Number Place – Sudoku

Heaven knows,
if there’s one
thing that
I ain’t………

It’s a math whiz.

While I can handle
simple addition and
such, when you start
making me do
complicated equations
where you got letters
and powers to ‘nth
degree, I’m more lost
than a nun at a strip
club on amateur night.

Ok, sure, I guess she
could be looking for
someone, that’s really
not the point…..

It’s simply one of my
long-winded ways of
getting to the point —
which today is Sudoku.

I like it,
and nobody
that knows me can
figure out why.

But I can tell
you why
easy enough.

Solving sudoku
puzzles requires no
arithmetic — it’s
numbers, ok, but
that’s where the
similarities end.
(for me, anyway)

You’ve got 9
numbers —
which could just
as easily be symbols
or letters…

As a matter of fact,
there are varieties of
them that use just
about anything —
different shapes,
colors, tokens,
roman numerals,
even smiley faces.

If the breakfast cereal
has enough different
“Lucky Charms”, you
could play it right on
your kitchen table.

Because, despite the
seeming complexity
of the puzzles, they
all function on the
same very simple
principle.

You only get to use
the symbol/number
once in a box of 9 –
and a row of 9-
and a column of 9.

Of course, the guy
who wants to design
a good sudoku puzzle
doesn’t make it easy
on you……

He wants to
give you just
enough clues
( a minimum of 17 )
to be able to solve it,
and leaving only
one correct
solution.

You go about solving
it by a process of
elimination —
which to me, seems
a much more reasonable
and understandable
approach than math.

I’m wrong,
I’ve been told,
about that,
but whatever.

And of course, leave
it to the math brainiacs
to come up with a
mathematical approach
to it –

– something to do with
latin square algorithms ‘ ,
but I can do ’em quite
nicely without any help
from alien technology,
thanks, anyway.

My advice is that if
you’ve never tried one,
start with the smaller
Mini Sudoku
(only 6 numbers)
until you get the
hang of it.

With practice, you’ll
be solving the hard
ones in no time.

That said, there are
a number of ways
of working out
which number
goes where……

With that in mind,
here’s a link to
an excellent page
about various
techniques that
you may find
useful….

The ‘forcing chain’
and ‘swordfish’ are
ones I find myself
using all the time.

Enjoy.

.

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Don’t Hobble Me

Just like in olden times,
you’ll never know
when you might
find yourself
in distress.

And back then,
even before ” S.O.S.”
was adopted by American
sailing vessels as the
standard distress signal
– there was ” C.Q.D.

Yep-
the message
” To All Stations –
— In Distress “
was boiled down to ‘CQD’
in Morse Code, and it was
actually the first distress
call code used by the radio
operators on the Titanic…

( it was then
alternated with the
newer code ‘SOS’. )

Both ‘CQD’
and ‘SOS’
should actually be
displayed with an
overline, indicating
that there is no
pause/space
between the
characters
when sending, but
my ASCII coding ain’t
up to snuff for that.

But, this post
doesn’t have
that much to do
with nautical lore
or Morse Code,
even –

— despite being
very, very potentially
interesting subjects
in themselves.

No….

Today, for our
Friday Mailbag Post,
I thought we’d
dig for some cool
‘hobble skirt’ postcards.

The hobble skirt was
one of those things, that
back in the early 1900’s,
you either loved or hated.

They were
very stylish,
sure,

— but they also made
it very difficult for the
wearer to walk quickly
or to step onto a trolley
car, for instance.

They were actually
banned in many
municipalities
as unsafe.

And of course,
there were postcard
publishers along for
the ride, too.

Yep.

Versions of the
hobble skirt idea
still survive in
trendy fashion
today, I’ve noticed..

…. and I can see
how certain aspects
of the thing
could end
up being very…..

… errr ……
provocative.

.

!!! HOY !!!


( illustration by John Willie )

.

 

Crackerjack Slang

Well,
I’ll have to admit,
we use a lot of slang
around here
at the
Muscleheaded Blog……..

I like to say
that a bit
of the blarney blarg
helps make my posts
almost completely
incomprehensible,
which is good ’cause
no one can take exception
to what I’m saying if they
don’t even understand
what the hell I’m even
talking about.

And if maybe a coherent
thought should slip
through every now
and then,
well…

what’s a salsa without
a little lime, chili and
cilantro?

