Sif's husband in myth / THU 8-1-13 / Greek night goddess / Old D&D co / Diurna daily Roman notices / Old A.C. Gilbert toy / Tolkien's Dark Lord of Mordor
Thursday, August 1, 2013
Constructor: Timothy Polin
Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging
THEME: PHYSICS FORMULAS (60A: What the three sets of circled squares in this puzzle represent) — In familiar phrases, "Pressure" "Speed" and "Density" are represented visually in the grid by their formulas (FORCE over AREA, DISTANCE over TIME, and MASS over VOLUME, respectively); thus:
- 17A: With 22-Across, fail to cope with difficult circumstances (CRACK UNDER [FORCE/AREA])
- 27A: With 35-Across, highway sign meaning "slow down" (REDUCE [DISTANCE/TIME])
- 45A: With 51-Across, Monace has the world's highest (POPULATION [MASS/VOLUME])
Nyx (Ancient Greek: Νύξ, "night") – Nox in Latin translation – is the Greek goddess (or personification) of the night. A shadowy figure, Nyx stood at or near the beginning of creation, and was the mother of other personified gods such asHypnos (Sleep) and Thánatos (Death). Her appearances in mythology are sparse [emph. mine], but reveal her as a figure of exceptional power and beauty. She is found in the shadows of the world and only ever seen in glimpses. (wikipedia)
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This is both very clever and not that appealing to me. Just one of those puzzles that I recognize is reasonably well constructed, but that I just don't care for. Something about it seems oddly flat to me. Maybe it's that the base phrases are so dull. The gimmick is formulas ... structurally, this is very interesting, but it's interesting only structurally. There's no word play and nothing cool at the level of *meaning* ... again, I fully acknowledge that this is a matter of taste. There's just not that much that's entertaining or playful about the words that are in the grid. It's a wonderful technical achievement. But it left me cold the way most things merely technical do.
ACTA (20A: ___ Diurna (daily Roman notices)) and ESSA and NORI sections). The Z and X are pretty gratuitous, but no real harm done. I probably wouldn't use the relatively obscure NYX (68A: Greek night goddess) just to squeeze an X in there, but that word does liven up an otherwise mostly pedestrian grid, so I can't complain. Let's see where I dropped the ball today ... wrote in LOKI at first (?!) where THOR belonged (10D: Sif's husband in myth). Wrote in OREOS instead of ORCAS—the price of not reading the clue well enough (1D: Black-and-white threats — not "treats"). Is DE TROP a thing in English? Thankfully, I've never heard anyone try to squeeze it into a non-French conversation (64A: Too much). I've never heard of CECIL Day-Lewis (41A: British poet laureate ___ Day-Lewis), but I'm guessing he's some relation to Daniel. Yes? Yes. CECIL was his father. CECIL is also the name of the Pomona College mascot. CECIL the Sagehen. True. Story. Chirp chirp.
PS my wife just reminded me of the horribleness that is ENVIRON, which I clearly repressed (44D: Form a ring around).