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Today's Puzzles / Fri., 7/3 Jeffrey Wechsler
« Last post by magus on July 03, 2015, 08:48:18 AM »
THEME:   Letter T substituted for by C in phrases
Result of a London tea cart mishap?   ROLLING SCONES   
Downtime for Mars?   PAX [PAX=peace, for the Latin god of war]   
Domestic tearjerker   ONION [I thought soaps, etc.]   
One taking coats, perhaps   HOST [I thought coats of paint on walls]   
Green workers   TRAINEES [I thought eco]   
Copy cats?   MEW [Copy is a verb]   
Defensive question   AM I [needs "perhaps" since the question is often not defensive]   
Uma's "Pulp Fiction" role   MIA [like yesterday, why select a forgettable supporting character's name of an overrated {IMO} flick?  What's wrong with "Mama ___" or Mia Farrow or "Missing in Action" or "Flag letters" or ...]   
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: Thu., 7/2 Robert E. Lee Morris
« Last post by Thomps2525 on July 02, 2015, 07:46:09 PM »
The Oxford English Dictionary defines PISH as "a natural utterance used to express annoyance, impatience or disgust." It dates from the mid-1500s.

"Proactiv target"---a free plug for a product---was ZIT. I think ZIT and BARF are the two most disgusting words in the English language. "Zit" is defined as "a small inflamed elevation of the skin; a pustule or papule; a pimple: a common symptom in acne." The word dates from 1966 but its origin is unknown.
Today's Puzzles / Thu., 7/2 Robert E. Lee Morris
« Last post by magus on July 02, 2015, 08:46:01 AM »
THEME:   anagrams of LEMON found in phrases
Cocktail garnish {& theme}   LEMON TWIST   
Longtime maker of convertibles  CASTRO [not cars but furniture]   
"Oh, go on!"   PISH [pshaw!]   
Covered in ink   TATTED [double pshaw!: this one means knitted only]   
"Airplane!" heroine   ELAINE [why, I wonder, is this character of the zillions of characters in a zillion movies selected for this entry?]   
"Elementary" network   CBS [one of the two network shows I DVR [note my hip use of a new verb] because of the portrayal of Holmes by Johnny Lee Miller, who does a fine job but whose work seems to go unrecognized.
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: Wed., 7/1 Frank Virzi
« Last post by Thomps2525 on July 01, 2015, 07:38:21 PM »
Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen, also known as Bei Mir Bist Du Schön, was originally titled Bei Mir Bistu Shein. It was written by Hungarian-born vaudeville producer-director-composer Yakov Yakubovitsh, who used the stage name Jacob Jacobs. The song first appeared in a 1932 musical comedy, I Would If I Could. The musical was not a success but the song was. The title means "To me you are beautiful."

My favorite Andrews Sisters song is Six Jerks In A Jeep from the movie Private Buckaroo. I think the main reason I like it is the title. The movie also stars Dick Foran, Shemp Howard, Donald O'Connor, Joe E. Lewis, Mary Wickes, Helen Forrest, Huntz Hall and the Harry James Music Makers. It's a fun movie. Six Jerks In A Jeep is one of twelve songs performed in the film. Here 'tis:
Today's Puzzles / Re: Wed., 7/1 Frank Virzi
« Last post by Thomps2525 on July 01, 2015, 07:26:38 PM »
Thank you, Mister magus. I, too, deplore the use of the phrase "Over and out" in movies and tv shows. In radio communications, "over" means "I'm done speaking. Please reply." "Out" means "I'm done speaking and I'm ending this conversation." The Me-TV channel has been re-running the 1965-70 series I Dream Of Jeannie. Larry Hagman played Major Tony Nelson, an astronaut. In several episodes, he ended his radio call by saying "Over and out." It drives me crazy now as much as it did in the '60s!

Today's NEA crossword has 44 black squares. Forty-four! And the grid is only 13x13. Many more black squares and the grid would resemble a checkerboard!
Today's Puzzles / Wed., 7/1 Frank Virzi
« Last post by magus on July 01, 2015, 08:28:47 AM »
THEME:   last word of phase is a kind of baseball pitch
Combined with… {theme}   BASE and BALL   
Lamb or Bacon, e.g.: Abbr.   AUTH   
Back in the day   ONCE [exactly, so perhaps that is one reason this expression irks me]   
Partner of out   OVER [as in "over and out," except that is a movie-only expression --- in the real world, the sign-off is simply "Out"]   
She, in San Remo   ESSA [wrong, in L.A.]   
"Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen"  was a hit in the '30's, but it's still fun.
Three grins = Loved it; Two grins = Enjoyed it; One grin = A bit bland for my taste; One teardrop = Not much fun   
Today's Puzzles / Love & the June 30 crosswords
« Last post by Thomps2525 on June 30, 2015, 03:42:08 PM »
It is very rare that a crossword creator will make a puzzle with several two-word phrases and a word which can be combined with either word in those phrases to form a new phrase. Such puzzles require a lot of effort. Gareth Bain's New York Times crossword is such a puzzle. The central answer is the title of a 1967 Beatles hit, ALLYOUNEEDISLOVE. "Love" can be combined with either half of four two-word phrases: CHILDSEAT, BIRDSNEST, MATCHGAME and LIFESTORY.