(mushy tomatoes and
onions, mostly)

Errr.. my point ,
belabored as
it may be,
is:
{ if N=slang then
W+O+R+D+S (+N) }
makes up more than
the sum of it’s letters –

it’s a kinda code that really
doesn’t make any sense to
anyone except the people
who are in on the thing.

(and heaven only knows
who ‘they’ are)

Until it gets
out of the bag,
as it were,
and then,
it becomes part
of ‘popular parlance’.

Think about it.

At one time, only a small
group of people knew that
there was another meaning
to the word ‘beaver’ other
than just a cousin to the
honey badger.

But it spread.Related image

Umm…
I mean, the popularity of
the expression spread.

And now,
well…
you can jump
to your own conclusions.

Today, we’re attempting
to revive what were,
at one time,
very popular expressions…

(good luck
with that, right …. )

For instance,
you might remember
that the Victorians were
very touchy about
certain words,
and used substitutes
and insider slang to
replace the names
of stuff that they
didn’t like to talk about.

Testicles,
for instance.

Very touchy.

They called ’em
whirlygigs’.

Much better, huh?

But you had to
be quite a
‘whipster‘ to know
what they meant
when they said it.

And that’s what
this whole
whipt syllabus’
is all about.

Sorry to be such
a ‘whisk‘ about it…..

– but a guy’s gotta just
gaze at the melody‘,
ya know.

!!! HOY !!!

.

 

 

Flosculating Will Make You Go Blind

Hello fellow
Logomaniacs.

Welcome to another
Muscleheaded post
about archaic English
words that you can add
to your daily
vocabulary to confuse
your friends and
confound your enemies.

And never mind what
it’ll do to your Aunt
Martha.

Hey–
remember when
you had
a crush on that cute
girl who was stuck
sitting next to you
in the pew every Friday
Mass at school ?

How you used to make
snide remarks about her
habit of ” cachinnating “,
(laughing loudly ) even
though you really thought
she was an angel?

Well, that feigned
dislike is called
accismus ” —

and while it is a
pretty stupid way to
get her attention,
and didn’t work
worth a hot damn,
other than to get her to
peenge ” (whine) to
the very ” sermonolatric
(preachy) Father Flannigan,
who grabbed his “ ballow
(stick) and whooped you
within an inch of
your ” contumelious
(disrespectful) little life
until your legs were
quagswagging
(wobbling) like 
crazy as penance for
your ” fallaciloquence “.

Awww well..
as it turned out,
she was ” fizgigging
(flirting) with the
exiguous” ” poltroon
(skinny wimp) down the
street anyway.

I’m sorry to ” flosculate “,
but that’s how
it went down.

As for our postcards
today, these are more
fine examples of the work
of turn of the century
illustrator Albert Peter
Carmichael.

I know they don’t really
have anything to do with
today’s text,
—- but I like em.

I hope you do too.

HOY !!

.

It’s All In Your Stocking

I’m showing my age.

( What’s new, huh? )

I went to a pretty
formal event
last week
(not by my own
choosing, of course)
and I noticed a distinct
paucity of people
dressed up.

Now, when I
say ‘dressed up’,
I mean, face washed,
hair combed,
wearing business
or sunday-go-
to-meeting clothes.

Hey, I wasn’t
even wearing shorts —
I had to wear long
business pants,
and a long sheet shirt,
dammit-

so I wasn’t expecting
anybody else would/
should be wearing less.

And boy howdy,
well,
all I can say is,
a white fruit of the loom
t-shirt and ripped jeans
does not make a good
impression at a formal
funeral.

I also noticed hardly
any of the women
present were wearing
stockings.

What happened ?????????

I never saw so many
birch tree type legs
in my life.

Ahhh,
phooey.

Never mind that stockings
make ones legs look much
more appealing,
more glamorous,
more stylish,

(especially if she
doesn’t shave em)

they keep your legs warm
when the wind is blowing,

and that there enough
shades and styles
made these days
that they’ll match
just about any outfit
somebody would
want to wear……..

I just don’t
get it, man.

Nylon stockings were the
greatest invention since the
electric frappe maker, and
nobody’s wearing em ??

That just bums me out.

Regardless,
as somebody
who does still
enjoy em —

(one who just
looks at them
and doesn’t
actually wear
em, of course)

– I just kinda
figured a post
explaining where
they came from and
the different kinds
might actually
encourage ladies
to reconsider their use.

