Double Secret Probation

March 19, 2010

That’s what I am putting myself on.  Yes, I am taking some time off again.  I had successful surgery to repair my separated shoulder, but my arm is still in a sling for three more weeks.  Add to this a family illness and it is time to take another break.  I hope to be back for puzzling duty when the sling comes off and things just settle down.  Let’s try for April 9 with the goal of a spring and summer full of puzzle-rific fun!

Confessions of a One-handed Typer

March 4, 2010

Took a week off.  The separated shoulder will require surgery, with a mid-March date pending.  I will be posting a puzzle tomorrow, and I hope to have a regular Friday-Monday-Tuesday posting schedule this week.  Thanks for your patience.

Crosswords in Brooklyn and Cross Words at My Shoulder

February 25, 2010

2/24/2010:

I am very bad at one-handed typing.  That’s just one of the things that I have found out about having a separated shoulder.  Another thing is that when something else goes wrong, it is impossible to cover for it.  I attended the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament last weekend at the Downtown Brooklyn Marriott, and I had a really nice time.  I met some smart, funny, dedicated people.  I partnered with a just a lovely 3rd grade teacher from Boston during Friday night’s visual clue Siamese Twin Crossword puzzles.  I met a crossword puzzle constructor from New Hampshire, a pilot from Hawaii, and the president of a Pillowfighting League.   Seriously.  I had lunch at the Arby’s that took over Gage and Tollner’s space.  I also tried to solve six puzzles on Saturday and completed 3 of them.  You can just feel the But coming, can’tcha? 

Well, BUT, the pain in my shoulder was still enough to affect my performance, both as a blogger and a solver.  I forgot to bring a camera to the proceedings.  I found that painkillers do not help cognitive skills (Shocker!), and when my wife’s nagging sinus infection took her down, I was unable to attend Sunday’s finale.  Plus, the pilot from Hawaii had broken his shoulder blade and I was not even the best one-handed crossword puzzle solver there!   

I managed to finish 151 out of 161 rookies and 632 out of 643 entrants overall.  So uh, maybe I’ll just volunteer next year.

2/25/2010:

I grew tired yesterday and did not finish the post.  I went to an orthopedic surgeon today, and while I expected him to tell me that I just needed to keep my arm in a sling and rest up, I now know that I will need surgery to repair my separated shoulder.  Turns out that I has a Grade 5 separation, which means my collar-bone is 300 percent out variance.  in layman’s terms, it is sticking up 3x higher than it should.  The operation should be within the next 2 weeks, but it is arthroscopic surgery and should be minimally invasive.  Sigh.  I don’t really know what else to type save that I will try to have a puzzle up tomorrow.

Puzzle #34 Brain Teaser: Where Ya’ Been? (Answer Included!)

February 19, 2010

Hello.  There was no puzzle posted last Friday, but I am able to post one today.  Why the week’s delay?  Solve the puzzle to find out.  Since I missed a week, I will include the answer today instead of Monday.  Also look in the answer section for a special announcement.  Happy Puzzling!

So, you can’t figure out what happened to me?  OK, click below for the answer. Read the rest of this entry »

Answers to Puzzle #33: Wordplay: Poltergeists II: Theeeey’re Baaaack!

February 8, 2010

I hope you enjoyed the return of poltergeists!  If you didn’t try the puzzle yet you can find it here.  You can find the answers to this phantasmagoric puzzle below.  Also, two quick notes to wit:

1.  Friday’s puzzle was my 100th blog post.  Hurray!

2.  There is probably not going to be a post tomorrow due to a family matter.  Boooo!

And now, the answers: Read the rest of this entry »

Puzzle #33: Wordplay Poltergeists II: Theeeeey’re Baaaack!

February 5, 2010

This week we have another infestation of poltergeists!  Below is a list of seemingly random words, but each of them has extra letters in them.  If you remove these “ghost” letters, and read the remaining ones in order, you will get the name of a street in New York City.  The number of poltergeists in each word will appear in parenthesis next to said word.  For example. GRAY (1) would become GAY Street when the one poltergeist is removed.  As an added help, all the street names below are really streets in New York.  No Avenues, Boulevards, Roads, Ways, Alleys, Parkways, Highways, Lanes, Places, Terraces, Loops, Rows, or Concourses etc.  (Think Lower Manhattan and Outer Burroughs)  Happy Puzzling!

HAUNTED STREETS:

1.  BLANK (1)

2. CRANIAL (2)

3. GARLAND (2)

4.  ASPIRING (2)

5.  SWATTER (2)

6.  FAIREST (2)

7.  DURANTE (2)

8. BREADED (2)

9.  WAYBILL (3)

10.  MUNITION (3)

11.  GROWLED (3)

12.  MOSTEST (3)

Comings and Goings

February 3, 2010

Triviography Breakdown

Friday’s puzzle was a lot of fun for me, as the format of picking places in Manhattan allowed me to poke around the city both virtually and physically.  I both learned some new things and got to reminisce about places past.  Some of the pairs that I chose for the “which is further uptown puzzle/quiz” were done strictly for wordplay i.e. two Terminals, John Jay Park or College, but others were trips through time and space for me.  For instance, I went to college at Fordham University’s Lincoln Center Campus and still have a nostalgia for Lincoln Center and the surroundings.  Also, at one point of my life just about everyone who I was close to worked or lived on West 57th Street, so Carnegie Hall was a stones throw away.  I remember the GM Building for my early childhood as a place to stop near F.A.O Schwatz’s, and with the state of the American automotive industry, I thought putting it and the Chrysler building together in a puzzle was timely.

