Close Calls

· By Alex Sisti · Published 2023-06-12T12:00:45.469Z

Meta Prompt
This six-letter cry brings pleasure to a closer
Checking for previous play data...

Leaderboard (updated hourly)

  • Hector solved 2023-06-12T12:29:58.468Z
  • boharr solved 2023-06-12T13:13:33.334Z
  • JM solved 2023-06-12T13:30:46.323Z
  • kymike solved 2023-06-12T13:40:44.957Z
  • Tom Wilson solved 2023-06-12T13:50:29.689Z
  • whimsy solved 2023-06-12T14:07:01.653Z
  • Cindy Heisler solved 2023-06-12T14:09:18.623Z
  • KayW solved 2023-06-12T14:10:24.919Z
  • oldjudge solved 2023-06-12T14:35:40.777Z
  • bhamren solved 2023-06-12T14:45:51.489Z
  • Joe solved 2023-06-12T14:51:02.957Z
  • lbray53 solved 2023-06-12T14:55:12.262Z
  • Wendy Walker solved 2023-06-12T15:26:54.467Z
  • BarbaraK solved 2023-06-12T15:29:39.248Z
  • I K Snamhcok solved 2023-06-12T15:36:18.073Z
  • Tyrpmom solved 2023-06-12T15:53:17.458Z
  • FrankieHeck solved 2023-06-12T16:07:25.459Z
  • michaelm solved 2023-06-12T16:09:54.790Z
  • DrTom solved 2023-06-12T16:16:46.929Z
  • heidi solved 2023-06-12T16:41:52.709Z
  • Cindy Weatherman solved 2023-06-12T16:58:36.933Z
  • Meg solved 2023-06-12T16:58:51.112Z
  • sss solved 2023-06-12T17:29:34.419Z
  • Laura M solved 2023-06-12T17:32:50.460Z
  • Johnny Luau solved 2023-06-12T17:46:15.918Z
  • MatthewL solved 2023-06-12T19:05:39.000Z
  • Darrell solved 2023-06-12T19:39:42.571Z
  • Schmeel solved 2023-06-12T19:48:20.868Z
  • markhr solved 2023-06-12T20:02:12.701Z
  • Qmark solved 2023-06-12T20:02:19.838Z
  • rjy solved 2023-06-12T20:08:42.295Z
  • Mwoychick solved 2023-06-12T20:39:17.490Z
  • DebbieC solved 2023-06-12T21:22:00.830Z
  • Pair O Ducks solved 2023-06-12T22:02:01.663Z
  • hoover solved 2023-06-12T22:06:28.860Z
  • ReB solved 2023-06-12T22:15:59.209Z
  • Ergcat solved 2023-06-12T22:39:22.559Z
  • Berto solved 2023-06-12T23:58:30.912Z
  • jbird solved 2023-06-13T01:37:13.390Z
  • david solved 2023-06-13T01:48:51.505Z
  • benchen71 solved 2023-06-13T02:28:18.597Z
  • Dow Jones solved 2023-06-13T02:44:53.394Z
  • frostyjhammer solved 2023-06-13T04:17:09.593Z
  • Michael Kelleher solved 2023-06-13T04:50:25.413Z
  • Jim23809 solved 2023-06-13T06:02:14.739Z
  • DavyGravy solved 2023-06-13T14:20:40.596Z
  • DIS solved 2023-06-13T14:53:43.859Z
  • Mr Tex solved 2023-06-13T16:40:35.962Z
  • JHSeeman solved 2023-06-13T18:16:49.294Z
  • kurtalert solved 2023-06-13T18:24:33.776Z
  • THC solved 2023-06-13T19:29:04.150Z
  • Bbaack solved 2023-06-13T19:51:35.464Z
  • Anita and Steve solved 2023-06-13T20:16:48.242Z
  • Carolyn solved 2023-06-13T20:42:41.251Z
  • SJMcK solved 2023-06-13T22:09:02.929Z
  • Tim solved 2023-06-13T22:28:14.277Z
  • HeadinHome solved 2023-06-13T23:25:55.061Z
  • Bird Lives solved 2023-06-14T03:04:16.589Z
  • CPJohnson solved 2023-06-14T14:26:45.812Z
  • minimuggle solved 2023-06-14T14:50:00.724Z
  • emmie solved 2023-06-14T14:56:00.743Z
  • woozy solved 2023-06-14T15:45:29.422Z
  • rayyandroid solved 2023-06-14T16:39:11.324Z
  • Jaclyn solved 2023-06-14T19:56:45.286Z
  • Jeremy Smith solved 2023-06-14T21:52:34.747Z
