Home Puzzles City in historical Crete with famend labyrinth / TUE 11-29-22 / Hit BBC collection since 1963 informally / Ratite featured on Uruguayan forex / Goose that may nest on volcanic ash

City in historical Crete with famend labyrinth / TUE 11-29-22 / Hit BBC collection since 1963 informally / Ratite featured on Uruguayan forex / Goose that may nest on volcanic ash

City in historical Crete with famend labyrinth / TUE 11-29-22 / Hit BBC collection since 1963 informally / Ratite featured on Uruguayan forex / Goose that may nest on volcanic ash


Constructor: David Rockow

Relative issue: Easy (very)

THEME: FEATHER (37A: Element of plumage … and a characteristic shared by each reply crossing this one) — seven BIRDS (1D: Tweeters) kind a makeshift FLOCK (51D: Gathering of 1-Down, like that discovered within the heart of this puzzle) on the center of the grid:


  • FALCON (37D: Its peregrine selection is the world’s quickest avian)
  • WREN (28D: Small brown passerine that holds its tail upright)
  • RHEA (24D: Ratite featured on Uruguayan forex)
  • KESTREL (25D: American raptor that is the dimensions of a mourning dove)
  • HAWK (38D: Iconic metaphor for keen-eyed watchfulness)
  • NENE (35D: Goose that may nest on volcanic ash)
  • CONDOR (19D: Its Andean selection has the most important wingspan amongst all raptors)

Word of the Day: KNOSSOS (22A: City in historical Crete with famend labyrinth) —

Knossos (additionally Cnossos, each pronounced ; Ancient GreekΚνωσόςromanizedKnōsóspronounced [knɔː.sós]Linear B𐀒𐀜𐀰Ko-no-so) is the most important Bronze Age archaeological web site on Crete and has been referred to as Europe’s oldest metropolis.

Settled as early because the Neolithic interval, the identify Knossos survives from historical Greek references to the foremost metropolis of Crete. The palace of Knossos finally grew to become the ceremonial and political centre of the Minoan civilization and tradition. The palace was deserted at some unknown time on the finish of the Late Bronze Age, c. 1380–1100 BC; the reason being unknown, however one of many many disasters that befell the palace is usually put ahead.

In the First Palace Period (round 2000 BC), the city space reached a dimension of as many as 18,000 folks. (wikipedia)

• • •

Well that is bizarre, so it is bought that going for it. I do love birds—love them—and so I’m all the time going to be usually warmly inclined to a bird-themed puzzle. This one is especially simply … a bunch of hen names smushed collectively. And a few these hen names (RHEA, NENE) are straight-up crosswordese, such that you just’d by no means actually acknowledge them as thematic components. I need to say they do not rely … however in fact they do. It’s simply that you just’re not apt to see them as particular, given that you just see them on a regular basis. It’s bizarre … nothing on this theme feels notably thematic *besides* the smushing. I imply, what’ve you bought, fill-wise? BIRDS? FLOCK? FEATHER? And then the birds, in fact, however solely a kind of will get as much as even seven letters lengthy (which can be my favourite hen within the grid—KESTREL! Pretty positive we noticed one simply final week in central Colorado, sitting on prime of a leafless tree … watching … Raptors!). My level is that not one of the thematic stuff actually feels thematic besides via the method of smushing, which this puzzle is looking a FLOCK, however LOL the KESTREL scoffs on the thought of flying in FLOCKs with these different birds. Hell, the KESTREL would eat a rattling WREN (most likely). But then I assume you could not very properly have your FLOCK be WREN WREN WREN WREN WREN WREN WREN now might you? It’s a humorous thought, this rag-tag FLOCK. I do not like that FLOCK (the final Across reply) comes after BIRDS (the primary). Feels backwards. Also, actually don’t love that BIRDS is clued as [Tweeters]. None of the birds in that FLOCK is a “Tweeter.” Again, the KESTREL scoffs, as she is going to. Don’t like SEED thrown in as “bonus” reply (higher and extra elegant to maintain the non-theme elements of your grid bird-free), simply as I do not like making an attempt to move off PEACE CORPS and URBAN AREAS as bird-related (a strettttttttttch). Oh, and your longest solutions (grid-spanners!) have *nothing* to do with the theme? Weird. But I do love these solutions, so possibly I’ll simply consider this as a simple themeless with a dense hen heart, and for a Tuesday, that is sufficient.

I did suppose, about midway via this puzzle, earlier than I had any thought of the theme, “man this can be a birdy puzzle, the constructor should actually like birds, cool.” Hey, do you know that in “HORSE WITH NO NAME” (10D: Desert wanderer’s mount in a 1972 hit by America) the wanderer is in a desert the place there are “crops and BIRDS and rocks and issues”!? (“issues” all the time makes me snigger, wtf, did you simply run out of vocabulary?). Seems like when you actually Really needed, you might’ve clued that one as a themer as properly. It’s a minimum of as bird-y as URBAN AREAS, come on. COOL AS A CUCUMBER would possibly’ve been tougher (3D: Unruffled). Hmm. [Kestrel-like]? I do not know. Harder to show that one birdward. 

Didn’t hesitate a lot in any respect whereas fixing this one. I took a beat or two to recollect KNOSSOS. I wrote in IBEX earlier than ORYX (31D: African antelope) and SUET earlier than SEED. CUSP most likely gave me extra hassle than anything within the grid, and the type of hassle I’m speaking about there was negligible (52D: Edge). The grid appears very clear, particularly contemplating how thematically dense it’s within the center. CONED was the one factor that made me squint and tilt my head dubiously (43D: Funnel-shaped), nevertheless it’s word-y sufficient. Despite the strangeness of theme execution—or possibly due to it—I ended up having fun with this another than not. I’ll take this over a typical punny / corny / weak-laugh Tuesday any day (particularly Tuesday).

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld 

P.S. I forgot to reward “SAY WHEN!,” my precise favourite reply within the grid (27A: Words from a pourer). Some good colloquial zing amidst all of the hen kerfuffle. 

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