Ken Jennings


December 17, 2008

Dylan was watching TV when I wandered downstairs this morning. “They cancelled school today!” he said happily. I looked out the window. It hadn’t snowed. It wasn’t snowing.

Mindy explained it to me when she got home from the gym. Dylan’s school was cancelled because it’s supposed to snow today. Apparently the principal is some kind of advanced four-dimensional being like Doctor Manhattan who sees all time simultaneously as a single crystalline structure. “It is 6 a.m. My watch is broken. I cancel school. It is 11:45. Over the Cascade foothills, the first snowflakes are beginning to fall.”

After living in Utah for many years, Seattleites strike us as hopelessly paranoid when it comes to snow. Dylan’s school has delayed its starting time until 11:20 for the past two days…because of a half-inch of snow. Which fell on Saturday night. Today they’ve cancelled for possible future snow. In our district, they’d probably cancel school for a really bad case of dandruff.

I had a couple little Wordplay Wednesday ideas this week that aren’t very good. One you have to be a bit of a TV fan to answer. The other you have to be a REAL movie fan to answer.

First, take a word that means “chop.” Place it inside a word that means both “drop” and “something you can pop.” You’ll get the title of a TV show about a cop. What is it?

Second, take a movie whose title refers to Los Angeles. Take every third letter from the title, though (disregarding spaces), and you’ll get a word that might refer to, say, California. What are they?

Edited to add: Both solved, after the passage of much time and scattered kibitizing, here.

Posted by Ken at 11:48 am