Jun 3, 2017

Saturday, Jun 3rd, 2017, Pawel Fludzinski

Theme: None

Words: 70 (missing Q,V,X)

Blocks: 34

 Yet another Saturday perplexity from Mr. Fludzinski - the hardest name to spell in the title bar~!  Today's puzzle was slow to start, but then a few spots opened up, and I was able to nearly get it finished without help - one cel was just not making any sense to me, and so I had to cheat with red-letters for that one crossing.  Oh well.  A triple stack of staggered 11-letter fills in the center, and triple 10-letter corners as well;

16a. Conforming phrase : WHEN IN ROME....

30a. Rouen Cathedral series painter : CLAUDE MONET

34a. So-called "Nobel Prize of Mathematics" : FIELDS MEDAL - more here

35a. Event for disabled athletes : PARALYMPICS

Winter 2018 - Korea

 56a. Strong six-pack : ABS OF STEEL



1. Pine : ACHE - I had "LONG" to start - so I was on the 'verb' wavelength to start

5. Educational : SCHOLASTIC

15. Lump : GLOB

17. Not like in any way : HATE - filled via perps; I was thinking the opposite of "akin", not the emotional definition of "like"

18. Obsolescent book alternatives : AUDIO TAPES - now it's audio MP3s

19. Off the mark : ASTRAY - my first guess, but I hesitated

21. Like the title girl in a 2014 David Fincher film : GONE - IMDb

22. Further south of the border? : MAS - the Spanish adjective for more, over, beyond, further, etc.

23. Before Phelps, he held the record for most golds in a single Olympics : SPITZ - vaguely recalled his name, threw the "Z" in and that helped bridge the NW corner, literally

24. Govt. leaders : SENators

25. 1969 World Series MVP Clendenon : DONN - the crossing of 25d. led me to either "M", "D" or "R", but only the "R" and "D" worked here - I do not know much about baseball, even if I am from NY and our Mets won the Series that year - his Wiki

26. Rx amt. : TSP - I put in "TER", which is wrong, but got me further in the NW

27. QB's stat : ATTempts - not TDs, and not INT, either....

29. Stumping sites : PODIA - ah.  I knew what we needed here, but this 'plural of podium' had me fooled

36. Fact and fiction and flora and fauna, e.g. : PAIRS - oh, OK. 

37. Part of a chorus line? : TRA-la-la-lala, and so on

38. Include covertly, briefly : BCC - I saw 'covertly' and started thinking "OPS" - just your everyday "Blind Carbon Copy"

41. Calvary inscription : INRI - learned from doing crosswords

42. Cabinet mem. : SEC'Y

45. __ wind : SOLAR

47. Indian bread : NAN

48. Updike title character : BECH - new to me - now I feel like looking for Updike books at my library.  The Wiki

49. View from Tokyo, on clear days : Mt. FUJI - nailed it

50. "Is it safe to talk?" : "ARE WE ALONE~?"

53. Tag line? : FROM - I tried "I'm IT"

54. Fashion VIP : TASTEMAKER - well, that's the word, and the actual definition - one who decides what will be fashionable; my spellcheck doesn't like it, and I'm not much of a fan, either

55. First name in mystery : ERLE

57. Bar array : RYES - rather specific


1. Appalled : AGHAST

2. Necklace holders : CLASPS - my 12-step necklace broke Thursday AM, in my man-cave - the second time it's happened, both times right before I went to UPS - otherwise, if it fell off there, it would have gotten lost forever

3. Lead on a horse? : HOT TIP

4. Pulitzer-winning film critic : EBERT - made me concede that "LONG" may be wrong

5. Clout : SWAY

6. Physics Nobelist Steven in Obama's Cabinet : CHU - filled via perps

7. Equivocate : HEDGE

8. Ring material : ONION - ugh.  Got me.

9. They have their pride : LIONS - I got this one

10. Pay to play : ANTE - no paying, no playing this week - I'm down in Delaware again, for a BBQ and some more game development

11. Title for 25-Down: Abbr. : SRA

12. Tyra Banks reality show, familiarly : TOP MODEL - never watched it, but I did recall the name

13. "No joke!" : "I MEAN IT~!"

