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General Discussion / Re: Mentorship
« Last post by Ethanwilson on March 15, 2017, 12:46:53 AM »
required to qualify as mentor construction is:
1.the capacity to exchange abilities and survey a contractual worker's abilities
2.capability in development contract organization
3.specialized capability in at least one development disciplines.
Book Releases / New York Times crossword puzzle books
« Last post by Thomps2525 on March 14, 2017, 11:01:22 PM »
Oh boy! On May 16, 2017, St. Martin's Griffin will publish seven volumes of New York Times crossword puzzles. Each volume contains puzzles from a particular day of the week. It's good that the books are spiral-bound so the pages will lie flat -- but each book includes only 50 puzzles. Why not a hundred? Anyway, I suggest getting all seven volumes from a local bookstore. These stores need our support. But if you absolutely have to get the books from Amazon, here is the link to volume one -- or would it be considered volume two? When exactly does the "puzzle week" begin?

The New York Times Best of the Week Series: Monday Crosswords: 50 Easy Puzzles
Today's Puzzles / A big hand for the March 14 crossword
« Last post by Thomps2525 on March 14, 2017, 05:03:04 PM »
Crossword creators are clever when they make a puzzle with a word that can be combined with the first word of several different phrases -- but they're really clever when they make a puzzle with a word that can be combined with each word of several different phrases. Today's Los Angeles Times crossword by Roger and Kathy Weinberg falls into the latter category. I assume they are husband and wife. This seems to be their first published crossword:

Immediately: FIRSTOFF
Like most TV dramas: HOURLONG
High stadium tier: UPPERDECK
Performer's exit direction: STAGERIGHT
Sports bet based on total points scored: OVERUNDER

In advance, and where you might find both parts of those answers: BEFOREHAND

"Dangerous Amazon fish" is PIRANHA, which is a Portuguese word deriving from the Tupinambá pirá ("fish") and ánya ("tooth"). The Tupinambá were a tribe that lived along the Brazilian coast. The tribe, and their language, are now extinct.

"December song" is NOEL. We sing The First Noel and perhaps don't really know what the word means. Noël is French for "Christmas carol." The word also refers to Christmas itself. It comes from the Latin natalis, which means "birthday" and is also the source of the word "nativity."

Damon Gulczynski's New York Times crossword includes SALADDAYS ("Youthful time in one's life"). The expression was coined by William Shakespeare in Antony & Cleopatra (1606). Cleopatra, expressing her regret over her youthful dalliances with Julius Caesar, refers to "My salad days, when I was green in judgment, cold in blood." Four crossword answers are names of actors -- and salads:

Road Trip actor, 2000: TOMGREEN
12 Angry Men actor, 1957: LEEJCOBB
Anatomy Of A Murder actor, 1959: ORSONBEAN
It's A Mad Mad Mad Mad World actor, 1963: SIDCAESAR

According to legend, the Cobb salad was created in 1937 by Bob Cobb, owner of the Brown Derby restaurant in Hollywood. Sid Grauman, owner of Grauman's Chinese Theatre, was there late one night and was hungry. Cobb started throwing things together to make a salad: lettuce, romaine, watercress, avocado, tomatoes, hard-boiled eggs, chicken breast, bacon, salad oil and olive oil. He chopped the ingredients into small pieces because Grauman was suffering from a toothache. Grauman liked it and started requesting a "Cobb salad" every time he ate at the Brown Derby. The salad became popular and was added to the menu. Is the legend true? Possibly -- but it is more likely that chef Paul Pesti is the one who created the salad.

