Posts Tagged ‘Brooklyn’

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…)

News and Olds

October 14, 2009

Thoughts on This Week’s Puzzle:

My boy is in bed, the bills have been paid, and I have a little time to reflect and look ahead

This week I was able to post my fourth word pyramid, and I am finding some interesting things in constructing these puzzles.  Some of the answers come fast, especially the two through six letter answers, but for every pyramid there is a seven letter or up answer that just won’t come for a looooong time.  This week it was the eight letter answer AL LETTER, and believe me I was not thrilled with having to go with that the first place.  This answer is a prime example of “puzzle speak”.  It is two words that make sense together, but let’s face it, this is just terrible syntax.  Very unnatural sounding.   I was very pleased with the other nine answers.  I wanted to use one of the single letter stock ticker symbols and ideally a letter that appeared in the words WALL STREET.  It was great serendipity that the Loews Corporation has the “L” stock ticker symbol and that the company has ties to New York City.  The rest of the answers are all familiar phrases.

These word pyramids provide me with a second challenge, and that is either coming up with New York-centric clues or finding the New York angle to more common phrases.  In this puzzle, I was more than pleased to be able to get New York Ranger great Jean Ratelle into the puzzle.  Ratelle is a just fantastic New York-centic answer.  I am a huge hockey fan (albeit not a fan of the Rangers, but we’ll just leave it there, OK?) and Ratelle was one of the all time greats.  Sadly, Ratelle’s career is kind of forgotten now, as most of Rangers history revolves around the 1994 Stanley Cup Champion team.  This is really a shame, because there are many great players in Rangers history that are overlooked because of the 54 year Stanley Cup dry spell before the ’94 championship.  Players like Ratelle, i.e. broke in with the team and/or played most or all of their careers with the Blue Shirts are punished for the team’s failure to win it all, while players who had much shorter careers on Broadway are exulted for finally bring home Lord Stanley’s Cup.  I guess this is understandable, but take a second to go to the link about Ratelle above.  He was quite a remarkable player.

Common phrases like TALLER and TALE easily lended themselves to New York themed answers.  Bob Costas was born in Queens, so his talk show LATER was in.  I never could find out through my research if that show was shot in New York.  Does anybody know?  Anybody?  Is this thing on?  I used Sunset Park for NYC kite flyers because I live right across the street from it, and there really is a lot of kite flying here in the summer and fall.  Now about AL LETTER…  I suppose I could have used Roker for Al, but Al Hirschfeld had just a bit more flair for me.  Sorry weather dude!

Heinz Dept.

Still ketchin’-up.  The very fist word pyramid that I did for this blog was inspired by the intersection of two Avenues in Brooklyn, Avenue N and Coney Island Avenue.  I wanted to use a street intersection to bookend the pyramids starting and ending answers, and I also liked the symmetry of starting with Avenue ___ and ending with _________ Avenue in the clues.  I chose this intersection purely because starting with N and ending with CONEY ISLAND made constructing the middle clues easier letter-wise.  I literally had no idea what was at this intersection.  So this summer, I took a little field trip there.  I was a little worried that the corner of N and Coney Island Ave. would be just completely nondescript, but I went with the nothing ventured nothing gained philosophy and checking out the location.

I took a pretty long walk up down Ocean Parkway and across Avenue N to get there.  I passed through predominately Jewish neighborhoods to get to the corner and when I got there I found…

AND MY PHOTOS WILL NOT UPLOAD.  GRRRRR.  I will have to get back on this one.

Answers to Puzzle#15 Brainteaser: A,E,I,O,U and Screw You Y

August 17, 2009

My answers for this weeks little brainteaser follow the break.  While it took me a while to find five answers that met the criteria for the puzzle(place/thing/people, one representative from each borough,  must contain each vowel only once), I am sure there are many more that I missed.  Feel free to add any in the comments field.

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Puzzle#15 Brainteaser: A,E,I,O,U and Screw You Y

August 14, 2009

So technical issues still abound (I will neither deny nor confirm the fact that I am posting this from my work computer while I am at lunch), so I am putting forth a little snack of a puzzle this week.  Brilliant stratagem to combat my woes this week or yellow bellied cop out?  You decide.

Anywho, here’s this weeks headscratcher:  Name five things/places/persons associated with the five boroughs of NYC, one from each borough, that contain all five vowels only once.  For example, the Rose Hill Campus of Fordham University contains all five vowels with no repeats.  You can use a place or structure’s colloquial name for this puzzle.  So can you get one for each borough (there is at least one more for the Bronx)?  Happy Puzzling!

