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91
Today's Puzzles / Mon., 8/11 Christian & Michaels
« Last post by magus on August 11, 2014, 08:59:23 AM »
THEME:   first word of a phrase is a bodily or spiritual adjective
   
GOOD ONES:    
none, in 126 opportunities   
   
RATING:  :'(   
Three grins = Loved it; Two grins = Enjoyed it; One grin = A bit bland for my taste; One teardrop = Not much fun   
   
92
General Discussion / Re: Crosswordese Is Too Easy
« Last post by LARadioRewind on August 10, 2014, 03:32:19 PM »
And now, another day later, here are more overused Crosswordese words:

AAA ("Auto club" or "Battery size"), ABE, ABLE, AFRO (AFRO? In 2014? Really?), AMES, AMIE, AOL, APT, DOE, EEE ("Wide shoe size"), EGAD, ISR (abbr. of ISRAEL), LAOS, LEE, LSD, MER, MSN, NRA, OAR, OAT, OHM, OLE, OLLA, ORATE, OREM, REO, SOL, TOGA, TRA ("___-la-la").

I'd like to have some volunteers in different cities to keep count of all the Crosswordese in the local newspapers' puzzles for the next month. I'll check the puzzles in the Los Angeles Times, Register, Daily News and Glendale News-Press. On September 10 we can post the results and combine the lists. Armed with a ranking of the 40 or 50 most-used words in puzzles, maybe we can encourage puzzle makers to start being more creative. (AFRO? In 2014? Really?)
93
Today's Puzzles / Sun., 8/10 Melanie Miller
« Last post by magus on August 10, 2014, 09:35:30 AM »
THEME:   common phrases with a Y between them create odd phrases
   
GOOD ONES:    
TITLE:  Catchy Phrases   
Awkward work period?   STICKY SHIFT   
Hoedown official having a bad day?   CRANKY CALLER   
Course often taken first   SALAD [Americans take college courses and have salad first; Brits take salad]   
Be real   EXIST [not the interjection]   
December number   CAROL [I thought twelve, ten (reindeer)]   
Dash for cash, e.g.   TYPO [of course I thought foot races]   
Legend creator   ACURA [I thought some impresario]   
   
BTW:   
There was some interesting cluing throughout like SAFETY clued by football; ARM clued by "pieces"; DEAN by actor, not school official; etc.   
   
Soap staple   DRAMA [soaps are dramas; they can't be their own staple.   
   
Tattoo sites   ANKLES [isn't it anywhere?]   
   
Disfigure   MAR [that would be MAIM; mar suggests a minor change for the worse]   
   
Very early   WEE [needs "hours" otherwise it means only small]   
   
   
   
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   
94
General Discussion / Re: Crosswordese Is Too Easy
« Last post by LARadioRewind on August 09, 2014, 01:31:53 PM »
And now, one day later, I realize that my list of 50 should have been a list of 100...and maybe more. Yes, STET and OPIE should be included. Here are some more overly common crossword answers:

ABA, ABBA, ABET, ACCT, ACRE, AJA, ALAI ("Jai ___"), ALF, ALI, AMA, AREA, ARLO, ASTA, ATRA, AXE, BEE, CHIA, EERIE, EGO, ELM, ELO, ESTA, ESTE, ETE, INCA, IRR (abbr. of IRREGULAR), IRS, LOO, OBI, OGRE, OLEO, OLIO, ORE, OSLO, OTRO, RBI, RCA, REM, SLA, SLR, SNL, TAI ("___ chi"), TARA, TATA, TETE, TSAR, URN, UZI.

And the crosswords are guaranteeing that we will never forget AVA Gardner, BEA Arthur or Yoko ONO. If puzzle makers could create crosswords that include a lot of words containing J, K, Q, V, X, Y and/or Z, they'd be able to avoid using so much Crosswordese and the puzzles wouldn't be so repetitious and boring. That is my opinion. Opposing viewpoints are welcomed.



95
Today's Puzzles / Re: Fri., 8/8 David Poole
« Last post by magus on August 09, 2014, 09:37:00 AM »
Yes, I agree about some themes being pedestrian while the fill may be most creative.  I do not think that this one falls into that category.   

