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New York Times, Monday, May 13, 2019

Author:
Gary Larson
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
212/28/20175/13/20190
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
0100100
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.56000
Gary Larson

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 76, Blocks: 38 Missing: {FQXZ} Spans: 1 This is puzzle # 2 for Mr. Larson. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Gary Larson notes:
Fun Google facts: Homer Simpson was 'inducted' into The Baseball Hall of Fame in 2010. One of Mitt Romney's relatives, L.C. ... read more

Fun Google facts:

  1. Homer Simpson was "inducted" into The Baseball Hall of Fame in 2010.
  2. One of Mitt Romney's relatives, L.C. Romney, had a park named after him that was featured in the classic baseball movie, "Sandlot."

As far as I know, Bat Masterson, Diamond Jim Brady and D.H. Lawrence never played the game.

I, on the other hand, played — and played badly. On defense, I was stationed in right field (a PeeWee League no-man's-land). On offense, my lifetime batting average was .000. To opposing teams, I was known as an "easy out" while my team complimented me for having a "good eye" – a term used by parents and coaches to encourage boys like me who were too terrified to do anything other than rest the bat firmly on their shoulders and pray for a walk. Why did I play? Quite simple, really. We had great post-game snacks.

Not much has changed since then. Whether I'm playing baseball (badly) or just creating a baseball-themed puzzle, I still enjoy a good snack. Mmmm.

Jeff Chen notes:
Cool finds, five guys whose first names are baseball terms. I'm a big 'Simpsons' fan, so it was a head-slap moment to realize that ... read more

Cool finds, five guys whose first names are baseball terms. I'm a big "Simpsons" fan, so it was a head-slap moment to realize that HOMER SIMPSON could, of course, fit into the mix. I'll always think of MITT ROMNEY as "Mittens," but of course he's right at home in today's DIAMOND grid. Er, square grid. About a diamond. You know what I mean.

The revealer, DIAMOND JIM BRADY, didn't feel sharp enough at first. I got that a DIAMOND is where you can find a DH, HOMER, BAT, MITT. But it made me wonder if DIAMOND was hinting at the four other baseball terms arranged in the shape of a diamond?

Man, do I overthink things.

It's a fine revealer, and perhaps even clever, given how one of the five theme terms sort of describes the set. I might have preferred MLB or a more Monday-straightforward BASEBALL as a revealer, though.

Monday smoothness took a bad hop. R AND R is slightly better than others of its ilk, i.e., S AND P or B AND B, since I've occasionally seen R AND R written out. But such an olio of OLEO, TITER, TROI, ESTAS, EERO, AKINS, ESSEN. All reasonable(ish) entries for later-week usage; not so much for early-week territory, where not scaring off newbs is of paramount importance.

So, what happened? Biggest issue is the horizontal long fill of DEVIANCE / AVIATORS crossing METAPHOR / MAMMA MIA. The latter two give a lot of color to the puzzle, but the former don't do much, and they cause so many problems. I'd have broken up the horizontal long entries, as they're too big to fill around, without needing a lot of crossword glue.

Overall though, a fun theme. It made me wonder why I'd never put those five guys together. Now I'm curious to see how they'd play on the baseball diamond together.

1
L
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A
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P
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S
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H
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A
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R
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D
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S
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M
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A
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N
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E
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A
C
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A
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E
K
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S
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D
H
L
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A
W
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S
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D
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H
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O
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M
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C
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M
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O
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P
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T
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O
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P
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D
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D
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M
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M
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B
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A
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M
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O
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I
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U
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B
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A
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T
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T
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A
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U
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S
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D
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R
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O
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T
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A
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R
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P
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© 2019, The New York TimesNo. 0513 ( 25,388 )

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Across
1
Drink, as water from a dish : LAP
4
Bits of broken glass : SHARDS
10
Locks in a barn? : MANE
14
Top card : ACE
15
How café may be served : AULAIT
16
___ out (barely manages) : EKES
17
"Lady Chatterley's Lover" novelist : DHLAWRENCE
19
"Nervous" reactions : TICS
20
Goes down, as the sun : SETS
21
Change from the norm : DEVIANCE
23
Bart and Lisa's dad : HOMERSIMPSON
27
King Arthur's home : CAMELOT
30
Cigar residue : ASH
31
Flamenco cheer : OLE
32
Blow, as a volcano : ERUPT
35
Newspaper opinion piece : OPED
39
Early railroad tycoon whose nickname is a hint to the starts of 17-, 23-, 51- and 62-Across : DIAMONDJIMBRADY
43
James of jazz : ETTA
44
Lauder of cosmetics : ESTEE
45
18 or so, for a typical first-year college student : AGE
46
"You don't mean me?!" : MOI
49
Made certain : ENSURED
51
Real-life lawman who lent his name to a 1950s-'60s TV western : BATMASTERSON
56
Pilots : AVIATORS
57
___ car salesman : USED
61
Appear : SEEM
62
Utah senator who once ran for president : MITTROMNEY
66
"Star Trek: T.N.G." counselor : TROI
67
Captivate : ENAMOR
68
Noah's vessel : ARK
69
Europe's highest volcano : ETNA
70
Getting up : RISING
71
"The Bells" poet : POE
Down
1
Young chaps : LADS
2
Pain in a tooth or the heart : ACHE
3
Hit repeatedly, as with snowballs : PELT
4
Viewed : SAW
5
Ben-___ (Charlton Heston role) : HUR
6
Pub offering : ALE
7
Time off, informally : RANDR
8
Cuts into small cubes : DICES
9
Sugar substitute : STEVIA
10
Nerves of steel, e.g. : METAPHOR
11
Actor Claude of old TV : AKINS
12
Classic brand of candy wafers : NECCO
13
German industrial city : ESSEN
18
Arthur of tennis fame : ASHE
22
Gchats, e.g. : IMS
24
Bread spread : OLEO
25
Time starting at dawn, to poets : MORN
26
Practice piece for a pianist : ETUDE
27
Secret message : CODE
28
Came down to earth : ALIT
29
Vegetarian's no-no : MEAT
33
Bedwear, briefly : PJS
34
Solution strength : TITER
36
Early talk show host Jack : PAAR
37
Precipice : EDGE
38
Like Easter eggs, colorwise : DYED
40
Abba song or musical : MAMMAMIA
41
Department store department with shirts and slacks : MENS
42
Kiss: Sp. : BESO
47
Grain in Cheerios : OAT
48
Chemical cousin : ISOMER
50
"E pluribus ___" : UNUM
51
Moisten, as a turkey : BASTE
52
Deflect : AVERT
53
Attach with a string, say : TIEON
54
Singer Lopez : TRINI
55
Form of the Spanish for "to be" : ESTAS
58
Become unhinged : SNAP
59
Architect Saarinen : EERO
60
Comic actor Dick Van ___ : DYKE
63
"That's overly explicit," in textspeak : TMI
64
"Dianetics" author L. ___ Hubbard : RON
65
Alternative to .com or .net : ORG

Answer summary: 2 unique to this puzzle, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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