Saturday, November 17, 2012

Another day at the office (Sunday brunch: November 18, 2012)

Sometimes a game or competition is like a day at the office.  For Bangle on Friday, it was more of a business trip.  Fight the traffic down to Wilmington, skate the program, land the doubles, come home with a gold medal (barely edging out a skater from the U of D club who also skated very well: the judges got it right: the two were clearly better than all the others, and the barest of margins between them).  Click here for the video.

There are real pain in the tail days at the office too, and I had one of them earlier this week.  At least I didn't get hurt.  A weeknight single game at 10:45 is bad to start with, D-league is worse, but I took it as a favor to my assigner.  When I got to the rink, I had to kick a player out of the officials' dressing room, and a few minutes later came an example of why we need our privacy there.  A second referee showed up five minutes before game time, thinking he had been assigned the game (D games we usually work solo).  A brief discussion ensued, he checked his iPhone again, thought about the prospect of a D game at 10:45, and decided to go home.  The game had eight penalties (two or three is a lot for a D game), bad skating (I had to call tripping when a player who had fallen down took out another player while swinging his legs around to try and get up), bad thinking (players who panic when the puck lands on their stick so they shoot it down the ice and get called for icing), bad arguments (I don't care how or why it happened--if your stick makes any contact with an opponent's helmet, I'm calling a high stick), and bad coaching as well.  I've refereed almost twenty years, and I'd never seen a coach try and pull his goalie on a delayed offside!  It was comical to watch the goalie hurry back to his crease after the opponents regained the puck in the neutral zone and tried to get a shot on the empty net.  And that coach wanted to argue a too many men call because he knows those shouldn't get called when there's a minute and a half to go in a 1-0 game?  And how many times did I have to straighten him out on a line change before a faceoff?  But there's a game check afterwards for putting up with all that stuff, and sometimes, getting that check is the only redeeming part of the night.

On to the puzzles:

The Wall Street Journal has an acrostic which happens to hit the theme not only in the quote, but in the word "A" and the first name of the source.  Fairly easy, particularly with the Journal's Java-enabled puzzle.

I don't know what happened to the New York Times variety puzzle this week.  It didn't change over on Friday as usual to the new week's puzzle, and is still showing last week's diagramless.  I happened to find an old Times diagramless on my clipboard and am working that instead.  Check back and I'll update the post if I can find the puzzle for you.

We solvers can always count on Emily Cox and Henry Rathvon though.  This week's cryptic in the National Post is something of a spelling test.  Falcon will be up to the challenge though: visit his blog for the puzzle and solution.

UPDATE: Well!  There's our explanation!  The Times must have heard my moaning about how the Wall Street Journal had overtaken them with their Java acrostics.  This week's Cox and Rathvon acrostic is now in Java instead of PDF!  The same app, right down to the applause when you complete the puzzle.  It's being hosted on the other side of the Times paywall, but there's no block on the puzzle.  Go over and solve it and then let Deb Amlen know how you liked it.

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