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Today's Puzzles / The orderly February 20 crossword
« Last post by Thomps2525 on February 20, 2017, 05:42:50 PM »
Mark McClain is a retired corporate manager living in Salem, Virgina. Forty-six of his crosswords have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, New York Times and other publications since 2014. His crossword today includes a sequence of ordinal numbers:

Panama Canal nickname: EIGHTHWONDER
When baseball closers usually shine: NINTHINNING
NYC thoroughfare that becomes Amsterdam at 59th Street: TENTHAVENUE
When time is running out: ELEVENTHHOUR

If McClain had used this theme in a larger Sunday crossword, he might have also included the Shakespeare comedy Twelfth Night and the 1960s garage-rock band Thirteenth Floor Elevators.

The eleventh hour is the hour between 10 and 11 AM, so why do we use "eleventh hour" to refer to the last possible moment when something can be done? The term comes from the parable of the workers in the vineyard, Matthew 20:1-16. Bible scholars note that laborers worked from sunrise to sunset, so the eleventh hour would have been late in the afternoon. In the parable, workers who agreed to work all day for a denarius, a small silver coin, were angry because those who were hired "in the eleventh hour" were given the same pay. However, Betty Kirkpatrick, in her book Clichés: Over 1500 Phrases Explored & Explained, claims that there is no connection between the Bible passage and the modern-day meaning of the term, other than the wording. I disagree.

The Panama Canal is often called "the eighth wonder of the world." The "Seven Wonders of the Ancient World" are the Great Pyramid of Giza, the Colossus of Rhodes, the Lighthouse of Alexandria, the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, the Temple of Artemis, the Statue of Zeus, and the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. The Pyramid is the only one of those "wonders" that still exists. The Ancient History Encyclopedia has a brief description of these wonders, or, as they were referred to in ancient Greek, themata ("things that must be seen"):

"Monday, in Le Mans" is LUNDI, which is not used in English. "El ___: weather phenomenon" is NINO, which is wrong. It is "El Niño." "'Still sleeping?' response" is IMUP -- "I'm up." But what if the person is still asleep? Then there wouldn't be any response. Am I right? Well, am I right? Why won't you answer me? You must still be asleep.
General Discussion / Re: Who accepts submissions now?
« Last post by fggoldston on February 18, 2017, 11:46:02 PM »
Thank you.  I found them.  Do you know anything about the USA Today puzzles?  I note that Fred Piscop is editing them now and I've seen some familiar names on the odd puzzle here and there but I don't see anywhere for information on submissions.
General Support / Post a Puzzle
« Last post by gohuskies on February 18, 2017, 12:02:24 PM »

I was trying to upload a puzzle to the Post a Puzzle forum and received an error message along the lines "the attachment path is inaccessible". I don't think it is a problem on my end (though it certainly could be) as I've been able to send/access/solve the .puz just fine.

General Discussion / Re: Who accepts submissions now?
« Last post by Glenn9999 on February 18, 2017, 10:10:42 AM »
Buzzfeed Puzzles.  Caleb Madison is the editor over there.  Edit: Though it looks like they quit doing it.  Anyhow click his name for all the puzzles they've run over there that are still on the site.
General Discussion / Re: Who accepts submissions now?
« Last post by fggoldston on February 17, 2017, 11:06:43 AM »
Where did you find submissions guidelines for USA Today?  Also does Buzzfeed have a crossword puzzle?  I am not that familiar with their site but when I checked it out I don't see a crossword puzzle.  Are you referring to other kinds of puzzles?
Today's Puzzles / The shipshape February 14 crossword
« Last post by Thomps2525 on February 14, 2017, 04:46:58 PM »
Mark McClain is a 70-year-old retiree who lives in Salem, Virginia. After a lifetime of solving crosswords, he began creating his own puzzles in December 2013. Ten months later, he got one published in the Los Angeles Times. Since that time, McClain's puzzles have appeared regularly in the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Newsday, Wall Street Journal and other publications, including his local newspaper The Roanoke Times. His puzzle today includes BOATTRAILER ("Lakeside launching aid"). Three phrases end with circled letters -- "trailing," get it? -- which spell different types of boats:

New York City zoo locale: CENTRALPARK
Crude early version of a work of art: ROUGHSKETCH
Computer programming glitch: ENDLESSLOOP

We're all familiar with Noah's ark from Genesis chapters 6-9. A ketch is a sailboat with two masts. The forward mast (the mainmast) is larger than the mast behind it (the mizzenmast; "mizzen" comes from a Latin word meaning "middle"). The word "ketch" dates from 1649 and is an alteration of "catch," which came from the Middle English cache. Historically, a  sloop was a small sailing warship with two or three masts. In the 1700s and 1800s, such warships had as many as 18 guns or cannons on the deck and were known as "sloops of war." In modern times, a sloop is simply a sailboat with one mast. "Sloop" comes from the Dutch sloepe, which derived from the French chaloupe.

"A, in Aachen" is EIN, which is not used in English. "Summer in Haiti" is ETE, which is not used in English. "Padre's brother" is TIO, which is not used in English. "To be, in Barcelona" is ESTAR, which is not used in English. "Italian playhouse:" is TEATRO, which is not used in English.

"Blind as ____" is ABAT. Certain species of bats can see much better at night than during the day. However, no bats are blind. The earliest known reference to bats having poor eyesight comes from Metaphysics, a collection of writings by Greek philosopher Aristotélēs (384-322 BC), whose name is usually anglicized to Aristotle: "For as the eyes of bats are to the blaze of day, so is the reason in our soul to the things which are by nature most evident of all." A 2013 Popular Science article explains how bats see and how they use echolocation to find prey:

The "blind as a bat" expression would make more sense if it were expanded to say "blind as a home-plate umpire when a player is at bat." I doubt such a lengthy expression would ever catch on, though. Forget about it.
Software / Technical / Mobile apps that support XML files?
« Last post by ryanspuzzles on February 08, 2017, 06:16:22 PM »
Hey everyone! I'm wanting to share some puzzles with friends without the need of paper and ink, so I'm looking for  mobile apps that work with XML files. I'm not the most tech-savvy person, so googling has only made me confused. In particular, I'm wanting to know of some good apps that run crosswords and sudoku, but they don't necessarily have to be the same app. Any help is greatly appreciated!

General Discussion / Re: Submissions
« Last post by mmcbs on February 07, 2017, 09:26:46 PM »
The expectation would be that you would complete the puzzle, but if for some reason you can't, common courtesy would be to let the editor know you're withdrawing it from consideration. If you can't complete it for some technical reason relating to the puzzle, I'd say tell the editor what the problem is - they might be able and willing to help you through it. If they approve the theme that means they want to run the puzzle.
General Discussion / Re: Submissions
« Last post by atco418 on February 07, 2017, 03:57:04 PM »
Thanks for the info.  I submitted a couple at the end of the year.  No success yet, but I'm hopeful.  I do have a new submission question about theme queries.  When you send one to an editor, and he/she gives the thumbs up, are you then obliged to follow through and produce the puzzle?  Not that I wouldn't - I'm just curious.
General Discussion / Re: Addition theme
« Last post by mmcbs on February 06, 2017, 09:45:23 PM »
Either way can work, but I think it would be better to vary the position of the added suffix, if that's possible. But, if you do that you'll ideally position them in a balanced way (say, half in the first part of the entry and half at the end), and maybe one in the middle if you have an odd number of themers. It would not be good to have three at the end and one somewhere else.
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