Sunday, March 1, 2009 ACROSTIC, Puzzle by Emily Cox & Henry Rathvon, edited by Will Shortz This Sunday’s acrostic quotation is from Tom Vanderbilt’s “Traffic Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us)” -- a few random quotes on the source of the quote: “Based on exhaustive research and interviews with driving experts and traffic officials around the globe, Traffic gets under the hood of the everyday activity of driving to uncover the surprisingly complex web of physical, psychological, and technical factors that explain how traffic works, why we drive the way we do, and what our driving says about us. The car has long been a central part of American life; whether we see it as a symbol of freedom or a symptom of sprawl, we define ourselves by what and how we drive. Traffic is about more than driving: it’s about human nature. And who knows? It may even make us better drivers.” -- “About This Book“, Random House. About this acrostic, well, I found it one of the more challenging of recent memory. The quotation: IN ANCIENT ROME THE TRAFFIC GREW SO INTENSE THAT CAESAR THE SELF-PROCLAIMED CURATOR VIARUM OR DIRECTOR OF THE GREAT ROADS DECLARED A DAYTIME BAN ON CARTS AND CHARIOTS EXCEPT TO TRANSPORT CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS The author’s name and the title of the work: TOM VANDERBILT TRAFFIC The defined words: THIRD WHEEL, A. Awkward extra on a date (2 wds.); OCTAGONAL, B. Like a sign at an intersection; MOTOR TREND, C. Car of the Year award giver (2 wds.); VACATIONER, D. Person who might be in an R.V.; ACCELERATOR, E. Hammer, in CB use; NATHAN, F. Detroit in a musical setting; DIORAMA, G. Scene in which miniature cars could appear; EXIT RAMP, H. Way out of the flow (2 wds.); RIDE SHOTGUN, I. Take an up-front position (2 wds.); BARRICADE, J. Police setup that ight block a fugitive; ICE SCRAPER, K. Essential for winter drivers in the North (2 wds.); LEFT TURN, L. What you might hang in a vehicle (2 wds.); TOOTED, M. Hit the horn; TEAMSTERS, N. Originally, drivers of oxen- or mule-drawn wagons; RIFE, O. Abundant, teeming; ACCIDENTS, P. Creators of some jams; FAST COMPANY, Q. One’s pals in a hot rod? (2 wds.); FOOTREST, R. Dead pedal, for one; IN TRANSIT, S. Being conveyed from one place to another (2 wds.); CRASH COURSE, T. Quick study in demolition-derby driving? (2 wds.). The full paragraph containing the quote: “In ancient Rome, the chariot traffic grew so intense that Caesar, the self-proclaimed curator viarum, or "director of the great roads," declared a daytime ban on carts and chariots, "except to transport construction materials for the temples of the gods or for other great public works or to take away demolition materials." Carts could enter the city only after three p.m. And yet, as one so often finds in the world of traffic, there is very rarely an action without an equal and opposite reaction. By making it easier for the average Roman to move around during the day, Caesar made it harder for them to sleep at night. The poet Juvenal, sounding like a second-century version of a contemporary Roman complaining about scooter traffic, lamented, "Only if one has a lot of money can one sleep in Rome. The source of the problem lies in the carts passing through the bottlenecks of the curved streets, and the flocks that stop and make so much noise they would prevent ... even a devil-fish from sleeping." What civilization doesn’t have its’ problems? Click on image to enlage. Puzzle available on the internet at THE NEW YORK TIMES -- Crossword Puzzles and Games
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