Apr 13, 2019

Saturday, April 13, 2019, C.C. Burnikel

Themeless Saturday Puzzle By C.C. Burnikel

Other than National Crossword Day, what day could be more apropos here than National Scrabble Day? I am certain we have some expert players that reside here who would clean my clock at this game.

Generally I am very patient in doing crosswords and can stare at partially filled cells without frustration. However, I don't enjoy staring at a rack of impossible Scrabble tiles

I always seem to have an 26. Plentiful: AMPLE supply of consonants on my tile rack.

As usual, C.C.'s puzzle was a delight to work. As you can see below, she did not include any 8 or 10 point letters in her puzzle and had only one 5 pointer but still produced a very pleasing exercise!

Now lets's see what our Minneapolis mentor has for us today:


1. Bikini-ready physique, informally: BEACH BOD - Google at your pleasure. I'll wait until you're back

9. Missed an easy one: BLEW IT - Seattle coach Pete Carroll BLEW IT in Super Bowl XLIX when he called for a pass from the one-yard line that got intercepted and subsequently cost the Seahawks a Super Bowl win

15. One who finesses the tab, facetiously: EL CHEAPO - This San Diego locksmith claims it charges low rates. The ad also says El CHEAPO speaks Spanish for people who aren't offended by his lame business name.

16. Yale sobriquet: OLD ELI

17. Admits: ALLOWS IN

18. Compound in much tea: TANNIN - This compound in tea is said to promote calmness. In wines, several sites says it promotes bitterness and astringency.  

19. Pol. site: EUR - Yeah, Pol(and) is in EURope

20. Cyclotron bits: IONS If you're interested 

22. Sacred musical work: MOTET - Usually unaccompanied sacred music 

23. Lascaux cave paintings, e.g.: ANCIENT ART - A series of paintings in SW France thought to be around 20,000 years old

29. Attraction: DRAW - Love him or hate him, he is a big DRAW

30. Trash: TOSS.

33. Postal motto conjunction: NOR - "Neither snow NOR rain..." However in Nebraska this spring...

34. Keeps in the email loop: CCS - C.C. sometimes CC's me into emails 

36. Fictional boxer Joe: PALOOKA - Ah, the Sunday comics of my yute

38. Prepare to spring: CROUCH 

40. Like some ice cream: NON FAT.

41. Relief for aching muscles: HOT SOAK - Getting there might be chilly

43. DOJ honchos: AGS - Attorneys General vs AG'S

44. Finished a dish: ATE.

45. Stadium vendor's stack: ONES.

46. Word to a service station attendant: FILL - Or...

48. Missed the note, say: ERRED.

50. Dejected words: I'M A FAILURE - A Beatles variation

53. "Hidden Figures" actress Janelle __: MONAE Her IMDB info

55. Cinematographer Nykvist: SVEN ...and Sven's too

64. __ Agron, Quinn portrayer on "Glee": DIANNA ,,,and DIANNA's

56. Fried rice additive: MSG.

59. Spheres of influence: AMBITS - _ _ B I T S? This NASA guy put in ORBITS immediately!

61. Sandwich spread: EGG SALAD.

65. "The Big Bang Theory" main male characters, notably: TREKKIES - In one episode they were forced to hitchhike in TREKKIE costumes

66. Emulate YouTube: STREAM.

67. Zinfandel, for one: VARIETAL.


1. Arthur with Lead Actress Emmys for two different sitcoms: BEA - Along with her Golden Girls. She also won for Maude

2. Glamour rival: ELLE - Magazine whose name comes from French pronoun for "She"

3. Org. involved in many Supreme Court cases: ACLU 

4. Like some gospel music: CHORAL Oh, Happy Day!!

5. Chop down: HEW.

6. Elementary: BASIC.

7. Modern crisis subject: OPIOIDS - It is now thought doctors 12. Overdid it: WENT TOO FAR in prescribing these powerful pain meds

8. Sierra Nevada's __ Pass: DONNER - The Donner party had each other over for dinner

9. Many a Tweeter: BOT Need to know more?

10. Alpaca relative: LLAMA - Andean beasts of burden

11. Ralph Kramden's pal: ED NORTON - This golfer's favorite bit

13. Nastase of tennis: ILIE.

14. Window shade?: TINT.

21. Lose it: SNAP.

24. Longtime Clark Bar maker: NECCO.

25. Bluegrass sound: TWANG.

26. Dried chili pepper: ANCHO - The smaller pepper the hotter it is (higher on the Scoville Scale below)

27. No-brainer?: MORON.

28. Bodybuilder's snack: PROTEIN BAR

31. Stingray cousin: SKATE.

32. Gratified and then some: SATED.

35. Banter: CHAFF - Kind of down the list for definition especially here in farm country

37. Many a gambler: LOSER.

39. 1898 Havana Harbor sinker: USS MAINE - Hearst's yellow journalism helped spark what Secretary of State John Hay called "The splendid little war" against Spain

