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Today's Puzzles / Re: Wed., 7/29 Ian Livengood
« Last post by magus on July 30, 2015, 08:44:20 AM »
I didn't like WETLY either, but I thought it possible to be used --- probably in a bad novel --- "She slithered out of the pool and kissed him wetly on the lips."  I have, by the way, copyrighted that line.
Today's Puzzles / Thu., 7/30 Jeffrey Wechsler
« Last post by magus on July 30, 2015, 08:39:14 AM »
THEME:   TRYST hiding in random phrases
Romance novel staple {& theme}   SECRET MEETING   
Approach to a landing?   RISER [of a step]   
Bottled up sort?   GENIE   
Road runners   AUTOS [not birds]   
One's earning play money?   DRAMATISTS [I thought Monopoly]   
Homer's beloved   MARGE [sad that one who never saw a moment of the cartoon knew the answer right off --- how did it become so much a part of the zeitgeist?]   
"YOUTH, I do adore thee" shows the superior vision of the Bard since he knew as a relatively young man what it took the "Magus" a lifetime to realize: youth is adorable.   
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., 7/29 Ian Livengood
« Last post by Thomps2525 on July 29, 2015, 02:12:54 PM »
Several more over-used words today: ACT, ARC, EEL, EPEE, LEA, ORO, SEE and STY.

"In a damp manner" was WETLY. I don't understand how something can be done "wetly" or "in a damp manner." "Wet" and "damp" are conditions, aren't they? I is confused.

The answer to "Gilligan's Island co-star" was ALANHALE. I don't think so. Alan Hale died in 1950 and the tv series ran from 1964 to 1967. The Gilligan actor was Alan Hale Jr. A very popular trivia question is "What was Gilligan's first name?" Series creator/writter Sherwood Schwartz gave Gilligan a first name but it was never used on the tv series. It was Willy.
Today's Puzzles / Wed., 7/29 Ian Livengood
« Last post by magus on July 29, 2015, 08:38:47 AM »
THEME:   First word of phrase can sail in air
Sponsor's purchase {& theme}   AIR TIME   
Places to stand and deliver?   DIASES[speeches not bravery]   
They can call you out   UMPS [not darer's prompting you to "stand and deliver"]   
Green span   LEA [not Alan]   
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 / The July 27 crosswords are where it's @
« Last post by Thomps2525 on July 27, 2015, 04:40:15 PM »
All names on Twitter accounts are prefaced with an @. The symbol is usually called an "at sign" but it originally was used on invoices and business accounts and meant "at a rate of," as in "15 hammers @ $6 = $90."

The theme answers in today's Daily News crossword by Joel Fagliano use the word "at." They would have been more clever if they had used the actual symbol. The "Twitter names" are words which become different words when prefaced with "at":

Good Twitter handle for a seductress? ATTEMPTING
...for a teacher? ATTESTING
...for a musician? ATTUNES
...for a sleepyhead? ATTIRED
...for a eulogist? ATTRIBUTE
...for a tire company? ATTRACTION

Foreign words in the puzzle: AGUA, AQUI, GRATA (as in persona non grata, NYET. Best clue: "Professional stuff" for TAXIDERMY.

C.W. Stewart's Los Angeles Times crossword includes TULIPBULB, MACRAMÉCORD, WINDOWSHADE and HIPSOCKET. The last word of each answer is part of a "Reading aid": LAMP. "Dictation taker" was STENO. Are there any businesses who still use stenographers in 2015? "Miss Cowznofski, bring your steno pad. I need to dictate a letter and my Dictaphone is not working. You can type it later...and be sure to make a carbon copy. By the way, are you finished with the ditto machine?"

