Archive for December, 2009

Answers to Puzzle #28 Brainteaser New York A to Z: Famous New Yorkers

December 22, 2009

I’m a day late on this one, due to the holiday crunch (which only confirms to me that the decision to take the holidays off is a good one!).  Anyway, this week’s puzzle challenged you to go through the alphabet by naming celebrated New Yorkers.  The challenge was to use up all the letters in the alphabet in as few names and/or letters as possible.  Here’s my  shortest list:

Humphrey Bogart – Famed Movie Star was born in NYC on Christmas Day (so it even keeps with the holidays)

Liz Smith – New York Gossip Columnist

Robin Quivers – Howard Stern’s Sidekick Extraordinaire

Jack Gilford – Very Funny Character Actor Who Befell the McCarthy Blacklist

Max Weinberg – Bandleader for Conan O’Brien

That is five names totaling 56 letters.  If you can do better than that, drop a comment to this post.


Puzzle# 28 Brainteaser NYC A to Z: Famous New Yorkers

December 18, 2009

This week we have a brainteaser:  Using the names of famous new Yorkers, can you use every letter in the alphabet in as few letters as possible?  I have been able to go through the alphabet in five names that total 56 letters amongst them.  Can you do it in 55 letters or less?  If you can do it in less than five names, all the better.  Anyone should feel free to use the comments section of this post for better solutions.  For this puzzle, the term Famous New Yorker will be anyone well-known who was either born in the Big Apple or made their mark here.  I’ll post my list Monday.  Happy Puzzling!

Da Year Dat Wuz

December 15, 2009

If I had come into this puzzle blog with the idea that I was going to do a year-end puzzle, I would have paid more attention to what the hell happened this year.  I found it funny that after seven or eight things that popped directly into my head to use for this puzzle, I really had to think about major events that occurred within or with the help of New Yorkersto expand the list.  After a bit of Googling, I was able to flesh out the list nicely, but I am now positive that reporters that know that they will be doing ye olde year in review column save stories in a file throughout the year and bust it out come Yuletime.

Some other random observations, puzzlewise.  I really tried to get the Mets into the puzzle, but it just wasn’t to be.  The disastrous season was just like a summer long slow motion train wreck and there was just too many people getting hurt and/or playing poorly that I could not come up with one thing for a clue.  The only thing I was toying to use for the Mets was Ct Fld for Citi Field (the other brand spanking new ballpark that opened this year) but how could I leave out Chesley “Sully” Sullenburger? 

Sully landing the plane in the Hudson was the first thing that came into my head when I conceptualized the puzzle, and even though his name is easy to work out without the vowels in it, he just had to make the list.  The man landed a freaking plane in the freaking Hudson River and the worst thing that happened to the passengers was that they got a little wet.  Sorry Metsees, maybe you should’ve hired Mr. Sullenburger as manager to see if he could’ve prevented two disasters in 2009.

Lastly, a couple of thoughts on what did and didn’t make my list.  On the “made it” side of the ledger included some good brainteasers.  Hideki Matsui and Lady Gaga were particularly challenging to figure out without vowels.  Others like Meb Keflezighi and George Stephanopoulos where just awesome bunches of letters that I just had to include.  On the other hand, I wanted to include Bll llt for the Tony award-winning musical Billy Elliot, but I just couldn’t leave out Bernie Madoff.  Billy was a good story, but Bernie is pretty much a symbol for our times.  The last two things that didn’t make the cut were anything that could have worked for the puzzle that began with Q or Z.  I liked the clean feel of trying to get on person/thing event per consonant, but I came up two short.  If anyone remembers something Q or Z from 2009 drop it in the comments field.


Answers to Puzzle #27 Wordplay: Yr n Rvw

December 14, 2009

If you didn’t take the puzzling trip down the memory lane that was 2009, well then give it a try.  If you’re puzzling-mobile broke down on said thoroughfare, then click below for the answers. (more…)

Puzzle #27 Wordplay: Yr n Rvw

December 11, 2009

Along with Hanukkah, Christmas and the New Year’s celebration, we are also flying headlong into the Best of, Top Ten List and Year in Review season.  Yes, once again television, print media and the blogo’webo’ramma will be chock full of the remembrances of the year past.  Well, here at Puzzling New York City I too have succumbed to the Siren son of the Year in Review, but I choose to do it on puzzle form.  Below is a list of people, places, things and events that made news in NYC since 1/1/09.  I have taken the liberty of removing all of the vowels for each one.  Can you figure out who or what each is?  Please note that the letter “Y” has been removed from the clues when the letter is acting as a vowel (that’s why “Y” is in the heading for this puzzle dontcha know).  Any “Y’s” found below are consonants.  Happy Puzzling!

“Brn” Mdff

Chsl “Sll” Sllnbrgr

Dvd Lttrmn

Frdm Twr

Grg Stphnpls

Hdk Mts

Jhn L

Kndnsk t th Gggnhm

Ld Gg

Mb Kflzgh

Nw Ynk Stdm

Pdr spd

Rbrt F. Knnd Brdg

Sny Stmr

tlntc Yrds

Vsv Bkr

Wrld Srs Prd

Ysmn Rz

Zh Zh Pts

Off My Chest

December 10, 2009

A Quick Announcement

The Holidays are upon us, and I will just wanted y’all to know that I will be taking some time off for the festivities.  I will continue my puzzle schedule the next two Fridays and then after the answers and musings on Dec 21 and 22, I will take the next two weeks off.  I will resume the puzzling goodness after we bid adieu to the “Oughts” and puzzles will flow forth again on 1/8/2010.

