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1
Today's Puzzles / The March 29 crossword is a stretch
« Last post by Thomps2525 on March 29, 2017, 04:10:08 PM »
Today's crossword by Jeff Stillman is his 22nd published puzzle since 2012. Stillman likes to do clever things with words. One of his puzzles included WINGSPAN and four long answers which started and ended with the letters in WING, such as WELLBEING and WASPSTING. Today's crossword is similar to the WINGSPAN puzzle. It includes WIDESPREAD ("Far-reaching") and the theme answers include the letters W, I, D and E spread out:

Rain-X auto product: WIPERBLADE
Many a military spouse: WARBRIDE
Electrician's basic knowledge: WIRINGCOLORCODE
Manhattan theater district locale: WESTSIDE

"Big name in gas" is AMOCO, "Laundry room brand" is TIDE, "'Grand' ice cream brand" is EDYS, "Chop House dog food brand" is ALPO, and of course we have the clue that mentions Rain-X. Puzzle editors used to object to the use of brand names. Used to.

"Risky purchase, metaphorically" is PIGINAPOKE. A poke -- the word comes from the French poque -- is a sack or a bag. In the 14th and 15th centuries, swindlers would often sell a bag which supposedly contained a pig to be used for food. The buyer would return home and open the bag, only to find that it contained a cat or a dog. I can't really feel sorry for anyone who would buy something without seeing it. This swindle is also the source of the expression, "Let the cat out of the bag."

"Feathered layer" was a clever clue for HEN. "Bedtime drink, in totspeak" is WAWA. I wonder if young children would use words such as "wawa," "horsie," "choo-choo" and "go nite-nite" if the parents didn't talk to them that way. "Dukes not among royalty" is FISTS. When we challenge someone to a fistfight, why do we say "Put up your dukes"? In Great Britain, "fork" is an old slang word meaning "hand." It's the source of the phrases "fork out" and "fork over." In Cockney rhyming slang, "fork" rhymes with "Duke of York" and therefore fists are "dukes." Bizarre, yes -- but that is the origin of the term. There are many hundreds of Cockney rhyming slang words.....and they are all collected here:

http://www.cockneyrhymingslang.co.uk

That ends the discussion of the WIDESPREAD puzzle. Now I'm going to go for a WALKOUTSIDE.
2
General Support / Unable to download puzzles attached to posts
« Last post by rgh on March 27, 2017, 02:06:03 PM »
I get "attachment not found" when I try to download posted puzzles using either Safari on the ipad or Firefox on a Windows PC. Clearing the Safari cache does not help.
3
Etc. / Circulation Stats For Various Puzzles
« Last post by Glenn9999 on March 27, 2017, 11:14:53 AM »
Something I'm curious about that I can't think I've seen anywhere: Has there been any released figures anywhere that indicate the number of solvers that each puzzle gets (NYT, LAT, WSJ, CHE, Newsday, etc)?
4
  • Preferences (Cmd-,)
  • Dictionary
  • Add
  • Browse for your nyt.txt file
  • Choose where to put it in the list
  • OK
5
General Support / Re: NY Times Puzzle Link
« Last post by Greg01748 on March 25, 2017, 11:23:39 AM »
Bump. And The Wall Street Journal link under the NYT link also leads to a dead end and has for quite some time. Fixable ???
6
General Discussion / Re: Do i need some software or something?
« Last post by 4wd on March 23, 2017, 04:44:02 PM »
Crossfire by Beekeeper Labs is another option http://www.beekeeperlabs.com/crossfire/index.html, has support for windows, linux and mac. Plus it's grid filling capabilities are exceptional. It's not that expensive, comes with a lifetime license. I've got Crossword Compiler as well but its the Standard version, so tend to use a hybrid approach when constructing, Crossfire to design and fill the grid and Crossword Compiler for clue writing and final export.
7
General Discussion / Re: Do i need some software or something?
« Last post by packs on March 23, 2017, 11:40:17 AM »
Thank you.
8
General Discussion / Re: Theme consistency with wordplay
« Last post by mmcbs on March 22, 2017, 09:46:50 PM »
Most editors do not insist that the entries of a wordplay puzzle be otherwise related. Your instinct is correct that it is better if they are related. I'd recommend spending lots of time reviewing/solving the puzzles of the publisher that you're targeting to observe how they deal with wordplay themes.
9
General Discussion / Re: Do i need some software or something?
« Last post by mmcbs on March 22, 2017, 09:42:04 PM »
Most constructors use Crossword Compiler. It does a great job of organizing everything, creating grids, managing word lists, suggesting clues, and formatting for submission. It's a Windows application, but some Mac users use it with the Windows simulation process (don't know the actual terminology). http://www.crossword-compiler.com/ - to properly fill grids you'll need the Professional Grid Filler add-on. I think it is essential if you plan to sell puzzles professionally.

There are other options, but I haven't tried them. See software link in the resources section of this web site.
10
General Discussion / Do i need some software or something?
« Last post by packs on March 22, 2017, 05:06:47 PM »
I'm a new crossword writer and I've  been creating my puzzles in MS Excel.  It works pretty well.  I can mess around with my grid, use the empty space for word lists, alternate words, and possible theme answers.  I can use different tabs for different versions of parts of the puzzle that I am trying to finish.  But when i want to create a final document, things get a little unwieldy.  Is there some CW specific software I should be using (especially if I want to start submitting) and will it allow me the control and flexibility that Excel does?

Thanks again!
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