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Posted By: bgassman

icon - 03/21/01 10:06 PM

In answer to wwh's question about a short, handy alternative to the usage of "icon" that I suggested I didn't much like, the obvious choice, at least in an entertainment or sports context, is "star." A little longer, but still quite possible in a headline in other contexts, would be "notable." I think that would have been much more suitable and indeed complimentary than "icon" in the obituary headline I quoted. Still longer but more to the point in many contexts would be "luminary" or "celebrity." I like "luminary" as a synonym for "star" because of the connotation of light that they share.
Coincidentally the NY Times crossword puzzle in my newspaper yesterday had the word "icon" as the answer to the definition "James Dean or Marilyn Monroe." Perhaps that gives some kind of imprimatur to the usage I was questioning. What do you think?


Posted By: belMarduk

Re: icon - 03/21/01 10:46 PM

Webster's has the following definitions pertaining to the use of luminary as describing people...

1) a person of intellectual or moral eminence, esp. a person who has attained eminence in his field or is an inspiration to others; a leading light

2) (loosly) any famous person; celebrity

I have never heard luminary used as in the second example. Perhaps, IMHO, this is because luminary implies intellectual or moral brightness and not all stars are all that bright, and moral, well, we won't even go there. Some stars are only stars for a very brief time so luminary seems to overstate it a lot.

Posted By: wwh

Re: icon - 03/21/01 11:21 PM

My impression is that the standards of NY Times editors are far higher than those of the crossword puzzle people.

Posted By: of troy

Re: icon - 03/22/01 03:13 PM

Used to be true Bill, but as NY times addict, and NY Times crossword puzzle addict I would say its no longer true

Will Schortz, the current editor, (since about 1995) allows the use of "brand names" (oreo has become a "common puzzle word) and other changes..

about once a month i acually get the sunday times puzzle done-- i can usually do the weekday ones, and sometimes saturdays-- (NY times puzzles get harder and harder as the week progresses-- most people can complete Monday's puzzle-- really good ones can do Sunday's consistantly--not me)

Posted By: Bobyoungbalt

Re: icon - 03/22/01 04:19 PM

NY Times Crossword
'Tis true, the NY Times Sunday crossword puzzle is nowadays hellishly difficult, more so, it seems to me, than it was just a few years ago, to say nothing of 10 years ago. Or maybe it's just my failing mental capacities. At any rate, the Baltimore Sun prints both the NY Times puzzle and their own Sun puzzle on Sunday. I always start with the Times puzzle and although I almost always succeed in doing the whole thing, I've never done it in less than an hour and a half, and it has taken me as long as 7 or 8 hours (stretched out over Sunday p.m. and a couple more evenings). That done (or maybe done except for a few really tough sections where I am temporarily stumped) I go on to the other one, which takes from 30 to 90 minutes. Doing the easier one often seems to stimulate the old grey cells, since I can than go back to the Times puzzle and hit on something right away that clears up the parts I was stumped on.

For really hellish crossword puzzles, there is the London Times and other British-style crosswords, which have those wierd definitions. They drive me bonkers and half the time the references are to stuff only a Brit would understand, so I no longer even attempt them.

Posted By: Jackie

Re: icon - 03/22/01 05:06 PM

Whoa, Bob, kudos on doing the NY Sun. Times X-word! Wow!
I'm sorry you don't like cryptics--I love them!
Possibly because they're still kind of new to me--frankly, I'd gotten tired of plain old crossword puzzles, though I might not have if I'd tried the NY ones. But cryptics can have such great word plays in them! I really wish I could find more of them. Even our best bookstores seldom have books of just cryptics--I usually have to find them mingled in with other kinds of word puzzles.

Posted By: of troy

Re: icon - 03/22/01 05:17 PM

Good for you Jackie-- i don't even try the cryptics! way to hard for me!

The Sunday Puzzle is in the Times Magazine-- I thing your library would have it (for you to photocopy) and the Sunday times usually has two puzzles-- the standard cross word-- and an other-- some times a "standard" crossword-- only no Black boxes-- you have figure out where they go!-- or a cryptic-- or spiral puzzle--

Harpers (Magazine) always has (for me, impossible!) a cryptic--

and this month-- an article about English usage-- Tense Present-- i have just started to read it--
Its hard for me to read-- I don't mind a word or two from the condenced OED-- but this article has a very fine font-- and lots of foot notes-- i keep getting lost...at least it is not on calendered paper.