A Night at Rocky’s

June 18, 2009

For those of you that didn’t know, this week’s puzzle of riddles was also used as the guest round of the world famous (in Red Hook) Rocky Sullivan’s Pub Quiz, and I got to be the MC for the round!  I had a blast doing the honors and the rest of the pub quiz, and I encourage anyone with the means to get out to Rocky’s this or any other Thursday to do so!  I had a team of four friends come out to support me, and we had a grand time.  I then could not wait to blog about it and had:

A. Computer issues – then

B: Time crunch.

So much for striking while the iron was hot.  I can’t even upload the picture of me at the MC’s desk just yet…  grrrrrrrrrrr.

I must admit I was nervous about doing the quiz round.  Would I be boring?  Would I be unintelligible?  Were riddles too esoteric?  Turns out no on all accounts, although the fabulous host Scott M.X. Turner did tease me about the “game show host voice” I had used, and yes Scott I was practicing that voice for weeks.

The pub quiz consists of teams that work together on answers and then quietly confer and write ’em down, so I knew I was OK when there was much conferring going on after the first few riddles.  When it was all said and done, most teams got 5 of 8 riddles.  One team got 6.  My team, sans my help, got 5.  I think the riddles were tough, but fair.  My friends said I did a heck of a job, and a couple of other players were hoping that the riddles would be posted on the blog so friends of theirs could play as well.  That was the first feedback I have gotten from a non-friend or relative and that made me feel pretty dang good.  Scott has also invited me to come back and guest again and that is also heartening.

Finally, there is a tradition of giving out a point to answers that make you laugh, and I got two answers that indeed made me LOL as the kids like to type for this riddle:

I have two Davids, two Marias, four Jameses and dozens of Bills.  What am I?

“A bunch of people looking for a rent controller apartment”, and “My sisters lovers.”

Both received points.  See y’all tomorrow for another puzzle.  Trivia tomorrow, just soes you knows.

Answers to Puzzle #2: Neighborhoods

May 18, 2009

If you have not done the puzzle yet, go here first.

This week’s answers will not include any photos.  This lack of photographic embellishment is brought to you by a sinus infection.  Sinus Infection, now with 50% more phlegm!  Incidentally, phlegm is a great word to use for the game hangman.  Six letters, no repeated letters, and nobody sees the “l” coming after a “ph”.  I drove some poor soul crazy using this word in hangman.  He swore that I had spelled something wrong the entire game, and when he discovered what the word was, he just swore. (more…)

Reflections of a Neophyte Puzzler

May 12, 2009

I have to admit that I had a blast creating the puzzle that launched this blog.  I like the goofy anagrams that sprinkled through the puzzle.  For example,  “played the PR kazoo” is not a good anagram puzzle-wise.  I mean the letters of “zoo” are not rearranged at all, and an experienced puzzler more than likely had no trouble getting “park” from PRKA.  I just love the phrase, played the PR kazoo.  Hell, I want to work that phrase into everyday life:

“Brittany just had another meltdown.  Whelp Bob, it looks like we have to play the ol’ PR kazoo for this one.”

I don’t even care that I am not sure exactly what that would mean.

All in all I am happy with the wordplay, and I am also surprisingly OK with some of the half-assed unfinished parts of the post.  I wanted to post my own pictures of all nine sights, but only got seven.  I wanted to have a really juicy tidbit about NYC in this post, but I only have the beginning of one.  I guess this should bother me more than it does, but really… not so much.

No one wants to hear about time constraints, and kids, and illness etc.  I am supposed to be the obsessed blogger who frets over every last detail, and is crushed by the tiniest of flaws.  I have found that by doing this blog, I just am not that guy.  I had fun doing this.  I want people to have fun solving puzzles, and as long as the puzzle is good, and on time then I am happy.

I guess every blogger wants to have a professional looking operation up and running from day one, and I am just more interested in the process.  I truly enjoyed going around Brooklyn to photograph the sights for this puzzle.  I saw new things, and reaquainted myself with some old favorites.  I passed by the Sakura Matsuri Cherry Blossom Festival at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden while getting shots of Grand Army Plaza and the Brooklyn Museum, and it felt good to watch some many people enjoy a lovely blue sky day at the Gardens.  It was also a trip to see folks dress up as there favorite anime characters, ’cause well it is a Japanese theme festival so why the hell not.

I also realize that I should have taken photos of these anime devotees as a perfect example of cool stuff in NYC.  I am still new at this, and did not.  I hope to grow in my creativity with this blog as I get more comfortable with new (to me) technologies, and getting more comfortable with just getting out and experiencing this great city again.  I’ve been inside myself for a while and I’d like to get back out and poke around a bit.

And so, this imperfect blogger has one more puzzle for you.  Do you know what this is?

