Philippine island in WWII fighting / MON 10-13-14 / Walsh three-time Olympic beach volleyball gold medalist / Sprockets George Jetson's employer
Monday, October 13, 2014
Constructor: Greg Johnson
Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging (*for a Monday*)
- CROQUET (15A: It's played with mallets and wickets …)
- CANASTA (16A: … with 108 cards)
- SNOOKER (22D: … with cues and 22 balls)
- REVERSI (27D: … with black-and-white disks)
- TWISTER (36A: … with a mat with colored circles)
- HANGMAN (59A: … with dashes on paper)
- MARBLES (60A: … with steelies and aggies)
Reversi is a strategy board game for two players, played on an 8×8 uncheckered board. There are sixty-four identical game pieces called disks (often spelled "discs"), which are light on one side and dark on the other. Players take turns placing disks on the board with their assigned color facing up. During a play, any disks of the opponent's color that are in a straight line and bounded by the disk just placed and another disk of the current player's color are turned over to the current player's color.The object of the game is to have the majority of disks turned to display your color when the last playable empty square is filled.Reversi is marketed by Pressman under the trade name Othello. (wikipedia)
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REVERSI—or PANAY, or SPACELY, for that matter. I actually have heard of Spacely Sprockets, having seen a few episodes of "The Jetsons," but I still needed virtually every cross to get SPACELY. Wikipedia tells me that the company's actual name is SPACELY's Space Sprockets. The "employer" in the clue made me think of a person, not a company, and so I couldn't understand why I remembered a Mr. SPACELY and not a SPACELY Sprockets. And now I see—the "employer" here is the company, not the owner (whose name is Cosmo SPACELY, by the way, in case you're ever asked). There were no characters named SPACELY Sprockets. Usually, if you get a "Jetsons" clue, you get ELROY. Maybe ASTRO. So let's just say SPACELY was out of place (ly) on a Monday. I probably would've changed it to SPARELY and then changed the Down (CAT SCAN) to RAT-SWAN. I'd've clued it [Post-apocalyptic animal hybrid]. Yes, that's much better.
But seriously, everyone knows the game OTHELLO, right? I gotta believe far fewer people know REVERSI. REVERSI seems like other games I've heard of but barely believe in, like ONE-O'CAT and ROLODENDRO or whatever that game was I got a letter about once … the one that sounded like a Harry Potter spell … ROLYPOLYO? … ah, here it is: RINGALEVIO! Good times. Anyway, the lasting image of this puzzle will be one of Mr. SPACELY playing REVERSI on PANAY.
GAME SEVEN, since the former accurately describes both a League Championship or World Series finale *and* this puzzle. But that wouldn't sit dead center, which the revealer (in this case) has to do, so GAME SEVEN is fine. The theme answers are just games, so no real excitement there, but the 7x7 thing is at least interesting, and it's tough to bring a theme-dense, white-square-heavy puzzle in in good shape on any day of the week. To make it almost plausibly Monday-easy is particularly impressive. It misses—this should've been a Tuesday—but it's close. I like that all the games are quite different from one another. I like the "Q." I like saying SNOOKER. So I'm generally pro-this puzzle.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld