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41
Today's Puzzles / Re: Sat., 9/6 Don Gagliardo
« Last post by magus on September 07, 2014, 11:15:42 AM »
Howard---
 
Foreign words are perfectly acceptable in puzzles, as long as: used in moderation, fairly common words, and with some indication of the language in the clue.

I agree, almost.  When was the last time you saw CIELO?  The problem is what is "fairly common."  Words like ETE and OTRA and OTRO are fairly common only in crosswords, and in their native languages, of course.  Unless the foreign word is part of a place name, like SANTA, ILA, ILE, ROSA, these words are rarely if ever used --- except in crosswords.

Finally: Specifically, many restaurant salad bars do use Bac-Os or some substitute. I've seen it in the wild  ;). The clue is valid.

If you say it's valid, who am I to argue, but did the bag at the salad bar say Bac-O's or did you simply recognize it through other sensory means?
42
Today's Puzzles / Sun., 9/7 Julian Lim
« Last post by magus on September 07, 2014, 10:48:52 AM »
THEME:   phrases with an added long IO combined sound
   
GOOD ONES:    
Contest to win an objet d'art?   RACE FOR THE CURIO [race for the cure, long U]   
TV station mascot?   STUDIO CHICKEN [stewed chicken /long u/]   
Man of steel? ROBOT [unless he's made of titanium or plastic, which I guess they will be]   
Comprehensive command   SAVE ALL [didn't think computers]   
Sandwich ingredient for many?   SILENT D [irritating elision of the D-sound in the word my relatives (and I) pronounced "sangwich" --- probably from sangua, It. for blood]    
Domingo number  ARIA [could've been a Sunday hymn in Spain]   
   
BTW:   
I OWE YOU ONE title seems backwards as the I and O were placed there by the constructor (I); we have an I and O too many. Maybe "I'm O'd a Refund."

"DO HONOR to" seems below standard because HONOR works without the detritus.   
   
BS DEGREES:  Always thought my degrees in English should have been so termed leaving the science degrees for something less suggestive or descriptive.   
   
I was unaware of having engaged in CANOODLING, but let be be quick to state unequivocally: we never inhaled!   
   
Crossing MASHIE with both POUTINE and SHEA (butter) seems a tad Scrooge-like .

RATING: ;D ;D   
Three grins = Loved it; Two grins = Enjoyed it; One grin = A bit bland for my taste; One teardrop = Not much fun   
43
Today's Puzzles / Re: Sat., 9/6 Don Gagliardo
« Last post by Howard B on September 06, 2014, 10:57:32 PM »
BTW, in general:
- Foreign words are perfectly acceptable in puzzles, as long as: used in moderation, fairly common words, and with some indication of the language in the clue.
- Words or phrases with any punctuation, diacritics, or markings are commonly accepted to be placed in the grid without those markings (so Bac-Os is always in the grid as BACOS) - this is standardized and accepted across all published puzzles. (Unless there is a special theme case that warrants inclusion of such symbols). So you can save one complaint :).
Now the Spanish ano vs. año in the grid drives me crazy, but I've learned to live with it.

Finally: Specifically, many restaurant salad bars do use Bac-Os or some substitute. I've seen it in the wild  ;). The clue is valid.

Happy solving!
44
General Discussion / Re: What's the problem with stepquotes?
« Last post by Howard B on September 06, 2014, 10:41:44 PM »
Here's the main problem with stepquotes: EVery letter in a stepquote, especially the 90-degree angle bends, are essentially unchecked. So every single crossing word needs to be unambiguously clued, and easy enough to understand. A few obscurities, or ambiguous answers, forces holes in the quote that can only be resolved by solving other letters in the quote. Too many blanks, and the puzzle becomes essentially unsolvable.

In the Maleska-edited stepquote puzzles, you often essentially needed a crossword dictionary to resolve the multiple African towns and obscure animal names that crossed nothing, in order to decipher the quote. So construction, cluing and the solving experience can be unpleasant, unless great care is taken in design.
45
General Discussion / Re: Sending puzzle to multiple newspapers?
« Last post by dserian on September 06, 2014, 06:45:38 PM »
How many puzzles should I attempt to submit at a time to Will Shortz? If I have two or three puzzles ready now, can I submit all of them together, or just one at a time?
46
Today's Puzzles / Re: Sat., 9/6 Don Gagliardo
« Last post by LARadioRewind on September 06, 2014, 03:06:07 PM »
An adnoun is an adjective that is used as a noun, such as "meek" in the phrase "Blessed are the meek."

