Archive for July, 2009

Puzzle #13: Sequential New York

July 31, 2009

So once again I did the Guest Round for Rocky Sullivan’s Pub Quiz.  Thanks Scott!  This time my theme was “Sequential New York”.  The eight puzzles I offered up to the Rocky’s puzzlers were a sequence of four things related to New York City, and for each question I asked what was the next thing in the sequence and what was the sequence.  Each correct answer was awarded a point for a total of 16 possible points.  Four of the questions were outer borough related, one for each outer borough, and four were Manhattan or citywide.  As a bit of a hint, I said Outer Borough or Manhattan or Citywide as a preface to each question.  Here were the teams scores:

Hello Hello Hello:  11 points

A Midsummer’s Night Revolution:  11 points

The Woodwork:  10 points

Yes We Can Drink Six Point:  6 points (ironically)

The Saddlebackers: 5 points

Just the Tip, Bigger, Longer Uncut:  4 points

Knocked Out By Cypress:  4 points

Van Halen:  4 points

The Tumblewoods:  3 points

Can you top that?  Happy Puzzling!

OB= Outer Borough     MoC= Manhattan or Citywide

1.  OB:  4,3,5,7, __  What number comes next and why?

2.  MoC:  The Crew of Gemini 3, Chung Hee Park, The Crew of Apollo8, The Crew of Apollo 11, ____________  Who comes next and why?

3.  OB: Confucius, Laotse, Moses, David, ___________  Who comes next and why?

4.  MoC:  The Empire State Building, The Bank of America Tower, The Chrysler Building, The New York Times Building, ____________  What building comes next and why?

5.  MoC:  Midnight Cowboy, The French Connection, The Godfather, Annie Hall, ___________  What movie comes next and why?

6.  MoC:  H,I,K,O, _  What letter comes next and why?

7.  OB:  Svetlana Kuznetsova, Kim Clijsters, Maria Sharapova, Justie Henin, ___________  Who comes next and why?

8.  OB:  Pleasant Plains, Richmond Valley, Nassau, Atlantic, __________  What comes next and why?

Just Showing Up

July 29, 2009

First Some Business:

I am just thrilled to announce that I have been invited back to do the guest round at The Rocky Sullivan’s Pub Quiz in Red Hook, Brooklyn this Thursday, July 30 at 8:00 PM.  The quiz is a blast, and MC Scott M.X. Turner makes sure that a grand time is had by all.  If you are available and near Red Hook on Thursday night, then use the above link for directions and go, go, go!

So, About Word Ladders…

Apparently the secret to word ladders is finding the right starting and ending words.  The three word ladders that I came up with for this week’s puzzle took all of 45 minutes to construct.  Which is funny, considering what happened when I tried to do a word ladder for the previous week’s puzzle.  After days of dead ends, I shelved the whole bloody thing and finished the Sister Cities puzzle the night before (and day of) posting.  The problem was that I was trying to make a word ladder that went from WOODY to ALLEN.  Even though five letter words gave me a bit more flexibility that four letter ones, it turns out that there are precious few words you can turn ALLEN into, and switching the double vowel of WOODY to the double consonant of ALLEN proved to be my undoing.  I am still fooling around with this one, and getting WOODY to ALLEN one letter change at a time is pretty much my first “Holy Grail” of puzzle construction.  Anybody got Galahad’s cell?

I really wanted to use Woody Allen for a puzzle to launch back into my sadly languishing Tuesday posts.  The Woody Allen themed puzzle was to be a bridge to a famous line of his:  “80% of success is showing up.”  I haven’t been showing up for my Tuesday posts, and this is no longer acceptable for me.  So in an effort to “show up” we have today’s post, and I would also like to introduce a new second feature to the Tuesday post:

From the Heinz Dept.

