Saturday, April 18, 2009

Curmudgeon in the Wry 429 The Crossword Puzzle Tribute

Saturday, April 18, 2009---922 Words---Average Reading Time: 3 Minutes, 2 Seconds. (A pointless waste of time---time frittered away)
A Life in the Slow Lane Production.
Offending readers and hindering productivity one issue at a time since 2001.
Virtually free of original ideas.
Often wrong…never in doubt.
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Rave: John Rich.
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Reading: “Red Knife” by William Kent Krueger.
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On the Hi Fi: “Golden Age of Song”---a Starbucks Big band compilation.
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Under rated: Bob Cummings.
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First one: On December 21, 1913, the Sunday NY World printed the first crossword puzzle…called “word-cross.” It was an immediate success and quickly became a weekly feature.
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Quote: “Since when is the secret ballot a basic tenet of democracy?” —Teamsters president James Hoffa.
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By the way: In a recent Rasmussen poll, only 9 percent of nonunion workers who responded wanted to belong to a union. That’s quite a referendum.
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Truism: Injuries are the great dream killers in sports. Just ask the Celtics with Kevin Garnett.
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Crossword: The NY World remained the only newspaper printing a crossword puzzle until 1924. Then a fledgling publishing house put out a collection of the World’s puzzles in book form. A craze began.
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Wish List: I wish Texas Governor Rick Perry was governor of my state instead of “Sorry” Charlie Crist.
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Weighty matter: Ten of the twelve NY Yankee pitchers tip the scales at more than 200 pounds…eight over 225---and David Wells is no longer on the roster.
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R.I.P.: Mark Fidrych…a true original, gone way too soon. He had an intense impact, not just on baseball, but also on pop culture.
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Caution: Watching the pointless “Observe and Report” just may lower your IQ.
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Hmmm: The rumor is the Yankees would be better off with Ava Gardner in center field than with Brett Gardner.
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Quote: “Seventy-five percent of American ‘gamers’—people who play video games—are older than 18 and nevertheless are allowed to vote.” —George Will.
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Crossword: The first crossword puzzle book sold out its initial pressing of 36,000…and the next two pressings as well…turning Simon & Shuster into a successful publishing house.
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American History: Once upon a time the Newport Jazz Festival was considered the Woodstock of its day.
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Rant: Seems like every college player who can make two shots in a row can’t wait to jump to the pros.
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Rave: I am not sure what to make of Greg Paulus’ proposed football odyssey, but it is the most intriguing story not having to do with criminal behavior on the part of an athlete to come along in a while.
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Rant: Were I the president of FIU, my first choice as basketball coach would not be the central figure in a sexual harassment suit who has never coached at the college level. But that’s just me.
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Another first: During the recent European journey, the haughty president became the first American president to speak ill of America while on foreign soil
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Crossword Irony: The NY Times was one of the last holdouts to the crossword puzzle mania. Their first puzzle appeared in 1942 (Sunday) ---1950 for the daily puzzle.
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Bumper sticker of the week: “No taxation without deliberation.”
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Another My Take: I often wonder just how many members in the obama administration have opposable thumbs---starting with Napolitano.
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Rave: I find nothing wrong with a player giving a verbal commitment to Memphis, then changing his mind to follow coach Calipari. Kids pick coaches, not schools. Nothing wrong with that either.
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This is certain: The next Hollywood celebrity who tells you something you really need to know will be the first.
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Didjaknow: The last time a US male won the Boston Marathon was 1983 when Greg Meyer took the blue ribbon.
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My take: Roger Federer is not the world’s best tennis player behind Rafael Nadal---Andy Murray is.
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Rave: The UConn Women’s Basketball team. Undefeated, untied and mostly untested in every game. They are quick, athletic, smart, never had a let down and play at a higher level than any other team.
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Crossword: The crossword puzzle golden age was the 1920’s.
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Crossword quote: “The crossword puzzle was America’s favorite licit indoor activity in the days before television.” —Publisher’s weekly.
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Hmmm: Seems thorough vetting is simply an “inconvenient process” (a pesky distraction, if you will) in the land of hopey-changey. Daschle the Dodger, Turbo Tax Geithner, Kathleen Sebelius, etc. This type of judgment comes as no surprise from someone who spent 20 years in Rev. Wright’s church and was mentored by Bill Ayers on education.
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Rant: Just when you think political correctness can’t get any worse, not to mention irrelevant,
Brown University decides to drop Columbus Day off the school’s calendar.
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Truism: True economic stimulus creates sustainable private-sector jobs.
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Crossword: Crossword puzzles appear in almost every language that lends itself to vertical and horizontal word arrangement.
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Quote: “We’re moving precipitously close to what I would call a savior-based economy.” —Mark Sanford, Governor of South Carolina.
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Rave: The Red Sox Dustin Pedroia personifies “overachiever.”
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Truism: Some five years ago Tom Daschle and many other liberals cursed George W. Bush as “the most fiscally irresponsible president in history.” He may have been---but, not any longer.
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Crossword: In the US, most puzzles call for symmetrical patterns, no more than 1/6 of the squares black, allover interlock of words, no cutoff segment or unkeyed letters.
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Rant: They should not play college basketball games in a dome.
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If you can read this, thank a teacher. If you are reading it in English, thank a Veteran.
That is all.
As you were.

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