Saturday, February 23, 2013

Lawn chairs (WSJ solution: February 23, 2013)

The solution to "Musical Chairs," the Wall Street Journal variety puzzle for 2/23/2013 is below the fold.  Ask in the comments if you want any answers explained.  Then browse around the rest of the blog for more puzzles and commentary.  My main beat is the puzzles by Hot and Trazom in The Nation, but each weekend we have a roundup of new puzzles for your Sunday brunch.

As mentioned at this week's Sunday brunch, this Hex was pretty easy as variety cryptics go.  I had almost everything done before I needed to look at the "chairs."

Speaking of chairs, in one of the NHL videos Ian Walsh showed us during training camp, officials were told to look out for "lawn chairs."  Those are the type of players who fold up as soon as you touch them: in hopes of drawing a penalty on their opponent.

They weren't trying to draw penalties, but I had my own set of lawn chairs a few Sunday mornings ago in a mite game (eight year-olds).  It must have been eight or nine times I had to stop play because of a player down on the ice and not getting up, but in no case was the player actually injured (as far as I can tell).  It's tough for the officials in a couple of ways.  First you don't want to stop the game unnecessarily, but in the younger age groups, you err on the side of caution.  Second, the parents always assume that if a player is down on the ice he must have been fouled, and so they complain at us for not calling anything.  They won't listen when you explain that one incident happened when a player ran into his own teammate, and another happened simply because the player lost an edge.  The one cause that's frequent but really hard to understand unless you've seen it a lot of times is the one where players who don't have a lot of lower body strength (which means most little kids), so if their skate collides with another player's skate, the foot turns and it's very likely the player will fall down.

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