Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Wednesday, October 23, 2019, Jennifer Nutt


Sometimes a puzzle causes one to do research, especially when in the act of writing a blog post about said puzzle. I was musing after completing today's exemplar as to the reason or inspiration for publishing a grid built around the celebrated eruption of MOUNTVESUVIUS in AD 79. Why today, your faithful blogger wondered.

Well, I'm not entirely sure. For hundreds of years, it was presumed that the eruption occurred in late August, on the basis of two letters from Pliny the Younger. And yet recently (one year ago), archaeologists discovered an inscription in charcoal dated to mid-October, which, due to the evanescence of the writing material, has now been presumed to have been written in the year of the explosion. Now, apparently, experts think the eruption occurred on October... 24th.


Guess you can't win them all.

Meanwhile, PLINYTHEELDER, who indeed was reported to have said "Fortes fortuna iuvat," meaning, of course, FORTUNE / FAVORS / THEBOLD, in fact perished in his attempt to get away from Pompeii. So now I really don't know the point of the story. Especially since Pliny was not even close to the first person to say this phrase.

Meanwhile, any puzzle that has both ANIMATRONS and TUNABURGER is a winner in my book. I'm also proud to say that I knew 29D: David Lynch's first feature film (ERASERHEAD) off of the E.

- Colum


  1. So agreed there is a bit of a "huh?" factor especially with respect to the "fortune favors the bold" part. But somehow Mount Vesuvius makes me forgive it. Maybe just because it isn't Mount Etna (which I'm sure is a very fine mountain, just a little overexposed in terms of crossword PR strategy).

  2. 9:27
    It's even weirder now that I know the new eruption date is tomorrow. But really, it probably started rumbling the day before, right?...

    But really, I've heard his death was not because he

  3. 9:40
    I'm with Mr. Kingdon: it is nice to see the full MOUNTVESUVIUS in there as opposed to the usual "Etna" entry. SHUNT is nice, and I, too, knew ERASERHEAD off of the "E." In fact, I own it on DVD, but it irritates Sue so it's not watched too often. I also own "Blue Velvet," another masterpiece, IMO. Shout out to JOY.