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Today's Puzzles / The September 23 crossword: Mm-Mm good!
« Last post by Thomps2525 on September 23, 2016, 05:01:33 PM »
Today's crossword by Jeffrey Wechsler adds an M sound to five familiar phrases. In four of the phrases, the spelling had to be changed:

How a snail moves? ONTHESLIME
Comprehensive text on mints? TICTACTOME
Reaction to Bugs' continued evasiveness? ELMERSGLOOM
Seminal discovery by sports historians? THEFIRSTTEAM
"I plotted against Caesar completely on my own!"? CASSIUSCLAIM

Gaius Cassius Longinus (85 BC-42 BC) was the Roman senator who led the plot to kill Gaius Julius Caesar, dictator of the Roman Empire. The crossword answer references  heavyweight boxing champion Cassius Clay (1942-2016). In 1964, Clay joined the Nation of Islam, a black Muslim organization, and its leader Elijah Muhammad (birth name: Elijah Poole) gave Clay the new name Muhammad Ali. "Muhammad" means "One who is worthy of phrase." After receiving the new name, Ali announced that "Cassius Clay" was his "slave name."

ELMERSGLOOM references Elmer Fudd, cartoon nemesis of Bugs Bunny: "Ooh, some day I'm going to get that wascally wabbit!" In 1936, Borden created Elsie the Cow as a mascot for their dairy products. Four years later, a mate was created for Elsie. Elmer the Bull became the mascot of Borden's chemical products division. Elmer's Glue-All was introduced in 1947. Let's have a show of hands: How many of you have ever had a bottle of glue with a top that did not get clogged so badly that you had to get a utensil to remove the solidified glue? Well? Nobody? Yeah, that's what I thought.

THEFIRSTTEAM references The First Tee, a youth development organization which "teaches life skills and leadership through golf," although I'm not sure how anyone can learn life skills by using a club to hit a ball into a hole.....and then doing it again.....and again.....and again.....and again.....

"You got me there" is SOIDO. "So I do"? Huh?  "A in Acapulco" is UNA, which is not used in English. "Milwaukee: mine :: Marseilles: ___" is AMOI, which is not used in English. "Part of un giorno" is ORA. Those are the Italian words for "day" and "hour," respectively, and are not used in English. "Some kissing sounds" is MWAHS, which is an awkward answer, although singer/actress Dinah Shore hosted four different tv variety series (1951-61, 1970-74, 1974-80, 1989-92)  and ended each telecast by blowing a big "Mwah!" kiss to the studio audience and the tv viewers.

Okay, that's all for today. And I'm sorry if I disappoint anyone but I'm not going to blow a kiss. That was Dinah's shtick, not mine.
Today's Puzzles / Re: WSJ now paywalled?
« Last post by Thomps2525 on September 22, 2016, 06:40:25 PM »
A glitch, eh? I have an AOL account. One day the log-on name and e-mail for another AOL subscriber appeared on my screen. I called AOL and I was told, "It's some kind of glitch." I wonder how people explained technical problems before the word "glitch" was invented.
Today's Puzzles / Re: WSJ now paywalled?
« Last post by paradog on September 22, 2016, 01:06:21 PM »
I got another response, this time from the puzzles group, saying that the policy hadn't changed and that there was a glitch of some kind earlier this week. But I'm still getting the sign-in screen, and they're going to look into it.
Today's Puzzles / Re: WSJ now paywalled?
« Last post by paradog on September 21, 2016, 06:05:45 PM »
Well, the puzzle was not behind that paywall until earlier this week.  I emailed WSJ support and they confirmed that the paywall was in place:

>Non-subscribers are able to view and access past editions crosswords and puzzles, however the current editions puzzle is available only for subscribers.

>Though you may subscribe to gain access to the puzzle on the same day.

I wrote back suggesting that they offer a puzzle-only subscription option, like the NY Times. I'm happy to pay the NY Times $40 a year (and AV Club, Crossynergy, C&R, and Elizabeth Gorski $25 each), but $360/year for a full digital subscription at the Journal would be too much.

Thanks for the links! The last one isn't to today's puzzle, so I guess it's the latest of the archive puzzles they said they're making available to the public.
Today's Puzzles / Re: WSJ now paywalled?
« Last post by Thomps2525 on September 21, 2016, 05:53:01 PM »
The Wall Street Journal launched its website on April 29, 1996. It was originally known as Wall Street Journal Interactive Condition and was free until August 1996. Then the site began offering subscriptions and a free "trial period." But be ye not dismayed -- if your web browser is Firefox or Google Chrome, there are ways to bypass the paywall:

If you prefer to avoid doing something which isn't quite ethical or legal, you can access each day's crossword at

Today's Puzzles / WSJ now paywalled?
« Last post by paradog on September 20, 2016, 08:12:21 PM »
I went to the Wall Street Journal to print out today's puzzle, but it's asking me to log in (I don't subscribe), and past puzzles are also blocked. I can't find anything about this in the news.

