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71
Today's Puzzles / Re: Tue., 2/3 C.C. Burnikel
« Last post by LARadioRewind on February 03, 2015, 07:56:07 PM »
I am totally opposed to Roman numerals in crossword puzzles. Actually, I'm opposed to Roman numerals in general. Why can't movie sequels and copyright dates and Super Bowl games use numbers? Anyway, today's theme answers were clever in their reinterpretation of abbreviations as Roman numerals...although now I'll never be able to listen to an MC Hammer song or look at an M.C. Escher drawing without thinking of "1100."
72
Today's Puzzles / Re: Mon., 2/2 Warren Stabler
« Last post by magus on February 03, 2015, 09:13:28 AM »
Snookums may be a shortening of snookie wookums which I seem to remember was a tongue-in-cheek term for dear one.
73
Today's Puzzles / Tue., 2/3 C.C. Burnikel
« Last post by magus on February 03, 2015, 09:07:55 AM »
THEME:   initial abbreviation in phrases reinterpreted as Roman numerals
   
GOOD ONES:     
400 athletes?   CD PLAYERS   
40 polos?   XL SHIRTS   
4 tire inserts?   IV TUBES   
600 stand-ups?   DC COMICS   
Many a casino visitor   LOSER   
   
BTW:   
Sings like Ella   SCATS [how about a change:  "Sings like Satch"?]   
   
Goes out with   DATES [so 20th Century!]   
   
Some Bronx trains   ELS [all Xword fans know this fill, but I wonder how many know it means "elevated"]

   
   
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   
74
Today's Puzzles / Re: Mon., 2/2 Warren Stabler
« Last post by LARadioRewind on February 02, 2015, 04:18:36 PM »
Spoiler alert: Groundhogs probably pay no attention to their shadows and, regardless, the activities of groundhogs have absolutely no effect on weather patterns. With that in mind, I enjoyed seeing a crossword that included GROUNDHOGDAY, PUNKSUTAWNEY, PHIL, SHADOW, WINTER and SIXMOREWEEKS.

However, the crossword had 42 black squares---too many!---plus another set of Roman numerals and several overused Crosswordese words (AGE, ANTE, ERE, ESS, EYE, OLIO, URN). It also included SNOOKUMS, a nickname which is pretty much obsolete. In the 13th century, a "snoc" was a promontory. The word evolved into "snook" and somehow came to refer to the gesture of thumbing one's nose. In 19th-century Great Britain, "Snooks" began to be used in reference to an unknown person, the way "John Doe" is used in the United States. In 1904, George McManus created a comic strip called The Newlyweds which featured a baby named Snookums. (McManus would later create Bringing Up Father which featured Maggie & Jiggs.) In the 1940s, radio performer Fanny Brice played a character named Baby Snooks. SNOOKUMS may have been a cute word a hundred years ago but it does not belong in a crossword in 2015. That's my opinion and you can have it.
75
Today's Puzzles / Mon., 2/2 Warren Stabler
« Last post by magus on February 02, 2015, 09:03:26 AM »
THEME:   Ground Hog Day terms
   
GOOD ONES:     
February 2, every year   GROUND HOG DAY   
   
BTW:   
This is one of those puzzles more fun to construct than to solve because, despite its theme, it has been denuded of anything remotely clever.   
   
Clinton's instrument   SAX [that's not what I first thought (sorry)   :-[ ]   
   
Stoolie   FINK [obsolete slang: needs "once"]   
   
RATING:    ;D
Three grins = Loved it; Two grins = Enjoyed it; One grin = A bit bland for my taste; One teardrop = Not much fun   
76
Today's Puzzles / Re: Sun., 2/1 Gail Grabowski
« Last post by LARadioRewind on February 01, 2015, 01:25:25 PM »
Yes indeedy, that puzzle had a lot of clever entries. A lot of clever clues, too. "Where to find stories on Friday"---brilliant!

I agree that the title should have been "U Must Be Joking." The title of Merl Reagle's puzzle in today's Los Angeles Times should have been something else entirely. The theme answers were phrases with rhyming words: MADEINTHESHADE, SHOPTILLYOUDROP, FOURONTHEFLOOR, ANTSINYOURPANTS, ROCKAROUNDTHECLOCK, CRUISINFORABRUISIN, NERVOUSFROMTHESERVICE and HOSTESSWITHTHEMOSTEST. The title, "Four Little Words," doesn't make sense. Each answer contains four words but not all of the words are little. "Rhyme Time" sounds dumb but it still would have been a more appropriate title. Does anyone have a better suggestion?