42. Rio and Soul: KIAS.

43. Pollen season drug brand: ALLEGRA 

47. Sportscast, usually: LIVE TV - The first baseball sportscast was Columbia vs Princeton that was broadcast to the 400 or so sets capable of receiving the signal in 1939

49. 2006's "Casino Royale," for example: REMAKE - David Niven replaced Sean Connery in 1967.  Well at least they kept Ursula Andress! In 2006, Daniel Craig became 007

51. Blue Cross alternative: AETNA.

52. Fussy Felix: UNGER.

53. Satirical issues since 1952: MADS - Vol. 1 Edition 1 can be yours for $3,000

54. Skip over: OMIT.

57. Skirt feature: SLIT.

58. Greek Mother Earth: GAEA 

60. Frodo's sidekick: SAM - No idea but here they are

62. Deal with moguls: SKI - Of course these moguls are ski bumps not CEO's

63. Broadband option, for short: DSL - We got DSL once but the phone company blamed our bad internet connection on our long distance from its downtown offices. Uh, not very effective. 

Now use the tiles below to figure out what you can leave for the rest of us on National Scrabble Day!


OwenKL said...

FIRight, but it took two tries with a nap in between to do it!

Once I had a BEACH BOD, but I BLEW IT.
She decided my bod wouldn't do it!
I offered her a sample
Of my bod which is AMPLE,
But she said if you are threaded, then screw it!

Looking for fun he WENT TOO FAR.
He tried to troll a local pro-teen bar.
He couldn't find the place
It didn't help his case
That while looking he munched a PROTIEN BAR!

{B+, B-.}

Anonymous said...

Fine review of a another fine puzzle by C.C..

Yes Husker, the distance from the local C.O.(central office) to each location determined if one was eligible to have DSL installed. This was usually determined before installation was attempted. Borderline distances were approved and attempted but some turned out to be just beyond it's capabilities. I can't remember the cutoff as it changed as technology improved. I seem to remember 3500 cable feet. Then its was about 5500 cable feet or so. About a mile which was adequate for many around here but ridiculously short for the outskirts of town. Not many live a mile from the local telephone facility. Luckily new tech has arrived but high speed internet access is still a problem for many.

Lemonade714 said...

C.C. chewed me up and spit me out with this puzzle. It all filled in the end, but the triumvirate of MONAE SVEN DIANNA had me staring at a blank corner for a while. OLD ELI also was a struggle. Saturdays are supposed to be a challenge and it was.

I loved the self-referential CCS was cool and HG, it is time you watched the LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy. You would like SAMWISE GAMGEE . Another great week for C.C. Thanks Gary

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

C.C. really lobbed us a softball this morning. Thanx! Finished in under 10, which is unheard of for a Saturday. Misread the "Stadium vendor's stack" as snack. Oops. Had to change BATH to SOAK and SCREEN to STREAM, but otherwise the Wite-Out sat out the game on the bench. Thanx for the, as always, excellent review, Husker.

Gospel music: I enjoy a lot of gospel music, even though I don't subscribe to the basic premise. I like the rhythm and the harmonies.

AETNA: They are the current provider of my Part D drug program. Just got a notice this past week that it's been bought out by WellCare. Two years ago I dropped WellCare for Aetna. And so it goes...

DSL: Tried to get DSL when I moved here twelve years ago -- nope, too far. Had to go with the pricier cable TV internet service. Now I get an email at least once weekly from Soddenlink, urging me to upgrade to 75mbps for just an additional $5 per month. I called 'em. Nope, not available in my area. But they're willing to upgrade me to 24mbps for just an additional $10 per month. Nope, not in my lifetime.

BobB said...

DSLs availability not based on distance from TELCO central office but the last copper link to the subscribers house from the TELCOs fiber or carrier node.

Stand corrected said...

Yes BobB, you are correct but I was trying to make the concept easier to explain. Also, around here I dont believe there were any fiber nodes installed in the residential areas in 1995 when I was involved with the rollout of the DSL product.

Husker Gary said...

To avoid going down a political path, I deleted an image and two comments

TTP said...

Good morning. Thank you C.C. and thank you Husker Gary.

