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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

Today's Puzzles / I ♥ the February 21 crosswords
« Last post by Thomps2525 on February 25, 2016, 02:24:14 PM »
Let's play a game. It's called "Find The Theme":

Potato expert? KINGOFSPUDS
Inept painter? MUCKUPARTIST
Good-natured complaint? SMILEYFUSS
Everything you eat? GUTRECEIPTS
Fashion show photographer? STRUTSHOOTER
Shore breezes caused by flapping wings? GULLFORCEWINDS
Prop for the gravedigger scene in Hamlet? SKULLMODEL
Skilled diver's advantage? JUMPINGOFFPLUS

The title of Nora Pearlstone's crossword in today's Los Angeles Times is "Wait, what?" It took me a while to understand the title. Each of the eight theme answers is a familiar phrase but with the "ay" sound replaced by an "uh" sound, such as what would happen if "wait" changed to "what." One cute clue in the puzzle is "Bee team" for SWARM.

"Computer stylus battery" is AAAA. Yes, there is a battery smaller than AAA.....and a lot harder to find, too. The 1½-volt AAAA battery is also used in laser pointers and glucose meters.

Today's New York Times crossword by Mary Lou Guizzo is titled "All You Need" -- a reference to the Beatles' 1967 hit All You Need Is Love -- and, like the February 14 Los Angeles Times crossword, has a grid which includes black squares in the shape of a heart. Unlike the Los Angeles Times crossword, this one includes several song titles, movie titles and other phrases with the word "love" being replaced by a heart in a single square. Among the answers:


"When doubled, an old college cry" is BOOLA. Boola Boola, written in 1900 by Yale student Allan Hirsh, is the fight song of the Yale University football team. It was adapted from an 1898 song titled La Hoola Boola. The words do not mean anything, although some historians think "boola" is a reference to a "bowl" or stadium.

"Get back together" is REUNE. That feeble attempt to make a verb from the word "reunion" is not in very many dictionaries. If "reune" becomes more commonly used, other dictionaries may add the word. After all, in the 1920s, the verb "liaise," meaning "to form a liaison," gained popularity and is now in all dictionaries. Fifty years earlier, "burgle" became accepted as a verb referring to the act of a burglar. Other attempts to make verbs out of nouns have failed to gain acceptance, e.g., "buttle" ("to do the work of a butler"). I'm just happy that nobody has tried to use "puzz" as a verb meaning "to solve crossword puzzles."
General Support / Re: Jonesin'
« Last post by randyp on February 25, 2016, 01:12:38 PM »
That worked and I found a new crossword site. Perfect. Thank you
General Support / Re: Jonesin'
« Last post by ahimsa on February 25, 2016, 01:01:42 PM »
As far as I know Jonesin' is still around.

I use the "Diary of a Crossword Fiend" site ( ) to download puzzles. The site is mostly known as a puzzle blog but it also has a list of puzzle links here:
General Support / Jonesin'
« Last post by randyp on February 25, 2016, 12:13:22 PM »
Apologies if I missed an announcement but is Jonesin' gone - been 2 or 3 or maybe more weeks since the link last worked.

If so, bummer, always enjoyed that puzzle.

General Discussion / No LAT today (or tomorrow?
« Last post by Billposter on February 23, 2016, 03:29:17 PM »
Anybody else having trouble getting the LAT puzzle today?  Calendar shows un available next three days.  Any info on the issue?
General Support / L A TIMES
« Last post by BALLYHOO on February 23, 2016, 08:38:00 AM »
General Support / Re: LA Times .puz file does not exist
« Last post by phil262 on February 23, 2016, 08:31:31 AM »
Hmmm .... First time I have run into this problem.

This happens from time to time. I suspect it's when our webmaster is away and unable to update the site. Typically it only lasts for a few days.
General Discussion / Re: Puzzle Killers
« Last post by RichP on February 22, 2016, 04:34:03 PM »
Great summary/background, and I don't think we need need a list of sexy, violent, etc. words (unless I need a name for my puck rock band) ;) I am thinking of a more advanced word list - words that seem like they would be acceptable because they were in prior NYT puzzles or new to the language - but have resulted in a rejected puzzle. Examples of the latter might be OUTRO (Instrumental finale) or LEED (Green building cert.) They've appeared in the NYT repeatedly, but not the crossword. By including them in my last two submissions am I breaking new ground, or will I find out, as perhaps others have before me, that these are puzzle killers?     
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