09.02.07 -- Cock-a-Doodle-Doo! -- the Acrostic

Sunday, September 2, 2007

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ACROSTIC
Puzzle by Emily Cox & Henry Rathvon, edited by Will Shortz
It has always seemed to me that if one could get at least four or five of the defined words of an acrostic, that there was a chance for a solution, however laborious. Today, on a first time read-through of the defined words, I got one -- that’s right, one!
However, this tough fossilized egg of a puzzle finally hatched. The quotation is from The Egg and I by Betty MacDonald, first published in 1945, a memoir about her adventures and travails as a young wife on a chicken farm in Washington state. It was a blockbuster success as a novel, was adapted into a movie, starring Fred MacMurray and Claudette Colbert, and was the inspiration for a series of ten Ma and Pa Kettle movies starring Marjorie Main and Percy Kilbride.
If it weren’t for my personal experiences (as a boy, living on farms, raising chickens, seeing the films mentioned, etc.), and having walked by Teddy Roosevelt’s birthplace in New York -- the only defined word I knew at first -- I would have thrown up my arms and flown the coop. I hope it was as tough for everyone as it was for me. It’s a personal matter between the ego and I.
The defined words:
A. Heated enclosure for raising fowl; B. Bookplate (2 wds.); C. Concoct, devise, invent (2 wds.); D. Charge for brain enhancement; E. Yellow wrapper (2 wds.); F. Grasp-inhibiting wear; G. White that’s clear naturally; H. Breed of hen from an English county; I. With Word J., a hammy breakfast; J. See I; K. The Creek, e.g., to the Southeastern U.S.; L. Involved with the science of sound; M. Productive layer from Italy; N. Extra baggage, unneeded verbiage, discarded cards in poker; O. Cloth for drying dishes, cutlery, etc. (2 wds.); P. Came out of one’s shell; Q. Spicy tortilla dish filled with meat; R. Shaped ovately; S. Spreading dirt around?; T. Complained in a fowl way?; U. Sense of natural kinship; V. City where Teddy Roosevelt was born (2 wds.); W. Abate, as noise (2 wds.); X. Sit on in the way some mothers would.
Cock-a-doodle-doo!
For today's cartoon, go to The Crossword Puzzle Illustrated.
The New York Times Crossword Puzzle solution above is by the author of this blog and does not guarantee accuracy. If you find errors or omissions, you are more than welcome to make note of same in the Comments section of this post -- any corrections found necessary will be executed promptly upon verification.
Puzzle available on the internet at
THE NEW YORK TIMES -- Crossword Puzzles and Games
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2 comments:

Jane said...

This puzzle had me scratching my head, if not the hard dirt outside my window. I'm glad I'm not the only one.

DONALD said...

Jane,

It's said getting there is half the fun, but sometimes a puzzle can challenge that adage!

With the Times acrostic, I find that usually the quotation and its source make it worth the trip.

Scratch on!