Archive for October, 2009

Puzzle #22: Wordplay: Poltergeists

October 30, 2009

Happy Halloween everybody!  In honor of All Hallows Eve, we’ve got a mystery (Roh-roh Raggy!) and a ghost problem.  In fact, I’ve got a bunch of answers infected by poltergeists!  Allow me to explain.  Below is a list of clues to fifteen one word answers.  The answers are all pretty random words, but all of the answers also contain poltergeists.  Poltergeists are letters that don’t really belong there, and if you exercise these ghosties (remove them from the word), a new word will appear.  These poltergeist free words are all related, and the theme is somewhat timely.  What is the connection of the poltergeist free word list?  That’s your mystery.  -Insert maniacal laugh here –  To help you along your ghostbustin’ ways, I have included two numbers in parenthesis after each clue.  The first number s the number of letters in the answer to the clue, and the struckout number represents the number of poltergeists that need to be removed from the word to create the final answer.  No letters need to be rearranged to get the final answer.  Just remove the poltergeists and the final answer will magically appear.  Happy Puzzling!

1.  Little green man (7, 1)

2.  He usually wear motley and bells (6, 1)

3.  One’s choice of doing things (8, 4)

4.  Piece of referee’s equipment (7, 2)

5.  Take apart (9, 3)

6.  A college in Poughkeepsie (6, 1)

7.  Norwegian coastline feature (5, 1)

8.  To make record of (8, 4)

9.  Not said under one’s breath but ____  (5, 1)

10.  A small skinny boat (5, 1)

11.  Long unbroken waves (6, 1)

12.  Supported a motion (8, 4)

13.  Gather together something unruly (7, 3)

14.  European seaside resort (7, 1)

15.  Prepared dinner (6, 2)

Theme of Poltergeist Free Answers: __________________________


On Puzzles Blogs and Quizes And Yankee Fans and Free Drinks Answers

October 27, 2009


I must admit that I am very excited to give out my first prize for this puzzle blog.  It is a milestone for the blog, and a fun thing to do.  It is also a good spring-board for reflecting on this internet endeavor of mine, and upon self-review, I have discovered one truth about Puzzling New York City.  I am pretty good at the puzzling part of puzzle blogging, and not so good at the blogging part.  

Creating puzzles has been the relatively easy part of this shindig.  Of the 21 puzzles that have appeared so far, only two or three have been caused me stress in creation.  I am better at some puzzle forms than others, but by in large I like the puzzle construction, and this is the “work that doesn’t feel like work”. 

The blogging part has been much more difficult for me.  The technical aspects of blogging have caused me innumerable headaches, and the relentless march of time has made posting things on time more difficult than I had anticipated.  I find that I am a good writer, but a bad editor.  So even if I have a puzzle ready to be posted for a given week, the actual posting takes much longer than the time I have budgeted to post it.  I am also a bad marketer of the blog, as I do not yet get how to get my blog linked to others.  I mean how do you do this without being totally rude?

“Love your blog Bob, BTW could you mention my utterly fabulous blog?”

I know from past experience with a theatre company that the creating part of what you like to do, be it painting, theatre, writing etc., is always the easy part of the job.  Getting your name out in front of people, finding the time or getting paid to do it, and finding an audience are the real chores.  It has been said to me that a big problem is that creative people just aren’t wired to do the “grunt” work.  I have thought about that, and that assessment does have a ring of truth to me.  I think that more accurately though is that the grunt work to get out your creative work is just plain more time-consuming.  What bloggers and artists do have very little financial return initially, if ever, and the time needed to promote is time taken away from earning a living or actually living. 

I wish I knew the “tricks” that get one’s blog noticed.  Oh well, I’m afraid that I will have to just keep producing puzzles, expand some ideas for interaction, and try to find a core audience.  I am not too distraught over readership levels, since I enjoy making the puzzles.   If nothing else, I am getting good practice in puzzle construction.