Brand names used to be taboo in crosswords. Bain's puzzle today includes ALPO, MITA and PLAX. C.C. Burnickel's puzzle in today's Los Angeles Times includes ORECK, OREO, OPEL, LAYS, STP and CAPN (as in Cap'n Crunch cereal). The theme of Burnickel's crossword is HEROSANDWICH. The word "hero" is sandwiched amidst the letters of BEACHEROSION, DOASTHEROMANSDO and FEATHERONESNEST. And now I'm suddenly hungry.

Both crosswords also included some French words. Bain used MLLE and AOUT ("Month before septembre"). Burnickel used ECLAT, FRANC, OUTRE and ETVOILA ("Pierre's 'And there you have it!'").

The 13x13 NEA crossword, as is typical, has no theme and contains several over-used words: AGE, AGO, ELO, ERA, ERE, OATH, ODD, ODE and ORE. The theme answers in the Universal crossword are DANGERPOINT, HAZARDLIGHT, BOMBTHREATS and ATONESPERIL. Now I'm not only hungry---I'm frightened!
Today's Puzzles / Nailing the June 29 crosswords
« Last post by Thomps2525 on June 29, 2015, 01:58:36 PM »
The theme answers in today's New York Times crossword by Jennifer Nutt: VIDEOCLIP, CIRCULARFILE, TRAINBUFF, MOONSHINE and SOCIALPOLISH. "Appropriate exclamation upon solving this puzzle?" is INAILEDIT. Look at the last part of each theme answer: things we do to our nails.....although I would have also included a phrase that ends with BREAK. :)

Patti Varol's Los Angeles Times crossword includes WINGEDVICTORY ("Statue of Nike at the Louvre"), PRINCEOFPEACE and KNEWATHINGORTWO. The central answer, "Hand gesture for the last word" of each of those answers, is VSIGN.

"Walk back and forth" is PACE. But why is the phrase always worded that way? It should be "Walk forth and back." We can not walk back until we have first walked forth. And while I'm on the subject, why do we say "One after another"? Shouldn't it be "Another after one"? The "another" can't come first. The "one" comes first and then another. Okay, let's move on.

There were more of the usual over-used words in the 13x13 NEA crossword: ACHE, ASEA, ASP, END, ESS, ETNA, ILK, OAT, ODE, SRTA and USER. The Universal crossword was no better; it included APT, ARENA, ASH, EER, EMIT, LEI, NEE, OAF, OIL, PTA and TEE. This is not possible, of course, but if we could pass a law requiring that all words in crossword puzzles be of at least five letters, puzzle makers would have to be more creative. Unfortunately, such a law may have an unintended effect: We would no longer see the over-used three- and four-letter words but eventually we'd probably start seeing the same five-letter words repeatedly. *Sigh*
Today's Puzzles / Re: Sun., 6/28 Jim Quinlan
« Last post by Thomps2525 on June 28, 2015, 03:23:30 PM »
Merl Reagle's crossword today also included HOFBRAU, for "German-style bistro." The word is short for hofbräuhaus, which means "court brewery." The German monarchs had their own official breweries. Ach du Lieber Himmel!
Today's Puzzles / Re: Sun., 6/28 Jim Quinlan
« Last post by Thomps2525 on June 28, 2015, 03:13:01 PM »
Only one foreign word? Merl Reagle's Sunday crossword included five: AMOI ("Mine, to Mimi"), ELTORO, LUI, ORO and ROI. Our old friends AVA Gardner and LON Chaney also put in an appearance. The theme is "Plays Well With Authors."

Overact, author-style? HAMMETTUP
Takes certain court action, to an author? SEUSSFORDAMAGES
"I'll catch up after I rest a bit," to an author? HUGOONAHEAD
Proposal from an author? VONNEGUTMARRIED
Author's favorite singing group? DEFOESEASONS
Author's favorite song from the '60s? DELILLOLADYFROMPASADENA
Author's favorite line from a classic Southern song? LECARRELECARRELECARREDIXIELAND

Whoo! Reagle really put some effort into that last one! Overall, a very clever and creative puzzle.
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