  • SeamusOL solved 2023-06-15T01:04:02.347Z
  • Mikey G solved 2023-06-15T01:44:21.743Z
  • kamashdad solved 2023-06-15T03:08:17.351Z
  • PuzNewbie solved 2023-06-15T04:02:54.414Z
  • Matt M solved 2023-06-15T14:53:07.030Z
  • Darth solved 2023-06-15T15:42:54.675Z
  • mbd solved 2023-06-15T15:57:06.815Z
  • Steve M solved 2023-06-15T17:20:00.964Z
  • Sharkicicles solved 2023-06-15T19:16:58.448Z
  • JR solved 2023-06-15T19:54:16.677Z
  • Jerry Miccolis solved 2023-06-15T23:33:56.318Z
  • Eric Porter solved 2023-06-16T01:44:45.275Z
  • Jimbo solved 2023-06-16T11:35:17.437Z
  • Adam solved 2023-06-16T13:30:21.929Z
  • Cate C solved 2023-06-16T14:20:52.283Z
  • Abide solved 2023-06-17T04:07:12.651Z
  • Naptown Kid solved 2023-06-17T13:19:37.253Z
  • Snood solved 2023-06-17T14:51:05.135Z
  • ajk solved 2023-06-17T16:03:40.372Z
  • reverse solved 2023-06-18T04:20:46.885Z
  • cum solved 2023-06-18T06:02:51.005Z
  • Gutman solved 2023-06-18T21:29:05.654Z
  • Tane solved 2023-06-21T03:58:26.839Z
  • TMart solved 2023-06-22T14:32:32.076Z
  • sledge solved 2023-06-29T20:45:06.832Z
  • Lucas solved 2023-10-17T03:38:48.722Z


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  • Hector 12s · 2023-06-12T12:40:38.309Z
    Chewy and interesting grid, thank you!
    • boharr 3s · 2023-06-12T13:15:21.276Z
      Baseball yes! Thanks, Al.
      • whimsy 15:23 · 2023-06-12T14:15:37.778Z
        Agree on the grid. Had the right mechanism early enough (and fortunately came up with what it had to be before looking to see whether ACME had started a Go Fund Me to Free Wily -- I know, wrong spelling.) But not sure if I have all it takes -- LANDER is close to Orbiter? Regardless, Thank you, Al, for the fun challenge!
        • BarbaraK 3s · 2023-06-12T15:45:46.665Z
          And Thing is an Adams Family character. And Freewill is a Rush song. And look at those grid initials:)
          • whimsy 15:23 · 2023-06-12T20:36:09.029Z
            Ah, thanks, Barbara! I guess I was always more of a Cousin Itt kinda girl. :)
        • Cindy Heisler 2s · 2023-06-12T14:10:59.835Z
          I was worried when I saw it was about baseball, but a very easy going meta. Thanks, Al!
          • KayW 🤓8:50 · 2023-06-12T14:15:42.476Z
            Woohoo! I solved a sportsing one! Fun one, thanks Al! I admit I kind of "backed into" this one. I found one of the CLOSE CALLS in the grid, I'm still looking for the other two...
            • Joe 🤓13:25 · 2023-06-12T14:51:58.699Z
              • KayW 🤓8:50 · 2023-06-12T14:29:08.591Z
                ...and found the other two. VERY clever.
                • oldjudge 3s · 2023-06-12T15:00:42.451Z
                  Strike 1, strike 2, strike 3--yer out! Great job Al.
                  • I K Snamhcok 3s · 2023-06-12T15:37:22.170Z
                    Many amusements herein. Thanks, Al!
                    • Wendy Walker 4s · 2023-06-12T15:28:11.907Z
                      Fun cluing and a clever metanism -- that would be a classic Sisti puzzle! Except for the absence of a certain NY city ...
