Chess board

Try out the second installment of The Michigan Daily’s crossword!

SUNDAY PUZZLE – Hello solvers! Welcome the second, slightly more difficult, Michigan Daily crossword. This puzzle is one that I’m especially fond of, as its theme revolves around one of my favorite pastimes. I hope you enjoy solving it as much as I enjoyed building it. As always, the tricky clues, today’s theme and the answer key can all be found below. If you have any questions, comments or concerns about the crossword, please feel free to email me at Happy puzzling!

Tricky Clues:

14A. Most medical school students could tell that the human arm is made up of three bones: The ulna, the radius and the humerus. Most English majors, however, could tell you that the plural forms of those three bones are ulnae, radii and humeri. Thus, the clue “Arm bones” refers to ULNAE.

19A. A somewhat obscure reference for sure, but hardcore geography buffs will know that “Hamburg’s river” refers to ELBE. The Elbe River is often overshadowed by its more notorious European peers such as the Danube and the Rhine, but it’s actually quite beautiful on its way through Bohemia. 

41A. I hope this one confused you a little bit, but redeemed itself by rewarding you with an “Aha!” moment. For those of you that are wondering what Japan and Senegal could possibly have in common, the clue “Suffix for people from Japan or Senegal” refers to ESE, as in Japanese and Senegalese. Other nations that follow this convention include Portugal, Sudan and China.

10D. The beauty of crosswords is that they are readily adaptable to the changing of language and culture. This entry is a prime example, as the clue “You might lose feelings for someone if they give you this” refers to THE ICK. This one might have given you trouble if you had not considered words and phrases popularized by TikTok when solving the puzzle. 

24D. Do you guys remember that video of the kid who was yodeling in the middle of Walmart? His name is Mason Ramsey, and you may be surprised to hear that he is now a successful musician who has already been signed to a record label. Those of you who were aware of this would’ve realized that the clue “Mason Ramsey, when he first went viral, e.g.” refers to YODELER.

47D. This is, in my opinion, the hardest clue in the puzzle. The clue “Beginning of a famous Caesar quote” refers to I CAME, from a letter Caesar wrote to the Roman Congress featuring the line “veni, vidi, vici,” which directly translates to “I came, I saw, I conquered.” I think this one is especially difficult for two reasons. Firstly, who actually just knows Caesar quotes off the top of their head? Secondly, people inclined to history who would be familiar with the quote are most likely primarily aware of the original Latin version of it. Nonetheless, kudos to you if you figured it out. 

Today’s Theme:

If you haven’t guessed by the title of these Constructor Notes, the theme for this puzzle revolves around chess. I’ve been an avid chess player for most of my life, so it was the most obvious source of inspiration when I sat down to build my second puzzle. The answer to the revealer clue at 38-Across is CHESS, and the clue itself references the circled squares seen throughout the grid. There are four entries in the grid with a group of circled squares in them, and each one is assigned a point total in parenthesis. Each of the four entries has a chess piece hidden inside of the circled squares, with its respective point total in the clue. For example, the clue at 17-Across, “In a video game, the place you return to after a death (one point),” refers to SPAWN POINT. This answer hides PAWN inside of it, which is the chess piece with the value of one point. Other theme answers are found at 26-Across and 60-Across with KANGAROO KICK, which hides ROOK and with SKIN GRAFTS, which hides the invaluable KING. One clue that you may not have wanted to see over breakfast was at 44-Across, “Death via meat grinder, perhaps? (Nine points),” refers to GROTESQUE END, which, of course, hides QUEEN. I tried my hardest to fit in some chess legends with entries of CARLSEN and ANAND, but I unfortunately could not make them work. I definitely could have fit TAL in as an homage to the great Mikhail Tal, but hindsight is both beautiful and cruel.

Answer Key: