Monday March 20, 2023 Jon Pennington


Hello Cornerites!

sumdaze here. I am calling today's puzzle Double Play because all of the themers give us two 'plays' on the word GAME. More on that later. First let's warm-up with some uber-athletic baseball double plays:
A well-executed double play is my favorite thing about baseball.
Here are 10 super smooth ones. (2:17 min.)

Here are our three themers:

20 Across. First songs of musicals: OPENING NUMBERS.

26 Across. Collectible once sold with bubble gum: BASEBALL CARD.

44 Across. Ideal partner: PERFECT MATCH.

Then the reveal:

52 Across. In an advantageous position, or where both halves of the answers to 20-, 26-, and 44-Across can be placed?: AHEAD OF THE GAME.

All 6 words in the themers can be placed in front of, i.e., AHEAD OF the word "GAME" to create in-the-language phrases.
  • OPENING GAME:  generally refers to the first game of a series, tournament, or season.
  • NUMBERS GAME:  the use or manipulation of statistics or figures, especially in support of an argument.
  • BASEBALL GAME:  America's national pastime.
  • CARD GAME: Euchre, for example.
  • PERFECT GAME:  (baseball) basically, when a pitcher gets every opposing player out in all 9 innings without one batter reaching base for any reason.
  • MATCH GAME:  a TV game show that premiered in 1962. Contestants tried to MATCH  answers with celebrity panelists. The topics abounded with opportunities for double entendre.
Congratulations to constructor Jon Pennington on his L.A. Times debut! You certainly brought your A-GAME today! We look forward to solving more of your puzzles!

Now it is time to roll the dice and get this GAME started!

1. "Get outta here!": SCRAM.
6. Enthralled: RAPT.  
10. Tinted: HUED.

14. Port-au-Prince's country: HAITI.  I recommend the book 
Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder. It is about Dr. Paul Farmer and his work in HAITI as well as other locations.
Port au Prince slum Jalousie
15. Happily __ after: EVER.  Awww....

16. Norway's capital: OSLO.  The 1952 Winter Olympic Games were held there.

17. Director Welles: ORSON.  his top 8 movies

18. Quayle follower: GORE.  Dan Quayle was the 44th Vice President (George Bush). Albert "Al" GORE was the 45th Vice President (Bill Clinton).

19. Viral social media post: MEME.  This one was circulating in California last week during the atmospheric river events:

23. Countdown start: TEN.  I give this clue a 10.0!

24. Actress Arthur: BEA.  
Did you know that BEA served as a U.S. Marine?

25. "Très __!": BIEN.  What a marvelous fill!

31. Bowls over: FLOORS.  

34. Long journey: TREK.  It took Perseverance about 7 months to travel the 292,526,838 miles (470,776,457 km.) between Earth and Mars. NASA site

35. Fannie __: federal mortgage agency: MAE.  One big difference between Fannie MAE and Freddie Mac is where they source their mortgages. Fannie MAE buys mortgages from larger, commercial banks, while Freddie Mac buys  them from much smaller banks. more info

36. Igneous rock, before cooling: LAVA.  

37. Pt. of a minute: SEC.  "Part" is abbreviated, so is SECond.

38. Brand of spongy toys: NERF.  
You can use NERF balls to make clown noses.
39. Single: ONE.  
Single Scoop of Ice Cream

40. Italian tower city: PISA.  
Fun pic!

42. Worries no end: EATS AT.  
A person who EATS AT this restaurant should be worried.

47. Sanitizing cloth: WIPE.  

48. "Fortunate Son" band, for short: CCR.  Creedence Clearwater Revival
Coincidentally, I have recently been binging The Finder.  John Fogerty guest stars in Ep. 1 and sings this song.
Written by John Fogerty. Released on the Willie and the Poor Boys album in Nov. 1969

49. Kim Kardashian, to North West: MOM.  I'll save you the details. You are better off not assigning any brain cell real estate to this one.

56. Top poker cards: ACES.

57. Like so: THUS.  It modifies a verb, THUS it is an adverb.

58. Book of maps: ATLAS.  
Hey, wait a minute...

59. NBA Hall of Famer Frazier: WALTHoF website

60. Watson of "Little Women": EMMA.  She is sometimes clued as Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter movies.

