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New York Times, Saturday, October 3, 2015

Author:
Barry C. Silk
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
929/1/20037/8/20166
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358532741
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.651215
Barry C. Silk

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 68, Blocks: 32 Missing: {VZ} This is puzzle # 89 for Mr. Silk. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Barry C. Silk notes:
For years I have posed the following puzzle to fellow baseball fans: can you explain how a QUADRUPLE PLAY can occur and why the fourth ... read more

For years I have posed the following puzzle to fellow baseball fans: can you explain how a QUADRUPLE PLAY can occur and why the fourth out would be necessary? (I believe this has actually never occurred in major league baseball.) No one I've asked so far has been able to answer this correctly. I'll leave it as an exercise to the reader to solve it (or google it).

I thought this would be a cool entry in crossword puzzle (my seed entry) but thought that providing a good clue for it would be a challenge. Anyway, I guess Will Shortz thought it would be a fun entry also.

COLOR WHEEL and SQUEAK TOY were my secondary seeds.

Jeff Chen notes:
Interesting layout. As I solved, I thought there weren't very many long slots, but it turns out there are quite a few — just ... read more

Interesting layout. As I solved, I thought there weren't very many long slots, but it turns out there are quite a few — just more spread out than I'm used to. I really liked the colorful KNEE BENDS and SPLIT ENDS types of entries. Nice to see a few more in STALE JOKE, FRONT PAGE, and COLOR WHEEL. Spacing the great stuff around the grid has the beneficial effect of not having all your best material only concentrated in the four corners.

House of Cleopatra at DELOS

QUADRUPLE PLAY is going to be pretty ho-hum to the solvers who complain that crosswords feature way too much baseball. I personally like rules — more accurately, trying to figure out loopholes around them — so I had fun trying to understand this one. Seems like a fourth out can be declared in many different ways, all of which depend on extremely unlikely circumstances.

I'll admit, I still don't really get how any of them actually work.

Given that some of the long slots were filled with neutralish answers (SCENARIO and SPOILAGE), there were fewer feature entries than I like to see in a themeless. So it's a shame two of them fell slightly short for me: SQUEAK TOY is a legitimate term, but SQUEAKY TOY sounds so much better to my ear (and it gets almost twice as many Google hits). COFFEE RUSH is a concept I understand as coffee is an important part of my day, but it doesn't sound quite right. CAFFEINE RUSH? COFFEE BUZZ? COFFEE HIGH? Hmm, not sure — none of them sounds dead-on perfect.

Some tough entries/clues in the puzzle:

  • FiOS apparently is a Verizon service, apparently standing for "Fiber Optic Service."
  • How is TWIT a [Goose]? I believe it's in the "silly goose" sense.
  • OYEZ! is a term I learned from crosswords. I didn't know it could be spelled OYES, which made it very hard to guess correctly, especially considering ...
  • DELOS. Dang it, I got fooled by knowledge that Barry likes to work in J Q X Zs. I filled in DELOZ with such confidence. Sigh.
Jim Horne notes:
Yes, a baseball QUADRUPLE PLAY is at least theoretically possible according to the rules. A fourth out can be called to cancel a ... read more

Yes, a baseball QUADRUPLE PLAY is at least theoretically possible according to the rules. A fourth out can be called to cancel a scored run on a triple play that should be disallowed because of, say, a base-running error. Baseball-Reference.com has an example.

I applaud a puzzle that encourages you to look up something that you not only didn't know, but that you assumed must be impossible. Bravo.

1
M
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I
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N
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S
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K
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C
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U
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F
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F
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F
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C
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A
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Q
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A
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C
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H
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© 2015, The New York TimesNo. 1003 ( 24,070 )
Across
1
1960-62 home of Lee Harvey Oswald : MINSK
6
Place for a link : CUFF
10
Craft for amphibious operations, for short : LSTS
14
Shadow, e.g. : SPYON
15
Sooner in history? : OKIE
16
In a row : ATIT
17
"He listens well who takes notes" writer : DANTE
18
A-1 : FRONTPAGE
20
Word after better or behave : ONESELF
22
Signature attire for Archie : SWEATER
23
Wail producer : SAX
24
Honey bunch? : BEES
26
Like an outboard motor : ASTERN
27
Propriety : DECENCY
29
Sch. with a campus in Panama City : FSU
30
Hypothetical situation : SCENARIO
32
Infamous trial site : SALEM
34
Super-rare feat in baseball lore : QUADRUPLEPLAY
36
Gathers : CULLS
37
Cause of a bad-smelling refrigerator : SPOILAGE
38
Coat part : HEM
39
1968 hit by the Dells whose title precedes "the time," "the place," "the girl" and "the face" : THEREIS
40
Prohibition enforcer : RAIDER
43
Goose : TWIT
44
Metro line: Abbr. : RTE
47
"Aha!" : IKNEWIT
49
Baleful affair? : HOEDOWN
51
It's not very funny anymore : STALEJOKE
53
What "check" could mean : NOBET
54
The "him" in the 1939 film line "I won't let you take him!" : TOTO
55
Insurance company based in Pennsylvania : ERIE
56
Oil or ink additive : DRIER
57
Cry for silence and attention : OYES
58
Color akin to cyan : TEAL
59
Like the Sahara : SANDY
Down
1
It ran on many clones : MSDOS
2
Close-Up competitor, once : IPANA
3
A Verizon forerunner : NYNEX
4
They often get smashed : SOTS
5
Lower-body exercise : KNEEBENDS
6
Morning buzz, maybe : COFFEERUSH
7
2014 revolution site: Abbr. : UKR
8
Verizon service : FIOS
9
1912 and 2013 World Series setting : FENWAY
10
Wash against : LAPAT
11
Capitol display : STATEFLAG
12
Semiprecious pendant option : TIGERSEYE
13
Chest protector : STERNUM
19
Some offensive N.F.L. players, briefly : TES
21
Old alternative to a Rabbit : LECAR
25
Scrap : SNIPPET
27
Pass out on game night? : DEAL
28
Shades are placed around it : COLORWHEEL
30
Diversion for a baby or a puppy : SQUEAKTOY
31
Wind up : CULMINATE
32
Trichoptilosis, familiarly : SPLITENDS
33
Bad-news lead-in : ALAS
35
Letters associated with animal sounds : EIEIO
36
Big name in environmental art : CHRISTO
39
727, e.g. : TRIJET
41
Center of the Cyclades : DELOS
42
Pronoun in a rebus puzzle : EWE
44
Sidekick of 1960s TV : ROBIN
45
Coat material : TWEED
46
Password provision : ENTRY
48
Barreled : TORE
50
"I Married ___" (1987 ABC sitcom) : DORA
52
Soul producer : KIA

Answer summary: 6 unique to this puzzle.

Found bugs or have suggestions?