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Today's Puzzles / Hanging out with the March 4 crossword
« Last post by Thomps2525 on March 04, 2016, 05:12:39 PM »
It is purely a coincidence that a crossword filled with animal-related puns appears on the same day that Disney's Zootopia is released to theaters. Tom Pepper and Marcia Brott came up with these:

Hangout for Garfield? KITTYCORNER
Hangout for Tchaikovsky's Odile? SWANDIVE
Hangout for Hyacinth in Fantasia? HIPPOCAMPUS
Hangout for Heckle and Jeckle? CROWBAR
Hangout for Mickey and Minnie? MOUSEPAD

"Crowbar" is a cute pun.....but Heckle and Jeckle are not crows. They are magpies. The mischievous characters were created by animator/producer Paul Terry in 1945. Heckle always spoke with a Brooklyn accent while Jeckle sounded like a refined British gentleman. Heckle and Jeckle appeared in 52 cartoons. Terry's studio, Terrytoons, also created Mighty Mouse, Dinky Duck and Deputy Dawg.

Odile is the black swan in the ballet Swan Lake. "Kittycorner" is an alteration of "catercornered," which meant "four-cornered." Merriam-Webster defines the word as "In a diagonal or oblique position: The house stands kittycorner across the square."  The hippocampus is the portion of the brain which forms, stores and processes memory. The word comes from the Greek word for "seahorse." The curved ridge of the hippocampus supposedly resembles a seahorse. I wouldn't know -- I've never seen a hippocampus. I'm not sure I even want to.

A compilation of Heckle and Jeckle cartoons can be seen on good ol' YouTube:
General Support / Re: Strange site display
« Last post by 4wd on February 29, 2016, 07:13:19 AM »
I'm having the same issue as well, makes reading threads a pain :'(
General Discussion / Simultaneous Submissions
« Last post by Raymond Hansen on February 28, 2016, 07:17:50 PM »
Hello all,

Does anyone know how publishers feel about simultaneous submissions (when one submits a single puzzle to more than one publisher)?  In other publications (say, literary journals) it usually states on their submission page whether this is a no-no or not, but I don't see anything on the spec sheets posted here.

Thanks for any feedback!

Today's Puzzles / Time (and a half) for the February 28 crossword
« Last post by Thomps2525 on February 28, 2016, 02:17:22 PM »
The title -- and theme -- of today's crossword by Jeffrey Wechsler is "Putting in Overtime." Familiar phrases are altered with the addition of OT:

Child-friendly? SUITEDTOATOT
Moor's money pool? OTHELLOKITTY
Cold weather moisturizer? THELOTIONINWINTER
Best Western fishing amenities? MOTELBROOKS
Queen's body double? OTHERROYALMAJESTY
Business where lines are discouraged? BOTOXOFFICE
Did away with voting? DROPPEDTHEBALLOT
Pirate treasure at your neighbor's house? THEBOOTYNEXTDOOR

The Lion In Winter was a 1966 Broadway play written by James Goodman. It was set at Christmastime 1183 and dramatized the personal problems and political battles of King Henry II and his wife and three sons. I say "dramatized" but actually the play was fictional.  A 1968 movie version of the play starred Peter O'Toole and Katharine Hepburn. A 2003 made-for-tv movie  starred Patrick Stewart and Glenn Close.

"Real Madrid's game" is FUTBOL, which is not used in English. "Alberto's alternative, with 'el'" is OTRO, which is not used in English. "Latin dating word" is ANNO, which is not used in English. "Zwei quadrupled" is ACHT, which is not used in English. "Omsk objection" is NYET, which is not used in English. "Jacques' ' ___ bien'" is TRES, which is not used in English. "___  à manger: dining room" is SALLE, which is not used in English.

"Noodle variety" is SOBA. The word means "buckwheat" in Japanese and refers to thin noodles made from buckwheat flour. In Japan, soba is combined with broth to make hot soup. During warm weather, the Japanese eat cold soba with a dipping sauce.

"First named Atlantic storm in 10 different years to date" is ARLENE. That name was last used in 2011. The National Hurricane Center assigns names to each year's storms and hurricanes chronologically and alphabetically, alternating between male and female. Names are re-used every six years, although names of major hurricanes are permanently retired. For more information, plus forecasts and data, go to the National Hurricane Center  website:
General Support / Re: Problem with most pages on
« Last post by robgonsalves on February 27, 2016, 04:13:27 PM »
Yeah, just saw that. I think that the problem started when they put up the notice for "Problems with CRUCIVERB-L".
General Support / Re: Problem with most pages on
« Last post by ahab_2001 on February 27, 2016, 04:11:42 PM »
Rob -- yes; I posted the same issue, in fact, only a few minutes before you did.

Best wishes,
General Support / Problem with most pages on
« Last post by robgonsalves on February 27, 2016, 04:08:11 PM »
Ever since the "Problems with CRUCIVERB-L" notice appeared on this site, most pages are now rendered poorly in browsers.

The Home page and the Puzzle Database pages are fine, but all other pages have the content squished into a thin column on the right, making them virtually unreadable.

I tried Chrome and IE on Windows, and Chrome and Safari on iOS. It's the same problem in all browsers.

Is anyone else seeing this?