61. Invaders of ancient Rome: GOTHS.
The VisiGOTHS sacked Rome in the 5th century.
Today's teenage GOTHS shop at Saks 5th Ave basement.

62. 8-Down capital: LIMA. and 8. South American country whose capital is 62-Across: PERU.  

63. Yes votes: AYES.

64. Writing contest entry: ESSAY.

1. "Dagnabbit!": SHOOT.
Extra points because it says DAGNABBIT and he's SHOOTing!

2. __ diem: seize the day: CARPE.  
3. Like a soufflé, if everything goes well: RISEN.  
This one is for Doctor Who fans. (1:09 min.)
Clara Oswald, aka The Impossible Girl, (played by Jenna Colman) is the Soufflé Girl.

4. Lots and lots: A TON.  "Neighborhood" did not fit.

5. Hotel room fridge stocked with drinks: MINIBAR.

6. Peter Tosh's music genre: REGGAE.

7. Skinvincible cosmetics brand: AVON.  
9. Shake with fear: TREMBLE.  

10. Skills class rebranded as "family and consumer sciences," familiarly: HOME EC.
If you are curious, this is a link to a Pennsylvania school district's Family & Consumer Sciences curriculum.

11. IDs entered before passwords: USER NAMES.

12. Tall shade trees: ELMS.  In Greek mythology, the hero Orpheus rescued his DW Eurydice from the Underworld by enchanting everyone there with his harp music.  He then paused to play her a love song, at which spot the first ELM grove was said to have sprung up.

13. Mama deer: DOE.  A female goat can also be called a DOE but a female elk is a cow.

21. Loch __ monster: NESS.

22. Hornswoggle: BILK.  Dagnabbit! It's another old-timey word!

26. Feathery scarf: BOA.  
A "feather BOA constrictor" is when you wear a snake (real or fake)
as though it is a fashion accessory.

27. Second-stringers: B-TEAM.  When I lived in Hawaii, I paddled outrigger  canoes. In our club, your first year (for adults) is on the Novice B TEAM. Then you do two years on the Novice A Team before moving on to age groups. I am in the 2nd seat, calling out the Hut Hut Hoe so we all switch sides at the exact same time. We were doing our biggest race -- from the island of  Moloka'i to Waikiki Beach on Oahu. You can see our support boat in the background.

me with my Novice B TEAMmates

28. Circle segment: ARC.  I do appreciate an alliterative clue but this one gets an "Umm, actually...."
An example of a circle segment is all the colored area.
An example of an ARC is the 
red curve.

29. Hard to find, in Latin: RARA.  Meaning "rare", RARA is sometimes used as the second part in a plant's or an animal's scientific name. Example: a fungi called Keissleriella rara sp. nov.
While going from "hard to find" to "rare" to "RARA" is not too much to ask, I still find this one deserving of the Giant Leap Award.

30. Highly skilled: DEFT.

31. Graceless dive: FLOP.  
32. Rural road: LANE.

33. Inundate: OVERWHELM.  This can be good or bad.

37. Retired fast jet, briefly: SST.  what happened to the American SST

38. To the __ degree: NTH.  an English idiom meaning "extremely" or "as much as possible"

40. "A Salt With a Deadly __": 1988 hip-hop album: PEPA.  I was not familiar with this music but the word play was fun!

41. Pure Leaf beverage: ICED TEA.  I was not familiar with this beverage but "leaf" and "beverage" got me there.
42. Carve in stone: ETCH.

43. Land measure: ACREAGE.  an area of (typically agricultural) land but not necessarily measured in acres

45. Small Ford model: FIESTA.  (1976 - 2019)
BTW, it looks like he is driving on the shoulder of the road. Why???

46. Plays the role of: ACTS AS.

49. Ice cream drinks: MALTS.  Chocolate MALT recipe

50. Nebraska city: OMAHA.  CSO to Husker Gary!

51. In need of tidying: MESSY.  
52. Superfood berry: ACAI.

53. "Heavens!": OH MY.  

54. Seethe: FUME.  feel, show, or express great anger

55. Vintage Pontiac muscle cars: GTOS.  Definitely not a 45D FIESTA!

56. Hole-making tool: AWL.  
Time out for the grid:

Thanks for playing today!