Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ 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!

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…)

Puzzle #33: Wordplay Poltergeists II: Theeeeey’re Baaaack!

February 5, 2010

This week we have another infestation of poltergeists!  Below is a list of seemingly random words, but each of them has extra letters in them.  If you remove these “ghost” letters, and read the remaining ones in order, you will get the name of a street in New York City.  The number of poltergeists in each word will appear in parenthesis next to said word.  For example. GRAY (1) would become GAY Street when the one poltergeist is removed.  As an added help, all the street names below are really streets in New York.  No Avenues, Boulevards, Roads, Ways, Alleys, Parkways, Highways, Lanes, Places, Terraces, Loops, Rows, or Concourses etc.  (Think Lower Manhattan and Outer Burroughs)  Happy Puzzling!


1.  BLANK (1)

2. CRANIAL (2)

3. GARLAND (2)

4.  ASPIRING (2)

5.  SWATTER (2)

6.  FAIREST (2)

7.  DURANTE (2)

8. BREADED (2)

9.  WAYBILL (3)

10.  MUNITION (3)

11.  GROWLED (3)

12.  MOSTEST (3)

Answers to Puzzle #32: Triviography I: The Bronx is Up and the Battery’s Down

February 1, 2010

If you did not try Friday’s geographical puzzle, fear not, for I have linked it here.  If you need the answers, click below. (more…)

Answers to Puzzle#31: Word Jumble: Imperious Rex!

January 26, 2010

 Well that didn’t help.  If you tried Friday’s word jumble and solved it, you’ll know what I mean.  If you don’t know what I mean, well click below to see the answers and find out.


The Internet is a Very Interesting Thing…

January 20, 2010

First thing’s first, the answer to  the bonus question from Monday.  What former iconic place in New York City would be just a lone apostrophe if your removed all of the consonants from its name?  See for yourself.  (Be thankful I had my safe search on.) 

Yep, the late great CBGB’s.

This is the kind of puzzling that I love to do.  One of the goals of this blog is to discover as well as amuse and bedevil.  I always want to learn more about New York, and this puzzle gave me that opportunity.  For instance, did you know that:

The now defunct Gage and Tollner’s restaurant in Brooklyn had its interior landmarked, so that anyone who took over the space had to honor the insides of it?  Including Arby’s.

Not only is the New York Coliseum gone, but so is Coliseum Books?  This is a real shame because I have a fondness for independent bookstores, and I had great memories of this old place.  Also, did you know that while the Coliseum and Coliseum Books are gone that the Coliseum Bar is still going strong?  It seems to have upscaled a bit since I hung out there in my college days, but I will let those tales lie for now.

The other sad thing about New York is that many of the things that are disappearing are either independent stores like Manny’s Music that are getting swallowed up but national chains, or quirky things like Astroland and McHale’s (which was a great fucking bar/burger joint) that are being sacrificed at the altar of “development”.  I know I am über-Polyanna when I lament the loss of New York’s independent entrepeneurs,  (I am fully aware that this is the way of the world right now, thank you very much) but I still want the phrase “Only in New York” to live on in some establishments.

The other very interesting thing about doing this puzzle is that I wanted to include a couple of things in the examples of the puzzle that were a bit personal to me.  I did work Snooky’s into it, but there were two other places that I could not remember some exact details, and I figured that the ol’ internet would bail me out on it.  Guess what?  Since both of the places were never hugely iconic (although big in their circles/time) and since both disappeared before the internet boom, I could not find them.

This is a very interesting aspect of the internet.  Lesser known things, like the closing of Snooky’s, are documented now, and sometimes in great detail, but things that went to pass before, oh say the late 1990’s or so are gone.  Anything that strikes a bloggers fancy is living on in the search engines of the internet, and people/places/ and things that didn’t hit a critical mass before the internet did are not documented well at all.  I find that to be a very tangible example of the power of the internet.

Here’s another one.  I know some people who can straighten me out on the two lost places that my memory failed me on.  So here’s the shout out:

Mom and/or Dad:  Was the name of the restaurant you guys liked so much called O. Henry’s, and if so where the hell was it?

Tony and/or Jay:  I can’t believe I am blanking on this, but the bar you guys worked your way through college at was called Jimmy- what?

If you could post the answers in the comments section, then these places will also get a toe hold in searchengineland.

Puzzle# 30 Wordplay: Gone but Not Frgttn

January 15, 2010

In honor of the closing of the once iconic eatery Tavern on the Green, I am using lost New York City places as the theme for this week’s puzzle.  Below is a list of gone but not forgotten places from New York’s both recent and distant past.  Like I did for the Yr n Rvw puzzle, I have removed the vowels from the words.  Your job is to identify these lost treasures.  I dropped any “The”‘s from the beginning of any answer, the letter “Y” was removed if it functioned as a vowel (you rascally letter, you), but I have kept any punctuation in place in names.  For example, The Tavern on the Green would have appeared as Tvrn nth Grn, Yankee Stadium would have been Ynk Stdm, and Snooky’s would have appeared as Snk’s (I loved Snooky’s, sniff).  How many of the twelve below can you figure out?  Happy Puzzling!

1.  strlnd


3.  bbts Fld

4.  Gg nd Tllnr

5.  Hrlm Rnssnc Bllrm

6.  Mnn’s Msc

7.  McHl’s

8.  Mndnc Dnr

9.  Nw Yrk Clsm

10.  Pl Grnds

11.  Sh Stdm

12.  Tts Shr’s

Notes:  In case it is unclear, number 2 is just an apostrophe,  and if anyone else finds the changing of New York’s landscape as fascinating as I do, check out the Lost City Blog.  I used this blog as a reference for this puzzle, and I liked it a lot.

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.

Answers to Puzzle #29: Word Pyramid VI: Sports Section

January 11, 2010

Welcome to the answers for the first puzzle of ’10!  If you didn’t try the puzzle, then go here.  Click below for the answers. (more…)

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.