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31
Today's Puzzles / Re: Tue., 10/14 Jacob Stulberg
« Last post by magus on October 15, 2014, 08:54:13 AM »
I don't think the puzzle was pedestrian. It can't be easy to find several two-word theme answers where each word can be combined with another word to form a new phrase.

Difficulty of construction does not make, at least for me, the solving more fun.  Rather, cleverness of cluing and evocative and challenging words and phrases are what pleases.
32
Today's Puzzles / Wed., 10/15 C.C. Burnikel
« Last post by magus on October 15, 2014, 08:45:34 AM »
THEME:   phrases containing PLAN spelled backwards
   
GOOD ONES:     
"Just in case" strategy {& theme}   BACK UP PLAN   
Take turns?   STEER   
Vulgar language?   LATIN [Vulgate]   
Malibu mover   GAS [Malibu the car not the West Coast furniture carrier]   
Bricks-and-mortar workers   MASONS [not salespeople]*   
Yard sale?   ALE ["a yard of ale"]   
Winter air   CAROL {she's not a "hoar"}  :-[   
Big brass   TUBA [not military personnel]   
   
BTW:   
* Never liked "bricks-and-mortar" when shop or store do fine.   
   
   
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   
33
Today's Puzzles / Re: Tue., 10/14 Jacob Stulberg
« Last post by LARadioRewind on October 14, 2014, 02:32:27 PM »
One of the theme answers is HARDBACK and was clued with "Like unabridged print dictionaries". Both parts can precede the word "water." However---and this is me being picky again---the word "hardback" is a misnomer. "Hardbound," referring to a book with hard covers, entered our language in 1926. "Hardback" came along in 1952. Both sides of a hardbound book, and not just the back, have a hard cover. "Paperback" is likewise a misnomer. We all know what the words "paperback" and "hardback" refer to but the words are still inaccurate.

I don't think the puzzle was pedestrian. It can't be easy to find several two-word theme answers where each word can be combined with another word to form a new phrase. In all my puzzle-solving life, I don't think I've seen more than five or six such puzzles. By the way, On The Waterfront won eight Academy Awards, including best picture, best actor (Marlon Brando), best supporting actress (Eva Marie Saint) and best director (Elia Kazan). And sixty years later it becomes a crossword theme. Brando would have been proud.
34
Today's Puzzles / Tue., 10/14 Jacob Stulberg
« Last post by magus on October 14, 2014, 09:34:22 AM »
THEME:   both words of a phrases can precede WATER
   
GOOD ONES:     
1954 Oscar… {& theme}   ON THE WATERFRONT ["in front of" water]   
   
BTW:   
A shame that such a clever theme is set in so pedestrian a puzzle.   
   
   
RATING: :'(   
Three grins = Loved it; Two grins = Enjoyed it; One grin = A bit bland for my taste; One teardrop = Not much fun   
35
General Discussion / Re: "NCA" -- Will Shortz accept?
« Last post by admin on October 14, 2014, 12:19:39 AM »
Will Shortz wouldn't reject NCA because he's overly fussy or pedantic. He'd do so because he is a good editor. It's worth noting that no other editor has accepted NCA (at least among the puzzles in my database). When it comes to acronyms, they have to be very well known. If you're faced with something like NCA, don't try to justify it or blame the editor(s). Yank it out and rework that area of the puzzle. The more you stick to this line of thinking the better you will become at making salable crossword puzzles.

-Kevin
36
Today's Puzzles / Mon., 10/13 Carol Hacker
« Last post by magus on October 13, 2014, 09:16:06 AM »
THEME:   first and second words of a phrase begin with R and V, respectively
   
GOOD ONES:     
Place for Winnebagos {& theme}   RV PARK   
   
BTW:   
Chutzpah   AUDACITY [guess if you're Jewish and speaking with friends, chutzpah works instead of audacity or nerve, but it gives me agita (acido)]    
   
   
RATING:   :'(   
Three grins = Loved it; Two grins = Enjoyed it; One grin = A bit bland for my taste; One teardrop = Not much fun   
37
General Support / Re: Bad link again - LA Times
« Last post by Kolohe61 on October 12, 2014, 10:27:49 PM »
Has happened a couple times more. I usually use the crosswords app. I found that if I get the wrong day's puzzle in crosswords, I get the correct one in across lite. I don't like across lite, but it'll do. :-)
38
Today's Puzzles / Re: Sun., 10/12 Skoczen & Varol
« Last post by LARadioRewind on October 12, 2014, 07:42:16 PM »
I subscribe to a lot of puzzle magazines. One recent issue contained crosswords with no themes. The editor explained that themeless puzzles are harder to fill in because the longer answers have no similarities with each other. I don't know if that's true...but themeless puzzles certainly aren't imaginative. With the thousands of puzzles that appear every year, I'm surprised that the creators can continue to come up with clever themes without repeating themselves (or each other).
39
Today's Puzzles / Re: Sun., 10/12 Skoczen & Varol
« Last post by pattybee on October 12, 2014, 04:38:42 PM »
Thanks for clarifying the theme.
40
Today's Puzzles / Re: Sun., 10/12 Skoczen & Varol
« Last post by LARadioRewind on October 12, 2014, 02:37:39 PM »
Today's Los Angeles Times crossword by Merl Reagle is titled "Uncommon People." The last part of each theme answer is a title of nobility, such as DUKE, EARL, COUNT, LORD, LADY and QUEEN. Another answer is ENDTITLES, which describes movie credits and is also the idea behind the puzzle's theme. Very clever!

Today's puzzle is the fifth in a month to include SSTS, this time clued with "Mach-1 breakers." INTERLOCKING was the answer for "Like crossword words." Crossword words intersect. Crossword words criss-cross. Crossword words don't really "interlock." And Reagle used one clue that is one of the most horrible puns ever made: "Sound of ju-bull-ation?" The answer is OLE, which appears in a lot of puzzles. At least Reagle came up with a clue that is different than the usual "Bullfight cheer." I give him a D- for the pun but I give him an A for effort.
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