Archive for November, 2009

Answers to Puzzle #25 Wordplay: Broadway Redefined

November 24, 2009

Some sort of cold/flu is just about done working its way through my household, so Thanksgiving should be salvaged, but the blog has suffered.  Anyway, the answers to Friday’s puzzle are below (albeit a couple of days late).  This Friday will either be a little brain teaser or I am just going to take the Holiday off.  Thank you for bearing with me this week and have a Happy Thanksgiving.



Puzzle #25 Wordplay: Broadway Redefined

November 21, 2009

My twenty-fifth puzzle has been greeted with much illness in my household, so it is coming to you a day late and with little intro.  We are back on Broadway this week, as I have “redefined” 12 well-known Broadway plays and musicals from the past and the present.  I have taken the titles of the shows and used alternate definitions for the words in the title.  For example, the current Broadway show A Steady Rain would appear as A Constant Water From the Sky.  Can you figure out the twelve shows by their redefinitions?  Happy Puzzling!

1.  Hot shot

2.  Detroit Gridiron-er Sacramento Baller

3.  Own Alternative

4.  Long For Old Ho Chi Min City

5.  The Tumbler Zoo

6.  Everythings Rise Up That Finishes a Water Supply

7.  Coil Sudden Self-Discovery

8.  Disbelief

9.  Sounds Funny

10.  The Grumpy TV MD of Azure Book Pages

11.  A Half Dozen Phd’s of Removal

12.  Lengthy 24 Hour’s Trip Into Time of Darkness


November 18, 2009

I get so pleased with myself sometimes.  I really wanted to do a word pyramid that started with a NYC-centric “X” clue, but I wanted to steer clear of Malcom X.  For me, the use of Malcom X to start the word pyramid was both too clichéd and politically charged.  Also, strictly from a puzzling standpoint, I couldn’t come up with a good ending word that contained X in it to link back to the 60’s icon.  I remembered the X-Men of Marvel Comics fame weeks ago, but only recently remembered “Excelsior!” as a Stan Lee catch phrase.  The rest is history.  5 word pyramids down, 21 to go.

Comic books are something that makes me think of my generation.  I am in my early forties now, a post Boomer, Gen X (see what I did there?) kinda guy, and comic books is one of the things that defines my generation.  We were the first bunch of kids that didn’t “outgrow” comics and many of my friends still read them today.  The holding on the childhood things well into adulthood is a big part of my generation and I don’t know what to make of it.  In some ways, this makes Gen X a bit Polyanna-ish with a mix of creepy guy living in his parent’s basement thrown in, but also this shows a sense of fun and imagination that can be found lacking in previous generations.  Some will see my generation as Peter Pan’s who won’t grow up and avoid hard things like grown up work.  Others will see us as those who changes the rules regarding work and play, and while we certainly can be a frivolous lot, we also have a lot of heart and passion.  I think that both sides of the coin are accurate, but I like being able to embrace my geeky passions amongst my peers with minimal eye rolling, so I will lean towards the positives on this one.

Comic books did reinforce my sense of right and wrong as a youth.  Peter Parker’s revelation that “With great power comes great responsibility” resonated with me as much as anything my parents or CCD classes did.  I am also very much a left leaning person, so comics underlying messages about justice, equality, and responsibility were pretty much in sync with my basic personality in the first place.

I have a co-worker who is into super hero comics more so than I, and he told me about a conservative comic fan who lamented the fact that an overwhelming majority of mainstream comics lean left.  This is the real connection and legacy of New York on the super-hero world.  Many of the original super-heros were written and drawn by left leaning New York Jews.  They set the formulas down that work for the cape and tights lot, and that formula stems from this New York sensibility.  New York City has more than its fair share of conservatives within it boarders, but it has been a liberal town for a long time.  The New York qualities of independence linked with community, acceptance of new ideas, and progressiveness have been laid down in the DNA of the super-hero, and through this New York’s world view has spread into the minds of the youth of said world.  I for one find this to be a great thing.


