Mar 2, 2016

Wednesday March 2, 2016, Pawel Fludzinski


Husker Gary here having a swimmingly good time blogging Dr. Pawel Fludzinski's (Ph.D in Synthetic Organic Chemistry) lovely mid-week puzzle that he has synthesized for us. The first word in each of the good doctor's theme fills are the names of the strokes employed by swimmers in the Relay Medley swim event in the order in which they occur for the Team Event.

This is a very timely theme in this Olympic year and for the third straight Olympics, America's Swim Trials will be held in a facility 45 minutes from me.

If you've been following the news from Rio, swimming in the pool is far more preferable to participating in any event held in their polluted waters.

Theme Answers

17. 1985 film featuring Doc Brown and Marty McFly : BACK TO THE FUTURE - A SWIM STROKE with a good view of the ceiling OR a fabulous movie

22. Possible place for a train ticket : BREAST POCKET - A SWIM STROKE where the chest and torso do not rotate and is sometimes called the frog stroke OR where some pols are purported to live

37. Concept that small changes can have large consequences, as in theoretical time travel : BUTTERFLY EFFECT- A SWIM STROKE similar to the breaststroke but accompanied by two dolphin kicks per cycle OR an effect explained by Jeff Goldblum as he was enlightening (read hustling) Laura Dern in Jurassic Park - If a butterfly flaps its wings in Tokyo, there will be rain in Central Park

46. Improvisational music genre : FREESTYLE RAP - The final SWIM STROKE in the race which can not be any of the previous strokes and is usually the Crawl OR RAPPING by creating lyrics off the top of the RAPPER'S head. Hmmm... what rhymes with...

And the reveal

56. Olympic medley found in order at the starts of this puzzle's four other longest answers : SWIMMING STROKES 

Here are all four strokes in the order they occur in the Individual Medley. The relay event Dr. Fludzinski was referencing has to start with the backstroker in the water to avoid a collision when the previous swimmer touches the wall. 


1. Gin and tonic, e.g. : NOUNS - Erase DRINK and put in a part of speech

6. Outback birds : EMUS

10. "Pardon the Interruption" channel : ESPN - I'm a big fan of curmudgeon Tony Kornhesier 

14. Photographer Leibovitz : ANNIE

15. Island hoppers : SEA PLANES - I'll bet most of you know the rhyming name of this huge SEA PLANE that only flew once

19. Sesame __ : OIL

20. Julio to julio : ANO - July to July in Español

21. Potter's practice : MAGIC - Harry's forte not Doc Potter's from M*A*S*H

27. AFL partner : CIO

 28. __ Bator : ULAN - Rent an apartment in this building in ULAN BATOR for 1,650,000₮ (Mongolian Tughriks) or $810/month

29. Dude : BRO

32. How storybooks are often read : ALOUD

35. Bibliography abbr. : ET AL - Oh how I hate(d) typing bibliographies!!

36. "Nessun dorma," e.g. : ARIA - "None Shall Sleep" from Puccini's Turandot. There may be better but I've not heard them

40. Cheese with an edible rind : BRIE

41. Shakes a leg : HIES

42. White House staffers : AIDES

43. "You got it!" : YES

44. Bombard : PELT - Wisconsin cheerleaders had to take cover last year after being PELTED with snowballs from Wisconsin fans

45. Michael Caine title : SIR

51. Pastoral tribe of Kenya : MASAI - By the looks of this MASAI Jumping dance, these guys could play in the NBA

54. Sch. with a Phoenix campus : ASU 

55. "__ you nuts?" : ARE

61. Heredity sources : GENE POOLS 

62. Gala or ball : EVENT

63. Got off the ground : TEED - We'll be TEEING the ball up regularly very soon

64. Brogan or brogue : SHOE

65. Fizzy beverages : SODAS - Not thirst quenching to me


1. Big wheel : NABOB

2. Broadcast sign : ON AIR

3. Claudius, to Caligula : UNCLE - Claudius succeeded his nephew when Caligula was assassinated in 41 A.D. How 'bout that GENE POOL 

