07.04.10 — Honeymoon in Tehran — the Acrostic


Sunday, July 4, 2010

ACROSTIC, Puzzle by Emily Cox and Henry Rathvon, edited by Will Shortz

This Sunday’s acrostic draws its quotation from Honeymoon in Tehran: Two Years of Love and Danger in Iran by Azadeh Moaveni.

“In her new memoir, American-born journalist Moaveni (Lipstick Jihad) returns to Tehran in 2005 to cover Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's election for Time magazine, hoping to make the city her permanent home. Her plans are complicated by the standoff with the U.S. over Iran's nuclear program, as well as several unexpected turns in her life. She falls in love, moves in with her boyfriend, becomes pregnant, gets married—in that order—in a country that has no word for boyfriend and no qualms about brutally beating unmarried pregnant women. Through her own experience, Moaveni reports on the growing apathy of the people of Iran, a society burdened by staggering inflation and tensions between religion, political oppression and secular life, the latter ever more enticing through ubiquitous, illegal satellite television. Gradually, the idealism and religious faith that characterized Moaveni's younger years wane. With the birth of her son, her misgivings come to a head, compounded by the spying, threats and intimidation she experienced at the hands of the Ministry of Intelligence. Moaveni, who now lives in London with her family, has penned a story of coming-of-age in two cultures with a keen eye and a measured tone.” From Publishers Weekly, Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


The author’s name and the title of the work:

The defined words:

A. Plot with evil intent, MACHINATE
B. Area of production that’s well-supplied (2 wds.), OIL FIELD
D. Of a prudish and restrictive social mindset, VICTORIAN
E. One way to introduce a word, EDGEWISE
F. Collection with nothing in it (w wds.), NULL SET
G. Strength training done without moving, ISOMETRICS
H. Car engine capacity, in slang, HORSES
I. Of little or no prominence, OBSCURE
J. Inuit territory made official in 1999, NUNAVUT
L. 1960s band with Beck, Clapton and Page, YARDBIRDS
M. “The fairies MIDWIFE” (Queen Mab, in “Romeo and Juliet”)
N. Public disturbance, surge of activity, OUTBURST
O. Oxymoronic term for a stale tidbit (2 wds.), OLD NEWS
Q. People from Tikrit or Kirkuk, IRAQIS
R. DNA storage center, NUCLEUS
T. Get all convoluted, ENTWINE
U. Making the fans come out?, HUMID
V. Matter of stress to TV executives, RATINGS
X. Incapable of being tallied NUMBERLESS
Orkideh Underground features 12 female musicians who perform classical, folk, modern, and traditional music in Iran

The full quotation: “To be sure, there's not much in Iranian classical music to rile the conservative sensibilities of the country's clerical leaders: Often described as somber, it consists of solo performances on ancient instruments, accompanied by lyrics borrowed from the poetry of Rumi. It's not exactly Britney Spears or the Persian pop sounds of Los Angeles. And while the formal status of music under Islamic law is a matter of debate, ornate music rooms in old Persian palaces and miniature paintings of female musicians attest to the tolerance of previous Shi'ite rulers. Even the mass protests that brought down the Shah's regime in 1979 were energized by revolutionary songs complete with harmonies and instrumentals.

“But the religious authorities who came to power during the Islamic Revolution dealt harshly with music, declaring musical instruments and a woman's singing voice haram (forbidden), almost extinguishing the classical tradition. Museum-quality instruments were burned in bonfires; professional musicians lost their livelihoods and many emigrated to the West. Instruments were banned from being shown in television, films, stores or even classrooms, leaving the generations of Iranians born after the revolution unable to distinguish a tar from a setar — the equivalent of a Western child being unable to tell a cello from a guitar.

In 1989, Ayatullah Khomeini issued a subtle fatwa distinguishing between haram and halal forms of music, which created small openings. Possession of an instrument was no longer illegal, although a permit was required. Musicians could apply to perform in public, although only the most committed could deal with the difficulties in renting suitable auditoriums, the censorship of lyrics, and the presence of mullahs dispatched to preach before the concert.”

Click on image to enlarge.

Puzzle available on the internet at

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