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41
General Discussion / Re: Games Magazine response?
« Last post by LARadioRewind on August 08, 2014, 05:23:03 PM »
Games and World of Puzzles have been consolidated into a single magazine, published nine times a year, so that means they need half as many puzzles as before. You need to come up with an unusual or rarely-used idea. How about trying to construct a puzzle that uses no E's or one that uses every letter of the alphabet? I remember one puzzle where all the words in the bottom half were reversals of the words in the top half. Another puzzle had words that wrapped around corners. Ya gotta come up with a gimmick!
42
Today's Puzzles / Re: Fri., 8/8 David Poole
« Last post by LARadioRewind on August 08, 2014, 05:12:28 PM »
Does anyone agree with me that the clues are often more clever than the "theme answers"? Today, for example, "head lock" and "navel observation" are cute clues. Another clever clue I saw once was "Spirit of '76." The answer was AGEDLIQUOR. But yet another puzzle with OTT? It's sad that Mel Ott has become more well-known as a crossword answer than as a Giants outfielder!
43
General Discussion / Crosswordese Is Too Easy
« Last post by LARadioRewind on August 08, 2014, 05:03:33 PM »
Every day I do the puzzles in the Los Angeles Times, Register and Daily News and I'm starting to get bored with them because of the excessive use of "crosswordese," the short words that appear in several puzzles every week. In each puzzle, the three or four "theme answers" are usually clever and unique but the "fill words" have been done to death. I tried to come up with a list of the 50 words that appear most frequently. The list is not definitive. Someone will likely ask why I didn't include STET or OPIE. Anyway, here in alphabetical order is my best guess as to the most common Crosswordese. Can anyone create a puzzle that uses none of these words?

ADO, ALOE, ALOHA, ALP, AMP, ANTE, ARC, ART, ASEA, ASP, ATE, ATM, CPA, EAT, EDAM, EDEN, EEL, EKE, ELS, EMO, EMU, ENO, EPEE, ERA, ERE, ERR, ESPN, EURO, EVE, IRA, IRE, LEI, OBOE, ODE, OED, ONO, ORC, ORO, OTT, OVA, RTE, RYE, SPA, SRA, SRTA, SSE, SSN, STE, UKE, UTE.

Does anyone have a guess as to the single most-used word in puzzles? I'm thinking it's probably ADO or OTT. Mel Ott played 22 seasons as a rightfielder with the Giants and, thanks to crossword puzzles, he'll never be forgotten!
44
Today's Puzzles / Fri., 8/8 David Poole
« Last post by magus on August 08, 2014, 08:49:55 AM »
THEME:   last word of a familiar phrase has an appendage that ends with a double consonant and final -A
   
GOOD ONES: 
Summer known for kitchen supplies?   TEFLON DONNA ["Telfon Don" Gotti, criminal]   
Navel observation   INNIE [not naval]   
Running without moving   IDLING   
Pal of Picasso   AMIGO [I thought some artist I didn't know]   
Lead in the theater?   USHER   
Head lock   TRESS   
Giant star   OTT [baseball player, not heavenly orb]   
   
BTW:   
Cards, e.g.   NLERS [not a real word, and no one has claimed the million bucks for finding it in the sports pages]   
   
Other, in Oaxaca   OTRO [exactly,  but not in St. Louis, Mo.]   
   
   
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   
45
Today's Puzzles / Thu., 8/7 Joanna Fenimore
« Last post by magus on August 07, 2014, 09:33:03 AM »
THEME:   last word of a phrase  may mean money
   
GOOD ONES:     
Basics of business {& theme}   DOLLARS AND CENTS   
It's rolled with a pin and put in a tin   PIE DOUGH [liked the rhyme]   
Poser   MODEL [I thought "question"]   
Start to text?   PRE   
Works at an exhibit   ART [works = noun, not verb]   
   
BTW:   
"A mouse!"   EEK [and for an elephant, "Whoa!" --- doesn't work in reverse though]   
   
   
RATING:    :D :D
Three grins = Loved it; Two grins = Enjoyed it; One grin = A bit bland for my taste; One teardrop = Not much fun   
   
46
Today's Puzzles / Re: Tue., 8/5 Toth & Burnikel
« Last post by wbg on August 06, 2014, 09:31:16 AM »
I don't think it would be too hard to do a puzzle without the oft-repeated words.  Make a word list of the ones you don't want.  I believe CC, and probably most other programs, allow you to remove words on one list from another list.  Then use the modified list to complete fills.  Personally, I don't mind one or two chestnuts.  Ah, good old "etui."  A comforting reminder that the constructor is only human, too.  And it might turn out that taking these workhorse words out of the mix would make it much harder to fill grids due to the perversity of ingles.  They pop up so often for a reason, and I doubt that it is simply constructor laziness.
47
Today's Puzzles / Re: Tue., 8/5 Toth & Burnikel
« Last post by magus on August 06, 2014, 09:05:07 AM »
Doing one puzzle a day as I do may help the feeling of redundancy.  The other thing would seem to be to make a puzzle yourself, genius or not.  The process may make you more forgiving.
48
Today's Puzzles / Wed., 8/6 Jeff Stillman
« Last post by magus on August 06, 2014, 08:56:55 AM »
THEME:   first word of a phrase is the name of a NASA program
   
GOOD ONES:    
Theme = NASA PROGRAMS   
One for the road   AUTO   
Hit the  bottom of   SPANK   
   
RATING:    ;D
Three grins = Loved it; Two grins = Enjoyed it; One grin = A bit bland for my taste; One teardrop = Not much fun   
49
Today's Puzzles / Re: Tue., 8/5 Toth & Burnikel
« Last post by LARadioRewind on August 05, 2014, 07:43:41 PM »
Another term relating to SLIDE is "continuing to use the same words over and over instead of trying to be creative." I get the Times, Register and Daily News and I'm really getting bored with doing all the puzzles when I see certain short words appearing in five or six puzzles every week. Today's Times puzzle includes ADO, CUL, EMO, SAAB, TETE, AGES, OGLE, IPOD, RENE, ALOT, ORES, EMIR, ONTV, ARLO and ASTER, all of which I've seen in several other puzzles recently. I wonder if anyone has compiled a list of the most common "Crosswordese" words. And I wonder if anyone has managed to make a puzzle without such words. He'd be a genius!
50
Today's Puzzles / Tue., 8/5 Toth & Burnikel
« Last post by magus on August 05, 2014, 09:29:06 AM »
THEME:   terms relating to SLIDE
   
GOOD ONES:    
Wall Street decline {& theme}   SLIDE   
Old Roman coins   LIRE [not really that old]   
Place to make a splash   WATER PARK [not Broadway]   
Give and take?   SWAP   
   
BTW:   
Venus, to Serena   SISTERS [heavenly!]   
   
Soon, to Pope   ANON [more Elizabethan than Neo-Classical, put with his zillion rhymes he  must've used the term]   
   
   
RATING: ;D ;D   
Three grins = Loved it; Two grins = Enjoyed it; One grin = A bit bland for my taste; One teardrop = Not much fun   
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