4. Suffix with peace : NIK

5. Shelve : SET ASIDE

6. Legally prohibit : ESTOP 

7. "Whatevs" : MEH 

8. Oil-rich fed. : UAE

9. 50+, e.g., on a L'Oréal tube: Abbr. : SPF - OK, here 'ya go

10. Erode : EAT AT

11. Form-fitting : SNUG

12. Meter starter? : PERI - From the Greek peri - 'about, 'around

13. Fraction of a min. : NSEC - 1 NanoSEC : 1 SEC as 1 SEC : 31.7 years

16. Light bulb unit : LUMEN - LUMENS required on a ball diamond

18. Hip about : ONTO

23. Under 90 degrees : ACUTE

24. Factory stores : OUTLETS - They don't seem cheaper to me

25. Potter's supplies : CLAYS

26. Mustard family member : KALE

29. Born partner : BRED

30. Stuffed pepper filling : RICE

31. Wild things to sow : OATS - ...and hope for a crop failure

32. First name in advice : ABBY - One of those Sioux City, IA twins

33. It may be found at the end of the line : LURE - In Julian Lim's Saturday brain buster it was clued "Fly,  commonly"

34. Big name in elevators : OTIS - OTIS made elevators common when he invented the safety brake which he demonstrated by cutting the supporting rope and only falling inches

35. Taxpayer's option : E-FILE - Got my money back within 10 days

36. Burning : AFIRE

38. South Korea's first president : RHEE - Born 
Yi Su‧ng-man and westernized his name to Syngman RHEE

39. Learning opportunities for many : FAILURES - How do telemarketers keep going?

44. Do the do just so : PRIMP

45. Betting aid: Abbr. : SYST

46. Renowned : FAMED

47. Café cup : TASSE

48. Did a fall chore : RAKED - All for naught!

49. Venue that often sells its naming rights : ARENA - Those swim trials are held in the Century Link ARENA in Omaha

50. Kid brothers or sisters, at times : PESTS

51. High-ranking NCO : MSGT - Most critics said MSGT Bilko should have been left to Phil Silvers

52. __ bit: slightly : A WEE

53. Trig ratio : SINE

57. Apple mobile platform : IOS

58. Japanese drama : NOH - Japanese for "skill" or "talent". Yeah, I knew that...

59. Shine, in brand names : GLO

60. Ab __: from day one : OVO - Didn't see until perps filled it in. You can't get more day one than OVO (egg)

Okay, let's hear some freestyle comments from you but please stay in your own lane!



Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Fun puzzle. Took me awhile to come up with FREE STYLE RAP, but once I figured out the theme I was able to go back and knock it down easily enough. The rest of the theme answers were very straightforward (it's always nice to be able to throw something long down like BACK TO THE FUTURE based solely on the clue).

And no, OUTLET stores aren't particular cheap in my experience. I used to think that "Factory Outlet" meant "direct to the public" or "wholesale" until I went to a massive complex of Outlet Stores in Wrentham, MA, and discovered they were either just regular stores or else had limited selections of irregular merchandise, returns, or floor samples, all at slightly reduced prices. Big disappointment, especially considering how long it took to drive there.

OwenKL said...

How prettily the BUTTERFLY SWIMS through the air,
So unlike the EMU who runs everywhere.
Or penguins who oughter
Fly through the water.
Say, isn't nature a mixed-up affair?

A SINE is a ratio of a triggy triangle,
One that's ACUTE with her vectors that dangle.
But results may be sinister
To violate her PERIMETER.
Mathematical morals, too, cause a tangle!

Then there's the "BRO", the crazy fool
Who tries to break every safety rule!
It's widely believed
When he was conceived,
He was BRED in the shallows of the human GENE POOL!

Lemonade714 said...

Very impressive puzzle with three grid spammers and everything in order. I don't mind stroking Pawel' s ego, this was well done.

MASAI ESTOP LUMEN NABOB and RHEE all good midweek fill, not too easy, not too hard.

Barry, Florida is famous for outlet malls and SAWGRASS MILLS has something for everyone. But shopping is work and you have to like looking. Walking 2 MM square feet takes a while.

