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1
Today's Puzzles / Wed., 11/26 Matt Skoczen
« Last post by magus on Today at 09:05:57 AM »
THEME:   phrases containing a word synonymous with exits
   
GOOD ONES:     
I didn't find any.   
   
BTW:   
It seems that the aim of the puzzle was less to entertain than to stump the solver.  (In that there is entertainment.)  Even the the covert theme must be searched for.  Connecting CATT with TATAMI at the first T of CATT is unsporting at best.  But I did like ANYTHING GOES because it brought to mind Cole Porter's great lyrics, and in truth I found the challenge fun.   
   
   
RATING:    ;D ;D
Three grins = Loved it; Two grins = Enjoyed it; One grin = A bit bland for my taste; One teardrop = Not much fun   
2
Today's Puzzles / Re: Mon., 11/24 C.W. Stewart
« Last post by LARadioRewind on November 24, 2014, 04:56:02 PM »
I agree: ATM MACHINE and PIN NUMBER are redundancies. And how about Arte Moreno calling his baseball team The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim? "The Los Angeles Angels" translates to "The The Angels Angels."
3
Today's Puzzles / Mon., 11/24 C.W. Stewart
« Last post by magus on November 24, 2014, 09:01:54 AM »
THEME:   phrases related to PINS
   
GOOD ONES:     
Things associated with {theme phrases}   PINS [and the last entry]   
Where to get cash   ATM MACHINE [PIN numbers]*   
Neigh sayer   HORSE [naysayer]   
   
BTW:   
* Both ATM MACHINE and "PIN numbers" are redundundant   
   
Id controller   EGO [if I remember my Freud, I think that should be superego]   
   
Lines on a list   ITEMS [aren't the items placed on lines: the list is composed of items, not lines]   
   
ALIEN/UFO'S and James Bond/ASTON Martin and TAM/Loch NESS and MAI/TAI (cross) appear together today.   
   
   
RATING: ;D   
Three grins = Loved it; Two grins = Enjoyed it; One grin = A bit bland for my taste; One teardrop = Not much fun   
4
Today's Puzzles / Re: Fri., 11/21 Mark Feldman
« Last post by LARadioRewind on November 23, 2014, 02:09:44 PM »
I wrote that "Mister magus objects to me calling AFRO an archaic word." Then Mister Magus objected to the way I worded that sentence. I checked several grammar websites and the majority say that "my" should have been used instead of "me." One says  that "my" and "me" are interchangeable and a few say that the correct word depends on the meaning of the sentence. In my sentence, Magus could be objecting to me doing something...or he could be objecting to my calling of something. My use of the word "me" is not really incorrect but "my" is preferred. Magus, I'm happy that you have chosen to forgive my. :)
5
Today's Puzzles / Re: Sun., 11/23 Patti Varol
« Last post by LARadioRewind on November 23, 2014, 01:57:57 PM »
Merl Reagle's crossword in today's Los Angeles Times is titled "Twice-Told Tails." Each theme answer ends with repeated letters. Examples: RINTINTIN, DADOORONRON, CHIHUAHUA, HONOLULULULU and KINGKAMEHAMEHA.

Reagle has said that he creates his puzzles without the aid of computer software. I've noticed that he often winds up with weird strings of letters and then has to find a way to clue them. Today he has INA ("___ nutshell"), INB ("Bach's Mass ___ Minor"), PPD ("Game-delay abbr."), RTENO ("66, for one: abbr.") and ZIN ("Fruity red wine, familiarly").  But who knows? Maybe the Crossword Compiler program couldn't have done any better.
6
Today's Puzzles / Sun., 11/23 Patti Varol
« Last post by magus on November 23, 2014, 09:17:06 AM »
THEME:   first word of phrase can follow GIVING
   
GOOD ONES:    
Important theme for THE HOLIDAYS…   GIVING   
End-of-letter letters   ENC   
Driving force?   ENGINE   
Start to commute?   TELE   
   
BTW:   
Unlikely lawyer in a 1992 film   VINNY [my pick for the funniest movie ever]   
   
AMOI is just never used in English, though it is often fill for Xword constructors.   
   
An English teacher once told me that there is no such thing as a pure synonym; what would she say about MOIL and toil, I wonder.   
   
   
RATING:    ;D ;D
Three grins = Loved it; Two grins = Enjoyed it; One grin = A bit bland for my taste; One teardrop = Not much fun   
7
Events / Crossword Creators near Westport CT?
« Last post by lperlste on November 23, 2014, 08:51:38 AM »
Hi, I'm interested in starting a group for cruciverbalists in or near Westport, CT. I've spoken to the public library and they are interested in hosting it, and we think there will be a lot of interest given the popularity of Will Shortz's annual visit to the library. The thing is that I'm a total newbie having only created a couple of simple puzzles for my daughter. I'd like to find some more experienced folk who would encourage and mentor the beginners. I'm hope someone on this forum lives in the area -- if you're interested, contact me directly: Larry Perlstein lperlste@yahoo.com.
8
Etc. / Re: General rules for filling in a grid?
« Last post by LARadioRewind on November 22, 2014, 04:55:41 PM »
I hope vpelss is still around. You might try locating a copy of Random House Puzzle Maker's Handbook, first published in 1981 and reprinted in 1995. Authors Mel Rosen and Stan Kurzban recommend selecting a theme and then coming up with a long list of words and phrases that fit the theme. They should be at least nine letters in length. Avoid words with lesser-used letters and avoid words with long strings of consonants or vowels. Since the puzzle needs to be symmetrical, select two or three pairs of words of equal length. The theme words should be three or four rows or columns away from the grid's edge. Then put a black square at the beginning or end of each word. Add strings of two or three black squares protruding from the borders. Maintaining symmetry, add black squares to the grid in such a way that you don't wind up having to use overly long words. A grid will be easier to fill if you use words with alternating consonants and vowels. If one letter ends two different words, it should be an E or an S.

I hope that's enough information to get you started. Good luck!
9
Today's Puzzles / Re: Sat. 11/22 Brad Wilber
« Last post by LARadioRewind on November 22, 2014, 03:29:03 PM »
"Professor Magus, I'd like to present my research on today's crossword."

"All right, Steve, but I would hope that you won't make your usual complaint about Roman numerals."

"Well, um....Okay. I'll leave that part out. Today's puzzle had only 27 black squares. That was good. That meant that the puzzle contained 198 letters. There were 30 E's, 25 A's, 19 R's, 15 S's and 12 I's. Those five letters comprised more than half of the fillable grid. Today's crossword is typical. Puzzle creators rely too much on words with common letters. They should challenge themselves to use more words with a J, X, Q or Z. In Scrabble, those are the letters with the highest point value. If crosswords were Scrabble games, these guys would never win! They play RETREAT for seven points? Okay, I play JAZZ for 29 points! I want to see more creativity in crosswords and not so many of the most common letters. Ummm...you really won't let me mention the Roman numerals? No? All right, I'm finished."
10
Today's Puzzles / Re: Fri., 11/21 Mark Feldman
« Last post by magus on November 22, 2014, 09:41:12 AM »
Mister Magus also objects to your using the objective and not the possessive case before a gerund.  {note "your" before "using"}  But he forgives you.  :)  [but why am I referring to myself in the third person --- what a bore!]
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