19 May 2014

Polymath Crosswords

I shall try to update this blog with all the different websites and resources that we have been using in the after-school club. For now, here's this week's selection.

Polymath No.762

On Saturdays, the Financial Times publishes its weekly Polymath crossword. This is different to the FT's usual cryptic crosswords as it is more of a 'quiz crossword'. You can go directly to Polymath No.762, but bear in mind that this will open up a pdf file and that the link may no longer work in a couple of months as it is taken off their list of recent crosswords. Solutions are published after two weeks.


Now, I don't expect you to know all of the answers without some assistance - I myself don't know many of the answers without searching online! However, as we did a few weeks ago, it is a fun and interesting way to learn how to search quickly and efficiently.

Let's try a few of the clues from the previous Polymath (No.761).

1 Across. Analgesic drug (11)
A quick search for "analgesic drug" (without the quotation marks) has the Wikipedia page as the top result. An analgesic is a painkiller, but the word "painkiller" has only 10 letters so is not the answer. The word "paracetamol" fits the description and has 11 letters. We can pencil this into the crossword grid and check 1-Down to see if we have jumped to the easy answer too quickly!

1 Down. Page-description language used in desktop publishing (10)
In this case, if you enter the whole clue into the search box you will quickly see that the top results all mention the term "PostScript". As this has 10 letters and fits the clue, we're well on our way!

4 Down. English diplomat restored and reopened an Oxford library in 1602 (6,6)
One last clue. In this case I searched for the keywords "English diplomat Oxford library 1602". Note that the other words in the clue may just confuse the search. At the top of the search results are brief histories of the Bodleian Library in Oxford, which was rebuilt in 1602 with the financial assistance of Sir Thomas Bodley. So our answer is "Thomas Bodley" (6.6).

Have fun!