Creator of first crossword / SAT 12-21-13 / Jerry Orbach role in Fantasticks / Kingdom vanquished by Hammurabi / Girl's name in #1 1973 1974 song titles / Ranch sobriquet / Neighborhood org since 1844 / Fruit whose name comes from Arawak / Morlocks enemy
Saturday, December 21, 2013
Constructor: Todd Gross and David Steinberg
Relative difficulty: Easy
THEME: First crossword puzzle — today is the 100th anniversary of the crossword puzzle. The shaded area corresponds to the shape of that original puzzle, which looked like this:
Word of the Day: KREWE (12D: Mardi Gras group) —
A krewe (pronounced in the same way as "crew") is an organization that puts on a parade and/or a ball for the Carnivalseason. The term is best known for its association with New Orleans Mardi Gras, but is also used in other Carnival celebrations around the Gulf of Mexico, such as the Gasparilla Pirate Festival in Tampa, Florida, and Springtime Tallahassee as well as in La Crosse, Wisconsin and at the Saint Paul Winter Carnival.The word is thought to have been coined in the early 19th century by an organization calling themselves Ye Mistick Krewe of Comus, as an archaic affectation; with time it became the most common term for a New Orleans Carnival organization. The Mistick Krewe of Comus itself was inspired by a Mobile mystic society, with annual parades inMobile, Alabama, called the Cowbellion de Rakin Society that dated from 1830. (wikipedia)
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[SYNDICATED SOLVERS—my book review of Ben Tausig's "The Curious History of the Crossword Puzzle" appears in the Wall Street Journal today (January, 25, 2014). Here is a PDF.]
Google Doodle (if it's still up … it was on Friday). This was very easy if you were aware of the anniversary, maybe a little less so if you weren't. I've seen ARTHUR WYNNE's name so many times in the past few days that "gimme" doesn't even begin to describe it. Not sure how anyone's supposed to know what the gray area represents—did you get a note? My .pdf had no note. It's a bit insidery, esp. the FUN bit. Maybe there's a note out there that my version just didn't have. Who can say?
I like FUNGICIDE (16A: Jojoba oil is a natural one). Otherwise, shrug, puzzle's OK. Only trouble today was spelling AMIDALA (22D: "Star Wars" queen and senator), which is not AMADALA. Nor is it AMYGDALA, though it's close. Had I SWEAR instead of IT WAS I (40D: Formal confession). No other bumps to speak of.
If you want to read a little something on the 100th anniversary, I recommend this thoughtful little piece by Ben Tausig: "The Shape of Clues to Come: The Crossword at 100."
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld