Tuesday 27 May 2014

Crossword Puzzle - May 2014

'Allo, 'Allo!

It's time for another crossword puzzle. Let's see who can solve this one:

1 Stardust (5)
4 We call it a "Serviette" (6)
7 Suffix of feminine name (3)
8 Bacon (5)
9 He has pointy ears (6)
10 A smear of something (7)
12 Turn around (6)
15 A humorous imitation (6)
18 It sucks blood (7)
21 The Fuzz (6)
22 A loose Roman garment (5)
23 Off (Golf) (3)
24 Quiet and rather dull (6)
25 A sad song (5)
1 Scrapes a lemon (5)
2 Interrogate (5)
3 Gave forth (7)
4 Showing even less wisdom (6)
5 Straw mattress (6)
6 Annie's pet name (6)
11 In a pod (3)
13 Architect's County in Minnesota (7)
14 Publishing company (3)
15 Songbirds with brown streaky plumage (6)
16 Newton-John (6)
17 'Allo 'Allo! waitress (6)
19 Situated inside (5)
20 Master of Ceremonies (5)

How do you solve it?

Well, you could print it out, and solve it with a good old fashioned pencil and eraser. Or you could try and recreate it in Excel. Or how about taking a screenshot and drawing the answers on the screen using your favourite image editing or note taking program?

However you choose to do it, be sure to let me know when you have all the answers! Head on over to the Contact page on this site, and pick your favourite way to contact me (Facebook, Google+, Twitter, or e-mail). Send me a screenshot or scan of your answers, or just copy them all into a text message. However you do it, if you've solved it, I want to know about it!

What's in it for you?

If you're the first to correctly solve this puzzle, getting all the answers right, and yours are the first correct answers I receive before Tuesday, 17 June 2014, I'm going to respond to you. In that response, I will ask you were you would like me to link your name. It could be your Twitter account, or your private or company Facebook or Google+ pages, or your website, or anywhere else you like.

When I publish the answers on 17 June, and you are the first person to have answered this puzzle correctly, I will mention your name on this blog, and link it to your preferred location.

Free advertising on the blog, and perhaps your 15 minutes of fame! Sound good? Then get solving.

Good luck!

Tuesday 20 May 2014

Crossword Puzzle - April 2014 Answers

It's time to put everyone out of their misery, methinks.

Thanks once again to my glorious wife, Elmari, for helping to put last month's crossword puzzle together. Sorry that nobody got it right (although I'm sure many of you gave it a bash), but here are the answers:

1 A drink that is very popular amongst computer guys (6) coffee
3 This popular U.S. Reality Game show has been around for 28 Seasons (8) Survivor
5 The two Popes who were declared Saints on 27 April 2014 have this name in common (4) John
6 In oil (5) fried
9 Steak Ranch (4) spur
11 A long time (3) eon
12 How were 16 Nepalese Guides recently killed on Mount Everest? RIP (9) avalanche
14 Nocturnal, catches mice (3) owl
15 Eastern Province (2) EP
16 This play was written by a well known female author and made #1 on the New York Times best seller list in April (5) power
18 Manganese (2) Mn
21 Egyptian symbol of eternal life (4) ankh
23 Greek Goddess of Beauty (9) Aphrodite
24 Gloomy appearance (4) dour
25 Unisex name (3) Pat
26 He's in charge (4) boss
28 Another name for The Devil's Triangle (7) Bermuda
29 Babies need more of this than older people (5) sleep
2 In South Africa it's called Soccer (8) football
3 Which popular cellphone company produces the Galaxy range? (7) Samsung
4 Love, a song (5) radar
6 Name of the last South African Public Holiday in April (10) Freedom Day
7 Old hotel (3) inn
8 Austin powers lost it (4) mojo
10 This animal has excellent vision (4) hawk
13 A well known luxury car, or part of a book title by Stephen King (8) Mercedes
17 He was released from prison in 1990 (7) Mandela
18 End Of The Middle Ages Day gets celebrated on the 29th of .......? (3) May
19 Political party ruling South Africa before 1994 (2) NP
20 Flower, or a name for a National Cricket team (7) Proteas
22 2014 in the Chinese Zodiac (5) horse
25 Take a selfie (4) pout
26 It buzzes (3) bee
27 The colour of this star is actually white (3) sun

In case you don't know how this works, let me enlighten you: on the last Tuesday of every month, I release a new crossword puzzle. You have three weeks to solve it, and send me the answers, and on the second-last Tuesday of the following month, I announce the answers and the winner.

I also post the month's crossword puzzle as part of my monthly newsletter. The next one goes out on Tuesday, 26 May 2014, and if you don't want to miss it, you can visit my Contact page, and sign up for free.

See you next week.

Tuesday 13 May 2014

On My Radio

This month's prompt is not so much writing practice (although all writing counts as writing practice) as memory practice. It comes from Creative Writing Prompts.com, and goes like this:

Close your eyes briefly. Think of one object that's in the room and focus on it. Without opening your eyes, recall as much detail as you can about it. After three minutes or so, open your eyes and write about that object without looking at it.

I chose the radio on my desk:

I have a TEAC portable radio on my desk, which I like to listen to while I work. It's quite small, perhaps a ruler's length across, about half as high, and less than ten centimetres thick. On the left hand side of the front is a large circle containing the speaker, which takes up about half of the face. Slightly smaller than the speaker, on the right, is the tuning dial (it's analogue). Near the bottom of the radio, between the speaker and the tuning dial is the combination volume control/power knob. A long metal antenna sticks out of the top, on the right hand side, but it's currently held in place by cello-tape.

On the right hand side, along the width, are two jacks, one for my headphones (which I keep permanently plugged in, as I'm in an open-plan office), and an auxiliary out.

At the back, on the right hand side, is the figure of eight power jack and the battery casing (although there isn't a battery in it, as I keep it plugged in).

And now, let me turn to look at my radio, and see if I described it accurately. What do you think?

Well, I did pretty well, I think. I forgot about the power LED, and I could have described the labels on the volume/power knob. Other than that, I think I got everything!

You should really try this prompt sometime. How about doing it now, in the comments below? Tell me about an object that's in the room with you, right now!

Tuesday 6 May 2014

Spread the Word, Win Three Books

Last month, I told you that, if you pre-order Stingers, you would get Heritage of Deceit free.

Well, that offer is still valid, and will continue to be until 16 June, when Stingers officially releases. However, here's another deal for you, in an effort to try and get as much exposure as possible for Stingers before the official release date.

How would you like to win all three books published by Graham Downs to date (including Stingers, when it releases)? That's right, you can not only win Stingers, but also Heritage of Deceit and A Petition to Magic!

Interested? Here's how it's going to work:

  1. Post a link to this page (copy the URL from your address bar) onto social media. You can use Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, YouTube, your blog, or whatever other network you like.
  2. Paste the link to your post into the comments at the bottom of this page.
    1. Remember that your post must be publicly visible.
    2. You can post links to this page from multiple networks. If you do, paste all the links into the comments. You'll get one extra entry per valid link that you post.
  3. So that I have your e-mail address, e-mail me at preorders@grahamdowns.co.za, telling me the name that you used when you posted your comment, and the date and time of your comment.
On or after 16 June 2014, I will select one qualifying entry at random. If you are the winner, you will receive three seperate gift e-mails from Smashwords, one each for A Petition to Magic, Heritage of Deceit, and Stingers.

Sound fair? Well, go on then: get marketing!