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5/20/2017 12:16:27 PM
Topic:
Free Puzzles of the Day XI

Amy Lowenstein
Amy Lowenstein
Posts: 1567
Sunday 5/14: Dell, Zig Zag; PP, Quotefalls
Mon 5/15: Dell, Sudoku Super Challenger; PP, Word Seek Missing Vowels
Tue 5/16: Dell, Skill-O-Gram; PP, Double Trouble
Wed 5/17: Dell, How Well do you Follow Directions; PP, Syllacrostic
Thu 5/18: Dell, Syllable Saying; PP, The Shadow
Fri 5/19: Dell, Error Hunt; PP, Logic
Sat 5/20: Dell, Collectibles; PP, Letterboxes

5/20/2017 8:28:51 AM
Topic:
Shank

Bernadette1959
Bernadette1959
Posts: 190
Speaking of unfamiliar usages of words, I was working a Quotagram puzzle yesterday and discovered that "fetish" is another word for "amulet." I've never seen fetish used in any other way than to describe some sort of proclivity for some thing or activity, often of a sexual nature. Live and learn! smile

Bernadette
edited by Bernadette1959 on 5/20/2017

5/13/2017 5:29:04 PM
Topic:
Free Puzzles of the Day XI

Amy Lowenstein
Amy Lowenstein
Posts: 1567
Monday 5/8: Dell, Cryptograms; PP, Crypto-Families (same topic for both!)
Tues 5/9: Dell, Ocean Route (maze); PP, Diagramless X-Word
Wed 5/10: Dell, Petal Puzzle; PP, Wizard Word Seek
Thu 5/11: Dell, Tail Tag; PP, Flower Power
Fri 5/12: Dell, Vocabuladder; PP, Codeword
Sat 5/13: Dell, Square Search; PP, Places Please

5/9/2017 4:29:34 PM
Topic:
OT: Amy's cancer update of 5/9/17

Amy Lowenstein
Amy Lowenstein
Posts: 1567
It’s been a while since my last update, chiefly because of tax season. I had last written on 3/15/17, since when I’ve had a “nuclear stress test” in Princeton (more about this below); an April appointment with Dr. Lainie Martin, my oncologist at Fox Chase, delaying chemo but giving choices for later chemo; a CAT scan at St. Mary in Langhorne; and a May 8th appointment with Dr. Martin (exactly 3 years after my complete hysterectomy by Dr. Stephanie King that confirmed doctors’ suspicions of my ovarian cancer), where 5/8/17 chemo had to be rescheduled to May 12 (when I also see the pulmonary nurse-practitioner for a follow-up from my March visit).

When I had written in March, I had “lost” the right “bootie” of the compression-garments I wear at night. The next day my husband found it stuck in the bed sheets. I had already ordered another right bootie, so now I have two of those, just in case.

Those compression garments may be a bit cumbersome to use and take time to put on and take off, but they do a great job of keeping my legs compressed so that presumably I’ll never have a repeat of that swelling and “cellulitis” that I’d had from September to December of 2016. Additionally, the compression pump, which I use approximately 3 hours a week, also keeps excess fluid out of my feet and calves.

The “nuclear stress test” (by the way, yet another in a series of tests to see if my heart had anything to do with my shortness of breath, yet another confirmation that my heart has nothing to do with my it) reminded me in some ways of a stress test that I had had done in a different Princeton facility in 2005 (after my mother had died suddenly of a heart attack and then I had had left chest pains three weeks later). In 2005, one had to avoid anything that smacked of caffeine for TWO days (“caffeine” meaning tea, coffee, decaf tea, decaf coffee, chocolate, and carbonated beverages). This time in 2017, one had to avoid those same substances for only ONE day. That seemed like progress. In the 2005 stress test, I first walked on a treadmill for a while, then had some coffee they provided from a large coffee pot (which coffee they described as strong, but which was nowhere up to my standards in those days and tasted pretty insipid, as I recall), then repeated the treadmill test with the caffeine in my system.

On 3/17/17, five of us patients shared a waiting room and took turns being called in to experience various parts of the test, so we got to know each other a bit. By the way, halfway through the tests, they gave me individually-brewed coffee from their machine, and this coffee tasted great. It was Wolfgang Puck coffee, which I don’t think I’d ever had before, but it was certainly a lot better than the pot of coffee the other place made 11 years earlier – no comparison!

