Tuesday, March 16, 2010


While on the road . . . a few thoughts on Italy . . or Eat-aly.

I am an ITALOPHILE and yet I've never used this word in a puzzle, which surprises me.

Italy is a magical land. I so admire its people, language, paintings, architecture, opera, wine and cuisine. It is where olive oil is sold in beautifully-decorated cans that are works of art in themselves. And as if that's not enough, Italy has produced the finest violins, violas and cellos the world has known. Generations of luthiers have tried to copy Antonio Stradivari's violins--to no avail.

When Stradivari made his violins in the 17th century, he constructed the ultimate puzzle--a secret configuration of wood, varnish and ratios that has yet to be decoded.

May the Stradivari Code never be broken!

There's one more reason to admire Italians: they've been very good to crossword puzzle makers.

RAGU and PENNE?  Molto BENE . . .

BASTA, that's enough PASTA . . .

AMMAZZACAFFE (after-dinner liqueur) . . . . what more is there to say?

BUON Appetito!

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