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Today's Puzzles / Thu., 5/21 Peter A. Collins
« Last post by magus on May 21, 2015, 09:02:54 AM »
THEME:   ANTE spelled "upward" found in phrases Down
Poker request {& theme}   ANTE UP [loved this theme]   
Like some bands   ONE-MAN   
Honey and Boo Boo, e.g.   PET NAMES [not "Honey Boo Boo" of the net]   
Matthew Fox and Peter Coyote   ACTORS [not canines]   
"Cat got your tongue?"   SAY IT [the idiom is general while the fill is particular: I'd go with the pop song of the Big Band Era --- well, maybe too tough --- how about "Come out with"?]   
Square root of nove   TRE [integers are international but not words]   
Countess' husband   EARL [COUNT didn't fit]   
Crossing GET NAKED with TWERKING!  Well, I never…!   
RATING: ;D ;D   
Three grins = Loved it; Two grins = Enjoyed it; One grin = A bit bland for my taste; One teardrop = Not much fun   
Today's Puzzles / Re: Wed., 5/20 Michael Dewey
« Last post by LARadioRewind on May 20, 2015, 04:39:11 PM »
Merriam-Webster says the word "pratfall," meaning "a fall in which a person lands on his buttocks," dates from 1930. The word "prat," which means "buttocks," is an argot word dating from 1560-70. ("Argot" is a nice way of saying "We have no idea where the word comes from.") Around 1961, the word "prat" began to be used in Great Britain as another name for a stupid or obnoxious person. We need to enunciate clearly. Someone could easily mistake "Jack Sprat" for "Jack's prat." :)
Today's Puzzles / Wed., 5/20 Michael Dewey
« Last post by magus on May 20, 2015, 08:36:30 AM »
THEME:   last word of phrase can precede SHOT (in basketball)
Start to fall?   PRAT   
Revolutionary sewer   ROSS [the seamstress not the conduit]   
South, in Soissons   SUD [but not across the Channel]   
But had ECRU been changed the ECCE and TSPS to TSAR there would have been no need to use a French word really unused in English.   
Three grins = Loved it; Two grins = Enjoyed it; One grin = A bit bland for my taste; One teardrop = Not much fun   
Today's Puzzles / The May 19 crossword is THE GREATEST
« Last post by LARadioRewind on May 19, 2015, 04:54:22 PM »
Among the answers in today's Daily News crossword by Bruce Haight: GEAR, GIRTHS, HEATH, STRESS, STREETS, TERESA, STARTERSET, THATSGREAT and EASTEREGGS. The center answer was EIGHT, which is the "total number of letters of the alphabet used in this puzzle": AEGHIRTS. I wonder if it is just coincidence that some of those eight letters can spell Bruce's last name.

I was not impressed with the theme answers in Marti DuGuay-Carpenter's Los Angeles Times crossword:

Bunch of valets? PARKINGLOT
Bunch of builders? ERECTORSET
Bunch of contortionists? ELASTICBAND
Bunch of cryptogolists? DECODERRING

Decoder rings were popular in the 1930s-40s-50s. They were offered as premiums to listeners of Little Orphan Annie, Captain Midnight and other radio and television programs. The typical ring had the letters of the alphabet arranged in a circle. An inner disc contained the 26 letters in a random order. The radio programs would give out a coded message and instruct ring holders to decode the message by turning the inner dial to a certain letter. For example, if the code was "G equals A," the inner ring would be rotated until the G lined up with the outer A. The coded message could then be deciphered. Often it was just a message from the program's sponsor, such as "Drink Ovaltine."

The Universal crossword contained some cringe-worthy tree-related puns:

Lazy trees? BEECHBUMS
Delivered tree? PIZZAPINE
Question for a Canadian tree? AREYOUOAKEH
What the paranoid tree-phobic person shouts? FIRGETMENOT

"Pizza pine"? Gak!

Today's NEA crossword: Typical. More of the usual over-used words, including ADE, ECRU, EDGE, EKE, ENID, ERE, ERIE, ESS, GNU, ODE, OGEE and OKRA...and QED, which was crossed with the French word QUOI.
General Discussion / Reusing the word, "a"
« Last post by pleaselose on May 19, 2015, 01:17:10 PM »
I am in the middle of constructing a themeless crossword and three of my answers use the word "a" as a part of a phrase, specifically:

A Cheap Imitation
A Bug's Life
A Host

Should I assume that this is unacceptable and try to rework it before going further, or might something like this be accepted in the NYT (for example)?

General Discussion / Re: Good clue for ATE OFF?
« Last post by LARadioRewind on May 18, 2015, 08:31:56 PM »
This is a very lengthy clue---as well as a somewhat gory clue---but how about: "What the coyote did to his leg to get out of a trap."
Today's Puzzles / The May 18 crosswords, Yeah Yeah Yeah!
« Last post by LARadioRewind on May 18, 2015, 04:54:57 PM »
It was fortunate for Alex Silverman that the Beatles recorded so many songs with 15-letter titles. He included five in today's Daily News crossword. YELLOW SUBMARINE filled the second row and SHESLEAVINGHOME was directly beneath. Row 13 was PAPERBACK WRITER and directly beneath was HERECOMESTHESUN. WHENIMSIXTYFOUR was in the center. I can never figure out how crossword creators can stack 15-letter phrases in such a way that 15 intersecting words are possible. Saturday's crossword had a central stack of four 15-letter phrases. If I tried to stack three or four 15-letter phrases, the words that appear vertically would probably not be real words at all: GTRE, XDIJ, DWIB, SCAY, ULIL, PIWL, etc. Anyway, today's crossword not only included five Beatles songs, it also included seven shaded squares which contained FABFOUR.

