Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Guest post / THU 12-01-11 / Get excited

Constructor: Elizabeth A. Long

Relative difficulty: Medium / Challenging

(Screenshot from the excellent XWord program. Seriously, get it.)

THEME: JACK — rebus

Word of the Day: SHADRACH (One of a Jewish biblical trio) —
a companion of Daniel who, with Meshach and Abednego, was thrown into the fiery furnace of Nebuchadnezzar and came out unharmed. Dan. 3:12–30. (
• • •
(Meshach and Abednego complete the trio. Hey, that's 8/7/8! Make it into a puzzle!)

Speaking of being thrown into a fiery furnace, I, Tyler Hinman, am here to "fill in" (har!) for Rex, who has stepped out on a diplomatic mission. You might know me from my blog and the snark resulting from compulsively solving puzzles I don't necessarily enjoy. But never mind that; what did I think of this one?

Answer: I liked it! With rebuses being such an attractive challenge for constructors and the natural "jack-in-the-box" tie-in, it feels like I should have seen or done this one before, but I don't think I have. Anytime I get a "why didn't I think of that?" feeling from a theme, it's usually a good sign.

Theme answers:
  • Table staple, of sorts (BLACK[JACK])
  • Eschewer of fat ([JACK]SPRAT)
  • You might find one at a sawmill (LUMBER[JACK])
  • Stick pulled from a pile ([JACK]STRAW)
  • Brandy made from cider (APPLE[JACK])
  • One in a corner ([JACK]HORNER)
  • British standard (UNION[JACK])
  • Figure often mentioned by meteorologists ([JACK]FROST)
  • With 39-Across, apt title for this puzzle (JACK IN / THE BOX)

The grid pattern had me suspecting a rebus early on; surely something was going on in that tight middle section. While my overall suspicion was correct, that area contained no oddball squares, and was probably less open in order to accommodate the J and the X. Ms. Long made an interesting constructing decision in ending one word with the J and starting another with the X rather than the other way around; the latter certainly seems easier. I'd be interested to find out how that all fell into place.

The fill around a rebus is sometimes tricky, but it's mostly good here, even with a Z thrown in for good measure. And it comes in at 76 words; rebuses often take advantage of the maximum of 78. I deemed this Medium / Challenging because while the bottom two thirds fell smoothly enough, I actually had quite a bit of trouble at the top. Hey, I like a little challenge; gives me high hopes for some satisfyingly tough brutes tomorrow and Saturday.

  • Open (UNSTOP) — Had UNSNAP here; that one hurt for a while.
  • Untested (NEW) — Ditto for RAW. Argh!
  • Diversion with 81 squares (SUDOKU) — Where do you come down on the sudoku vs. crosswords debate?
  • Bounce back and forth quickly (PINGPONG) — I know Will would prefer TABLETENNIS, but that's not really a verb.
  • More unctuous (OILIER) — "Unctuous" is fun to say.
  • Sch. in Pocatello (ISU) — As a sports fan, I tend to accept schools in puzzles in correlation with how prominent their athletic programs are, so I didn't care for this one. (And before you ask, RPI has two national championships in Division I hockey, thank you very much.)
  • 1998 film "Waking ___ Devine" — I lived in England when this came out; it was just called "Waking Ned".

  • Addis Ababa is its capital: Abbr. (ETH) — This isn't a great entry regardless, but I'd much rather see it clued as "Old verb ending" or some such than an abbreviation one never really sees.
  • Domicile (RESIDE) — This is one of the clues that gave me fits; had no idea this could be a verb.
  • Nonlibrary reading (PORN) — Not according to crack investigative reporter Carl Monday! (I'm not linking to that video because I don't want to get this blog flagged again. You can Google it.)
Well, that's an odd note on which to go out. Oh well. Rex will be back tomorrow. OR WILL HE???

Signed, Tyler Hinman, Regent of CrossWorld

Accro à cette danse...

Article sponsorisé

Danser, j'ai toujours adoré.

En cours, en club, entre copains chez les uns, aux mariages chez les autres... Toute excuse est bonne pour retirer mes chaussures et me laisser aller sur n'importe quel morceau.

Alors quand j'ai reçu le jeu Dance Star Party pour Playstation 3, ce fameux jeu dont j'avais entendu parler et dont le principe est de danser seul face à sa télé, j'étais un peu sceptique.
Je n'aurais jamais imaginé une seule seconde pouvoir y prendre goût.

J'envisageais la chose en soirée avec des copines qui se prêteraient au jeu, ça oui !
Mais de là, faire mes exercices tous les matins en les concluant par une petite chorégraphie en solo... C'est ce que je fais depuis un mois.