The 13x13 NEA crossword has the usual high number of over-used words: ERIE, ETE, EWER, IDEA, IDOL, IRA, MESA, ORB, ORO and RTE. The longest answers in the Universal crossword are HISTORYREPEATED, OURLITTLESECRET and HERBALMEDICINES. If there is a similarity among those answers, I have no idea what it might be. A person might repeat a secret and probably would take repeated doses of a medicine but I have to conclude that this puzzle has no theme. We've gotten so used to seeing themed puzzles, we have a hard time accepting the rare crossword which does not have a theme. At least it certainly themes that way. (Yes, I know that was a bad pun.) 

Today's Puzzles / Re: Sun., 7/26 Melanie Miller
« Last post by Thomps2525 on July 26, 2015, 12:37:09 PM »
EDS and ETTA frequently appear in crosswords. EDS usually refers to editors and ETTA is always a reference to 1960s r&b singer Etta James (whose real name was Jamesetta Haewkins). Merl Reagle came up with different clues for those words in today's puzzle: EDS was "Harris and Helms" and ETTA was "Henri add-on."

The theme: "The Constancy Of Consonants." Reagle pointed out that in a headline reading "Fiend Found," the two words share the consonants but the vowels are different. So.....

Lotto fever? MONEYMANIA
Disneyland keepsake? PLUTO PLATE
NRA issue facing voters? BULLETBALLOT
Group that looks out for lost sea birds? PETRELPATROL
Extreme reaction to certain cars? HOTRODHATRED
Like flooded roads? POSSIBLYPASSABLE
Irish store that specializes in gag gifts? PATRICKSPETROCKS

And a triple answer:

Slogan for a cat food commercial? TROUTTREATTRYIT

The crossword included the foreign words OLLA, PLAYA, RARA (as in rara avis) and SAIS (as in Je ne sais quoi) and our all-too-common friends ALI, APT, ARENA, EAT, ELS, ENE, IDO, OAT, ODE, OREO and RTE. One answer which, until today, I had not seen in a puzzle was ONAHILL ("First words of The Old Rugged Cross"---That was one of the first songs I learned as a child).
Today's Puzzles / Sun., 7/26 Melanie Miller
« Last post by magus on July 26, 2015, 09:17:58 AM »
THEME:   ET added to phrases can make odd ones
Title: Close Encounters   
Cross between a hound and zebra?   STRIPED BASSET [striped bass okay, but I'd hate to see a striped basset hound]]   
Dealer's offer   LEASE [car dealer, not drugs or gambling as I thought]   
Thing to rally over  NET [physical, as in tennis]   
Japanese closer   OBI [belt, not relief pitcher as I thought]   
Doctor's specialty   SPIN [politics, not medicine]   
It may be full of ash   WOOD BIN [my wood bin contains unburned wood; hence, no ash --- ash bins contain ash]   
It occurred to me that ash may be the wood (as in Northern white ash), and so the wood bin could be filled only with ash.  Guess I was too r-ash in my criticism.   And why did none of you, especially rbe, jump on me for this failure?  I should have said I was "just testing you."
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   
Today's Puzzles / Re: Wed., 7/22 Tom McCoy
« Last post by Thomps2525 on July 25, 2015, 02:21:35 PM »
Didn't you mean to say "pofound"?  :D
Today's Puzzles / Re: Wed., 7/22 Tom McCoy
« Last post by magus on July 25, 2015, 09:26:16 AM »
I did look closely and thought your spelling weak, but now I see the weakness is more profound.   ;)
Today's Puzzles / Sat., 7/25 Gail Grabowski
« Last post by magus on July 25, 2015, 09:23:11 AM »
THEME:   none, but four triples
Short and sweet, e.g.   ADJs   
Wedding to-do list item   ORDER A LIMO [we order a cake and rent a limo, but I guess we order a rental]   
Haberdashery supply   TIE PINS [yes, and they sit at the bottom of jewelry boxes of old men around the country, so I'd add "once"]   
Employment org. of 1935   WPA [the 21st Century version was "shovel-ready jobs," but the president "says more in a minute then he will stand to in a month"] (Forgive the politics but not the Shakespeare.)   
What this puzzle lacked in clever clues it compensated for by tough ones.   
RATING:    ;D ;D
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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