‘Cause I have a lot of ketchup to do (nyuck, nyuck).  There were many puzzles that I wanted to expand upon or offer tidbits that I learned while making them, but I did not get to.  I will be posting these things here, and I am going all the way back to my first word pyramid for the inaugural dispatch from the Heinz Dept.  One of the answers that I needed for this puzzle was “scone” and I figured that I would just Google “Best Scones in New York City”  and find out what Time Out or the Village Voice ranked as the best place to get a scone in our fair metropolis.  Well, the scone is apparently the red headed step child of baked goods, as no NYC periodical has rated “The Best Scone” in any of their ubiquitous Best Of issues.  Undeterred, I poked around sites like Chow hound and came across Alice’s Tea Cup.  Their scones were rated highly by users, I checked out their website, liked what I saw, and so I used this establishment for the scone clue.

Well, as fate would have it, one of the “you’ve hit a certain age” medical test that I went for (turns out nothings wrong with me BTW) was nearby the Alice’s Tea Cup that is located on West 73rd Street, and so I actually set foot in the place and had breakfast.  I can honestly say that the place is very charming in its quirkiness and the food was very good.  Of course I tried a scone and it was great, but the tea that I had was also very good and needed no enhancement from milk or honey.  If you are on the Upper West Side and looking for breakfast/brunch stop, go ask Alice.

Answers to Puzzle #12 Wordplay: 3 Word Ladders

July 27, 2009

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!  Life has had its way with me and I am barely posting the answers to this week’s puzzle on time… or before midnight on the scheduled day.  Sigh.  If you haven’t tried the puzzle, go here.  My answers are after the break.  Did anyone get less steps for ladders 2 or 3?  If so, feel free to post your solution as a comment. (more…)

Puzzle #12 Wordplay: Three Word Ladders or News, Sports and Politics

July 24, 2009

This week I delved into the puzzle form of word ladders.  OK, that is a bit of a lie.  I was working on a word ladder for last week’s puzzle, could not finish constructing it, and then rushed to finish this puzzle.  Word ladders are puzzles where you go from one word to another by changing one letter of the starting word to form a new word and continue these changes until you reach the finishing word.  The letters are not allowed to be rearranged in any way.  For example you could change FIG to BAD with the following three step ladder:





I decided to try and change WOODY into ALLEN (for reasons that I will make clear in my Tuesday post (Yes, I will do I Tuesday post (Yes, I know I am using too many parentheses))).  Anyway, my failure to get from famous surname to famous last name made me take a step back and try to complete ANY word ladder.  Guess what?  I managed to get not one but three NYC themed word ladders completed, and I am presenting them right now.

The first word ladder tabloid themed featuring the arch rival Daily News and New York Post.  I found a way to turn the NEWS into the POST (without any even an editorial change) in the minimum four steps or letter changes.  Can you?  Oh, and by the way, not offend anyone, but look at the most read story on the Post’s homepage.  Stay classy Post readers, stay classy.

For the second word ladder we go to the baseball diamond.  The New York Yankees will be represented by second baseman Robinson Cano and the New York Mets are represented by left fielder Jeremy Reed.  Though I doubt he’d want to change places with him right now, I was able to change CANO into REED in six steps.  Can you do it, or better yet can you do it in less steps?

The last word ladder involves our former mayor and current mayor.  Very simply, I was able to turn RUDY into MIKE in five steps.  Can you?  Can you get it down to four?

Happy Puzzling!

Answers to Puzzle #11 Wordplay: Sister Cities

July 20, 2009

So did you find all of The Big Apple’s siblings in Friday’s Puzzle?  If you didn’t play it, well then you know what to do.  Answers are after the break. (more…)

Puzzle# 11 Wordplay: Sister Cities

July 17, 2009

One of the great things about doing this blog is that I am learning about all kinds of stuff about New York City.  For instance, did you know about the Sister Cities?  Sister Cities are global partnerships between like cities throughout the world.  I find this to be fascinating stuff.  Do you know how many Sister Cities New York City has?  Two?  Four?  Try ten!  Yes world, we really are that cool.  I mean everyone wants to be our Sister City.  Ten is also a perfect number of answers for a puzzle, dontcha know, and I have stepped up and filled the Sister Cities of New York City puzzling void, ’cause that’s what I do.  Once again we will go the cryptic clue route.  If you need a list of New York’s Sister Cities to help you, I’m sure you can find them somewhere.  Again look for all kinds of wordplay within the clues, and the number of letters per word of each answer will follow the clues in parenthesis.  Happy puzzling!

