May 24, 2019

NYT crossword spoiler alert... "This??? This is your Queen Victoria's 200th birthday tribute puzzle? Just ... her name?"

"Look, do a damn tribute or don't do a tribute, but this half-assed half-themed junk has got to go. I kept looking around for Victorian material. Kept thinking there was some theme building that I just couldn't see.... 'Grandmother of Europe,' ugh, why are we 'honoring' her? Was the idea ... what was the idea? Just put her name in the middle and then build a very old-fashioned, very old, kinda mediocre themeless around her? LINDY in a LANDAU, that's what this thing was. For the NONCE. It's painfully hoary, and could not have been more off my wavelength if it tried.... Who the hell is Manchester, the WRITER (24D: London or Manchester). That clue killed me, and kept me from accessing the NE in a way that had me wondering if I was even going to finish. Satan is The DEUCE!?!? LOL, when? Who? Woof."

Rex Parker rages against the Queen Victoria 200th birthday puzzle.

How should the 200th birthday of Queen Victoria be commemorated? I check Google...



What do you think — her nude side or weird facts?

Here's the image at The Guardian:



It's a painting Victoria gave her husband on his 33rd birthday. But it's her 200th birthday. Isn't there something better than musing about whether "Victorian" should mean "prudish" if she wasn't all that prudish or was she?

35 comments:

gilbar said...

musing about whether "Victorian" should mean "prudish" if she wasn't all that prudish or was she

she was Obviously a PRUDE! Look at that painting!
Everyone of those women are CIS! if she wasn't a PRUDE, where are the transgender women?

Sebastian said...

Totally OT note to Althouse: if you don't check out PowerLine regularly, take a look today -- nice birthday tributes to Bob Dylan that I think you will enjoy.

Lucid-Ideas said...

Easiest way to do this crossword?

Just close your eyes and think of England!!!

Ken B said...

Inventing The Victorians is a good book that dispels many myths.

We discussed “hoary” here long ago. As you can see it, is isn’t used as praise.

I guess we should never use “Dahmer” in a crossword because that would be “honoring” him?

jaydub said...

Rex Parker seems to find fault with almost every puzzle. Maybe he should just take up Sudoku.

Kevin said...

She had nine children. How much of a prude could a m-fer be if they have nine children?

Caligula said...

"Queen" Victoria? Her full title was, "Her Majesty Victoria, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland Queen, Defender of the Faith, Empress of India."

Mostly I'd think she'd be associated with the high-water mark of British imperialism and not with any supposed prudery of the Victorian era. But, prudery is back in style again and imperialism surely is not.

buwaya said...

Moderns misunderstand the past of course.
That never changes, for any value of modern and their relative past.

One has to get into the past with quite a lot of effort, in detail, to get close to understanding it as if it were the personal present. Few can do it now, or even want to attempt it.

The good part here, the fast road, is to delve into some region of the past deeply. The disjunct between the detail and the modern fantasy of it is instructive and can break that general misunderstanding.

In the past (hah!) the process was institutionalized, in the training of scholars through classical education. A deep dive into the classics puts in place a very distinct attitude towards the past, respect and regard for human experience. But the process is gone, the system of training has been rejected.

Mike Sylwester said...

I've watched the PBS history drama about Queen Victoria from the beginning. It's a superb series.

Before the next season begins, PBS probably will show all the episodes from the beginning. This will be an opportunity to catch up if you have not watched the series.

-----

Recently PBS began showing Downton Abbey from the very beginning, and I am watching it for the first time. It's superb.

Nobody said...

The Victoria and Albert Museum, I think it’s called, in London is worth the trip.

Nobody said...

Recently PBS began showing Downton Abbey from the very beginning, and I am watching it for the first time. It's superb.

You can save a lot of time just by watching Gosford Park.

buwaya said...

I suppose the attitude towards the past is affected by experience.
In my case I was born in a different era, effectively, socially and culturally, 50 years behind most of you, old as you are, and with my hands on the bones, the remains of what existed.

