Sunday, August 31, 2008
ACROSTIC, Puzzle by Emil Cox & Henry Rathvon, edited by Will Shortz
Helen Hayes, the First Lady of Theatre, provides today’s acrostic quotation. Rarely do I come across an acrostic quotation that I know almost by heart -- but today’s is one! Having worked in theater all of my life, it is probable that I have cluttered my mind with too much "showbiz". That aside, it is always a delight to come across a quotation as sad-but-true yet humorous as this old friend!
The quotation: IT IS DIFFICULT FOR A STAR TO OCCUPY AN INCH OF SPACE WITHOUT UNBALANCING A PLAY NO MATTER HOW SELF-EFFACING HE MAY BE HE MAKES AN ENTRANCE AS A CASUAL NEIGHBOR AND THE AUDIENCE INTEREST SHIFTS TO THE HOUSE NEXT DOOR
The author’s name and the title of the work: HELEN HAYES ON REFLECTION
The defined words: HOTFUDGE (A. Soda fountain supply [2 wds.]); EASEMENT (B. Right to use another’s land); LASTSTRAW (C. Cause of snapping? [2 wds.]);ECORCHE (D. Anatomical depiction of a body without its skin); NINAFOCH (E. Dutch-born actress in “An American in Paris” [2 wds.]); HUMPBACK (F. Sort of rorqual known for singing); APHORISM (G. “Predigested wisdom,” to Ambrose Bierce); YUCATAN (H. Mexican peninsula or state); ESCAPADE (I. Fun and daring adventure); SHERIDAN (J. Wyoming town named for a Union general); OUTOFTHEWAY (K. Far from any hustle and bustle [hyph.]); NATASHA (L. “War and Peace” heroine); REBUFF (M. Snub or slight; turn away); ECHINATE (N. Prickly, like a porcupine); FASTLANE (O. Metaphorical venue for jet-setters and high rollers [2 wds.]); LUSHLIFE (P. Billy Strayhorn jazz classic [2 wds.]); EXOTIC (Q. Nonnative plant or animal); COGITATE (R. Put on your thinking cap); TYROSINE (S. Amino acid from which melanin derives); INASNIT (T. Disgruntled, peeved, miffed [3 wds.]); OLDENBURG (U. Sculptor of Philadelphia’s monumental “Clothespin”); NONFICTION (V. Pulitzer category won twice by Barbara Tuchman).
For the record, the full quotation reads: “The flattering, if arbitrary, label, First Lady of the Theatre, takes its toll. The demands are great, not only in energy but eventually in dramatic focus. It is difficult, if not impossible, for a star to occupy an inch of space without bursting seams, cramping everyone else’s style and unbalancing a play. No matter how self-effacing a famous player may be, he makes an entrance as a casual neighbor and the audience interest shifts to the house next door.”
Click on image to enlarge.
Puzzle available on the internet at
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