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Today's Puzzles / Re: Wed., 12/3 Venzke & Grabowski
« Last post by LARadioRewind on December 03, 2014, 04:31:42 PM »
In crossword puzzles, the majority of the most commonly-used words begin with a vowel. Today's puzzle included ten such words: ALOT, AMP, ANTE, APU, ELI, ERA, EVE, IRA, ODE and OPIE.

The answer to "Time After Time singer" was Cyndi LAUPER, but Chris Montez had a 1966 hit with that title. MONTEZ would have also fit...but of course the intersecting words wouldn't have made sense.

The puzzle included POLOPONIES. I immediately thought of an episode of The Honeymooners in which Ed Norton is helping Ralpk Kramden rehearse for a play at the Raccoon Lodge. Norton reads from the script, "I don't possess a mansion, a villa in France, a yacht or a string of palopponies." Ralph questions the word, then looks at the script and says, "That's polo ponies!"
General Discussion / Re: Fee for custom crosswords?
« Last post by chicagojoe16 on December 03, 2014, 10:58:41 AM »
My girlfriend and I love to do crosswords together and I am planning on proposing to her by making a crossword where there are subtle nods to our relationship and then the biggest answer will be 'will you marry me'.  I was able to make one with crossword compiler but with my limited abilities and patience I could only fit a couple of my answers into the puzzle.  Would you be able to make a crossword, say 17x17 or 25x25 if I gave you the answers that I want to have?  I am planning on proposing on December 21st so I would need it before then.
Today's Puzzles / Wed., 12/3 Venzke & Grabowski
« Last post by magus on December 03, 2014, 08:51:56 AM »
THEME:   anagrams of LANEP start random phrases, but the theme is covert
Verse starter?   UNI   
Works on a sub   EATS   
Get in on the deal   ANTE   
Seems a waste of two good constructors' efforts.
Three grins = Loved it; Two grins = Enjoyed it; One grin = A bit bland for my taste; One teardrop = Not much fun   
Today's Puzzles / Re: Tue., 12/2 Bernice Gordon
« Last post by LARadioRewind on December 02, 2014, 03:05:23 PM »
"Motion picture frames" was the clue for STILLS. A still is a print made from a motion picture frame. The frame itself is not a still.

The puzzle also included SANDP, referring to the Standard & Poor's 500, a stock market index. Other puzzles have included PANDL for profit and loss, AANDP for the A&P market chain, and AANDE for the A&E television channel. Those are not legitimate abbreviations and they should not be used in crosswords.

These are the opinions of this writer. Opposing viewpoints are welcomed. Viewpoints of those who agree with me are even more welcomed. :)
Today's Puzzles / Tue., 12/2 Bernice Gordon
« Last post by magus on December 02, 2014, 08:09:15 AM »
THEME:   rhymes with STUMBLE
Hogwarts headmaster   DUMBLEDORE [love that name]   
Night in Nantes  NUIT [but not in Liverpool]   
To be, to Bizet   ETRE [but not to Dumbledore]   
Three grins = Loved it; Two grins = Enjoyed it; One grin = A bit bland for my taste; One teardrop = Not much fun   
Today's Puzzles / Re: Mon., 12/1 C.C. Burnikel
« Last post by LARadioRewind on December 01, 2014, 05:13:37 PM »
Two intersecting words were MESSI and PAPYRI. Lionel Messi is an Argentine soccer player and papyri is the Greek plural of papyrus, which is a tree and the paper-like material made from it. Including those words in a puzzle is---shall I say it?---messy.

In September, after a month-long analysis of seven daily crosswords appearing in four daily newspapers, I posted a list ( ) of the most common Crosswordese words: ALE, IRA and ORE topped the list and the majority of the words begin with a vowel. The New York Times puzzle appearing in today's Daily News uses ten of the most common words: ABS, ACRE, AREA, ARIA, ATE, ERR, ETA, ILL, ISLE and OLE. The puzzle also includes ARMPIT ("Deodorant spot"), not a very appealing word.