The Los Angeles Times crossword by Tom Uttormark and C.C. Burnikel included six "either/or" clues. Each of the six theme answers could be separated into two words which fit the second part of each clue. Examples:

Soviet military force...or two ants: REDARMY
Whole-grain food...or two universities: BROWNRICE
Immigrant's document...or two rooms: GREENCARD

Also in the crossword: OORT. It sounds like a word the Swedish Chef muppet would say but it is actually the name of a 20th-century Dutch astronomer. The clue: "___ cloud: remote solar system region."

C.C. Burnikel would have been proud of today's Universal crossword: The theme answers were CATTLECALLS, CHINACLOSET, CROSSCHECKS and CUCKOOCLOCK. I could say that the answers went "from C to shining C." I could say it...and then everyone else could tell me what a bad pun that is. I know.

As for the NEA crossword, the only thing I can say about it is that there is never anything to say about it. The 13x13 grid today included only two eight-letter words. All the other words were six letters or fewer and there was the usual high number of over-used words: ACHE, AGO, EIRE, EMU, ERASE, IRA, MET, ORCA, URN and USE.
General Support / Trouble receiving the List
« Last post by Stephen R. Salmon on May 17, 2015, 07:11:43 PM »
Have not been receiving the List (it stopped coming several weeks ago, I think ...)  I tried re-subscribing, but got a message that I was already subscribed.
Today's Puzzles / Re: Sun., 5/17 Mike Peluso
« Last post by LARadioRewind on May 17, 2015, 02:12:55 PM »
Merl Reagle's Sunday crossword is one of the mostest cleverestest puzzles I have ever seen. The theme is "Incognito." First, let's get the horrible clue and horrible answer out of the way. Roman numerals often appear in crosswords, even though we are in the 21st century, not the 9th century. The most common Roman numerals in crosswords are III, VII and XVI. Today's included DCLVI. Horrible! The clue was "Beast's nvmber, mvnus 10." Horrible!

Seven pairs of answers, each pair occupying a horizontal row,  were marked with an asterisk:


The unusual term LABORSONGS is "Unionizer's repertoire." Those 14 words fit the theme of "Incognito." Before you read any further, see if you can figure it out. I'll wait.


Okay, you did a fine job! Each pair of words houses the name of a well-known person: Orson Welles, Dred Scott, Evita Peron, Ernie Ford, Greta Garbo, Ethan Allen and Diana Ross. I am now going to create a pair of words which houses the name of someone who regularly posts to this site. Look carefully; this may be difficult to figure out:

Clue: 1968 hit by the Who.


Today's Puzzles / Sun., 5/17 Mike Peluso
« Last post by magus on May 17, 2015, 10:08:03 AM »
THEME:   Periodic table abbrs. are substituted for the names of elements in phrases
Pirate once portrayed by Orson Welles  LONG JOHN AG [AG = silver; my favorite portrayer was Robert Newton]   
Dickens classic   DAVID CUFIELD [CU = copper, I guess; I forgot much of my chemistry]   
"High Voltage" band   AC/DC [indeed]   
It's sometimes held in a deli   MAYO ["Hold the mayo!"]   
Inside information   X-RAY   
Sites for sweaters?   SAUNAS [DRAWERS didn't fit]   
Target of a military press   DELT [don't know when delt became it's own word and not an abbr., and I'm not sure why the press is military, but a press in weightlifting can develop one's deltoids]   
State of disbelief?   ATHEISM   
Making an impression   DENTING [probably a bad one]   
Rapper's demand   LET ME IN [I thought more "Raven" than vocalist]   
Carrier units   AC'S [I thought ships]   
Him, in Le Havre   LUI [but not in Leeds]   
Alike, to Pascal   EGAL [this French word is grist for our mil as it is part of their motto which is often used in English; however, it means equal which is different from alike]   
1987 "Crying"…   LANG [she's k.d.lang and has one of the best alto voices on record, and while the duet with Roy is great, her solo version is so powerful it brings tears to my eyes]   
CURDY? If you insist.   
Hardly paparazzi quarry   D-LIST[there is no D-list among the famous.  To be on any list would be quarry.  Clue should be like "Third grade naughty kids"]   
Thunder predecessors   SONICS [I suspect this definition refers to physical waves produced by lightning which creates the thunder, but my physics isn't much better than my chemistry]   
Today's title "Elements of Style" is also the title of a classic in the writing of English --- more my speed than elements in chemistry. But the puzzle could not have been more fun.
RATING: ;D ;D ;D   
Three grins = Loved it; Two grins = Enjoyed it; One grin = A bit bland for my taste; One teardrop = Not much fun   
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