And how about three-letter words? The puzzle included ten of the most overused Crosswordese words: ACT, APE, ARE, EAT, EEL, ERE, ESP, OLE, SEE and SPA.
77
Today's Puzzles / Sun., 2/1 Gail Grabowski
« Last post by magus on February 01, 2015, 09:47:00 AM »
THEME:   one letter of a phrase is changed to U
   
GOOD ONES:     
Flea?   DOGGIE BUG [doggie bag]   
Prospector's close attachment to his helper?   MULE BONDING [male bonding]   
Reservation for an upper berth?   BUNK DEPOSIT [bank deposit]   
Corkers?   IRISH [I thought comedians, not those from Cork]   
Blood line   VEIN   
Follower of directions?   ERN [as in western or northern]   
First name in architecture   EERO [both ways]   
Confirmation, e.g.   RITE   
Cell user   PRISONER   
Subway selection   ONION [I thought trains, but BMT was too short]   
Where to find stories on Friday?   DRAGNET [TV's Joe Friday]   
Fresh bean sprout?   IDEA [bean = head]   
Driving need?   TEE   
Pitchers may hold them   ICED TEAS [I thought baseballs]   
Season opener?   ESS   
   
BTW:   
I believe this puzzle has set the all-time record for clever entries.   
   
My newspaper had the title "You Must be Joking," but I wonder if it was supposed to be "U Must be Joking."   
   
Dull thing to be in   A RUT [used to be forbidden to use the indefinite article in an answer that didn't need it]   
   
1970 Poitier title role   TIBBS ["They call me Mister Tibbs!"]   
   
ELHI in the real world is "K-12," which I guess sounds like a spot remover.  Elhi sounds like a biblical name.   
   
Is down with   HAS [as in "has the flu"; hipsters might use it to mean "has no objection"]   
   
Macbeth's burial site   IONA [the real MacBeth died there; I believe Shakespeare's Macbeth died at Scone at Malcom's hand]   
   
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   
78
General Discussion / Common Crosswordese, Continued
« Last post by LARadioRewind on January 31, 2015, 02:13:57 PM »
In August 2014, I began a first-of-its kind project...and I did it with no government funding! I was getting frustrated by the lack of creativity and originality in crossword-puzzle "fill." Puzzle makers kept using the same few Crosswordese words---common three- and four-letter words, most of which begin with a vowel. Combined, the Register, Daily News, Los Angeles Times and Glendale News-Press had six different daily crosswords and I kept count of the answers for 30 days in order to determine which words appeared most frequently in crosswords. I posted the results at http://www.cruciverb.com/index.php?topic=105973.0 ---go look! The three most common words were ALE, IRA and ORE.

In January 2015, I did another month-long study. The Register was a Los Angeles version of the Orange County Register and ceased publication after only five months. This time around, I had five daily puzzles instead of six. And this time around, ALE is once again the most-used word.

17 - ALE
13 - ODE, ORE, USE
11 - EPEE
9 - ERA, EMU, OREO, SEA, URN
8 - ASP, EDEN, EEL, ERR, LEI, NEE
7 - ASEA, EGO, ELI, ERE, ETA, ETE, IRA, SPA, UTE
6 - AHA, ARENA, ATE, ELS, END, ERIE, ESS, ETA, EVE, EWE, IRE, OGLE, ORAL, ORCA, ORO
5 - ABET, ADO, AGE, ALEE, AMEN, APE, AREA, EAT, ECRU, EERIE, EKE, LEER, OAF, OAK, OAR, OBOE, OLEO, UKE

Among the 100 other most-used words are ALI, ALOE, ALOHA, AURA, ELM, EURO, OAT, OBI, ODIE, OGRE, OLE, ONO, OTT, OPIE, SNL and SST.

Anyone who can construct a crossword without using any of those words, as Merl Reagle did one time last year, deserves our undying admiration!
79
Today's Puzzles / Sat., 1/31 Ned White
« Last post by magus on January 31, 2015, 09:17:24 AM »
THEME:   Signs (I guess)
   
GOOD ONES:    
15-letter answers intersect in grid's center:  CLICK IT OR TICKET and USE INDOOR VOICES   
{theme}   SIGNS and THE RULES   
Adams who shot El Capitan   ANSEL [photographer] [love this one]   
   
BTW:   
Been to a great many schools but never saw a sign about "indoor voices"; but I was limited to schools in Metro NY & NJ   
   
   
RATING:    ;D ;D
Three grins = Loved it; Two grins = Enjoyed it; One grin = A bit bland for my taste; One teardrop = Not much fun   
80
General Support / Re: NYTimes link doesn't work for me...
« Last post by admin on January 31, 2015, 08:45:24 AM »
Same problem. A file downloads with the name "daily-2015-01-25.puz" but it is corrupted. This has been happening all week. Does anyone ever have an answer for these complaints?

Yes. Please read my answer to the other posts.
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