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41
Today's Puzzles / Re: Fri., 10/10 Jeb Bennett
« Last post by LARadioRewind on October 10, 2014, 12:45:11 PM »
That quip is similar to this one: I COULDN'T FIGURE OUT WHERE THE SUN WENT AT NIGHT AND THEN IT DAWNED ON ME. And yes, I know the sun doesn't really go anywhere. Rather, the earth revolves around the sun. The quip is rooted in the ancient belief that the sun revolves around the earth. We know better now...but we still talk about "sunrise" and "sunset." Nobody has come up with better words to describe the phenomena.

Today's puzzle includes MAYDAY, which is an internationally-recognized distress call. The word is an Americanized spelling of the French m'aider, which means "help me."

A well-crafted 15x15 puzzle has no more than 32 black squares. A good puzzle has no more than 36. Several recent puzzles have had 40. Today's has 42. Yikes! What's next?

42
General Discussion / Re: "NCA" -- Will Shortz accept?
« Last post by cheapcookies on October 10, 2014, 10:15:51 AM »
It is hard to appease the Will Shortz God and I know first hand. I have sent (4) 15X15s to him. 2 were so-so, 1 was so-so +1 and 1 was themed very well with no problems like 'nca.' It beat many of the usual Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday puzzles he runs hands down.

All were rejected and this is where you are making a mistake, Mr. Shortz. You should give brand-new puzzle constructors a first-time 'encouragement' pass .... You have discouraged me from sending you pretty much anything now, and I have about 50 or so 15x15s sitting in my directory of which many will end up being published somewhere else.... because I'm not wasting any more stamps (snail mail in the 21st Century, tsk tsk Will) along with 3 or so months to get an email rejection from one of your subordinates anymore.

Yes, you are sitting in the highest seat and you get to pretty much choose the cream of the crop. Not only that, but you get to add your name as an editor of another artists creation, even if it is changing 1 letter or 1 clue. But by kicking new artists in the seat of their pants for decent puzzles, you are doing yourself and the craft no favors.

So, NCA author, save your stamps. If a puzzle isn't perfect to Will, you can pretty much forget it. He's pedantic (a good crossword puzzle clue for 'anal'  btw).

FWIW I would kill as much of the block NCA appears in and do it over. But that's me, good luck.

-cc
43
Today's Puzzles / Fri., 10/10 Jeb Bennett
« Last post by magus on October 10, 2014, 08:52:26 AM »
THEME:   quip in four sections         
            
GOOD ONES:             
I COULDN'T FIGURE WHY THE BALL WAS GETTING BIGGER AND THEN IT HIT ME            
One in a cage   RIB            
Needled?   SEWN            
Catcher behind a plate?   BIB            
            
            
RATING:    ;D ;D         
Three grins = Loved it; Two grins = Enjoyed it; One grin = A bit bland for my taste; One teardrop = Not much fun            
44
General Discussion / Re: "NCA" -- Will Shortz accept?
« Last post by uneequeone on October 10, 2014, 04:00:42 AM »
i'd say there's little chance that NCA will make it.  i've had TCB (taking care of business) rejected and i feel that that is far better...it was the name of Elvis' band in the 70s as well.

it might take an otherwise extraordinary puzzle for NCA to make it

45
Today's Puzzles / Re: Thu., 10/9 Robert E. Lee Morris
« Last post by LARadioRewind on October 09, 2014, 05:01:26 PM »
I'm always impressed when a puzzle maker can come up with a theme that involves various combinations of the letters of a particular word. I'm impressed that he can come up with the idea in the first place and I'm impressed that he can come up with the theme answers and I'm impressed that he can make them fit in the puzzle. That's a lot of being impressed!

Today's puzzle used four brand names, names which used to be taboo in crosswords: IBM, ATRA, QUIK and USA (as in the newspaper USA TODAY). One of the phrases in the puzzle was NOTIME, clued with "Seconds flat." People often say that something was done "in no time at all" but that isn't possible---everything takes some amount of time. That's the logician in me speaking.

Today's New York Times crossword by Samuel A. Donaldson was even more impressive than the puzzle mentioned above. The theme answers were ARODEF, TEMLEH, ORERBMOS, EKLUMRAY and REKLATSREED. The clue for 61-across was "Go crazy---or a hint on how to enter five answers in this puzzle." Get it?

The answer: FLIPONESLID. Flip one's lid, "lid" being an old slang term for a hat.
46
Software / Technical / Re: Comparison of CW Construction Software
« Last post by acpracht on October 09, 2014, 10:46:54 AM »
Dollar for dollar, I'm in the Crossword Compiler camp, and I've tried pretty much all of these. For what it's worth....
47
Software / Technical / Re: Best software for one-time constructor
« Last post by acpracht on October 09, 2014, 10:40:11 AM »
There's a free one out there called "MagnumOpus" that's a free constructor with autofill. It's really slow, but it might do what you need.
You could also just take advantage of the demo version of Crossword Compiler.
48
General Discussion / Re: "NCA" -- Will Shortz accept?
« Last post by acpracht on October 09, 2014, 10:31:41 AM »
There's plenty of "NCA" organizations out there, the most common of which seems to be the "National Cheerleaders Association," but it's doubtful that it would be taken as familiar to a general puzzling audience.
How about "End of the Peruvian natives?" (INCA)
?
Or same, replacing "natives" with "empire."
That seems more likely as a clue Will would take.
49
Today's Puzzles / Thu., 10/9 Robert E. Lee Morris
« Last post by magus on October 09, 2014, 08:52:55 AM »
THEME:   phrases containing anagram of TRAIN   
      
GOOD ONES:       
Calamity {& theme}   TRAIN WRECK [in a way the spelling of TRAIN is wrecked]      
      
      
RATING: ;D      
Three grins = Loved it; Two grins = Enjoyed it; One grin = A bit bland for my taste; One teardrop = Not much fun      
50
General Discussion / "NCA" -- Will Shortz accept?
« Last post by Corrleone on October 08, 2014, 10:58:50 PM »
It's my only stumbling block. What's the clue?
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