Ceci n'est pas un mensonge !

Si j'avais eu plus d'audace, je me serai fait un plaisir de vous montrer à quoi je peux bien ressembler en tenue de sport à m'agiter dans tous les sens au milieu de mon appart.

Mais non, je ne fais pas pitié ! Faire son "sport" de cette manière est quand même moins ennuyeux que de reproduire les gestes de cette prof de fitness sur Youtube, vrai ?

Un aperçu de ce que ça peut donner.
Je n'ai pas osé la vidéo du matin alors, c'est vrai je ne me donne pas à fond dans celle-ci.

Mais j'ai / nous avons bien ri pendant ce petit tournage... Moments de solitude pour quelques-uns, grosse détente pour d'autres... Faites-vous plaisir et ne vous moquez pas trop !

Comme vous pouvez le constater, on peut pratiquer la chose à plusieurs, et même si vous n'avez pas suffisamment de manettes de mouvement, rien ne vous empêche de vous donner devant la chorégraphie... C'est un excellent moment à passer en groupe, fous rires (et moqueries !) garantis.

Le petit plus rigolo, c'est que la caméra posée sur la télé (qui vous est fournie avec le jeu) vous enregistre et vous pouvez visualiser votre prestation ensuite... Grand moment de solitude quand vous êtes seul ! Sur ce, j'ai dû faire le tour des chansons proposées, je cours en acheter d'autres pour alimenter mon répertoire !

"Psssss ! J'ai des petits (gros) cadeaux à vous faire gagner !"

4 jeux + avec 4 kits PS Move :



Comment jouer ?

Très simple !

Répondez à cette question : "Quel est le titre du morceau sur lequel nous dansons dans la vidéo ?"
Il suffit de me répondre par commentaires, en me laissant votre adresse mail, pour que je puisse vous contacter. Je ferai un tirage au sort et vous serez ensuite prévenus. Par contre, je ne sais pas quel est le délai de livraison de vos cadeaux... Donc soyez patients !

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Chef's topper / WED 11-30-11 / Plaza Hotel moppet / Imprisoned Peace Nobelist Xiaobo / Dundee who trained Ali / When doubled 1997 Jim Carrey movie

Constructor: Rolf Hamburger

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: ONE (72A: Addition to 18-, 23-, 40-, 54- and 60-Across) — ONE is added to familiar phrases, creating wacky phrases, etc.

Word of the Day: ANGELO Dundee (49D: Dundee who trained Ali) —
Angelo Dundee (born Angelo Mirena on August 30, 1921) is an American boxing cornerman. He is best known for his work with Muhammad Ali (1960–1981), and has worked with 15 world boxing champions, including Sugar Ray Leonard, José Nápoles, George Foreman, Jimmy Ellis, Carmen Basilio, Luis Rodriguez and Willie Pastrano. (wikipedia)
• • •

Not a great week so far. Yesterday, a very tired example of the well-worn "first words have this thing in common" theme type, and now today, a very clunky "insert-a-word" theme that doesn't even bother to have an interesting revealer. Just ... ONE? That's it. You know, the phrase PLUS ONE can mean "a guest that an invitee is allowed to bring to a party." AND ONE is both a basketball shoe company and a phrase in basketball referring to the free throw attempt one is awarded if one is fouled while making a basket. I'm just saying, you could get creative and do Something. One of the main rules for puzzles that involve Wackification is: answers must be funny / clever. The only good one today is STONE AGE COACH. The rest are either awkward or, in the case of GONE IN RUMMY, borderline nonsensical. The grid is adequately filled, but thematically, this puzzle is a bust.

Theme answers:
  • 18A: Team on the receiving end of a prank? (MOONED SQUAD)
  • 23A: "E," "pluribus" or "unum"? (MONEY WORD)
  • 40A: Athletic trainer for Neanderthals? (STONE AGE COACH)
  • 54A: West Coast punk rock group? (L.A. RAMONES)
  • 60A: Entered pie-eyed? (GONE IN RUMMY)

Had a few snags along the way today, starting with AMS instead of AFT (1A: Time in some want ads). No idea why I read "Time" as "Times." Unshockingly, the exact spelling of the [Olive genus] (ugh) didn't come quickly. OLE ... something (OLEA). Remembered YVONNE De Carlo (24D: De Carlo of "The Munsters") but did not remember ANGELO Dundee. Thought 56A: Kind of computing using remote servers (CLOUD) was some kind of computer language like COBOL (clearly didn't read the clue that carefully). Oh, and of course I thought [Some summer fare] would refer to a comestible of some sort, not RE-RUNS. Speaking of which, "M*A*S*H" RE-RUNS are a significant feature of the Bobbie Ann Mason novel In Country, which I now have to get back to reading. So, a few bullets, and then good night.