An interesting thing happened when I gave my Ends of the Earth quiz at Rocky Sullivan’s on Thursday.  The event coincided with the Yankees/Angels playoff series Game 5.  The Yanks were up 3-1 and a win would wend them back the to World Series after an “agonizing” six-year drought for Bomber fans.  One of the teams that participated in the quiz was a band of boisterous Yankee fans, who expressed their displeasure with Yankees starting pitcher A.J. Burnett with the team name “Burnett Sucks Clocks”.  They lived and died the game loudly, as was their right, but here’s the interesting thing.  I had a Yankee question on my quiz, “What Yankee won the AL MVP in 1963?”.  This team did not get the answer, Elston Howard, correct.  Now to be fair, the team also did not pick up on the theme of my quiz which was all answers had the initials E.H., but still Elston Howard does have his number retired by the Yankees.  He was the first African-American Yankee.  He is kind of a big deal, and not one of the Yankee fans could come up with that one.  The Yankees always go on and on about their fans being the best and most knowledgeable fans in the game.  Well, I can point to one instance where best is shown in passion, but not in knowledge of a team’s truly rich and fascinating history.


I hid the free drink question that I had asked at Rocky’s in the answers to the pub quiz.  The answer is:


Answers to Puzzles #20 Su-do-kode AND #21 The Ends of the Earth

October 26, 2009

Pencils up and walk away, because we have a winner for the Su-do-kode puzzle from two weeks ago!  From the vast amount of entry received, the winner is:  Max Symuleski (I hope I’m pronouncing that right).  Max’s entry went above and beyond supplying the answer and the row or column it appears on, but was a pdf of the entire puzzle solved.  Well done!  Here is the completed puzzle: 

sudokode answer

Yes the answer is Katz’s Deli!  Your humble puzzler is in contact with Max right now on the prize, and when a choice is made I will let you know!  Congratulations to Max for being the inaugural prize winner in the life of The Puzzling New York City Blog!


I also have the answers to the Trivia Quiz which was the guest round that emceed at the World Famous Rocky’s Sullivan’s Pub Quiz!  If you haven’t tried the Quiz yet use the link above.  If you need the answers, then continue by clicking below. (more…)

Puzzle #21 Trivia: The Ends of the Earth

October 23, 2009

So while I still await an answer submission for Puzzle #20,  I say we move on to puzzle #21.  Last night I was the guest quizzer for the Rocky Sullivan’s Pub Quiz, and today’s post is that quiz.  Thanks again to Scott M.X. Turner for letting me do my puzzling thing in public.  Are there laws against that sort of thing?  Anyway, my contribution to the evening was a New York City general knowledge with a twist.  One team, named Just a Bit of the Tip, got all of the questions correct.   And now it is your challenge, can you run the table o’ trivia?  Try your hand.  Happy Puzzling!

TITLE:  The Ends of the Earth


 1.  Who is the current Attorney General of the United States of America?

 2.  What is the largest city run hospital in the borough of Queens?

 3.  What is the traditional Long Island summer getaway for New York’s elite?

 4.  What Chelsea resident actor was nominated for a Tony Award for the play Coast of Utopia and is currently appearing in the film New York, I Love You?

 5.   What kind of writing is found on Cleopatra’s Needle in Central Park?

 6.  What New York Neighborhood is bounded by the East River to the east, East 96th Street to the south, 5th Avenue to the West, and the Harlem River to the North?

 7.  What former New York Yankee great won the American League MVP award in 1963?

 8.  Which actor played the Ghostbuster who said the line, “That’s a big Twinkie.”?

 BONUS (2 parts):  Did you get a theme for your eight answers, and what the #&!@ does the title of this quiz have to do with the answers?

