Sunday, September 09, 2007
"It's Your Move" is by James Sajdak, and it's all about games. If this was a Patrick Blindauer puzzle (and a little later in the week) we'd probably be able to play all these games on the converted crossword grid, but since it's Monday we'll have to settle for just being able to see their names pop up.
SPOILER WARNING: Don't read any further until you've done today's New York Sun Crossword Puzzle. New York Sun puzzles are every bit as fun and challenging as the more well-known New York Times -- No, you know what, they're better. That's right, I said it, the New York Sun's puzzles are better than the New York Times's puzzles, and I can only imagine how frustrating it must be to be Peter Gordon and to keep putting out this superior product and have everybody just blog, blog, blogging and yak, yak, yakking about the Times, Times, Times. Look, if you don't have time for two great puzzles a day, do the better one, do the SUN -- (we now return you to your regularly scheduled spoiler warning) -- and they're indisputably better in one way -- they're free. If you'd like to read about an unbiased head-to-head competition between the Sun and the Times puzzles check this out. Or if you're ready to decide for yourself you can download this puzzle and join in on the fun here.
20A: Classic blues label of the '50s and '60s (CHESS RECORDS) Actually named after the two Polish immigrant brothers who started the label -- Phil and Leonard Chess.
28A: "Regardless of what they say about it, we're gonna keep it" source (CHECKERS SPEECH) This of course was the speech Richard Nixon gave when he was accused of accepting illegal campaign contributions and was about to get booted off the Eisenhower Presidential ticket. Checkers was a cocker spaniel that somebody gave Tricky Dick and he talked about how much the kids loved the dog, and how his wife didn't wear furs buta good old "respectable Republican cloth coat." I can't help wondering how American history might have been different if this speech hadn't gone over as well as it did.
44A: Advice from Horace Greeley (GO WEST YOUNG MAN) Horace Greeley was editor of the New York Tribune, the most influential newspaper of its day. He was a reformer, a politician who helped form the Republican Party and ran for president in 1872. But he is remembered today only for this four-word phrase from an editorial he wrote about homesteading.
51A: One who wants to go back to past ways (REVERSIONIST) This is the most modern of the four games mentioned. Chess, checkers and Go are all centuries old and nobody knows who invented them, but Reversi (also known as Othello) was invented in 1880 in England
by Lewis Waterman and John W. Mollett.
Other entries of interest:
59D: TV home of the Braves (TBS) That used to be true, but now TBS shows fewer than half of the Braves games. Most games are on Sports South or Fox Sports. Next year TBS will show Sunday afternoon MLB games and some playoffs, but no Braves unless they happen to be playing that Sunday or make the playoffs.
9A: Mother of Castor and Pollux (LEDA) And not just those two but also Clytemnestra (wife and murder of Trojan War hero Agamemnon) and Helen of Troy. Zeus seduced her while in the form of a swan. I wonder why he didn't try that with Io or any of the other maidens he lusted after.
64A: Safari sighting (ZEBRA) I had a more dangerous safari in mind at first. I had COBRA.
19A: Beyond the ____ (outside the bounds of acceptable behavior) (PALE) Your etymology lesson for today: "Pale" in this sense refers to a stake driven into the ground (the words pole and impale are from this same root) usually to form a barrier or a boundary. A lot of times it was the boundary of a city and people beyond the pale, beyond the city limits, were thought to uncivilized.
10A: Old comic strip character Kett (ETTA) Considering that comic strip ran for 50 years, it seems odd that Miss Kett is remembered now only by crossworders.