Thursday, September 04, 2008

Off-Day Puzzle #10: Holes Up The Middle

Any Dodger fan familiar with the 2008 Dodgers groans in agony when watching Jeff Kent fall over to one of his sides like a toppled tree, knees creaking like an old floorboard, as he tries to stop a grounder up the middle. [Editor's note: to be fair, this joke was a heck of a lot funnier before it was announced that Kent, who had been playing on torn cartilage for over a month, had what might be season-ending arthroscopic knee surgery on Tuesday. SoSG Sax has added funerals, along with birthday parties and barmitzvahs, to the list of events at which I can perform comedy.]

And the last time I saw Kent's helpless defensive attempt, while thinking to myself, "how can I live through this?", I suddenly realized that instead of lamenting a porous middle infield, I can instead utilize the deep vault of Dodger history to help solve the problems of today's team.

And that brings us to today's Off-Day Puzzle #10. Can you use the following 38 second basemen and shortstops, from Dodgers past and present, in order to fill the gaping hole in the center?

(click on image for larger view)


BERROA, Angel
CABRERA, Jolbert
CORA, Alex
DESHIELDS, Delino
DUNCAN, Mariano
ELSTER, Kevin
FALLON, George
FREY, Lonny
FURCAL, Rafael
GAGNE, Greg
GARCIAPARRA, Nomar
GILLIAM, Jim
GRIFFIN, Alfredo
GRUDZIELANEK, Mark
HERNANDEZ, Jose
HU, Chin-Lung (*)
IZTURIS, Cesar
KENT, Jeff
LAROCHE, Andy
LEFEBVRE, Jim
LOPES, Davey
MAGOON, George
MAZA, Luis
NEAL, Charlie
OFFERMAN, Jose
OLIVER, Nate
OZUNA, Pablo
REED, Jody
REESE, Pee Wee
ROBINSON, Jackie
ROCHELLI, Lou
RUSSELL, Bill
SAX, Steve
VIZCAINO, Jose
WILLS, Maury
WRIGHT, Glenn
YOUNG, Eric
ZIMMER, Don

Puzzle construction notes: Last names only. Also, Chin-Lung Hu has an asterisk not because of his amazing 73 HR single-season record, but because his location has already been identified in the grid (we want to make sure you found the right Hu).

Puzzle rules: Comment freely in the thread, but if you have the solution, please don't give away the answer to everyone in the comments section. Instead, do the following:

  • Email us with the puzzle's two-word answer (and please include your screen name somewhere in the email), and
  • Post a comment simply saying you have emailed your solution attempt. Due to firewall issues, I may not be able to reply to your original email promptly, so please do be patient and check back on the comment thread for the latest news; I will confirm correct answers there.

Deadline is midnight PT, and the solution will be posted at 12:01 AM tomorrow. Thanks, and good luck!

Bonus! In addition to the prizes we're awarding to the Puzzle Championship Series, this particular puzzle, like Puzzle #9, also comes with a special bonus prize. But that's all I'm saying about the bonus prize; when you see the bonus clue, you'll know. Email us if you know what I'm talking about (no giant leaps necessary), and so long as the person whose name is drawn (from the list of correct bonus prize answer submitters) is willing to send us his/her mailing address, he/she will be eligible to receive a wonderful Dodger-related bonus prize item. (Just ask neeebs, it's fun for the whole family!) Good luck.

SoSG not responsible for items lost in the mail. Big props to P&A Magazine for the puzzle concept.

UPDATE #1 (11a PT): We have six correct answers, but no one has found the bonus...

UPDATE #2 (12:15a PT): Quadsevens has found the bonus! As such, I'm not going to hint on the bonus just yet. We have seven correct answers as well.

UPDATE #3 (3:45a PT): Steve also got the bonus! 10 correct answers, as well. Nice work, everyone...and there's still time left!

42 comments:

Eric Karros said...

Got it. Emailed my answer.

Just kidding.

Mike Scioscia's tragic illness said...