One of my favorite I Love Lucy episodes is "Hollywood At Last" (1955), She is instantly starstruck upon seeing actor William Holden at the Brown Derby. She keeps staring and then.......well, I'm sure we've all seen it. Here is an excerpt:
General Discussion / Re: Bad crosswordese, and word lists
« Last post by gohuskies on March 10, 2017, 11:45:30 PM »
I'm pretty new at this too, but I don't think any constructor actually wants to use NLER, SSGT, WNW, or any other crosswordese. But if I've got themers/nice long entries, I'll pay the price of an NLER to make it work - sometimes there are alternate themers/long entries/block arrangements, but sometimes there aren't and that's the best combination of smoothness and liveliness.
General Discussion / Re: Bad crosswordese, and word lists
« Last post by mmcbs on March 10, 2017, 08:37:25 AM »
Please see for current usage of NLer from a reputable source (Sports Illustrated). I agree that it's a crosswordy entry, and I avoid it whenever possible (as you should any abbreviation, and this one is not a "standard" abbr. so even worse). You'll note ( that this entry was not used by NYT, LAT, or Newsday in the year 2016. But Glen9999 is right, sometimes these entries are necessary. I think maybe I've used it once or twice in ~400 puzzles. While many people don't like to see sports jargon in puzzles, everyone who knows anything about baseball knows what NLer means. Demoting its point value is a good way to keep it from tempting you to use it.
General Discussion / Re: Bad crosswordese, and word lists
« Last post by Glenn9999 on March 10, 2017, 06:06:05 AM »
The broader question I have though is why we need these at all?

I'm new to the constructing thing too, and a lot of what I'm trying to do is stay away from my personal peeves I have as a solver.  Perhaps that's why I'm having trouble with getting fill completely accomplished on a grid, too.

From what I notice, though, if you start with a set of theme answers that are non-negotiable (naturally) you have to make certain compromises in order to accomplish those, and that's the occasional odd non (strict) dictionary phrase.  Although, a certain amount of "rework" is always possible, from what I gather.  But given the nature of how words are constructed, it's hard to come up with the "absolute perfect" grid.

Many more will be more informed.  But that's just what I notice in trying to do this myself.

I'd guess that there's no need for 150,000+ word lists

The way I see it, word lists help a lot from more of a memory standpoint.  How can anyone remember all the "accessible" words?
General Discussion / Bad crosswordese, and word lists
« Last post by chd on March 10, 2017, 12:14:53 AM »
I'm still brand new at this, so if I'm off base here I'm fine with that, and hope to hear so (learning that way).

I just wrote the longest clue I've written yet, for NLER. The clue is "Horrible but common crossword puzzle answer that needs to die; abbreviation for a National League baseball player. Sometimes these things happen when you have to make a grid fit together."

Obviously I would never write that for a puzzle to submit anywhere for real, but since it's just for friends and practice at this point I'll let it stand.

The broader question I have though is why we need these at all? I'm probably going to delete NLER and ALER (and some others) from my word lists (or at least score them around 15) and see if I miss them. There is a lot of crosswordese that could probably use the same fate, unless it just makes things unworkable. If the goal is to have all the entries be mostly accessible---not too obscure, not too contrived---is it practical to only use words to that standard, and re-work grids until you can do it? Maybe not, or maybe it requires giving up too many otherwise cool ideas, which is totally fair. I'm still learning here.

If it is reasonable to keep everything accessible like that though, I'd guess that there's no need for 150,000+ word lists, which is well above most people's vocabularies even for well educated people and accounting for entries that are phrases.

How badly do we need those awkward crufty entries?

Of course, the counter argument that comes to mind is that I don't imagine this is a new idea, and since smarter people than me keep using them and smarter editors than me keep accepting them, I guess there are needed?
General Discussion / Re: Who accepts submissions now?
« Last post by fggoldston on March 09, 2017, 07:24:40 PM »
Thank you for passing that along.
General Discussion / Re: Who accepts submissions now?
« Last post by Glenn9999 on March 08, 2017, 03:19:37 PM »
Interesting question as I have not either and would like to know, if I ever figure out how to get a puzzle going.  I found an e-mail connected to the "puzzles" realm of Universal Uclick that I asked the question to, and hopefully they will be able/willing to provide a good solid answer.

And I got an answer off of the e-mail.  Their puzzles are done by assignment of the editor only.  So, no submissions there.
General Support / Re: R.I.P., CrosSynergy
« Last post by BALLYHOO on March 08, 2017, 07:32:25 AM »
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