A Quick Rant: Bedford Avenue Bike Lanes

I really, really, really don’t want to use this blog to talk politics.  I am here to have some fun with the City and more amuse than enrage, but I just can’t let something go and I have to get it out.  This rant is political in nature, so I will say right off that I am of a liberal bent, and if you don’t agree with my world view that is absolutely fine.  I don’t think what I’m going to express here is terribly left leaning, but I will just want those of the conservative and easily offended mindset to just take a pass on these words right     about       NOW.

I dislike being treated like an idiot and marginalized.  The recent mayoral election has made me feel both of these things.

I have never liked term limits (in fact I voted against them TWICE), but I understood when a majority of New Yorkers who take the time to vote disagreed with me, uh, TWICE.  The fact that Mayor Bloomberg did an end around two public referendums to get on the ballot for a third term was beyond infuriating to me.  There were many justifications used by Mr. Bloomberg and his constituents, chiefly that NYC was in too great a crisis to not let him run, and that he was a different type of mayor, i.e. a mayor freed from traditional politics due to his independent standing. 

The crisis argument never washed with me.  Nobody let Giuliani run for a third term after the 9/11 attacks, and as dire as the economic problems that the city faces are they are NOTHING compared to the months after 9/11.  The argument that Mr. Bloomberg is not a traditional political beast was just too weak of an argument for me, and then I found out about the Bedford Avenue Bike Lanes being removed.

Backstory and my main point here:  Mike Bloomberg, like him or not, has a vision for New York City.  A big part of that vision is making New York more open, and greener.  The bike lanes that have been created under his tenure are a big part of that.  Bike lanes were opened in Williamsburg for commuters to use the Williamsburg Bridge to get to work from Brooklyn to Manhattan.  Some of these bike lanes, especially down Bedford Avenue went through Hasidic neighborhoods and the Hasidic community found the bike riders somehow offensive, especially “scantily clad” women.  So the Bloomberg administration had the DOT remove the bike lanes to appease a constituency that they needed in the 2009 election! 

Mike Bloomberg’s claims of “no politics as usual” is a total crock.  He, like every other mayor before him and probably everyone after him as well, will attend to his constituents first.  Don’t treat me like an idiot and say otherwise.  More importantly, remember that this is an example of how our mayor is willing to forgo his own vision for the city to appease a relatively small community that supports him politically.  This is not the bold leader that he portrays himself to be, and is very depressing to see that we will have four more years of favors to friends and allies and partisanship from Gracey Mansion. 

Now ranting is all fine and good, but I always felt that the best way to counter those who make treat me like an idiot is to come up with a clever way to fight back.  Now some activists have already taken it upon themselves to fight the Bedford Avenue Bike Lane Removal.  Well, I would like to add my idea for the whole situation.  If the Hasidim are all worked up about nubile young women riding their bicycles on their streets, then I have the perfect protest.  These women should continue to use Bedford Avenue for their commute, but where the lanes have been removed, they should get off and walk their bicycles through the neighborhood nice and slow.  Make the Hasidic community look at you longer than if you were just riding through.  I say these ladies should be pleasant and not verbally abusive, but they should continue to dress as they see fit and walk leisurely through the blocks that have had the bike lanes removed.  If they also happen to have a skirt a hair shorter than usual or a slightly sexier outfit on, so be it. 

I will gladly volunteer to chair a committee to form the “Tastefully Sexy Walk Your Bicycle Up Bedford Avenue” protest, and I don’t even ride a bike.

Answers to Puzzle #26 Word Ladders: The Sidewalks of New York

December 7, 2009

Streets.  Roads.  Avenues.  Parkways.  Lanes, Ways, Boulevards and Expressways.  You name ’em, NYC’s got ’em.  Friday’s puzzle was inspired by six such thoroughfares in the  borough-wheres.  Want to try the three word ladder puzzles?  You got it.  You need the answers to said ladders?  Click below.


Puzzle #26 Word Ladders: The Sidewalks of New York

December 4, 2009

This week we will be traveling the streets of New York on ladders…  Word ladders that is.  I have three word ladders which will transform one famous New York thoroughfare into another.  Word ladders are puzzle in which one word is turned into another by changing one letter at a time without rearranging any of the letters.  For example, CAT can be changed to DOG thusly:





This week I have three such puzzles: a three-letter ladder, a four-letter ladder, and a five-letter ladder.  The five letter puzzle contains many steps and on archaic word, so I will include the ladder with clues after a break.  Oh, and as usual I will tell you the number of steps (or should that be “rungs”…) that it took me to complete the ladder.  If you can do better, drop me an email at puzzlingnyc gmail <dot> com.  Good?  Good.  Happy Puzzling!


Can you turn GAY Street into the BQE?  I did it in five steps (with no other abbreviations ‘sides BQE). 


Can get from WALL Street to PARK Avenue?  Sure you can, sell derivatives.  Or try to do it as a word ladder.  This one took me four steps.


Can you go from FIFTH Avenue in Manhattan to the GRAND Concourse in The Bronx?  This ones a doozy as it took me 12 steps (insert recovery joke here)!  If you need a little help click below.


New Puzzle Tomorrow

December 3, 2009

As you may have guessed by the lack of posting, I took the Thanksgiving holiday off.  A great time was had by all, and I hope your Thanksgiving was a good one as well.  i’ll be back at the ol’ puzzle dodge tomorrow with some word ladders.  See you then!