Peter Gordon’s contest puzzle, “It’s Elementary” stumped me. Well, the puzzle didn’t stump me, but the meta escaped me completely.
Peter asks “What means of transportation is hinted at by this puzzle?” The title also provides an important clue.
The theme answers all hint at a number.
- 17a [Cooing lovebirds?] are TURTLEDOVES. In the song “Twelve Days of Christmas,” there are two of them.
- 24a [Certain golf iron] is a MIDMASHIE. This is also known as the 3-iron.
- 35a [Diamond gem] is a PERFECT GAME, in which a pitcher faces the minimum of twenty-seven batters.
- 50a [Hall of Fame linebacker and defensive end who played his whole career with the Kansas City Chiefs] is BOBBY BELL. The Chiefs retired his number, which is 78.
- 60a [Toronto tower] is SCOTIA PLAZA. That’s the third-tallest building in Canada, but that’s not the number Peter is looking for. He wants the 68 floors.
The title tells us we’re looking for elements. Each of those number corresponds to an element on the Periodic Table: 2 is helium (He); 3 is lithium (Li); 27 is cobalt (Co); 78 is platinum (Pt) and 68 is erbium (Er). Put them all together and they spell HELICOPTER.
There was too much trivia – especially sports trivia – in this one for me. The Jersey number of a retired Kansas City football player? I realize that use of reference materials is allowed (and I would think necessary – did anyone know all the numerical references *and* the elements that corresponded to those numbers?) but enough is too much. Then again, I am not a huge meta fan, and I realize a lot of folks may disagree and think this was just the BEST meta ever. Let me know.
What I didn’t know before I did this puzzle: that there is a book called “ALI vs. Inoki: The Forgotten Fight That Inspired Mixed Martial Arts and Launched Sports Entertainment.”
I leave you Tom Lehrer, just because.