Archive for June, 2009

Answers to Puzzle #8 Wordplay: Puns

June 29, 2009

This is a quick and late post of Friday’s puzzle.  I am preparing for a Friday – Monday vacation for the Fourth, but I should still be posting a puzzle for Friday July 3rd.  Here’s the punny answers: (more…)

Puzzle #8 Wordplay: Puns

June 26, 2009

I love puns.  I’d have to Shea that this affliction goes back as far as I can remember.  It seems that I think of a good groaner and I can’t keep my Penn Station-ary.  Honestly, I can borough-ly contain myself.  I try to take the Highline, but with a Clinton my eye, I can’t resist and descend to Corney Island in a hurry.  Avenue appreciation for this mental quirk as I now puzzle along week after week.  So please don’t punish me for going pun-ish, but put your thinKings Manhattan, Queens up your act, go for the gold and not the Bronx, and feel like a Richmond by trying to guess the NYC places, streets and sights that are punnily described below.  Happy puzzling! 

1.  Four of deese would make a Gallon Street?

2.  Kings County hipsters dental work?

3.  Block on which St. Nick’s kid resides?

4.  Island home of skinny kangas?

5.  Perhaps leafy greens on the sandy shoreline?

6.  The block that contains a complete 2000 lbs.?

7.  One pulled by the rope play baseball here?

8.  Attempt donkey crossing the Bronx, Manhattan and Queens?

Answers to Puzzle #7 Trivia: What I’ve Learned About New York Since the Birth of My Two and a Half Year Old Son Max

June 22, 2009

I hope everyone had a great Father’s Day.  Here are the questions from Friday’s trivia puzzle.  The answers to Friday’s trivia puzzle will follow the break.  I’m just giving the answers here so you might want to click on the above link, and then go back and forth between windows.  Good?  Good. (more…)

Puzzle #7 Trivia: What I’ve Learned About New York Since the Birth of My Two and a Half Year Old Son Max

June 22, 2009

In honor of Father’s Day coming up this Sunday, I am giving a shout out to my dad, Patri-holla!, and I am  dedicating this puzzle to my boy Max.  You learn a lot of new things when your  first child comes into your life, mostly about pee and poop – I kid! (sorta).  Anyway, I have also learned some interesting things about New York City  directly and indirectly due to my son.  Here’s a little pop quiz on the things that a new daddy picks up besides toys he’s stepped on.  Happy puzzling!

1.  A Sesame Street Trio:

What is the name of Big Bird’s teddy bear? 

What trains stop at the mythical Sesame Street subway stop?

What are the names of Elmo’s parents?

2.  Not completely NYC related but fascinating, what common product for babies is only available by prescription in Europe?

3.  Brooklyn Children’s Book Author Trio:

Name the author and the children’s book that has been turned into a soon to be released major motion picture and ends with the line: “And it was still hot.”

Name the follow up book by this author and what was so controversial about the main character Micky.

Peter Schickele narrated short animated films based on these books.  Who is Mr. Schickele better known as especially around Lincoln Center circles.

4.  When parents complained to the city that the rubber mats used in most NYC playgrounds were getting so hot in the sun that children’s feet were getting burned, how did the city respond?

5. A Comedian Quartet:

What late great NYC born comedian once narrated the stories for the Thomas the Tank Engine children’s show?

Because he was always used to working to an audience, this comedian had trouble recording his lines alone in a sound booth.  What was the solution to this problem?

Since he replaced Ringo Starr as the narrator for the show, what did this comedian refer to himself as?

A comedy routine by this man was played on WBAI in NYC in 1972 and led to an obscenity case that went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.  Name the routine.

6.  How the Other Half Births:  There is a private suite in the maternity at Mt. Sinai hospital that has picked up an nickname for the famous actress who gave birth to two biblical themed named children there.  Can you name the actress, her children, and her pop-rocker husband?

7.  Lastly,  Isabella and Sophia were tied for the most popular girls names for babies last year in NYC,  and Daniel topped the boys list.  Can you name the most popular dog name in the Big Apple for the last two years running?

A Night at Rocky’s

June 18, 2009

For those of you that didn’t know, this week’s puzzle of riddles was also used as the guest round of the world famous (in Red Hook) Rocky Sullivan’s Pub Quiz, and I got to be the MC for the round!  I had a blast doing the honors and the rest of the pub quiz, and I encourage anyone with the means to get out to Rocky’s this or any other Thursday to do so!  I had a team of four friends come out to support me, and we had a grand time.  I then could not wait to blog about it and had:

A. Computer issues – then

B: Time crunch.

So much for striking while the iron was hot.  I can’t even upload the picture of me at the MC’s desk just yet…  grrrrrrrrrrr.

I must admit I was nervous about doing the quiz round.  Would I be boring?  Would I be unintelligible?  Were riddles too esoteric?  Turns out no on all accounts, although the fabulous host Scott M.X. Turner did tease me about the “game show host voice” I had used, and yes Scott I was practicing that voice for weeks.

The pub quiz consists of teams that work together on answers and then quietly confer and write ’em down, so I knew I was OK when there was much conferring going on after the first few riddles.  When it was all said and done, most teams got 5 of 8 riddles.  One team got 6.  My team, sans my help, got 5.  I think the riddles were tough, but fair.  My friends said I did a heck of a job, and a couple of other players were hoping that the riddles would be posted on the blog so friends of theirs could play as well.  That was the first feedback I have gotten from a non-friend or relative and that made me feel pretty dang good.  Scott has also invited me to come back and guest again and that is also heartening.