One of my fellow patients was a doctor that all the nurses knew; they called him “Dr. Smith” or whatever his last name is (which I do not recall). I guess he works either at Princeton Medical Group or at Princeton Hospital. Another patient was another doctor, whose first name is Daniel, and the staff did not know him professionally, so they called him “Daniel,” the same as they called me and 2 other women by our first names. Part of the time, Daniel and the other doctor spoke to each other in French, but mostly in English, about a conference in Africa that both plan to attend this summer. Daniel came from Africa originally but came to the US at age 17, studied to be a doctor, and started a program in Africa to eradicate childhood diseases (because he had seen so much of it earlier in his life and wanted to do something for his fellow Africans). Every time he goes back to Africa now and sees healthy children, he says everything he has done has been worth it.

For a month, I was back on Physical Therapy as an insurance-paid patient, when the pulmonary nurse recommended it. Insurance stopped paying after a month, so now I’m back on the “Healthy Endings” program where I pay $35 a month and can go in there and use their bikes and so on to do the exercises on my own. I think my shortness of breath has lessened (lack of chemo – or physical therapy – who knows) but my husband thinks it hasn’t. We’ll see what the pulmonary nurse thinks on Friday, 5/12.

When I saw Dr. Martin on 4/10 and said I thought maybe the shortness of breath was a side effect of the Pemetrexed, she wasn’t sure about that but suggested 4 weeks off chemo, also suggesting 2 different treatments I could choose from when I came back to see her yesterday, 5/8. When my husband and I read the side effects on the other 2 treatments, we realized that a lot of them were the same side effects as Pemetrexed, so we figured we may as well stick with Pemetrexed after all.

Fox Chase no longer schedules CAT scans the same day as the doctor’s visit (unless you live very far away, which I don’t). But I’m not fond of making two 50-mile-plus round trips for a CAT scan and a doctor visit, so I arranged to have the May 3rd CAT scan at nearby St. Mary, who sent the results to Fox Chase. The CAT scan protocol at St. Mary is a little different from the one at Fox Chase, so I’m not sure which facility I’ll use in the future. The results of the CAT scan (taken about 9 weeks after the 2/27 CAT scan at Fox Chase but with a lot of breaks from chemo in between) show there’s been some growth in some of the lymph nodes, but none of those nodes is over a millimeter, so the doctor isn’t worried yet. When we said we’d just as soon stick with Pemetrexed, that sounded all right to her. She couldn’t give me the Pemetrexed yesterday (5/8), as she’d asked the insurance company for pre-confirmation on only the other 2 treatments I might have chosen. But by Friday of this week, Pemetrexed will undoubtedly be cleared for me. And only if I find that I have really bad side effects a couple of weeks later, would we not repeat the Pemetrexed.


I suddenly noticed pain in my knees a couple of weeks ago. I hope it doesn’t mean I’m getting arthritis, but at least I’ve lived a nice long time without arthritis. There are certain days I’m supposed to take steroid pills (the day before and the day after chemo), and when I recently took these pills, my knees felt much better.

Meanwhile, I will sign off, as usual, with the humorous and/or inspiring quotes I always find.

The first two are Chinese cookie fortunes:
“Change is inevitable, except for vending machines.”
“It is better to have beans and bacon in peace than cakes and ale in fear.”

Then there are 3 “Figgerits” from “Dell Solver’s Choice Crosswords & Variety Puzzles, Fall 2015.”
#3: “When all else fails, why not try hard work?”
#5: “Give others the gift of your full attention.”
#20: “Some men’s only exercise is pushing their luck.”

Finally, there are 2 Anacrostics from the same magazine.
#3: “It seems that there are fringe benefits to being President. After leaving the White House, Dwight Eisenhower was asked if he noticed anything different about his golf game. ‘Yes,’ he said, ‘A lot more people beat me now.’ (From “Great Sports Retorts” by **** Crouser)

#6: “Some people do tell me dogs and cats are too much bother. We never found it so. … There is comfort and restorative power in the soft muzzle laid gently on your lap, an ecstatic tail wagging, or a small head rubbing against your neck.” (From “Country Chronicle” by Gladys Taber)


As usual, I thank Elizabeth Palmer for sending me all those variety magazines last July. The Fall 2015 issue is one of the ones she sent me. I will be quoting them for some time to come, but I've finished working on them by now.


