Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Tuesday, February 25, 2020, Peter Gordon


How many of us know our own STATE's MOTTO? I was surprised to find out that New York's is "Excelsior." My esteemed colleagues who make their home in Massachusetts may not know that theirs is "Ense petit placidam sub libertate quietem." Showoffs. Translated, it states: "By the sword we seek peace, but peace only under liberty."

This puzzle's theme is individual state's mottos hidden as the first word of a common phrase. It's a tight theme group, as there are in fact only four states whose mottos consist of a single English word, and all four are represented here. That being said, the revealer is more of a "Huh." moment than an "aha!" moment.

Did you know that in the new XFL, you can throw more than one FORWARDPASS, as long as both are released behind the original line of scrimmage? This is one of the many XFL rules I think ought to be moved into the pro game, but the NFL is a stodgy beast.

Meanwhile, I had a few moments that nearly made me cry "SHEETS!" Okay, I exaggerate. I entered PRude for 7D: Strait-laced person (PRISS), which led to 24A: "Quite true" (ITISSO) being incorrectly guessed as soISee, and thus the NW corner was locked out until the end. Particularly since I had a mind block and couldn't recall JONAS Salk.

Unfortunately, the fill is rife with things like plural GILAS (which only ever googles as Gila Monsters), ORCH, ORTHO and random ONEAM. I do appreciate other entries like the peculiar ACTIII, AWSHUCKS, and TRIPOLI.

Anyway, I think that's an OEUF, don't you?

- Colum


  1. 16:00
    The middle north had me flummoxed for a little while, what with NITTI (never heard of this person) being in there. Eventually, however, ORTHO and ROTI were slowly pulled from my memory, the latter known to me only through crossword solving. Normally on a Tuesday we'd only see naan. I, like Colum, entered PRude off of the clue, and that took a while to fix, too. I also wanted INDUSTRYgiAnts_ where INDUSTRYLEADERS belongs (and fits), but that didn't take quite as long to correct due to the "fitting" part. I also tried ACTone, and then ACTtwo before hitting on ACTIII, which worked much better for the crosses. Decent theme. I don't think Hillary would appreciate RODHAM abutting CREEPO; I certainly wouldn't.

  2. I did not finish this crossword. I got stuck on RO_I and NIT_I (never heard of these terms before); nevertheless, I really liked this puzzle's geography theme. I actually remembered FRIENDSHIP from my Grade 7 Texas history class. "Austin" and "southwest" are also Texas related. Houston used to have an NFL team named OILERS. I really liked their uniform. My older brother had a CB radio and a LAVALAMP, while my kid brother was a US Marine. I used to have a SWISS Army knife. I have read Robert C. O'Brien's book about NIMH. "Hamlet" is my favorite Shakespearean work. I never acquired a taste for ANIME, but I like "old jokes", puns, and riddles. In fact, the crossword puzzle in the West Texas County Courier usually has them as themes.


  3. This looks like a discussion of the puzzle for Tuesday the 25th, not Tuesday the 26th.

  4. 4:27
    Ense petit placidam indeed!

    Interesting that these are the only four one-worders. But wait, what about "Dirigo?" Isn't that Maine's motto? Or did you not count Latin words? Oh right... you did say "English word." And you did mention Excelsior... Nevermind. :)