With the Dodgers' magic number stuck at five going into the final week of baseball, the timing is opportune to bring up a (fictional) story of Joe Torre and Josh Rawitch, as Torre had a special shortened lineup to fill.
Torre had a unique situation in which he had to pick five Dodgers, past or present, to participate in a Dodgers community service event that involved them going to an all-girls high school. It wasn't a big commitment, just stand in front of the assembly in the school's multi-purpose room up on stage, and show a couple of game-typical maneuvers (like throwing, catching, and batting), and be done with the event in under two hours.
Torre toiled over this one for a while. Which Dodgers should he choose? These were the sort of lineup decisions that drove him (and Dodger fans) insane. Luckily, while procrastinating a bit, Torre found the the answer was right before him, as the puzzle strangely mentioned four Dodgers from past and present. Once he realized what these four Dodgers had in common, it was easy for him to decide the fifth and final Dodger needed to complete the group.
Unfortunately for Dodger VP of Public Relations Rawitch, who was trying to settle the details for this community service event, Torre wasn't able to tell him the five Dodgers he wanted to select. Instead, Torre left Rawitch the following crossword grid, with the following note scribbled in the margin:
Josh: This crossword grid reveals four of the five Dodgers that I have selected for my quintet. If you can complete this grid step by step, you'll figure out the theme the four Dodgers have in common, which should lead you to determine who the fifth Dodger must be. The fifth Dodger will fit the common theme, albeit a little differently from the other four, and as an extra hint, he's an outfielder. And, as one more hint to the theme that binds all four players and signals the fifth player, there are five blue squares which will anagram to an appropriate acronym.
Who is the fifth Dodger player that Torre has selected?
ACROSS 1. Brooklyn Dodger 4. ______ Flux 8. Aid partner 12. Grow old 13. Chemistry term for "turning to the left" (obscure) 14. Granddaddy of Bowls 15. Chicken ____ King 16. Family 17. Social appointment 18. 411 20. Toy brick maker 22. _____ Now Or Never 24. Mai-____ 25. Preamble beginning 27. DODGER #1 31. Slow mover (no, not James Baldwin) 33. Poetic contraction 34. Though 36. Relaxation place 37. Eyelid tissues 40. DODGER #2 43. Radio wave 44. Abbreviation for "final" synonym (obscure) 46. Corn remainder 47. Implement 49. Sports award 52. Icky stuff from nose 55. Russian city 57. Slang for Native American territory (obscure) 59. Synonym for 1-across 60. Unit of land measure 61. Antlered animal 62. Robots took her medicine (see sidebar) 63. 365 days 64. To carry on
DOWN 1. Sheep sound 2. Tangelo variety 3. Average 4. Little Women author 5. Moray 6. Ellipse 7. Nine musical performers 8. DODGER #3 9. Snake 10. Extreme suffix 11. Golf accessory 19. Solve 21. Petrol 23. Chinese food sauce 25. Erase 26. Impetuous ardor 27. Test software version 28. 500 sheets of paper 29. Hockey's Bobby 30. Birth (maiden) name identifier 32. Gray 35. Sudden spasm 38. DODGER #4 39. UN labor group 41. What______ (in any way) 42. How I Met Your Mother network 45. Gecko type 48. Insects found in hair 50. Type of school 51. Scream 52. That girl 53. Neither partner 54. ___-Wan Kenobi 56. Pitching statistic 58. The heavens
Puzzle construction notes: As a warning, the crossword itself is almost as convoluted as my lead-in story (this is the first crossword I've ever constructed, and man! is it difficult to do!). There are a handful of reasonably obscure words which I've tried to indicate in the clues. Sorry about that. I can say that the payoff of theme is pretty good, so please hang in there if you're a crossword type of person and you're insulted by this admittedly weak attempt.
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 (full name of the fifth player, please), including 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.
Bonus! In addition to the prizes we're awarding to the Puzzle Championship Series (see the sidebar for top-five standings), we're also giving away a participation prize for this individual puzzle. Like our previous puzzles, all solution attempts submitted via email before the deadline--correct or not--will be entered into a pool (one entry per person regardless of number of submissions). From this pool, one name will be randomly selected in a transparent lottery. As long as the person drawn is willing to send us his/her mailing address, they will receive a wonderful Dodger-related prize item. As for this bonus prize...let's just say, you'll flip over it!
Deadline is midnight PT, and the solution will be posted at 12:01 AM tomorrow. Thanks, and good luck!
SoSG not responsible for items lost in the mail. Thanks to Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP for its generous underwriting of this bonus participation prize.
HINT #1 (9.15a): The blue letters do not anagram to a word; rather, they anagram to an acronym. This is key to determining the link between the five players, if looking at the four alone in the grid isn't enough.
HINT #2 (11.40a): The names of the four Dodgers in the grid matter, but it is not relevant to examine the first letters of their last names. (It is also not relevant to examine the last letters of their first names; you're getting confused with something else.)