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Author Topic: The freewheeling November 20 crossword  (Read 1580 times)


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The freewheeling November 20 crossword
« on: November 20, 2016, 03:47:42 PM »
The title of today's crossword by C.C. Burnikel is "Melee," which is properly spelled "Mêlée." It's a 17th-century French word which comes from the Old French meslee ("mixture"). The verb mesler ("to mix") is also the source of the words "medley" and "meddle." Here are the theme answers:

Retail enticement: TRIALOFFER
Reporter's credential: PRESSPASS
Airport employee: TICKETAGENT
Western nickname: SILVERSTATE (Nevada)
Mall rarity at Christmas: PARKINGSPACE
Like much farm decor: COUNTRYSTYLE
Many sandwiches are made for it: LUNCHTIME

"Fracas, and a hint to both words" of those answers is FREEFORALL. "Fracas" comes from the Italian fracassare ("to shatter") and is synonymous with "melee." Each word of the seven theme answers can be preceded by "Free," e.g., free trial, free country, free agent, free parking. The concept of "free lunch" dates from the 1850s. Saloon owners would offer patrons a free lunch with the purchase of a drink, with the expectation that the patrons would become regular customers. Here is an 1875 New York Times article about the "free lunches" offered in New Orleans:

"Part of A.A. Milne" is INIT, which is an awkward abbreviation of "initial." The full name of the British poet/author who created Winnie-The-Pooh is Alan Alexander Milne. "Brown in the kitchen" is ALTON. Alton Brown, a graduate of the New England Culinary Institute, hosted  the Food Network's Good Eats program from 1999 to 2012 and appears regularly on Food Network Star, Iron Chef America and Cutthroat Kitchen. He has also written several cookbooks. Thanksgiving Day is only four days away -- here is Brown's recipe for roast turkey:

Anyone who wants to cook a turkey will have to buy one at the market. What -- were you expecting a free lunch?


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