                      • Tyrpmom 2s · 2023-06-12T15:56:03.558Z
                        Fun. Thanks.
                        • michaelm 🤓2:15 · 2023-06-12T16:23:21.069Z
                          Agree a very engaging grid with a great AROD59DHe struck out 2,287 times, not counting with J-Lo[----] dis to boot. Forecast here is for pluvious weather til late tonight. Here's hoping all fans make it through a the winning nonet of their favorite team. And thanks for those brackets, Al!
                          • DrTom 3s · 2023-06-12T16:38:48.176Z
                            Well I got it, but reading the comments I am not sure I got the mechanism I should have. Mine was a combo of an intuit; what is a six letter call a closer wants to hear, pitcher with a low ERA41ALA Dodger ace Clayton Kershaw has the lowest career one in the modern... um... age[---], Tom Seaver's record, and Strike 1, Strike 2, Strike 3 adds up to YER OUR (six letter cry). On top of that, Strike one letter from 17A17A1993 family film [Strike 1][---------] (Y), two from 39A39A2002 movie that may have led to the demise of VHS tapes [Strike 2][-------] (ER) and three from 62A62ATime-travel TV series starring the beautiful Caitriona Balfe and the not-so-bad-looking-himself Sam Heughan [Strike 3][---------] (OUT) and of course the one I liked for obvious reasons; TOM SAW LANDER (ORBITER43DLunar ___[-------]) with YER OUT left over. I am afraid I do not see any Close Calls but I'd bet there are many things I missed. I had a tough time with the GRID, one spot in particular, because I wanted the pigeon to live in a HOLE. That works for two across answers but trying to decide what type of pitch a HOALTER (I spelled Aphesis wrong) was or what LEE had to do with the Turks, well that was a head scratcher. My favorite clue was 33A - VERY clever and 57D57DConveyance whose popularity continues to go downhill[----]. Thanks for pitching a perfect game!
                            • DrTom 3s · 2023-06-12T17:18:45.938Z
                              OMG, I just saw what everyone is talking about...BRILLIANT! Rush Song, Addams family member, Lunar ___ and that is why you would strike One letter, Two letters and Three letters. I will continue to make metas but I will never be as clever as this!
                              • Hector 12s · 2023-06-12T17:45:50.521Z
                                Did not notice that in my morning "rush", as 1,2,3 and OUT fronting the third themer made the answer easy to guess, which would make a fine mechanism on its own. The original answers to the close call clues spell TWO -- probably just random? Also, WILLY crosses an anagram of MAYS, which had me looking for other crossing stuff -- ALOU and PRINCE (Fielder?) sort of cross the others.
                              • Laura M 🤓13:43 · 2023-06-12T17:41:37.613Z
                                Great puzzle! Props for using the word "pluvious" :-) Does it mean anything that the first letters of the alternate entries spell out TWO, or is it just a coincidence?
                                • Alex Sisti constructor · 2023-06-12T18:35:00.326Z
                                  An unfortunate coincidence... but too sweet to totally ignore. I'm going use it as corroboration and/or a hint on Nudge Wednesday.
                                • FrankieHeck 🤓12:57 · 2023-06-12T19:15:37.300Z
                                  Thanks, Al! Almost didn't attempt the meta after reading the prompt (huh?) and seeing strikes involved (oh, must be a baseball thing?) But you made it dummy-friendly enough even for me.
                                  • MatthewL 🤓14:12 · 2023-06-12T19:12:09.248Z
                                    Finally got it, after ruminating over it for quite a bit. Very clever puzzle Al! Thanks for the workout.
                                    • Qmark 3s · 2023-06-12T20:02:58.182Z
                                      Always love a baseball-themed meta...thanks Al!
                                      • rjy 3s · 2023-06-12T20:25:29.847Z
                                        Very fun challenge, Al! Nice AHA! when the light bulb went off...
                                        still not 100% sure how TOMSAWYER25ASong from Canada's Rush[---------], ORBITER43DLunar ___[-------], and WEDNESDAY35DAddams Family character[---------] played a path towards the solution, but they were clever finds to be sure. I couldn't do anything with them, which sent me back to the excised letters which of course constituted the solution.
