07.30.07 -- Crystal Ball

Monday, July 30, 2007

Puzzle by Elizabeth A. Long, edited by Will Shortz

ESP (33D Paranormal ability) is the central entry of this Monday puzzle and appropriately so --
Major League Baseball set an attendance record this weekend, and this puzzle has three inter-related entries concerning the sport:

LUCILLESBALL (20A Game equipment for an old sitcom star?) SALLYSFIELD (35A Game location for an actress?) ---------- NEILSDIAMOND (52A Game site for a popular singer?)

I don’t think the New York Times crossword puzzle relates to current events on such short notice, so it must be ESP. Other baseball-related entries include FACT (6A Fiction’s opposite), which baseball fans love; EST (13D Inexact fig.), as in “ball-park figure”; SAFE (32D Ump’s call with outstretched arms); and ERA (55D Pitcher’s stat.).

Lucille Ball Baseball -- My Favorite Husband Episode 54 -- originally aired 9/16/49: “Baseball” Story: Liz is determined not to be left out of the baseball game at the Annual Bank Outing, so she persuades her neighbor Mr. Wood to teach her how to play the game.

Sally Field Baseball -- The South Atlantic League, or "Sally League," is a minor league baseball league which operates mostly in the southeastern United States.

Neil Diamond Baseball -- There was hope for a while that a song written by Neil Diamond “I’m A Believer”, a big hit for the Monkees in1966, would be a portent for the Mets in 2003.

The three long entries of “star” names with an added apostrophe and the letter S are joined by a little over a dozen other un-related entries: WESLEY (1D Actor Snipes of “Blade”); IMMUNO (2D Prefix with suppressive); VIACOM (Owner of MTV and BET); FIDELITY (6D Faithfulness); COMBAT (8D Hand-to-hand fighting); TREATY (9D 8-Down ender); LECTERN (22D Speaker’s spot); SPLURGE (29D Go all out); PRIORI (42D A _____[kind of reasoning]); CALLAS (43D Maria of the Met); FACEDOUT (37D Wasn’t turned inward); GROUSE (45D Bellyache); “ANNIE Song (John Denver #hit) (46D); MODEST (47D Not given to self-promotion); OLEATE (24A Organic salt); TYCOONS (30A Captains of industry); POWERPC (41A IBM/Apple product starting in the early ‘90s) -- all very GRAVEN (49A Carved, as an image).

YOM and GAM make a symmetrical appearance left and right; ADS and SELL; IKE and BIKE; RAGU and SNAFU; are a few of the some-how-related entries. ZANY (62A Like some Steve Martin humor), and AND (26D &) make rare appearances.

Oh, and VSIGN (50D Winston Churchill flashed it).

For today's cartoon, go to TheCrossword Puzzle Illustrated.

The New York Times Crossword Puzzle solution above is by the author of this blog and does not guarantee accuracy. If you find errors or omissions, you are more than welcome to make note of same in the Comments section of this post -- any corrections found necessary will be executed promptly upon verification.
Puzzle available on the internet at
THE NEW YORK TIMES -- Crossword Puzzles and Games
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