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Today's Puzzles / August 28: The welcome mat is still out
« Last post by Thomps2525 on August 28, 2016, 04:46:57 PM »
Last Sunday's crossword was titled "Company's Coming." The welcome mat remains out for today's crossword, "Warm Reception," by Don Gagliardo and C.C. Burnikel. It includes these eight phrases:

Astrological sector: ZODIACSIGN
Bathroom safety feature: SHOWERMAT
Gardener's purchase: SEEDPACKET
Town gathering place: COMMUNITYCENTER
Source of many breaking stories: YAHOONEWS
Purpose of some government credit: TAXRELIEF
Fixture on many a cattle drive: CHUCKWAGON

"Breath of fresh air -- or, literally, what the last word of the eight long answers can be" is WELCOMEADDITION.

A "welcome packet" is a small package containing various combinations of welcome letters, contracts, pamphlets, newsletters, activities calendars and other information. Welcome packets are often given to new employees or to new residents of a gated community or nursing home. A further explanation is at

"Alberta resort town" is BANFF. The city was named in 1884 by Canadian Pacific Railway President George Stephens after his birthplace in Banff, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. The origin of the name is uncertain. It might come from the Scottish Gaelic buinne, which means "a stream" or it might come from Bean Naomh, which means "Holy woman." The Virgin Mary is depicted on the Scottish town's coat of arms.

"Titicaca, por ejemplo" is LAGO, which is not used in English. "Amer. currency" is USD, which stands for "United States dollar," but that is an awkward answer. "This is disgusting" is BLEH, which is an awkward answer. Based on the many times Charlie Brown uttered that word in the Peanuts comic strips, I believe it is spelled "Bleah." "Visiting the Getty Mus., say" is INLA, an awkward clue and an awkward answer. "Manhattan or Queens, briefly" is BORO. Do New Yorkers really abbreviate "borough" that way? I have no idea but BORO is a very awkward answer.

"Maker of Candy Buttons" is NECCO. Necco is the New England Confectionery Company in Revere, Massachusetts. I remember buying those candy buttons when I was a child -- and at least a third of them would have little shreds of paper still attached after I peeled them off the long paper strip. I also remember Fizzies, Walnettos, Pixy Stix, Lik-M-Aid, root beer barrels, candy cigarettes, candy necklaces, cinnamon toothpicks and those tiny liquid-filled wax bottles. All those things helped keep dentists in business!
General Discussion / Re: USA Today editorship
« Last post by juanacross on August 28, 2016, 02:45:42 PM »
i recognize every constructor in the FP series and none of the TP names... hmm...
General Discussion / Re: Generating NYT Format?
« Last post by Don McBrien on August 24, 2016, 01:54:59 PM »
Go to File (if it's not "File," it's one of the buttons next to file), then hover over "print."  Don't click it, just hover over it. "Print NYT submission" should be one of the options that comes up.  Click that and you're on your way.
General Discussion / Re: Generating NYT Format?
« Last post by mmcbs on August 24, 2016, 06:48:53 AM »
I don't have Crossfire, but a friend who does told me there is a function to generate the NYT format automatically. If you can't find it, I would suggest you contact the vendor. Another option is to post it to the CRUCIVERB-L mail list - a lot more people will see it there.
General Discussion / Generating NYT Format?
« Last post by flicka2 on August 23, 2016, 05:44:43 PM »
Hi! Does anyone know of an easy way of generating docs in the format the NYT requires for submission? I have CrossFire if there's some functionality there that I'm missing. Currently I just manually retype everything, which just feels very inefficient!

Today's Puzzles / Welcome to the August 21 crossword!
« Last post by Thomps2525 on August 21, 2016, 04:59:42 PM »
"Company's Coming." That's the title of today's crossword by Gail Grabowski. (It's also the title of a 1955 country song by Porter Wagoner.) "Company" and "companion" both derive from the Middle English cumpaing, which is related to the Dutch kampanje, which refers to the poop deck of a ship. Yes, "poop deck" is not a very attractive name but it comes from poupe, the French word for "stern," i.e., the rear of a ship.