                                        • Mwoychick 17:23 · 2023-06-12T20:39:48.856Z
                                          Great puzzle, clueing and mechanism, Al - thank you!
                                          • hoover 3s · 2023-06-12T22:09:57.044Z
                                            I have no idea what the metanism is supposed to be, but I'm here. I just grabbed YER from TOMSAWYER25ASong from Canada's Rush[---------] and OUT from OUTLANDER62ATime-travel TV series starring the beautiful Caitriona Balfe and the not-so-bad-looking-himself Sam Heughan [Strike 3][---------] and went with it, knowing there has got to be something else somewhere.
                                            • Ergcat 24:11 · 2023-06-12T22:41:47.663Z
                                              Grid tricky! But fun finding the CLOSE CALLS! Thanks, enjoyed it!
                                              • ReB 3s · 2023-06-12T22:26:54.743Z
                                                I was quite sure of the answer given the PLUVIOUS torrent of baseball clues, but finding the intricacies or the mechanism was quite enjoyable (though I had to wait for the comments here to find the alternate entry for FREE WILL). My plaudits to you, Alex for another tight MATRIX of construction.
                                                • JHSeeman 4s · 2023-06-13T18:22:50.603Z
                                                  Cool baseball one....trigger for me was Rush Freewill with the Strike one, figured I'd head down that path, and didn't strike out. Thanks Al.
                                                  • THC 🤓2:23 · 2023-06-13T19:48:45.377Z
                                                    Thanks, Al!
                                                    • Bbaack 21:15 · 2023-06-13T19:59:17.296Z
                                                      That was a fun one, and no extra pine tar was used!
                                                      • Anita and Steve 4s · 2023-06-13T20:17:55.707Z
                                                        Knew what it has to be, took awhile to notice the metanism because we were distracted by the red herring in 25A25ASong from Canada's Rush[---------]. Fun!
                                                        • Carolyn 3s · 2023-06-13T20:45:26.390Z
                                                          Took me a bit, but finally got there! Very cool.
                                                          • HeadinHome 🤓8:31 · 2023-06-13T23:27:54.839Z
                                                            Oh I JUST got it… just in time not to have to ask nudges from the Zoom group tonight. ( : What a great idea this was, and enjoyed tracking it down. I actually don’t know what is the companion clue to FREEWILL (in my world, that is a theological topic of dispute… maybe it’s something else to the wide world). Anyhoo… my initial guesses were close but no ceegar. More fun to find it the intended way, though!
                                                            • Sharkicicles 2s · 2023-06-15T19:17:28.420Z
                                                              GO WHITE SOX!
                                                              Thanks Al!
                                                              • Snood 3:32 · 2023-06-17T14:51:51.364Z
                                                                What a great/vast collection of clues and answers! Thank you as always for sharing yer skillz!
                                                                • ajk 12:29 · 2023-06-17T16:23:28.717Z
                                                                  amazing stuff. Got to it late due to being at a meeting last week. Guessed the answer right away, but of course waited until I knew how it worked to submit. Not sure I'd have gotten it without the nudges.
                                                                  Footnote abbr.
                                                                  1. 1A
                                                                    Footnote abbr.
                                                                  2. 5A
                                                                    Belief stuctures
                                                                  3. 9A
                                                                  4. 14A
                                                                  5. 15A
                                                                    Greek portico
                                                                  6. 16A
                                                                    Out to sea
                                                                  7. 17A
                                                                    1993 family film [Strike 1]
                                                                  8. 19A
                                                                    Speak your mind on a subject
                                                                  9. 20A
                                                                  10. 21A
                                                                    "The Waste Land" initials
                                                                  11. 23A
                                                                    Movie featuring the 2008 Best Original Song Oscar
                                                                  12. 24A
                                                                    Range of knowledge
                                                                  13. 25A
                                                                    Song from Canada's Rush
                                                                  14. 27A
                                                                    Purpose pitch?
                                                                  15. 30A
                                                                    Feudal worker
                                                                  16. 31A
                                                                  17. 32A
                                                                    Cuddly, beloved creature
                                                                  18. 34A
                                                                    Defnitely not 32A32ACuddly, beloved creature[---]
                                                                  19. 38A
                                                                    Turkish leader?
