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41
Today's Puzzles / Re: Wed., 11/12 C.C. Burnikel
« Last post by LARadioRewind on November 12, 2014, 05:21:25 PM »
I don't give grins. I don't even play a grin-giver on tv. But can we award a half-grin for today's puzzle? The DATA theme was nice but there are 42 black squares, an amount that is becoming increasingly common. I prefer fewer black squares and longer answers. And today's puzzle may have set a world's record for the highest number of abbrebviations and foreign words in a 15x15 crossword: ABS, ALA, ATEST, DIEM, DSO, EDS, ELS, GTO, KAN, MIC, MRE, NUS, REBS, ROI, SER, STL, SYL, TDGARDEN, ULNAE and UVRAY. I want to see real words.
42
Today's Puzzles / Wed., 11/12 C.C. Burnikel
« Last post by magus on November 12, 2014, 08:54:34 AM »
THEME:   the letter run D,A,T,A found in random phrases
   
GOOD ONES:     
NSA surveillance activity {& theme}  DATA MINING   
One of four in Minnesota: Abbr.   SYL [the name, not the place]   
   
BTW:   
Occupied, as a booth   SAT AT [nope, that's at a table --- we sit in a booth]   
   
   
RATING:    ;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: Tue., 11/11 Pam Amick Klawitter
« Last post by LARadioRewind on November 11, 2014, 01:39:30 PM »
Yep, "Show stopper" was the clue for ACTORSSTRIKE---one of the best clue/answer pairs that I've ever seen. But MAGI was clued with "Gift-bearing trio." The Magi brought three gifts to the newborn Christ child but Scripture does not give the number of Magi. In the second chapter of Matthew, the Greek word "μάγοι" is used. The word refers to Zoroastrian astrologers. (In Matthew's time, astrology was considered a science.) In English-language versions of the Bible, "μάγοι" is usually translated as "wise men."  The plural word tells us that there were at least two Magi who brought gifts to Jesus. Some religions say there were as many as 12. The exact number is unknown.

And while I'm here.....A heartfelt thank-you to all the veterans and all the men and women of the Armed Forces who fight to keep our nation free! Let us never forget them.
44
Today's Puzzles / Tue., 11/11 Pam Amick Klawitter
« Last post by magus on November 11, 2014, 09:04:28 AM »
THEME:   last word of a phrase is a kind of ZONE
   
GOOD ONES:    
One of two gridiron borders {& theme}   ENDZONE [and it's centered on the grid]   
Show stopper   ACTORS STRIKE   
Single-master   SLOOP [note hyphen]   
   
BTW:   
EENSY-weensy in my sphere was TEENSY-weensy --- wonder if it's geographic. [sounds like a doctoral dissertation to me]    8)
   
MAGI, WISEMAN, and STAR --- I'd say it was a good day for me.   
   
Don't forget 11/11 at 11.   
   
   
RATING:    ;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 / Re: Mon., 11/10 Teresa Colby
« Last post by LARadioRewind on November 10, 2014, 06:49:13 PM »
Not too long ago I wasted---errr---I mean I spent a month keeping track of the most commonly used words in crossword puzzles and I posted the results on this site. I wonder if the results would be dramatically different were I to check another month sometime. Lately I've seen SAGA in a lot of puzzles. As Casey Kasem might have said, "SAGA is climbing up the chart."

Today's puzzle included EMAG, EMT, ENV, LINO, OBE, ORG, SYST, TBA, TKO and YRS. With a little more effort, couldn't crossword creators make puzzles with real words instead of including so many initials and abbreviations?
46
Today's Puzzles / Mon., 11/10 Teresa Colby
« Last post by magus on November 10, 2014, 08:51:24 AM »
THEME:   first word of a phrase relates to "SEE YA"
   
GOOD ONES:    
It's a long story   SAGA   
   
BTW:   
ESTO no es bueno.   
   
   
RATING:    :'(
Three grins = Loved it; Two grins = Enjoyed it; One grin = A bit bland for my taste; One teardrop = Not much fun   
47
Today's Puzzles / Re: Sun., 11/9 Joel D. LaFargue
« Last post by LARadioRewind on November 09, 2014, 04:14:29 PM »
Merl Reagle's puzzle in today's Los Angeles Times was quite clever. Titled "It's Not What It Sounds Like," the puzzle included words and phrases which.....well.....are not what they sound like. For example, MANGANESE was clued with "It's not a language" and TOMCOLLINSMIX was clued with "It's not the full name of a famous cinema cowboy."

EDAM appears quite often in crosswords but Reagle today came up with a creative clue for the word: "Cheese that's literally made upside down?" I could be my usual nitpicky self and say that the word "made" should be in quotation marks. After all, the cheese is not literally made upside down---it's the word "made" which becomes the name of the cheese when spelled upside down.

OPIE, the name of Ron Howard's character in The Andy Griffith Show, appears in a lot of crosswords. Today's puzzle included OPE as a nickname of Opie. That's acceptable because Andy often called his son by that name. But ELIZ as a shortened form of Queen Elizabeth's name? Sorry---I don't consider ELIZ to be an acceptable puzzle word.

And finally, the puzzle included RETSYN, a trademarked name for an ingredient in Certs breath mints. I know you're all waiting with bated breath---pun intended---to find out what Retsyn is. It's a flavored blend of copper gluconate and cottonseed oil. Yummy!
48
Today's Puzzles / Re: Fri., 11/7 Jeffrey Wechsler
« Last post by LARadioRewind on November 09, 2014, 03:56:29 PM »
Jon, as soon as you finish constructing a crossword with 37.5 black squares, be sure to post it here! :)
49
Today's Puzzles / Sun., 11/9 Joel D. LaFargue
« Last post by magus on November 09, 2014, 09:19:32 AM »
THEME:   intrusive IT in names and phrases
   
GOOD ONES:     
Diminutive flower?  PETITE ROSE [Pete Rose]   
Musician to feel sorry for?   PITIED PIPER [Pied Piper]   
Departure from the bookstore?   EXIT LIBRIS [ex libris]   
Middle of England?   CENTRE [that's Brit spelling of synonym for middle]   
Brief reply?   ANS.   
West of Georgia   KANYE [a rapper even I heard of]   
Kitty with no fur   POT   
Round fig.   CIR. [I thought est.]   
Destroyer of some castles   TIDE   
Outlet site   WALL [I thought MALL]   
   
BTW:   
Sneaky chuckle   HEH [seems half a chuckle to me]   
   
Insolence, in modern slang   TUDE [heard of DIS, but TUDE is new to me --- need to get back to the inner city schools from which I came]    
   
   
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 / Re: Fri., 11/7 Jeffrey Wechsler
« Last post by Jon-O on November 08, 2014, 11:55:07 PM »
I agree that 42 blocks is a lot to put in a 15x15 puzzle, and that even 40 is a bit many.  My understanding, though, is that the general (loose) limit is no more than one-sixth of the squares should be blocks (which comes out to 37.5 for a 15x15).  I haven't seen anywhere where the old limit was 32 blocks -- that seems like it would be very difficult to fill.  I don't think it's fair to compare the number of blocks in a themeless to the number in a themed puzzle, though.
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