- Rob

General Support / Strange site display
« Last post by ahab_2001 on February 27, 2016, 04:01:47 PM »
Hi -- I tried posting this earlier, but the system did not like the attachment I tried to upload.

I am new to the site, so I hope you'll bear with me. I just wanted to mention that pages other than the home page are displaying strangely -- the wide center column, which I think is where the page's main content is supposed to go, includes only the post on problems with the CRUCIVERB-L list. And the actual main content of the page (e.g., the forums) seems to be packed over into the narrow third column on the right-hand side. I've put a screenshot of what I am seeing (from the main landing page for the forums) here:

I am having this experience with both Firefox and Chrome (Windows), and on most pages on the site other than the home page. I don't remember seeing this kind of display when I visited about a week ago, so I'm wondering if for some reason a change was made that might have inadvertently harmed the display on site pages other than the home page.


Today's Puzzles / The February 26 crossword puzzling
« Last post by Thomps2525 on February 26, 2016, 04:40:13 PM »
In today's crossword, James Sajdak alters four familiar phrases so they end with ING instead of N:

Québec quiche, e.g.? CANADIANBAKING
Greeting from a faithful friend? WELCOMEWAGGING
Saying 'It wasn't me" when, in fact it, was? COWARDLYLYING
'Wish we had built a bigger pyramid,' e.g?: EGYPTIANRUING

The altered phrases need no explanation. As for the original phrases, read on.

In flavor, appearance and texture, Canadian bacon is closer to ham than to bacon, and what we know as Canadian bacon in the United States is not the same as Canadian bacon in Canada and the UK. The differences are explained at

The Welcome Wagon organization was founded in 1928 in Memphis. Welcome Wagon hostesses would present new homeowners with a basket filled with product samples, coupons and advertising from local businesses. In 1998, the personal visits were halted and the company, now based in Coral Gables, Florida, does its marketing via mail, e-mail and telephone. As for "welcome wagging," dog owners are well aware that if they leave the house and come back ten minutes later, the dog gets just as excited upon their return as if they had been gone for a month! :)

The Cowardly Lion, of course, is a character which first appeared in L. Frank Baum's 1900 novel The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz and was portrayed by Bert Lahr in the 1939 movie The Wizard Of Oz.

To learn about some of the most well-known Egyptian ruins, check out

"Tesoro de la Sierra Madre" is ORO, which is not used in English. "Start of a weekly cry" is TGI. That is a very poor entry. It is three-fourths of TGIF ("Thank God it's Friday"). And "Like petroglyphs" is INTAGLIOED. "Intaglio" comes from the Latin word for "cut" and is related to the word "tailor." An intaglio is a word or picture carved in stone or some other hard object. I suppose a surface with such carvings can be said to be "intaglioed" but that makes for a very awkward adjective.

As a child, James Sajdak watched his father solve crossword puzzles -- in ink! In 2005, James began creating his own puzzles. His first published crossword appeared a year later in the New York Sun. His puzzles now appear in the New York Times and Los Angeles Times.....but very sporadically. Today's is only his third published puzzle in the past three years.
Today's Puzzles / "The winner for best February 25 crossword is..."
« Last post by Thomps2525 on February 25, 2016, 03:08:20 PM »
In my comments about the February 18 crossword, I explained why the Academy Award is called an "Oscar." Go look!

We are three days away from this year's Academy Awards ceremony and C.C. Burnikel's crossword in today's Los Angeles Times pays tribute by including the names of four Academy Award-winning films. One of the answers is BESTPICTURE and the first word of each of the theme answers is the name of a movie which was honored as best picture:

Intensive study program: CRASHCOURSE
2014 WNBA Finals runner-up: CHICAGOSKY
It's the opposite of a flying one: ROCKYSTART

Titanic, written and directed by James Cameron, was released in December 1997 and became the first movie to gross one billion dollars worldwide. It was nominated for 14 Academy Awards and won 11.

Crash was a 2005 film co-written and directed by Paul Haggis and depicted two days of ethnic clashes and racial clashes in Los Angeles.

Chicago (2002) starred Renée Zellweger, the answer to the trivia question "What actor has a name with six E's and no other vowels?" Her character shoots a man and then hires a slick Chicago lawyer to represent her. She hopes to become a celebrity like a nightclub singer whom she admires. Chicago was first filmed in 1927. Another version, titled Roxie Hart, came out in 1942 and starred Ginger rogers.

Rocky, a 1976 film which inspired five sequels, starred Sylvester Stallone as Rocky Balboa, a small-time boxer who winds up fighting Apollo Creed, the defending heavyweight champion. Stallone reprised his character in the 2015 movie Creed.

"Classic laundry soap" is RINSO. In 1837, Robert Hudson began grinding bars of soap into flakes and selling the "dry soap powder" at his store in West Bromwich, England. He called the product Hudson's Soap. Lever Brothers (now Unilever) bought the manufacturing rights in 1908 and renamed the soap Rinso. For many years it was Lever Brothers' best-selling brand but sales started to decline in the 1950s after Procter & Gamble introduced Tide. Unilever still manufactures Rinso soap for Asia and Central America but no longer sells it in the United States. Old Rinso packaging and advertisements can be seen at

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