Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The Mixup with oh never mind

As always, or at least until next season (I'm a bit annoyed by some advertising-based changes in the site. On the other hand, thanks, website, for not having such problems until recently), a word is a word if and only if it is recognized as such by wordsmith.org. So, for instance, were you to be faced with the letters NEGLAB, then BENGAL would not be valid, because, I guess, it only modifies tiger and doesn't stand alone, except atop the AFC North.

If it happens (as it well may) by next year that I am forced to move again, one bright side might be the opportunity to reunite my scanner with all its component cables. Meanwhile, here is some Ron Young artwork, 2015 style:

Short of time this week, so I had to cut a few corners. Unfortunately, there were only four.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

It's That Time of Week

Apropos of nothing, let's imagine a famous painter, say da Vinci, had a condition that kept him from holding a brush straight. On the one hand, we'd have today less of an overall idea of what the real-life Mona Lisa looked like. On the other, though, we might have learned what was her most outstanding feature, what lived through the centuries, shone through faded paint, defied Parkinson's disease. We also would have a better idea of what was Leonardo's most essential quality as an artist. Oh well. Anyway....

Manhattan vs. New York:

Last week I explained how I felt it an admission of artistic failure for one to type in explanation of just exactly what it is he just drew or photographed. As an old friend used to say, I hate failure (his own, he meant. But I mean mine). Anyway, I refuse to fail this time. But I am happy to present the jumbles in two different media, neither one, in MY humble opinion*, inherently more artistic than the other.
St. Louis vs. Dallas:
How about that, I have MS Paint on this machine after all (I just found it). Nonetheless, I must share credit this week with the website onemotion.com .

Maybe I'll say more next week. Is there a week off for Thanksgiving? If so, in two weeks then there's a real good chance. But do make sure yourself, especially if you're a member of one of the finalist teams.

* I generally have no aversion to using extremely common internet abbreviations such as "IMHO", and they do save typing and space after all, but here I felt I needed to spell it out to fully get the humility across. Communication comes first.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

It's That Time of Year

It seems like just yesterday that the USCL season was nearly over but in fact, a whole year has passed, and the following season is nearly over! Fortunately, the New York Post's Andy Soltis, aside from keeping chess fans informed about the latest chess cheating news and the never-ending ever-increasing humiliation of mankind by chess-playing computers, often picks a league game to feature in his weekly column, and seeing one the other week reminded me that there is something that had always helped pass the time between fall Sundays (by the way, I think the AFC teams have shown they can compete on the same field as the NFC, don't you? They're a lot more than just Joe Namath). I actually had intended to jumble last week but, a year and a half after moving, I have still not managed to reunite my scanner with the cables that go with it, and then I found that my mouse drawing on the free online Paint-like program I found was not up to the professional standard I strive for, and eventually it was just too late.

New Jersey vs. New York:

Ok, this is really unprofessional, but in recognition of the limits of the webcam, here are your scrambled words again: ONEFLY (-000--), JUBJEU (0-000-), BEENAT (-000-0), MENLIB (0000--). "I don't dig these cats. They got no jazz", "--- ---- ---(and now I don't know how to depict this here clearly, but imagine now a dash that indicates the word is completed on the next line)-----!"

Also, I would like to have whited out some misstrokes, but I'd have had to buy more Liquid Paper and the richer Michael Nesmith becomes the less chance of another Monkees reunion.

New England vs. Manhattan

Again, LORDIF (--0000), ICEROT (--000-), NAGLIZ (-000--). "------, -- --!" "No, I didn't. Anyway, it's just your word against mine. I mean...thanks!"

In all these, the scrambled word is unique from its given set of letters according to the anagram server at wordsmith.org. You can check it out yourself, but you may have to answer a survey first. Very brief, though, and nothing too personal, e.g. "do you live with a cat, dog, fish, turtle, other, neither?"

Dallas vs. San Francisco:

I was tempted to write "Frisco", in the hope of provoking something like "real San Franciscans don't say 'Frisco'", to which I'd have replied "I was merely abbreviating for the sake of abbreviation; there was no intent to indicate that I am any sort of San Franciscan, even a fake one". But judging from this (perhaps it's better just to trust me here if you don't have an up-to-date AdBlock installed), I may not have got such a response anyway.

DONYS (0-0-0), GOOGLI* (0-00-0), PETES (00-0-), BELJUM (00---0). "Uyanga Byambaa?" "Not me. ---- ---- -----, I guess."

Also, unless you are familiar with this Facebook page, and I have no reason in the world to expect you would be, this jumble will not make the slightest bit of sense.

