EV1584 (Setter’s Blog) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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EV1584 (Setter’s Blog)


Two drawings by Karla

Setter’s Blog

Misprints give GOLD, LEAD ARROWS drawn by CUPID, fired at APOLLO and DAPHNE. Superfluous words connect with BAY and TREE, indicating DAPHNE changes to LAUREL with help from PENEUS (source: OVID).

The idea came from ‘Grandeur and Obedience’, episode 7 of the CIVILISATION series presented by the incomparable Lord Kenneth Clark. My wife Adele and I watch this on a loop every year. I just love his style of presentation, completely of its time.

In this episode, he discusses the works of the Italian sculptor Bernini, specifically David and Apollo and Daphne. The story of Daphne being turned into laurel leapt out at me as a possible end-game.

The statue is also on the cover of my copy of Ovid’s Metamorphoses. The Daphne story is perhaps not one of the really famous ones, but one that many of us might have heard of at some point.

LAUREL and DAPHNE being six letters apiece made that transformation aspect an obvious starting point for the grid design. I had wanted to get an idea of Apollo pursuing her through the woodland glades, so thought a V-shaped motif might suggest a chase into a small valley. (No idea if that was picked up!). As there are various versions of the story, I specified OVID via the shaded squares. This version is quite specific on the different arrows for Apollo and Daphne. Other than CUPID, I had room for one more character. It was a toss-up between PENEUS and BERNINI. The former seemed more consistent.

Many thanks to Wan for helping at all stages and to Rob Teuton for his sage advice. And thank you to Steve for publishing this puzzle.


A full review of this puzzle can be seen over on fifteensquared.

4 comments on “EV1584 (Setter’s Blog)

  1. I enjoyed this puzzle and the final transformation. Like others though, I was puzzled as to exactly where to put the gold and lead arrows…
    (I don’t suppose it matters much where they go but I would expect a touch of the OCD in any EV solver…)
    Thanks for the entertainment.

  2. Thanks for commenting, Dave. I am glad that you enjoyed the puzzle. I had wanted to have GOLD and LEAD in diagonal cells from CUPID to his targets, which would have been unambiguous. But I couldn’t get that to work without breaking all sorts of grid rules so had to go at it another way. Hopefully most solvers got there in the end.

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