Monday, March 3, 2014

In and out (Sunday brunch: March 2, 2014)

When I skated out for my game last Sunday, I saw that the rink staff had put out the crummy old practice goals instead of the better ones they usually use for games.  They did it again yesterday.  

About five minutes into the game, that became important.  I was down on the goal line, there was a shot, and the next thing I saw was the puck rebounding off the end boards.  I looked back and the white team was turning away like they were celebrating a goal.  I thought: “Get back in the game—keep playing until the whistle.”

Eventually, we had a stoppage and the coach yelled that the puck had gone in the goal.  I replied that I saw the puck on the back boards, so it was no goal, but I’d check the net anyway.  Sure enough, there was a hole on the bottom, opposite where I was standing and just big enough for a puck to get through. So I went back to the coach and said I couldn’t reverse the call since I didn’t see the puck go through the goal.  I added that this was his team’s rink, and if he still had a beef, he should take it to the rink employees and not to me or my partner.  

Fortunately for me, it was the net my partner checked before the game, and not my net.  I suspect that he’ll be a little more careful when checking next time.   

This week we get a balance of trade in cryptic crosswords between the USA and Canada.  Whereas American constructors Hex have a puzzle every weekend in Canada’s National Post, Canadian constructors publishing in America are less common.  But this week, American solvers get a Canadian puzzle in the New York Times courtesy of Fraser Simpson.  Simpson also sets the weekly cryptic (available in Java and PDF) in the Globe and Mail: Canada’s other national paper (nominally published in Toronto).  The Times puzzle is hard, like Simpson’s Globe and Mail puzzles, but it’s closer to a strict American style of cluing whereas the Globe and Mail puzzles are more relaxed like British puzzles.  By that I mean that some of Simpson’s clues don’t fit the formula of “definition, wordplay, and nothing else.” 

The Wall Street Journal has a treat from Patrick Berry called “Belt Line.” (PDF here)  It involves intersecting loops of words and naturally (since it’s from Patrick) the unchecked letters of the grid give us a quote.  It’s another hard one by Journal standards, so I posted a hint grid as well as the solution.  The hint grid post also has some tactical suggestions in case you don’t know how to get started.  

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