R.I.P. James Garner: Mortality

james garner

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

ernest hemingway

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

mandela & gordimer

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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July Puzzle of the Month: Forthcoming Statement

Appropriately, our featured puzzle for July involves four diagrams — the very first 4-diagram puzzle we have ever published!

The whole puzzle is one continuous quotation.  And as usual with puzzles that involve more than one diagram, the same “code” carries all the way through the cryptograms.  (For example, “2″ in the cryptogram for Diagram 1 stands for the same letter as “2″ in the cryptograms for Diagrams 2, 3, and 4.)

After you have solved the puzzle, you may wish to click on the “Puzzle Answers” link, above, for more of this important statement and for background information about it.

(Note: In one of the diagrams — Diagram 3 — the path of the hidden “quip” involves one “wraparound” — where letters that do not appear to be adjacent actually do touch on the back side of the Quipto® rack. For an explanation of wraparounds, click on the “How to Solve Quip-Find Puzzles” link, above, and read pages 130-131.)

 Diagram 1:

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Diagram 2:

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Diagram 3:

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Diagram 4:

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[This puzzle is dedicated to my good friend French Brandon on the occasion of his 75th birthday.  Jim]

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Historic Difficulty

Here is one of the more difficult puzzles we have ever offered – very difficult until you are given some clue as to its context.  For now, we will just tell you that it is a headline that could have been used for an actual historical event.

Why is the puzzle so difficult?  Because it consists of only three words, and the shortest is eight letters!

For this puzzle, we offer two optional hints (at the “Optional Puzzle Hints” link) instead of the usual one:  (a) the standard kind of clue we offer, a “gimme” letter; and (b) another detail about the historical context.

Okay, we will give you one more clue up front: The event turned out to be one of the most momentous of the Twentieth Century.  And a solution suggestion: Focus on the third word; it is a distinctive one.

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Foreign Matter

Fifty-one years ago tomorrow, on June 26, 1963, the President of the United States delivered a speech in a foreign city and said something memorable in a foreign language.  Today’s puzzle includes both (1) what he said and (2) the English translation of what he said.

(Incidentally, contrary to an often-repeated “urban legend,” what the President said was not a bilingual “gaffe”.  For more on this, click on the “Puzzle Answers” link.)

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Chet Atkins: Driving Force

Chet Atkins

Image:  www.cmt.com

Chet Atkins (1924-2001)

Guitarist Chet Atkins, “The Country Gentleman,” was one of the originators of “The Nashville Sound” in country music.  He was born on June 20, 1924, and died on June 30, 2001.  He won 14 Grammys plus a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, and he was inducted into both the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Musicians Hall of Fame.

The following two-diagram puzzle features something Atkins said about his motivation.

(NOTE:  Diagram 2 involves one wraparound or “hidden adjacency”: Even though they do not appear to be adjacent, each of the letter pairs H and F, O and T, and W and S are actually adjacent — on the hidden back side of the Quipto(R) rack.  For an explanation of hidden adjacencies, click on the link “How to Solve Quip-Find Puzzles,” above, and read pages 130-131.)

Diagram 1:

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 Diagram 2:

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Sally Ride: The Heavens

Sally Ride

Image: en.wikipedia.org

Sally Ride (1951-2012)

 On June 18, 1983, Sally Ride became the first American woman to go into space.  Our two-diagram puzzle below features something she said about her observations as an astronaut.

Diagram 1:

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Diagram 2:

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