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General Discussion / Reusing the word, "a"
« Last post by pleaselose on May 19, 2015, 01:17:10 PM »
I am in the middle of constructing a themeless crossword and three of my answers use the word "a" as a part of a phrase, specifically:

A Cheap Imitation
A Bug's Life
A Host

Should I assume that this is unacceptable and try to rework it before going further, or might something like this be accepted in the NYT (for example)?

General Discussion / Re: Good clue for ATE OFF?
« Last post by LARadioRewind on May 18, 2015, 08:31:56 PM »
This is a very lengthy clue---as well as a somewhat gory clue---but how about: "What the coyote did to his leg to get out of a trap."
Today's Puzzles / The May 18 crosswords, Yeah Yeah Yeah!
« Last post by LARadioRewind on May 18, 2015, 04:54:57 PM »
It was fortunate for Alex Silverman that the Beatles recorded so many songs with 15-letter titles. He included five in today's Daily News crossword. YELLOW SUBMARINE filled the second row and SHESLEAVINGHOME was directly beneath. Row 13 was PAPERBACK WRITER and directly beneath was HERECOMESTHESUN. WHENIMSIXTYFOUR was in the center. I can never figure out how crossword creators can stack 15-letter phrases in such a way that 15 intersecting words are possible. Saturday's crossword had a central stack of four 15-letter phrases. If I tried to stack three or four 15-letter phrases, the words that appear vertically would probably not be real words at all: GTRE, XDIJ, DWIB, SCAY, ULIL, PIWL, etc. Anyway, today's crossword not only included five Beatles songs, it also included seven shaded squares which contained FABFOUR.

The Los Angeles Times crossword by Tom Uttormark and C.C. Burnikel included six "either/or" clues. Each of the six theme answers could be separated into two words which fit the second part of each clue. Examples:

Soviet military force...or two ants: REDARMY
Whole-grain food...or two universities: BROWNRICE
Immigrant's document...or two rooms: GREENCARD

Also in the crossword: OORT. It sounds like a word the Swedish Chef muppet would say but it is actually the name of a 20th-century Dutch astronomer. The clue: "___ cloud: remote solar system region."

C.C. Burnikel would have been proud of today's Universal crossword: The theme answers were CATTLECALLS, CHINACLOSET, CROSSCHECKS and CUCKOOCLOCK. I could say that the answers went "from C to shining C." I could say it...and then everyone else could tell me what a bad pun that is. I know.

As for the NEA crossword, the only thing I can say about it is that there is never anything to say about it. The 13x13 grid today included only two eight-letter words. All the other words were six letters or fewer and there was the usual high number of over-used words: ACHE, AGO, EIRE, EMU, ERASE, IRA, MET, ORCA, URN and USE.
General Support / Trouble receiving the List
« Last post by Stephen R. Salmon on May 17, 2015, 07:11:43 PM »
Have not been receiving the List (it stopped coming several weeks ago, I think ...)  I tried re-subscribing, but got a message that I was already subscribed.
Today's Puzzles / Re: Sun., 5/17 Mike Peluso
« Last post by LARadioRewind on May 17, 2015, 02:12:55 PM »
Merl Reagle's Sunday crossword is one of the mostest cleverestest puzzles I have ever seen. The theme is "Incognito." First, let's get the horrible clue and horrible answer out of the way. Roman numerals often appear in crosswords, even though we are in the 21st century, not the 9th century. The most common Roman numerals in crosswords are III, VII and XVI. Today's included DCLVI. Horrible! The clue was "Beast's nvmber, mvnus 10." Horrible!

Seven pairs of answers, each pair occupying a horizontal row,  were marked with an asterisk:


The unusual term LABORSONGS is "Unionizer's repertoire." Those 14 words fit the theme of "Incognito." Before you read any further, see if you can figure it out. I'll wait.


Okay, you did a fine job! Each pair of words houses the name of a well-known person: Orson Welles, Dred Scott, Evita Peron, Ernie Ford, Greta Garbo, Ethan Allen and Diana Ross. I am now going to create a pair of words which houses the name of someone who regularly posts to this site. Look carefully; this may be difficult to figure out:

Clue: 1968 hit by the Who.


