Archive for the ‘Announcements’ Category

Double Secret Probation

March 19, 2010

That’s what I am putting myself on.  Yes, I am taking some time off again.  I had successful surgery to repair my separated shoulder, but my arm is still in a sling for three more weeks.  Add to this a family illness and it is time to take another break.  I hope to be back for puzzling duty when the sling comes off and things just settle down.  Let’s try for April 9 with the goal of a spring and summer full of puzzle-rific fun!


Confessions of a One-handed Typer

March 4, 2010

Took a week off.  The separated shoulder will require surgery, with a mid-March date pending.  I will be posting a puzzle tomorrow, and I hope to have a regular Friday-Monday-Tuesday posting schedule this week.  Thanks for your patience.

Crosswords in Brooklyn and Cross Words at My Shoulder

February 25, 2010


I am very bad at one-handed typing.  That’s just one of the things that I have found out about having a separated shoulder.  Another thing is that when something else goes wrong, it is impossible to cover for it.  I attended the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament last weekend at the Downtown Brooklyn Marriott, and I had a really nice time.  I met some smart, funny, dedicated people.  I partnered with a just a lovely 3rd grade teacher from Boston during Friday night’s visual clue Siamese Twin Crossword puzzles.  I met a crossword puzzle constructor from New Hampshire, a pilot from Hawaii, and the president of a Pillowfighting League.   Seriously.  I had lunch at the Arby’s that took over Gage and Tollner’s space.  I also tried to solve six puzzles on Saturday and completed 3 of them.  You can just feel the But coming, can’tcha? 

Well, BUT, the pain in my shoulder was still enough to affect my performance, both as a blogger and a solver.  I forgot to bring a camera to the proceedings.  I found that painkillers do not help cognitive skills (Shocker!), and when my wife’s nagging sinus infection took her down, I was unable to attend Sunday’s finale.  Plus, the pilot from Hawaii had broken his shoulder blade and I was not even the best one-handed crossword puzzle solver there!   

I managed to finish 151 out of 161 rookies and 632 out of 643 entrants overall.  So uh, maybe I’ll just volunteer next year.


I grew tired yesterday and did not finish the post.  I went to an orthopedic surgeon today, and while I expected him to tell me that I just needed to keep my arm in a sling and rest up, I now know that I will need surgery to repair my separated shoulder.  Turns out that I has a Grade 5 separation, which means my collar-bone is 300 percent out variance.  in layman’s terms, it is sticking up 3x higher than it should.  The operation should be within the next 2 weeks, but it is arthroscopic surgery and should be minimally invasive.  Sigh.  I don’t really know what else to type save that I will try to have a puzzle up tomorrow.

Puzzle #34 Brain Teaser: Where Ya’ Been? (Answer Included!)

February 19, 2010

Hello.  There was no puzzle posted last Friday, but I am able to post one today.  Why the week’s delay?  Solve the puzzle to find out.  Since I missed a week, I will include the answer today instead of Monday.  Also look in the answer section for a special announcement.  Happy Puzzling!

So, you can’t figure out what happened to me?  OK, click below for the answer. (more…)

Answers to Puzzle #33: Wordplay: Poltergeists II: Theeeey’re Baaaack!

February 8, 2010

I hope you enjoyed the return of poltergeists!  If you didn’t try the puzzle yet you can find it here.  You can find the answers to this phantasmagoric puzzle below.  Also, two quick notes to wit:

1.  Friday’s puzzle was my 100th blog post.  Hurray!

2.  There is probably not going to be a post tomorrow due to a family matter.  Boooo!

And now, the answers: (more…)

On Pyramids and Plans

January 13, 2010

Yer Outta Here!

Once again I enjoyed creating the word pyramid, and this time I got to combine two things that I love, namely puzzling and sports.  I didn’t think that the next word pyramid that I would do would be sports themed, but when I went through the list of starting letters that I hadn’t used yet the letter “K” just screamed strikeout to me.  I am fully prepared to admit that I am that geek at the ballpark who scores the game as it goes.  I only do this for baseball, as the action is slow enough to keep score and still converse with my friends in attendance.  And yes I know that keeping score is utterly unnecessary with the modern scoreboard, the iPhone, and the internet, but there is still an allure to the ol’ Luddite part of me of pen (pencil if less brave) and paper to record the game. 

As for the pyramid, I wanted to involve as many sports as possible, so to go from K to KO as a natural.  I did some quick internet research on great fights in New York’s past, and was hard pressed to top Louis/Schmeling II.  After the first two answers I ran into a tone of dead ends for subsequent ones.  It wasn’t until I changed the last answer from STRIKE OUT to A STRIKE OUT that things came together for me.  Having the extra vowel to work with freed me up and it went very well from there. 

BTW: A STRIKE OUT uses all vowels only once.  I love finding words and phrases that accomplish that, but alas, this time the five vowels are just a happy accident. 

The one clue that I was not happy with was for the answer TAKES OT, as in the game is going into overtime.  The clue I settled on: “What the basketball game needs when St. John’s ends the second half 68-68. (1 word, 1 abbrev.)” just never flowed nicely enough for me.  I struggled for a clue that would make the puzzle solver think in the present tense to get the “S” in TAKES, but the present tense in the clue never seemed to convey the word TAKES.  I wish I had found a more elegant solution for this clue, but I could not and if you didn’t get that one, I’ll take the blame for it.

Upcoming Puzzling

I have some ideas for Puzzling New York City that will be coming out in the new year.  Some are quite ambitious, and I am not sure when they will occur.  Fingers crossed and noses to grind stone y’all.  I will have announcements if and when any are warrented.

I also want to explore other traditional forms of word puzzling in the coming months and I am working on anagrams, acrostics, and something so unique that I haven’t come up with a name for it yet.  I want to increase the variety found here at Puzzling New York City, but I am sailing out of the bay and into open water, so this may take a little time.  I approach the coming year with high hopes, and great enthusiasm!  Woo hoo!  As well as some dread, and “real world” issues… sigh.  Ain’t that life?  Be back Friday with another puzzle.

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.

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!

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…)

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!