Posted By: AnnaStrophic

Re: icon - 03/22/01 05:18 PM

To me, Will Shortz is an icon's icon.
I have a friend who leans more toward the scientific than I do, so we balance each other well in terms of trivia. When we get together (he lives in California, so I don't see him often) we usually try to incorporate the Sunday NYT crossword into our activities. Last time we worked on it together, we beat our previous record of 55 minutes by 3. But I remember actually completing only one alone, with no help. Now as for those cryptic crosswords, fuhgeddaboutit. Never could understand them.

Posted By: Jackie

Re: icon - 03/22/01 05:23 PM

Cool, Helen, thanks. Cryptics aren't all that hard when, like everything else, you understand what the rules are.
There are seven different types of clues that I know of,
which I won't go into here. But sometimes, I make a "leap"
and know the right answer, and then cannot for the life of me figure out how I got there! This thread inspired me, though, to put the simplest kind of clue in another post.
I made it impossible to miss, however, since most people are in such a hurry, I was afraid no one would see it.

Posted By: Faldage

Re: Cryptics - 03/22/01 06:44 PM

sometimes, I make a "leap" and know the right answer, and then cannot for the life of me figure out how I got there!

I do the same thing with the cryptics. Usually I will eventually manage to figure out the rationale and I normally don't write the word in until I do get to that stage.

As for those Harper's puzzles; the first one I tried to do cost me three days of puzzling just to figure out what I was supposed to do. Simple good old fashioned cryptic clues combined with instructions like:

Half of the clues are in the right place. The other half are displaced by the amount hinted at in 16A and 5D. Of those that are in the right place half are to be entered directly and the other half are anagrams.

I used to be a crossword puzzle addict; I couldn't rest at night unless I had completed at least one crossword puzzle. Then I finished a Harper's puzzle and the addiction was broken.

Posted By: Jackie

Re: Cryptics - 03/22/01 11:39 PM

Simple good old fashioned cryptic clues combined with instructions like:

Half of the clues are in the right place. The other half are displaced by the amount hinted at in 16A and 5D. Of those that are in the right place half are to be entered directly and the other half are anagrams.

Oh, yeah--I love those! Take a while, but tons of fun.

Then I finished a Harper's puzzle and the addiction was broken.
Mine was broken when I found this place!





Posted By: rodward

Re: Cryptics - 03/23/01 11:49 AM

I love the cryptics, particularly The (UK) Times, but then I'm British. A lot of the clues are real groaner puns and other wordplay. Though I try the USA Today type crosswords just to show up my lack of USA trivia knowledge.

Rod Ward
Posted By: wwh

Re: Cryptics - 03/23/01 01:35 PM

Dear Rod: how about a comparison of US trivia with UK trivia? Or is the comparison trivial?
And by the way, what would you call quadrivial?

Posted By: Fiberbabe

Re: icon - 03/23/01 02:57 PM

On the subject of crosswords... I'm curious as to how many people here:
1) Do them,
2) Use pen, and
3) Whether you use caps or lower case letters.

In the spirit of some of the other polling that seems to be in vogue around here these days... Feel free to weigh in by private, and I'll accumulate the statistics for my own nefarious and esoteric purposes.

Posted By: Bobyoungbalt

Re: icon - 03/23/01 03:38 PM

Crossword poll

I do them, but only the most difficult. Anything understood to be of lesser difficulty is too easy and boring. I do them in ink, all caps, and I never use any dictionary or source outside my own head -- that would be cheating, and if I can't do a puzzle without cheating, the hell with it.

Posted By: belMarduk

Re: crossword poll - 03/24/01 02:02 PM

I do the crosswords with a pen (don't own any pencils) or, if I am in a resto and reading their paper I do them in my head.

I always use a version of shorthand caps. Depending upon how I feel, I will write small neat caps that fit inside the boxes or big bold caps that fill entire box and sometimes overlap the lines.

When I do the Gazette crossword puzzle I do it with my left hand (I am a righty). Perhaps Bill can explain this to me. When I do it with my right hand, I can usually finish it off in 10 to 15 minutes. If I use my left hand the answers don't come as easily and it can take me some 5 to ten minutes more. If I get stuck on a word, a switch to my right hand will make the word pop into my head.

I never finish the NY Times crossword. There are so many references to U.S. people and events that I have NO clue about. I am always amazed that people in the U.S. will know the name of the wife of the guy that lost the presidential election in 1946.

