Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Tuesday, July 13, 2021, Bruce Haight

Hey all - hope everyone enjoyed the interlude provided by Cece yesterday. I think it adds a lovely piquant flavor to the daily grind.

Speaking of which, I feel like it's been some time since Dr. Haight produced a puzzle for our enjoyment. I was very glad to meet him at the ACPT some years back. He has a great sense of humor, and comes up with fun themes for the puzzle.

Today's fits in an oversized 16 x 15 grid, allowing two 16-letter grid spanners. All four long answers are common sayings in the English language which have arisen from baseball. Ah, baseball. For some, it conjures up that all-American feeling, the green grass, the warm air, the smell of roasted peanuts and the crack of the bat. For others, I imagine it's just more sportsball. 

Put me in the former school. I appreciated all the extra material Dr. Haight squeezed in, from 27A: "Kill the ump!," e.g. (CRY) to 6D: Kind of pitcher (RELIEF), to 29D: Like a team on a day off (IDLE), to 39D: An umpire's outstretched arms signified this (SAFE) to 48D: Certain worker in a stadium (USHER). Very cute that 65A: Pitchers (EWERS) breaks this trend at the end of the puzzle.

Therese Malfatti, not ELISE

Meanwhile, GRAMOPHONE is a lovely callback to the days when baseball was fresh and new, while an INSECTBITE would be an unwelcome souvenir of an afternoon in the bleachers. 

On the other side, I'm not a huge fan of OWOW. I tried Ouch and OWie first, before submitting to the actual answer. EWW is one of those answers where the middle letter could conceivably go either way.  But these are small concerns. 

I'd be NUTSO to call foul on this puzzle.

- Colum


  1. I always enjoyed going to a baseball game, but mostly because I enjoyed keeping score and getting the various treats that one gets there, including the program, which I always went through page by page. Sue, of course, will have none of it, so I rarely go now. Also, strange how difficult it is to figure out the true dedicatee of "Fur Elise." One copy of the sheet music that I have said the he composed it for his "physician's daughter," which seems highly unlikely. I know that I'd be hard-pressed to write a piece of music for some incidental acquaintance. ISEE from the Google that there are three main candidates in the running nowadays, all of whom make more sense than the one on that particular copy that I own (I have three, I think). Anyway, yes, nice puzzle with an excellent and enjoyable theme. 7:08 for me, right about where I belong on a Tuesday.

  2. Did anyone else think an aERO(naut) might deserve a ticker tape parade? Well, not me either, really, as as soon as I saw HERO I realized it was a better answer.

  3. Just saw this one - hope to see you guys at the ACPT next spring! I just got my booster so I'm good against Covid for years!