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Today's Puzzles / Re: Sat., 11/7 Ed Sessa
« Last post by Thomps2525 on November 07, 2015, 01:23:47 PM »
Eddie Fisher had many big hits in the early 1950s, including Any Time, I'm Walking Behind You, Oh My Pa-Pa and I Need You Now. Then came Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, Little Richard and Rock Around The Clock and the nation's teenagers wanted to hear rock'n'roll, not Eddie Fisher. In an effort to appeal to younger listeners, Fisher recorded Dungaree Doll in 1955. Here it is on good ol' YouTube. I dedicate this song to Mister magus and his sister:
Today's Puzzles / Sat., 11/7 Ed Sessa
« Last post by magus on November 07, 2015, 09:11:44 AM »
THEME:   none, but four triples
Two after love?   THIRTY [as in "Love - thirty" in tennis]   
Like music to one's ears?   ON KEY [not to me, though, since being on key is not enough to be "music to my ears"]   
Strips at a party?   STREAMERS   
Memorable Ford   GERALD [after I went through cars, I came to the most forgettable President of my time.]   
Fruit served with a cracker?  NUT [nuts are fruits and there are nutcrackers --- I thought, for some mysterious reason, fruit = gay; cracker = Caucasian]   
Window-adjusting tool   SCROLL BAR [it would have to be "Windows adjusting tool" as Window is not the name of the product]      
TORTA is Italian only and not used enough in English to qualify for inclusion, but I surely would like one.   
ABUBBLE is not a real word though it could be --- maybe if we were talking about Lawrence Welk --- but even then...   
RAP ARTIST is an oxymoron (emphasis on moron).   
AVIATRIX is a perfectly descriptive word for Anne Morrow Lindbergh; too bad the word has been banned.  Last year I read that at the Oscars there was a category called "Female actors."  Guess it's as au courant as RAP ARTIST.   
SKORT is a combination skirt and shorts my sister wore in the summer of 1957.  Don't know if they're still around since skirts have largely been replaced by jeans, which I just recently learned to stop calling dungarees. :-[   (Good luck finding a pair of "grandpa jeans" that actually reach your waist. >:(   Sorry, I'm just a crotch-ity old man.)
RATING: ;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., 11/6 Victor Barocas
« Last post by Thomps2525 on November 06, 2015, 03:53:47 PM »
What is so "neat" about a pin? What is the origin of the phrase "as neat as a pin"? Well, I found the answers. Actually, I found four answers:

1. "Neat" derived from a word which also meant "shiny."

2. The phrase uses the original 16th-century of definition of "neat" as "clean; free from dirt." But who would ever describe a pin as "neat"?

3. The phrase references the well-made mass-produced pins of the early 1800s in contrast to the earlier hand-made, and often irregular, pins of previous years.

4. The 1898 Dictionary Of Phrase & Fable lists a variant of the phrase: "Neat as a Pin, or Neat as a New Pin. Very prim and tidy." The phrase may have originally been "as neat as a new pin" and became shortened in the same way that "Happy as a clam at high tide" became shortened to "Happy as a clam" (which makes no sense) and "The proof of the pudding is in the eating" became shortened to "The proof is in the pudding" (which makes no sense).

So I found four different origins of the phrase.....and I can't pin it down any further. (Today's bad pun. :) )
Today's Puzzles / Fri., 11/6 Victor Barocas
« Last post by magus on November 06, 2015, 09:06:45 AM »
THEME:   synonyms of "list" are arranged alphabetically, and when unscrambled are first words of common phrases
ILST {& theme}   ALPHABETIZED LIST [the word is alphabetized: I L S T]   
More pinlike?   NEATER ["neat as a pin"]   
Genesis creator   SEGA [the game not the book]   
Long time ending?   NO SEE ["long time, no see"]   
Zipper opening?   ZEE   
Wax on an envelope, say   SEALER [can't remember when I received a letter sealed by wax: maybe it was some new car announcement --- and was I impressed!]   
Is down with   HAS [as in "is down with the flu" --- and I'm down with this clue.]   
RATING: ;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: Thu., 11/5 Gerry Wildenberg
« Last post by Thomps2525 on November 05, 2015, 02:55:37 PM »
Until today, I had never heard of the 1922 Wallace Stevens poem The Emperor of Ice-Cream, from which Mister magus quoted two lines:

"Let be be finale of seem.
The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream."

Now I'll probably drive myself crazy trying to figure out the meaning of "Let be be finale of seem."  ???
Today's Puzzles / Re: Thu., 11/5 Gerry Wildenberg
« Last post by Thomps2525 on November 05, 2015, 02:43:35 PM »
In today's crossword, "Trigger guide" was not a clue for a gun-related term; rather, it was a clue for a horse-related term: REIN. Trigger was the name of Roy Rogers' horse. Trigger appeared in all 81 of Roy's feature films for Republic and in all 100 of Roy's tv episodes. The golden palomino had been ridden by Olivia DeHavilland in the movie The Adventures Of Robin Hood. After Roy acquired the speedy horse, he named it Trigger after Smiley Burnette noted that it was "quick on the trigger." Here is Joel Dortch's detailed history of Trigger, "The Smartest Horse in the Movies":
Today's Puzzles / Thu., 11/5 Gerry Wildenberg
« Last post by magus on November 05, 2015, 09:34:17 AM »
THEME:   phrases containing musical terms [lyre, oboe, bass(ist)]
Film score component {& theme}   INCIDENTAL MUSIC [the "music" is incidental to the phrase]   
Trigger guide   REIN [Lone Ranger's horse was Trigger]   
SALLE as a definition of room is not good, but the explorer La Salle or the college would work.   
Newbie   TYRO ["newbie" is too cutesy but perhaps "tyro" or "neophyte" is too pedantic.  What would be said, then, of abecedarian?]   
Double exposures?   STUNTS [I just got it: stunt doubles are exposed when being filmed --- but it's too far afield for me.]   
Eye problem   STYE [used often, but I see them as eyelid problems; the eyes are fine]   

