In HIS InAuGurAl SPeeCH AS PreSIdent of the Society of Actuaries last october, brad Smith
questioned the need for three actuarial organizations in the united States. He urged actuaries to:
“Write emails. Express your views
on the various blogs that exist.
Contact the members of the boards
of these organizations. Get the
word out to members NOT at this
meeting. Use social media. Call for
change. Inertia is our biggest ob-
stacle. Those who do not want this
change will certainly be the most
vocal. Let your voices be heard! I
welcome your suggestions. Let’s
not leave this earth knowing we
could have done better.”
Smith didn’t mention puzzles, but I
think cryptic puzzles are an untapped
gold mine of possibilities for getting a
message out. I have exercised admira-
ble restraint over the years, by keeping
my puzzles message free. It would be
easy to encode my deeply held beliefs
in clues, answers, or the final messages
that sometimes appear.
Of course, there first would have to
be some deeply held beliefs. I’m working on that. Smith’s call to arms may be
a start. His exhortation caused me to
reflect upon some historic amalgamations, such as the one between Time
Warner and AOL in 2000, the one between Germany and Poland in 1939, and
the one between Ethel Merman and Ernest Borgnine in 1964.
As you perform your due diligence on
this puzzle, you’ll notice that a handful
of the clues and a handful of the answers involve transactional work. There
aren’t any tricks, such as answers not fitting into the diagram or two letters in a
square. There are a few proper nouns,
nine pure ones, and one other that’s one
interpretation of a double definition.
When the diagram is filled out, the
7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16
18 19 20 21
26 27 28 29 30 31
32 33 34
35 36 37 38
shaded squares will reveal a three-word
comment on Smith’s proposition. The
order is the same as the ordering of the
little numbers in the squares, that is, left to
right on a row, then down to the next row.
As is my wont, I have used every
letter in the alphabet.
Ignore punctuation, which is
designed to confuse.
And whatever you do, don’t leave
this earth knowing you could have
Thanks to Eric Klis and Bob Fink, for
test-solving and editorial suggestions.
1. Cooler question: Is it one–nothing
Navy? And what’s to be gained?
8. California varietal with copper or
another metallic element
9. Brew is better without the kernel
12. Group of hags lacking leader
13. Stick with Nixon’s running mate
16. Legendary violinist playing Reno
17. Germany’s after France’s sea,
18. Cruise in the Sound at auction
20. Social circle’s been cut off