Sunday, November 11, 2007
Puzzle by Emily Cox & Henry Rathvon, edited by Will Shortz
Thanksgiving is just around the corner and today’s acrostic is buttering up the bird for that occasion with a quote from the late left-wing journalistCassandra (William Connor) -- which can be found in “Brewer's Cabinet of Curiosities” by Ian Crofton under the chapter “The Glories of Gluttony”.
TURKEY A FRAUD “What a shocking fraud the turkey is. In life preposterous, insulting -- that foolish noise they make to scare you away! In death -- unpalatable. The turkey has practically no taste except a dry fibrous flavour reminiscent of a mixture of warmed-up plaster-of-Paris and horsehair. The texture is like wet sawdust and the whole vast feathered swindle has the piquancy of a boiled mattress.” -- Cassandra (William Connor), in the Daily Mirror, 24 December 1953.
The quotation as it appears in today’s acrostic: TURKEY HAS PRACTICALLY NO TASTE EXCEPT A DRY FIBROUS FLAVOR REMINISCENT OF WARMED-UP PLASTER AND HORSE HAIR THE TEXTURE IS LIKE WET SAWDUST AND THE WHOLE VAST FEATHERED SWINDLE HAS THE PIQUANCY OF A BOILED MATTRESS.
The defined words:
WHITEMEAT (A. Diner’s choice on Thanksgiving Day [2 2ds.]); ISTANBUL (B. City where Byzantium used to be); LIFESPAN (C. For a Thanksgiving bird in the wild, it’s about 10 years [2 wds.]); LETHE (D. River of oblivion-inducing quaffs); IRONCHEF (E. TV Show with competitive cooks [2 wds.]); APTERYX (F. Bantam ratite native to New Zealand); MUSTARD (G. Dark yellow or light olive brown); CASSANDRA (H. Newspaper pen name used by the author of this puzzle’s quotation); OXTAIL (I. Soup ingredient from a bovine); NEWWAVE (J. Tradition-bucking trend [2 wds.]); NUTSHELL (K. Exemplar of concision); OVERLAP (L. What abalone and baloney do, to a great extent); ROQUEFORT (M. “The King of Cheeses”); DRANK (N. Fell of the wagon); ADAPTED (O. Made with cranberries instead of raisins, e.g.); IRISHSTEW (P. Dish with mutton and potatoes [2 wds.]); LOTSWIFE (Q. Woman much given to salt? [2 wds.]); YEASTY (R. Frothy; ebullient; creative); MATCHUP (S. Categorically pair, as beans and rice [2 wds.]); ICEBUCKET (T. Chiller set in a restaurant [2 wds.]); REHASHED (U. Discussed again and again, as a diner dish?); REDFISH (V. Seafood also known as channel bass); OYSTERS (W. Meal for Carroll’s Walrus and Carpenter); ROTATED (X. Turned on a spit).
Not that I’ve ever tasted warmed-up plaster and horse hair, wet saw dust or a boiled mattress, I think the description hits the bird right on the head!
Another fine acrostic from that dynamic duo Cox & Rathvon, giving us the pleasure of a quotation which is both hilarious and topical!
This being Veteran’s Day today, it’s a bit soon for this greeting -- but in syndication, this puzzle appears the Sunday before Thanksgiving -- so, Happy Thanksgiving!
Puzzle available on the internet at
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