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Today's Puzzles / Re: Mon., 10/20 David W. Cromer
« Last post by LARadioRewind on October 20, 2014, 03:54:10 PM »
"Willllburrrrr? Could you have Carol get me some more carrots?" It was a cute idea to include the names of three horses from tv westerns along with the opening of the Mister Ed theme song, but I agree with Mister magus: the theme answers imply that the horses are speaking. Even Mister Ed didn't really speak. I'm sorry if that comes as a shock to anyone...but it's true. Ed's voice was provided by 1930s-40s-50s western actor Allan "Rocky" Lane. His own horse, if anyone is wondering, was named Black Jack. And, by an amazing coincidence, one of the clues in today's puzzle is "Blackjack half." The answer is ACE...but an ace is not half of the score of 21. An ace can be counted as 1 or 11. Face cards count as 10, and of course a 10 is a 10. An ace and a 10---or an ace and a face card---equals 21. The ace can be considered to be half of the number of cards involved but the ace is certainly not half of 21. The clue indicates that the ace is half of 21. It isn't. I'd be willing to bet on it.

Today's puzzle has set a new record with 42 black squares. 
Today's Puzzles / Mon., 10/20 David W. Cromer
« Last post by magus on October 20, 2014, 09:23:18 AM »
THEME:   last word of a phrase can be the name of a cowboy's horse
Problem with theme clues is that the horse is speaking, which is fine if this were Mr. Ed.  I'd arrange the clues to have the cowboy address the horse:    
Roy Rogers to his buddy: "Your best asset is your ____."[HAIR, TRIGGER]
Preeminent   NOTED [not synonymous: preeminent is outstanding; noted is merely known]   
RATING:    :'(
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: Sun., 10/19 Frank Virzi
« Last post by LARadioRewind on October 19, 2014, 03:24:10 PM »
Merl Reagle's puzzle in today's Los Angeles Times includes six answers that are portions of a phrase: ABELL, ABUS, ITUP, ONAHOT, ONRED, and UNS (the last part of the dialectic word "young'uns"). Editors used to reject puzzles with such fragments. Today's theme was "Cliché couples, revisited." It is a sequel to a puzzle that Reagle did two years ago and contains two-word phrases that we always use without really knowing why, such as BROADDAYLIGHT, CRASHINGBORE, FLIMSYEXCUSE, IDLERUMORS, PERFECTSTRANGER and UNMITIGATEDGALL. He makes a good point. Why is gall always described as unmitigated? Why is an excuse always described as flimsy? What makes daylight broad? Are there any kinds of bores besides crashing bores?

Reagle used two words that I was unfamiliar with. ULALUME was an 1847 poem by Edgar Allan Poe. The title is believed to refer to his wife Virginia, who had died in January of that year. ANTA was the answer to "Architectural pier." The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines ANTA as "a pier produced by thickening a wall at its termination." "Pier" is another name for "pillar." So I've learned a new word...but I doubt I'll ever be able to use it in a conversation.
Today's Puzzles / Re: Sat., 10/18 Julian Lim
« Last post by rbe on October 19, 2014, 12:10:11 PM »
Encyclopedia Britannica says Weisz: "Harry Houdini, original name Erik Weisz    (born March 24, 1874, Budapest [see Researcher’s Note]—died Oct. 31, 1926, Detroit, Mich., U.S.), American magician noted for his sensational escape acts".
Today's Puzzles / Sun., 10/19 Frank Virzi
« Last post by magus on October 19, 2014, 10:05:45 AM »
THEME:   last two words of phrase is a baseball term; first two words form a different phrase
Concertina heist?  SQUEEZE BOX SCORE   
Writing implement for Vatican edicts?   PAPAL BULL PEN   {if you happen to know what a papal bull is, you may be interested in the novel A Second Encyclical which I highly recommend.}
Cutting rooms?: Abbr.   OR'S   
Pot boiler   STOVE [with STO I was sure STORY was right]   
Idiot box   TEEVEE [maybe, but watching a lot of it would help in identifying:  SOBE; "Back in Black" band; Ricky Ricardo's catchphrase; Duran Duran basist NIGEL John Taylor; "Kung Fu" actor Philip AHN; Katy Perry hit "Part OF ME"; and "Stillmatic" rapper NAS.  (Maybe the idiocy is using so many of these idiot box denizens.)]   
"Let's get started!"   HERE WE GO ["tin earism," probably from watching too much TV]   
Some, in Potsdam   EINES [but not in London --- same with Parisian hot times ETES.]   
Low plants   BUSHES [actually they're higher than most plants --- only trees are taller than most bushes:  maybe TV's NATGEO would help]  :)   