I also wanted to use two fictional addresses, and I had found one for Nero’s Wolfe’s brownstone, but I could not find any other landmarks for any other fictional New York private eyes!  That’s when the Fantastic Four’s HQ the Baxter Building jumped into my head, and fortunately when Stan Lee was creating his Marvel-verse he put things in locations he knew.  Avengers Mansion is pretty much the Frick Museum BTW.

As for Extra Virgin and Diablo Royale, the two restaurants I picked for the “West Fourth is further uptown than West Tenth” question, I must admit that I have never even set foot in either place (anyone know if either is any good?).  I just needed two restaurants and I liked the contrast of the names.  The whole West Fourth Street crossing West Tenth, Eleventh etc. is one of my favorite things to throw at newbies to the city.  Blows their mind every time, and it also gives the Village its reputation of difficulty in navigation.  This preserves what little charm the West Village has left.  Speaking of which:

Heinz Dept. – O. Henry’s and the Bar Was Called Jimmy Armstrong’s

In my musings post after Puzzle #30 I had asked for some help regarding two places that have disappeared from New York landscape, the Greenwich Village Eatery O Henry’s and a bar that a great friend of mine worked at (bloody well ran) on West 57th Street.  My sister found the location of O. Henry’s from a blog called New York Songlines, and according the site’s this virtual walking tour of West 4th Street, the location, 345 6th Avenue is now a bank.  Talk about the village losing its charm!  The bank in question is now a Capital One Bank and that is now directly across the street from a WaMu.  Sigh.  There is pretty much nothing else about the place on a google search.  I may have to, like go to a library or something for this one.  Shudder.

The bar who’s name I could not remember was Jimmy Armstrong’s.  This Clinton neighborhood joint had some tales to tell, but it too had the bad fortune to close in 2002 so precious little appears on the internet about it, but I did find a post mortem in the Times about it.

And so it goes.  New York is change isn’t it?  For those of us who desperately want to leave a mark in or on the world New York is a cruel place to live.  Beloved places vanish, majestic buildings crumble and as the people who made these places “places to be” pass on, the memories also recede.  What made O. Henry’s a long time village staple?  What made Jimmy Armstrong’s so inviting?  Mostly the people who ran the places and the people who came.  When they go, the rest of us get a bank or now a chain “pub” in the case of Armstrong’s.  In fact, right now in New York if the people who make a place special die or fall on hard times the chains are all too eager to gobble up them up and spit out a high-rise or a retail hell in their place.  I find this more than a little sad.  Which leads me to:

Brooklyn’s Loss is Seattle’s Gain

Scott M.X. Turner is one of those guys that makes something special.  He fought the Atlantic Yards Project, he hosted the Rocky Sullivan’s Pub Quiz, and he did great graphic design work for the fair people of Brooklyn (yours truly included, the Puzzling New York Blog’s logo and banner are his work).  Scott is unfortunately for us Brooklyn dwellers leaving us for the Emerald City.  I have only known Scott for a few months, but he has been more than generous to me with his time and energy.  He went to great lengths to focus my ideas for this blog’s look.  He allowed me to do many guest rounds at the pub quiz to promote my blog even though my following was nil, and he was a great “talk”.  Politics, sports, music, you name it he was sharp and game.  I will miss having him around, but Seattle won’t know what hit it.  If you want to catch Mr. Turner’s final go at quizmastering check him out tomorrow at 8:00 PM.  Need Info?  Sure thing.

Answers to Puzzle #32: Triviography I: The Bronx is Up and the Battery’s Down

February 1, 2010

If you did not try Friday’s geographical puzzle, fear not, for I have linked it here.  If you need the answers, click below. Read the rest of this entry »

Puzzle #32: Triviography I: The Bronx is Up and The Battery’s Down

January 29, 2010

This week’s puzzle is a combination of trivia and geography which I am dubbing Triviography! (See what I did there?)  This puzzle will give you a list of two different Manhattan landmarks and your challenge is to figure out which one of them is further uptown (i.e. north) on the Isle of Manhattan.  See how many you can do before you resort to Google Maps!  Happy Puzzling!

Which of these are further uptown?

1.  City Hall or The Town Hall

2.   The Metropolitan Museum of Art or The Museum of Natural History 

3.  Carnegie Hall or Lincoln Center

4.  Grand Central Terminal or The Port Authority Bus Terminal

5.  John Jay College or John Jay Park

6.  Chelsea Markets or Chelsea Piers 

7.  Avengers Mansion or The Baxter Building

8.  The Chrysler Building or The General Motors Building

9.  The Lake in Central Park or The Pond in Central Park

10.  The Cathedral of St. John the Devine or Columbia University

11.  259 West 4th Street or 189 West 10th Street

Answers to Puzzle#31: Word Jumble: Imperious Rex!

January 26, 2010

 Well that didn’t help.  If you tried Friday’s word jumble and solved it, you’ll know what I mean.  If you don’t know what I mean, well click below to see the answers and find out.

Read the rest of this entry »


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