Alex managed to get 9 K's
in this effort; and nine K's
is good even for a baseball pitcher. Dare I say that if he were a policeman he'd qualify for the K-9 unit? Sorry.
I tried to find a way to get a tenth K
and came up with the following options in the upper left corner:S K I MM I N I
I N T L
T O O K
KINO was the protagonist in Steinbeck's The Pearl
. (also a brand name of sandals)
SMIT is past tense of smite.A K I MM U N IA D D L
T O O K
AKIM is the first name of old-time actor Tamiroff.
While these entries by themselves may be too tough for Monday, the ease of the surrounding entries should not hinder the novice from completing the puzzle.
I also tried in the lowest middle of the grid, but the entries are a bit tougher:
O R B YM U G OS M U TK A N E
RUMA is an archaeologically important area in Serbia. A more popular entry might be RULA Lenska, the actress.
MUGO pine is a popular landscaping shrub.