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51
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?
52
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   
53
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!
54
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! :)
55
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   
56
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.
57
Today's Puzzles / Re: Fri., 11/7 Jeffrey Wechsler
« Last post by LARadioRewind on November 08, 2014, 07:41:25 PM »
Most newspapers no longer print daily television listings or stock quotations. They should have plenty of room for crossword clues!

Usually, a higher number of black squares means a higher number of short words. Such puzzles are relatively easy to compose. The November 8 Times puzzle has only 28 black squares and includes twelve ten-letter words. It likely took considerably more effort and creativity to compose than a puzzle with 40 or 42 black squares. If you can quote Hillary, I can quote Shania: A crossword with 42 black squares "don't impress me much."
58
Today's Puzzles / Re: Sat., 11/8 Venzke & Fleming
« Last post by LARadioRewind on November 08, 2014, 07:34:57 PM »
I'm used to puns in crosswords. I knew immediately that "Locks that are picked" would refer to AFROS. But who has an Afro anymore? Afros are becoming as obsolete as Roman numerals! "BILLANDCOO,"another phrase in today's puzzle, is also pretty much obsolete---unless you're talking about two pigeons. In the 1930s and '40s, the ornithological expression was used in reference to a man and woman nuzzling and cuddling and whispering words of love.

Today's crossword had only 28 black squares. I, for one, am impressed!
59
Today's Puzzles / Re: Fri., 11/7 Jeffrey Wechsler
« Last post by magus on November 08, 2014, 09:26:13 AM »
Rewind---

When I submitted a puzzle with "too many" blocks, the editor (Will Weng?) told me that the number was determined because more blocks meant more clues which took up too much space.  If space is not a problem, what difference does it make? (to quote Hillary).  The puzzles with more blocks function the same as those with fewer, and form unrelated to function seems an unnecessary "block" to creativity.
60
Today's Puzzles / Sat., 11/8 Venzke & Fleming
« Last post by magus on November 08, 2014, 09:13:18 AM »
THEME:   none, but four 10-letter triples
   
GOOD ONES:     
Group with many hits   COSA NOSTRA   
Locks that are picked   AFROS   
   
BTW:   
Star followers   MAGI [this magus follows LAT Xwords --- a bit less exciting than for my progenitors]    :)
   
   
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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