When I was young we went to a 400-year old church, we climbed all over centuries old statuary, some of our teachers wore soutanes, relatives joined religious orders, and the family considered a seventeenth-century fortress as family property. Our society was more than a bit feudal, and the masses were not even a generation from what were in fact medieval villages.

In spirit anyway. And I am here just a few miles from Silicon Valley. I was at the Apple flying saucer in Cupertino last week.

Its like always seeing visions flashing on and off, transient here and now and permanent, ancient fundamental.

Big Mike said...

I have read that Victoria was very open about enjoying sex with Alfred, but didn’t much care about motherhood and mostly left bringing up the princes and princesses to tutors and governesses.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

gilbar said...

Everyone of those women are CIS! if she wasn't a PRUDE, where are the transgender women?

That's rather cis-normative of you. What makes you assume there are any women in the painting?

Otto said...

It's called basement dwelling with Freud.

Mike Sylwester said...

I'll take this opportunity to recommend again the Starz trilogy -- The White Queen, The White Princess and The Spanish Princess.

The White Queen and The White Princess have not been available on-demand on cable television for a few years, but Starz has made them available again because it is beginning to broadcast The Spanish Princess for the first time.

I had watched The White Queen (ten hours) and The White Princess (eight hours) before, but I watched them again, finishing a couple of days ago. Now I am ready to begin watching The Spanish Princess.

The White Queen and The White Princess tell the conclusion of the Wars of the Roses and the establishment of the Tudor Dynasty. The series provides a plausible explanation of the disappearance of the two sons of Edward IV. They had been imprisoned in the Tower of London. They disappeared when Richard III occupied the throne, and he has been accused (for example, by William Shakespeare) of murdering them.

The two boys were the sons of "The White Queen" and the brothers of "The White Princess". The younger boy was said to have escaped from the Tower, and years later he seemed to reappear in France and to try to reclaim the throne. This is actual history, and this Starz series explains its mysteries plausibly.

The conclusion of The White Princess is very dramatic, even shocking, in regard to the younger boy's attempt to reclaim the throne. It's a terrific drama.

Fen said...

Look, do a damn tribute or don't do a tribute, but this half-assed half-themed junk has got to go. I kept looking around for Victorian material. Kept thinking there was some theme building that I just couldn't see.... 'Grandmother of Europe,' ugh, why are we 'honoring' her? Was the idea ... what was the idea? Just put her name in the middle and then build a very old-fashioned, very old, kinda mediocre themeless around her? LINDY in a LANDAU, that's what this thing was. For the NONCE. It's painfully hoary, and could not have been more off my wavelength if it tried

Going to fedex this guy my GOT Season 1-5 DVD collection. For Double Bonus Cruelty points.

Screwtape: "Ah, very good, but you still have much to learn young padawan"

Fernandistein said...

@Kevin
Happy Grill more optimistic than angry BBQ

Ann Althouse said...

"Rex Parker seems to find fault with almost every puzzle. Maybe he should just take up Sudoku."

It's a good angle for a blog about the NYT crossword. The NYT makes a lot of money off the puzzle. People (including me) pay something like $40 a year for access to just the puzzles. It's supposed to be the greatest puzzle, so Rex holds their feet to the fire. It's funny to make the criticism very intense, to hold the NYT's feet to the fire, and to be a character "Rex Parker" who's just so indignant about the NYT's failure to be what it purports to be.

narciso said...

indeed mike Sylvester, phillippa Gregory who wrote the source material for the series, does not follow the line of tory propagandistas ike morton, like alison weir, for instance, so we have fake news from the 16th century like the ones in the 20th and 21st centuries,

traditionalguy said...

No wonder Buttegeig wants to destroy Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson was the first American politician to expose the British Monarchy as our #1 enemy. That scum monarchy has attacked us every time the had the opportunity. And they are the fount of Globalism EU created to replace their lost Empire.

We need sanctions placed on the Brits for their acts of war.

narciso said...

il macchia served a similar court function for the Borgias, which has only recently been challenged by sarah Dunnett based on the work of elizabrth lew,

traditionalguy said...

FTR : Queen Victoria was the founder of international heroin trade and she ordered the murder of millions to protect that stream of loot.

