Thursday, June 12, 2014

Wednesday, June 11, 2014, Ian Livegood


Funny story to explain my absence yesterday: I got appendicitis and had surgery last night. All is well now, thankfully, and I'm recovering. So I did both yesterday's and today's puzzle this morning.

This Flag Day puzzle is early by three days. Not sure why (because no themed puzzles on a Saturday?) but it is amusing that Mr. Livegood refers to the correct date in 67A: June 14, e.g. (DATE). I like the symmetry of STARSANDSTRIPES and HAMMERANDSICKLE. The first theme entry I got, however, was RISINGSUN, and not recognizing the reference to Flag Day, because, you know, it isn't, I figured the circled letters would read "land of". No luck...

Other than the peculiarity of the timing, I thought this was a well constructed puzzle. 9D: C. S. Lewis's birthplace (BELFAST) and 43D: Tlaloc, to the Aztecs (RAINGOD) were nicely matching bits of trivia. 10A: Pen, e.g. (SWAN) was something  I didn't know. I had to look it up to see why it was correct: a pen is a female swan. Similarly, I knew all the letters in 47A: Part of a round (HOLE) were right, but didn't get the golf reference for a long time. I don't like EEE, but that's the only bit of true crosswordese. Nice Wednesday.

- Colum


  1. 9:46
    The first themed entry I got was right at the top with MAPLELEAF, after just M_P______. That's no real hint to the theme because it could refer to numerous things about Canada. But then STARSANDSTRIPES fit in with just 4-5 crosses and after that the rest were gimmies. My first reaction was similarly, "Flag Day isn't until Saturday," but Anne pointed out that the puzzle stated that, too. So maybe I'm OK with it, particularly with the circled letters coming around to say Flag Day. Indeed, Flag Day, on Saturday, isn't supposed to be a celebration of flags in general, but rather the one particular flag referenced in the center. Sure, it's a bit of a stretch, but it's a Wednesday.

    I agree about RAINGOD being nice trivia, and I also didn't know SWAN. Nor did I know about an EXALTATION of Larks, even though I've read through those lists of weird English group words a few times for various reasons.

  2. 9:09
    I was wondering where Colum was...I'm glad the surgery was (presumably) successful and the entry was finally posted! Nice that the circled letters spelled out FLAGDAY in a clockwise order. I'd never heard of a POKERROOM, but that's fine, I guess. Also, it was nice to see ZITS referenced in there as I'm a fan of that particular strip. I agree that this themed offering had to be put in now; Th, Fr, Sat are days for more serious puzzles.