1.  Found within December omens (4)

2.  Canada’s dollar bird flies around North Dakota (6)

3.   Sat on confused Placido (5, 7)

4.  It is the air found in Colorado (5)

5.  Mother, the surgeon has a credential (6)

6.  At first Irving and Jong were consumed by existing (7)

7.  Clumsily took a Spanish article (5)

8.  Mr. Selig is with a trying person (8)

9.  Peru with a primary loss of 6 looks to Oregon’s capital (9)

10.  Pitcher Santana is Spanish and backwards when it comes to food (12)

Answers to Puzzle #10 Wordplay: The Bronx

July 13, 2009

Life still crazy.  Friday’s puzzle here.  Answers follow the break. (more…)

Puzzle #10 Wordplay: The Bronx

July 11, 2009

Sorry for the late post but, today I had to go through a medical procedure.  Probably nothing serious, but I have reached the glorious age where when things are found through routine check ups the doctor says, “It is probably nothing serious, but you should get this checked out.”  So I did.

So a hair belatedly, I present the next borough in my cryptic clues theme and this time it is The Bronx.  Once again, cryptic clues are little puzzles unto themselves, and this is an excellent explanation and solving tips for cryptic crosswords.

Now I have been told that these puzzles are a bit too hard for you guys, so I am going to change it up a bit.  I will give the clues and the letters per word in parenthesis, but I will also include a list of the places in The Bronk after a jump.  I will not spell out exactly how each clue relates to the places, and the “answers” will be alphabetical and not match up in order of the clues, but you can do some reverse engineering to get answers to you are stuck on.  On Monday, I will provide the detailed answers as usual.  Hopefully, this will make these types of puzzles more fun for you guys.  So without further adieu, Happy Puzzling!

1. Super Scheme 101 (5, 9)

2. Replay each bar chord (7,5)

3. In the first quarter, CUNY advances in full, and it sounds like by an eyelash Seton Hall is dropped for Notre Dame (4,6)

4. American poet Cummings presents disjointed “I am stud” (6, 7)

5. Ex-Met Darling with another ex surrounded by mixed up clown (5, 3)

6. Even Ruth aura clouded (6, 6)

7. Navy woman at Hawaii Little League (4, 4)

8. Edgar Allen presents “Cage fora New York Giants Catcher” (3, 7)

9. Boogiedown Biology (5, 7)


Answers to Puzzle #9: Word Pyramid II

July 6, 2009

If you haven’t played the pyramid, then go hereHere are the answers:


Puzzle #9: NYC Word Pyramid II: Author, Author!

July 3, 2009

Happy Fourth of July!  This week is another word pyramid, and forgive my lack of patriotism, but it is not Independence Day themed.  This week the pyramid begins with an author and ends with a poet.  Both have a NYC link.  Again, a word pyramid starts with a one letter answer, then a letter is added for a two letter answer, and then another letter is added to the first two.  For example both A, AT, APT and A, TA, PAT would both be acceptable answers for the first three answers to a word pyramid.  Happy puzzling!

1 ___

2. ___ ___

3. ___ ___ ___

4. ___ ___ ___ ___

5. ___ ___ ___ ___ ___

6. ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___

7. ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___

8. ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___

9. ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___

10. ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___

11. ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___


1.  _____ Henry

2.  The Knicks play this after four quarters (abrev)

3.  East 50’s Asian Eatery

4.  Type of singer found at The Met

5.   _____ Brown, Iron Chef America Host

6.  Type of music you’ll here at a Schoenberg concert at Avery Fischer Hall

7.  What Cesario turns out to be  (3 words)

8.  Where NYC kids played baseball before there was Little League (3 words)

9.  A singular defeat at the Manhattan Bridge Club (3 words)

10.  What an upper floor mail chute is (3 words)

11.  Legend has it this poet took his last drinks at the White Horse Tavern on Hudson Street. (2 words)