Cryptics...well, I haven't gotten past the "what on earth are they going on about" stage.

Oh and, one grrrr point...crossword solving is contagious; my son has now taken to sneaking the crosswords out of the paper and finishing them off before I even get a look at 'em.

Posted By: wow

Re: crossword poll - 03/24/01 02:38 PM

>my son has now taken to sneaking the crosswords out of the paper and finishing them off before I even get a look at 'em.
-------------------------------------------
Show him how to work the duplicating machine!


Posted By: wwh

Re: crossword poll - 03/24/01 02:49 PM

And be glad he is becoming a linguaphile.

Posted By: Bingley

Re: crossword poll - 03/25/01 12:17 PM

I used to do cryptics a lot, mainly the Guardian, the Times, and the Telegraph. I did them in biro with capital letters. I even had a go at composing some myself five or six years ago. Unfortunately the diskette where I had the ones I'd made and the clues went missing when I was moving house and I never had the heart to start again. I still do the ones from English Today: they have prizes. I've actually won some good books off them like the 2nd Edition of the Cambridge Encylopedia of Language. I've looked at the ones from the Listener but never managed more than about one clue per puzzle.

In case you were wondering why I don't do them much any more. A certain bulletin board takes up all my time.

Bingley
Posted By: Jackie

Re: crossword poll - 03/25/01 05:11 PM

Congratulations on your prizes, Bingley. I am not surprised in the least.
What is the Listener, please?

Posted By: musick

Re: crossword poll - 03/25/01 05:40 PM

Mom does all the crosswords and cryptics, I do all the "logic problems".

Show him how to work the duplicating machine!

Would that be a mimeograph or a xerograph?!

Posted By: wwh

Re: crossword poll - 03/25/01 05:42 PM

Or maybe the scanner and printer.

Posted By: Bingley

Re: crossword poll - 03/26/01 05:39 AM

The Listener was a magazine, now defunct, put out by the BBC.

Bingley
Posted By: Geoff

Re: crossword poll - 03/26/01 05:58 AM

Show him how to work the duplicating machine!

Would that be a mimeograph or a xerograph?!


Neither. It's mitosis. I'm surprised that Dr. Bill didn't remember!

Posted By: of troy

Re: crossword poll - 03/26/01 01:24 PM

Or do them on line-- NY Times used to charge for the Crossword--now it is free, but with a catch-- you can't print it or save it-- but if you'd like to try it its a good way to start
I do them in ink, a mix of caps and lower cases-- and unlike AnnaS, i have finished the Sunday Times puzzle-- but never have tried timing it-- i would guess my best time is serveal hours-- i tend to work at it-- get stumped-- go off and do somthing, come back and the answer is staring me in the face! And it a rare thing for me to complete it ( yesterdays 50% done) I am up to about completing the Sunday puzzle once in a month.

I only started doing Cross words 10 years ago-- I still have to have scrap paper for the down answers-- i can't spell well to begin with, and spelling down is beyond me once the word is more than 5 letter long! In this morning puzzle i had 6 letters of a 7 letter word, and still couldn't figure it out till i wrote it horizontally!

I like math puzzles-- and i can sometimes look at them and solve them, or at least understand the solution-- like Jackie and her success with crypics-- but cryptics? i don't even under stand the answers when i look at the puzzle solved!

Posted By: wow

Re: crossword poll - 03/26/01 02:50 PM

mimeograph or a xerograph?!
Or maybe the scanner and printer.


My definition of "Duplicating machine" : any machine that duplicates an original.
In other words : all the above plus Xerox
wow



Posted By: Jazzoctopus

Re: crossword poll - 03/27/01 10:45 PM

Or do them on line-- NY Times used to charge for the Crossword--now it is free, but with a catch-- you can't print it or save it-

Unless you can outsmart them. There's a button on the top row of most keyboards on the right side above Insert that says Print Screen. If you get the whole puzzle in the middle of the browser window then you can print the screen, find where you computer saved the picture file and print that.

Posted By: Max Quordlepleen

Re: crossword poll - 03/27/01 11:02 PM

Jazz, I'm not too clued up on this, but have you ever noticed that some Java applets don't show up when you try PrtScrn? I have on occasion tried to circumvent A Java applet in that manner, and found that my screenshot included a pretty grey box! Other Java applets have been successfully captured, so I'm wondering if it's something in the code. Any ideas? That was why I didn't post the PrtScrn suggestion for the NYT crossword, as I have been meaning to test to to see if it works.

