Slow-moving primates / MON 5-3-10 / Yiddish for "small town" / Country singer Ritter / It's inserted in a mortise
Monday, May 3, 2010
Smalltown East European Jewish community, famous in lore for the warmth and Jewishness of its life. The shtetl (Yid. diminutive for shtot, "town") was born in the 16th century when Jews were invited by the Polish gentry to constitute the urban commercial class on their lands. Whether they remained a majority or became a minority in these new settlements, and whether the towns remained truly small or mushroomed into cities, Jewish life there over the next few centuries, intimate and inbred, assumed characteristic patterns, making the shtetl a unique social and cultural habitat. It was here that everything associated with the rich fabric of Jewish life, however romanticized, found expression. ...
In the 19th century, the shtetl and its way of life spread to the Russian Pale of Settlement and the eastern lands of the Austro-Hungarian Empire; in the 20th century, in the face of modernization and urban migration, it declined; and in the Nazi Holocaust, it ended. Shtetl life has been immortalized in the stories of Shalom Aleichem and the paintings of Marc Chagall.
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Hi, everybody. PuzzleGirl here, just off the plane from the L.A. tournament where, as expected, we had a total blast. I'm sure Rex will tell you all about it here and I'll probably write up a little something over at our other blog on Tuesday. For now, I'll just say that Elissa Grossman is my hero — she put on a wonderful event and it was so much fun to be there with so many kindred spirits!
Today's puzzle is actually the first puzzle we solved for the tournament. I'm going to admit it was a little more difficult than I expected it to be. But that might just be because of the first-tournament-puzzle jitters. It was mostly a smooth solve but I know exactly what you're thinking right now, because it's exactly what a whole lot of us were thinking on Saturday: LORISES? Yes, apparently LORISES are 37A: Slow-moving primates. Let's see what one looks like, shall we? Oh hey! It's adorable! I spent a little bit of time at the end of the solve checking those crosses. I finally convinced myself that they were solid and considered the puzzle done.
- 17A: A-team (FIRST STRING).
- 26A: Composer's work for a film (MUSICAL SCORE).
- 47A: Portuguese, for Brazilians, e.g. (MOTHER TONGUE).
- 61A: Really steamed ... or what the ends of 17-, 26- and 47-Across are? (FIT TO BE TIED).
I'm not gonna say much about this puzzle because it's late and I'm still kind of on this puzzle tournament high and I really need to get to bed and it's hard to concentrate. Plus, I know that even if I don't say much, you all will have fun in the comments anyway. So chat it up. What did you like? What did you have trouble with? I bet you're not the only one!
- 22A: Excellent, in slang (GNARLY). Little California flavor here. Perfect for the tournament!
- 5D: Like dragons and centaurs (MYTHICAL). Me: "Scary?"
- 12D: Country star Steve (EARLE). My favorite Steve Earle song is "Six Days on the Road," but I'm pretty sure I posted that last time, so today we'll fade out with "Copperhead Road."
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