The streak continues ! 22:03 today, and about 4 minutes of that was figuring out the possible solutions to that really tough SW corner that had 2 unknown names and (IMHO) a clunker clue answer.

Simply had no idea on MONAE and DIANNA. Wanted orBITS for "Spheres of influence" but that wouldn't work with OMIT. The reasoning became that if it truly was OMIT, that would leave me with -ONAE, -MBITS and -IANNA. DIANNA made sense, AMBITS would fit, and that left me with the M in MONAE / MADS as the only possible answer for "Satirical issues since 1952."

Perhaps MADS is a reasonable answer for the clue. It is Saturday. Just not the way I would ever use it. But perhaps for those in the publishing trades, or for collectors, referring to back issues simply as MADS rather than Mad magazines is common. Similar to the way tennis players and fans would know exactly what was meant when someone said, "I'm playing at Ashe next week."

OK, I've talked myself into accepting it. It is Saturday.

A couple of other unknown names were Joe PALOOKA and SVEN Nykvist. I couldn't remember the first two consonants in PALOOKA, and bazooka kept coming to the forefront. Thank you perps. SVEN was a bit easier with the SV filled in. The Nordic sounding last name locked in SVEN when I read the clue "Fussy Felix" for UNGER.

Great puzzle C.C. ! I loved it.

Madame Defarge, I looked for a Chicago Tribune breaking news story about James Holtzauer, but everyone sent me to the Naperville Sun or requested subscription. I found this one though: James Holzhauer, Jeopardy! Champion and Reading Superstar

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

Compared to the last couple of CC's themeless, this was mostly a piece of cake, but it took me a little longer than it took DO. My unknowns were Sven, Sam, Gaea, and Dianna. (Proper names are challenging.) I knew Janelle Monae but I spelled it Monai which led to Cigna instead of Aetna. My ballpark vendor's stack was Buns for the hot dogs, not Ones for making change. Chuckled at CC(s) and my favorite C/A was Window shade=Tint. I found the Banter=Chaff off kilter.

Thanks, CC, for a fun and not too difficult solve and thanks, HG, for being such a faithful and entertaining Saturday Sherpa.


Ferm, I hope being in your own home will give you comfort and peace.

Have a great day.

Madame Defarge said...

Good Morning.

Thanks C.C. for my successful Saturday workout. Lately, as today, I have been working Saturdays on paper. It slows me down giving me time to think. It also allows me to run around the grid, which I seldom do on the computer. I couldn't decide between b.c. s and C.C.S. How silly of me!!!.

Gary, you have provided us with another fine tour. I needed it today in several places. I never thought of EGG SALAD as a spread, I didn't know SAM, never heard AMBITS used before. TREKKIES was a given once I had the two K's from SKI and REMAKE. Never watched much of it, nor have I seen Big Bang, but I do pay attention to the interests of others. Maybe I should follow BBT now that I have three grandsons in special science and math programs. They didn't get those genes from this English major.

Have a fine day today and a sunny weekend.

Anonymous said...

Husker @715a

Good decision.

I hesitated to add my .02 to the discussion but I felt it was my right to. Lol. Hope you have a awesome Saturday.

Lemonade714 said...

Am I the only one who missed what was removed and now and crazy with curiosity? I am so pleased you all find this puzzle so easy.

I was not particularly fond of James Holzhauer until I read that article. Thank you TTP.

Anonymous said...

It was just a comment about Husker's comment about the ACLU and accompanying picture which were both harmless. I then made a comment about the other anon's comment. Both of the anon's comments were relatively innocuous but Husker was correct in anticipating the inevitable path down an nasty internet path. Kudos to Husker.

jfromvt said...

Got stuck on the left side, had THEMAINE for 39D and APILE for 26A, so a DNF which doesn’t start my day out well, since otherwise this was an easy Saturday puzzle. Should have been more patient, but I need to get outside and do some yard work on the warmest Spring day so far in VT.

Anonymous said...

But not as ironic as deleting comments that point out your inconsistencies on free speech.

Anonymous said...

Good puzzle. Fair cluing until the south. Obscure names some iffy cluing made this more difficult then need be.

TTP said...

Husker Gary, great work on the blog today. I don't know why the Ancient Art picture made me think of Bob Ross.

My mother had me playing scrabble well before I was in double digits. I think that was what really developed my interest in words, definitions and spelling.

Thanks Lemonade. I kept trying to reach the Chicago Tribune article that Madame Defarge spoke of, but you'd have to be a subscriber.

Anonymous said...