14. Wichita-based aviation company : CESSNA - it fit, and it worked, so....

20. Showy shrubs : AZALEAS

24. Burn the midnight oil : STUDY - made me change my "TDs" at 27a.

25. Some European women : DONAS - MONAS would have worked for me, but not with the crossing

28. Starbucks order : TALL - I don't 'do' Starbucks - I'll take 7-11 coffee, thanks

29. Online entertainment : PODCAST

30. Clouds from the Latin for "curls" : CIRRI - I once owned a Dodge Stratus, Plymouth made the "Breeze", and Chrysler's version was the "Cirrus" - yet two distinctly different clouds

31. Mil. decoration : DSM - the Distinguished Service Medal

32. Like some promises : EMPTY

33. Israel's Iron Lady : MEIR

34. Impartiality : FAIRNESS

35. For Mideast unity : PAN-ARAB

36. Thing to bash at a bash : PIÑATA

38. Not sharp : BLURRY - I had CLUMSY in there to start, since I wrongly filled in CC'd instead of BCC

39. Coax : CAJOLE - with the "J" from FuJi in place, I got this

40. Thefts, e.g. : CRIMES - oops, not HEISTS

42. Coal sources : SEAMS - I like these seams better

43. Bravura : ÉCLAT

44. Hold (back), as tears : CHOKE

46. Put forth : OFFER

48. Quarrel : BEEF

49. Crossword legend Reagle : MERL

51. GATT successor : WTO - no clue. I never heard of either (more here), and so it was an alphabet run, and I didn't know if 54a. was a proper name, so I was basically screwed. 

52. Once called : NÉE


Note from C.C.:

Happy Birthday to dear Owen, our talented and hardworking wordsmith. Thanks for being part of our family, Owen!
Owen & his wife Brenda (Feb 28, 2009)


desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Wow, I zoomed through this one. Once I replaced WAVER with HEDGE, the Fludzinski gates were open. DONN ?? ATT ?? (Thanks, SPlynter) and BECH were all perped. Updike only caused "Rabbit" to well up from somewhere. Thanx, Pawel.

Splynter, you've gotta 'splain "onDElaWARed" -- is that something to do with Delaware?

TTP said...

Good morning. Thank you Pawl Fludzinski and thank you Splynter.

Started slowly with no answers until DONN gave me the foothold I needed. Then entered Damen before changing to DONAS with PODIA. PODCAST came next, and then both PARALYMPICS and FIELDS MEDAL within seconds.

CESSNA, TOP MODEL, I MEAN IT, MEIR, CLAUDE MONET all fell quickly too, along with other givens such as SPITZ and EBERT and PINATA.

Thought the puzzle was going to be a breeze with that early run, but I slowed down working out the rest of it. No lookups, no red letter help, but it took me the better part of an hour.

DONN Clendenon - He was a Pittsburgh Pirate before he went to the Mets.

FIELDS MEDAL. Knew that from Good Will Hunting. How do you like them apples ?t

Couldn't bring MT FUJI to the forefront until I changed Opine to OFFER. MT p--- wasn't ringing any bells.

The B and C in BECH were my last fill. I read a lot, but it's almost all non-fiction.

When I was a preteen, an older brother and I spent 10 minutes looking for the free ashtray that supposedly came with a shipment my dad got. Upon closer inspection, the label said FREE ASTRAY. I'll never forget how we laughed at that.

Showy shrubs - Did I mention that I pulled out my wife's young hydrangea bush when weeding this year ? Replaced it Wednesday morning.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Nice puzzle from Dr. Pawel today. We seem to get 1-2 a year from him.

Bottom went smoothly; NE was crankier. Had 'we're in line' before WHEN IN ROME eventually became firm. It helped that CESSNA was a solid fill. (Thought of Dudley here.). Also had 'argue' before HEDGE. Liked the 'J' crossing at MT FUJI / CJOLE. Lots of fresh fill made this fun and one want to persevere.
Noted the CSO à moi at 23a.

TTP said...

Desper-otto, I get that it's a play of his "onward" routine, and that he embedded Delaware as he is there this week, but I don't get the mixed case part of it.


