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Author Topic: I offer you the January 31 crossword  (Read 1665 times)


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I offer you the January 31 crossword
« on: January 31, 2016, 03:53:04 PM »
Mark Bickham's crossword in today's Los Angeles Times is titled "Misaligned." My one-word review of today's puzzle---and its title---is "weak." The title is also the clue to one of the answers, OFFCENTER. Seven other answers include the consecutive letters O-F-F: THEOFFICE, SHOWOFFORCE, SHIPOFFOOLS, PEACEOFFERING, REPEATOFFENDER, SMIRNOFFVODKA and CIRCLEOFFRIENDS. All the OFFs are either to the right or the left of the vertical center line of the puzzle but that hardly makes them "misaligned."

Complaint department:

"Sics on" - LETSAT (Awkward)
"Bit of a chuckle" -  HEE (Awkward)
"Sweater sizes: Abbr." -  LGES (Awkward)
"Occasionally" -  EVERANDANON (Archaic)
"Granada gold" -  ORO (Not used in English)
"Wee" - SMA (Not used in English)
"Napoleon's légion" - ARMEE (Not used in English)
"MLX ÷ X: CVI" -  (Roman numerals? In the 21st century?)
"Shipping overnight, perhaps" -FEDEXING (Federal Express is popularly known as FedEx, but how did FedEx become a verb? Although, if Google can become a verb.....)

"Dogpatch conditional" is IFN. Dogpatch was the impoverished mountain community that was the home of the Yokum hillbilly family in Al Capp's Li'l Abner comic strip, which ran from 1943 to 1977. The titular character was hardly "li'l" but that's a topic for another time. Capp was quite skillful at creating "hillbilly talk." The Yokums always said "if'n" for "if." In the very first Li'l Abner strip, Li'l Abner declared, "Accordin' to the sun, it hain't supper time -- but the way mah stummick feel, it must be." You can see that first strip (and all the thousands of others) at

"Our Gang assent" is OTAY. Our Gang was a series of 200 comedy shorts produced by Hal Roach from 1922 to 1944. They were groundbreaking because they depicted black children and white children together as equals. In 1955, 80 of the films were syndicated to television and the "gang" was renamed The Little Rascals. The exclamation "Otay" originated with Eugene Gordon Lee, who played Porky (1935-39) and had a speech impediment which made it difficult for him to pronounce the letter K. The character of Buckwheat, played by Billy Thomas from 1934 to 1944, also began saying "Otay" and the word is now usually -- and erroneously -- credited to him. Thomas died of a heart attack in 1980. His son co-authored a biography, Otay! The Billy "Buckwheat" Thomas Story.


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