Sunday, October 30, 2022

Sunday, October 30, 2022, Addison Snell


Hey folks! It's Colum, back again for another scintillating week of reviews. Well, at least I think they're scintillating. Your mileage may vary, as they once said.

I just got back from a lovely overnight stay in Amherst, where I saw Cece's college orchestra perform a John Williams concert, replete with Jurassic Park, Schindler's List, and Star Wars music, among others. It was a blast!

But back to the mundane. Today's crossword puzzle references ALANTURING, known best for his work in deciphering the ENIGMAMACHINE's code, as depicted in the movie, The IMITATIONGAME. This work was instrumental in turning the tide of World War II, as the Allies were able to know what the Germans were doing ahead of time.

Turing is also known for his outstanding contributions to mathematics, as well as the Turing Test, which posits that if an artificial intelligence is able to fool a human over the course of a prolonged and open-ended conversation, it is essentially as good as alive. Unfortunately, he was prosecuted by the British Government for homosexual acts, and likely committed suicide at the age of 42.

The middle of the puzzle consists of eight 5-letter words, which, when put through a basic substitution cipher (the key is given in the Puzzle Info note), translates to a quotation of Turing's: "Codes are a puzzle, a game, just like any other game." I will be honest, I was going to decode the CRYPTOGRAM, but the program did it for me on the iPad. Did anyone go to the effort themselves?

Some fun clues and answers today:

7A: Pain in the neck? (GOITER) - too soon?

13D: Dunderhead (DUMMKOPF) - I like the German.

16D: Implies (INTIMATES) - if the clue and answer were reversed, this would have been harder.

62D: Its in French (SES) - the absence of an apostrophe makes all the difference!

Interesting start to the week. It did not play particularly hard, but I also ignored the decoding entirely.

- Colum


  1. Agree. As soon as the grid was complete, the decoded quote revealed itself and I lost interest.

    Also : Colum / Horace / Frannie - up here in Canada on the CBC, there was an episode of "The Passionate Eye" that focused on the NYT crossword. Will Shortz featured prominently, as did several setters, non of whom (unfortunately) I was able to meet at the tournament last year. The focus was largely on inclusivity in the cluing, which to me is a bit of a nothing-burger but I recognize opinions vary on that point. Near the end, though, there was some footage of last year's tourney and GUESS WHO SHOW UP in the foreground of one of the shots! :)

    1. Whaa?! Was it you? Was it us? Was it all of us? Is this thing online somewhere? Do I need some kind of Canadian secret code to view it?

      Also, I can't believe Shortz didn't mention us by name!

    2. Nevermind, I found it. (we show up first around 40:55). And you do need a secret handshake, it's called a VPN. :)

    3. Yes, very. Thanks for letting us know about it! :)

  2. Pretty fast solve for me, and since I solve on the NYT site now, it decoded the quote immediately when I finished. I'm an ALANTURING fan; impressive intellect. He'd have been more valued and accepted nowadays, I'd imagine.