PUZZLE: Rice Milk #23

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ONE (5 7) / DONE (12)

Politicians with clearness of throat
Oft dissemble, distort, and misquote.
When the pol with fine ONE
Utters claims steeped in DONE,
Give the more certain “dark-hoarse” your vote!

Comments contain the answer to Rice Milk #22 and may contain other spoilers. For information on solving transposals and other “flat” (verse puzzle) types, visit the National Puzzlers’ League’s Online Guide to the Enigma.

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CURRICULUM VITAE: Clue by Four

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CLUE BY FOUR
(Wordplay)

Each round of the game features a common, four-letter crossword entry in which all four letters are different. Three of the letters making up the entry are chosen, and the most common words starting with these letters that appear in crossword clues for the entry (according to Matt Ginsburg’s clue database of major crossword puzzle sources) are presented to the players. Using this information, players must determine 1) the crossword entry and 2) the most common crossword clue word starting with the remaining letter. For example, given the clue words TITLE, SOVEREIGN, and AUTOCRAT, a player must guess the crossword entry TSAR and the most common R-word that appears in crossword clues for TSAR, which is RUSSIAN. Related forms of the missing clue word, e.g. RUSSIA for RUSSIAN, are accepted as correct.

* * *

Clue by Four title image

While ostensibly a wordplay puzzle, Clue by Four was presented as the warm-up group game at the Crosswords LA tournament in 2013. The audience was divided in half and the first half to raise ten hands was eligible to answer. Additional examples of game rounds appear below. The enumeration of the missing clue words is provided, as it was in the 2013 game session.

UPPER
LIMB
NEIGHBOR
(3)

APEX
MAIL-ORDER
E.
(6)

HEAVEN
LIGHT
OVERHEAD
(5)

EGGSHELL
RAW
UNBLEACHED
(5)

TELEGRAM
OCTAGONAL
PERIOD
(4)

PUZZLE: Rice Milk #22

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LEFT (7 5) / RIGHT (12)

I’d been LEFT how to conquer store clerks
In a book that limns haggling’s perks.
So I shopped, made some deals,
RIGHT the clerks, got some steals,
Beat them all! (…or “the mall!”…either works).

Comments contain the answer to Rice Milk #21 and may contain other spoilers. For information on solving transposals and other “flat” (verse puzzle) types, visit the National Puzzlers’ League’s Online Guide to the Enigma.

PUZZLE: Unthemely #87

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DOWNLOADABLE PUZZLE: Unthemely #87 (PUZ) (PDF)

I have an update on my upcoming book of themeless crossword puzzles. I have received a draft of the cover design.

9781454918097_ccvr

It’s a sharp cover design but I confess that I laughed out loud when I saw it because it’s something of a departure from my personality. The book drops in 2016.

Enjoy the puzzle!

 

AUTOFILL PROJECT: put on edge

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Default: 363766
Default with Spaces: 147680

NOTES: I first heard of the online fantasy sports company Draft Kings (75) a few years ago when it was a sponsor of Rob Cesternino’s podcast. Even as its advertising became more and more ubiquitous I didn’t think of adding it to my Notepad until its recent online gambling issues , along with those of FanDuel (70), made headlines.  Word Spy suggests that droneport (72), a facility for drone takeoffs and landings, will soon be widespread phenomenon. I’m still wondering when drones are going to start arriving at my condo with package deliveries. If the drones can keep the squirrels away I may increase my mail-order purchases.

GRIDS: My most recent Unthemely puzzle includes the entry SETSONEDGE. I added the entry to the grid with the assumption that  it was a common transitive verbal phrase that can be used on a person, i.e. “it sets me on edge.”  While writing clues I discovered that Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary only sanctions “(one’s) teeth” as the object of phrase. Other online references and previously published crossword clues also support the “teeth, not person” application. I opted to clue the entry based on my original assumption, believing that “set (one) on edge” is a colloquial, if technically incorrect, usage in the English speaking world. BEQ recently produced a crossword with the entry put on edge (65), and he also clued it as a transitive verbal phrase applicable to a person. Readers, do you agree with these clue approaches?