by Andrew Marc Greene and Julia Tenney
Problem:

This is a Rows Garden puzzle, of course, in which 13 bloom clues are both missing a word and give a five-letter answer.

Some of the missing words are obvious, and the top and bottom rows of the grid (CHAMPIONS and HOOPSTERS) should be solveable even before solvers figure out all the details. The orange, and the red-white-and-blue colors confirm that we are looking for NBA championship teams.

The list of years at the bottom gives solvers the names of 13 teams, some of which they should have already figured out from context. This will help them complete the remaining bloom clues.

The resulting grid is:

CHA   MPI   ONS
PHEASANTSTREETSWEEPER
HEALTHYMEALGHOSTSTORY
STRONGDOLLARTAPEDECKS
MERCURATIONEMISSARIES
MAJORPLANETSREDOUBLER
WORKNIGHTSEXASPERATED
INTERSPERSESWHITENERS
SPACESAVERINDENTATION
HOO   PST   ERS

with answers listed below.

Extraction works like this: Take each of the 13 years, in the order given. Find the bloom clue which was missing the name of that year’s NBA championship-winning team. Take the extra letter from that bloom, as given by the row answers. Those letters spell out SHOOTING STARS, which is another description of these Rose Garden visitors, and your final answer.

 A CHAMPIONS Some Rose Garden visitors B SPLIT PEA Soup for a foggy day? (2 wds.) PLASMA DISPLAY Schmancy TV option, once (2 wds.) C PHEASANT Bird that gets plucked in a tongue twister STREET SWEEPER One source of spring steel for lock picks (2 wds.) D HEALTHY MEAL Salad for lunch, say (2 wds.) GHOST STORY A tale told by a campfire (2 wds.) E STRONG DOLLAR It increases your purchasing power when traveling overseas (2 wds.) TAPE DECKS What gen-X teens used to play Menudo (2 wds.) F MERCURATION Process of introducing element 80 EMISSARIES Ambassadors G MAJOR PLANETS Four or eight celestial bodies, depending on your source (2 wds.) REDOUBLER Someone who aggressively believes in their bridge partner’s bid H ANSWER FOR Give a response on behalf of (2 wds.) RF OSCILLATOR Circuitry at WBZ’s transmitter (2 wds.) I WORK NIGHTS Take the graveyard shift (2 wds.) EXASPERATED Peevish or testy (or how someone might feel about our bizarre choices for clues, say) J INTERSPERSES Weaves WHITENERS Bleaches, particularly in toothpaste K SPACE SAVER Lawn chair after a blizzard in Boston, say (2 wds.) INDENTATION Divot, for example L HOOPSTERS Some Rose Garden visitors

Bloom answers are given in top-to-bottom left-to-right order.

### Red blooms

 PHELPS Olympic swimming great SPENT Gave up in exchange for goods, as one does with BUCKS, moolah, or do-re-mi DAMES Titled women like Maggie Smith, who played one of the WIZARDS in the Harry Potter franchise REPLAY Live broadcasts may show one instantly CONGRU French term describing two identical triangles ALONE How MAVERICKS like to go it ERASED Wiped out ROWAN Atkinson whose “Blackadder” had a Comic Relief Red Nose special about CAVALIERS in 1988 FORTH Back and ____, like the motion of PISTONS in an engine ASPICS Savory gelatin dishes ROTTED Like fruit past its prime CHOOSE Elect SPRINT 50-yard dash, e.g. TATERS Where tots come from?

### White blooms

 ATLAS Book in which the lands of the CELTICS might be found under “Ireland and U.K.” GLARE Anthem word after “the ROCKETS’ red” TWEETS Opines in 140280 characters or less JAMMER Cell block device? LATINA Hispanic woman DERMIS Skin RELIES Counts (on) SINKER Partner of hook and line SEXES Distinguishes cows from BULLS, for example ARETE Rugged mountain crest where HAWKS might live

### Blue blooms

 HAPTIC Like some feedback on your phone PSALM Liturgical poem sometimes ascribed to one of the KINGS of Israel PSIONS Telepaths or subatomic particles HEARTS Red suit MELODY What altos and basses almost never get to sing, not that we’re bitter or anything PATHS They are first traversed by TRAILBLAZERS ROCKY Turbulent, like a flight through THUNDER and lightning PROWER Sonic’s BFF Miles FOSTER Promote or nurture BALLOU Fonda’s Cat TAPS IN Sinks the ball from an inch away (2 wds.) REPAVE Update one’s driveway WHINED Bellyached REINS Lines of control, often used by someone wearing SPURS

### Teams by year

YearTeamWordExtra letter
1991BULLSSEXESS
2008CELTICSATLASH
2003SPURSREINSO
1977TRAILBLAZERSPATHSO
1994ROCKETSGLARET
1951KINGSPSALMI
1958HAWKSARETEN
1990PISTONSFORTHG
1979THUNDERROCKYS
1978WIZARDSDAMEST
1971BUCKSSPENTA
2011MAVERICKSALONER
2016CAVALIERSROWANS