Posted By: shanks

Re: icon - 03/28/01 09:07 AM

1) Yes - only on occasion. The Guardian's are online, so the cryptic is fun (I can take days over a cruptic crossword!)

2) Whatever comes to hand. Usually a pen. The London freebie, Metro, has double - easy and cryptic crossword on the same grid, so if I do that I start with pencil (the easy, for a warm-up) and then use ink for the cryptic.

3) Caps

cheer

the sunshine warrior

Posted By: rodward

Re: crossword poll - 03/28/01 12:34 PM

Re Listener: and the crosswords were fiendish, and, if I understood correctly, like a Harper's puzzle with answers all over the place. The Saturday Times publishes what I think of as the Listener Crossword (it may even be called that).
I do them in ballpoint, in caps, sometimes put them in lightly if I know it's the answer but can't close off all the references.
I will resort to looking things up, but only to extend my knowledge, or sometimes help out my failing memory. But I agree, in those cases I don't claim to have "finished" the crossword.
There is a very annoying TV commercial running currently (-what's the name for that construction? curro=I run) in UK, showing a man looking uncomfortable in an aircraft seat. The stewardess leans over his shoulder and says "Could it be haemorrhoids?" At which point you see it is the answer to the crossword clue he is struggling with. I consider anyone who "helps" without asking is a pain in the bum, and might likely get one of their own.

Rod Ward
Posted By: rodward

Re: crossword poll - 03/28/01 12:37 PM

Many of the serious crosswords are available free, online, either to fill in online or print off, at least in UK. Check out the sites for the Times, Telegraph, etc.

Rod Ward
Posted By: shanks

Re: crossword poll - 03/28/01 12:41 PM

Rod

I suspect that if they are free in the UK, they will probably be free around the world.

And why didn't you mention the Grauniad? Fiendish and packed with personality! Try today's: http://www.guardian.co.uk/crossword/java/blank/1,7082,-4106,00.html

cheer

the sunshine warrior

Posted By: of troy

Re: crossword poll - 03/28/01 01:06 PM

Well-- 2 catches-
1) its easier if you hold down the ALT key, and the press print screen-- it then save the image to the clipboard, and you can paste it into a document and print the document.

2) but-- they don't show you all the clues at once- so you have to scroll, and repeat the process several times to get all the clues--

(you could just print the grid, and use your computer to find all the clues...)

Trick #1 works with all active windows... I use it all the time when creating documentation. I often want to have screen captures, to show users exactly what they will see on their screen.

Posted By: wow

Re: crossword poll - 03/28/01 01:42 PM

OK, I'll fess up.
I do one at thinks.com (from a Baltimore newspaper) it's an medium to easy one depending on the author.
It has a feature I like - you click the "regular button" and if you get a word or letter wrong it shows up in red .. correct letters show in white in blue box. Or you can do it without clicking the box and you are on your own ... no red hints.
Gets the brain going first thing in the a.m.
If I buy a crossword book for the car - to ease waiting times - I buy the easy ones and if I get stumped I look up the answer in the back.
OK, so I cheat! Big deal. "Sister" isn't looking over my shoulder anymore. They're supposed to be fun!
wow





Posted By: Faldage

Re: Quadrivial - 03/28/01 01:59 PM

Dr. Bob wonders: what would you call quadrivial?

Umm, lessee, I keep forgetting...arithmetic, geography? astronomy? what's the other one? Common thread here?

Oh, OK, I googled it (yes it is googlable™):

QUADRIVIUM: In the Middle Ages, the higher division of the seven liberal arts, comprising the mathematical sciences (arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, and music).

So, quadrivial would be meaninglessly intricate?

Googlable is a registered trademark of AnnaStrophic Enterprises, Pty.

Posted By: wwh

Re: Quadrivial - 03/28/01 02:21 PM

Scientists call things everybody can understand "trivial" so I was suggesting "quadrivial" for things hard to understand.

Posted By: Sparteye

Re: Quadrivial - 03/28/01 04:55 PM

"I was suggesting 'quadrivial' for things hard to understand."


And I thought "quadrivial" was for things requiring "fourthought!"


Posted By: wow

Re: Understanding vs remembering - 03/28/01 08:00 PM

suggesting 'quadrivial' for things hard to understand."

