Monday, March 13, 2023

Monday, March 13, 2023, Sam Koperwas and Jeff Chen

exegi monumentum aere perennus
regalique situ pyramidum altius,
quod non imber edax, non aquilo impotens
possit diruere aut innumerabilis
annorum series et fuga temporum.
non omnis moriar multaque pars mei
vitabit Libitinam; usque ego postera
crescam laude recens, dum Capitolium
scandet cum tacita virgine pontifex.
dicar, qua violens obstrepit Aufidus
et qua pauper aquae Daunus agrestium
regnavit populorum, ex humili potens,
princeps Aeolium carmen ad Italos
deduxisse modos. sume superbiam
quaesitiam meritis et mihi Delphica
lauro cinge volens, Melpomene, comam.

So would I have started and finished this review had not the three of us been somehow talked into continuing this blog. Today marks the tenth anniversary of our first post. It seemed to me like it would have been a good place to stop. Ten years is a long time to do something, isn't it? Especially for a Gen-Xer like me. Aren't we supposed to be the slacker generation? What's with all this routine? This reliability? 

The theme today, sadly, is not to my liking. MOCKTAIL is fine, I like the word, and the concept, but I do not like the parallels. To mock seems so much harsher than to kid, or to rib. I get it, they're all bullying sorts of activities, but I don't have to like it. Such is the prerogative of a "reviewer."

I'll just end with a translation of the Horace ode above. It's the last poem in his third book of odes, and I thought it might be a fitting close to the blog. With apologies to Terry Walsh, whose translation I bastardize.

[We] have crafted a monument more lasting than bronze
and loftier than the royal pile of the pyramids,
a thing which neither biting rain nor the obstreperous
North Wind can destroy, nor the countless run of years,
the flight of time.
[We] will not totally perish and much of [us] will survive
Oblivion; [We] will go on living in the praise of those who
Postdate [us], as long as constructors continue to submit
Puzzles to the New York Times
[We] will be read, where rushing Aufidus plunges, where poor
Daunus reigned over his rustics, from this poor place become 
Powerful, as the first to have brought a kinder, funnier voice to
NYTX reviews.
Will Shortz, accept the pride attendant on your merits, and
come, ready to crown [us] with the laurels of Delphi. 

(Italicized portions approximate.)

- Horace, the younger 





  1. When I saw the clue "something to aim for" I wrote in THESKY without crosses. Sadly, was not to be.

  2. Thank you for the ODE, Horace, and for the blog...and Happy Anniversary!

  3. Agree. MOCK is bad. But only as a verb. I think as a noun, or is it an adjective, it's not so harsh. So MOCKTAIL is fine with me, on its own. But yes, the other clues have a pejorative undertone to them.

    Speaking of undertones.. a hint of melancholia in this review, Horace. Looking forward to seeing you and Frannie at the ACPT! I am going offline now for a while - my Caribbean vacay awaits.

  4. I didn't mind the theme too much, though I tend not to partake in ribbing or needling, in general (except a bit with the grandchildren). And yes, congratulations on the anniversary, and nice that you three are continuing with the sl...I mean blog! Have fun on the vacation, Philbo!