Sincerely,

Amy Lowenstein
edited by Amy-in-PA on 5/9/2017

5/7/2017 6:37:07 PM
Topic:
Cryptic crossword conundrum

Bernadette1959
Bernadette1959
Posts: 190
Thank you for the heads up about "bananas!"

I don't attempt cryptic crosswords very often but every once in a while I'll give one a try and find myself miraculously able to solve it! LOL wink

Bernadette

5/7/2017 7:52:58 AM
Topic:
Free Puzzles of the Day XI

Amy Lowenstein
Amy Lowenstein
Posts: 1567
Monday 5/1/17: Dell, Word Arithmetic; PP, Word Seek / Patchwords
Tues 5/2: Dell, Word Search / Water Birds; PP, Cryptograms
Wed 5/3: Dell, Solicross; PP, Crostic
Thu 5/4: Dell, CryptoQuiz; PP, Anagram Magic Square
Fri 5/5: Dell, Tangled Jingles; PP, Brick By Brick
Sat 5/6: Dell, Anacrostic; PP, Framework
Sun 5/7: Dell, Cross Sums; PP, Word Seek Zigzag

5/5/2017 10:56:47 AM
Topic:
Cryptic crossword conundrum

Semipro
Semipro
Posts: 253
Yes, that's what I think "nuts" is for. Sometimes they use "bananas" as the same kind of indicator.

5/5/2017 10:16:47 AM
Topic:
Cryptic crossword conundrum

Bernadette1959
Bernadette1959
Posts: 190
I've about decided that "nuts" must be just an indicator word, to point out the anagram. Nuts as in "messed up, crazy, etc." I guess that makes sense? LOL wink

5/5/2017 1:31:45 AM
Topic:
Cryptic crossword conundrum

Bernadette1959
Bernadette1959
Posts: 190
Can anyone help me to understand this cryptic crossword clue, or at least part of it? Here is the clue:

One attempting to seduce alien's mad, nuts.

I figured out the correct answer, "ladies man", but I don't understand how the word "nuts" comes into play.

Thanks for any help!

Bernadette
edited by Bernadette1959 on 5/5/2017

4/30/2017 7:48:20 AM
Topic:
Free Puzzles of the Day XI

Amy Lowenstein
Amy Lowenstein
Posts: 1567
Monday 4/24: Dell, Word Mine; PP, The Shadow
Tues 4/25: Dell, Spellathon; PP, Logic
Wed 4/26: Dell, By the Numbers; PP, Letterboxes
Thu 4/27: Dell, Suiting Words; PP, Match-Up
Fri 4/28: Dell, Missing Links; PP, Word Games
Sat 4/29: Dell, Sum-Doku; PP, Word Seek Missing List
Sun 4/30: Dell, Replay; PP, Fill-In

4/29/2017 1:25:47 PM
Topic:
Been in the Hospital

Purple Pisces
Purple Pisces
Posts: 876
Thanks Amy and Bernadette!!

4/29/2017 8:47:37 AM
Topic:
Been in the Hospital

Bernadette1959
Bernadette1959
Posts: 190
Thanks for posting about your upcoming procedure, Ally. I'll be thinking about you on Tuesday! smile


Take care!
Bernadette

4/28/2017 4:46:16 PM
Topic:
Been in the Hospital

Amy Lowenstein
Amy Lowenstein
Posts: 1567
Best of luck with the May 2nd procedure.

4/28/2017 2:31:48 PM
Topic:
What kind of pens and pencils do you use?

Purple Pisces
Purple Pisces
Posts: 876
I agree Jagsanders, having the right equipment to puzzle with is just as important as the puzzles! My favorite brand when it comes to mechanical pencils is Pentel. I especially like using the side-advance models.

When it comes to erasers I also enjoy the Pentel Clic-Eraser. I enjoy doing Logic Art puzzles and just recently discovered a little gem that lets me get into those small areas when I want to clean up my lines. It's called the Tombow Mono Zero Eraser and the tip is only 2.3mm. It's nice when you want to erase fine details.