                                                                  20. 39A
                                                                    2002 movie that may have led to the demise of VHS tapes [Strike 2]
                                                                  21. 41A
                                                                    LA Dodger ace Clayton Kershaw has the lowest career one in the modern... um... age
                                                                  22. 42A
                                                                    Get dressed
                                                                  23. 44A
                                                                    Key generally found in the NW corner
                                                                  24. 45A
                                                                    Purim's month
                                                                  25. 46A
                                                                    Itchy skin condition
                                                                  26. 48A
                                                                    Student, hopefully
                                                                  27. 50A
                                                                  28. 54A
                                                                    Coll. senior's test
                                                                  29. 55A
                                                                    Famous Amos
                                                                  30. 56A
                                                                    Org. for Tania, the criminal
                                                                  31. 57A
                                                                    Soft drink company named for a California mountain
                                                                  32. 60A
                                                                    Related on the mother's side
                                                                  33. 62A
                                                                    Time-travel TV series starring the beautiful Caitriona Balfe and the not-so-bad-looking-himself Sam Heughan [Strike 3]
                                                                  34. 64A
                                                                    Unit of length, roughly 39.37 inches
                                                                  35. 65A
                                                                    It's the heaviest of the three weapons used in fencing
                                                                  36. 66A
                                                                    Catalonia cat
                                                                  37. 67A
                                                                    Put away
                                                                  38. 68A
                                                                    Email menu item
                                                                  39. 69A
                                                                    Checked out
                                                                  1. 1D
                                                                    Full of uncertainty
                                                                  2. 2D
                                                                    Sleep inducer?
                                                                  3. 3D
                                                                    Occupation for Tonya, the criminal
                                                                  4. 4D
                                                                    Engines based on compression ignition
                                                                  5. 5D
                                                                    Mother of Horus
                                                                  6. 6D
                                                                    Inits on Bob Gibson's cap
                                                                  7. 7D
                                                                    Very, to Verdi
                                                                  8. 8D
                                                                    "Open ___;" Popeye's command in a 1937 cartoon
                                                                  9. 9D
                                                                    Eastern "way"
                                                                  10. 10D
                                                                    Give authority to
                                                                  11. 11D
                                                                  12. 12D
                                                                  13. 13D
                                                                    Baddie's facial expression
                                                                  14. 18D
                                                                  15. 22D
                                                                  16. 25D
                                                                    Binary test choice
                                                                  17. 26D
                                                                    Neo, for one (abbr)
                                                                  18. 27D
                                                                    Pigeon's home
                                                                  19. 28D
                                                                    Tournament type
                                                                  20. 29D
                                                                    Casual abbreviation of spoken words, like 'til for "until" or 'cause for "because"
                                                                  21. 33D
                                                                    Start to fix?
                                                                  22. 35D
                                                                    Addams Family character
                                                                  23. 36D
                                                                    Dies ___
                                                                  24. 37D
                                                                    Mr. Mom's Teri ___
                                                                  25. 39D
                                                                    Skier's conveyance
                                                                  26. 40D
                                                                    Where Robinson Crusoe insisted that all his chores be done by Friday
                                                                  27. 43D
                                                                    Lunar ___
                                                                  28. 45D
                                                                    Put in order
                                                                  29. 47D
                                                                    Images on Los Angeles Angels' caps
                                                                  30. 49D
                                                                    Turkish leader
                                                                  31. 50D
                                                                    J-Lo and 59D59DHe struck out 2,287 times, not counting with J-Lo[----], J-Lo and Marc Anthony, J-Lo and Ben Affleck, J-Lo and...well, you get the idea
                                                                  32. 51D
                                                                    Innings, in a regulation baseball game
                                                                  33. 52D
                                                                    Inspiration for poets and musicians
                                                                  34. 53D
                                                                    Hosiery shade
                                                                  35. 57D
                                                                    Conveyance whose popularity continues to go downhill
                                                                  36. 58D
                                                                    Head of France?
                                                                  37. 59D
                                                                    He struck out 2,287 times, not counting with J-Lo
                                                                  38. 61D
                                                                    Poetic "before"
                                                                  39. 63D
                                                                    Number of consecutive outs by strikeout in Tom Seaver's 19 K outing on April 22, 1970