Archive for the ‘Rocky's’ Category

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…)

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!

Answers to Puzzle #13: Sequential New York

August 3, 2009

So did anyone beat the score of teams Hello, Hello, Hello or A Midsummer Night’s Revolution?  Without using Google?  *Withering Stare*

Anyway if you haven’t taken a crack at Sequential New York, well give it a whirl!  The answers follow the break.  I was also allowed to give the “free drink” question at Rocky’s on Thursday, so I will include the question at the end of the answers (’cause I’m such a rebel).  The answer to this question will appear in Tuesday’s post.


Puzzle #13: Sequential New York

July 31, 2009

So once again I did the Guest Round for Rocky Sullivan’s Pub Quiz.  Thanks Scott!  This time my theme was “Sequential New York”.  The eight puzzles I offered up to the Rocky’s puzzlers were a sequence of four things related to New York City, and for each question I asked what was the next thing in the sequence and what was the sequence.  Each correct answer was awarded a point for a total of 16 possible points.  Four of the questions were outer borough related, one for each outer borough, and four were Manhattan or citywide.  As a bit of a hint, I said Outer Borough or Manhattan or Citywide as a preface to each question.  Here were the teams scores:

Hello Hello Hello:  11 points

A Midsummer’s Night Revolution:  11 points

The Woodwork:  10 points

Yes We Can Drink Six Point:  6 points (ironically)

The Saddlebackers: 5 points

Just the Tip, Bigger, Longer Uncut:  4 points

Knocked Out By Cypress:  4 points

Van Halen:  4 points

The Tumblewoods:  3 points

Can you top that?  Happy Puzzling!

OB= Outer Borough     MoC= Manhattan or Citywide

1.  OB:  4,3,5,7, __  What number comes next and why?

2.  MoC:  The Crew of Gemini 3, Chung Hee Park, The Crew of Apollo8, The Crew of Apollo 11, ____________  Who comes next and why?

3.  OB: Confucius, Laotse, Moses, David, ___________  Who comes next and why?

4.  MoC:  The Empire State Building, The Bank of America Tower, The Chrysler Building, The New York Times Building, ____________  What building comes next and why?

5.  MoC:  Midnight Cowboy, The French Connection, The Godfather, Annie Hall, ___________  What movie comes next and why?

6.  MoC:  H,I,K,O, _  What letter comes next and why?

7.  OB:  Svetlana Kuznetsova, Kim Clijsters, Maria Sharapova, Justie Henin, ___________  Who comes next and why?

8.  OB:  Pleasant Plains, Richmond Valley, Nassau, Atlantic, __________  What comes next and why?

Just Showing Up

July 29, 2009

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.

I am a Guest Quizzer Tonight!

June 11, 2009

Late breaking news everyone!  I will be the guest quizzer for a round at the Fabulous Rocky Sullivan’s Pub Quiz!  Scott M.X. Turner, designer of the equally fabulous banner for this sight is the host and had graciously allowed me to do a round of riddles.  If you are free tonight 8-ish, like a good time then come on out to Brooklyn and answer questions for drinks and bragging rights!  Follow the above link for directions.