New box spring and mattress is coming this afternoon. Spent hours Memorial Day trying to find the one that was "just right." We decided to get a Simmons Beautyrest model. A half hour ago, there was a story on the news about the Channel 7 investigative team looking into consumer complaints about some Beautyrest mattresses. Didn't need to hear that.

Anonymous said...

Lots of smarter people than me as I had a heck of time with this one.
I didn't miss the girlie pics when Splynter was away. What's with that?

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

Thought I should chime in today so there'd be a picture of the most common Cessna. :-)

Smooth sailing today except for Bech - it looked wrong but the perps were solid.

Lemonade714 said...

Happy Birthday Owen and many more.

My difficulty with themeless puzzles is the patience required and the 15 to 60 minutes you must commit to get the puzzle done.

I was a little surprised to see many recall Donn Clendennon who was a big part of the 1969 Amazing Mets. He was a very interesting man who had Martin Luther King, Jr. as his adviser in college and who went to law school and practiced law after baseball. If you want more I include this LINK .

PODIA and BECH were my big slow downs.

Thank you PAWEL and as always excellent work Splynter.

Lemonade714 said...

When was Splynter away?

For those who agreed that Samuel A. Donaldson's clue - Diamond mine - for the fill I GOT IT was brilliant it has been selected as the clever clue of the month for May. I add this LINK . Many interesting crossword stuff is lodged there.

Yellowrocks said...

A much faster Saturday puzzle today. No cheats or red letters. I ran down the west coast very quickly and then went across the bottom and across the middle. The NE slowed me down a little. For 11D I thought of SRA right off, but wanted a plural to go with DONAS.
I knew DONN, but finally realized there are 2 N's. BECH, ATT and CHU were unknowns.
Tastemaker has long been used in print journalism. It still is common today.
"And just about every influential taste-maker, from journalists to politicians to movie stars use Google products every day." Forbes, Oct 16, 2013
"James Brown was a trendsetter in music, a taste-maker in music." Los Angeles Times, Sep 28, 2016
"Ben-Hur's" backers aggressively courted the Christian community, doing outreach to pastors and holding taste-maker screenings for religious leaders." Reuters, Aug 21, 2016

Happy birthday, Owen. Enjoy your day.

Husker Gary said...

-A smooth Saturday fill
-Yup, TTP, surely the only time the FIELDS MEDAL is mentioned in a film (:23)
-Never mind the PARALYMPICS, this boy wants to race everybody
-Am I the only one who put ABDOMINALS first?
-AM, AM/FM, 8-Tracks, Cassettes, CD’s, MP3’s… and oh yeah this flop
-Old ball players? “I’m on it!” Old authors and playwrights? “Come on perps!”
-INRI – learned at it by staring at it every Sunday
-The Fashion Police whom we are told are TASTEMAKERS and would be AGHAST at my choices
-Filmmakers are angry that early bad reviews kill the box office. It can’t be their crappy movies.
-Vowel juxtaposition for AZALEAS is always problematic for me
-My favorite PODCAST. I’ll bet very few know him.
-Happy Birthday to our limerick laureate!

Anonymous said...

Fun puzzle and great write-up Splynter! Slow but steady got 'er done. Podia was new and felt ok only because I was sure of donas. Read the Updike Rabbit books decades ago but was unfamiliar with Bech - all perps. I agree with Lemon's comment on themeless puzzles, but themed puzzles come in two varieties to me: those I get and those I don't. Often if I don't get the theme, the puzzle is slog or DNF. But either can certainly be fun! Have a great Saturday everyone! JB2

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

I finished but not without help. I had Panolympic for far too long and struggled with Att's coming to mind over Ints which threw me off, and Azealea wasn't working either and I'm clueless about clouds, so that whole area was a mess. Other spots went far more smoothly and I thought I'd breeze right through to the Tada. But, the best laid plans.......

Thanks, Mr. F., for a Saturday stumper and thanks, Splynter, for making sense of it all.

Happy Birthday, Owen, I hope you celebrate in style! 🎂🎁🎉🎈

Have a great day.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to complete a puzzle on a Saturday, sometime..............oh well............

