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21
Today's Puzzles / The cut-and-dried July 20 crosswords
« Last post by Thomps2525 on July 20, 2015, 04:34:07 PM »
Today's Daily News crossword by Mike Buckley has no theme so there is not much to talk about.....except for one word. "Dried plums" was PRUNES. Dried grapes are called "raisins." Why is it that we have to call dried plums and dried grapes by any name other than "dried plums" and "dried grapes"? We don't rename any other dried fruit, do we? When an apple is dried up, it's just a dried apple. When a kumquat is dried up, it's just a dried kumquat. Perhaps some fruit growers long ago decided that the names "prunes" and "raisins" sound more appealing than "dried plums" and "dried grapes".....although the word "prune" doesn't sound all that appealing either.

Andy Kravis's Los Angeles Times crossword included JURYVERDICT, JOINTVENTURE, JUGULARVEIN and JUSTVISITING ("Words on Monopoly's Jail square"). Those phrases correspond with the answer to "School's underclass team": JVSQUAD.

The 13x13 NEA crossword had no theme. It never does. Never. What it does always have is a large number of over-used words. Today's included EIRE, ERR, ETE, EWE, INCA, MESA, OLE and  SEA.

And now I'm going to go snack on some bledinias. They're actually dried blueberries but I decided to call them "bledinias" because that is a more appealing name. :)
22
Today's Puzzles / Re: Sun., 7/19 Frank Virzi
« Last post by Thomps2525 on July 19, 2015, 12:00:26 PM »
In today's "Pun Clearance" crossword, Merl Reagle uses some puns which he said were "piling up around the house." The puns were fairly elaborate:

Most popular car in India? DODGEMAHAL
King with a wicked sense of fairness? SOLOMONGOMORRAH
Utterly unable to eat breakfast without bread? LACKTOASTINTOLERANT
What a certain car insurance company is considering for its next commercial? GECKOROMANWRESTLING
The story of a priest? AGENTLEMANANDHISCOLLAR
(Get it? Like "a gentleman and a scholar.")

The puzzle also included the Roman numerals III and the over-used words ADO, AGE, AIL, ALE, ALI, ARGO, EGAD, OBIT and OREO but there was one word which I had never seen in a crossword.....until today: REDAN ("V-shaped fortification").

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/redan
23
Today's Puzzles / Re: Sun., 7/19 Frank Virzi
« Last post by rbe on July 19, 2015, 11:32:42 AM »
PEKOE PERFORMANCES
24
Today's Puzzles / Sun., 7/19 Frank Virzi
« Last post by magus on July 19, 2015, 09:05:27 AM »
THEME:   The long O sound is added to familiar phrases
   
GOOD ONES:     
"oh, I get it" for the title   
Glass insulation consideration?   WINDOW CHILL FACTOR [wind chill factor]   
Skits at teatime?   PECOE PERFORMANCES [peak performances]   
One known for high living?   TIBETAN [two miles high!]   
Nice view  MER [the city is pronounced with a short I]   
Lab attendants   VETS ["black lab attendants" might be more fun]   
Place for sweaters   SPA   
   
BTW:   
"80's IBM flop nicknamed "Peanut"   PC JR [never knew till now that my first computer was a flop; to me it was a miracle]   
   
ALMAS no es englais.   
   
Soup in "That's Amore"   PASTA FAZOOL [FAZOOL is not a word here or in Italy; it's fagioli --- in the song it is pronounced /fazool/, so the clue should indicate it is the sound, not the word.  Sfachime!]   
   
MASH UP crossed with APU is too tough for the un-TV generation unlikely to fans of "The Simpsons" or especially "Glee."   
   