I'm not brave enough to use regular pens and have found a line of erasable pens that I love! They're made by Pilot and are called Frixion pens.

One other supply that is as important to me as writing tools and erasers is my clipboard. It's a storage clipboard!! My favorite is one I found at Walmart and made by Dexas. It's durable, lets me store extra puzzles and supplies inside, and lets me puzzle anywhere!

I also enjoy trying out different grades and brands of lead refills. For doing logic puzzles I like the dark smooth leads, such as 4B leads, but when doing the picture puzzles I prefer a harder lead that doesn't smear.

For anyone interested, Jetpens.com is a great website for pen and pencil addicts.

Also, here's the thread that Amy mentioned: https://www.pennydellpuzzles.com/forum/topic370-writing-utensil-for-puzzles.aspx
edited by Purple Pisces on 4/28/2017

4/28/2017 2:01:01 PM
Topic:
Been in the Hospital

Purple Pisces
Purple Pisces
Posts: 876
Thanks everyone for your kind words!! I am feeling much better!! One of the complications I didn't know about when posting above was that my esophagus had narrowed. I know it sounds weird to not realize that, but I just thought that with everything that I'd been through, I had lost an interest in eating. If I didn't need to have a stent removed, who knows how long it would have taken for the doctors to figure that out! I've had a couple outpatient procedures to dilate my esophagus, with another one scheduled for Tuesday (May 2). I'm hoping it will be my last. It is so nice to be feeling back to normal though, and again appreciate everyone's kind words and thoughts! smile

4/24/2017 11:51:57 PM
Topic:
Will Shortz's Sudoku

Josh
Josh
Posts: 156
gauthier wrote:
I got a 14-issue subscription to Will Shortz's Sudoku back when it began in June 2015. Today, I received the June 2017 Crazy for Sudoku Favorites Collection. I suspect that Will Shortz's Sudoku has been discontinued, but I'm curious because the April 2017 Will Shortz's Sudoku makes no mention of the title's discontinuation.



The April issue's cover end date was 4/7 and I haven't seen June around, so you may be right. That's disappointing. If there's a bright side, there will be a new Sudoku Spectacular volume in May, which at least includes the same variations. I hope they find a new home for the Sudoku championship puzzles though; maybe Dell Math & Logic can absorb them somehow?

4/23/2017 7:56:33 AM
Topic:
Free Puzzles of the Day XI

Amy Lowenstein
Amy Lowenstein
Posts: 1567
Mon 4/17: Dell, Logic; PP, Flower Power
Tue 4/18: Dell, Plus & Minus; PP, Codeword
Wed 4/19: Dell, Tanglewords; PP, Word Seek / Missing Vowels
Thu 4/20: Dell, Quotation Puzzle; PP, Quotefalls (both the same type today)
Fri 4/21: Dell, Bingo Plays; PP, Places Please
Sat 4/22: Dell, Jigsaw Sudoku; PP, Double Trouble
Sun 4/23: Dell, Changelings; PP, Syllacrostic

4/22/2017 8:06:44 PM
Topic:
Will Shortz's Sudoku

gauthier
gauthier
Posts: 10
I got a 14-issue subscription to Will Shortz's Sudoku back when it began in June 2015. Today, I received the June 2017 Crazy for Sudoku Favorites Collection. I suspect that Will Shortz's Sudoku has been discontinued, but I'm curious because the April 2017 Will Shortz's Sudoku makes no mention of the title's discontinuation.

4/21/2017 10:39:47 AM
Topic:
Shank

Bernadette1959
Bernadette1959
Posts: 190
Hi Frances,

Not only am I familiar with that usage, it's the only definition of the word I've ever known! LOL Maybe it's used more here in the Deep South? I've heard it used many, many times in conversations during my lifetime. smile

Bernadette

4/19/2017 11:17:18 AM
Topic:
Shank

Semipro
Semipro
Posts: 253
I've seen it in reading, though not recently. Much of my childhood reading was old books, which my mother bought used. She used to get a box of assorted books at the Salvation Army store for a dollar. That was a long time ago. I won't say just how long, but some of the books were published in the 19th century. It seems to me that I saw "shank" used with "evening" only.

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