C6D6 Peg said...

This was a nice Saturday puzzle, with only a few problems. FIR and in pretty good time. Thanks Pawel, for the offering!

Nice expo, as usual, Splynter.

Lucina said...

Happy birthday, Owen! I hope we see your poetic works soon and that you celebrate today.

Thank you, Pawel Fludzinski for today's workout. Whew!

The NW and SE quads filled nicely and quickly but in between those it was a slow slog. SCHOLASTIC arrived but THEMODEL held me back as I've never watched TOPMODEL or any reality show. Also, I can't recall anything but water lilies for CLAUDEMONET so that really slowed progress but eventually it made sense especially when EMPTY promises emerged.


This was a worthy Saturday challenge. Thank you again, Mr. Fludzinski and Splynter for your sparkling expo.

Have a sensational day, everyone!

AnonymousPVX said...

I thought this quite tough, first pass had lots of empty spaces, had to just slog through.

Misty said...

What a great way to spend a Saturday morning--many thanks, Pawel! Okay, I did have to cheat on one item, but I couldn't believe how it all filled in and I even got longer items like AZALEAS (I know my flowers) and PINATAS with hardly any perps. Yay! And I got CLAUDE MONET, ERLE, EBERT, and MERL without much help too. Hurray! As for others, BECH, was a pain--I kept thinking, come on, it's an Updike novel, what is it? But I've never heard of BECH. Anyway, great Saturday puzzle, Pawel, and great write-up, Splynter--thank you, too.

Finally, the MERL Reagle clue and answer gave me a real pang. I started doing Merl Reagle puzzles long before I joined the blog, and have done all of them, and am still doing them at bedtime, on a second round. They are such a joy. Then, to my shock and grief, Merl died just a month after I lost my sweet husband Rowland. You wouldn't think that could intensify grief, but I guess when you work on someone's words every day for years and years, it still affects you even if you don't have a personal relationship. The fact that Rowland also loved Merl's puzzles added to the grief.

So, many thanks, Pawel, for including Merl in today's puzzle.

C.C. we're so lucky to have your blog now.

Have a wonderful birthday, Owen (great pic!)!

Have a great weekend, everybody!

PK said...

Hi Y'all! Thank you, Pawel & Lemonade.

Happy Birthday, Owen! I hope your absence from the blog this weeks means you got an early start on celebrating! Please check in with or without your famous limericks.

I did my usual across & down start at square #1 and rapidly filled the NW. Was elated thinking this Sat. puzzle would be a breeze. Wrong! But it turned out to be fun with a lot of WAGs & one-letter entries. Only two red-letter runs which is minimum for a Sat. for me.

Had trouble at the DONN/DONAS cross. Kept trying senora abbreviations.

Didn't know BECH. I didn't know Updike wrote anything but Rabbit books and I thought those were about real rabbits. I had him mixed up with the guy who wrote "Watership Down", I think. Looking at Updike's list, the only other title I knew was the "Witches of Eastwick". I saw the movie but didn't read the book. However, most of his books came out during the years when I wasn't reading anything but Reader's Digest Condensed Books.

I had Boeing before CESSNA, but I think Boeing is no longer based in Wichita. My son-in-law's parents both worked for Boeing back in its best days there.

Didn't know CHU, WTO, BCC. Hadn't noticed before that there is no "O" in PARALYMPICS. Tried to insert "O" and got red.

Chuck Lindgren said...

I very confidently filled in "outofprint" for obsolete books...only when I went back knowing "Cessna" that their was a second line in the clue. DAH !

Still what makes audio tapes the alternative to obsolete books ? If a book is obsolete why would an audio tape be an alternative? Back when I was commuting and listened to a few of them only very popular books were recorded. By the way I couldn't get into the books as the same reader would speak the dialog for both men and women. It through me off.

Close but no TADA...Bech ???

Was Boeing ever in Wichita??? Boeing and Seattle are almost synonymous.

Have great Saturday...SOCAL will be too hot except at the beach.

PK said...

