Just Showing Up

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.

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