Violent clash: Football matches were more like American Football matches - but without the padding. Games in Tudor times would involve dozens of players and last for hours.
It's known as the beautiful game, but in Tudor times football should perhaps have been called the dangerous game. Modern Premier League stars may dive and feign injuries, but in the 16th century more people died playing it than sword-fighting, a historian has discovered. Seven footballers were killed after clashes in English villages between 1500 and 1575, new research has revealed. ~ Rob Cooper, Mail Online
Sunday, December 29, 2013
ACROSTIC, Puzzle by Emily Cox and Henry Rathvon
Edited by Will Shortz
This Sunday’s acrostic draws a quotation from Whatever Happened to Gloomy Gus of the Chicago Bears? by Robert Coover.
On Memorial Day 1937, at a union protest in Chicago, Gloomy Gus, an all-American gridiron hero, took his last catch and dash to the great touchline in the sky. How he came to be there and what his life represents is the subject of this story. Gus is the fulfillment of the American Dream. He was a very successful student at school. He is prodigious in bed with women. He is a talented actor, able to truly move the audience. But Gus is also an enigma. What is the mystery at the heart of his life? The story is narrated by Meyer, who knew Gus in his final days. Meyer is a Jew and a committed Communist. He works as a WPA sponsored sculptor, and he lives in his studio, which is in an old warehouse. The warehouse is rumored to have once been used as a liquor depot by Bugs Morgan's gang. The warehouse is in the Old Town district, and though Meyer has abandoned his Jewish heritage, he is surrounded by Jewish people. This is also the story of Meyer, who searches for the meanings in life so he can express them in his art. ~ Raymond Mathiesen ~ amazon.com
The quotation: FOOTBALL IS NOT ABOUT VIOLENCE. IT’S ABOUT BALANCE. THE LINE OF SCRIMMAGE IS A FULCRUM, NOT A FRONTIER. THE STRUGGLE IS NOT FOR PROPERTY. ITS FOR FREEDOM. OF COURSE, I ADMIT MOST FOOTBALLERS ARE PROBABLY IGNORANT OF ALL THIS.
The author’s name an the title of the work: ROBERT COOVER, GLOOMY GUS
The defined words:
A. Mechanical action film title character, ROBOCOP
B. 1936 musical involving jazz ballet (3 wds.), ON YOUR TOES
C. Dark and heavy type, BOLDFACE
D. College group of 538, ELECTORS
E. Common problem area for drummers and quarterbacks (2 wds.), ROTATOR CUFF
F. Site of a stored showdown in 1881, TOMBSTONE
G Aid for Itzhak Perlman (2 wds.), CHIN REST
H. Best à la Br’er Rabbit, OUTSMART
I. Star arrangement a.k.a. the Three Kings (2 wds.), ORION’S BELT
J. Big Apple neighborhood, with “the”, VILLAGE
K. View from Checkpoint Charlie (2 wds.), EAST BERLIN
L. Pursue, try to catch (2 wds.), RUN AFTER
M. Policy of treating the whole world as one’s sphere of political influence, GLOBALISM
N. Seducer in Nicholas Rowe’s “Fair Penitent” (1703), LOTHARIO
O. Violation costing five yards, OFFSIDE
P. One who knows Puccini from Ponchielli, say (2 wds.), OPERA BUFF
Q. Where wrestling, horse racing and archery are the “three many games”, MONGOLIA
R. Michigan city that shares its name with a modern Greek war hero, YPSILANTI
S. Round up; harvest (2 wds.), GATHER IN
T. Sport whose object is to pass into an end zone, ULTIMATE
U. Feature of the Heisman Trophy figure’s pose (hyph.), STIFF-ARM
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Puzzle available on the internet at
THE NEW YORK TIMES — Crossword Puzzles and Games.