Superman's birth name / MON 4-3-17 / __ Philippe (Swiss watchmaker) / __-CIO / "That sounds good - NOT!" / Cheri formerly of S.N.L.
Monday, April 3, 2017
I thought about doing an April Fools thing and saying that I was quitting Rex's blog, but then I decided that that would be too sad and also April Fools was two days ago. So instead I'm just gonna say happy first Monday of the month, it's an Annabel guest blog day again!!
Constructors: AGNES DAVIDSON and ZHOUQIN BURNIKEL
Relative difficulty: HARD
THEME: BALLPARK FIGURES — Theme answers are two words; the second word is a person that can be found at a baseball game.
- BEER BATTER (17A: Coating for fish that you might think would make you tipsy)
- PUMPKIN COACH (24A: Cinderella's carriage)
- BALLPARK FIGURES (39A: Rough estimates...or, what the ends of 17-, 24-, 52- and 65-Across are?)
- WATER PITCHER (52A: Waiter's refilling aid)
- CEILING FAN (65A: Overhead cooler)
Word of the Day: AFL (___-CIO) —
The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL–CIO) is a national trade union center and the largest federation of unions in the United States. It is made up of fifty-six national and international unions,together representing more than 12 million active and retired workers. The AFL–CIO engages in substantial political spending and activism.
The AFL–CIO was formed in 1955 when the AFL and the CIO merged after a long estrangement. Membership in the union peaked in 1979, when the AFL–CIO had nearly twenty million members. From 1955 until 2005, the AFL–CIO's member unions represented nearly all unionized workers in the United States. Several large unions split away from AFL–CIO and formed the rival Change to Win Federation in 2005, although a number of those unions have since re-affiliated. The largest union currently in the AFL–CIO is the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), with approximately 1.4 million members.
Man, I don't know what it was about this puzzle, but I got stuck for ages! There wasn't even a particular corner that did it, there were just rough spots all over the puzzle. I'd never heard of RHEAS before, I had HON for BAE, and I even forgot Superman's first name. (I had CLARK instead of KAL-EL! I'm such a fake nerd.) Even SAP gave me a hard time, maybe because it was right on top of YAP so I kept thinking of that. Nothing to SOB about though; it's nice to be a little challenged on a Monday :)
The theme was cute, if a little predictable - I figured it was something to do with baseball as soon as I saw BEER BATTER. Do you ever think about how weird it is that we're so obsessed with baseball in the US but everyone else is obsessed with soccer? Or maybe it's weird that we're obsessed with football but everyone else is obsessed with soccer. I dunno. The point is, baseball and football are weird sports, but they're fun to have watch parties for.
- ALEVE (47A: Popular pain reliever) — Anyone else find this namedrop a little out of place? I dunno, maybe I'm just bitter because I guessed ADVIL and probably messed up that whole corner for a while.
- AFLAC (37D: Quacky insurance giant) — I was about to post a video of the Aflac commercial, but I feel like I JUST did a few months ago. Deja vu or overused clue? *shrugs*
- PEARS (26D: Fruits that are a little grittier than apples) — Ex-CUSE me??? First of all, there are plenty of pears that are fresh and crisp, golden pears in particular. Second of all, there are plenty of apples that are gritty as heck and really gross. I think the duo of constructors owes pears an apology, because they're my favorite fruit. (Well, second favorite; the best one is kiwi.)
- SLOTHS (13D: Tree huggers?) — This one tripped me up, but it was worth it in the end because sloths are cute.
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