Looked at the puzzle and instantly knew all the answers - even ambit and the names. Figured it really wasn't worth my time to actually fill in the blanks.

Alice said...

I finally made the connection between c.c. Burnikel and the founder of this blog. Very cool.

Misty said...

Well, Saturdays are always toughies for me, and C.C. puzzles, with so much cleverness, are no exception. Got off to a slow start, but did get UNGER (I loved "The Odd Couple"), SVEN, and BEA (I also loved "Maude" and "Golden Girls") on my first run-through. Then things got tougher, but I still enjoyed the challenge with lots of fun clues and answers. I could picture Jackie Gleason and his pal on their TV show, but needed a few letters before I remembered that his name was ED NORTON (thank goodness for television). "No brainer" and MORON cracked me up, even though it was so obvious (I felt like one) when I finally got it. Anyway, a delight C.C., thank you so much. And your commentary was terrific this morning, Husker Gary, with all those definitions and great pictures.

Fermatprime, I'm so glad you're home and hope you have some help and that you're comfortable again.

TTP, I've really disliked James Holzhauer on "Jeopardy" for some reason, but the article you posted makes him sound really nice, and I'll work harder to keep an open mind about him.

Have a great weekend, everybody.

Spitzboov said...

Hello everyone.

I tip my hat to the doyenne of LAT puzzledom. Well done. Nice self SO at 34a.

Husker - Many fine links further exploring the various fill entries today. Must have taken some time to do, but is much appreciated.

The SW held me up for a while as it did TTP and others, and for the same reasons. But eventually concluded that OMIT was right and that 59a had to be AMBITS (unknown to me) and not 'orbits'. STREAM augured for AETNA and not 'AFLAC'. So ultimately I guessed right and so FIR.
CC ginned up a real tour de force which was fun to work on. BZ
EL CHEAPO was a favorite fill, and I enjoyed seeing her signature long downs: PROTEIN BAR and WENT TOO FAR.

Lucina said...

Hola y Buenos dias!

Thank you, C.C., the Constructor Queen, and Gary, the graphics mastermind.

I found this an easy Saturday solve and finished quickly despite the unknowns DIANNA, SAM, SVEN and MONAE though I saw Hidden Figures. Joe PALOOKA was part of my youth, too, and knew it immediately.

However, I didn't finish because of CHAFF/KIAS. Had I done an alphabet run I would have realized KIAS was needed but didn't do that mostly because I was too tired. I did this at 5:30 this morning after a completely sleepless night then finally went to bed.

Confident guessing helps in CWDs as I'm sure most of you know.

Fermat from LN:
I'm so glad you're home in your own comfortable surroundings.

Have a delightful day, everyone!

AnonymousPVX said...

Ok, here are my “encmtmo”s.

A easiER Saturday puzzle than usual...but not easy.

Looked like a walk through until I reached the SW...three names in one section. Yikes.

Markovers... NOUGAT/NONFAT (should have waited), ORBITS/AMBITS (I guess I wasn’t alone), GAIA/GAEA.

Please keep on deleting the political stuff....this is not a “free speech” blog, it’s a puzzle blog. Everyone slips now and again but I never think “gee, too bad there wasn’t more political chaff today”.

Oh yeah, 35D...didn’t care for that clue.

Enjoy the weekend.

Jayce said...

I'M A FAILURE! I liked this puzzle in spite of screeching to a dead halt at the lower left corner. Between OMIT and ORBIT I couldn't figure which one was wrong. Not having the vaguest idea who MONAE and DIANNA are didn't help. As for MADS, I was looking for that other meaning of issues, namely events or topics or fads, so I was lost there, too. I finally had to look up who the Hidden Figures actress was, even though I had seen (and very much enjoyed) the movie, and then, still being stuck, I had to look up Ms. Agron's first name. Then and only then did AMBIT emerge, almost like (I hesitate to say it) a slap in the face.

But I sure did enjoy the rest of the puzzle! I appreciated BEACH BOD even though I had never heard the term. Like desper-otto, I read Stadium vendor's stack as snack. Having the G in Fried rice additive I went for EGG, but that didn't work and EGG showed up later anyway. Like Madame Defarge, I don't consider EGG SALAD to be a sandwich spread, so it took me a while to get it, especially since I had already entered EGG as the fried rice additive. By the way, I do now appreciate that C.C. didn't clue MSG as an ingredient (like egg would be) but as an additive.

And so it went.

