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1
Today's Puzzles / Re: Tue., 3/3 Mike Buckley
« Last post by LARadioRewind on Today at 04:58:29 PM »
Yesterday I mentioned a 1940 Mickey Mouse comic strip in which Mickey answered a quiz question asking where the emu is found: "In crossword puzzles." EMU is indeed one of the ten most common words appearing in crosswords, and that was true at least as far back as 1940. So what do I see in today's crossword? EMU. *Sigh* I also see three other overused words, ELK, LEI and SIT, along with IIII ("Four, on some sundials"). As for IIII, all I can say is "Ai-yi-yi-yi!"
2
Today's Puzzles / Re: Mon., 3/2 Roland Huget
« Last post by LARadioRewind on Today at 04:52:08 PM »
...and what overused word did I find in the March 3 puzzle? That's right---EMU. *Sigh*
3
Today's Puzzles / Re: Tue., 3/3 Mike Buckley
« Last post by LARadioRewind on Today at 04:48:46 PM »
YREKA was the answer to "Town in northern California that once had a palindromic bakery." Yes, there really was a Yreka Bakery. I have a copy of California Place Names, a 1969 book by Erwin G. Gudde---no relation to "Johnny B. Goode"---and he notes that when Siskiyou County was established in 1852, the one-year-old town of Shasta Butte City became the county seat and was renamed Yreka (pronounced "Y-reeka") after Wy-e-kah, the Shasta Indians' name for Mount Shasta ("north mountain"). I don't understand how Wy-e-kah could become Yreka, though. Farther south, the town of Eureka had been established in 1850. Perhaps the name of Yreka was meant to mimic Eureka.

Mark Twain wrote a story about Bret Harte seeing an upside down canvas sign that said BAKERY. With the B covered up, the sign said YREKA. Thanks to that story, many people have mistakenly believed that the town of Yreka was named after a bakery. People can be so gullible. Darn you, Mark Twain! The old Yreka Bakery is referenced on a page of palindromes:

http://jeff560.tripod.com/words5.html
4
Today's Puzzles / Tue., 3/3 Mike Buckley
« Last post by magus on Today at 09:13:38 AM »
THEME:   Sherlockiana
   
GOOD ONES:    
Noah's flood insurance  ARK [much better than that of the Sandy victims]   
   
BTW:   
In interesting coincidence:  both JUDE LAW and LUCY LIU (Watsons) are of equal length;  DOCTOR and WATSON are also, as is CONAN and DOYLE.   
   
RATING:    ;D
Three grins = Loved it; Two grins = Enjoyed it; One grin = A bit bland for my taste; One teardrop = Not much fun   
5
Today's Puzzles / Re: Mon., 3/2 Roland Huget
« Last post by LARadioRewind on March 02, 2015, 04:22:03 PM »
I'm not an electrician nor do I portray an electrician on television, so I won't try to explain the mho. However, it was the original name for a unit of electrical conductance which is now known as a siemens, after Ernst Werner von Siemens. The name was simply "ohm" spelled backwards.

I, too, learned a new word in today's puzzle: "Tread water to check out surroundings, as a whale" was SPYHOP. That word is not in my dictionaries, though, and I question if a whale is truly capable of treading water in the way that humans do.

Twice I have done month-long studies of crosswords to determine the most-commonly-used words. The results are posted on the General Discussion forum. EMU is one of the most common and I discovered that its overuse goes back much farther than I thought. Fantagraphics is reprinting all the Mickey Mouse comic strips in chronological order. The latest volume, #6, includes the strip from August 22, 1940, part of a sequence that features Mickey trying to win a contest at a theatre. The MC asks him, "Is an emu a bird, fish or a musical instrument?" Mickey replies, "It's a bird, sorta like an ostrich." The MC says, "Quite correct. And where is it found?" The audience laughs at Mickey's answer: "In crossword puzzles." There ya go!





 
6
General Discussion / Re: Common Crosswordese, Continued
« Last post by LARadioRewind on March 02, 2015, 04:09:37 PM »
EMU is one of the ten most common words appearing in crossword puzzles...and I discovered that its overuse goes back much farther than I thought. Fantagraphics is reprinting all the Mickey Mouse comic strips in chronological order. The latest volume, #6, includes the strip from August 22, 1940, part of a sequence that features Mickey trying to win a contest at a theatre. The MC asks him, "Is an emu a bird, fish or a musical instrument?" Mickey replies, "It's a bird, sorta like an ostrich." The MC says, "Quite correct. And where is it found?" The audience laughs at Mickey's answer: "In crossword puzzles." There ya go!
7
General Discussion / Re: Regarding LA times submission specification
« Last post by psbhat89 on March 02, 2015, 09:57:19 AM »
Thank you so much :)
8
Today's Puzzles / Re: Sun., 3/1 Pam Amick Klawitter
« Last post by magus on March 02, 2015, 09:37:41 AM »
Yes, RBE, I know sometimes ID cards are swiped, but I wrote not often.  I know you've caught me before, but this time you'll simply have to forgo your usual gotcha credit.
9
Today's Puzzles / Mon., 3/2 Roland Huget
« Last post by magus on March 02, 2015, 09:29:21 AM »
THEME:   phrases of color
   
GOOD ONES:    
Leaves for a cigar   TOBACCO   [this one must've been missed by the editor]
   
BTW:   
Never knew MHO, which I confused with MOH, another measurement.  So even a boring puzzle can be informative, which does not, however, forgive its existence.   
   
   
RATING: :'(   
Three grins = Loved it; Two grins = Enjoyed it; One grin = A bit bland for my taste; One teardrop = Not much fun   
10
General Discussion / Re: NYT Wait Times
« Last post by SJS on March 02, 2015, 09:02:01 AM »
Congratulations on your sale!

I'm not surprised by the 9 month wait, particularly for a themeless.  Certain day slots get published more quickly because there's less of a backlog, but if I recall, Friday and Saturday have fairly long queues.  Thursdays aren't so bad for non-rebus puzzles, and Monday and Sunday I think have shorter queues. 
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