Thanks HG and Pawel

Hungry Mother said...

Haven't seen NIK for a while. PELT was a popular word today.

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

WBS, including the part about outlet shopping. The massive complex of shops over in Lee doesn't seem to offer a real cost savings.

No power in my part of town, so I'm doing the first real test of the newfangled generator I installed in December. That big October 2011 debacle convinced thousands of us to have a back-up, right Hondo?

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

I must be really sharp today. Or, perhaps, the theme was just pretty obvious. I actually got it before the reveal. Will wonders never cease?

Husker, I had to get out my trusty calculator to validate that 31.7 years figure. Yup, confirms my suspicion -- a billion is a fairly big number. So let's see, Bill Gates is 60 and worth $79.2B. That means he's earned, on average, $41.90/second in the 1.89B seconds since he was born.

I thought Jeff Goldblum was explaining chaos theory in that scene.

Gotta run...

unclefred said...

Well, everyone else seems to have found this a very doable Wednesday CW, which makes me feel even dopier. I really struggled with this one, and had to cheat to complete it. Many unknowns for me. Still, well constructed CW. Thanx, Pawel! And thanx, Husker for a terrific write-up. And a final thanx to Owen for his witty limericks.

Tinbeni said...

Husker: Excellent write-up ... and I enjoyed the 21 links.

Pawel: Thank You for a FUN Wednesday puzzle with a great swimming theme.

OK, I will admit, at Villa Incognito 1-a, Gin and tonic, e.g. ... well my mind was thinking something way-more-enjoyable than NOUNS.

FAILURES as "Learning opportunities for many" was very clever. Today's fave!

Also like the CSO at 3-d, UNCLE to our unclefred.


CrossEyedDave said...

Had to put this puzzle aside & come back to it
in order to finish. Finally WAG'd Shoe for Brogan,
& changed "put aside" to "set aside" to complete the NW corner.

It was that P in "put" that made me think that a Gin & Tonic
was some kind of "Julep" at 1A.

It had muddled the NW corner for a while, but on air & nik seemed solid. So I put it down, put away my muddler, & came back
to it later.

If you ever get a chance to see the movie The Butterfly Effect, I would recommend watching it.
It is rated 7.7 out of 10 on IMDB.
Many people not into science fiction may avoid it, and many people into science fiction
may be annoyed at the totally bizarre method of time travel. But if you go into this
looking at it as a fantasy, you will soon be absorbed into a complex suspense thriller
with a great ending...

Anonymous said...

NSEC is "fraction of a min."? Why not "fraction of an hr."? "of a d."? "of a wk."? "of a mo."? "of a yr."? "of a dec."? "of a cen."? "of a mil."? "of an ae."?

Argyle said...

Don't give them ideas!

inanehiker said...

Enjoyed this puzzle - and that the long theme answers still allowed for interesting fill.

I remember reading a short story in junior high or high school - where someone time traveled back to prehistoric time and they were supposed to stay on a prescribed path. One of the people stepped off and stepped on a butterfly and when they traveled back to the present the world was completely different. It sparked an interesting classroom discussion. I can't remember the name of the story though.

Thanks HG and Pawel.

Husker Gary said...

-Greetings from the Great, Cold Plains. At least I am subbing in math and physics today! I am taking the physics kids outside and having them time the difference between when they SEE a student hit a gong 600’ away and when they HEAR the sound. From that we are going to approximate the speed of sound.
-Yes, Otto, Goldblum was explaining Chaos theory as is shown in this scene but he uses the BUTTERFLY EFFECT idea of small variables making large changes – Butterfly flap/rain in NY and so…

Northwest Runner said...

Not sure if it was another LA Times or the WaPo that also just featured sine clued as trig ratio. Since trigonometry is not spelled out in the clue, shouldn't a clue like that be used for things like arctan that aren't spelled out in the answer?

oc4beach said...

I was able to fill in the three long clues before I got the reveal. The reveal provided the AHA moment. I was able to eventually fill in the unknowns without resorting to Google or any other help other than perps.

