“Secular Constitution”

by Ross Trudeau

[.puz][PDF][Solution] Difficulty: 3.25/5

I’ve been reading a lot of pessimistic takes about how dramatically different most folks’ relationship with words is becoming. The profound and ubiquitous replacement of text with video, robots producing professional-caliber text on behalf of kids who read many millions fewer words than their parents did in their teens, emojis collapsing our capacity to articulate (“double plus bad!”), etc.

Me, I’m fairly sanguine about our collective ability to navigate Big Changes in how we interact with and wield language, but if you’re personally a hand-wringer along these lines, please enjoy the hopefully heartening images that I captured of my nephew this morning below. He’s seven.

A couple brief thoughts/spoilers for “Secular Constitution” below.

The difficulty in rendering this concept was largely around finding various CHURCHes that had a single STATE code baked into them. State codes are ALl ARouND! And beyond that, because I wanted to literally separate that state from the church, I had to find churches with a single symmetrically located state code. After finding the middle two examples, I had to audible from CHURCH AND STATE as a revealer to just CHURCH and STATE to pair with the ANGLO CATHOLIC example. So it goes.

Happy solving, friends!


17 thoughts on ““Secular Constitution”

  1. Very nice! But I got Natick’d at 1D/23A and wasn’t familiar with 10D. 8A’s clue was very clever, as was the one for 37A. (I think that latter one may have shown up in Rosswords before, but I attribute part of my enjoyment of your puzzles to my fading memory, allowing me to laugh at the same corny jokes twice.)

  2. I always enjoy your thoughts on the why of a puzzle. I also wish my grandsons read more. The evolution of stories makes me wonder what might be next. There was a time when no one read but people told stories. Memory and listening were the standards. Then came reading and people devoured books. I think our society has now evolved into such a visual one. Will there be a next step?

  3. I applied my brand new state of the art A.I. Crossword Solver to today’s puzzle. By the time it got to 21A it started to go haywire, sputtering gibberish until it eventually stopped responding altogether. Holy Moley!! I’m afraid it’s programmed constitution is damaged beyond repair.
    Must be time already for an upgrade. Whatever it takes to keep up to snuff with Ross’s smartly themed puzzles.

    • It’s funny, Matt Ginsberg’s Dr. Fill program has been demolishing ACPT crosswords in a second or two for several years … though its process I gather stems from ingesting large amounts of previous crossword clue/answer combinations to make guesses about future relationships!

  4. Another great puzzle! During the Harry Potter debut I often had to tell my students to put down the book and pick up your trumpet! (Or flute or whatever) We need more books that interest and involve kids in reading. Of course I’m retired now maybe those books are out there.

Leave a Reply