However, the crossword (created by Stanley Newman) was done very delightfully: the theme answers were DICKVANDYKE, DEATHVALLEYDAYS and DVDRECORDER. "Done very delightfully." See what I did there?
Today's Puzzles / Mon., 12/1 C.C. Burnikel
« Last post by magus on December 01, 2014, 09:12:32 AM »
THEME:   first word of phrase can start a KICK phrase
Foot-operated mechanism {& theme}   KICK STARTER   
Regret one's (sins)   REPENT [weak clue: one can regret and not repent]   
ESOS is n.g.

Five-cent coin   NICKEL [also a homonym for the second syllable of the constructor's name]

RATING:  ;D   
Three grins = Loved it; Two grins = Enjoyed it; One grin = A bit bland for my taste; One teardrop = Not much fun   
Today's Puzzles / Re: Sun., 11/30 Michele Kane
« Last post by LARadioRewind on November 30, 2014, 04:47:01 PM »
Pete Rose is the only player in baseball history to play at least 500 games at each of five different positions. He played 939 games at first base, 628 at second, 634 at third, 595 in right field and 671 in left field. He also played 95 games in center field. Three thousand, five hundred sixty-two games played---a record that will likely never be broken.

Merl Reagle's puzzle in today's Los Angeles Times is titled "Advancement Placement Test." He advised, "Think literally." The theme answers are phrases that include words such as AFTER, ABOVE, BELOW, BEFORE, BEHIND, BETWEEN, OVER, UNDER and ON TOP OF. However, those words are not part of the answers. They become implied by the placement of the other words. For example, THEEARSWET is "wet behind the ears," SCHOOLSTAY is "stay after school" and THEREADSLINES is "read between the lines." The vertical phrase SITTINGTHEWORLD ("sitting on top of the world") was clued with "Happy as a clam." That is a common expression but it is incomplete. The actual phrase is "happy as a clam at high tide," i.e., when the clam is safe from predators. (Another common but incomplete phrase is "The proof is in the pudding." The actual saying is, "The proof of the pudding is in the eating.")

Today's crossword also included far too many foreign words (ALTE, ARTISTE, DES, ETYMA, ILE, OSO) and partial phrases (ABONEO, ATREE, ISO, WHENA), along with the overused product names ATRA and OREO and our old familiar friends Yoko ONO and Mel OTT. I forgive Merl, though, because the phrasing of the theme answers presented a unique challenge.
Today's Puzzles / Sun., 11/30 Michele Kane
« Last post by magus on November 30, 2014, 09:50:12 AM »
THEME:   two-word phrases with CV initials
Resumes {& theme}   CV'S [curriculum vitae]   
Wasn't PETE ROSE an infielder most of his career?   
COVER VERSION seems redundant.   
Lunes, RIEN, and ETRE are not used in English.   
Despite a dirth of clever entries, this had a good combination of academic and popular references.   
RATING:    ;D ;D
Three grins = Loved it; Two grins = Enjoyed it; One grin = A bit bland for my taste; One teardrop = Not much fun   
Today's Puzzles / Re: Sat., 11/29 Jeff Chen
« Last post by LARadioRewind on November 29, 2014, 03:26:22 PM »
IBET has appeared in quite a few puzzles recently. And is ASH really a reminder of an old flame? Technically, perhaps---but ash is the remains of what was burned by the flame.

Yesterday's crossword contained seven foreign words. Today's also has seven foreign words: ADIEUX, ASADA, COSI, ENTRE, ECU, ETAL and SIMPATICO. What would puzzle makers do if there was an "English only" rule?

One of the answers was INMAN, a name I had to look up. Confederate soldier W.P. Inman was a character in Charles Frazier's novel Cold Mountain. Jude Law portrayed the character in the 2003 movie adaptation. I was familiar with country singers Autry Inman and Jerry Inman, so now I know three Inmans...just in case anyone ever asks me to name three Inmans.
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