Really nice puzzle Dr. Fludzinski and HG did a great job in splaining the puzzle.

Like others, I wasn't thrilled with the NOUNS. DRINK or BOOZE would have been better.

HG: I liked the picture of the Spruce Goose. It is really an engineering feat. It was made of wood, but with birch instead of spruce. I guess Spruce Goose is a more meaningful rhyme than Birch Church or Birch Perch.

Well it's time to Hunt and Gather at the supermarket if I want to eat anything today. Have a great day everyone.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Thanks Pawel for a great puzzle. Fun theme, good cadence and interesting fill.
The other day, speedos, today, swimming. Got the theme early on and STROKES ending the unifier @ 56a, but had to wait on perps to get the proper descriptor wording.
No white-out or searches were needed.
TASSE - Held back wondering if it was a Starbucks term like Venti. But the t, a, and s were firm, my French kicked in and voilà TASSE. Actually, Tasse is also German, a borrowing from the French.

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

Another fun and timely puzzle with the Olympics 🏊. coming up, (Although, from what I have seen of the waters in Rio, I think I would think twice before even putting my little toe in.) I enjoyed the solve and was really in the dark until the reveal. Only w/o was SSgt/MSgt. Nice shout out to Lucina at ASU 🌞 and, also, to Uncle Fred.

Thanks, Pawel, for a mid-week treat and thanks, HG, for your illustrious and industrious expo. A+, good sir! 📚 📐 📓

Tin, FedEx just delivered 2 lbs. of Stone Crab claws so I shall have a Florida feast for dinner tonight! You will be my first toast! 🍸

Have a great day.

Lucina said...

Hola y Buenos dias!

My entire post just disappeared!

Many thanks to Dr. Fludzinski for this enjoyable grid and to Gary for a fine review.

This was as easy as Wednesday gets with no searches needed. All the names were familiar: ANNIE, OTIS, ABBY and even RHEE whose name was much in the news when I was a teenager.

Of course I appreciated seeing ASU and I love the word NABOB.

TASSE is closely related to Spanish tasa, too.

Hunting and gathering day for me as well. On the first Wednesday of the month seniors get 10% discount.

Have a splendid day, everyone!

CanadianEh! said...

Enjoyed the sport today. Thanks Pawel and HuskerG. The cross of MSGT and TEED was the last to fall. I don't think Canada uses MSGT. RHEE and NOH were all perps.

What Lemon said re NOUNS. Enjoyed the 21A and 25D Potter's clues. I finally got to use IOS today.
NW Runner - you may have a point. Mensa used trig ratio as the clue also. That might lead to sin, cos, tan preference for the answer.

Canadians must EFILE by April 30.

We visited a MASAI (also spelled MAASAI) village as a side trip from our safari in Kenya. The men did perform jumps wearing their red robes and they explained that the higher the jumps, the more attractive the man was to the women. It was quite an experience with (mostly)dried cow dung to walk on, an abundance of flies, and reports that their diet is still only 2 meals daily (fresh cow blood and meat, with milk for the children). Their huts, which were very small and dark,had a sleeping shelf for parents and family and a small food prep area with fire and small hole in roof to vent the smoke. I had expected a "sanitized" tourist presentation. It was NOT!
I did bring back a red plaid blanket and beads. How could you not buy something!

CanadianEh! said...

CBC Marketplace had a program recently looking at Outlet stores.
Interesting reveal:
"Outlets were traditionally a place for retailers to sell goods that didn't fly off the shelves last season, get rid of overstock, or sell off factory seconds.

But now, many retailers are manufacturing specific lines of clothing for their outlet shops which may not be the quality consumers expect from higher-end brands."


fermatprime said...


Thanks, Pawel and Gary!

Glad that I waited to fill in NOUNS!

Never heard of FREESTYLE RAP. But everything eventually filled itself in with no cheats.

Have dental problems from last week's outing. Long story.

Filled the movie in immediately--what a treat!


C6D6 Peg said...

Nice puzzle by Pawel. Thanks for the outing!

