Do you have Olympic Fever yet? I do, as you can tell from the clue for DISCUS in Monday's puzzle, which was [ ___ throw (event at the upcoming Tokyo Olympics)]. We also had EPEE at 24-Across on Thursday, clued as [Sword you'll soon see at the Tokyo Olympics].
Lots of events, names, and lingo associated with the Games make their way into crosswords. Along with the ubiquitous EPEE, the LUGE and JUDO have proven to be the most useful Olympic sports to puzzle writers.
And do we remember the great champions of yesteryear? We sure do, as long as their names have great letters! Who can forget Norwegian figure skater Sonja HENIE, who won gold medals in 1928, 1932, and 1936, and whose vowel-rich surname is every bit as beautiful as her performances on the ice?
And who among us doesn't recall Czech marathoner EMIL Zatopek, gold medalist in 1952? Every time I clue EMIL, I think of him. Not to mention the "Flying Finn," runner PAAVO NURMI, both of whose names are every bit as golden for puzzlers as his nine Olympic first-place finishes.
And what about venues? Sure, there are a thousand ways to clue Olympic host cities like PARIS, ROME, SEOUL, and crosswordy OSLO. But NAGANO and SOCHI would've been tougher to justify in a grid without their Olympic hosting gigs of 1998 and 2014.
So on behalf of all puzzle writers, I say: let the Games begin, and let those with the most skill, the most determination, and the most vowels in their surnames stand upon the winners' podium!
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