   
RATING:    ;D ;D
Three grins = Loved it; Two grins = Enjoyed it; One grin = A bit bland for my taste; One teardrop = Not much fun   
25
Today's Puzzles / Re: Fri., 7/17 Jeffrey Wechsler
« Last post by magus on July 18, 2015, 08:41:45 AM »
T-man---

I'm they sure are but less sure they read this space.
26
Today's Puzzles / Sat., 7/18 Roland Huget
« Last post by magus on July 18, 2015, 08:39:02 AM »
THEME:   None, but a triple fifteener!
   
GOOD ONES:    
Mag wheels?   EDS [magazines not cars]   
Running group, informally   ADMIN [not politicians or milers]   
   
BTW:   
"No way!"   UH UH [the clue is emphatic, but the answer is anything but]   
   
Broken glass dangers   FLATS [passe for cars; don't know about bikes]   
   
   
RATING: ;D ;D   
Three grins = Loved it; Two grins = Enjoyed it; One grin = A bit bland for my taste; One teardrop = Not much fun   
27
Today's Puzzles / Re: Fri., 7/17 Jeffrey Wechsler
« Last post by Thomps2525 on July 17, 2015, 04:25:53 PM »
For me, one clue stood out: "Obi, e.g." The answer is SASH. The word "obi" appears so frequently in crosswords, I appreciated seeing it as a clue instead of an answer. And now I have a clever idea for someone to work on: Create a crossword filled with seldom-used words and using clues which contain the over-used words. The grid would not include ALE, ALOHA, APE, AREA, ARENA, ASP, ELI, ERE, IRA, IRE, LEI, MER, OAT, ORCA, ORE, ORO, SEA, SPA, UTE, UKE et al., but those words would be part of the clues. Merl Reagle? Jeffrey Wechsler? C.C. Burnikel? Are you up to the challenge?
28
Today's Puzzles / Fri., 7/17 Jeffrey Wechsler
« Last post by magus on July 17, 2015, 07:36:54 AM »
Theme:  nine words that modify HOLE

Good Ones:
Quick round {& theme}   NINE HOLES [and the nine words are evenly spaced in the grid!]
Several interesting clues throughout, but none stands out to me.

Rating:   ;D ;D
29
Today's Puzzles / Re: Thu., 7/16 Rick Papazian
« Last post by Thomps2525 on July 16, 2015, 11:58:43 PM »
The Daily News crossword includes this clue: "Cartoonist Bushmiller, creator of Nancy." Ummm.....not quite.  Bushmiller was drawing a comic strip called Mac the Manager. In 1925, he replaced Larry Whittington on the Fritzi Ritz strip. In early 1933, Bushmiller added Fritzi's niece Nancy to the strip. She became more and more popular and eventually the name of the strip was changed to Nancy. The clue should have referred to the character and not to the comic strip.

By the way, in Patrick McDonnell's Mutts strip there is a girl named Bushy. Her name is a tribute to Ernie Bushmiller. Bushy has the same hairstyle as Nancy, with all those little black lines protruding all around. The Nancy strip is still being drawn in 2015. Guy Gilchrist is the current artist.
30
Today's Puzzles / Re: Thu., 7/16 Rick Papazian
« Last post by Thomps2525 on July 16, 2015, 01:13:38 PM »
"Ack!" was often uttered by Cathy in Cathy Guisewite's self-titled comic strip and by Bill the Cat in Berkeley Breathed's Bloom County comic strip, which ended its run in 1989; Breathed re-launched the strip on July 13, 2015, so he could make fun of Donald Trump:

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/07/13/422545636/bloom-county-2015-berkeley-breathed-revives-comic-strip

Today's crossword includes BOLAS, OSA, SIESTA and SOIR. Is it really that difficult to make a puzzle without using foreign words? Or OREO?  And "Low mark" is DEE. I do not like seeing spelled-out letters in crosswords. Teachers who grade students' papers assign grades of A, B, C, D or F. I have never heard of a teacher writing a big red "bee" or "cee" or "dee" on a paper. Each letter of the alphabet is fine just the way it is. We know how to pronounce each one. They do not need to be spelled out. Who ever came up with those spellings anyway? And why?
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