HG, nice write-up. Loved the raking leaves video! Cute!

Anonymous said...

Tin - unclefred is actually OwenKL.
Still, a CSO is a CSO. He'll take it.

thehondohurricane said...

Not sure why, but every puzzle this week has given me fits and today was no exception. Started very slow, one letter at a time, but eventually blank squares began to disappear. Picking up the theme( unusual for me) helped immensely. It also helped that besides MASAI & OVO, there were no other "never heard of's."

First thought for 27A was NFL.

Dudley, so far the generator remains off, but the winds are howling. Wouldn't be surprised if it was my power source this PM to watch the Tigers/Yankees spring training game.

Bill G. said...

Hi everybody. Thanks Pawel and Gary. It has mostly been said already but that doesn't seem to stop most of us. So...

Since I tend to start in the upper-left corner by habit, NOUN was a tough beginning. "Potter's Practice" was tricky too.

I've been inside the Spruce Goose. You can stand up inside the wings. Wow!

I see no problem with Trig ratio. It's four letters so it can't be sin, cos, tan, arctan, secant, etc. SINE seems like the only obvious answer...

The leaf-raking video was cute but obviously staged for the video camera.

(Inane Hiker) The really good short story about time travel and The Butterfly Effect is "A Sound of Thunder" by Ray Bradbury. Really good!

PK said...

Hi Y'all! Great one, Pawel! Well done, Gary!

I got along with this puzzle SWIMMINGly! NOUN/NABOB cross almost sent me back to bed before I'd read another clue. Sheer stubborness kept me paddling away at this. BACK TO THE FUTURE was like a quick breath of air to keep up the rhythm.

Big Easy said...

An easy fill today from the good doctor with the guessable ARIA and OVO filling the unknown Latin words. I never looked for the theme because the rest fell swiftly and only read the SWIMMING STROKES clue after most was filled by perps. But BACK TO THE FUTU'D'E was all filled by perps and was completed after I changed PEDOMETER to PERIMETER.

Calling FREESTYLE RAP music is quite a stretch. Bad poetry mouthed with a drum machine and a few chords would be a better clue.
'Betting Aid'- SYSTem- guaranteed to make one lose money faster than without a system.
PRIMP- not with my bald head
PESTS- those who comment anonymously
OUTLET malls- basically there are two types- regular and premium ( sounds like gasoline). Premium outlet centers have stores with first run top quality goods at close to regular prices, while the others have slow sellers, irregulars, and discontinued items.

inanehiker said...

Thanks @Bill G at 11:42 for filling in the memory gaps!

OwenKL said...

After BttF and Butterfly Effect (which is a common SciFi trope), I was sure the theme was time travel until I got the reveal!

Anon@11:14 -- no, I'm not unclefred. I've never used any other name than OwenKL here, though I have been Loki and Hap E. Phace other places on the Net. But I'm pretty sure O.N.Cale is Sobbing Softly, neither of whom is meem.

The zaftig miss, not unaware of her charms,
Thought competitive SWIMMING would do her no harms.
Left her red in the face:
"No fair, those other girls were using their arms!"

[She only came in third out of ten.]

Ace Hardware's the place to go if you're smart
For electrical stuff: a connector or part.
And if you are nice
They can give you advice
On installing sockets -- they're an OUTLET MART!

Tinbeni said...

Irish Miss @10:03
Enjoy your feast!

Stone Crab Claws may not be at the top of my list for sea food ...
But they are certainly in the top-two!

My "first-toast-at-Sunset" tonight is to you ... and your claws!


Misty said...

I got off to a bit of a rocky start on this puzzle, but soon got started and found it actually perfect for a Wednesday, doable but with a bit of crunch. So, many thanks, Pawel, and thanks to you Husker Gary, for terrific pics and a great expo.

I got NABOB only because I remembered Spiro Agnew's remark about "nattering NABOBS of negativism." Can't remember to whom he referred, but the line has stayed with me for decades--probably because of the alliteration.

I loved Phil Silvers as Sgt. Bilko when I was a kid.

