Thursday, March 4, 2021

Thursday, March 4, 2021, Blake Slonecker

Was it just yesterday that I said I don't FWOE so much these days? I ask, dear readers, because I FWOED again today. I had the entire grid complete - rebii and all - except the first square of the second word of the revealer, which, unfortunately for me, crossed a Down I didn't know ("Georgia senator Ossoff"). I mentioned my predicament to Horace this morning. He said I should be able to figure out the name of the "classic sports video game" if I put my mind to it. So, I ran the alphabet, thinking the answer would jump out at me. Well, it might have, except that I kinda sorta skipped over I J and K, like you do, because they aren't worth the effort, until they are. So, I ended up in the incorrect 'rAM'/'rON'. The right answer is NBA JAM and JON Ossoff. I must admit, NBA JAM *is* a particularly apt hint to the rebus in today's puzzle for which one must jam the three letters N B A into one square - so apt, in fact, that I have to credit Horace's contention that I could have figured it out. Come to think of it, one might argue it's even more apt - or apt on another level - this being March, and all. Isn't there something called March Madness that relates to basketball? I kid, I kid, I know that's really Spring Training. Of the theme answers my favorite was SUSA[NBA]NTHONY, although CANADIA[NBA]CON isn't the wurst. 

The puzzle sported some additional athletics-related theme material including "Like games decided by buzzer beaters" (CLOSE), Org. for drivers (PGA) ; LAILA Ali, and "All-time single-season hits leader in M.L.B. history (262)" (ICHIRO). 

I also spotted a small sub-theme of various monies: Swiss bread" (FRANC), "Divisions of a krone" (ORE), "Not worth a ____" (SOU), and "Bread" (DINERO) - maybe because sports ball is so remunerative? 


Nice hidden capital with "All alternative (TIDE), along with some clever QMCs: "Still making cartoons?" (CEL), "Lower?" (COW), and "Bumper-to-bumper activity?" (PI[NBA]LL), and "Space oddity" (UFO). I enjoyed CUKE and POTSHOT as fill. Also, I can't wait to use my "Stamp collector?" (PASSPORT) again!



  1. Well, Frannie, don't feel too bad, because I DNF'd too, and on an even crazier square. I had ePI for the "Nail polish brand," and I couldn't for the life of me parse the cross properly. I kept thinking to myslef, "Susan Bantheny? Who the hell is that?" Sigh. A Kitwo moment if ever there were one. And there were.

  2. Despite the sports-based theme/rebus, I did fine on this one. I don't know this ICHIRO person, but the crosses were mostly reasonable (I made an educated guess for "THA Crossroads" since I'd never heard it (or of it)). I'd heard of NBA/JAM, even though I've never played it, so was able to put that in without running the alphabet, and the rest of it fell without much resistance in 20:37. No one likes NEWBOR[NBA]BIES, so I guess that's my least favorite, but I do love a great PI[NBA]LL machine, so I'll go with that as my fave.