from the word "hotel," I was confused, partly because there is an E right next to the answer in the correct location (but on the other side).
Cleverly, Mr. Steinberg has included two bonus theme answers in the NE and SW in GOESFORASPIN and TURNTURNTURN. He's nicely separated these answers from all the other theme answers, which presumably allowed for better smooth fill.
Some good clues today include 105A: Producer of brown eggs (CADBURY) - brown because they're chocolate of course, and some of my favorite seasonal candy. Another favorite is 87D: Leave off, as the last word of a (OMIT). Hah!
Nothing I was disturbed by today, so that makes for a good start to the week. Let's keep it rolling!