Rocky’s and Still No Answers to Puzzle #20

October 22, 2009

Once again I am the guest round at tonight’s Rocky Sullivan’s Pub Quiz!  If you’re gonna be nearby the Red Hook IKEA tonight, come on down.  My round will be general knowledge with a twist!  Mwaah-ha-ha-ha-haaaaaaaaaa!

Nobody has emailed an answer to the su-do-kode puzzle yet and I find this inconceivable since a grand total of, wait a minute let me look this up… 57 PEOPLE have checked the blog since I posted the puzzle.  Why that’s enough people to make a subway car moderately crowded.  Surely someone will rise to the challenge and win the first Puzzling New York City Prize ever!

Tomorrow’s puzzle will be tonight’s guest round.  See if you can score better than teams of enebriated pub quiz-philes!

Answer to Su-do-kode I: Tounge i- Not Yet!

October 19, 2009

Sorry folks, but as of 11:00 PM 10/19 I have not received any emails to puzzlingnyc <at> gmail <dot> com for this week’s puzzle, so I will not be posting the answer just yet.  So come on everyone!  Try out the puzzle, email first and you can win a prize!  Swag people!  Swag!

I’ll update daily until an answer forthcomes.

Puzzle#20 Su-do-kode I: Tounge in Cheek

October 16, 2009

The number/logic puzzle Sudokuhas become phenomenally popular in the last five years or so in the United States.  Sudoku puzzles often appear alongside the venerable crossword puzzle in many daily news papers, and books of Sudoku puzzles can be found just about anywhere.  I would wager that if you ride the subway home from work like I do, you will find someone doing a Sudoku puzzle.  I have always liked Sudoku puzzles, but being more of a word guy, and never being able to leave things well enough alone in the first place, I have come up with a twist on the traditional Sudoku.  I call this new puzzle So-du-kode.  I have replaced the numbers 1 through 9 with nine letters.  You still solve the puzzle as you would a normal Sudoku puzzle, but in this case no letter is allowed to repeat where numbers are not allowed to repeat in the traditional puzzle.  If you solve the puzzle correctly, you will find something to do with New York City spelled out on one of the rows or columns in the puzzle. 



The first person to email the solution to my brand spankin’ new gmail address:

puzzlingnyc <at> gmail <dot> com  Sorry for no direct link, but I would like to avoid the first email to this account being a Viagra ad.

(Where were we…)

Right!  The first person to email the solution to the above address will receive a prize that has something to do with said answer.


So please email the nine letter solution and tell me which row or column the answer is located in.  Use row one for the top row and go down and use one for the left-most column and go right.

Happy Puzzling!

News and Olds

October 14, 2009

Thoughts on This Week’s Puzzle:

My boy is in bed, the bills have been paid, and I have a little time to reflect and look ahead

This week I was able to post my fourth word pyramid, and I am finding some interesting things in constructing these puzzles.  Some of the answers come fast, especially the two through six letter answers, but for every pyramid there is a seven letter or up answer that just won’t come for a looooong time.  This week it was the eight letter answer AL LETTER, and believe me I was not thrilled with having to go with that the first place.  This answer is a prime example of “puzzle speak”.  It is two words that make sense together, but let’s face it, this is just terrible syntax.  Very unnatural sounding.   I was very pleased with the other nine answers.  I wanted to use one of the single letter stock ticker symbols and ideally a letter that appeared in the words WALL STREET.  It was great serendipity that the Loews Corporation has the “L” stock ticker symbol and that the company has ties to New York City.  The rest of the answers are all familiar phrases.

