12.30.12 — La Bella Lingua — the Acrostic



Rialto Bridge, Venice, Italy
 
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Sunday, December 30, 2012
 
ACROSTIC, Puzzle by Emily Cox and Henry Rathvon
Edited by Will Shortz

This Sunday’s challenging acrostic draws a quotation from La Bella Lingua, My Love Affair with Italian, the World’s Most Enchanting Language by Dianne Hales.
 
“Italians say that someone who acquires a new language ‘possesses’ it. In my case, Italian possesses me. With Italian racing like blood through my veins, I do indeed see with different eyes, hear with different ears, and drink in the world with all my senses…”
 
A celebration of the language and culture of Italy, La Bella Lingua is the story of how a language shaped a nation, told against the backdrop of one woman’s personal quest to speak fluent Italian. ~ Book description in part, amazon.com 
 
The quotation: IN WORKSHOPS I PADDLED THROUGH ITALIANS TREACHEROUS TENSES I STRUGGLED TO CORRAL ITS IMPISH PRONOUNS WHICH FLIT FROM THE FRONT TO THE BACK OF SENTENCES DISAPPEAR ENTIRELY OR LATCH ON TO VERBS LIKE FLEAS ON A CATS EAR
 
The author’s name and the title of the work: DIANNE HALES LA BELLA LINGUA

The defined words:

A. “Sh” or “wr,” in phonetics, DIGRAPH
B. Venus, to the Babylonians, ISHTAR
C. Voice recital performance (2 wds.), ART SONG
D. Appointing your grandmother to office for the good of the party, per Ambrose Bierce, NEPOTISM
E. “Jefferson in Paris” star (2 wds.), NICK NOLTE
F. ESPRIT de l’escalier (retort thought of too late)
G. Minim on a staff, two crotchets in length (2 wds.), HALF NOTE
H. Attorney general after Reno, ASHCROFT
I. Top-grossing film of 1970, written by a Yale classics professor (2 wds.), LOVE STORY
J. Famous photo taken by an Apollo astronaut, EARTHRISE
K. Landing area for long jumpers (2 wds.), SAND PIT
L. Network targeting women, LIFETIME
M. If all the pieces fall into place (2 wds.), AT BEST
N. Leonardo da Vinci or Ludwig van Beethoven, e.g., BACHELOR
O. Subdivisions of a geological period, EPOCHS
P. Anticipate; try to find (2 wds.), LOOK FOR
Q. Tool used to make small incisions, LANCET
R. Snow boots for walking, to the French (hyph.), ÀPRES-SKI
S. El Dorado or Shangri-La, e.g. (2 wds.), LOST WORLD
T. Shimmer with different colors, IRIDESCE
U. Brenda Starr or Lois Lane sort, NEWSHOUND
V. Entertainer in a hanamachi, GEISHA
W. Libel or slander, by definition, UNTRUTH
X. When Juliet drinks the portion (2 wds.), ACT FOUR

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The full paragraph of the quotation: At the ItaLingua Institute, a warm and welcoming pezzo d’Italia (piece of Italy) in the Bay Area, I took seminars on opera, art, manners, poetry, architecture, wine, and cinema. In grammar workshops with its native-born teachers, I paddled through Italian’s treacherous tenses, trying to navigate the confounding conditional and the the slippery subjunctive. With even greater effort I struggled to corral its impish pronouns, which flit from the front to the back of sentences, disappear entirely, or latch on to verbs like fleas to a cat’s ear. ~ La Bella Lingua

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Click on image to enlarge.

Puzzle available on the internet at
 

1 comment:

Dianne Hales said...

Che bella sorpresa! I am tickled that my book inspired such a clever Acrostic. Grazie tango! Dianne