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91
Today's Puzzles / Sat., 3/15 Barry C. Silk
« Last post by magus on March 15, 2014, 09:25:13 AM »
THEME:   none, but only 28 blocks
   
GOOD ONES:     
Ballpark figs.   MGRS [not estimates but men]   
Card quality   WIT [not stock but clever person]   
Storyteller?   POLYGRAPH   
Short time out?   CAT NAP   
   
BTW:   
AROD, Edgar MARTINEZ, and PICK-OFF anticipate Opening Day in two weeks --- so do I.   
   
Zip up   ANIMATE [zip up = make things more lively; animate = bring to life --- they seem quite different, but they both can mean enliven.]   
   
Is there such a term as ORE CARS?  I heard of hods.   
   
As themeless puzzles go, this is a-one, but without a theme....

RATING:    ;D ;D
Three grins = Loved it; Two grins = Enjoyed it; One grin = A bit bland for my taste; One teardrop = Not much fun   
92
Today's Puzzles / Fri., 3/14 Marti DuGuay-Carpenter
« Last post by magus on March 14, 2014, 09:06:35 AM »
THEME:   substituting S for C in common phrases changes things
   
GOOD ONES:     
Get one's kicks in a painful way?   TAKE IT ON THE SHIN [not CHIN]   
Principal plant?   THE BIG SHILL [not CHILL --- this was tough]   
Pay stub?   OLA [from "payola" --- stub suggests the suffix, or end bit]   
Highest power?   VETO [never thought of it that way; I was awash in the metaphysical]   
Digital temperature gauge?   TOE [my favorite of the year --- toe gauges or tests temperature of bath, and a toe is a digit]   
Marathon unit: Abbr.   BBL [another toughie until one realizes Marathon is an oil company]   
Trains may stop at them   ALTARS [yet another hard one: trains are bridal wear]   
   
BTW:   
Ally of Sun   CHAING [I wish I were on a first name basis with these historical figures of the East]   
   
Some like 'em tough --- guess I'm one of 'em.   
   
   
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   
93
Software / Technical / Comparison of CW Construction Software
« Last post by cheapcookies on March 13, 2014, 10:38:08 AM »
Hi, rather new here. Long-time puzzle solver, new to construction. Done a couple of specialized ones (Fraternal, etc) and have dabbled with some demos to do them. I have searched through the old threads on the forums here and haven't quite found the answer to my question: If you were going to buy one product to build puzzles, what would it be?

So far, I see ~6 or so different software packages out there, let me list what I know about them (so far):

Crossfire: Rather nice Youtube piece on it by a pro building an Angels and Demons themed 15x15 with it ... free lifetime upgrades once you buy it ($50), but has seen only 3 upgrade/fixes (1.0, 1.1 and the current 1.2) since ...? And I'm seeing some people ask if it is still being supported (silence from the author is never good, in fact he didn't bother to reply to my inquisitive email) ... But still, this looks like a decent product.

CCW: Crossword Compiler, the author seems to break it into purchase modules, not well received. You can buy the basic or you can buy the bells and whistles. Gets good reviews by those that use it, but then again I tried the demo and after a few usages it told me buy or goodbye, so it's goodbye for now. Maybe later, but not now. Severely crippling your demos is never a good idea.

Crossword Studio: Tried it, not bad. Looks like a newer entry into the market and if the author keeps improving it, it has real possibilities. Current version 1.2 tells me (like Crossfire) it has not been worked up to its potential. Priced better than the others @ $30, maybe.

Crossdown, Crossword Forge and Crossword Weaver: Didn't try them, no idea whatsoever other than they are still for sale with prices all over the board.

Across Lite, looked and it seemed like it was not capable of what I want to do (could be wrong) ... but it's free and only a malcontent would poke holes in free software. Also, I hear theres a 'Crossword  Maestro' out there and Hot Potato Software is a product of an .edu site that may or not be free depending on if you're in education or not (Does  my wifes job at the school count?) ...

Comments? I see very little response to some of these question-threads but many seem to have read them (usually 300-400 reads) so I know somebody out there is reading them.

Again, I want to buy 1 product and 1 product only. What would you buy if you were at the threshold and hadn't purchased anything yet?

Thanks,

-cc
94
General Discussion / methods of crossword construction
« Last post by jpwguitar on March 13, 2014, 09:08:11 AM »
I feel that it is time in my life to dabble in crossword construction.  Before I begin, I'm interested to know if the use of software is considered a legitimate method for serious puzzlers.  What would Will Shortz say?  Should I stick to a blank 15 X 15 grid and a bale of pencils? 
95
Today's Puzzles / Thu., 3/13 Jeffrey Wechsler
« Last post by magus on March 13, 2014, 09:05:04 AM »
THEME:   the word LAW is found in random phrases
   
GOOD ONES:    
Short rule?   REG [as a woodworker, I first thought 6" ruler; then the abbr. for regulation; and finally a king's reign]   
   
BTW:   
Ones often in custody {& theme}   LAWBREAKERS [The way I see it, the word LAW breaks the phrase; LAW is not broken by the phrase as the word LAWBREAKERS would suggest.  Others may see the breaker of the phrase as the LAW, but then we have phrases like NILAFERS, IFEEFUL, etc.  A third possibility is the the word LAW is broken by the words in the phrase, but somehow a 3-letter word that is part of the beginning and end of words in a phrase leaves me whelmed.]   
   
