Play Ball!

Merl Reagle, April 5

As if you needed a reminder that it’s baseball’s opening week (watching the Phillies raise the 2008 championship banner wasn’t enough of a hint?), Merl Reagle has crafted a gem of a puzzle chock full o’ team names — both across and down.

The one that made me laugh out loud was at the center of the puzzle, 66 Across: “Get a certain player out?” The answer — TAG A MET — is also a heartburn medication. As long as the Phillies keep tagging Mets, I hope not to need Tagamet this season.

Other fun ones: THE LONE RANGER (13 Down, “Only player on base?”); ATHLETIC SUPPORTER (113 Across, “Fan of a West Coast team?”);  THE ARTFUL DODGER (54 Across, “Ballplayer who plays with panache?”); and, as a frequent Red Sox fan, YANKEE GO HOME (96 Across, “Advice to a player on third base?”)

21 Across, “Oldest player on one team?” made me think of high school English. The answer, THE ANCIENT MARINER, is the from “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. I don’t remember ever having to read it, but the title has always stayed with me because of the “rime” part … you always thought he meant “rhyme” — and wouldn’t life have been easier if they had? — but no, he meant “rime,” as in ice. Brrrrr. Guess that would explain why the mariner was ancient.

Play ball! Go Phillies!

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