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21
Today's Puzzles / Wed., 9/10 C.C. Burnikel
« Last post by magus on September 10, 2014, 09:05:56 AM »
THEME:   first word of a phrase can follow FUNNY and make a new phrase
   
GOOD ONES:     
Web designers   SPIDERS   
Booking agents?   COPS   
   
   
   
RATING:    ;D
Three grins = Loved it; Two grins = Enjoyed it; One grin = A bit bland for my taste; One teardrop = Not much fun   
22
General Discussion / Re: Crosswordese Is Too Easy
« Last post by LARadioRewind on September 09, 2014, 11:09:00 PM »
My month-long study is completed...and I did it all without any government funding!  Each day from August 10 to September 9, 2014, I kept track of the answers in six different crossword puzzles published in the Register, Daily News, Los Angeles Times and Glendale News-Press. In the book Puzzle Craft by Mike Selinker & Thomas Snyder, there is an admonition (on page 85) against using an overabundance of "crosswordese" words beginning with vowels. The authors complain that such words "get stuffed into so many bad crosswords." Indeed, of the 77 most-used words in the past month's puzzles, all but eleven begin with a vowel!

Many words often appear with an added "S." In such cases, I combine the two variations. For example, I include ALPS with ALP, EATS with EAT, and SPAS with SPA.  Many words that are usually quite common, including ABBA, ACE, AFRO, AGO, AIDA, ALOHA, AMP, ANTE, AOL. APSE, APT, ASEA, ATM, CEL, EAU, EDAM, EERIE, ELO, ELOPE, ETNA, EVE, ICU, IDO, LAOS, LEI, OBI, OED, OGLE, OLEO, OPIE, ORCA, OSLO, OTT, SNL, SSN, TSAR, UTE and UKE, appeared in only two or three puzzles in the past month. And now, ladies and gentlemen, here are the results of my study: the most frequently occurring words in crossword puzzles.

16 - ALE
14 - IRA
12 - ORE
11 - ALEE, ELI
10 - AGE, EEL
9 - ADO, EPEE, LEA, ODE, ONE, RTE, URN
8 - ARIA, ASP, END, EPA, ERA, ERR
7 - ABE, ABET, AREA, ART, ETE, IRE
6 - ALI, ALP, ASH, ATE, CPA, DNA, EEO, EMU, EON, ESP, ETO, ETON, OAF, OGRE, OVA, SPA, STAR, TOE, TRIO
5 - ACT, ADE, ERE, ETA, EKE, ERG, ETA, IMP, IRS, OAT, OPAL
4 - ACRE, ADD, ALOE, ALOT, APE, EDEN, ELAN, ELM, ELS, EMIR, END, ERIE, EVA, OAR, OBOE, OIL, ONO, ORO, PTA, SEA, TAO

I commend Merl Reagle, whose September 5 crossword in the Los Angeles Times contained only words of five or more letters. He said he was taking a break from the typical three- and four-letter words that are so common. See? It can be done!
23
General Discussion / Foreign Constructor's Woes
« Last post by dogfish44 on September 09, 2014, 08:26:46 PM »
New rule: Before you start cluing, make sure that everything you've put in is commonplace in the country you're looking to sell to. Even if you think you did this as you went, because you missed one.

I just had to tear out a lovely corner because of that, but what can ya do? Live and learn, I just needed a place to rant ^_^'
24
General Support / Re: Black Screen on cruciverb on iPhone in all browsers
« Last post by Fed on September 09, 2014, 06:02:04 PM »
I have the same issue
25
Today's Puzzles / Tue., 9/9 Michael Dewey
« Last post by magus on September 09, 2014, 09:12:26 AM »
THEME:   phrases suggesting unwanted intrusion
   
GOOD ONES:    
Early arcade game {& theme}   SPACE INVADERS   
Bronco or Mustang   CAR [note M]   
   
BTW:   
"___-Dick"   MOBY [but there is no hyphen in the name, except maybe in Cliff Notes]   
   
Speak, biblical-style   SAYST [but the word is SAYEST]   
   
ESTO does not exist in English, but then neither does Moby-Dick or SAYST.   
   
Rise on hind legs   REAR [odd that it is the front that "rises" yet the term is "rear";  maybe it should have been "front"]   
   
   
   
RATING:    :'(  two substandard English entries ruins it for me
Three grins = Loved it; Two grins = Enjoyed it; One grin = A bit bland for my taste; One teardrop = Not much fun   
26
General Support / Black Screen on cruciverb on iPhone in all browsers
« Last post by foodfanataholic on September 09, 2014, 01:44:20 AM »
I have reset my phone twice. When I go to access cruciverb all i get is the menu bar and a high black screen. I've used Safari, Opera, etc and it's the same on all browsers. Any idea what to do?
27
Software / Technical / Iphone
« Last post by barbara6020 on September 08, 2014, 06:58:47 PM »
I was opening cruciverb.com on my iPhone, downloading the LA Times crossword to a crossword app.  It worked yesterday, but today cruciverb.com only shows the header and footers - no info.  It works fine on my Mac.  What has happened?
28
Software / Technical / Best software for one-time constructor
« Last post by egee on September 08, 2014, 11:09:00 AM »
Hi,

I'm a daily crossword solver, and I often do the puzzles with my boyfriend. For his birthday, I want to make him a crossword with some answers that are meaningful to us (about 10 in total). I have no preference on what the answers for the rest of the puzzle grid will be, but I do want it to follow the symmetry and blocking of a real crossword. I have access to both PC and Mac, can anyone give me advice on the best software that will allow me to input my answers and then autofill the answers for the rest of the puzzle grid? I'm willing to pay for it if needed, but since this is the only time I'll be using the software, I'd prefer free.

Thanks for any help you can give!
29
Today's Puzzles / Mon., 9/8 Brock Wilson
« Last post by magus on September 08, 2014, 08:59:32 AM »
THEME:   four words describing office tasks done by one machine
   
GOOD ONES:    
"Put up your dukes" duke   FIST [old-fashioned expression I haven't heard since the Forties]   
   
BTW:   
Friar from Assisi   FRANCISCAN [should be Francis as FRANCISCANs come from all over the world]   
   
Late-night pioneer Johnny   CARSON [Kit Carson was a pioneer; Johnny followed the formats of Steve Allen and Jack Paar]   
   
Short exercise dash   WIND SPRINT [bet Brock played baseball]    
   
   
RATING:    :'(
Three grins = Loved it; Two grins = Enjoyed it; One grin = A bit bland for my taste; One teardrop = Not much fun   
30
Today's Puzzles / Re: Sun., 9/7 Julian Lim
« Last post by LARadioRewind on September 07, 2014, 04:21:03 PM »
Does Merl Reagle read these posts? Is he starting to panic? I complained about all the three- and four-letter words that appear in several puzzles every week. I began a month-long study to determine the most-used words in the six different crosswords that appear in four local newspapers. In three days I will post the results. In today's Los Angeles Times crossword, Reagle announced that he's taking a break from the three- and four-letter words which he refers to as "the workhorses of crossword puzzles." Each answer in today's puzzle is at least five letters long. Was he taking my comments to heart? Or was today's puzzle his own idea? At any rate, I enjoyed doing the puzzle.

The answers included several little-used phrases, such as  PITCREWS, GLASSSNAKE, HAIRSPRAYS, STACYKEACH, DULLACHE. TRACKSHOES, LETSSEENOW, and SLINGINK ("Write for a living, slangily"), and none of the usual Crosswordese. Way to go, Merl!
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