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1
Today's Puzzles / Re: Fri., 11/21 Mark Feldman
« Last post by LARadioRewind on Today at 04:34:33 PM »
Mister magus objects to me calling AFRO an archaic word. I'd better not say anything about ANON. ;)

In the New York Times puzzle appearing in today's Daily News, "Like many dogs' tails" is the clue for AWAG. I was positive that I would not find AWAG in the Merriam-Webster dictionary. AROAR and ASEA are words that often appear in puzzles and I was surprised that neither of those words is in the dictionary either. The prefix "a-" is defined as:

1. on; in; at: abed.
2. in (such) a state or condition: afire.
3. in (such) a manner: aloud.

That prefix allows crossword constructors to create words that are needed to fill a grid. I doubt that "awag" has ever been used before but it would seem to be a legitimate word based on the dictionary definition of "a-." Does everyone approve of the "a-" words or do a lot of people think they're adumb and alazy?
2
Today's Puzzles / Re: Wed., 11/19 C.C. Burnikel
« Last post by LARadioRewind on Today at 04:23:36 PM »
Mister magus, I don't like to discuss anyone's age, including my own. I may be old enough to be your father---and maybe not. But the "son" reference comes from Senator Beauregard Claghorn, a pompous southern politician played by Kenny Delmar on Fred Allen's 1940s radio program Allen's Alley. One of his familiar phrases was "That's a joke, son---ah say, that's a joke." Claghorn was the inspiration for Foghorn Leghorn, the pompous rooster character created by Warner Brothers animator/director Robert McKimson.

And I never said that "knave" was among the now-archaic words used by Shakespeare. I said that I haven't heard anyone use the word in the 20th or 21st centuries. I posted the link to a site which I thought crossword enthusiasts would enjoy seeing. Maybe we can all start using those archaic words in our everyday speech. We can confuse our friends...or make the words popular again...or both!

3
Today's Puzzles / Re: Wed., 11/19 C.C. Burnikel
« Last post by magus on Today at 09:41:20 AM »
Rewind---

To refer to me as son is less than polite, certainly not gentlemanly, and tone-deaf coming from one not old enough to be my father.  But I forgive you.

I went to the site you provided and noted that KNAVE was not listed as anachronistic or "old" or "unfamiliar."  Odd that you would provide a link proving your objection to the term is unfounded --- and not mention it.  But I forgive you.

As for referring to AFRO as obsolete, what can I say.  You seem to reject the general consensus of academics, linguists, and worst of all me!  For that I cannot forgive you.  :)
4
Today's Puzzles / Fri., 11/21 Mark Feldman
« Last post by magus on Today at 09:26:22 AM »
THEME:   initial sound of a phrase is changed to create new meaning.
   
GOOD ONES:     
Where donkeys make noise?   BRAY AREA [gray area]   
Small matter   ATOM   
TV monitor   FCC [I was thinking something like CRT]   
What mayo might be   SPANISH [as in Cinco de Mayo]   
   
BTW:   
Any day now   ANON [kind of a stretch, maybe if "yesterday" were added to the clue]   
   
Excellently   WELL [I guess colloquially they are the same, but it's too imprecise for me]   
   
Some tough cluing, and I like crossing YENTA and SANTA.   
   
   
RATING: ;D ;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: Wed., 11/19 C.C. Burnikel
« Last post by LARadioRewind on November 20, 2014, 02:46:51 PM »
My comment about leaving some unpicked nits on the tree was a joke, son---a joke.

Authors and playwrights use contemporary language. I would never refer to an author as archaic but in the year 2014 a lot of the words found in great literature are now archaic. I don't want to see archaic words in puzzles. You know I even consider "afro" to be archaic! Anyone who is interested in words---which is probably everybody who comes to this site---will enjoy this huge list of now-archaic words that appear in Shakespeare's writings. Definitions are included:

http://www.shakespearestudyguide.com/Archaisms.html
6
Today's Puzzles / Re: Thu., 11/20 Jeffrey Wechsler
« Last post by LARadioRewind on November 20, 2014, 02:37:20 PM »
I, too, loathe the expression "Yada yada yada"...and I've seen YADA in quite a few puzzles recently. Even one "yada" is too many.

Today's crossword has 42 black squares, and that number is another thing I'm seeing in far too many puzzles. Use no more than 36, puzzle makers. Thirty-two or fewer is even better. Make me happy. In today's crossword are four foreign words (COSI, EAU, ETTU, OLE), ten abbreviations (ADT, ALA, AOL, AVE, BTW, CSI, ENT, LITHO, OAS, SAS), an archaic word (OER) and Roman numerals (III). There are also three similar terms: AFEW, ALOT, ATON. But there is one bright spot: the puzzle includes the first name of actor Keir Dullea, which I had never before seen in a
crossword. Dullea appeared in dozens of tv shows and movies, including The Thin Red Line, Bunny Lake Is Missing and 2001: A Space Odyssey. His latest film is Space Station 76 (2014). So this week we've seen the names of Sabu and Keir Dullea in crosswords. Maybe Zasu Pitts, Faye Bainter or Vera Hruba Ralston will be next.
7
Today's Puzzles / Re: Wed., 11/19 C.C. Burnikel
« Last post by magus on November 20, 2014, 09:01:10 AM »
Rewind---

You're spot-on about SAYSOS; they are not the authorities themselves but their powers.  However, nits are not picked from trees --- more likely in hair.  As for KNAVE, Dickens used it when Pip was being ridiculed by Estella: "He calls the knaves jacks!"  We don't refer to 19th Century novelists as archaic.
8
Today's Puzzles / Thu., 11/20 Jeffrey Wechsler
« Last post by magus on November 20, 2014, 08:38:41 AM »
THEME:   nasty characters hiding in random phrases: BRAT, DEVIL, IMP, SCAMP
   
GOOD ONES:     
Mischievous ones hiding in plain sight  TROUBLEMAKERS   
Industrialist who's had his ups and downs?   OTIS   
   
BTW:   
Why do I loathe YADA, YADA, YADA?   
   
Why don't I understand how "One in a sports page column" means WIN?   
   
   
RATING:    ;D ;D
Three grins = Loved it; Two grins = Enjoyed it; One grin = A bit bland for my taste; One teardrop = Not much fun   
9
Today's Puzzles / Re: Wed., 11/19 C.C. Burnikel
« Last post by LARadioRewind on November 19, 2014, 02:30:29 PM »
I'm going to do some nitpicking. I'll leave a few nits on the tree in case anybody else wants to pick some. Today's crossword had 40 black squares---too many for my taste. There were four foreign words (EINS, IBN, ROI, STE) and five brand names (ADIDAS, COSTCO, IBM, KOHLS and OSH, short for OshKosh B'Gosh). The word KNAVE dates from the 11th century. It appears in this puzzle. This is the first time I've seen or heard the archaic word in the 21st century. And SAYSOS was clued with "Ultimate authorities." A "say-so" is defined by Random House as an unsupported assertion, an authoritative pronouncement or the right of final decision. Say-sos are not "authorities." The people who make the say-sos are the authorities. Burnikel should have used a different clue.

Among the answers in the puzzle in today's Daily News are the literary character HUCKLEFINN, the hair color STRAWBLONDE and the Prince song RASPBERET. Another answer is singer CHUCKBERRY. Get it? The solver has to chuck the word "berry" to get the theme answers. Very clever!
10
General Discussion / Re: Clue for KHAKI
« Last post by acpracht on November 19, 2014, 12:38:35 PM »
Ooh. I like "Uniform tan."

Thank you muchly!
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