Mike Sylwester said...

I read Alison Weir's book The Princes in the Tower a few years ago. She argues that the two boys indeed were murdered by Richard III.

The Starz series -- based on Philippa Gregory's novels -- argues that they were murdered at the direction of Margaret Beaufort, the mother of Henry Tudor (later Henry VII). She framed Richard III in order to put her own son on the throne.

Margaret Beaufort is played brilliantly by two different actresses in The White Queen and The White Princess. (The two series were filmed about four years apart, so all the actors are different.)

rcocean said...

The Writer thing confused me? Is the answer Manchester? I assumed it was LONDON. Jack London. If not, who is "Manchester"? What did he write?

Big Mike said...

@rcocean, he wrote a number of accessible, well-received history books.

Bill Peschel said...

Rcocean: William Manchester. Particularly known for working for Jackie Kennedy after JFK was shot to create the Camelot myth.

The Cracker Emcee Refulgent said...

"How should the 200th birthday of Queen Victoria be commemorated?"

Fire on the Fuzzy-Wuzzy until the Martini-Henrys glow red. Or was this a trick question?

Andrew said...

Had Queen Victoria never existed, Merchant & Ivory would have been failed movie makers.

Howard said...

Didn't she bang Brown and that Raji fellow?

n.n said...

Modesty in context is a religious virtue. There is no cause for universal gender judgment.

BJM said...

By comparison King Christian IX of Denmark and his consort Queen Louise of Hesse-Kassel made Queen Victoria look like a piker in the dynasty sweepstakes...thus the moniker "Europe's Father-in-Law"

Christian's grandsons included Nicholas II of Russia, Constantine I of Greece, George V of the United Kingdom, Christian X of Denmark and Haakon VII of Norway.

Today, most of Europe's reigning and ex-reigning royal families are direct descendants of Christian IX, who incidentally, unsuccessfully sought the hand of Victoria.

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip are both great-great-grandchildren of Victoria and direct decedents of Christian IX...third cousins on both family lines. That may explain their rather dimwitted progeny.

Victoria and Albert set on a PR campaign to return dignity to the Crown after William IV's disastrous, licentious reign. Albert believed that in order to survive the spread of revolution and prosper, royalty should be presented as a respectable and close- knit, loving family that a burgeoning middle class adopted as code of behaviour.

Victoria's diaries, although posthumously expurgated and literally re-written by her daughter Beatrice, reveal that Victoria was quite often amused. They are an interesting read.

Bilwick said...

I have a coffee-table book of Victorian Art, and some of the paintings that are reproduced in it are among the sensuous* works of art I've ever seen. Those guys really knew how to do skin-tones.



*or is it "sensual"?

BJM said...

Nobody said...
You can save a lot of time just by watching Gosford Park.

Especially if you have the DVD, watch Fellowes' commentary....and btw- the Sargent painting at the foot of the stairs in Gosford is the real Cora filmed at the Bing country pile...alas Cora was neither comely nor young but the very rich American widow Colgate (of the toothpaste fortune).

BJM said...

Mike Sylwester said...

I'll take this opportunity to recommend again the Starz trilogy -- The White Queen, The White Princess and The Spanish Princess.

Gregory's books are on Audible and while the Starz series are quite good, they are a mishmash (much like GOT) of characters and events; although I did not care for the actor playing Queen Mother Elizabeth in The White Princess. The books are so much better and the narrator Bianca Amato is very adept.. The Plantagenet/Tudor series begin with Jacquetta Woodville and ends with Mary Stuart.

The Plantagenet series in reading order are:

The Lady of the Rivers, The White Queen, The Red Queen, The Kingmaker's Daughter, The White Princess, The Constant Princess, The King's Curse.

Alison Weir has also written award winning books on the period, but while more factual, they are also a more scholarly read.

It's a pity such an interesting time period occurred before chronicles were kept and women, although they held real power, albeit obliquely, were almost entirely invisible. Medieval women's birth dates were often not recorded. They may not appear in civic or church records until they marry and/or give birth. Historians and writers have to read between the lines of factual documents to find them and trace their paths through events.