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Author Topic: LA Times (and lots of other) dead links  (Read 14950 times)

BGoldstein

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LA Times (and lots of other) dead links
« on: January 09, 2019, 09:34:46 AM »
The PUZ link to the LA Times has disappeared.

And probably half the links purporting to give puzzles in puz format have been useless for months.

foodfanataholic

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Re: LA Times (and lots of other) dead links
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2019, 02:22:06 AM »
LA Times is constantly down so annoying. I e-mailed Kevin McCann but nothing’s happened

Phoenix Person

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Re: LA Times (and lots of other) dead links
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2019, 02:30:41 AM »
This is getting quite old. The Monday puzzles haven’t been posted before Wednesday for the past several weeks now. Doesn’t look like we’re getting them at all this week. I wish there was some other method to get the LA Times puzzles on my phone...

BJMcBean

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Re: LA Times (and lots of other) dead links
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2019, 09:56:13 AM »
The LA Times is the only reason I subscribe to this site. I can get the NY Times on their site. I may have to cancel if this doesn't get fixed.

Greg01748

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Re: LA Times (and lots of other) dead links
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2019, 04:06:18 PM »
If you haven't noticed it, see the PUZ thread started by Glenn9999. Today at least, it's the very next thread in the forum list. It's a workaround but much appreciated.He goes to the trouble to format the LAT puzzle into a format that can be maneuvered across lite according to his instructions.  Most recent puzzles added to the bottom of the thread each day. The LAT link has been problematic from time to time so at those times, this is better than nothing.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2019, 04:09:35 PM by Greg01748 »

BJMcBean

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Re: LA Times (and lots of other) dead links
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2019, 07:58:32 PM »
I've tried copying into a text format and then opening the saved text with AcrossLite, but it doesn't seem to work on my Mac. Suggestions?

Glenn9999

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Re: LA Times (and lots of other) dead links
« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2019, 01:03:12 AM »
If you haven't noticed it, see the PUZ thread started by Glenn9999. Today at least, it's the very next thread in the forum list. It's a workaround but much appreciated.

Actually it's Across Lite TEXT which is a script language more for constructors to get their creations into PUZ easily.  Not really a work-around per-se.  We talked about posting PUZ a few months ago, but the problem there is dealing with binary files on a forum that doesn't support attachment.  There's the possibility of offering links to PUZ from cloud storage.  Like you pointed out, it'd just be saving to PUZ out of Across Lite and uploading the file as opposed to posting the text file here.  But the problem (posting them to forum is kinda sorta sketchy) is the LA Times seeing whoever as an "unauthorized distributor" or something like that.  I don't know the conditions that they get to be distributed here, but I have to think there's some kind of permission involved and maybe even some money changing hands in some way.  I don't really know for sure how that works.  Anyhow, what's going on isn't quite ideal, but it's an option.

The very periodic "outages" makes me wonder how the process here works behind getting them.  (I'm thinking a "switch" has to be thrown on Sundays for it to keep working, along with some rigging at the end of the month.)  I've copied puzzle text enough here that I'd like to figure out how to automate it, but don't quite know everything I need to know to find the data URL to download that drives the online solvers.

trauer1282

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Re: LA Times (and lots of other) dead links
« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2019, 07:34:02 AM »
Copying and pasting of the text Glen9999 posts is actually a full work-around in the sense that it provides the same end result as downloading the binary .puz format. After the text is cut/pasted into a .txt file and that file is opened, AcrossLite can then print the puzzle and save it in the binary format.

I've posted a few of the text files and can attest to the labor of love that Glen9999 performs in making the input ready for text. I try to backfill for him occasionally when the LAT feed is down and he's out too.

BJMcBean, give this process another try as it does indeed work on a Mac. Make sure to copy all the text (and nothing else, including blank lines) and paste it into a .txt (not .puz) file. Right/Context click on the file and select "open with", and then select "Across Lite" as the program. The puzzle should open just fine, at which point you'll be able to print it and/or save it as a binary .puz format in the event you want to save it for later on your Mac or open it with one of the mobile versions of AcrossLite.


marylamb

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Re: LA Times (and lots of other) dead links
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2019, 11:53:40 AM »
And I, for one, truly appreciate having the LAT puzzle. Thank you!

steve413

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Re: LA Times (and lots of other) dead links
« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2019, 12:09:47 PM »
@BJMcBean the text version works fine on a Mac

Copy from Glenn9999's post just the text, no extra lines at beginning or end
Open TextEdit on your Mac
Paste text
Convert to Plain Text
Save as text file .txt
In Across Lite, Open and then navigate to the previously saved .txt file.

As far as the LA Times crossword database is concerned I don't think there is any staff member dutifully transcribing the crossword into .PUZ format (but thanks @Glen9999 for taking on the mantle!).  It's probably voluntary.  Your threats to cancel your subscription to a free site make you seem rather entitled.

Phoenix Person

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Re: LA Times (and lots of other) dead links
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2019, 03:16:23 PM »

As far as the LA Times crossword database is concerned I don't think there is any staff member dutifully transcribing the crossword into .PUZ format


There was someone doing this daily up until recently. I used to work the LA Times puzzles every day on my phone, but can’t now because there is no .PUZ format available

Glenn9999

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Re: LA Times (and lots of other) dead links
« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2019, 07:18:51 PM »
I don't think there is any staff member dutifully transcribing the crossword into .PUZ format.

It's automated (about the only way it could be).  Like I mentioned, most online puzzles have XML data associated with the "player".  One could download this and translate it into PUZ via program.  The thing I think is that there's some human interaction somewhere in triggering this process somewhere that needs to happen periodically.

BJMcBean

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Re: LA Times (and lots of other) dead links
« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2019, 11:15:44 PM »
You're right. The contribution is voluntary because I appreciate having the LA Times puzzle in Across Lite. I do it on my Mac and like the AcrossLite format. Simply stated, I can get the NY Times AcrossLite version from their site and a printable version of the LA Times on their site. I'm simply stating that the LA Times in AcrossLite is my only reason to contribute.

BGoldstein

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Re: LA Times (and lots of other) dead links
« Reply #13 on: January 29, 2019, 08:07:42 AM »
Dead, dead, moribund, pushing up the daisies.

DEAD, DEAD, DEAD

And not just the LA Times. So many useless links ...

BGoldstein

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Re: LA Times (and lots of other) dead links
« Reply #14 on: January 29, 2019, 08:10:40 AM »
Even Jonesin is dead here, though one can find it at http://herbach.dnsalias.com/Jonesin/jz190131.puz

 


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