Yes, Chuck, Boeing was in Wichita -- one of the biggest industries in the state of Kansas. There was also a big branch in Seattle and still is. My SIL's parents worked at the headquarters in each state before retiring. I have seen both compounds and once took a tour of the Boeing facility in Wichita.

Anonymous T said...

Hi All!

I played earlier this morning when I should'a just re-folded the paper, threw it back on the lawn, and went back to bed. I was only firing on one cylinder and it too sputter'd.

Thanks Pawel for the OFFERing but it was too much for me to unlock before I had to get the day moving. Thanks Splynter for correcting my errors and filling in the blanks.

Would you like to point and laugh?...
Even after cribbin' from Splynter's grid (16a), the NW is an inky mess - 1a Yern [sic] / reigns, dos (Rx amt) were ASTRAY and, at 1d, Yeched, was right out. Things went down-hill from there.

I did like seeing Cabinet SEC'Y so soon after yesterday's CABINET c/a.

Misty - If you've Amazon Prime or (maybe) NetFlix (NOT @29d!!!) look for Wordplay. There's an interview w/ MERL (my 1st right fill inked today) while he builds a puzzle (with pencil & paper).

PK - I thought of Boeing too @14d but then recalled they went to CHI to be closer to our aviators up there. Then, I spelt CEScNA wrong.

Eldest is a hoot. We played in the garden for a bit (anyone need Roma tomatoes and/or banana peppers?) and later she brought down a light-bulb with the positive-node removed. In the clear round bulb was dirt and a bit of clover; she built a little attrarium for her dorm. The base of the bulb rests on a Bell-jar lid ring. Brilliant!

HBD OKL! Hope your day goes better than my solve (not a TALL order :-)).

Cheers, -T

Misty said...

Anon T, I don't have Amazon Prime or Netflix, but really enjoyed watching the Wordplay clip from your link--many thanks! I'll keep looking for the Merl interview.

Anonymous T said...

Misty - Look No Further for MERL. The side links should be entertaining too.

Ok, on PAIRS c/a - Pawal, Realy? I was thinking opposites that unify somthing... PIÑATA was (mostly) solid and I only came up with PArtS for a whole in the environ. //sigh. Cheers, -T

Jayce said...

Whew, this was a toughie but goodie. Needed red letters to solve it, but it was fun. Turning on the red letters immediately showed that my entries BLOB, SUR, SPAT, MINES, TDS, and NERO all were wrong. Recalculating...
Good one, Pawel.
Happy birthday, Owen.
Several years ago some colleagues and I were making a presentation to Lucent Technologies (now Alcatel-Lucent) in Wichita.
LW and I also don't patronize Starbucks.
Best wishes to you all.

Doug Ryan said...

Finished without help but thought podia was some sort of forestry detritus, never considered plural of podium. When I'm?ome I stared at for far to long. Big mistake was just dumb, paraolmpics?? Really. Once I cleared that up sailed to the finish. Also had coerce until MtFuji corrected that. Fun puzzle. Our Floridian 5 weeks late NYT was a lot less "fun".

Argyle said...

Chuck, parse 18-Across. "Obsolescent book alternatives" as "Alternatives that are now obsolete to books." The books aren't obsolete, the tapes are.

Misty said...

Great, Anonymous T--what a cool interview!

Anonymous T said...

Argyle - re: Audio books... AND, yet another. V8 hits... Thanks.

Jayce - DW frequents 4Buck$ [the cost for a cupp'a joe?!? (Hi Average!)] and drags me there on occasion:
"I'd like a small cup of coffee; Black," I'll request.
"Oh, you mean at TALL?"
"No, I MEAN* - I want to CHOKE your dumb a**."

Sigh, Starbucks shows us the End is Nigh. [Louis Black; 1m]

So, Misty, MERL's 'side' links sent me down CED's proverbial rabbit-hole... Jon Stewart on a the Millionaire GAME show (Jon should do something with his life :-))
And here's Part B .
I did OK v. Regis' Qs; I'd have flubbed the $4K answer but I know Splynter & I'd nail the $32,000 q/a in part B.
[chase that rabbit and blow 45 min of your day but still feel OK about it.]

AND*, now, back to the yard's work.

Cheers, -T
*All this week; your rule WC :-)

MJ said...

