Monday, February 27, 2012


by Gina Sestak

Good morning, gentle readers.  Let me propose a fun thing we can do today.

Many years ago, when I was a wall painter [see my post, Making a Difference in the World, for details], my co-workers and I would rush through our work every day so we could play a game.  The game consisted of taking two headlines from the front page of the newspaper and writing them vertically side by side.  For example, the first page of Sunday's Post-Gazette includes these two headlines:  "Santorum faces flap in GOP for help to Specter" and "Why is it so difficult to separate good tweets from bad?"  We would have written these as:

                      S          W
                      A          H
                      N          Y
                      T           I
                      O          S
                      R           I
                      U          T

We would then try to come up with famous people or characters with each pair of initials, i.e., S W = Sam Walton, A H = Andy Hardy, etc.

Today's puzzle is based on this same principle, but is a little more complex and writerly.  I have taken the first five words of the remaining headlines from the same page ["NATO pulls Kabul staff after 2 U.S. officers slain,"  "Some in Peters divided on issues involving coach," "A nonprofit wants to use solar power to help town," and "Tenacity, technology reveal Livingstone's words"] and lined them up as follows:

     NATO      Some           A                    Tenacity
     pulls          in                 nonprofit         technology
     Kabul        Peters          wants               reveal
     staff           divided        to                     Livingstone's
     after           on                use                  words

Your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to compose a short, short, short story using the words from one horizontal line.

For example, the first line might give rise to:

"Some people have more tenacity," Josh mused.   "Take my brother for example.  He's been on a NATO peace-keeping mission for the last two years."  He peeled off the nicotine patch and tossed it into the road, then pulled a cigarette out of a brand new pack.  "Me, I give up easy."

See what I mean?

Now it's your turn.  Post your stories as Comments.

Ready, steady, GO!

I don't have any prizes, but you'll win the respect and admiration of us fellow writers if you post an entry.  Honest.

OK.  Those of you who are regular readers know I've developed an obsession with Bollywood films and have been including clips with these posts.  Here's the Bollywood clip du jour, which has absolutely nothing to do with today's puzzle.  It's just a lot of fun to watch.  This is a dream sequence from Shakti in which the guy on the cot (Shah Rukh Khan) fantasizes about dancing with a famous movie star (Aishwarya Rai).


Joyce Tremel said...

Yay! Fun stuff!

Stanley inspected the restaurant staff who had gathered around him. He divided them according to duties, then unlocked the front door.

The first customer in the door looked around, then turned to Stanley and said, "Livingstone's, I presume?"

Gina said...

Good one, Joyce!

Joyce Tremel said...

I'm proud of that. I'm usually not that clever!

Mary Sutton said...

Hmm, I'm not usually good at this, but I'll take a stab.

Nigel Peters was in a bind. Sarah was a beautiful woman, and he understood her wants. But it was important for him not to reveal too much. This was Kabul, after all.

Gina said...

Well done, Mary!

Don said...

Private Kevin Peters, facing military charges, now wants to reveal to the press that his reported combat njury in Kabul was self-inflicted.

2/27/12 9:37 AM

Gina said...

Nice, Don!

Thiruppathy Raja said...

interesting blog. It would be great if you can provide more details about it. Thanks you.
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