Fireball Contest 3/29 – Jenni’s writeup

Puzzle 5:22 (Jenni)
Meta: DNF  


Peter Gordon’s Fireball Crossword, “Hot Spell” – Jenni’s writeup

I honestly didn’t try the meta – I solved the puzzle on Wednesday and then forgot all about it until just now. Thanks to Peter for sending the solution out so I would remember to blog it and understand what to write about!

Peter asks “What country is hinted at by this puzzle?” I did accurately identify the theme answers:

FB contest puzzle, 3/29, solution grid

  • 18a [Makes comfortable] is PUTS AT EASE.
  • 23a [Shout of surprise] is JEEZ LOUISE. I have seen varying spellings for the first word of this phrase; this is the one I like best.
  • 37a [Smarten up] is GET WISE. This phrase is not quite in the language to my ear.
  • 50a [Like things] are PEAS IN A POD.
  • 59a [Exotic activity] is STRIPTEASE. Are strippers still called “exotic dancers?”

So most of the theme answers have a word that ends in the “-eeze” sound. I got that far. The next step is noticing that each of those sounds (plus one more) is the plural of a letter: EASE = E’s, JEEZ = G’s, WISE = Y’s, PEAS = P’s, and TEASE  = T’s. Put them all together and they spell EGYPT. Nice.

A few other things:

  • 5d [Land east of Chosen] is NIPPON. This is a transliteration of the name the Japanese give their country, sometimes also rendered “Nihon.” “Japan” comes from Portuguese and Dutch, the first European nations to trade with Japan. I know “Nippon” from an e e cummings poem.
  • 11d [When Summer Olympics are held] are LEAP YEARS. Most of the time. A year has to be divisible by both four and 400, so 1900 was not a leap year. The Olympics were held that year. 2000 was a leap year. Technically, I suppose, the 1900 Olympics were not the “Summer Olympics” since the Winter Olympics weren’t held until 1924.
  • 33d [Weak heart] is TWO. I have no idea what this means. It’s not the center of the word “weak.” What I am missing?
  • 31d [Part of some school uniforms] is CLIP-ON TIE. Really? Poor kids. Or adults, I guess.
  • 44d [“___ locked? I can’t get in!” (end of a knock-knock joke)] is, of course, ISADORA. ETA: No, it’s not. Peter points out that it’s ISADORE, which of course makes 67A ELSE and 54d DANTE. I did the puzzle before it was unlocked and, um, didn’t check it very well.

What I didn’t know before I did this puzzle: that ATLAS was Prometheus’s brother. I suppose I might have known that at some point, but it vanished in the myths of memory.

This entry was posted in Daily Puzzles. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Fireball Contest 3/29 – Jenni’s writeup

  1. pannonica says:

    “[Weak heart] is TWO. I have no idea what this means. It’s not the center of the word “weak.” What I am missing?”

    Looks like playing cards. Not sure if it’s specifically a reference to the game Hearts.

  2. David says:

    Small clarification re: leap years:

    A year has to be divisible by 4 BUT if the year can be evenly divided by 100, it is NOT a leap year, unless the year is also evenly divisible by 400. Then it is a leap year.

    So, the years 2012 and 2016 are leap years by the first criterion and 2000 and 2400 are leap years by the second criterion, while 1800 and 1900 are NOT leap years.

  3. Joe says:

    Submitted Belize because it rhymes with the “ease” sound found in the theme answers (didn’t realize GETWISE was a part of it). Seemed too easy to be right and my suspicion was correct.

Comments are closed.