JFK Memorial

This is the JFK Memorial at Grand Army Plaza.  There is a small problem with it.  It has no bust of JFK anymore!  I found this out when researching another puzzle that will be ready in the not too distant future.  So what happened to Jack?  The Wall Street Journal Reported on this in November of 2008.  It is all about aesthetics and cash, or the current lack thereof.  Isn’t that the  story about all public art?  Now, this is where I had hoped to delve a little deeper in this story, but I have not found any updates.  I know a guy who might know I guy, so I will dig a bit to get more info in the fate of JFK’s bust in the future.

BTW, Brooklyn is the only borough to have both a JFK and RFK memorial.  Bobby’s bust is in front of the court houses at borough hall.  This is more than a touch ironic since Robert Kennedy unveiled his brother’s memorial in 1965.

See everyone Friday for the next puzzle!

Answers to Puzzle #1: Brooklyn Sights

May 12, 2009

Here are the answers to this week’s, and my first puzzle! If you have not seen the puzzle, go here to play.  I’ll wait..

Let’s see how you did:

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Greetings! Puzzle #1: Brooklyn Sights

May 8, 2009

Welcome to Puzzling New York City!  Thanks for stopping by.  I hope you will enjoy the offerings now and in the weeks to come.  I enjoy a good puzzle, especially word puzzles, and I am also hopelessly smitten with New York City, so I figured I would combine these two loves and see what happens.  Here’s how its going to work.  I will be posting every Friday, Monday and Tuesday to start.  Every Friday will be a new puzzle whose theme and answers will be inspired by the Big Apple.  I will post the answers to the puzzle on Monday, so you can waste a perfectly good weekend on a puzzle.  Tuesday’s post will involve the interesting things I have learned about NYC through researching and creating these puzzles.  I hope to find out more about this great city I call home, and I would love to find and pass on little nuggets of information or  hidden gems within the Five Boroughs.

Now Friday’s posts will mostly be word puzzles, but I will also post trivia, scavenger hunts and other brain teasers, so if you are not a fan of crosswords or anagrams, check back from time to time.  You may find something to your liking.  Monday’s answers will give some insight to the creation of the puzzle as well, unless everyone finds that dead boring.  If I have too much material for a Tuesday post, I will post other days as well that week, and I will alert y’all accordingly.

The most important thing that I want to accomplish with this blog is that you, the puzzlers, enjoy the puzzles.  Crazy, right?  Well, while I am quite proud of the puzzles I have ready and raring to go, this is not about me trying to show you guys how clever I am.  It is about creating enjoyable challenges, so feedback is more than greatly appreciated.  I may like a certain type of word puzzle that everyone who finds this blog loathes, and I would want to know that and adjust my approach accordingly.  One word of warning, however (cue ominous music)…  I will try to post challenging puzzles.  I like to stretch my brain around difficult wordplay.  I do not like the term “dumbed down”, but I am trying to appeal to real puzzleheads here, so there will be some intricate wordplay involved.

Now having said that, I will probably will have my first puzzle solved in ten minutes by everyone who stumbles across it.

This is the first step for me as a puzzlemaker and a blogger, and I have ideas for some wild things in the future, but it all has to start somewhere, and for me somewhere is here.

When beginning things of this nature, it is customary to thank those who have helped me get to the starting line.  Thanks to Pookie, Snookie, Eleanor for blogging guidance.  Thanks to Scott Turner at Superba Graphics for the wicked cool banner and logo.   Thanks to Mom, Dad, Sis, my wife Liz and our boy Max.  Your love is the real deal.

And now, without any further ado:

They say write about what you know.  Well, I have lived in Brooklyn for over fifteen years now, and I am proud to call Kings county home.  The answer to each clue of this puzzle is a well known Brooklyn sight.  Each clue is a mini-puzzle in itself,  much in the style of cryptic crossword puzzle clues.  Here is an excellent explanation and solving tips for cryptic crosswords. I have kept the tradition of putting the number of letters in each word of the answer in parenthesis next to each clue, but, and this is a big but, I have broken with the tradition of having half of the cryptic clue be a literal definition of the answer.  Why?  This is a themed puzzle, and each clue would have some variation of “Brooklyn sight or…”.   Boring!  So the clues are all wordplay.  Happy solving!

  1. Emeril exclamation and an invisible rabbit  (3, 6)
  2. Young up and comer plays PR kazoo (8, 4, 3)
  3. This old house is built around sour notes (3, 5, 5)
  4. Red now reversed last prez dog order (6, 5)
  5. Third year student’s love cheesecake? (7)
  6. A thousand black knights and a playa who steps it up a notch in the fourth (5, 4, 5)
  7. The Big Apple presents Julius Caesar’s water and Capt. Morgan’s laced with iodine (3, 4, 8 )
  8. Lyn’s mumu booker is in disarray. (8, 6)
  9. DSXXHIQL DSMOMSQ (8, 7)