Today's Puzzles / Sun., 5/17 Mike Peluso
« Last post by magus on May 17, 2015, 10:08:03 AM »
THEME:   Periodic table abbrs. are substituted for the names of elements in phrases
Pirate once portrayed by Orson Welles  LONG JOHN AG [AG = silver; my favorite portrayer was Robert Newton]   
Dickens classic   DAVID CUFIELD [CU = copper, I guess; I forgot much of my chemistry]   
"High Voltage" band   AC/DC [indeed]   
It's sometimes held in a deli   MAYO ["Hold the mayo!"]   
Inside information   X-RAY   
Sites for sweaters?   SAUNAS [DRAWERS didn't fit]   
Target of a military press   DELT [don't know when delt became it's own word and not an abbr., and I'm not sure why the press is military, but a press in weightlifting can develop one's deltoids]   
State of disbelief?   ATHEISM   
Making an impression   DENTING [probably a bad one]   
Rapper's demand   LET ME IN [I thought more "Raven" than vocalist]   
Carrier units   AC'S [I thought ships]   
Him, in Le Havre   LUI [but not in Leeds]   
Alike, to Pascal   EGAL [this French word is grist for our mil as it is part of their motto which is often used in English; however, it means equal which is different from alike]   
1987 "Crying"…   LANG [she's k.d.lang and has one of the best alto voices on record, and while the duet with Roy is great, her solo version is so powerful it brings tears to my eyes]   
CURDY? If you insist.   
Hardly paparazzi quarry   D-LIST[there is no D-list among the famous.  To be on any list would be quarry.  Clue should be like "Third grade naughty kids"]   
Thunder predecessors   SONICS [I suspect this definition refers to physical waves produced by lightning which creates the thunder, but my physics isn't much better than my chemistry]   
Today's title "Elements of Style" is also the title of a classic in the writing of English --- more my speed than elements in chemistry. But the puzzle could not have been more fun.
RATING: ;D ;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., May 15 Melanie Miller
« Last post by LARadioRewind on May 16, 2015, 04:25:51 PM »
In that example, I don't see how "lend" can refer to Joe. Joe is the recipient of the lending but it is the pen which is being lent. "Lend" and "allow to use" are not synonymous. How about if the clue for LEND was "allows the use of"? That would have been more betterer.

"What's the name of the guy playin' first base?" "What is on second. Who is on first." "What are ya askin' me for?"
Today's Puzzles / Re: Sat., 5/16 Gareth Bain
« Last post by LARadioRewind on May 16, 2015, 04:20:26 PM »
I do not like seeing foreign words in American crosswords. AGUA, AMIGO, CASA, DREI, EAU, EINE, ETE, IDEE, ILE, MER, ORO, SENOR (which is always missing the tilde), SRA, SRTA, TETE, TIO and dozens of other such words appear almost daily---although not all in the same puzzle. However, I don't object to longer foreign words and phrases. Those appear in crosswords by intent, not just because the creator got stuck in one section of the grid and couldn't find an English word that fit. Today's Daily News crossword included the title of a 1999 Ricky Martin hit, LIVINLAVIDALOCA. The Times crossword included ARRIVEDERCI and DOMOARIGATO side by side. Did Gareth Bain use a computer program or did he use his own brainpower to figure out that those two words could be placed side by side and allow for the creation of 11 intersecting words? Either way, I'm impressed.

"Job, metaphorically" was HAT. Gary Owens, who died this year at age 80, worked in Los Angeles radio for more than 40 years, voiced characters in almost 3000 cartoons, voiced thousands of radio/tv commercials, released 35 comedy videos and 20 comedy albums, appeared in 12 movies, hosted The Gong Show and was the announcer on Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In. He had a very quick wit and was constantly coming up with silly jokes and puns. On one of his radio shows on KLAC, he made this announcement: "I'm wearing three hats today. I'm not doing three jobs---I'm just wearing three hats." :)
Today's Puzzles / Re: Fri., May 15 Melanie Miller
« Last post by magus on May 16, 2015, 09:12:33 AM »
"Allows to use" is a reference to a person. That was the clue for LEND, which is a reference to an object. Oops!

To lend means to make (something) available to (someone or something).  If Joe lends a pen to Adam, Joe has in fact allowed  Adam to use the pen.
to lend = refers to Joe
to make (something) available = pen
to (someone or something) = Adam

Today's Puzzles / Sat., 5/16 Gareth Bain
« Last post by magus on May 16, 2015, 08:57:08 AM »
THEME:   none, but two fifteens cross at center
Goes for the flies   SWATS [of course I had shags which means to catch flies (baseball) while SWATS means to hit (baseball); both mean in some sense "goes for flies" --- and of course so does killing the little buggers]   
Job, metaphorically   HAT ['He wears many hats" is jobspeak which is right up there with "He's come aboard" and "Let's run it up the flag pole..."]   
Interesting that from 10- through 14-Down we have an international cast, so to speak.   
Back-to-back contests?   DUELS [this one tickled me in that if the clue were correct Alexander Hamilton may have lived longer]   
Level, e.g.   TOOL [not a week goes by when I don't use one yet this one didn't come immediately, but levels never do (one has to go get them) :-[ ]   
Ready signal   ALL SYSTEMS ARE GO [one needs to believe that speech is a signal, which I don't; speech is speech and signals are signs or sounds.  I remember in grade school peeved teachers would say, "I don't remember giving the signal to talk!" But I never did hear that "signal."]   
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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