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General Discussion / Re: Are these two answers too similar?
« Last post by mmcbs on October 19, 2016, 04:54:19 PM »
The words are not dupes because Rockaway is an anglicization of a native American word, so should be no problem there. POUR AWAY is probably OK, though some editors would want clue it in a different sense ("leave in droves").
General Discussion / Are these two answers too similar?
« Last post by Stummies on October 18, 2016, 06:26:41 PM »
Hi everyone - working on a puzzle that at the moment contains the answers FARROCKAWAY and POURAWAY. Are these too similar to include together because of the repeated AWAY? One is across and the other down if that makes a difference.

Also, does POURAWAY work for you guys in general as a phrase? Clued as "Enthusiastic reply to 'want a drink?'" or something similar?

Thanks for the help!
General Support / LA TIMES
« Last post by BALLYHOO on October 17, 2016, 03:52:38 PM »
Today's Puzzles / The lightweight October 14 crossword
« Last post by Thomps2525 on October 14, 2016, 03:30:49 PM »
Today's crossword by Jeffrey Wechsler includes this clue: "How perfume is sold." The answer is BYTHEOUNCE -- and have you ever figured out what any particular brand of perfume would cost if it was sold by the pound? Yikes! Or printer ink? Yikes! But I digress. The puzzle's theme answers are familiar phrases altered by the addition of OZ:

Musicians given to tippling? BOOZYBAND
Doughnut order from a king? LIONSDOZEN
Occupants of a well-insulated nest? COZYYOUNG
Set of data within an atmospheric analysis? TABLEFOROZONE

Denton True "Cy" Young pitched for five major league baseball teams, 1890-1911, and set several records which still stand, including the record for most wins, 511. In 1889, Young tried out for the Nadjys, a minor-league team in Canton, Ohio. He called himself Dent but when the other players saw how he could throw fastballs toward the ballpark's wooden fences with enough force that they'd shatter the wood, they gave him a new nickname: Cyclone. It eventually was shortened to Cy. A year after Young died in 1955, the Cy Young Award was created to honor each year's best pitcher in the major leagues. Since 1967, there have been two annual Cy Young Awards, one for the best National League pitcher and one for the best American league pitcher.

Now.....why is "ounce" abbreviated "oz"? That's a good question -- I'm glad I asked it. The ancient Latin word was onza. In modern Latin -- if, indeed, there is such a thing as "modern Latin" -- the word is uncia. Our abbreviation for pound, "lb.," comes from the Latin libra. The symbol for the British unit of money known as the pound -- £ -- is essentially an L with a crossline and also comes from the Latin libra.

"Pisa possessive" is MIO, which is not used in English. "MDX ÷ X" is CLI. This is 2016. It is not the first century and we are not in Rome. "Pet that needs a sitter?" is LAPCAT. Cute. "Amtrak option" is ACELA. Acelas are express trains which operate during morning and afternoon rush hours and serve New York, Boston, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Washington DC and other nearby cities. In 2021, Amtrak will replace the existing trains with 28 new "next-generation high-speed" trains.

That's all for today. I resisted the urge to call Jeffrey Wechsler the Wizard of OZ. That would have been too easy and too obvious. :)
Today's Puzzles / The October 10 crossword is right on the money
« Last post by Thomps2525 on October 10, 2016, 03:47:36 PM »
Joel Mackerry's first crossword appeared in February 2015. Today's puzzle is only his fourth to be published. Here are the theme answers:

Pizza topping veggie: GREENPEPPER
Baked-in-their-shells seafood dish: CLAMSCASINO
Tradition filled fare of Europe and West Asia: CABBAGEROLL

I detest the use of the word "veggie" as a shortened form of "vegetable." I also detest other shortened words such as "fridge" for "refrigerator." But I digress. "Down payment, and what the long answers have in common (besides being food)" is CASHUPFRONT. Green, lettuce and cabbage are slang terms for paper money for one obvious reason: the color. But why do we call a dollar bill a "clam"? "Clam" is short for "clamshell" -- yes, another one of those shortened words -- and strings of clamshells were used as currency by native Americans, mostly in the region which corresponds to modern-day California. A. L. Kroeber's 1919 Handbook Of Indians In California explains the value of the clamshells in the Miwok culture:

"Clamshell disk currency was less precious than in the north, though that may have been one of the directions from which it reached the Miwok. Its value in American terms is said to have averaged $5 a yard, only a fraction of the figure at which the southern Maidu rated it. Whole strung olivella shells went at $1 a yard among both groups. The cylinders made from magnesite by the southeastern Pomo reached the hill Miwok but were scarce and valuable. Possibly clamshell money traveled to them from the Chumash via the Yokuts, as well as from the Pomo; whence its abundance and comparative depreciation."

"French state" is ETAT, which is not used in English. "Blue, in Baja" is AZUL, which is not used in English. "Siena sweetheart" is CARA, which is not used in English. "Spanish groceries" is BODEGAS, which is not used in English. "Pirates' cry" is YAR. In pirate movies, yes -- but has any real pirate ever said "Yar"? I doubt it.

"Sara of baking" is LEE. There really was a Sara Lee -- she was the daughter of Charles Lubin, who, from 1935 to 1956, co-owned Kitchens Of Sara Lee, a chain of seven bakeries in the Chicago area. Consolidated Foods Corporation bought the bakeries in 1956. The company changed its name to Sara Lee Corporation in 1985. In 2012, the corporation was split into two companies. The North American company is Hillshire Brands, which continues to make bakery propducts under the Sara Lee name. International beverage and bakery operations are handled by Netherlands-based Douwe Egberts Master Blenders. Sara Lee's famous slogan is "Everybody doesn't like something but nobody doesn't like Sara Lee." Ummm.......yeah, that makes sense. I think.
Book Releases / Unplugged Crosswords #2
« Last post by mmcbs on October 09, 2016, 07:49:21 AM »
The second volume of the "Unplugged Crosswords" books is now available. Like the original "Unplugged Crosswords" it has 150 original puzzles. Nearly all themed, and mostly 15x15 size . . . there are some larger ones including six 21x21 puzzles. All but a handful are themed (lots of different types of themes ranging from really basic to a bit zany). They're medium to hard in difficulty. Available on where free shipping is available for Prime members - if you don't have Amazon Prime you can go here - use discount code 9HVG2KRH for $2 off. It's also available on, if you prefer that outlet.
General Discussion / Re: A Questioning Clue?
« Last post by 4wd on October 07, 2016, 12:52:38 PM »
Yup, it's a pretty subjective matter, if you think a particular clue needs one, then by all means add it, though what I tend to do is to check out the clue database. Sometimes a previous constructor would've clued the entry in a similar way and if a ?'s in play then you're on the
right path.
General Discussion / Re: A Questioning Clue?
« Last post by Glenn9999 on October 06, 2016, 02:20:02 PM »
Okay.  Usually my confusion (and why I ask) is that I encounter many clues that using that definition (or other common ones which deserve the "?" if "funny business" is the measure.  Guess it depends on how you define "funny business"?
General Discussion / Re: A Questioning Clue?
« Last post by 4wd on October 05, 2016, 02:32:09 PM »
"?" means the clue's not to be taken literally, word play or some other form of funny
business is taking place, if you've got a really tricky/funny clue that's dances around
 an entry's definition its "?" worthy :)

General Discussion / A Questioning Clue?
« Last post by Glenn9999 on October 05, 2016, 01:36:46 PM »
While trying to be cute, the subject above catches the entirety of my question:

Are there any kind of rules involved on what clues earn a "?" after them? (this occurred to me, and after looking at several puzzles, I really can't see an ironclad rule in operation...)
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