Ernie in Berkeley
Software / Technical / Re: Across lite in ios10
« Last post by Vincehradil on September 17, 2016, 10:29:18 AM »
I'm not sure what your message meant, but I'm having problems with Across Liite- settings aren't working. Does anyone know if it's still being developed?
Software / Technical / Across lite keyboard fixed in ios10
« Last post by excelon969 on September 14, 2016, 11:05:36 PM »
Omg! Not even an app update
Today's Puzzles / Risky business: The September 11 crossword
« Last post by Thomps2525 on September 11, 2016, 04:25:13 PM »
On March 25, 2015, the Sunday crossword by Warren Stabler was titled "Prism." That word was meant to be read as "PR is M" because the theme answers were phrases in which the letters PR were replaced with an M. Two examples: MIMENUMBERS ("Songs without words") and MICEINCREASE ("House cat's challenge?"). Stabler has revisited that concept today. The puzzle's title is "Risk Factor" and that first word is to be interpreted as "R is K" because the theme answers are phrases in which an R is changed to a K. Among them:

Battle of vampire slayers? STAKINGCONTEST
Band of vipers' rhythm section? SNAKEDRUMS
Malt shop accountant's calculation? EARNINGSPERSHAKE
Soda jerk's course of study? COKECURRICULUM

"Mom, dad, sibs, etc." is FAM, which is awkward. "Like a soufflé" is EGGY, which is awkward. "__ plaisir!" is AVEC, which is not used in English. "H.S. VIPs" is APS, which I assume stands for "Assistant Principals." "Gets incensed" is SEESRED. During the Middle Ages, bullfighting became common in parts of Europe. A man on horseback and armed with a lance would battle a bull in a closed arena. In the 1720s, men began battling the bull while on foot. I believe the technical term for these men is "nuts." Anyway, the expression "see red" comes from the red cape waved by bullfighters in taunting the bull to charge. However, bulls can not see in color. They are attracted by the waving of the cape. The color makes no difference.

"Geographical symbol of middle America" is PEORIA. In his 1890 novel Five Hundred Dollars, Horatio Alger Jr. wrote about a troupe of actors who on several occasions announced, "We shall be playing in Peoria." In the days of vaudeville and burlesque, that phrase was altered to "Will it play in Peoria?" In other words, a performance may be successful in the big cities but will it appeal to the more conservative audiences of the typical midwestern small town? To "play in Peoria" now means "to be acceptable to average constituents or consumers" and can refer to a performance, a product or an event.

"Hickok's last hand, so it's said" is ACESUP. According to legend, Wild Bill Hickok was shot and killed while holding two aces and two eights in a card game in 1876. A hand with those cards came to be known as a "dead man's hand." However, there is no evidence to confirm that Hickok was holding aces and eights. In fact, several other combinations of cards have also been referred to as a "dead man's hand." The Straight Dope author and columnist Cecil Adams debunks the legend at

Shot and killed while playing cards. Obviously, bullfighting is not the only deadly sport.
Today's Puzzles / Working the September 4 crossword
« Last post by Thomps2525 on September 04, 2016, 03:07:38 PM »
Mark McClain, 70, lives in Salem, Virginia, and has always enjoyed solving crossword puzzles. In 2013, a few years after he retired as a corporate manager for Zales Jewelers, he decided to try creating his own. Since October 2014, more than 40 of his crosswords have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, Newsday and other publications. Today's puzzle is titled "Fitting Jobs" -- and it is not one of McClain's more clever ones but I suppose it's appropriate for Labor Day weekend. A very old joke asks, "What do you call a girl who is in a hamburger bun?" The answer is "Patty." There are many similar jokes involving people's names. Those jokes, reversed, are today's theme. Here are a few of the entries:

Fitting job for Art? MUSEUMGUIDE
Fitting job for Will? PROBATEJUDGE
Fitting job for Stu? TRIALATTORNEY
Fitting job for Roger? RADIOOPERATOR
Fitting job for Stu? HASHHOUSECOOK

"Stinging remarks" is OWS, which is awkward. "Ow" is an exclamation, not really a noun which can be pluralized. "Atlanta-to-Miami dir." is SSE, an answer which appears in far too many crosswords. "Swiss landscape feature" is ALP. As I have pointed out, I never see or hear of a singular "Alp" anywhere except in crossword puzzles. "Scruffy couple" is EFS, another execrable use of spelled-out letters. "F" is spelled "F," not "EF." That is why the word is "scruffy" and not "scruefefy." Three French words appear today. "Été month" is AOUT (August), which is not used in English. "Parlez-___ français?" is VOUS, which is not used in English.  "French vineyards" is CRUS. Cru literally means "growth"  and refers to "a vineyard or group of vineyards, especially one of recognized quality." An explanation of the word and its usage as a wine classification is at

"Sesame Street network" is PBS. Yes, but in August 2015 the financially beleaguered Sesame Workshop, the non-profit organization which produces the program, entered into a five-year partnership with HBO. Thirty-five new episodes of Sesame Street will be produced each year and will premiere on HBO. Each new episode will be available for viewing on PBS after it has run exclusively on HBO for nine months. The deal is unpopular with parents and educators, however. Sesame Workshop benefits from HBO's funding but children whose parents aren't paying $180 a year for HBO will have to wait nine months for each new episode. And how many of those parents would want to pay for a network showing hundreds of "sex-and-violence" films just so their kids can see Bert and Ernie and Big Bird?

Today's crossword discussion was brought to you by the letter P (for "Puzzle") and the number 4 (for today's date).
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