I think this is one of those times where I benefit by being up 3 hours earlier than everyone else.

Also: gross.

Daniel said...

Sent in my answer.

QuadSevens said...

My answer has been sent in.

Steve Sax said...

Please make sure that your answer is emailed with your "handle" so I know who is answering...

Alex Cora said...

Hey I made the list of shortstops! WOOHOO! I'm good enough, I'm strong enough, and gosh darnit, people like me! :)

Steve Sax said...

AC, Jose frickin' Vizcaino made the list too. Don't get too excited (even if you did score the game winning run, off an error, in last night's game)

Neeebs said...

Finally solved a puzzle.

Steve Sax said...

MSTI, you're in with the first correct answer. (I don't get "gross", in your comment--please explain either through another post or through email!)

Daniel, QuadSevens, you also are both correct.

Congrats to all three of you...however, no bites yet on the bonus prize...

Steve Sax said...

Neeebs, correct answer, congrats!

Must be the magic gloves.

Gil Gamesh said...

Answer sent

Eric Karros said...

answer sent, this time for real

Steve Sax said...

Gil Gamesh and EK, you're both correct.

No one has found the bonus clue as of yet.

Mike Scioscia's tragic illness said...

I just despise everything about the correct answer, is all I meant.

QuadSevens said...

Bonus prize answer emailed.

Loney Fan said...

Answer sent

Loney Fan said...

Bonus answer sent

Steve Sax said...

QUADSEVENS GETS THE BONUS ANSWER! Well done, dude!

Steve Sax said...

LoneyFan, you have a correct answer, You do not yet have a correct bonus answer, unfortunately--keep looking!

berkowit28 said...

I sent in my solution. Haven't found the bonus answer yet.

berkowit28 said...

OK, now I think I got the bonus answer too. Sent in.

Steve Sax said...

Berkowit28, you have a correct answer, congratulations! However you do not have a correct bonus answer; keep looking!

Steve said...

Just sent in my answer... I feel like I started this one a bit late!

Erin said...

Just sent in my answer.

Steve said...

Also sent in the bonus answer...

berkowit28 said...

Really? I don't have the correct bonus answer? It surely must have been then a somehow incorrect answer to the correct bonus clue? I can't believe I didn't find the correct bonus clue. Must be a trick question, or something.

QuadSevens said...

Sweeeeeeeeet! I hope I win the bonus prize drawing and I hope the prize is a coupon to Krispy Kremes! (For some donut holes of course)

Delino DeShields said...

Here's my answer - Sax is the Zodiac killer!

berkowit28 said...

OK, I think what I submitted as my bonus answer must instead be the actual puzzle solution? (It's the only thing that makes MSTI's "gross" comment sensible.)

Steve Sax said...

Steve and Erin, you both have correct answers.

Steve, you have also nailed the bonus answer! Congrats!

Berk, i just sent you an email...

karina said...

wait for my late night wrong answer...

fanerman said...

Answer sent. No bonus... yet.

Jose said...

Just sent my answer.

Jose said...

bonus sent too.

Steve Sax said...

Fanerman and Jose, your answers are also correct. Congrats!

jose, you did indeed find the bonus as well. Well done.

Steve Sax said...

Fanerman, your bonus is also correct. Congrats!

fanerman said...

Hooray!

Steve Sax said...

Okay, peeps, I'm out for the night, but emails received before midnight will count. Enjoy, and congrats everyone!

Steve Sax said...

Berk, just got your email and I love your effort...you actually grabbed the right part of the flavortext to clue you in, but it's not what you described. It is elsewhere in the grid, though...good luck!

Steve Sax said...

One more clarification (thanks to the submitter who noticed this): it is not correct to select the "CORA" that is hidden backwards in "LAROCHE"; one must find another "CORA" (and not Joey).

Good night, and good luck!

Delino DeShields said...

I've got hurdy gurdy man in my ears as I read this puzzle.

Eric Karros said...

Delino - I hope he's not using any tongue.