  • 16A: Plaza Hotel moppet (ELOISE) — in my head, she is the female counterpart to Milo in The Phantom Tollbooth (probably because they are iconic, illustrated literary kids that I encountered at about the same time in my childhood)
  • 10D: Chef's topper (TOQUE) — a very handy piece of high-end crosswordese. Put it in off just the "U"; other crosswordese headwear of note: TAM and KEPI.
  • 11D: Imprisoned Peace Nobelist ___ Xiaobo (LIU) — nice, timely clue. Would be great to see XIAOBO, or even LIUXIAOBO, in the puzzle someday (if it hasn't been in there already).
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

Sometimes I lay under the moon & I thank God I'm breathing.

One day - Matisyahu.

       Be the change that you want to see in the world.     

Sometimes I lay under the moon & I thank God I'm breathing.
Then I pray don't take me soon, 'cause I am here for a reason.
Sometimes in my tears I drown, but I never let it get me down.
So when negativity surround, I know someday it'll all turn around because ...

All my life I've been waiting for the people to say that we don't want to fight no more,
They'll be no more wars & our children will play.

One day.

It's not about win or lose,
'cause we all lose when they feed on the souls of the innocent blood drenched pavement.
Keep on moving though the waters stay raging,
& in this life you may lose your way, it might drive you crazy, 
but don't let it phase you no way.

One day this all will change, treat people the same,
stop with the violence, down with the hate.
One day we'll all be free & proud to be under the same sun singing songs of freedom like ...

One day.

Love ♥.


























Monday, November 28, 2011

Ancient Roman censor / TUE 1-29-11 / Bygone Tunisian VIPs / Degrees of separation in Hollywood parlor game

Constructor: Aimee Lucido

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: "MONEY, MONEY, MONEY" (59A: 1976 Abba song ... or a hint to the starts of 17-, 23-, 38- and 50-Across) — first words of theme answers are all slang for "money"

Word of the Day: CUNEIFORM (10D: Writing with wedges and such) —
  1. Wedge-shaped.
    1. Being a character or characters formed by the arrangement of small wedge-shaped elements and used in ancient Sumerian, Akkadian, Assyrian, Babylonian, and Persian writing.
    2. Relating to, composed in, or using such characters.
  2. Anatomy. Of, relating to, or being a wedge-shaped bone or cartilage.
  1. Writing typified by the use of characters formed by the arrangement of small wedge-shaped elements.
  2. Anatomy. A wedge-shaped bone, especially one of three such bones in the tarsus of the foot.
[Latin cuneus, wedge + -FORM.]
• • •
A deeply unoriginal theme with interesting theme answers and slightly above-average overall fill. If the song were "MONEY, MONEY, MONEY, MONEY," I might have somewhat more admiration from it, since in that case it would at least be literally accurate. I am only too familiar with the game of "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon" and yet had no idea that the phrase "BACON NUMBER" was a thing, let alone a thing that people are supposed to know. CUNEIFORM, STRAGGLER (3D: One finishing a marathon in eight hours, say), and LABYRINTH (35D: Feature of the ancient palace of Minos at Knossos) give the puzzle needed oomph. I'm also a fan of BREAD CRUMB TRAIL. Decidedly not a fan of OMBRE (44A: Card game of Spanish origin), or any other card-game-only-heard-of-in-crosswords. Also not a fan of PANDAs being called BEARs, though obviously the term "PANDA BEAR" is very much in the language.

Theme answers:
  • 17A: Like some stickers (SCRATCH-AND-SNIFF)
  • 23A: Enemy of Spider-Man (GREEN GOBLIN)
  • 38A: Navigation aid for Hansel and Gretel (BREAD CRUMB TRAIL)
  • 50A: Degrees of separation in a Hollywood parlor game (BACON NUMBER)

  • 67A: Bygone Tunisian V.I.P.'s (DEYS) — there's no reason for sickly crosswordese such as this to exist in such a small, easy-to-fill section of the puzzle. None. Horrid.
  • 18D: Often-impersonated diva (CHER) — interestingly vague clue. I haven't seen a good CHER impression since ... well, the '90s, i.e. the last time CHER was musically relevant.
  • 57D: Self-referential, in modern lingo (META) — I think I liked this clue the first time I saw it. I don't think I like it much any more. META is a prefix. It's definitely used in the way the clue describes, but ... it's a prefix. That's what it is.
  • 39D: Ancient Roman censor (CATO)CATO the Elder, to be exact. According to Wikipedia, during the Third Punic War, his motto became "Carthago delenda est" ("Carthage must be destroyed"). I'm thinking of adopting that as my motto as well.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

Mon look pour Brandalley ! #5

Cette fois-ci, on passe aux choses sérieuses, il n'aura fallu qu'un bon mois entre la dernière sélection où je ne portais qu'un tee-shirt et celle-ci où je me suis procurée un attirail complet pour me protéger du froid.

