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91
Today's Puzzles / Wed., 9/24 Jack McInturff
« Last post by magus on September 24, 2014, 09:02:10 AM »
THEME:   first word of a phrase can follow SQUARE
   
GOOD ONES:    
Unswerving {& theme} FOUR SQUARE [does this mean the puzzle was for squares?]   
Sicilian smoker   ETNA [guess it's not the Italian "stinkers" I sometimes smoke --- or my brother-in-law]   
Ones taking hikes, Abbr.   QB'S   
   
BTW:   
Cooking aids   OILS [I guess if they're used to prepare a pan they're aids, otherwise they're ingedients]   
   
Pinball goof   TILT [it should be "Pinball cheat" since tilting the table is not a mistake]   
   
   
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
Events / 2014 Crosswords L.A. Tournament
« Last post by LARadioRewind on September 23, 2014, 06:39:05 PM »
UCLA's Fowler Museum will host the 2014 Crosswords L.A. tournament on October 14. Actually the tournament is known as "Crosswords LA" but I added periods so people don't think I'm referring to Louisiana. Participants will attempt to solve five crosswords, custom-made by Los Angeles Times and New York Times constructors. The three top finishers will compete in what's being called a "head-to-head-to-head final." USC business professor Elissa Grossman is the tournament director and I have no idea why it's being held at UCLA instead of USC.

Online registration forms, a schedule of events, and bios of the puzzle makers are on the Crosswords LA website:

http://www.crosswordsla.com/
93
Today's Puzzles / Re: Tue., 9/23 Jeffrey Wechsler
« Last post by LARadioRewind on September 23, 2014, 06:21:13 PM »
It's too bad they couldn't have included the Quin-Tones, a Pennyslvania doo-wop group who had the 1958 hit Down The Aisle Of Love. Oh well...

I concur with the "one grin" rating. The puzzle contains too many overly-common Crosswordese words: ABLE, ALOT, ANEW, ARC, ASP, MER, OGRE, OLE, SET and SRI (as in Sri Lanka). Also there are 41 black squares. Most puzzle editors agree that a 15x15 grid should have no more than 36 black squares. I've seen 40 or more in quite a few puzzles recently.

Today's New York Times crossword includes one of those notorious "words-that-aren't really-words." Sam Buckbinder wound up with DATS for 37 down. He clued it with "___ what I'm talkin' 'bout!" Dat...er, I mean that is really reaching for it, Sam!
94
Today's Puzzles / Re: Mon., 9/22 Marti DuGuay-Carpenter
« Last post by magus on September 23, 2014, 08:48:57 AM »
Hope they don't modernize --- I loved the 40's & 50's.  Much of the pleasure I get from doing a crossword is nostalgic: recalling people, songs, and terms from earlier times.  (See Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris.)
95
Today's Puzzles / Tue., 9/23 Jeffrey Wechsler
« Last post by magus on September 23, 2014, 08:41:01 AM »
THEME:   two-word phrases with first word starting with Q and second with T
   
GOOD ONES:    
Surreptitiously {& theme} ON THE QT   
Start to practice?   MAL   
   

   
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 / Re: Mon., 9/22 Marti DuGuay-Carpenter
« Last post by LARadioRewind on September 22, 2014, 08:46:25 PM »
CBER, which brings to mind C.W. McCall's 1976 hit Convoy, is one of several words from long long ago which continue to appear in crosswords. Some others are AFRO (recalling the Jackson 5 in 1974), AVA (Gardner), EVA (Gabor), OTT (1926-47 Giants outfielder Mel Ott) and ENIAC (the first computer, completed in 1946). Today's puzzle included TAILGATE ("Hold a parking lot party"). Many other neologisms, such as LOL and OMG and IPOD, appear in crosswords. If puzzle makers want to use neologisms, fine, but how about they quit using all the references from the 1940s-50s? Let's modernize!
97
Today's Puzzles / Re: Sun., 9/21 C.C. Burnikel
« Last post by LARadioRewind on September 22, 2014, 08:34:55 PM »
Many times I have attempted to create a 15x15 puzzle. I want to make a puzzle all by my lil' self without resorting to crossword software programs. I can come up with thousands of clever ideas and theme words but I've never been able to find enough legitimate fill words to complete a grid. If I could find clues for words such as RGME, ZOLH, DEPGL and IVFMY, I'd have a lot of puzzles I could post. I'll keep trying. Don't give up on me.
98
Today's Puzzles / Re: Sun., 9/21 C.C. Burnikel
« Last post by magus on September 22, 2014, 09:00:34 AM »
Yes, I saw what you did; wish I could say I were hungry for more.   ;)

Seriously, with your obvious enjoyment of words and your creative wordplay, why don't you make a puzzle.  Cruciverb has a place for member puzzles --- if you don't want to submit one to an editor.
99
Today's Puzzles / Mon., 9/22 Marti DuGuay-Carpenter
« Last post by magus on September 22, 2014, 08:53:45 AM »
THEME:   first word of a phrase is the last name of "a guy named Bill"
   
GOOD ONES:     
Cop's night stick {& theme}   BILLY CLUB [the Billy's are in the same club for having the same name]   
Driver with a handle   CBER [a 70's fad that happily remains in the last century: a handle was a name]   
   
   
RATING: ;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 / Re: Sun., 9/21 C.C. Burnikel
« Last post by LARadioRewind on September 21, 2014, 03:11:12 PM »
Mister magus, when you write a columns about Sunday puzzles, why do you always omiT A COlumn about the Los Angeles Times puzzle? (See what I did there?)

SPOILER ALERT---Anyone who has not completed today's Times puzzle should stop reading now. Merl Reagle has included the names of nine Presidents and other political figures who "spent time at the backup position." The nine names appear in reverse order within longer words and phrases. ASMADASAHATTER includes ADAMS in reverse. RELYTOOMUCHON includes TYLER in reverse. KRISHNAMURTA includes TRUMAN in reverse. I'm amazed that Reagle came up with the idea. I'm even more amazed that he could find nine phrases with a name in reverse.

A nonce word is a word that is coined for a specific occasion. Often there are nonce words in puzzles. They aren't real words but the crossword maker can't find legitimate words to fill a certain area of the puzzle so he has to come up with clues for words that don't exist but technically could exist. In today's puzzle, Reagle was stuck with REROB. To make it into a word, he clued it as "Hit again, as the stage." We likely will never see REROB again.
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