Happy Birthday, Owen, and greetings to all!

I found this a little easier than most Saturday puzzles, but still needed to look up BECH to finish in the south. Knowing CLAUDE MONET (thanks to "Meet the Masters" lessons at school) opened up the central area for smooth sailing. Favorite clue/answer was "Ring material" for ONION. Thanks for today's challenge, Pawel, and thanks for the expo and links, Splynter.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Misty said...

Anonymous T, I didn't watch all of the two segments but they are fun to see, and I did okay on the items I saw. A long way from Merl Reagle, but he would have enjoyed it, I think--thanks for the links! Looking forward to the Sunday puzzle tomorrow.

Spitzboov said...

Best wishes to Owen on his Birthday. Hope you have had a great day.

inanehiker said...

Had a quick trip up yesterday and back today to Des Moines to visit some friends and for my husband and son to run the Dam to Dam 1/2 marathon. Beautiful day, but hot for the runners. We stopped in Pella on the way home for late lunch and the Dutch Letters (pastries) at the Jaarsma bakery- yum!!! So needless to say I just got around to the Saturday puzzle. I thought at first it would be a big DNF given how late it is and tired I am- but once I got a few toeholds it actually went much faster!

Thanks Pawel, Splynter and HBD Owen!

Wilbur Charles said...

Spitz did you get your QOD? Where do I start. Well about 8am and I finished about 9am, unlike last Saturday when the latter was pm.

First Splynter. Excellent write-up as usual. I keep the coin in my pocket. You cracked me up and now I can't find what it was.
However I did research Updike and read "Hub fans bid kid adieu". I was looking for the "God's don't answer.." quote*.

Next Owen. The effusive encomiums may have to do with the pinch-hitter who as you said once " managed to rhyme".

Oh the xword. Unlike most Saturdays I was able to get started in the NW and got the tada. CAJOLE got me FUJI. I enjoyed Lemonade's link to CotM. I was looking for the NYT clue about Jersey Shore characters incontinence (DEPENDS ON 'THE SITUATION').

BTW Lemonade. Splynter hasn't missed a Saturday in 2017 nor has he failed us in the pin-up category. Today: Spectacular!!!

I'd never heard of Merl Reagle. I'm relatively new to serious cruciverbing. Only because I refuse to give up can I solve the difficult ones. Anytime I cheat the answer ends up causing V8-syndrome.**


** Depression accompanied by headache from the pounding of said can

PS. Anon-T, I took a few seconds then remembered the Wilbur rule. Owen(BTW, a very happy birthday) never needed it. But he never had to rhyme ACAURARIA

Anonymous T said...

So then, after I met the CheSHIRE* cat, Misty, I found MERL on OPRAH and then Oprah on MTM (on Oprah) .

I'm almost to the end of the interwebs.

Oh, and the $32K question's answer: Spinal Tap **for those not Spynter.

Funny thing - From the blue (and the balcony in the house), Today, Youngest asked: "Dad, can I watch Spindle Top yet?" 'Tis time to indoctrinate her.

Cheers, -T
*That's on you WC.
**Spoiler - human spontaneous combustion is a thing.

Anonymous T said...

I did it! If PBS on xwords ain't the end of the Internet... Then CED, you and cats win the Web. -T

Ol' Man Keith said...

A splendid Saturday test from Mr. Fludzinski!

And one that I passed, very methodically & slowly, with a minimum of cheating--and much satisfaction at the end. Ta-DA!!!

PS. Happy B'Day, Owen.

Picard said...

Wow! That very day we were at the Getty Museum in LA looking at their version of the CLAUDE MONET painting of Rouen Cathedral. There are a lot of versions.

As for Steven CHU. Those were the days when we had an actual scientist in charge of advising on energy science. He and I were in the same major at the same university, but different years.

Some tough areas in this puzzle and a slow start. Amazed to WAG DONN crossing DONAS and TOP MODEL.

ATT/TALL crossing a total lucky WAG. Thanks for explaining ATT, Splynter. Hand up for knowing nothing of Starbucks coffee. In my case nothing against Starbucks. I don't do coffee. But I do like some of their chocolate pastries!