These word pyramids provide me with a second challenge, and that is either coming up with New York-centric clues or finding the New York angle to more common phrases.  In this puzzle, I was more than pleased to be able to get New York Ranger great Jean Ratelle into the puzzle.  Ratelle is a just fantastic New York-centic answer.  I am a huge hockey fan (albeit not a fan of the Rangers, but we’ll just leave it there, OK?) and Ratelle was one of the all time greats.  Sadly, Ratelle’s career is kind of forgotten now, as most of Rangers history revolves around the 1994 Stanley Cup Champion team.  This is really a shame, because there are many great players in Rangers history that are overlooked because of the 54 year Stanley Cup dry spell before the ’94 championship.  Players like Ratelle, i.e. broke in with the team and/or played most or all of their careers with the Blue Shirts are punished for the team’s failure to win it all, while players who had much shorter careers on Broadway are exulted for finally bring home Lord Stanley’s Cup.  I guess this is understandable, but take a second to go to the link about Ratelle above.  He was quite a remarkable player.

Common phrases like TALLER and TALE easily lended themselves to New York themed answers.  Bob Costas was born in Queens, so his talk show LATER was in.  I never could find out through my research if that show was shot in New York.  Does anybody know?  Anybody?  Is this thing on?  I used Sunset Park for NYC kite flyers because I live right across the street from it, and there really is a lot of kite flying here in the summer and fall.  Now about AL LETTER…  I suppose I could have used Roker for Al, but Al Hirschfeld had just a bit more flair for me.  Sorry weather dude!

Heinz Dept.

Still ketchin’-up.  The very fist word pyramid that I did for this blog was inspired by the intersection of two Avenues in Brooklyn, Avenue N and Coney Island Avenue.  I wanted to use a street intersection to bookend the pyramids starting and ending answers, and I also liked the symmetry of starting with Avenue ___ and ending with _________ Avenue in the clues.  I chose this intersection purely because starting with N and ending with CONEY ISLAND made constructing the middle clues easier letter-wise.  I literally had no idea what was at this intersection.  So this summer, I took a little field trip there.  I was a little worried that the corner of N and Coney Island Ave. would be just completely nondescript, but I went with the nothing ventured nothing gained philosophy and checking out the location.

I took a pretty long walk up down Ocean Parkway and across Avenue N to get there.  I passed through predominately Jewish neighborhoods to get to the corner and when I got there I found…

AND MY PHOTOS WILL NOT UPLOAD.  GRRRRR.  I will have to get back on this one.

Answers to Puzzle#19 Word Pyramid IV: Money, Money, Money

October 12, 2009

It has been so long since I have posted the answers to a word pyramid that I had to go to old posts and see how I did it.  Still a wee bit rusty here.  Anyway, if you haven’t tried this weeks pyramid you can do so here.  If you tried any of the puzzles in the recap post and you are looking for those answers, all those links are in this post.  Finally and ironically first mostly, for the answers to this weeks puzzle, just click “Read the rest of this entry.  Happy Columbus Day to all you latter day Romans and workers lucky enough to still get the day off. (more…)

Puzzle#19 NYC Word Pyramid IV: Money, Money, Money

October 9, 2009

A new puzzle!  Huzzah!  This week is my fourth New York themed word pyramid.  Word pyramids are formed by adding a new letter to a previous answer to created the next answer.  The letters can be rearranged to make a new word, but all letters from a the previous answer must be used in the next one.  For example, A, LA, ALT is a legitimate start to a word pyramid.  If you like word pyramids (or word puzzles in general) check out all the puzzles the have already appeared in the Puzzling New York City Blog right here.  Happy Puzzling!


2. ___ ___

3. ___ ___ ___

4. ___ ___ ___ ___

5. ___ ___ ___ ___ ___

6. ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___

7. ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___

8. ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___

9. ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___

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


1.  Stock ticker symbol of large New York City based conglomerate associated with the New York Giants.

2.  Slang for an above ground Subway.

3.  A minor service error at the U.S. Open in Flushing.

4.  A Bronx ____.

5.  Former Bob Costas talk show.

6.  What the buildings in Manhattan are to tourists.

7.  Former New York Ranger great Jean.

8.  Mr.Hirschfeld corospondance.  (2 words)

9.  A kite fliers dilemma in Sunset Park.  (2 words)

10.  Where the Bull and the Bears do battle.  (2 words)