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Author Topic: Working the September 4 crossword  (Read 1719 times)


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Working the September 4 crossword
« on: September 04, 2016, 03:07:38 PM »
Mark McClain, 70, lives in Salem, Virginia, and has always enjoyed solving crossword puzzles. In 2013, a few years after he retired as a corporate manager for Zales Jewelers, he decided to try creating his own. Since October 2014, more than 40 of his crosswords have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, Newsday and other publications. Today's puzzle is titled "Fitting Jobs" -- and it is not one of McClain's more clever ones but I suppose it's appropriate for Labor Day weekend. A very old joke asks, "What do you call a girl who is in a hamburger bun?" The answer is "Patty." There are many similar jokes involving people's names. Those jokes, reversed, are today's theme. Here are a few of the entries:

Fitting job for Art? MUSEUMGUIDE
Fitting job for Will? PROBATEJUDGE
Fitting job for Stu? TRIALATTORNEY
Fitting job for Roger? RADIOOPERATOR
Fitting job for Stu? HASHHOUSECOOK

"Stinging remarks" is OWS, which is awkward. "Ow" is an exclamation, not really a noun which can be pluralized. "Atlanta-to-Miami dir." is SSE, an answer which appears in far too many crosswords. "Swiss landscape feature" is ALP. As I have pointed out, I never see or hear of a singular "Alp" anywhere except in crossword puzzles. "Scruffy couple" is EFS, another execrable use of spelled-out letters. "F" is spelled "F," not "EF." That is why the word is "scruffy" and not "scruefefy." Three French words appear today. "Été month" is AOUT (August), which is not used in English. "Parlez-___ français?" is VOUS, which is not used in English.  "French vineyards" is CRUS. Cru literally means "growth"  and refers to "a vineyard or group of vineyards, especially one of recognized quality." An explanation of the word and its usage as a wine classification is at

"Sesame Street network" is PBS. Yes, but in August 2015 the financially beleaguered Sesame Workshop, the non-profit organization which produces the program, entered into a five-year partnership with HBO. Thirty-five new episodes of Sesame Street will be produced each year and will premiere on HBO. Each new episode will be available for viewing on PBS after it has run exclusively on HBO for nine months. The deal is unpopular with parents and educators, however. Sesame Workshop benefits from HBO's funding but children whose parents aren't paying $180 a year for HBO will have to wait nine months for each new episode. And how many of those parents would want to pay for a network showing hundreds of "sex-and-violence" films just so their kids can see Bert and Ernie and Big Bird?

Today's crossword discussion was brought to you by the letter P (for "Puzzle") and the number 4 (for today's date).


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