Ninth-century Anglo-Saxon king / WED 12-12-12 / Film that opened 12/16/62 / Woody Allen title character / Armand of Private Benjamin / Pavement caution
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Constructor: Peter A. Collins
Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium (likely to vary quite a bit depending on whether you know the movie in question)
THEME: "LAWRENCE / OF ARABIA" (11D: With 40-Down, film that opened on 12/16/1962) — rudimentary trivia about a film that opened 50ish years ago
Word of the Day: EGBERT (53D: Ninth-century Anglo-Saxon king) —
Egbert (also spelled Ecgberht, Ecgbert or Ecgbriht; 769 or 771 – 839) was King of Wessex from 802 until his death in 839. His father was Ealhmund of Kent. In the 780s Egbert was forced into exile by Offa of Mercia and Beorhtric of Wessex, but on Beorhtric's death in 802 Egbert returned and took the throne.Little is known of the first 20 years of Egbert's reign, but it is thought that he was able to maintain Wessex's independence against the kingdom of Mercia, which at that time dominated the other southern English kingdoms. In 825 Egbert defeated Beornwulf of Mercia and ended Mercia's supremacy at the Battle of Ellandun, and proceeded to take control of the Mercian dependencies in southeastern England. In 829 Egbert defeated Wiglaf of Mercia and drove him out of his kingdom, temporarily ruling Mercia directly. Later that year Egbert received the submission of theNorthumbrian king at Dore. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle subsequently described Egbert as a bretwalda, or "Ruler of Britain".Egbert was unable to maintain this dominant position, and within a year Wiglaf regained the throne of Mercia. However, Wessex did retain control of Kent, Sussex and Surrey; these territories were given to Egbert's son Æthelwulf to rule as a subking under Egbert. When Egbert died in 839, Æthelwulf succeeded him; the southeastern kingdoms were finally absorbed into the kingdom of Wessex after Æthelwulf's death in 858. (wikipedia)
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So now you have everything you need to make your 1200th anniversary EGBERT tribute puzzle.
If you're seen this movie, then you could just fill in the answers. They're that easy. The rest of the fill was less easy, because of cluing. Theme answers intersect at a couple points, which is vaguely interesting in an after-the-fact kind of way. Fill woulda/coulda/shoulda been a lot more interesting. I'll let you hypothesize why it's not. No idea why something this straightforward, marking something of such dubious import (and not even marking it on the right day), was deemed NYT-worthy. But it was. Shows what I know. Looks like if you want to publish puzzles, you should google 1963 or 1964 right now and see what the hell happened. Note: I'd advise against a Kennedy assassination tribute puzzle. But then again, I'd've advised against *this* puzzle, so clearly my instincts are not to be trusted.
- PETER O'TOOLE
- DAVID LEAN
- WORLD WAR I
- BEST PICTURE
Happy All 12s / End of the World!
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld