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Today's Puzzles / The high-tech May 8 crossword
« Last post by Thomps2525 on May 08, 2016, 05:31:29 PM »
Today's Los Angeles Times crossword by Pam Amick Klawitter is titled "Communication Update" and cleverly adds a word to each of seven familiar phrases to form the names of modern methods of, well, communication:

Emeril's gateway? FOODWEBBROWSER
Tiny pair of media hosts? TWOPEASINAPODCAST
Security for sailors? SAINTELMOSFIREWALL
Online photo exchange for redheads? GINGERSNAPCHAT
Having returned to the world of public performances? BACKINAFLASHMOB
End of a 'Great Reuben!' tweet? CORNEDBEEFHASHTAG
'Got a film to share?' ANYTHINGFORYOUTUBE

Emeril Lagasse studied culinary arts at Diman Vocational High School in his home town of Fall River, Massachusetts, and at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island. In 1990, after working as a chef for 11 years, he opened his own restaurant, Emeril's, in New Orleans. He has hosted several television series and has written 18 cookbooks. He now owns 12 restaurants. We all know what a "web browser" is but the term "food web" is much less common. It refers to all the food chains in a particular ecosystem, or, to put it more simply, "who eats who and what eats what." (And no, that is not part of an Abbott & Costello routine. :) )

Saint Elmo's Fire is a weather phenomenon that sometimes occurs during a thunderstorm when a strong electric field ionizes the air around a ship's mast, a church steeple or an airplane's wings and creates a corona discharge which appears as a glowing ball of light. The phenomenon is named after the patron saint of sailors, Saint Erasmus of Formia, who is known in Italian as Saint Elmo or Saint Erasmo. A detailed explanation of the "fire" is at

A hashtag is a symbol (#) which Twitter users can attach to a specific name or word when they make a post, or Tweet. When Twitter users search for a specific topic, all the posts containing that name or word prefaced by a hashtag will be displayed. The hashtag is also known as a "number sign" (as in "#9") and a "pound sign" (on a telephone keypad). The symbol is actually called an octothorpe. The name is believed to have been coined circa 1969 by a Bell Telephone Laboratories employee. "Octo" likely refers to the eight points of the symbol but linguists are unable to explain the last part of the word. "Thorp" is the Old English word for "village" and there was an athlete named Jim Thorpe (1887-1953) but neither seems to have any connection to the word which refers to the # symbol. It's a mystery!

"Shooting marbles" is TAWS. The word "taw" dates from the 9th century and originally meant "to convert (an animal skin) into leather by treatment with mineral salts such as alum." The word derived from the Old English tawian, meaning "to do; to make" and later came to mean "flog" or "beat." In the early 1700s, marbles began to be known as taws.....but why? That is another mystery! And finally, "Sorcerer" is MAGUS. That word sounds awfully familiar to me, for some reason.
Software / Technical / Explaining Entries/Clues in Crossfire
« Last post by RichP on May 08, 2016, 01:39:30 AM »
Fellow Crossfire users, how do you provide supporting information/references for an entry or a clue? Unsure how to best provide supplementary information when submitting to publications in Across Lite format.   
Today's Puzzles / Re: The off-color May 6 crossword
« Last post by fggoldston on May 07, 2016, 08:08:31 PM »
That's interesting I don't think I have ever heard it pronounced that way - also don't think I've ever known anyone who's actually been there - hah.  BUT the clue did reference a song in which they pronounced it incorrectly so it could be argued that....  you know ... it is a homonym in this case, so I think we should give Burnikel a pass on this.
Today's Puzzles / Re: The off-color May 6 crossword
« Last post by Thomps2525 on May 07, 2016, 04:03:57 PM »
"Wight" is pronounced "wīt" -- but C.C. Burnikel used the word as a homonym of "white," which it is not. "White" includes an "H" sound.

Some more trivia for you: authors Lewis Carroll and Charles Dickens and poets John Keats, Alfred Tennyson and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow all lived on the Isle of Wight at various times, though none for very long.
Today's Puzzles / Re: The off-color May 6 crossword
« Last post by fggoldston on May 07, 2016, 11:40:55 AM »
I enjoyed the puzzle and never had any idea that "Wight" might be pronounced differently.   I am puzzled and intrigued now - HOW is Wight pronounced?
Today's Puzzles / The off-color May 6 crossword
« Last post by Thomps2525 on May 06, 2016, 05:01:21 PM »
C.C. Burnikel thought she was using four homonyms of colors in today's Los Angeles Times crossword. She was wrong. She used only three:

Bonanza star: LORNEGREENE
Entertained the kids, in a way: READALOUD
Cottage site in the Beatles' When I'm Sixty-Four: ISLEOFWIGHT

The puzzle's theme is OFFCOLOR ("Risqué...and what each long answer contains"). Blew and blue are pronounced the same. So are Greene and green. So are read and red. But Wight and white are not homonyms. Some people might pronounce "white" as "wite" but such a pronunciation is incorrect, just as the pronunciation of "temperature" as "tempature" is wrong and the pronunciation of "comfortable" as "cumfterble" is wrong. Common, yes -- but wrong.

Isle of Wight is an unincorportated community in Isle of Wight county in southeast Virginia. Christopher Lawne, an English merchant, established a plantation in the area in 1618 and named it Warrosquoake, a variant spelling of Warraskoyak, a Native American tribe of the Powhatan Confederacy. In 1634, King Charles I of England divided Virginia into eight shires (the British equivalent of counties). The region settled by Lawne and other colonists was named Warrosquoyake Shire -- another variant spelling. In 1637, the shire was renamed Isle of Wight County, after an island off the south coast of England from which many of the Virginia settlers had come.