Formal group assent   WE SHALL [hard to believe this clue when there is the iconic spiritual "We Shall Overcome"]   
   
Initials on old globes   SSR [not if ex-KGB Putin has his way]   
   
   
RATING: ;D   
Three grins = Loved it; Two grins = Enjoyed it; One grin = A bit bland for my taste; One teardrop = Not much fun   
96
Today's Puzzles / Wed., 3/12 Pam Amick Klawitter
« Last post by magus on March 12, 2014, 09:11:36 AM »
THEME:   first word of a phrase is repeated making an unusual 3-word phrase
   
GOOD ONES:    
Signed agreement mailed by someone in prison?   CON SENT CONSENT   
Backs a fashion venture?   INVESTS IN VESTS   
Songwriter's dream?   FORTUNE FOR TUNE   
Deer guy   STAG [few days ago it was "Deer girl" for DOE]   
One unlikely to bring home the bacon?   VEGAN   
New newts   EFTS   
Dessert conveyance   CART [unless you read it "desert" and thought it was a camel]   
   
BTW:   
To riterate:  ERES is not English, but there is a song enjoyed here: "Eres Tu."   
   
Authorize two bros' get-together?   MANDATE MANDATE [but "to mandate" means "to order," which is different from "to authorize" --- I am authorized to enter the vault but not mandated to enter it]    
   
A trip down memory lane with Bob Pettit (not Andy Pettite), quite a shooter in his day; and Richard Egan in A Summer Place, quite  a scandal in its day.   
   
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
Today's Puzzles / Tue., 3/11 Mengel & Gianette
« Last post by magus on March 11, 2014, 08:50:15 AM »
THEME:   first words of a phrases begin with FL, then, in order: a, e, i, o, u
   
GOOD ONES:
     
Queue after Q   RST   
Layer with "holes" in it   OZONE [because I didn't pay attention to quotes around holes, I first thought Swiss cheese]   
   
BTW:   
Big-time   MAJOR [note hyphen making the term an adjective]   
   
RATING:    ;D
Three grins = Loved it; Two grins = Enjoyed it; One grin = A bit bland for my taste; One teardrop = Not much fun   
98
Today's Puzzles / Mon., 3/10 Brom Hart
« Last post by magus on March 10, 2014, 09:06:27 AM »
THEME:   last word of a phrase is an animal with an initial P; first word of phrase also begins with P
   
GOOD ONES:     
Deer girl   DOE [okay it's a female, but it's not Dear]   
   
BTW:   
APER seems used only in Xwords; bet you'll never see it in print.   
   
Utter mess   SNAFU [WWII acronym: situation normal: all fouled up (expurgated version)]   
   
Spot for a cat, or drink like a cat   LAP [too bad the second clue was given; without it one might think "leopard's spot" or "jazz joint" synonym]   
   
   
RATING:    ;D
Three grins = Loved it; Two grins = Enjoyed it; One grin = A bit bland for my taste; One teardrop = Not much fun   
99
Today's Puzzles / Sun., 3/9 Doug Peterson
« Last post by magus on March 09, 2014, 10:12:28 AM »
THEME:   music syllable added to a familiar phrases yields an odd phrase
   
GOOD ONES:     
DO-RE-FA-SOL-LA-TI-DO appear in order   
Japanese soup, apparently?   MISO IT SEEMS [miso is the soup]   
Broadcaster who goes on and on?   TIRING ANNOUNCER   
Speak for yourself?   BRAG   
State secrets?   BLAB [state is a verb]   
The 't' in Crete?   TAU [Greek spoken there]   
Down with something   ILL [hipsters think "in agreement"; politicos think deconstructionism]   
Historic Parks   ROSA [note capital P --- I did but came up with BERT  :-[  ]   
   
BTW:   
ENERO not used in English   
   
RATING:    ;D ;D
Three grins = Loved it; Two grins = Enjoyed it; One grin = A bit bland for my taste; One teardrop = Not much fun   
100
Today's Puzzles / Sat., 3/8 Brad Wilber
« Last post by magus on March 08, 2014, 09:35:05 AM »
THEME:   none, 31 blocks
   
GOOD ONES:     
Start to amble?   PRE [prefix of preamble]   
They need connecting flights   STORIES [stairs connect floors or stories]   
Org. that keeps driving stats   PGA [golf assn. not AAA, which I thought]   
   
BTW:   
"Unforgettable" by father and daughter is a remixed duet gem.  Probably available free on You Tube.   
   
INO and TAL are foreign words only.

Breakfast buffet utensil   OMELET PAN [it's cookware; utensils are used at the table --- anything that is used may very broadly be considered a utensil, but then my chainsaw is a utensil.]   
   
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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