Each theme answer is a phrase altered by the addition of CO, the abbreviation for "company":

Ideal takeover? DREAMCOUP
Abs trainers? TUMMYCOACHES
Eco-friendly lighthouse? GREENBEACON
Nickel that's worth big bucks? MAJORCOIN
Parka with different sleeve lengths? COATISSUE
Burlesque stand-up act? COMEDIANSTRIP
Rearrangement of suitcase contents? SECONDPACKING
Sign of breakfast burning? SMOKINGBACON
Where fowl spies meet? COVERTCOOPS

"Jersey greeting" is a clever clue for MOO. "Flower child?" is a clever clue for SEED. "Welcome center" is CEE, another example of a spelled-out letter. Such spellings are unnecessary because each letter of the alphabet is its own spelling. The center of "welcome" is C, not CEE -- unless you spell the word "welceeome." "Metal precioso" is ORO, which is not used in English. "Affluent, in Andalusia" is RICO, which is not used in English. "Pic Sans Nom, par exemple" is ALPE. As I've said, I never see ALP (referring to a single peak in the 750-mile-long Alps mountain range) used anywhere except in crossword puzzles -- and today we have the French word for ALP. Ugh!

"Cold War prez" is IKE. The Cold War was a state of military and political tension between the East and the West, particularly the USSR and the United States. It lasted from the end of World War II until 1991, when the Soviet Union was officially dissolved. The History Channel website has several essays and videos of the Cold War's events and world leaders:

Dwight David Eisenhower, President of the United States from 1953 to 1961, descended from the Eisenhauer family which came to the United States from Germany in 1741. The name is German for "iron miner." Dwight had six brothers. When they were children, they each were called "Ike" by their mother. "Ike" was supposedly the German abbreviation of "Eisenhower." Dwight was the only one who kept the nickname throughout his life. did "Bill" become a nickname for "William," "Ted" become a nickname for "Edward," "Jack" become a nickname for "John" and "Peggy" become a nickname for "Margaret"? I have some research to do! Thank you for keeping me company today.
Software / Technical / Crossfire is Updated
« Last post by cheapcookies on August 17, 2016, 03:28:35 PM »
I'm sure I'm not the only Crossfire user that knows Crossfire has been updated to 1.3 and then to 1.3.1 (from 1.1).

Any comments?

Today's Puzzles / Re: The August 14 crossword is criminal!
« Last post by Thomps2525 on August 16, 2016, 04:11:17 PM »
So Random House includes "Oreg." as an abbreviation for Oregon. I wouldn't have known that because I live here in Californ.  :D

The Online Slang Dictionary lists 73 synonyms for "steal," many of which I've never heard of, such as hork, teef, chave, deebo and brody, and one word I haven't heard since I was in high school: kype.
Today's Puzzles / Re: The August 14 crossword is criminal!
« Last post by mmcbs on August 15, 2016, 09:28:37 PM »
Oreg. = Oregon (RHUD)

Great theme with all the swiping and boosting.
Today's Puzzles / The August 14 crossword is criminal!
« Last post by Thomps2525 on August 14, 2016, 05:06:19 PM »
"Stop, Thief!" That's the title of today's crossword by Garry Morse. Each theme answer is a pun using a word which can be a synonym for "stole":

The gym thief... LIFTEDWEIGHTS
The dairy thief... POACHEDEGGS
The liquor store thief... BOOSTEDSPIRITS
The restaurant thief... GRABBEDDINNER
The art thief... KNOCKEDOFFWORK
The condiment thief... PINCHEDSALT
The casino thief... SWIPEDCARDS
The chocolate thief... STOLEKISSES

"Quito's land" is ECUA. Yes, Ecua. is a legitimate abbreviation for Ecuador, although I don't know why anyone would need to abbreviate Ecuador -- but OREG as an abbreviation for Oregon? I don't think so. The clue is "Mt. Hood's state" and Mt. Hood's state is abbreviated OR (by the United States Postal Service) or Ore. (in journalism).

"Fire sign" is a clever clue for PINKSLIP. "Meager" is EXIGUOUS, a word which dates from 1651 and is derived from the Latin exiguus, which comes from exigere, which is variously translated as "to  demand," "to drive out" or "to weigh or measure." It is in the sense of weighing and measuring that the word took on the meaning of "meager; excessively scanty; inadequate." "Exact" and "exigency" also come from exigere. "Growl" is GNAR, an imitative word which Merriam-Webster says dates from the 15th century. It means "snarl" or "growl" and can also be spelled GNARR. "Each" is APOP. "A pop" is one of many words and expressions which I seldom see or hear except in crossword puzzles. Among the others are ASEA, AROAR, ORT, ELHI -- and ALP as a singular.

"Gotcha" is AHSO. "Ah so" is often used in stereotypical portrayals of Asian men. The words are short for the Japanese ah so desu ka, which, depending on intonation, translates to either "Oh, I see" or "Oh, is that so?" A discussion of the phrase is on the

And that does it for today's crossword.  So, またあとでね -- that's mata atode ne ("See you later").
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