Great story about the Masai, Canadian Eh.

Have a fabulous dinner, Irish Miss.

And have a great Wednesday, everybody!

Lucina said...

Outlet stores could be found all over North Carolina in the 70s. It was then the prime location of the clothing and textile manufacturing industry and the outlets were in barns, sheds and other buildings nearby. All the goods were labeled irregular but most had only very small irregularities. Inside the goods were piled on tables. They were completely unlike today's outlet stores which I consider just regular retail stores.

Ol' Man Keith said...

Nicely tuned to our Wednesday expectations. No booster seat required for this one. I was baffled for a bit by IOS, but trusted perps to carry me through.

I really miss swimming. My physical condition prevents me from indulging. A few years back, as I was recovering from stenosis surgery, I thought to take advantage of our nabe pool, knowing that swimming is often recommended as physical therapy. And I really LOVE swimming--the crawl, breaststroke, or just floating, and my favorite relaxing variation--the side stroke. Having lived for years on the ocean (Pacific), and used to daily swims in and beyond the surf, it should have been a piece of cake. I did a coupla easy laps, but then pulled something-or-other, and it set me back, somehow exacerbating my lumbar nerve pain.
I hate that I can't include swimming now as part of a regular routine.

tawnya said...

SWIMMING! My favorite exercise!! I competed a million years ago and still have a membership at the Y just so I can use their lap pool. I'm much more graceful in water than out! Got the theme right away but struggled with the reveal because I got hung up on "it's called the medley or the Individual Medley (IM)so what is he looking for??" Total V-8 moment. So the obvious was not so obvious to me today.

Yay for today's puzzle - I got a little stuck in the south with NOH and SHOE but got it done. Thanks for the puzzle and the write up!

BTW - here is a great article about Michael Phelps and his going for another round of Olympics. He really is in fantastic shape and seems to have found his priorities finally. He is expecting a child, has a charity group that he is quite active in, and overall has grown up a lot since he was last in the news. I love the redemption stories :)

Wishing you all a great day!


Steve said...

I'm actually surprised at this puzzle - it's a nice theme and neatly done, but .... it's been done before, even with a couple of the same theme entries.

@Anon 8:47 - Don't fret, I'm sure your day is going to get worse.

Anonymous said...

Meh...but hey...
Different Strokes for different folks.

Anonymous T said...

Hi All!

Well, Dr. F. disappointed at 1a; a pedestrian NOUN instead of a libation. The rest of the puzzle more than made up for that w/ NABOB, BTTF, and BFE [17a & 37a in case you're not ONTO my RAP]. What fun today! Thanks, and thanks HG for the COLA chaser; a GLOin' writeup.

Oh, it was a FIW - 38d xing 41a - I guessed L. But it was fun. I liked YES and SIR on line 43a over MSGT below ["Don't call me SIR boy, I work for a living!"]

WOs - none. Yes, I ARE sure. ESPs, however, 14a, 51a, 58d, and the aforementioned err'd WAG words.

FAV - BUTTERFLY EFFECT is close, but BTTF's 1.21 Gigawatts scene [3:13] wins today!

OKL - #2 was funny.

Misty - It was William Safire that pen'd those words for Agnew. I miss his wit and depth of argument (not saying I agree, but he was sharp - as apposed to today's pols). I'd read his On Language column ever Sunday when it ran.

IM - What, you have crabs? Stop sowing your OATS... :-). /ducks...

Cheers, -T

SwampCat said...

Interesting puzzle. Only one nit. ...Julio to, that s not an "ANO". . It should be July to July...capitalized. "Julio " to "julio", as it is written it make no sense.

Thanks, Owen. Ya done good!

Anonymous T said...

Swamp - Spanish months are lower-case (learned that from xwords). However, the 1st Julio was in caps because they capitalize all 1st letter of clues. That why Nice is always tricky for a summer :-). Cheers, -T

Lucina said...

Anon T is correct. Months are not capitalized in Spanish; in fact very few nouns are capitalized, mostly names.

Unknown said...

loved the telemarketer comment.