As for Mel Ott, while it is true that those who do Xwords see his name more often in puzzles than in sports pages, the vast majority in our country don't do Xwords.  Of those who follow baseball but do not do puzzles, he's known as a Hall of Famer and not much more.  That he was a slight man who lifted his front leg while hitting hundreds of homers for the N.Y. Giants is known by relatively few.  And, appearing in Xwords ain't bad.  When MAGUS finds its way in, it never refers to me.   >:(
96
Today's Puzzles / Sat., 8/9 Mark Brickman
« Last post by magus on August 09, 2014, 09:17:28 AM »
THEME:   none, but two triples and two quads at the corners
   
GOOD ONES:    
It's just one thing after another   SERIES   
Rock fan's subj.   GEOL.   
Tired sounding veggie   BEET   
Face with hands, maybe   DIAL [if it's not a watch it's a monster]   
Unloose?   SNUG [not a Brit's call to free the hounds]   
It's never right   ACUTE ANGLE [I always found those angles cute   :-[  ]   
Working out well?   FIT   
What an apostrophe may stand for   NINETEEN [as in '76, our 200th anniversary]   
   
BTW:   
They often include materials   SPECS [no they don't --- if you mean the materials and not a list of materials]   
   
Challenging clues throughout made this one great fun.   
   
   
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   
97
special note : Intelligence has to do with the soul, not simply with the brain.

Take electricity, for example. Electricity moves between gross elements and through a gross wire. But the electricity itself -- it is not those elements, not that wire. It is subtle.
98
General Discussion / Re: Games Magazine response?
« Last post by LARadioRewind on August 08, 2014, 05:23:03 PM »
Games and World of Puzzles have been consolidated into a single magazine, published nine times a year, so that means they need half as many puzzles as before. You need to come up with an unusual or rarely-used idea. How about trying to construct a puzzle that uses no E's or one that uses every letter of the alphabet? I remember one puzzle where all the words in the bottom half were reversals of the words in the top half. Another puzzle had words that wrapped around corners. Ya gotta come up with a gimmick!
99
Today's Puzzles / Re: Fri., 8/8 David Poole
« Last post by LARadioRewind on August 08, 2014, 05:12:28 PM »
Does anyone agree with me that the clues are often more clever than the "theme answers"? Today, for example, "head lock" and "navel observation" are cute clues. Another clever clue I saw once was "Spirit of '76." The answer was AGEDLIQUOR. But yet another puzzle with OTT? It's sad that Mel Ott has become more well-known as a crossword answer than as a Giants outfielder!
100
General Discussion / Crosswordese Is Too Easy
« Last post by LARadioRewind on August 08, 2014, 05:03:33 PM »
Every day I do the puzzles in the Los Angeles Times, Register and Daily News and I'm starting to get bored with them because of the excessive use of "crosswordese," the short words that appear in several puzzles every week. In each puzzle, the three or four "theme answers" are usually clever and unique but the "fill words" have been done to death. I tried to come up with a list of the 50 words that appear most frequently. The list is not definitive. Someone will likely ask why I didn't include STET or OPIE. Anyway, here in alphabetical order is my best guess as to the most common Crosswordese. Can anyone create a puzzle that uses none of these words?

ADO, ALOE, ALOHA, ALP, AMP, ANTE, ARC, ART, ASEA, ASP, ATE, ATM, CPA, EAT, EDAM, EDEN, EEL, EKE, ELS, EMO, EMU, ENO, EPEE, ERA, ERE, ERR, ESPN, EURO, EVE, IRA, IRE, LEI, OBOE, ODE, OED, ONO, ORC, ORO, OTT, OVA, RTE, RYE, SPA, SRA, SRTA, SSE, SSN, STE, UKE, UTE.

Does anyone have a guess as to the single most-used word in puzzles? I'm thinking it's probably ADO or OTT. Mel Ott played 22 seasons as a rightfielder with the Giants and, thanks to crossword puzzles, he'll never be forgotten!
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