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Author Topic: Mon., 1/19 Gareth Bain  (Read 1442 times)

magus

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Mon., 1/19 Gareth Bain
« on: January 19, 2015, 08:45:02 AM »
THEME:   ?
   
I have no idea if there is a theme; there are certainly no interesting entries.  Perhaps a theme exists, but if so it is in deep cover.  That is why the LAT should offer titles for puzzles as they do on Sunday.  As it stands, I've moved on with my day's work.   
   
   
   
RATING: :'(   
Three grins = Loved it; Two grins = Enjoyed it; One grin = A bit bland for my taste; One teardrop = Not much fun   

Thomps2525

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Re: Mon., 1/19 Gareth Bain
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2015, 12:58:44 PM »
Yes, Virginia, there is a Puzzle Theme. (Sorry---I couldn't resist.) One answer was the United Nations' GENERALASSEMBLY. The word GENERAL can precede the first words of MILLSBROTHERS, HOSPITALCORNERS and INTERESTGROUP to form new phrases.

My one complaint: "Happy sign for a realtor" is SOLD. The realtor is happy when she sells a property...but how can the "SOLD" sign be happy? (I have a similar complaint when food is referred to as "healthy" instead of "healthful.")

pattybee

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Re: Mon., 1/19 Gareth Bain
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2015, 04:11:37 PM »
Ah, thanks for the explanation.  :D

Thomps2525

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Re: Mon., 1/19 Gareth Bain
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2015, 05:51:20 PM »
How many people under the age of 50 are familiar with the Mills Brothers? How many people other than soldiers know what "hospital corners" are? And INTERESTGROUP is two-thirds of the phrase "special interest group." The clues probably made sense only to Army veterans in their 70s...and even they would probably be unfamiliar with RIEL, a Cambodian currency. I can understand Mister magus's one-teardrop rating for this puzzle.

magus

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Re: Mon., 1/19 Gareth Bain
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2015, 09:08:29 AM »
My dear Virginia, I have been given access to each LAT puzzle along with the answers --- a courtesy for those writing about their publications.  I never look at them because I want the solving process to be fun and my comments to be honest.  So in the spirit of honesty, how did you determine the theme, and if you did not get it from another source, how long did it take you to figure out?  And if you spent more than 20 seconds on it, was it worth the time?

Thomps2525

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Re: Mon., 1/19 Gareth Bain
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2015, 01:58:37 PM »
I follow a general (sorry!) rule: if a puzzle contains three or four long horizontal words, those words almost always fit a theme. In the January 19 crossword, the clue for GENERALASSEMBLY notes that each of the first words of the three theme answers can comprise the answer. "Assemble" the word GENERAL before HOSPITAL, MILLS and INTEREST and you get three new phrases.

When I work a puzzle, I usually start by filling in the answers to clues that contain a blank space, such as "Santa ___ winds" or "One ___ time." Then I work on the words that intersect them. I don't put much effort into figuring out the theme. When I have the grid at least halfway completed, the theme becomes obvious.

And may I say that there seem to be a lot of people named Virginia on this thread. :)

magus

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Re: Mon., 1/19 Gareth Bain
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2015, 09:00:11 AM »
I understand --- that you did not answer any of my questions.

Thomps2525

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Re: Mon., 1/19 Gareth Bain
« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2015, 08:17:10 PM »
I want to be a good lil' question answerer, so here goes:

"How did you determine the theme?" It was quite clear from the clues.

"If you did not get it from another source, how long did it take you to figure out?" Just two seconds, long enough to read the lengthiest clue. The clues to the themes almost always refer to "words marked with an asterisk" or to certain across answers (e.g., "12-across, 20-across and 33-across").

"And if you spent more than 20 seconds on it, was it worth the time?" Most themes are pretty obvious because of the clues. Sometimes a puzzle's theme answers will begin with similar words, such as BAIT, BEAT, BITE, BOAT and BOUT. Sometimes the theme answers will be homonyms or synonyms. In those cases, the theme will not be immediately obvious. But the time spent on recognizing the theme is only a few seconds...and I still have to fill in the answers. I don't even need to know the theme before I start entering words. My best answer to "Was it worth the time?" is: "Not applicable."

magus

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Re: Mon., 1/19 Gareth Bain
« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2015, 09:21:04 AM »
Thanks, Rewind, for answering.  Maybe I'm slipping but it still makes no sense to me. 

Anyway, there's nothing like a daily post's three or more replies to garner interest in the this space.  As with most media outlets, controversy sells.

 


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