* I'm sure there was a more artful scrambling than "googli". But I had just been reminiscing about old times, including the time I went to see "Zoolander", and I remembered the uneducated male model of the movie's title misrendering the word "eulogy" as "eugoogly", and it sort of got stuck in my head.

Las Vegas vs. St. Louis:

ISERVE (00--00), RINKED (0000--), AILRUN (0--000), NYCOOL (0-00-0). "This fine specimen will satisfy --- ---- -----, ----!" "I'll be the judge of that!".

To enhance your chances to solve this, please take a close look at the non-speaking human depicted and the quadruped on the right side.

That's all for this week, freaks! Who knows what the future holds but one can always bluff.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015


Placeholder. Though I am once more seeding myself directly into the postseason, I don't/didn't have time to get the set of jumbles together what with the lineup announcements coming in the middle of my workweek, plus I am technically challenged plus I'm lazy. Prediction-wise, I pick NJ, Manhattan, Arizona, and SF. To win, not to advance, I'm not touching that because I've forgotten who has draw odds and I just want to post this now, not so that anyone sees it but so that it is on the record as posted at this time.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The Duel for the Jewel

If the season seems to have flown by, that's because each new season represents an increasingly smaller percentage of the total lifespan (so far) of each individual league follower. On the bright side, each succeeding year flies just a bit less more quickly than the previous one did compared to the one before that. As for the match, a picture is worth a thousand words:
On the other hand, what's a thousand words? My pick is St. Louis (the biggest boom town chess has seen since Chess City, Kalmykia), as I think their advantage on the top boards outweighs their disadvantage on the bottom, and in the event of 2-2, they're an even clearer favorite in the elimination blitz. Btw, you might want to remove that coffee stain from your screen. Be careful not to wet the innards.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Semifinal round

I'm curious about something: Are these drawings saved here in some format other than what you see when you click on "page source"? If Michelangelo were alive today, could he just type a random-looking string of characters on the Sistine Chapel ceiling and be venerated ever after?

By the way, the two this week were drawn on white paper. If I have to guess, it probably came from Staples, so thanks to them. Too bad about the Lakers this year.

St. Louis vs. Miami

I know this blog is titled "USCL predictions" but since I'm drawing these things, to put into words something like "I think St. Louis is the favorite" seems rather heavy-handed and frankly, inelegant. So I'll let the jumble speak.

Dallas vs. New York

Again, what with my official TD duties, to pick a winner in this match would not put hooves on me.

And now, after six or seven years, an innovation, suggested by long-time subscriber Elizabeth Spiegel of Brooklyn, New York: last week's answers! I tried to find a way to include a "spoiler" box but I have failed to find one so far that works in IE, so this time I will hide the answers in the "comments" section of this post.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Quarterfinal round

I chose a new canvas this week, the paper tablecloth at this place I'm at. I was unable to find out whom to credit, but the bartender thinks maybe Marcal.

I think I agree with Greg about this being the most exciting week of the season (barring a final that ends in a blitz playoff), just like the NFL conference semi-final week.

Dallas vs. San Francisco:

This jumble includes seven-letter words in the preliminary for, I believe, the first time ever. But after all these years (how many?), I felt it was time to raise the intellectual level.

Rio Grande vs. New York:

I mentioned I've been the official TD at the New York team's matches this year. This can really unbalance one's perspective, because I was unaware of all the other matches each week and I'm not even sure I've heard of the Rio Grande team. How can "Rio Grande" be a team, for that matter? Isn't it a river? I guess it's some sort of unifying, universalist-type idea, as in "Americans and Mexicans may have their differences from time to time, but let us all proud of this wonderful river we share".

I am not going to pick a winner, because maybe I'll have to rule on something. Touch-move, or whatever they argue about today. I don't think I'll pick the other matches, either, beyond what the jumble itself may seem to imply. But maybe you're reading it wrong. Be grateful you were able to read it at all. I will try to upgrade my canvas yet again next week.

St. Louis vs. New Jersey:

Miami vs. Manhattan:

I might still add more and delete this end note and just generally make this post better but I do want to get this post up in case access at home is unavailable, as they are about to close here. It empties out fast on open-mic nights once the microphone is unplugged. I may expand and/or expound more on that phenomenon as well. Later.

(Later)I'm editing now. Mostly to go back and paragraph, having just rediscovered that lost art. Also, I'd like to explain that the preliminary words in each jumble are the only valid ones according to the anagram engine at wordsmith.org . There are always more inclusive dictionaries out there, but if you wish to verify an answer, that is the place.

Btw, I have discovered a supply of plain white, unlined paper at home, so that is what I'll use next week.

FAQ: "Am I going crazy, or is something subtly different from before?" Yes.