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General Discussion / Re: First-timer needs a bit of help
« Last post by Glenn9999 on March 04, 2017, 10:18:39 AM »
I would suggest that you join the mailing list here and send your question out on the mailing list. 

If it works, that is...
General Discussion / Re: First-timer needs a bit of help
« Last post by dps on March 03, 2017, 10:21:23 PM »
It's very well-known to me as a Californian, and I'd certainly allow it in the Orange County Register!  Not sure how famous it is outside of California, tho.

--David Steinberg
General Discussion / Re: First-timer needs a bit of help
« Last post by fggoldston on March 03, 2017, 05:46:01 PM »
As long as it is 'real' and well enough known most editors would accept it.  When I google it, it has pretty good hits - and if you're selling it to a S California newspaper I would think that it would work even better.  One thing though, I have only sold a few puzzles, so my experience is rather limited.  I would suggest that you join the mailing list here and send your question out on the mailing list.  Everyone you've ever heard of in the world of US puzzledom is on that list and most are very helpful and quick to answer.  In here it might take a little longer to get a response.
Today's Puzzles / The March 3 crossword takes flight
« Last post by Thomps2525 on March 03, 2017, 04:55:14 PM »
Alex Eaton-Sainers' first published crossword appeared in November 2016 in the Los Angeles Times. The theme was "Tumbleweeds" and each of four long answers included various cominations of the letters W, E, E and D. His crossword today includes five answers which have no clue. The last answer in the grid is UFOS and the unclued answers are BIPLANE, GOODYEARBLIMP, HANGGLIDER, HELICOPTER and HOTAIRBALLOON. They are literally "unidentified flying objects," at least as far as this puzzle is concerned.

"Infantry equipment carrier" is BUTTPACK, a word I have never seen in a crossword until today. Certainly someone could have come up with a better name than that! "Color on le drapeau français" is BLEU, which is not used in English. "Judge's address" is HERHONOR -- but that is wrong. A judge is addressed as "Your Honor." The term "Her Honor" would be used in speaking about a female judge, not to her. I'm reminded of a scene in a Three Stooges comedy where Curly is appearing before a judge and starts to explain what he did: "Well, it's like this, My Honor....." The bailiff corrects him, "Not My Honor -- Your Honor." Curly says, "Why? Don't you like him?"

"Happy Valley airer" is BBC. The crime drama stars Catherine Cawood as a police sergeant in Calder Valley, West Yorkshire in northern England. Because of the valley's drug problem, local police call the area "Happy Valley." Six episodes aired in 2014, six more episodes aired in 2016 and there are plans for more episodes in 2018. The series aired on BBC One and, in the United States, on Netflix.

"Lenore poet" is POE. In 1831, Edgar Allan Poe published A Paean, a short poem about a young man expressing grief over the death of his wife. Her name was not given. In 1843, Poe published a revised, and lengthier, version of the poem. It was titled Lenore and the person mourning the young woman's death is her fiancé. The poem can be seen at The Literature Network website -- it includes the word "peccāvimus," Latin for "We have sinned."

Lenore appears again in Poe's The Raven, published in January 1845. Poe wrote, "I pondered, weak and weary, over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore." I do that same thing when I'm forced to look up crossword puzzle answers relating to names and terms I'm unfamiliar with!
General Support / R.I.P., CrosSynergy
« Last post by OwenKL on March 03, 2017, 05:57:57 AM »
Anyone know the skinny on this? I'm aware CS ceased Feb.28, 2017, and the Washington Post site has (temporarily? permanently?) replaced it with the L.A. Times puzzle, but I'm curious why CS ended a 20-year run.
General Discussion / First-timer needs a bit of help
« Last post by packs on March 02, 2017, 06:01:54 PM »
Hi all!  I just decided one day to write a crossword.  I've completed about 4 but all of them have issues.  The 15x I'm working on now, I'm trying to make it high quality.  I was struggling with a theme answer (15 letters) so i switched it out and the new answer makes everything fall into place.  I'm not sure the new answer is very good though so i decided to create an account here and ask this community of experts!  The answer is THEINLANDEMPIRE

Thoughts?  Is it usable?