Caravel mover   SAIL [not the way my sailboat worked; the wind moved the boat --- I suspect that was so in Columbus' time]
Since AMONG came from a poem, how about LET BE as in "Let be be finale of seem; the only emperor is the emperor of ice cream" [think that's exact]   

Horror movie character   GHOUL [why are ghoul movies coming down in droves from the Hollywood hills (so to speak) and why are they so popular?]   
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: Wed., 11/4 Kurt Krauss
« Last post by Thomps2525 on November 04, 2015, 02:57:05 PM »
The word USERS appears quite frequently in crosswords and usually refers to people who are online, i.e., using a computer or laptop. Many "passengers in flight" pass the time by using their laptops to write mail, play games, look at porn or whatever.

Freddie Cheng's Daily News crossword includes

High excitement: FEVERPITCH
Workout attire that became a 1980s fad: LEGWARMERS
Desire of one submitting a demo CD: RECORDDEAL
Bottom of a gym? SWEATPANTS (Get it?)
Debut time for many TV shows: FALLSEASON

"Extra-care items for movers"---and what the first words of those phrases can be---is BREAKABLES. This theme made me think of the $20,000 Pyramid tv game show: "Here is your first subject. Go!" "Umm...a fever...a leg....." "Things you break?" "Yes!"

"Hardest-to-find items for a collector" is RARES. "Rare" used as a noun? Not in any of my dictionaries!
Today's Puzzles / Wed., 11/4 Kurt Krauss
« Last post by magus on November 04, 2015, 09:28:39 AM »
THEME:   first word of phrase means "chump"
Easy mark {& theme}   FALLGUY   
Alternative to dis?  DAT [I thought along lines of respect, not the way I spoke as a Brooklyn boy]   
Sweater outlet?   PORE [weakened, I think, by the question mark]   
Passengers in flight, often  USERS [over my head,  8) --- could not users be any who take a service?]   
Three grins = Loved it; Two grins = Enjoyed it; One grin = A bit bland for my taste; One teardrop = Not much fun   
Today's Puzzles / The Xcellent November 2 X-words
« Last post by Thomps2525 on November 02, 2015, 03:44:50 PM »
C.C. Burnikel's crossword in today's Los Angeles Times includes

Radioactive emission: BETARAY
Guys' hair coloring product: JUSTFORMEN
Root source for a database: MASTERFILE
Big place to play online: YAHOOGAMES

"Hard-to-define element, or a hint to what can precede each last word" is THEXFACTOR. We're all familiar with the X-ray, the X-Men and ESPN's annual X Games, but the 1993-2002 tv series is The X-Files, plural. Having never watched the show, I can not say if the singular term "X File" was ever used but I suppose logically that if there are X-Files, each component would be an X-File.

"___ is me!" is WOE. The Mc-Graw Hill Dictionary of American Idioms & Phrases defines "Woe is me" as "I am unfortunate; I am unhappy. (Usually humorous)." Expressed in contemporary English, the phrase is "I am woe," which makes no sense. Shouldn't we say "Woeful am I" or "I am woeful"? Or---to make my requisite daily bad pun---shouldn't a horse say "Whoa is me"?

The puzzle also includes FORTY for "Winks count." The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms says the term "forty winks" refers to a short nap and was first used in 1828. It apparently derived from the 14th-century use of "wink" as a synonym for "sleep," although when people sleep, they do not wink---their eyes remain closed. And why 40? Why doesn't anyone ever take 20 winks or 60 winks? This would be an ideal topic for a college debate team to take up.

The Daily News crossword by Dan Bischof and Jeff Chen includes five spaces containing a circle: the leftmost, center and rightmost squares of the top row and the leftmost and center squares of the bottom row. When the puzzle is completed, those circles contain, in order, the vowels A, E, I, O and U. The last word of the puzzle is ANDY ("Toy Story boy"), which, copmbined with the circled letters, is a hint to the three long  answers. RHAPSODYINBLUE, SOCIALBUTTERFLY and UPWARDLYMOBILE include A, E, I, O, U.......and Y. 

A cute clue: "One who regularly cleans his plate" for UMP. And, on that note, congratulations to the Kansas City Royals, who yesterday defeated the Mets to win the 2015 World Series. Manager Ned Yost knew some of the players were going to dump the contents of the Gatorade cooler on him. Rather than let them sneak up on him, he walked right up to them and allowed them to drench him.
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