Answers to Puzzle #24 Word pyramid V: True Believers

November 17, 2009

If you haven’t tried Friday’s puzzle yet go here.  If you have tried the puzzle, and you are stumped and awaiting someone to send the correct answer to me so I will post the answers for you, weeeeellllllll, nobody did so yet.  I am going to post the answers below anyway, even though the prize is still unclaimed.  Why?  You have to click below to find out. (more…)

No Answers Yet, Yet Again

November 16, 2009

So no answer submissions yet for Friday’s puzzle, so I’m gonna give it another day.

Puzzle #24 Word Pyramid V: True Believers

November 13, 2009

The Pyramid is back!  The word pyramid that is.  Word pyramids are word puzzles that starts with a one letter answer and then each subsequent answer adds one letter to from the new word or phrase.  The letters can be rearranged as needed but every letter in the previous answer will appear in the next, plus one.  Whoever can solve the puzzle first and email the list of nine words in the correct order to puzzlingnyc <at>gmail <dot>com will get a prize in the spirit of the puzzle’s inspiration.  Sort of…  Happy Puzzling!

1. ___

2. ___ ___

3. ___ ___ ___

4. ___ ___ ___ ___

5. ___ ___ ___ ___ ___

6. ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___

7. ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___

8. ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___

9. ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___


1.  What Wolverine, Cyclops, and Storm all have on their costumes

2.  The current year being celebrated in Chinatown

3.  This goes great with a schmeer

4.  The Pope at the time Martin Luther ( who is commemorated by a playground on 2nd Avenue in Sunset Park, Brooklyn and that is as close as I can possibly get to making this clue NYC-centric!) was nailing theses to church doors (1 word, 1 letter)

5.  Watch brand that Jay-Z touts

6.  Lat. Lion King Lit. (2 words)

7.  Subject of museum located on 27th & 5th in Manhattan, and whos website is blocked at my job (2 words)

8.  What Billy Wagner is to the Mets (hyph.)

9.  New York State’s Motto


Twelve Shows, Twelve Thoughts

November 13, 2009

Heinz Dept.

It’s funny how one day of my week can get mussed up (sick child) and I fall into catch up mode.  Anyway, as promised here are some takes on the twelve shows that were the answers to last week’s puzzle.

Guys and Dolls:  I love the old Damon Runyon stories, and this musical captured the feel and style of those tales beautifully.  Also for my money, “Sit Down You’re Rockin’ the Boat” is the best 11:00 o’clock number E-V-E-R. 

The Sound of Music:  I run hot and cold on this one.  I find it both charming and corny.  It did inspire a great YouTube clip though.

In the Heights:  I included In the Heights because it is one of the newer musicals that I haven’t gotten to see yet.  Sort of puzzle note to self.

The Fantasticks:  For my folks.  They loved this musical, and they still have some confetti that they swiped from the original Greenwich Village production in a playbill.  I did the same for the current revival, but it doesn’t have the same feel.

The Producers:  I talked this one over with a fellow Broadway theatre goer and we are in agreement that the first of this show was the perfect first act for a Broadway comedy.  The second act was very, very good, but the first act was just hysterically funny on point throughout.

West Side Story:  Funny how things age.  This was shocking for its time, and now not so much.  Still the score and choreography remain timeless.

Les Mis:  I am the type of person who is overly wary of hype.  To this day, I have still not seen the movie ET because the hype was so big for that film that I thought the movie could not live up to it.  I caught Les Mis ten years into its run because of hype-averssion, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that the show really did live up to its reputation.

Sweeny Todd:  I saw the stripped down revival of Sweeny Todd a couple years back and loved it.  In my circles there was no middle ground with that production people either loved the stripped down intimate feel and innovation (all the cast members also played the instruments for the show on stage).  Other thought it couldn’t hold a candle to the original production.

