Joan Rivers: R.I.P.

British Academy Television Awards - Arrivals

Image: mamamia.com.au

Joan Rivers (1933-2014)

Joan Rivers, pioneering comedian and television host, died yesterday at age 81. The answer to our two-diagram puzzle is something self-deprecating she said about herself.

(This is a Quip-Find first: Our first ever published puzzle in which both parts of a quip require full-rack diagrams. Notice that in such a diagram, there are no wraparounds or hidden adjacencies; the adjacencies involved are always visible in one half-rack or the other.

(When you have solved the puzzle, enjoy tracing the path of the quip as it winds back and forth between the two halves of the diagram.)

Diagram 1:

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Diagram 2:

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September Puzzle of the Month

The answer to this month’s Puzzle of the Month is part of a familiar, and useful, rhyme. We present it as a two-diagram puzzle with a couple of unusual features:

(1) Usually, if a quip can be spelled out on the Quipto® rack, it can be contained in a “half-rack” (three mutually-adjacent faces of the rack). However, a few quips require a full rack — and Diagram 2 of this puzzle contains just such a quip. (Note that Diagram 2 is like a map of the two hemispheres of the globe; the cubicles and letters around the edges appear on both “halves” of the rack.)

(2) The next (but not last) word of the rhyme can actually be found in Diagram 1. (Hint: It’s a hyphenated word.)

Because of transitions taking place in your puzzlemaster’s life right now, postings in the near future will be slightly less frequent. Please stay tuned for Quipto and Quip-Find developments. And I welcome your feedback; email me at “quipfind” at gmail.com. (We list the email address this way to try to outsmart the email-address-gobbling bots out there on the internet.)  Jim

Diagram 1:

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Diagram 2:

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Robin Williams: R.I.P.

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Image:  en.wikipedia.org

Robin Williams (1951-2014)

The actor and comedian died yesterday, an apparent suicide.  The Williams quote featured in the following two-diagram puzzle is ironic in light of this sad news.

(Note: Diagram 2 involves one wraparound or hidden adjacency: Though they do not appear to be adjacent, B is adjacent to L — on the back side of the Quipto(R) rack.)

Diagram 1:

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Diagram 2:

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August Puzzle of the Month: A Puzzling Riddle

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The Mystery Man to whom the riddle question is directed

Our Puzzle of the Month for August is the answer to a riddle – or is it a joke told by Steve Allen?  We don’t know for sure, but, in any case, we hope you haven’t heard it before.

Here’s the riddle: “What is a question whose answer is ‘9W’?”  The answer to this riddle is the answer to our two-diagram puzzle below.  (And. no, the question is not “What is the best route to take as an alternative to the New York Thruway between New York City and Albany?”)

Note that the question is addressed to a famous person in history – the man pictured above.

We usually make our hints optional. However, in this case, we couldn’t resist using our version of the answer to the riddle where (yes, you guessed it!) 9=W.

Diagram 1:

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Diagram 2:

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George Bernard Shaw: Hobbyists

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George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)

The Irish playwright was born on July 26, 1856.  The winner of both a Nobel Prize and an Academy Award, he is perhaps best remembered today for his play Pygmalion, on which the popular musical My Fair Lady was based.

Shaw also gave us many memorable quotations; the following puzzle features one of them.

(Note: The puzzle involves one wraparound or “hidden adjacency”, where pairs of letters (in this case, G and S, I and C, and H and X) that do not appear to be adjacent actually are — on the back side of the Quipto(R) rack.)

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R.I.P. James Garner: Mortality

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Image:  www.pbs.org

James Garner (1928-1014)

James Garner was known to millions of U. S. TV viewers (and to current viewers of endless re-runs) as Bret Maverick in Maverick and Jim Rockford in The Rockford Files.  He died on Saturday, July 19, at age 86.

Our two-diagram puzzle to honor him features a two-sentence “line” he spoke as the character Jess Remsberg in the movie Duel at Diablo.

Diagram 1:

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Diagram 2:

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Ernest Hemingway: Brave Definition

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Image:  www.netssa.com

Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961)

Ernest Hemingway, influential American short story writer and novelist, was born July 21, 1899 — 115 years ago this Monday.  His novels included A Farewell to Arms, The Sun Also Rises, For Whom the Bell Tolls, and The Old Man and the Sea.  Hemingway was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954.  The writer died by suicide on July 2, 1961, when he was not quite 62 years old.

This puzzle features one of the writer’s best-known quotes.

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In Memoriam: Nadine Gordimer

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Photo: Radu Sigheti/Reuters

Nadine Gordimer (1923-2014) with Nelson Mandela, 2005

The South African writer and political activist Nadine Gordimer died yesterday.  She won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1991.

In her memory we offer a puzzle that features something Gordimer said about the old versus the new technology.

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Harrison Ford on Acting

Harrison Ford2 Image: rottentomatoes.com

Harrison Ford

The popular Hollywood actor turns 72 this Sunday, July 13.  Our two-diagram puzzle below features something he has said about the challenge of acting.

Diagram 1:

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Diagram 2:

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The Dalai Lama: Lesson

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Image: www.mindbodygreen.com

Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama

Sunday, July 6, is the 79th birthday of the Dalai Lama.  The answer to our two-diagram puzzle to celebrate his birthday is a wise quote from this wise and humble man.

Diagram 1:

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Diagram 2:

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