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: Fri., 10/17 Pancho Harrison
« Last post by LARadioRewind on October 18, 2014, 06:41:09 PM »
Ahoy, Ensign magus, belay that gab! That website lists all nautical terms, not just the different types of rope. After ye finish swabbing the foredeck, ye can check the list more thoroughly. Here are the first two "ropes" on the list:

bobstay - rope used on ships to steady the bowsprit
boltrope - strong rope stitched to edges of a sail

After ye find the rest of 'em, report to the galley. Ye'll be peelin' spuds for tonight's dinner.
Today's Puzzles / Re: Sat., 10/18 Julian Lim
« Last post by LARadioRewind on October 18, 2014, 04:52:43 PM »
Houdini's real first name was Erich...or Erik...or Ehrik...or Ehrick. His last name was Weisz...or Weiss...or he changed his last name from Weisz to Weiss...or a US immigration official misspelled Weisz as Weiss. I'm glad we have so many resources online so we can get so many different answers! Now if we could just figure out which is correct. Most biographers agree that he took the name of Harry after his childhood nickname of "Eri"...or "Ehrie." He chose his last name in tribute to French magician Jean Robert-Houdin. Here is a well-illustrated history of Houdini's career:

Today's puzzle had far too many shortened words (ACADS, ALTHO, BDAY) and foreign words (ANNI, ANTIPASTI, INRE, NEE, SAIS, SRA, STAT, STE, TORTE). There was no theme but two of the answers were NBC and SIMPLEASABC. The puzzle could easily have used television networks and channels as a theme. It could have included these additional clues and answers:

Truckers' radios: CBS
Sudden surge: SPIKE
Put one over on: FOX
Birth-to-death span: LIFETIME
Prominent characteristic: HALLMARK

Maybe next time.

Today's Puzzles / Re: Sat., 10/18 Julian Lim
« Last post by rbe on October 18, 2014, 11:34:40 AM »
Houdini's birth name was Erik Weisz.
Today's Puzzles / Re: Fri., 10/17 Pancho Harrison
« Last post by magus on October 18, 2014, 10:02:20 AM »
I think you're right, ktoonces, about two sheets to the wind --- didn't occur to me how clever the clue really is.

LARewind --- went to the site you provided but neither rope nor line appears.  I read Chapman's when I sailed, and as I recall, sailors use rope generically and depending on its use it can be a sheet, halyard, or line.
Today's Puzzles / Sat., 10/18 Julian Lim
« Last post by magus on October 18, 2014, 09:57:28 AM »
THEME:   none
Lee side: Abbr.   CSA [I though weather not generals]   
TV cooking show?   BREAKING BAD [meth cooking]   
Juice amounts?   WATTS   
Encouraging start?   ATTA [atta boy!]   
Like some self-appointed critics   ARTSY [don't see how they're relatated --- why is a self-appointed critic artsy, or what's artsy about being a self-appointed critic --- any adjective, e.g. tall, could define ARTSY and be as apt]   
Dollar bill depiction, familiarly   US SEAL [that is the Great Seal, and what is "familiar" about it?]   
Guess I'm too old to comment fairly on "Super Mario Galaxy systems"; ARYA Stark; WAR CRAFT based on "Azeroth"; "Raise Your Glass" singer; the singer PINK (just saw the group PINK on Kimmel); but it appears these puzzles continue to stress pop culture over traditional culture, and for a curmudgeon like me I say, "Bah, humbug!"  And, isn't curmudgeon a SEXIST term?  It is never applied to women.  What about references to the culture of good, old Euro males, like George Eliot!   
RATING:    ;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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