Craquage total sur les boots et le bonnet couleur moutarde.

Toujours sur le site Brandalley...




Jean - Levi's
Chemise - Mango
Manteau - American Retro
Bonnet - Eleven
Boots - Ippon style

Retrouvez tous les articles directement ici !

Ps : J'ai repéré un site avec plein d'accessoires à tomber, jetez un oeil !

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Springfield's minor league team on Simpsons / MON 11-28-11 / 1940s-50s wrestler with golden locks / Kansas town on Chisholm Trail / Notorious 1920s-30s bank robber

Constructor: Andrea Carla Michaels

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: Appearance-related Name — four well-known names that begin with an adjective related to attractiveness

Word of the Day: FICHE (19A: Piece of microfilm) —
A microfiche. [?!] (
• • •

Love the theme answers, but the theme seems awfully loose. PRETTY and UGLY go together, but PLAIN and GORGEOUS are less obvious complements. Plus, three of these are specific people and one is a type of person. Further PRETTY BOY FLOYD ruins theme consistency a bit, since the BOY doesn't really have anywhere to go—not part of the theme, not a name like BETTY, JANE, or GEORGE. Seems like an OK theme idea that didn't quite come out of the oven looking like it should. Not terribly fond of the partials posing as actual answer (SLOE GIN, NO MEN), not to mention the actual partials (ANAME, ONAN). The FICHE and REUNE corners could surely be better. I do like how this grid has a relatively low word count (for a Monday—74), which allows for some very interesting longer answers, like HOFFMAN, ABILENE, WISEGUY, ISOTOPES (5D: Springfield's minor-league team on "The Simpsons"), PILSENER (39D Light-colored beer or the glass it comes in) and GALUMPH (25A: Walk clumsily). Difficulty level seemed pitched right at perfect Monday level. An enjoyable if imperfect little puzzle.

Theme answers:
  • 20A: Notorious 1920s-'30s bank robber (PRETTY BOY FLOYD) — wanted CLYDE BARROW at first ...
  • 33A: America Ferrera's Emmy-winning role (UGLY BETTY)
  • 44A: Hardly a beauty queen (PLAIN JANE)
  • 54A: 1940s-'50s wrestler with golden locks (GORGEOUS GEORGE)

Why in the World do you clue ABILENE (10D: Kansas town on the Chisholm Trail) as a Kansas town (pop. 6,844), esp. on a Monday??? The Texas city of the same name is about 15 times larger. I could barely bring myself to write in ABILENE, and then, when I did, I beat myself for thinking all these years that ABILENE was in Texas ...

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

So let me be the one you can run into, run into, run in.

Everything about you - One Direction.

       Smile with your eyes.      

Une semaine bien mouvementée pour moi, beaucoup de boulot avec le lycée, des contrôles, des trucs à lire, des trucs à faire en pagaille, des projets d'Arts à finaliser, ... & Maintenant me voilà malade, comme je vous l'avez dit dans mon article précédent, ce qui ne va certainement pas augmenter ma productivité ou aider mon "régime" pré-fêtes de Noël (dit-elle alors qu'elle vient de manger quelque chose comme quatre cookies, ahem). Anyway, voilà quelques photos d'une tenue que j'ai porté dans la semaine. J'avais acheté cette jupe chez Pimkie il y a des mois, littéralement, mais je ne l'avais jamais porté encore, donc c'était un peu le moment ou jamais j'ai envie de dire. 
Je vous embrasse tous bien fort, passez un bon week-end ! ♥.

This week has been eventful for me, a lot to do for school, many tests, things to read, lots of stuffs to do, art projects which need to be finished, ... & Now I'm ill, what an amazing combination. I bet this won't help my productivity or my "before Christmas diet", lol. Anyway, here are some photos of an outfit I wore this week. I bought this skirt months ago, litteraly, & I've never worn it before, dunno why, so it was time for it to be shown. 
Kisses to you all, I wish you to spend a nice week-end ! ♥.

This photo is blurry but I found it kinda funny, no idea why n_n'.

Top : H&M, skirt : Pimkie, socks : ?, shoes : Tati.



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