"Summation symbol, in math" is SIGMA. Sigma is the 18th letter of the Greek alphabet. It is written as Σ (upper case), σ (lower case) and ς (when it is the last letter of a word). The function of the Σ symbol in finite summation is explained at

Anyone with an IQ of 35,000 or above might be able to understand the explanation. I certainly couldn't.

"'Ideas Worth Spreading' acronym" is TED. In 1984, architect Richard Wurman organized a TED conference in Monterey, California, to display the latest innovations in technology, entertainment and design (TED). The second conference was held in 1990 and has been held annually since then. In 2000, control of the now-worldwide TED conferences was purchased by Future UK, a British media company owned by Chris Anderson, an Oxford graduate and publisher/entrepeneur. A year later, ownership moved to Anderson's non-profit Sapling Foundation, which has a goal "to foster the spread of great ideas, to provide a platform for the world's smartest thinkers, greatest visionaries and most-inspiring teachers so that millions of people can gain a better understanding of the biggest issues faced by the world, and to help create a better future." There are now several offshoots, including TEDMED, TEDx, TEDxYouth, TED Fellows, TED Women and Ted Salon.
General Discussion / Re: Learning How To Construct Grids
« Last post by Glenn9999 on May 04, 2016, 10:05:54 AM »
Check out Sage Advice on the left and the thread under Construction - Etc. called  "General rules for filling in a grid?"

Thank you for your response.  I've seen most of the "Sage Advice", but I'll take a look at the other thread.  What I saw initially seems helpful.  The only real thing I don't see a clear start on is how to do fill in order to find the most success in filling the area with at least one other word that could be interesting (besides theme entries).   

As I've been a bit slow for time and my work on trying to learn how to do certain types of grids I still can't finish, I'll probably have more questions/need of assistance when I can walk-through what I have here.
Today's Puzzles / Mental floss: The May 1 crossword
« Last post by Thomps2525 on May 01, 2016, 05:36:37 PM »
Kathleen Fay O'Brien came up with a very clever theme for today's Los Angeles Times crossword. The title is "Floss" -- which is to be read as "F loss." Each theme answer is a familiar phrase with an F eliminated and the spelling changed:

Hooting, mostly? OWLLANGUAGE (Fowl language)
Saying 'Break a leg,' say? STAGERITE (Stage fright)
Plumbing school basic? WRENCHLESSON (French lesson)
Astronomers' monthly reading? ORBSMAGAZINE (Forbes magazine)
Supply at the thermometer factory? READYMERCURY (Freddie Mercury)
Perfect apartment deal? GOLDONLEASE (Golden Fleece)
Beet-flavored drink? ROOTCOCKTAIL (Fruit cocktail)
Traditional wisdom about hustlers? DANCELORE (Dance floor)
Song about a yellow ribbon? OAKBALLAD (Folk ballad)

Freddie Mercury was the lead singer of Queen, whose hits included Bohemian Rhapsody, We Are The Champions, Another One Bites The Dust and Crazy Little Thing Called Love. Mercury, who was born Farrokh Bulsana in Zanzibar, died of AIDS in 1991.

In Greek mythology, the Golden Fleece is the fleece of a golden-haired winged ram and is a symbol of authority and kingship. In the tale of Jason and the Argonauts, which dates from around 300 BC, the fleece is sought by Jason so he can rightfully assume the throne of Iolcus, a city in Thessaly, Greece.

The "folk ballad" is Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round The Ole Oak Tree, written by Irwin Levine and L. Russell Brown. The song was based on a folk tale about a Union prisoner of war returning home from a Confederate POW camp in Georgia. In the song, a returning soldier had asked his girlfriend to tie a yellow ribbon around an oak tree in front of her house if she still wanted him. The soldier, riding in a bus, is amazed to see one hundred ribbons around the tree. In 1973, the song became a number-one pop hit for Tony Orlando & Dawn and a top-ten country hit for Johnny Carver. Levine and Brown also wrote two other big hits for Tony Orlando & Dawn, Knock Three Times and Say Has Anybody Seen My Sweet Gypsy Rose.

"Ipanema greeting" is OLA, which is not used in English. "Scottish hillside" is BRAE, which is not used in English. "Every, in an Rx" is OMN, which is likely not used by anyone except for a few physicians and therefore should never ever appear in a crossword. "Omn" is half of "Omn. hor.", which is an abbreviation of the Latin omni hora, "every hour." Using six letters and two periods in place of an eight-letter term isn't really abbreviating it. (And how about using the nine-syllable "WWW" as an abbreviation for the three-syllable term "World Wide Web"?)

The clue "10001 letters" at first made no sense -- but the answer is NYNY. The clue refers to the ZIP code of a 0.62-square-mile area of southeast New York. ZIP (Zone Improvement Plan) codes were introduced by the United States Postal Service in 1963. For an explanation of what all those numbers mean, go to
General Discussion / Re: Learning How To Construct Grids
« Last post by RichP on April 29, 2016, 10:59:22 PM »
Check out Sage Advice on the left and the thread under Construction - Etc. called  "General rules for filling in a grid?"
Software / Technical / Re: Wall Street Journal New Daily Puzzles
« Last post by Glenn9999 on April 25, 2016, 07:23:52 PM »
Do any of you know if the Wall Street Journal daily puzzles--starting today!--will be available in AcrossLite format?

They have become available, just recently (AFAIR).  Follow off the pattern of the links that AllergyDoc posted, and you'll get the dailies.  For instance, the 04/25/2016 grid is at
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