(updated 9:30 AM Sunday)
Hi, Evad here, quickly jumping in for the traveling Orange,
(Right now our hometown Red Sox are trailing the Texas Rangers 5-4 in the 5th...I wonder if the game will be over before I finish this post?)
Constructor Bill Zais's name was new to me, but on Kevin McCann's cruciverb.com site, I see he's had many puzzles, some with his co-constructor today, the prodigious Nancy Salomon.
The circles in the center of the puzzle trace a baseball diamond, with four rebuses representing the four bases at the corners--HOME, FIRST, SECOND and THIRD.
Along the base paths, starting (of course) from HOME, our batter answers the clue (in the Across Lite Notepad) "Now I've seen everything!" with THAT'S A [FIRST] (maybe this is this batter's debut?). He then STEALS [SECOND]. The crowd roars! He then responds to the clue "Show" with FINISH [THIRD], rounding the base to STAYED [HOME], which he certainly is glad he did not, as he scores the run!
Other baseball puns pepper the corners of the grid--FIELD TRIPS is clued as "Cause of some baseball errors?", PARK RANGER is a Texas ballplayer (speaking of the Rangers, they're still leading our Sox, 5-4 in the 6th),
Other nice fill includes SLIPSTREAM, PIED-Á-TERRE, and MOBILE [HOME], clued as "Object of tornado destruction" (it does seem like they are tornado magnets, doesn't it?) There's also a definite druggy vibe with LSD and (Crystal) METH.
A couple areas I went astray: SEE YOU for SO LONG, TRY for SIP and BOO for COO (the last clued as, "Sound from the rafters"--I have to believe that misdirection was intended!) Also, LEHRS was new to me, but gettable from the crossers. And finally, [THIRD] ESTATE sounded only vaguely familiar. (The first are clergy, the second nobility, and the third, everyone left over. A cheer from the commoners!)
A home run from Nancy and Bill!
Deb Amlen brings us today's WaPo, with another baseball-themed idea. She starts 7 theme phrases with common baseball verbs, clued instead as a discussion between 2 baseball execs about signing a free-agent.
Lots of tea-related clues in the WaPo:
Today's LAT breaks the string of baseball themes with "Home Remodeling," a puzzle by Dan Naddor. Ten theme entries take phrases with features of a home and anagram ("remodel") the "homey" word. Fave entries included: BOREDOM (BEDROOM) EYES for "Ennui indicator?" and RICKETY SITARS (STAIRS) for "Poorly built Asian strings?" (If you're playing from your own home, the other 8 anagrams are of DEN, STUDY, KITCHEN, CELLAR, DOOR, BASEMENT, POOL and ATTIC.) I liked the idea, and was impressed with two long theme entries running down the NW and SE only a square apart. The inconsistency of most (but not all) entries being names of rooms bothered me just a tad, but I quickly recovered.
As for the fill, I liked the clue "Revolution period?" for YEAR, the word CAVORT (does anyone CAVORT these days?), and the consonant-rich PRMAN for "Spin doc."
Now I guess I'll fade back into Bolivian myself...