Friday, October 17, 2008
Amo = something you fire from a gun, Amat = something you sit on, Amamus = a pregnant rodent
"Normal" blog resumes, with 4000 stashed away for a snowy week. We have a crossword with an interesting shaped grid by Alban, a kind of a tribute crossword. It appears Alban's last puzzle was in 2002, and was all German words. the one before that was all French, before that more German.
So armed with that little bit of foreknowledge about Alban and the title, I think we're up against some Latin. The first across I could see the wordplay to (12ac - LUC(k),RUM) confirms this - Latin roots that appear with the words in Chambers.
My Latin is pretty terrible, so I turned to a friend who is a Classics professor for some assistance. She liked this crossword a lot (her mother does the Times).
The phrase QUOD ERAT DEMONSTRANDUM came to mind almost instantly when looking at 4,4,14.
Something bugged me a little here, after the first sitting I had the theme, the hidden phrase, and probably half of the grid filled in. It didn't seem all that important to fill in the rest of the grid, which meant poring through Latin dictionaries and emailing my Classics friend. There's probably some mistakes in the left-hand side of the grid.
Looking through Alban's previous puzzles, some of them sound truly inspired (a tribute to Douglas Adams!, and a cubic puzzle), hopefully a few will be in the new Listener book that may find its way to the US (or I'll cave and order it from the UK, might have to make it and Chambers a Christmas present to myself).
George 21, Listener 18. Streak: George 1.
I can't vote, but I'm caught up in the US election anyway. I live in one of these "swing states" that is being heavily canvassed, and on Sunday, James Taylor is coming to my little town to do a concert to support Barack Obama. I've got a ticket, James Talyor is a kind of a guilty pleasure, but whenever I think of him, I think of this
Vincent Price looks so happy in this clip.