Finally, there is a tradition of giving out a point to answers that make you laugh, and I got two answers that indeed made me LOL as the kids like to type for this riddle:

I have two Davids, two Marias, four Jameses and dozens of Bills.  What am I?

“A bunch of people looking for a rent controller apartment”, and “My sisters lovers.”

Both received points.  See y’all tomorrow for another puzzle.  Trivia tomorrow, just soes you knows.

Answers Puzzle# 6: Riddles

June 15, 2009

Thanks to everyone who came out to Rocky Sullivan’s and allowed me to break out my inner Frank Gorshen.  I always preferred John Austin as the Riddler, but hey, I’ve always been a Shemp kinda guy.  I will have a write up on the pub quiz tomorrow, but you shall get the answers today.  That is unless you haven’t tried to unravel my NYC riddles yet.  In that case go here.  Otherwise read on:

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Puzzle #6 Wordplay: Riddles

June 12, 2009

Riddles are one of the oldest forms of puzzles known to man, and today I have eight brain teasers for you.  All of them are New York city themed (natch), and they also have the distinction of being the guest round for the Rocky Sullivan Pub Quiz!  I will have details of how my night went in the Tuesday post for this puzzle.  It should go great considering I already forgot my digital camera!  Sigh…  Anyway, if you weren’t at Rocky’s last night try these on for size.  Happy Puzzling!

1. Where in New York City do you travel up to 65 miles per hour, and yet always end up where you have started?

2. I have several poles with no opinions, a gate that moves, and my grass is inside my dirt.  What am I?

3. I have two Davids, two Marias, four Jameses and dozens of Bills.  What am I?

4. My annual visits are steeped in the past, but you know my visage thanks to New York and a one Mr. Nash.  And I am?

5. Where do thousands of people go from New York to Paris and back again eight times a week?

6. In the Big Apple how can you take one line and go from a circle to a square?

7. Although I am originally from France, I am now the quintessential New Yorker, and even though I am over 100 years old, I have only had work done on my face once.  Who am I?

8.  This last riddle returns to a rhyme.

     I am a clock, but I don’t measure time.

    What do I track?  Well it ain’t much fun.

    And it got a trillion times worse just by adding a one.

I am a Guest Quizzer Tonight!

June 11, 2009

Late breaking news everyone!  I will be the guest quizzer for a round at the Fabulous Rocky Sullivan’s Pub Quiz!  Scott M.X. Turner, designer of the equally fabulous banner for this sight is the host and had graciously allowed me to do a round of riddles.  If you are free tonight 8-ish, like a good time then come on out to Brooklyn and answer questions for drinks and bragging rights!  Follow the above link for directions.

Your attention please, ladies and gentlemen…

June 9, 2009

I am going off topic for my Tuesday post today, and will not be talking about the word pyramid, save to say that I had a lot of fun constructing it, and that DISCO LANE deserves a huge assist to my lovely wife.   I did something last night that I wish to share/expound upon and I hope you forgive the indulgence.  This won’t happen often.

Last night I was able to get a pair of free tickets through my job to the Yankees/Rays game at the new Yankee Stadium.  This was the first time I had set foot in the new ballpark after having attended games on and off for 38 years at the old one, and boy did it feel odd.  The new Yankee Stadium is much easier to navigate, has more amenities (restrooms, food stands and the like), and has roomier seats and decent sight lines (even if you were sitting 10 rows up in the right field upper deck) (two parenthesis in one sentence?) (Now four, OK, I’ll stop).  Having said all this, the new Yankee Stadium just didn’t wow me.  It made an impression on me, but did not impress.

Sure, the restaurants, and art stores, and higher scale food was great, but does Yankee Stadium really need that to make it great?  Lets just put all of the greed and vanity elements of the Yanks and Steinbrenner aside.  I know most of the reasons for a new Yankee Stadium are rooted in making some very rich people that much richer.  I know the shady and unfulfilled promises make to the Bronx about developing the land that old Yankee Stadium sits on.  I am just focusing on the visceral experience of watching a Yankee game at the stadium, and I found all of the new bells and whistles did not enhance, but distract from the game.  There was more pre-recorded music and less organ music.  More shouty announcements from the PA instead of the classic Bob Sheppard calls.  And I’m going to stop now because I sound really old…

The friend who accompanied me to the game last night also went to the next to last game at the old Stadium with me and we were both left a little cold.  I asked around my office today about impressions of the New Yankee Stadium and the words that came back were “sterile” and “corporate”.  For me, if the old Yankee Stadium was a cathedral to baseball, the new one is a shrine.  Cathedrals celebrate the past but stay vital through present use, while shrines are solely used to extol the past and usually through excess.  I have a sneaky suspicion that the new Yankee Stadium will never be “my” Yankee Stadium, just like the old one was not my father’s anymore after it’s face-lift in the ’70’s. 

That is the way of New York City.  Old institutions reinvent themselves for the next set of youngsters, and while the New Yankee Stadium is not for me, I will gladly let others make it their own.

Answers to Puzzle #5 Wordplay NYC Word Pyramid

June 8, 2009

If you haven’t played the pyramid, then go here(more…)