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General Support / Re: LA Times bad link
« Last post by Kolohe61 on July 26, 2014, 02:35:38 AM »
Happened again. Instead of 7/26, got 6/23.
Book Releases / Re: Banned Crosswords?
« Last post by LARadioRewind on July 25, 2014, 08:43:54 PM »
The June 18 2014 New York Times crossword included SPAZZES ("totally inept sorts") and PRICK ('balloon's undoing"), two words that I was surprised to see in a puzzle. Brand names, formerly forbidden in puzzles, are becoming increasingly common. Why have puzzle editors been gradually lowering their standards as to what words are acceptable?
Etc. / Re: Error in the first Word Cross puzzle
« Last post by LARadioRewind on July 25, 2014, 08:36:02 PM »
Ben Tausig's book seems to use reproductions of the puzzles exactly as they appeared in the original publications and yet there is that numbering error in the clues to the first Word-Cross. I'm guessing that a copy of the original puzzle was scanned using an OCR and the numbers for the "agree with" clue were illegible so somebody retyped them and simply switched two of the digits. A correctly-numbered reproduction is at

Today's Puzzles / Re: Fri., 7/25 Jacob McDermott
« Last post by LARadioRewind on July 25, 2014, 06:37:28 PM »
I, too, was perplexed by today's puzzle in the Times. With the circles omitted from the grid, I didn't immediately notice the broken-up names of automobiles. My first thought was that the "circles" were the many appearances of the letter "O" but I couldn't figure out what to do with them. A few months ago there was a puzzle that included names of cars within the long answers and the word underneath each car name contained two O's separated by another letter. The O's represented the cars' tires. Awww, how cute! Anyway, I enjoy filling in the words of a puzzle...but today I also had to fill in those missing circles! Who can we blame?
General Discussion / Re: methods of crossword construction
« Last post by LARadioRewind on July 25, 2014, 06:24:30 PM »
wbg and jorkel recommend Crossword Compiler. Yeah, but then I'd be admitting that I'm not smart enough to compose a crossword all by my lil' self. Today's New York Times crossword has four 15-letter answers at the top and four more at the bottom. That means that there are 30 four-letter combinations which either begin or end an up-and-down word and I can never figure out how the puzzle creator can do that. I remember seeing a puzzle that had eleven 15-letter answers: four at the top, four at the bottom and three in the middle. I've noticed that the majority of the long answers contain many of the most common letters, such as E, S, R, T, D, A and I, and a lot of them are phrases where every other letter is a vowel.  Does anyone know if the puzzle maker starts with only one 15-letter word at the top and then fills in a few four-letter words at, say, 2-down and 5-down and 8-down and 12-down and then tries to come up with the second 15-letter across word? That might be easier than coming up with four 15-letter words to start with. Puzzles appear easy to construct but they really aren't. "Kids, don't try this at home!"
General Discussion / Re: Tuesday, July 22 crossword clue.
« Last post by wbg on July 25, 2014, 09:24:39 AM »
Not that it matters at this point, but there's also the concept of mootness in law.  If events subsequent to the filing of a case somehow end the dispute before the court gets to it, the case becomes "moot" and thus (with exceptions) beyond federal court jurisdiction, which is limited to "cases and controversies."
Today's Puzzles / Fri., 7/25 Jacob McDermott
« Last post by magus on July 25, 2014, 09:15:12 AM »
THEME:   car brands are found "rented" or cut in phrases
Wheels on loan… or as the circles show…   RENT-A-CAR [my newspaper had no circles making the job tough for me]   
One concerned with show horses?   BETTOR [win, place or show]   
Kind of pain?   ROYAL   
Demand upon reaching the other side   KING ME [I thought ocean not checker board]   
Rains hard?   SLEET   
TEMA = bad Italian;  CIAO = good Italian   [because we do use CIAO, but we don't use TEMA]   
Ella, in the States   SHE [sorry --- Ella in the States is a girl's name, not a foreign pronoun never used in English]   
ER staff member   EMT [really?  Maybe in M.A.S.H. units, but I believe the hospital board would be shocked]   
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 / Thu., 7/24 Jeffrey Wechsler
« Last post by magus on July 24, 2014, 08:58:15 AM »
THEME:   first word of a phrase is a type of bird, but it is covert
oddly, none --- well maybe "Solemn conclusion"   
Big Bird fan   TOT [as well as a Baltimore Oriole fan, who must be chirping with delight these days]   :'(   
Ajar, in poems   OPE [I've already addressed this error!  Now pay attention.  No poet used OPE to mean ajar, ever (a million if you find one)   
Erudite person   SAVANT [I've met too many erudite people who were not by any stretch savants]   
Juillet's season   ETE [meaning summer is French and never used in English, but -ete is an affix for gamete]   
Fed. org. of neuropsychiatry   NIMH  [oddly there is a great kid's book called Mrs. Frisby [sic] and the Rats of Nimh --- anyway I liked it]   
Three grins = Loved it; Two grins = Enjoyed it; One grin = A bit bland for my taste; One teardrop = Not much fun   
General Discussion / Re: methods of crossword construction
« Last post by jorkel on July 23, 2014, 01:40:35 PM »
If you've given it the old college try -- constructing by hand -- and it just isn't working out, then it's time to buy software like Crossword Compiler.  Be advised that the word lists that come with software are not spectacular, so you may want to get onto the Cruciverb mail list and ask for someone to mentor you in crossword construction.  In the process of doing so, you'll probably gain access to a much better word list.
Today's Puzzles / Wed. 7/23 Steve Blais
« Last post by magus on July 23, 2014, 09:14:30 AM »
THEME:   phrases suggesting smiles
Some emoticons {& theme}   SMILEY FACES   
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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