Saturday, October 12, 2013

Taken to Task


Sisyphys (1548-1549) by Titian, Prado Museum, Madrid, Spain


In Greek mythology Sisyphus was a king of Ephyra (now known as Corinth) punished for chronic deceitfulness by being compelled to roll an immense boulder up a hill, only to watch it roll back down, and to repeat this action forever. ~ Wikipedia




Sunday, October 13, 2013


“Taken to Task” Puzzle by Jeff Chen / Edited by Will Shortz


Imagery plays an important role in this uniquely imaginative Sunday crossword with a rock-like black-dot-square atop SISYPHUS in circled letters, reinforced by six entries:


MISSION IMPOSSIBLE (22A. Movie franchise since 1996)

BOULDER COLORADO (30A. Setting for “Mork & Mindy”)

Violation of the first and second laws of thermodynamics)

IT’S AN UPHILL BATTLE (108A. Underdog’s saying)

INFINITE LOOP (15D. Computer programming problem)

ROLLING STONE (60D. First publisher of Hunter S. Thompson’s “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas”)

Robert Fludd's 1618 "water screw" perpetual motion machine from a 1660 wood engraving.

Other — ALGER HISS (76D. Red Scare target), ASPCA (7A. Org. for lab safety?), CAR KEYS (50A. Sonata starters), CLEOPATRA (14D. Shakespeare heroine), DENEB (40A. One of three stars in the Summer triangle), DIGRESSED (92A. Went off?), DODO BIRD (28A. Metaphor for obsolescence), HEARTLESS (39D. Cold-blooded), INSOLVENCY (4D. Feared red state), LASSIE (121A. Animal with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame), LOTHARIOS (38A. Whistle-blowers?), tried to make sense of that clue, but to no avail, Rapper Nicki MINAJ, MEAT PIE (73A. Pub offering), ROSINS (1A. Treats, as a bow), TÊT-À-TÊTES (74D. Little confabs), WINE GLASS (47D. Red or white vessel).




The sun climbs

from cool streams

of eastern seas

to oust the night.

What long drudgery

for a light-bringer —-

unpacking this foolish

planet from darkness!

Sun! while your bright

beams are conquering

half of the world

in heaven's service,

loosing legions

of light everywhere —-

in the east the night

always pursues you.

Sturdy Sisyphus

strains at his rock,

the Danaids' jar

drips forever,

and earth whirls herself


out of light

and into darkness.

~ Drudgery, Jonas Hallgrimsson




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