Anyone else had this happen to them ?
When an intricate, even arcane thing is explained to me I can follow and understand it , yea, even write an easily understandable exposition ... HOWEVER ... a day, week, month later I cannot explain it to anyone. I know what "it" means or causes but at a loss to explain to someone else as it was explained to me.
Is there a word for this? (she asked, neatly tying it to words!)
wow



Posted By: Bingley

Re: crossword poll - 03/29/01 04:21 AM

In reply to:

I will resort to looking things up, but only to extend my knowledge, or sometimes help out my failing memory.


Whereas I stubbornly refuse to do so, which is probably why I can't do the Listener style ones (plus the fact that I refuse to spend half an hour just trying to understand the instructions). If there is a prize I will look in a dictionary after I've completed the grid to check an answer that I've filled in but am not sure about, just to make sure it's worth while sending it in. If I'm wrong then I don't change it and send it in -- that's cheating.

Bingley

Posted By: Bingley

Re: Understanding vs remembering - 03/29/01 04:29 AM

In reply to:

I know what "it" means or causes but at a loss to explain to someone else as it was explained to me.


Apparently Augustine had the same problem with time. He said something like, "When I explain it to myself I understand it, but if I explain it to anyone else, I don't understand it." I haven't got to that bit yet (if indeed it comes from the Confessions), but I'll let you know if he has a word for this phenomenon.

Bingley

Posted By: shanks

Re: Understanding vs remembering - 03/29/01 08:04 AM

glossogordia = tongue-tied-in-knot.

IMIU

Posted By: Max Quordlepleen

Re: Understanding vs remembering - 03/29/01 08:12 AM

IMIU

Acronym for I Made It Up or phonetic spelling of an Australian ratite?

Posted By: shanks

Re: Understanding vs remembering - 03/29/01 09:46 AM

Thought about the latter, but alas, it stands for the former...

BTW, since we're on the subject - how would you pronounce cassowary?

Posted By: Jackie

Re: Understanding vs remembering - 03/29/01 10:46 AM

How do you pronounce cassowary? You could try Atomica's variety:

Translations for: cassowary

Deutsch (German):
Kasuar

Français (French):
casoar

Español (Spanish):
casuario

Italiano (Italian):
casuario

Português (Portuguese):
n. casuar (m)

Nederlands (Dutch):
kasuaris

Svensk (Swedish):
n. kasuar

Ελληνική (Greek):
n. (ορνιθ.) κασουάριο (μεγάλη στρουθοκάμηλος)

Русский (Russian):
казуар
===========================================================

I see the Greek and Russian characters were accepted. In some other post I tried, they turned to rectangles, etc.


Posted By: wow

Re: Understanding vs remembering - 03/29/01 01:42 PM

glossogordia = tongue-tied-in-knot.IMIU (I made it up)
-------------------------------------------------------
Dear Shanks ... never been accused of that. After all I have kissed the Blarney Stone!
wow

Posted By: wwh

Re: Understanding vs remembering - 03/29/01 02:17 PM

Dear shanks:Re "glossogordia": I have suffered from garrulous types with tongue hinged in middle and wagging at both ends, but, alas in no danger of getting tongue-tied. But if that calamity had befallen them, I would have been tempted to use Alexander the Great's solution.

Posted By: Sparteye

glossogordia - 03/30/01 02:25 PM

Love the term, Shanks!

It reminded me of something which occurred in a trial. Here's the transcript:

A. I lied to Kenneth and frankly, I lied to Kenneth and like Kenneth knows when I'm lying to him and vice versa. I know when --
Q. How does he know when you're lying?
A. I get tie tongue.
Q. Tongue tied?
A. Yes.


[The prosecutor later successfully argued that the witness lied to protect her boyfriend, the defendant.]


Posted By: rodward

Re: Understanding vs remembering - 03/30/01 02:33 PM

wow has kissed the Blarney Stone!

but did it kiss back I wonder?


Posted By: wow

Re: Blarney - 03/30/01 02:39 PM

wow has kissed the Blarney Stone!
but did it kiss back I wonder?


Now that you mention it ... I did feel a kind of tickling sensation ... rather like kissing a man with a moustache.
wow

Posted By: inselpeter

Re: glossogordia - 03/30/01 02:57 PM

<<Q. Tongue tied? A. Yes.>>

Oh, My, Gawd!----Sparts! Stitches and back!

This is Binky, wishing you a pleasant from the rings of Saturn, signing off.
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