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Author Topic: The September 7 crosswords---warts and all  (Read 1224 times)


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The September 7 crosswords---warts and all
« on: September 07, 2015, 03:48:02 PM »
Today's Los Angeles Times crossword by Bruce Venzke and Gail Grabowski includes LEVELHEADED, SCREENTEST, SECONDHONEYMOON and TICKETSTUB. "Perform a cheerleader's stunt" is DOTHESPLITS. The first word of each theme answer can follow "split."

Foreign words in the puzzle: AVEC, ENERO and OLE. "Sycophant" is TOADY. The word refers to someone who flatters or defers to others for self-serving reasons. "Toady" was originally "toad-eater," a 16th-century term for a charlatan's assistant who drank the "magic elixirs" and then pretended to eat toads which were thought to be poisonous. When he did not die from the poison, the gullible townspeople would then eagerly pay money for the charlatan's elixirs. Another good old-fashioned word for "sycophant" or "toady" is "lickspittle."

Today's Daily News crossword is by David Steinberg, who was born in 1996 in Philadelphia. He was only 14 when his puzzles began appearing in newspapers and magazines. He is not to be confused with the irreverent comedian with the same name. Foreign words in the puzzle: APERÇU, MASSE and MLLE. "Fictional character who 'died' in 1975" is HERCULEPOIROT. The related answers are MOUSTACHE, EGGSHAPEDHEAD and DETECTIVE. "What he thinks with" is LITTLEGREYCELLS and that horizontal answer is in the center of the grid, literally in "little grey cells." Hercule Poirot was created by British novelist Agatha Christie and appeared in 85 books and short stories from 1920 to 1975. The character also apopeared in dozens of movies, radio shows and television shows.

Timothy Parker's Universal crossword includes OPENPANDORASBOX, INTHEWITNESSBOX and BOXINGRINGS. Don't bother trying to figure out how the two long answers fit into "rings"---they don't. With a little effort, Parker might have come up with the names of different types of boxes and made them fit into a somewhat circular pattern in the grid. This can be a project for another crossword constructor.

In the NEA crossword, "Whey opposite" is CURDS. "Curds" are a dairy product, such as cottage cheese, made by coagulating milk and draining the remaining liquid, which is called "whey." I question whether curds and whey can be considered "opposites." Is there a language-expert/dairy-farmer in the audience?


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