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Author Topic: The May 9 crossword is pretty sharp  (Read 1186 times)


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The May 9 crossword is pretty sharp
« on: May 09, 2017, 04:32:57 PM »
Victor Barocas lives in St. Paul and teaches biomedical engineering at the University of Minnesota. He also creates crossword puzzles and is writing a series of mystery novels, Ada Cross, Crossword Detective, which will include mysterious crosswords (which can be solved by the reader) containing clues to solving crimes. Barocas' puzzle today includes three answers with circled letters spelling a type of sword used in fencing:

Gadget used on carrots: VEGETABLEPEELER
Deepwater Horizon catastrophe: GULFOILSPILL

"Activity one might see at a circus" -- and a feature of those three answers -- is SWORDSWALLOWING.

EPEE is one of the most commonly-used words in crossword puzzles. An épée -- the word is French for "sword" --  is a heavy sword used in dueling. A foil is a lighter sword used in training for a duel. A sabre or saber is a sharp-edged sword used for slashing. The website of the Oregon division of the United States Fencing Association goes into more detail:

As for the circus act, does anyone really swallow a sword? No -- the sword is passed through the mouth and down the esophagus into the stomach and is then withdrawn. The How Stuff Works website has a six-page article detailing how sword swallowing is accomplished.....but, kids, don't try this at home!

"No-win situation" is a clever clue for TIE. "CDX x V" is MML. I wish crossword creators would avoid using Roman numerals.....and foreign words. Let's extend the "America first" philosophy to crossword puzzles.


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