Mar 24, 2008

A Few Updates

1) Crossword Searching Tools
I've added both OneLook & OneAcross to my "I Love These Links" sidebars. I find them to be equally effective. Give them a try if Mr. Google fails you.

2) Who is Josiah Breward?
For Monday-Friday puzzle solvers, please read my Saturday's blog entry about Josiah Breward (aka Wayne Robert Williams, our puzzle Editor). NYTanonimo found out this shocking link for us. It turns out that almost 25% (15 of the 61 puzzles) I've blogged since Jan 21 came from the Williams clan. Are you stunned? I don't mind nepotism, but how can an editor edits his own construction?

Feste found A-LOP (Saturday March 22 puzzle) at The Oxford English Dictionary. The definition is "hanging over on one side". Example: "1865...hay-stacks, all a-lop." But ATIP can only be found at crossword dictionary.

4) Comments
Crossword related comments ONLY please. Next time a distasteful political attack comment such as the Rick Santorum one (Saturday) comes up, I will delete it without warning.

I enjoy reading your daily solving experience, complaints, praise and observation of the puzzle, and I am happy that you are willing to share with us. But, please keep your comments as pithy as possible. If you want to post some lengthy information from another website, don't copy and paste, it soaks up too much space. Just provide with a link (code it in HTML). Or you can simply type in the website address.

Please also write your comments in proper English. Comments written in all CAPITAL letters or all in small letters are very tough on my eyes.

For keys to the puzzle, please visit Chicago Tribune's Crossword Website first. If you still can not find what you want, then send a question to the Comment section.

5) Questions? Just ask!
For those who visits this blog from Asia, Europe, Latin America, Canada, please feel free to jump in with your comments, even if your syndication puzzle is lagged weeks behind us (as in Vietnam & Philippines).

I am very interested in hearing from you how you solve this TMS puzzle as a foreigner (I figure not all of you are Americans living abroad). And if you have any question regarding any clue, please do not hesitate to ask. Remember, there are no stupid or embarrassing questions in this crazy crossword world!

6) Recap
From now on, I will skip the "How I struggled" part in front of my daily recap. I slog through different mud than you do due to my special background, and I don't think you are quite interested in reading my misery. Instead, I will put on a few lines of my observation of the crossword structure or a few entries that I feel worthy highlighting.

Lastly, I want to say "Thank You" to all of you (esp Dennis) for patiently answering my ceaseless WHY, HOW SO questions every day. I am deeply grateful for and appreciative of your generous help. 谢谢!

OK, now chime in on your Monday puzzle experiece!



Anonymous said...


Your efforts are awesome. Thanks so much!

One Across is a great tool for crosswords. I discovered that one a while ago. Although, I have to admit I prefer reading your blog!

Anonymous said...

Hi CC,

This is Eubin again. I am in Taipei, solving the crossword puzzle appearing in Taipei Times. I guess the newspaper buys the puzzle from the US. Because of the time difference, I can always play the puzzle at least 8 hours earlier than you do, but I am not at all proud or anything. I always feel clueless even though I understand the clues. I have two questions: (a) how do you figure out the theme of each puzzle? Is there a school of study on crossword puzzle? (b) Do you have any special tips for deciphering the clues? Again, thank you for your information in your blog, I can always learn a lot.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Good morning mkat,

Thank you for your kind words.


Thank you for stopping by.

Does your puzzle carry out the TMS Sunday as well?

The theme of a puzzle is actually not difficult to divine. They are always the longest entries in the grid. And they are always symmetrically placed.

I am still struggling every day with these clues. I don't have any tip for you except practice and practice.

Maybe Dennis and others can share with us their secret?

Anonymous said...

Hi CC,

Thank you very much for the sharing. Next time I will try to figure out the theme myself, even though I may not complete the puzzle all by myself. To reply to your question, yes, the puzzle we have here also carries out the TMS Sunday as well. It is always really challenging for me to solve more than a hundred clue.

tigerslaw said...

Who said Monday wasn't easy! The only strange word - WUSS - not in my dictionary.

C.C. Burnikel said...


I've also copied and pasted your questions to today (Monday, March 24) crossword blog entry. Have a look there.

Just keep plugging! Slowly progress will be made. Sunday gives me headache too. Too many blanks. But the theme is alway given, so that makes solving a bit easier, as you know where you are going.

MH said...

I liked your comments at the beginning. The structure is interesting as well.

Anonymous said...

7D - Lime helps to reduce the acidity of the soil by raising the ph.

NYTAnonimo said...

I would have to agree c.c. that it seems a conflict of interest to edit your own work. Also to select your own or your relatives' work over that of others.

C.C. Burnikel said...


We've got 10 Olschang, and 10 Anderson puzzles in the past 2 months.

That's insane.

Need fresh blood.

dugglesmack said...

I found your blog this morning googling for "subway loops straps" and was delighted to know that this clue gave others some problems, but MOST delighted that I found your blog. We get the puzzle on the same day in the Arkansas Democrate Gazette out of Little Rock AR and in the past, when I've struggled with a puzzle, I've suffered alone... now I find a place to vent as well as find out how stupid I was to overlook an obvious clue...

Thanks for your efforts John!!