Chicago:  When I started working for Broadway ticket sellers lo these many, many moons ago, the revival of Chicago was the first show I saw.  I caught an early preview and the show was not set yet, one of the leads was sick and/or had blown her voice out, and I wasn’t sold with the concert style staging.  I proclaimed that the show wouldn’t run three weeks.  Tomorrow the show will mark its thirteenth year on Broadway.  I have never been so wrong about a show before or since.

Camelot:  Another nod to my parents.  Very big fans of the show.  I grew up with parents whose LP collection consisted of Dylan, Baez, The Beatles, The Stones etc.  Camelot was one of only two Broadway cast albums they owned.

Phantom:  There are two types of Broadway fans in NYC:  those who like Andrew Lloyd Weber’s stuff and those who do not.  I am in the do not camp, but this is the longest running show in Broadway’s history, so it must be doing something right.

On The Town:  I have a soft spot for this show.  It is not the greatest show ever, but it is quirky and fun.  New York, New York is a hell of a town, and this show revels in that wonder and awe one can ave when first setting foot in our marvelous madcap metropolis.

Answers to Puzzle #23: Wordplay & Trivia: Musical NYC I: From the Hit Broadway Show…

November 10, 2009

We have an even longer post title!  This breaks the site record for post title length set by, um, last week’s puzzle.  Anyway, we also had a winning submission for Friday’s homage to the Great White way!  Congratulations to pipergirlp for submitting the winning entry!  I would like to say the Shrek’s in the mail, but our honored winner has humbly refused the prize, so I’ll have to keep my insidious puns to myself.  If you haven’t clicked tried the puzzle click on the link above.  If you have tried the puzzle and want to check your musical acumen then click below.  Oh, and I will be posting some thoughts about these show tomorrow for those interested in such things. (more…)

Answers Tomorrow, Comedy Tonight?

November 9, 2009

Actually we can scratch the comedy as well.  Sick toddler this weekend, and daddy had to stay home to watch him today.  He’s fine now and he will be back in daycare tomorrow, so the answers will come tomorrow with or without observations.  Either that or the answers will appear tomorrow and observations on Wednesday.

Sorry for the delay, but this does mean that someone submitted the correct answers, so there is that.

See y’all in the morrow.


Puzzle #23: Wordplay & Trivia: Musical NYC I: From the Hit Broadway Show…

November 6, 2009

Now that’s a title that wouldn’t fit on a marquis!  This week’s puzzle comes directly from the distinctly New York art form:  The Musical.  I have taken phrases and words from the titles of songs of 11 past and present Broadway shows (and 1 Off-Broadway) and mashed them up to form coherent (mostly) sentences and phrases.  Punctuation and capitalisation of words in the clues are all mine, but every word in each clue does come from the titles of the songs in the score of an individual musical.  Can you identify the 12 musicals from the bits and pieces of their song titles that I have sliced, diced and Edelweiss-ed?  If you can, and you email the correct answer to puzzlingnyc<at>gmail<dot>com you will get a prize!  And this time I actually have the prize in my possession (working on yours Max, working on it!)!  The first to get the correct answer to me will receive the Original Broadway Cast Recording of Shrek the Musical.  Happy Puzzling!

1.  Sit down, be a lady and marry the man!

2.  So long, my favorite Maria.

3.  Pacienca y fe, it won’t be long.  Breathe.

4.  Remember, it’s gonna rain; plant a radish.

5.  I wanna keep it gay and be the king of Springtime.

6.  Tonight, I feel something’s coming, Maria.

7.  I dreamed lovely ladies sing on my empty tables.

8.  The Ballad of Joanna, a Little Priest, and the Linnet Bird.

9.  Nowadays I can’t do that jazz, Mama.

10.  Follow me.  C’est Moi?  Fie!

11.  The music of the masquerade makes me laugh.

12.  Coney Island New York, ya got me carried away.