Steak from Beef by John Torode
Sunday, November 28, 2010
DIAGRAMLESS, Puzzle by Fred Piscop, edited by Will Shortz
MEAT (73A. Chops, e.g. … or a hint to the starts of 16-, 26-, 42-, 59- and 71-Across) — RAW, RARE, MEDIUM, WELL or BURNT — the main topic of this sizzling Sunday diagramless crossword presents choices contained within RAW RECRUIT (16A. Boot camp newcomer), RARE EARTH (26A. Scandium or yttrium), MEDIUM BUILD (42A. Crime witness’s description o an average person), WELL BEING (59A. Health) and BURNT UMBER (71A. Shade of brown). Mine? Well, thanks!
Other across — 1A. Working diligently, AT IT, starts at square seven, skip a space and enter your BIO (5A. Text accompanying an author’s photo, often), drop down a line and continue — 8. Many a golf tourney, PRO AM; 13. One of 20 in a classic duel, PACE; 14. Treaty topic, ARMS; 18. English captain Francis DRAKE; 20. More smooth-tongued, OILIER; 21. Come to TERMS; 23. Boo accompanier, HISS; 25. Familiar with, USED TO; 28. Crime solver: Abbr., DET; 29. Tanny lotion letters, SPF; 31. Down-for-the-count count, TEN; 32. AHA moment; 33. Inflates falsely, PADS; 36. Twisted, e.g., DANCED; 38. Established by edict, DECREED; 41. Drunken, BEERY; 44. Commercial time, BREAK; 47. Abu Dhabi, e.g., EMIRATE; 48. Washington airport, REAGAN; 50. Scale notes, SOLS; 51. Sheet music abbr., ARR; 52. “LES Miz”; 54. Pitcher SAL Maglie of the 1950s Giants; 56. Numbers cruncher, for short, CPA; 63. Result of a frame-up, perhaps, BUM RAP; 65. Zippo, NADA; 66. Go limp, DROOP; 68. “Seinfeld” role, ELAINE; 69. Catches some Z’s, DOZES; 74. Falco of “The Sopranos”, EDIE; 75. Smart-mouthed, SASSY; 76. B.O. sign, SRO; 77. Teacher of the dharma, LAMA.
Down — 1. Month after Mar., APR; 2. Lacking slack, TAUT; 3. Not so congenial, ICIER; 4. Four: Prefix, TETRA; 5. Malevolent child, BAD SEED; 6. Bargain bin abbr., IRR; 7. Cornhusker city, OMAHA; 8. Like a person getting a promotion, usually, PROUD; 9. What a promotion usually results in, RAISE; 10. Barn baby, OWLET; 11. Like Death Valley, ARID; 12. Track contests, MEETS; 15. Super G, e.g., SKI RACE; 17. Adjusted in Photoshop, say, CROPPED; 19. Book read during Purim, ESTHER; 22. Mohawk-sporting actor, MR T; 24. Of ill repute, SHADY; 27. Pave the way for, ENABLE; 30. Prima FACIE; 34. Beat it, DRUM; 35. Penultimate round, SEMIS; 37. Neighbor of Homer, NED; 38. City of northern Illinois, DEKALB; 39. River of Aragon, EBRO; 40. Two-team track or wrestling, DUALS; 42. Rack item, for short, MAG; 43. “You’re on!”, IT’S A BET; 44. Brains’ complement, BRAWN; 45. Check over, REREAD; 46. Nobleman’s realm, EARLDOM; 49. Can’t help but, NEEDS TO; 53. Title for 18-Across, SIR; 55. Real jim-dandies, LULUS; 56. Uses a cheat sheet, CRIBS; 57. French door features, PANES; 58. Impressionist’s work, APERY; 60. Rests in a hammock, say, LAZES; 61. Award for Obama, NOBEL; 62. Party platter cheese, GOUDA; 64. Elvis’s word after “Well, that’s all right”, MAMA; 67. Overly proper, PRIM; 70. Mr. Potato Head piece, EAR; 72. Museum-funding org., NEA.
"Then there is the beefsteak. They have it in Europe, but they don't know how to cook it. Neither will they cut it right. It comes on the table in a small, round, pewter platter. It lies in the centre of this platter, in a bordering bed of grease-soaked potatoes; it is the size, shape, and thickness of a man's hand with the thumb and fingers cut off. It is a little overdone, is rather dry, it tastes pretty insipidly, it rouses no enthusiasm. Imagine a poor exile contemplating that inert thing," he sniffed scornfully; "and imagine an angel suddenly sweeping down out of a better land and setting before him a mighty porter-house steak an inch and a half thick, hot and sputtering from the griddle; dusted with fragrant pepper; enriched with little melting bits of butter of the most unimpeachable freshness and genuineness; the precious juices of the meat trickling out and joining the gravy, archipelagoed with mushrooms; a township or two of tender, yellowish fat gracing an outlying district of this ample county of beefsteak; the long white bone which divides the sirloin from the tenderloin still in its place; and imagine that the angel also adds a great cup of American home-made coffee, with the cream a-froth on top, some real butter, firm and yellow and fresh, some smoking hot biscuits, a plate of hot buckwheat cakes, with transparent syrup, could words describe the gratitude of this exile?" ~ Mark Twain (1835-1910) expressing his disdain for European notions about preparing and serving a piece of meat. 'A Tramp Abroad'
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