10.05.07 -- Kafkaesque

Monks Are Silenced, and for Now, Internet Is, Too -- The New York Times, October 4, 2007
BANGKOK, Oct. 3 — It was about as simple and uncomplicated as shooting demonstrators in the streets. Embarrassed by smuggled video and photographs that showed their people rising up against them, the generals who run
Myanmar simply switched off the Internet.


Friday, October 5, 2007

Click here for LARGE PRINT.

Puzzle by Lynn Lempel, edited by Will Shortz

In a puzzle filled with entries and clues delineating various perilous states of being, it is intriguing that it follows so closely upon yesterday's report of the Mayanmar government's termination of the internet in that country. The dissemination of images to the world of the peaceful marching of thousands of monks could not be tolerated by those who rule. In our country of America, we fail to realize that we are virtually the only government in the world that is not controlled by the conflict of religion. Think of the internet in the relatively short time of its existence with its freedom of information... It is astounding that we complain about the etymological peccadillos of a crossword puzzle, when others in the world are fighting only to survive. However, this is a blog about crossword puzzles -- little unimportant things in a world trembling with turmoil -- so down to business!

GETSCARRIEDAWAY (8D Overdoes it) leads the precipitious parade of close calls and conflict, followed closely by WARZONES (55A Dangerous places for correspondents); DENSEFOG (1A Navigation hazard) and SHOAL (32D Navigation hazard) (twin Shortzesque clues); PREMIE (16A Special delivery?); SCORELESS (19A Missing the point?); SPLIT (26A Take off); STEROIDS (4D Some athletes shoot them); OSS (22A W.W. II agcy.); SPARROW (29D U.S. air-to-air missile); FAILS (6D Goes under); ONCE (7D If ever); PRESSES (10D Importunes); MINUTEMARK (13D Watch notch); BETTERIDEA (14D Alternative that should be followed); SEDATED (20D Put under?); SLEEPTIGHT (26DF "Pleasant dreams"); LATEINLIFE (28D Past prime time?); BEASPORT (36A "C'mon, do me this favor"); all seeming to resonate with the echo of KAFKA (42A He wrote "A first sign of the beginning of understanding is the wish to die").

Yesterday’s puzzle had ABOMBS, today’s APLOMB (9A Coolness); also STRUT (21A Car bar), yesterday STRUT was defined as (24D Show pride, in a way). Lightness today includes SPRATS (32A Famously fussy pair of diners); CLOD (44A Chump); and the brilliantly clued EATS (34A Acts on a gut feeling?). WATERPIPE (48A Main, maybe); EXITLANE (15A Way off); APIARIES (57A Where workers gather); and PEASHELLER (27D Seed-separating gizmo) are entries in need of a BETTERIDEA (14D Alternative that should be followed).

People in the puzzle: BENEDICT (17A Married man who had long been a bachelor); TENANT (18A Many a monthly check writer); SADIE (29A When repeated, a “Funny Girl” song); HEFNER (56A Bunny backer?); EDNA (47D Mrs. Turnblad in “Hairspray”); HARTE (35A Gold rush storyteller); YATITTLE (59A QB who was the 1963 N.F.L. M.V.P.); DEBS (1D Five-time U.S. presidential candidate in the early 1900s); OMARSHARIF (12D “Che!” title role player, 1969); KARZAI (42D Post-Taliban Afghan president); and The Chi-LITES (1970s R & B group (24D).

Remaining clues include: 23A Drawer units?; STE Genevieve County, Mo. (25A); 30A Utterance when pointing to a woman; 31A Chief; 33A Any of les Trois Mousquetaires; 36A Hardware store offering; 37A In the style of: Suffix; 38A Fishing boats; 39A Island republic; PHI phenomenon (optical illusion) (40A); 41A Like most mammals; 43A Top of some scales; 45A Univ. offerings; 46A Not having as favorable a prognosis; 53A Quiet craft; 58A Risers meet them; 2D One making firm decisions; 3D Hombre, once; 5D Like many an heir apparent; 9D Not out of place; 11D Carnival follower; 38D Ordained; 45D Kind of scholarship; 49D Spanish hors d-oeuvre; 50D Competing; 51 Strip Forum infinitive; and 54D Commuters' choices: Abbr.

If a puzzle is to puzzle, this puzzle was a paragon!

"It is not necessary that you leave the house. Remain at your table and listen. Do not even listen, only wait. Do not even wait, be wholly still and alone. The world will present itself to you for its unmasking, it can do no other, in ecstasy it will writhe at your feet." -- Franz Kafka


For today's cartoon, go to The Crossword Puzzle Illustrated.
The New York Times Crossword Puzzle solution above is by the author of this blog and does not guarantee accuracy. If you find errors or omissions, you are more than welcome to make note of same in the Comments section of this post -- any corrections found necessary will be executed promptly upon verification.

Puzzle available on the internet at
THE NEW YORK TIMES -- Crossword Puzzles and Games

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Anonymous said...

Today I stumbled upon a "Save Burma" rally across from the U.N. It's a terrible thing...all the pain and suffering in the world. But on anothet note...the idea of Kafkaesque is quite profound. Personally, I hated The Metamorphosis. But this picture captures several ideas that are Kafkaesque: the lonliness and abandonment that the monk feels; impending doom; and the feeling that the world has alienated you.

DONALD said...


Did you read the article "Monks Are Silenced, and for Now, Internet Is, Too -- The New York Times, October 4, 2007"

Link to the article is in the post under the photo -- "Monks Are Silenced...etc."

Hope all's well, thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Internet censorship is definitely a popular political tactic amongst countries ruled by dictators. It is definitely a violation of the people's rights to strip the masses of freedom of speech. Non-violent efforts from the outside and from within seem virtually futile (at the time).

I never imagined that censorship in other countries was held to such an extreme extent as is said about Myannmar's political/social system.

On another note, my sister experienced Internet censorship while she was in China this summer. Her disagreement with China's political system led her to begin interning at a Non-Governmental Organization. She's contributing her efforts to the cause of establishing more human rights for the people in China.