General Discussion / Re: Eeyorish?
« Last post by jeddings on February 28, 2017, 11:54:56 AM »
Wow, really valuable feedback! Thank you!
General Discussion / Re: Eeyorish?
« Last post by mmcbs on February 28, 2017, 05:45:28 AM »
Of course, every word was made up at one time, but as long as you're not making it up for a particular puzzle, that's OK. It really all depends on the situation (publisher, day of the week, type of puzzle). A few editors would insist on it being a "real" word, meaning actually in dictionaries, but many like to use such entries. Argument against: although it's been used in respected publications, it has so few occurrences that it's likely no one who sees this puzzle will have ever seen the word in print. Argument for: its meaning is obvious (unless you don't know who Eeyore is), it's cute, and it's a debut word. You get to decide whether to try it, and the editor gets to decide whether to OK it. Good luck!
General Discussion / Eeyorish?
« Last post by jeddings on February 27, 2017, 06:07:01 PM »
How do people feel about the word "eeyorish"?

It's a word that sounds made up, and really makes it seem like, as the constructor, I'm cheating but... is in online dictionaries and used in articles from Slate, New York Magazine, The Atlantic, and Forbes. It's also a word that the meaning is pretty obvious.


Today's Puzzles / The name-dropping February 25 crossword
« Last post by Thomps2525 on February 25, 2017, 06:59:53 PM »
Julian Lim has had 25 crossword puzzles published so far, more on Saturday than any other day. Many of his puzzles, including today's, have no theme. What today's puzzle does have is an unusually high number of proper names:

Airline to Eliat: ELAL
Conn of Grease: DIDI
Yes! singer Jason: MRAZ
Poet friend of author Ernest: EZRA
Name on many bars: HERSHEYS
Best actress after Field: SPACEK
Urquhart Castle's loch: NESS
Toon pursuing l'amour: LEPEW
Mad Men actor John: SLATTERY
___ Men: one-hit wonders of 2000: BAHA
"For unto us a child is born" source: ISAIAH
2008-09 Japanese prime minister Taro ___: ASO
Anthem For Doomed Youth poet Wilfred ___: OWEN
#3 on the 2016 Forbes "World's 100 Most Powerful Women" list: YELLEN

Ernest is novelist Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961) and Ezra is poet Ezra Pound (1885-1972). Pepe LePew is the amorous French-speaking skunk in the Looney Tunes cartoons. The Baha Men's hit was Who Let The Dogs Out, one of many songs that I never wanted to hear a second time after I heard them for the first time. Janet Yellen succeeded Ben Bernanke as head of the United States Federal Reserve in January 2014. She is the first woman to hold that position and was ranked by Forbes as the world's third most powerful woman in 2016. German chancellor Angela Merkel topped the list and Hillary Clinton was second. The entire list can be seen at

"Pepper with punch" is JALAPENO and "Target of a whacking" is PINATA. Both of those are wrong. The words are "jalapeño" and "piñata." In the Spanish language, the N with a tilde (Ñ) is a distinct letter, separate from the N. "Many a group vacation photo, in slang" is WEFIE. A "selfie" is "a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and shared via social media." The word first appeared on an Australian news site in 2002 but didn't become common until 2012. The Oxford English Dictionary chose "selfie" as its 2013 "word of the year." But "wefie"? I had never heard that one before. I was surprised to discover that Samsung Electronics Company trademarked the word on April 3, 2014. It's a horrible word, one I hope never catches on -- but Samsung certainly must know that "wefie," despite the trademark, is going to be used as a generic term in the same way that people use Coke for cola, Xerox for photocopy, Band-Aids for bandages and Q-Tips for cotton swabs.

"Rule broken by deities" is IBEFOREE. In elementary school, we learned the rhyme "I before E except after C, or when sounded like Ā as in 'neighbor' or 'weigh.'" We were taught that it was a rule. However, it is not a good rule -- there are far too many exceptions. Among them: ancient, beige, protein, heir, veil, science, their, eight, height, weight, forfeit, foreign, leisure, sovereign, either, neither, rein, weird, skein, species, heinous and reimburse.

So "I before E" is not always valid. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go show my dreidel and my kaleidoscope to my atheistic neighbor and hope we aren't bothered by poltergeists. I'm not forseeing any problems.
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