Like that’ll happen.

Eh.

Anyway —
what we usually
call ‘stockings’ ,
( which includes
stuff like panty hose)
weren’t any big
deal until the 1920’s, when
skirts started getting shorter.

Before that, they were more
like leggings or long-johns,
and were more for warmth
than anything else.

But the jazz age meant
that more leg was being
shown – and the sheer
stocking came of age–
they were made
of silk or rayon
until nylon was invented
in the late 1930’s.

During WWII, 
women still wanted
stockings, despite the
rarity of civilian nylon,
and went to interesting
extents to get the look.

Yes, leg paint –
or leg make-up.

Some women just drew
a line on the back of their
legs and called it a seam.

Today,
three stocking types
are in common
use:

stay-ups which have their
own elastic to hold them in
place , including thigh highs
and knee highs ….

garter belt stockings that
hang from a belt or are held
in place by a separate piece
of elastic or tight fitting fabric,
(those are the sexy ones… )

and panty hose
which are
much like
dancer’s tights .

Once you’ve chosen
your type,
you still have a
huge variety of
styles to choose from —

open weave fish-nets,
cuban high heel cut,
seamed or unseamed,
open-toed ,
nude-heel,
all kinds of fabrics
and densities,
designs and
transparencies.

It seems like the
perfect
fashion accessory,
doesn’t it?

And as a man,
I say again,
that I think they’re
very nice to look at, too.

!!! HOY !!!

.

She’s A Teaser

jSomething that
I’m reminded of,
on an almost
daily basis,
is how much
our social structure
has been transformed
in the last 50 some years.

Hey,
I’m not saying
that it’s bad,
or that it’s good —

to me,
for the most part, anyway– a
— it’s just been weird.

And you know me,
change is something
that I never really
like all that much.

Take flirting,
for instance.

The rules seem to have
been altered wildly
without me ever
even getting
the first memo.

Here I thought that
there was this long process
of talking, courting and datingb
before you even thought
about touching a woman
that way ‘ —

— when all that is
apparently required
is a first class seat
on an aircraft,
a bad comb-over,
and ooodles
and oodles of money.

In that case,
all a lady
has to do is plunk down
in the seat next to you,
smile —

— and it’s all you can eat ?? c

Nuts, man.

What a creep.

Be that as it may…..

At the annual
collector’s swap-meet,
I was browsing a 1952 issue
of a magazine called
“The Girlfriend and The Boyfriend“…..

Sure, a strange title for
a magazine, but who am
I to argue with media moguls?

Anyhoo….d

According to the expert
relationship-ologist
who wrote the article….

( I dunno,
is relationship-ologist
a word, or what?
I just made it up,
so maybe not. )

“High on every boy’s
list of pet peeves

is the type of girl
shown on these

and the next two pages.
Why?
Because she is a teaser.

Almost all girls that
are pretty flirt a little.

It’s the natural thing to do.
But a girl who is a teasere
is not content with simple,
wholesome flirting;
she goes out of her
way to bait boys

with an obvious display
of her physical charms

— baits them with
unspoken promises

that she hasn’t the
slightest intention of fulfilling.

In addition to her other
unflattering qualities,

therefore, a teaser is dishonest.
She has no real sincere
interest in the boys

whose attention she f
sets out to capture;

she is simply playing
a game in which

she holds all of the
cards and doesn’t

mind resorting to
the cheapest of tricks.

A few of these tricks
are illustrated here.

Sometimes they work,
sometimes they don’t.

But whether they are
successful or not,

a teaser never wins in the long run.
For no boy wants to
marry a girl

who enjoys showing off
her charms to others.”

Now, pardon me for interrupting
an obvious expert on stuff like this,
but it seems to me that teasing
is the very essence of flirting —

— and without flirting, g
— well—
life would be pretty fuckin dull,
…. let’s just put it that way.

The noble art of teasing
has been around for centuries —
and has got absolutely nothing
to do with honesty or
any other such millarkey.

I love to be teased,
and any man worth
his salt would say h
the same thing.

If the hook sinks a bit
too deep once in a while,
I dunno what to tell you,
but hey–
grow up, man.

.

!!!!!!!  HOY !!!!!!!!!

.

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