Constructor: John Westwig
Relative problem: Medium
Phrase of the Day: THE CATCH (13A: Well-known game-saving 1954 World Collection play by Willie Mays) —
The Catch was a baseball play made by New York Giants heart fielder Willie Mayson September 29, 1954, throughout Sport 1 of the 1954 World Collection on the Polo Grounds in Higher Manhattan, New York Metropolis. Throughout the eighth inning with the rating tied 2–2, Cleveland Indians batter Vic Wertz hit a deep fly ball to heart subject that had the runners on base poised to attain. Nevertheless, Mays made an over-the-shoulder catch whereas on the run to document the out, and his throw again to the infield prevented the runners from advancing. The Giants gained the sport 5–2 in additional innings, and finally the World Collection. The Catch is considered one of many best performs in baseball historical past. (wikipedia)
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Bizarre U-shaped starting to this resolve, as I went ETHOS, SEEPED, after which, tentatively, JIBED (8D: Agreed). IRANI was additionally tentative, although JAM UP was extra assured, and at last UNO CARD went in, the very first thing that really felt rock stable (11D: Skip or Reverse). That reply may have been the spotlight of this puzzle for me, as PINERY (?) set issues on a tough observe (12D: Dole Plantation, e.g.), after which the primary marquee reply, HOLD A SEANCE, continued down that observe, solely slightly extra so. Look, HOLD A SEANCE shouldn’t be precisely EAT A SANDWICH in its arbitrary verb-phrasiness, nevertheless it’s undoubtedly EAT A SANDWICH-esque. HOLD A SEANCE is tighter, for positive, extra centered. I do not even dislike it, actually. It is simply that … there are solely two different solutions in the entire puzzle which can be this lengthy or longer, so it is bearing lots of weight, this reply; perhaps if the remainder of the grid had been actually buzzing, HOLD A SEANCE would appear like a fantastic, even colourful addition to the celebration. However the vivid, longer solutions are merely few and much between in the present day, and the opposite stuff is merely OK. HOLD A SEANCE is not actually as much as the duty of being one among so few marquee solutions in the present day. Early within the resolve, that reply simply felt a bit clunky, *as marquee solutions go*, and it did not really feel like a harbinger of fine. As soon as I dropped via NOT GOOD and CRAPPY, it felt just like the grid was attempting to inform me one thing. Confessing one thing.
I do not truly suppose the puzzle was CRAPPY, however … take CRAPPY (38A: Dangerous). I actually hate it in my grid. I imply, I say it, on occasion, nevertheless it’s an unsightly phrase. It makes the grid ugly and miserable in a approach that CRUMMY or CRUDDY simply would not. IOSAPP can be ugly, differently—a considerably worse approach, as a result of it feels prefer it desires to be unique and recent, nevertheless it simply seems made-up and peculiar. I imply, it is an actual factor, nevertheless it’s simply not an entertaining reply. Feels pressured. PRSAVVY additionally feels pressured. Very pressured. Like, extraordinarily pressured. PRSKILLS googles twice as properly, and even that feels slightly iffy. I get that the it should be tempting to debut a solution, however perhaps that reply in your swollen wordlist is not … nice. Think about it.
At all times good to study one thing from a crossword after which be capable of put it to make use of … fifteen years later (!). What else? Unsure why we’re nonetheless doing Harry Potter clues, truthfully. I imply, for those who’ve obtained SNAPE, then you do not actually have another cluing choices, however RAT!? To be clear, I’m, in actual fact, attempting to “cancel” J.Ok. Rowling. That’s exactly what’s going on. I will not succeed. However she’s the wealthy white nice-lady face of a worldwide bigotry motion, so … move. “RAP GOD” feels exceedingly laborious as clued (17D: Eminem observe with the Guinness World Document for “most phrases in a success single”). I am not practically as rap-averse as lots of you—not rap-averse in any respect, in actual fact—however the very existence of this track was information to me. However I do not thoughts it, in you could infer the reply from honest crosses, and also you study a little bit of trivia alongside the best way. I obtained super-annoyed on the puzzle once I tried to maneuver up into the NW nook from beneath, in the direction of the top, and whereas I might work out CHAI TEA from -TEA (2D: Cardamom-containing coffeehouse creation), the opposite two 7-letter Downs main up into that part have been giving me -ING and … -ING (not useful!):
Fortunately THE CATCH ended up being a gimme, and the nook fell from there. Solely actual error in the present day got here slam-bang in the course of the puzzle, the place, confronted with -DDAYS at 34A: Romps, I wrote in SALAD DAYS. However then I obtained out of that jam with the assistance of the LADIES, who gave me the “L”—”Take the L,” they stated (This appeared unkind … however then I understood). The “L” helped me ditch SALAD and substitute it with totally different greenery: FIELD! I completed the puzzle having no thought how I used to be speculated to get from [Unsalted, perhaps] to ICY. Simply baffled. Was serious about snacks, cocktails … folks’s inclinations … it was solely after I began down the street of “what are some issues which can be ICY?” that I stumble on “sidewalks in winter,” and bam, the connection between salt and ice unexpectedly made sense. Possibly if I would solved this puzzle in winter, that connection would’ve been clearer. We actually salt our walkway and sidewalk a number of occasions every winter to maintain ourselves and our neighbors from, you realize, dying. However right here in early November, no ice as but, so the clue didn’t compute. And in the present day, no ice once more. 70 levels in actual fact. Gonna go soak it in whereas I can. Take pleasure in the remainder of your day.
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