03.27.11 — Get Ready to Roll

Sunday, March 27, 2011

GET READY TO ROLL, Puzzle by Kevin G. Der / Edited by Will Shortz

This Sunday’s elongated and exhausting crossword asks the solver to imagine a bowling alley with a BALL (five outlining the trajectory) rolling down the right side toward a Big Four split, e.g., two pairs of PINS. Circled letters make note of the G U T T E R, left and right. Whether or not the imaginary bowler picks up a spare, unfortunately, the solver of the crossword must trudge through a tedious and fragmented grid clued with all the vagueness of a Friday or Saturday puzzle, perhaps pining to actually be bowling instead! Incidentally, the subject of bowling was fairly well covered in this blog about four years ago, albeit from the pinsetters view, HERE.

The pairs sharing PINAL[PIN]E (15A. Like some skiing) and S[PIN] DOCTORS (3D. P.R. people); [PIN]TA (17A. Niña accompanier) and S[PIN]NER (12D. Game piece); SNOO[PIN]G (21A. Yenta‘s habit) and [PIN]APPLE (22D. Hawaiian pizza topping); [PIN][BALL]ERS (24A.Bally enthusiasts) and STE[P IN]TO (11D. Enter).

BALLS — [PIN][BALL]ERS (24A.Bally enthusiasts) and [BALL]ADS (25D. Minstrel songs); [BALL]OT (50A. Ticket presenter) and CA[BALL]ED (39D. Schemed together); [BALL]OU (76A. “Cat ___,” 1965 film) and T[BALL] GLOVE (69D. Child-sized mitt); [BALL]ETS (102A. Balancing acts?) and BASE[BALL] TEAM (81D. Nine); ONE [BALL]S (126A. Yellow pool items) and [BALL]OONS (127D. Clowns’ toys).

SPLIT DECISION runs down the center of the puzzle, clued as 5-4 ruling, e.g., apt to the puzzle’s gimmick, as is SPARE MOMENT (9D. Bit of free time) near the right side of the spare and UP ONE’S ALLEY (101D. Suited to a person’s strengths).

Other — ALL ABOARD (131A. Station line) and CALL SIGN (140A. Station identification), CREAMWARE (26A. Off-white pottery), CRIED FOUL (111D. Said “No fair!“), LIME CORDIAL (83A. Citrusy cocktail mixer), MEAT WAGON (35D. Ambulance, slangily), NOT A BAD IDEA (72A. “I like your thinking”), STAR SPOT (16A. Dark patch on a distant sun), THE TIMES and ZED (145A. London daily; 147A. Letter in 145-Across), U S SENATE (19A. Century in Amer. politics). The crossword is holoalphabetic.


Click on image to enlarge.

Puzzle available on the internet at

Remaining clues — ACROSS: 1. Ornate; 5. Spreads; 12. Old pol. Entity; 18. Roams; 20. Pony; 23. River to the North Sea; 28. Sharp-tongued; 29. Land in a stream; 31. Thin as ___’ 32. Temper; 34. Galumph; 36. They may get people talking; 38. Jazz style; 42. General Assembly figure, for short; 43. Mine, to Marie; 45. Sun Devils’ sch.; 46. Underlying; 47. Dutch brews; 51. Shred; 53. Period of the Cenozoic Era; 55. Meditate (on); 58. Like much of New Orleans’s French Quarter; 60. Beaver’s home; 61. Shankar piece; 62. ___ acid; 63. Hoedown seating; 64. Pooh’s pal; 66. What you used to be?; 68. Bickering; 77. Red-haired film princess; 79. Olds sedan; 80. Shot source; 82. Exchange fig.; 86. Focus of a class action?; 88. Novelist Hoag; 89. Cancún, e.g.; 92. Flap; 94. Drink with tempura, maybe; 97. “Howards End” role; 98. Centipede maker; 101. Singular; 103. Kaplan course, briefly; 105. Waited longer than; 107. Drillmaster’s call; 108. Called; 110. Rhodes of the Rhodes scholarships; 114. M.P.G. watcher; 115. “make.believe” sloganeer; 116. ___ guisada, Tex-Mex stew; 117. Kind of gun; 119. Continue; 123. Twin Cities sch.; 124. Waikiki wear; 128. That, in Toledo; 129. Sophocles title hero; 134. ___ del Carmen, Mexico; 135. Told stories; 136. Norwegian king called “the 77-Down”; 139. Clear; 143. Tie up; 144. Pixar robot with a female voice; 146. Rot; 148. Cheat; 149. Cheers. — DOWN: 1. Luggage; 2 Asian capital name starter; 4. ___ no; 5. Some N.F.L.’ers; 6. Runaway; 7. Make ready for a winter storm, as a highway; 8. Ed heard in “Up”; 10. Onesie wearer; 13. “Go” square in Monopoly, e.g.; 14. Cinderella’s wear, at home; 16. Darling; 27. Month before juin; 29. Swift’s “A Tale of ___”; 30. Soap opera creator Phillips; 33. “___ Mio”; 37. One in a max; 40. For ___ (cheaply); 41. Alexander, to Aristotle; 44. Sardegna, e.g.; 47. Asia’s ___ Sea; 48. What writer’s block may block; 52. Assembly area; 54. Spanish food brand; 55. Old PC part; 56. O.K. in Osaka; 57. Ones with the Christmas spirit?; 59. Mariner of note; 63. Steel or bronze; 65. Card catalog abbr.; 67. Tracker’s aid; 70. Promise to pay; 71. Large cask; 73. The Crimson Tide, for short; 74. Bass lover?; 75. Irish Rose’s beau; 77. See 136-Across; 78. “___ had it!”; 84. Skater Midori; 86. Exsiccates; 87. Campsite sight; 90. Slowing, in mus.; 91. French possessive; 93. Highlands daggers; 95. Water color; 96. “Survivor” homes; 98. More than pale; 99. Hosiery color; 100. How some shares are sold; 104. Edible mushroom; 106. Charge; 109. Fork; 112. They have rates and ratings; 113. Jay who jests; 118. Tongue-lash; 120. Engage in a 1920s fad; 121. One way to turn; 122. Cornhusker St.; 125. Draws out; 129. Still in the game; 130. Spent; 132. Merry-go-round music; 133 Sly type?; 134 W. or Bam; 137. Actress Skye; 138. Nettles; 141. Sound at a spa; 142. Neth. Neighbor.


KarmaSartre said...


I wondered what you would do artwork wise for the KDer puzzle; never anticipated a wacky bowling video. Fun stuff.

Steve Paradis said...

"a tedious and fragmented grid clued with all the vagueness of a Friday or Saturday puzzle"


Gimmicks are good only in a witty puzzle, which doesn't need gimmicks in the first place.
A better command of English would help as well.