Editors used to forbid brand names in puzzles but nowadays brand names appear quite often. However, Betty Crocker's bacon bits are Bac-Os. Today's puzzle answer omits the hyphen. I consider BACOS to be an improper answer. And if I ever see a puzzle with JELLO for Jell-O, I'll complain about that one too!

http://www.bettycrocker.com/products/bacos
47
Today's Puzzles / Sat., 9/6 Don Gagliardo
« Last post by magus on September 06, 2014, 09:18:01 AM »
THEME:   none, but only 26 blocks!
   
GOOD ONES:     
Marching band?   ARMY [I thought ants at first]   
Sees the light, maybe   AWAKES [as in "he awakes to the sound of music"]   
   
BTW:   
"Free," in "land of the free"  ADNOUN [obviously some word found only on line]   
   
Cook poorly, in a way   UNDER BAKE [not buying this one either; it's "under cook"]   
   
BACOS must be a brand name, but what it's doing in a generic salad bar is a stumper: if it's a brand, it should be on a store shelf.   
   
James, again, briefly   CAV [LeBron James, that is]   
   
Spanish sky  CIELO [yes, not an English sky]   
   
RATING:   too forced for me   :'(
Three grins = Loved it; Two grins = Enjoyed it; One grin = A bit bland for my taste; One teardrop = Not much fun   
48
Today's Puzzles / Re: Fri., 9/5 Jeffrey Wechsler
« Last post by LARadioRewind on September 05, 2014, 11:51:52 PM »
"Five J's" sounds like the name of a 1950s doo-wop group.

The Register publishes two daily editions, one for Orange County and one for Los Angeles County. The paper runs three puzzles, one by Thomas Joseph, one from the New York Times, and one that is titled "Daily Crossword" and not credited.

In the latter puzzle today, whoever created it obviously wound up with two strange words that he couldn't replace by reworking some of the answers. DIA was the answer for "Width of a cir." I was surprised to see DIA in the dictionary, but the preferred abbreviation of "diameter" is DIA. The puzzle maker could have clued DIA as "Spanish day" but many editors frown on foreign words. Another answer was ARN. The clue was "Prince Val's son." ARN has appeared in a few puzzles but it is awfully obscure. And why shorten "Valiant" to "Val"? We're talking about Prince Valiant, not Val Kilmer!

http://crosswordtracker.com/clue/prince-valiants-son/
49
Today's Puzzles / Fri., 9/5 Jeffrey Wechsler
« Last post by magus on September 05, 2014, 09:09:13 AM »
THEME:   intrusive J
   
GOOD ONES:     
Pretentious showoffs {& theme}   POPINJAYS [if one uses this word, is he a pretentious showoff?]   
What bearded men get in blizzards?   SNOWY JOWLS [snowy owls]   
(Problem with GREAT JAPE is that using jape tends to be a bit pretentious.)   :)   
Reel relatives   JIGS [I thought rods, of course]   
Place in Monopoly's orange monopoly   ST JAMES [this entry offers color, nostalgia, and two meanings for "Place"]   
Numbers for songs?: Abbr.   SYN   
   
BTW:
This puzzle uses 5 J's which we won't see again for a long time.
   
"Just like me"   AS I DO [possible, but better would be "I think the same" since DO and think are verbals]   
   
Some discriminators   SEXISTS  [never liked the word discrimanate-ors to suggest prejudice.  For example, I discriminate between men and women and prefer the latter.  Does that make me a SEXIST?  The evaluative level of cognition requires discrimination, yet common parlance has pejorated the term.]  Was I just pretentious?  ???   
   
   
   
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   
50
Today's Puzzles / Thu., 9/4 Bruce Haight
« Last post by magus on September 04, 2014, 09:27:05 AM »
THEME:   phrases containing the letter combination HERE
   
GOOD ONES:     
"You listen to me," {& theme}   NOW SEE HERE [the last time I heard this phrase was on Downton Abbey; it's rather archaic, wouldn't you say, Old Chap]   
Golden number?   OLDIE [as in a "golden oldie" song]   
Four-letter word   OATH [both ways!]   
Lawless character   XENA [Lucy[?] Lawless was the actress]   
   
BTW:   
Back in the day   ONCE [Why do I loathe this expression?  Anyway, a great movie on the topic of nostalgia is Midnight in Paris.  Owen Wilson plays the Woody Allen character in this charmingly profound fantasy.  You'll probably forget to record it, but you shouldn't.]   
   
Centers of activity   LOCI [yes, but activity is not necessary since LOCI can and often does mean centers of joining with no suggestion of movement:  kind of like "Horrible situation" cluing MURDER, lots of horrid situations exist without murder]   
   
Dix et un   ONZE [at least it's all in French]   
   
   
   
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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