We have DSL and the download speed is annoyingly slow. It's because we are at the maximum distance from the CO, approximately 17,000 feet of copper wire. Years ago AT&T had started a program of stringing fiber optic cable to Remote Terminals around the city, but abandoned the project before they got to my neighborhood. So, while most of San Jose residents who use AT&T landlines get reasonably high DSL speeds because the distance from their house to the RT is relatively short, we and our neighbors are stuck. I checked, of course, and AT&T has no high speed services to our ZIP code except for very expensive wireless broadband bundled with "DIRECTV" service we don't need or want.

And so it goes.

Welcome back home, fermatprime, and good wishes to you all.

Anonymous T said...

Hi All!

Thank you HG for the few blocks I could not suss today. D-O: I never stopped reading snacks until HG opened my eyes.

C.C. - I was 1/2 done w/ the puzzle when I wondered "who am I clicking so well with? (on a Sat?!?)" and saw your by-line. I know you too well :-)
Thank you for the fun grid that gave me the giggles. //BASIC Tweet BOT, Palooka :-) All gold.

DNF: O in ONES, MO in MONAE, I had ORBITS (Hi again, HG!)
WOs: I mixed my E & I in PROTEINE, CROtCH. DONer's pass
ESPs: ILIE + others I can't find post-ink...
Fav: ED NORTON - just too many fun gags

{A+, C+}

TTP - I would never commit to MADs b/c, well, no - It's MAD Magazine(s). I had the same (see: above) problems w/ that corner.

Alice - play at The Corner more oft! Wlcome.

Jayce - you're only a FAILURE if you don't play :-)

OK, by now we all know of Dr. Bouman and the black hole... Her excitement is infectious.
Gotta wonder if she's a TREKKIE.

Have a wonderful Saturday!

Cheers, -T

Ol' Man Keith said...

Husker G ~
The beautiful colors of the beasts in the Lascaux cave art may be worth the entire rest of today's Xwd! Thank you for those splendid animals.

A fine pzl, C.C.!
It was a near Ta~DA!--except for the SW sector. Those proper name Naticks (MONAE, DIANNA) stumped me.

Speaking of stumping, the sinking of USS MAINE has stumped experts since 1898. But that didn't stop the Hearst press from blaming Spain.
The best theory today is that the explosion was caused by an internal coal fire.
It seems that when a country--any country--wants war, it will jump at any excuse.

CanadianEh! said...

Super Saturday. Thanks for the fun, C.C. and Husker G.
I required a few Google helps today, mostly with names like MONAE, DIANNA, GAIA, ILIE (I wanted ILYA but that was yesterday!) I would have known SVEN if clued as the reindeer in Frozen.
I was thinking of Mad magazine but entered MADD. STREAM corrected that. (I agree that MADS and CHAFF cause some nose-wrinkling among us.)

My Trash Mess changed to TOSS. Other misdirections included Pol. site (Poland not Politician), and those moguls.
Hand up for Nougat before NO FAT. AMBITS was new to me too.

This Canadian assumed that DOJ meant Dept. of Justice and AG meant Attorney General (same as here).
NECCO Canada mints were a favourite. Alas, the company is no more.
Canadian stadium vendors don't have ONES; Loonies are much heavier. From my experience, many fans let the vendor keep the change (which is amazing considering the high stadium prices!).

Hope that you fare better at home, fermatprime.
Wishing you all a great day.

Crownvic89 said...

Give me a break on the proper names. Who has ever heard of Janelle Monae , Sven Nyk ODT, Dianna Agron (though she is the hottest one on Glee)? I’ll give you Ilie since he is often used but Allegra feels like a product placement. Try being more creative and quit using obscure, proper names. You are better than that.

HowardW said...

As many others found, this went much faster than a typical Saturday. 5:28 rather than the usual 10-15 minutes. DIANNA and MONAE were unknown, but the perps saved me.

Thanks for the write-up, HG, and the puzzle, CC!

Wilbur Charles said...

I thought of MAD Magazine but MADS seemed strange. But. If the clue had been Sports issues starting in 1954, SIs would work fine.

Like many, those pop-cul names are as foreign as some of the sports, geography or literature are for others.

If CC wants to toss me a Saturday xw that I don't spend all day on, that's ok.

The final across clue was omitted from my tbtimes and having the EK I assumed the tbbt gang would be GEEK???S. But I perped those ok for a one box FIW


D4E4H said...

Evening folks.

Please forgive my tardiness.

I believe Fermat has yet to post today. - FLN at 9:39 PM, wrote "Am home from rehab. Horrible experience."

I'm glad you're home, and sad about your rehab experience. May you recover more now that you're in your comfortable space.