Aug 10, 2019

Saturday, August 10, 2019, Evan Kalish

  Saturday Themeless Puzzle by Evan Kalish

On this day we celebrate one of America's favorite pastimes - Bowling. This sport has always been big in my family and this past winter my nephew carried a 225 average on Fremont High School's state championship bowling team

For National Bowling Day, I get to post a video of the best video/blogger I know - Doug (call me Boomer) Burnikel as he rolls his twentieth perfect 300 game!

Today's constructor is Evan Kalish who lives in Queens, NY. Besides producing wonderful puzzles,  you can go to his web site and learn about him and his amazing hobby of collecting photographs of as many American post offices as he can. He has surpassed the 30,000 level but told me that NE and ND are the two states which he has not visited in over ten years.

Here you can click on any state and cities in that state will pop up where you can click on the link to the left of that city and see a picture of that town's post office that Evan has posted.

Evan calls his quest Postlandia. The picture Evan is holding here is of the post office in the unincorporated community of Yellow Jacket, Colorado.

When I contacted Evan, he had this to say about today's puzzle: "This puzzle descends from my first attempt at one with a central 13-stack, another version of which was published a few weeks back in the New York Times. While I first attempted this construction back in 2013, it was only years later (with decent software, a word list, and some actual constructing skill) that I achieved what I thought was a satisfactory puzzle."

I then asked Evan if he knew of C.C. and he was effusive in his praise for her skills!

Fremont, Nebraska 68025
And now, fresh from the 68025 Zip Code, let's see what Evan has, uh, posted for us:


1. It's read monthly: GAS METER - Here in 68025, METERS are read remotely.

9. Myers partner in personality type research: BRIGGS - Isabel Briggs Myers and her mother Katharine Cook BRIGGS created a personal inventory. Here you can take an online version of the test to see where you fit below:

32. Exam given in spots?: RORSCHACH TEST Here's an online version of that too

15. Part of a backup plan: AUTO SAVE - Is very useful if your battery suddenly dies

16. "Ni-i-ice!": OH COOL.

17. Walked all over: TRAMPLED and 56. Completely dominated: ATE ALIVE.

18. Word on some special plates: DEALER.

19. Klutzes: OAFS.

20. Understand: KNOW.

22. Added conditions: ANDS - "No Ifs, ____ or Buts" I've never heard it elsewhere

23. Two-tone shirt wearer: REF(eree) - Also called Zebras (or worse) by fans

24. Word with side or prop: BET - A side BET or a Prop (proposition) BET is made on a issue apart from the outcome of the game. e.g. In the 2019 Super Bowl you could make a prop bet on whether any team will score a touchdown in less time that it took for Gladys Knight to sing the National Anthem

25. Crunch beneficiaries: ABS and 9. Gym rat's pride: BOD - Exhibit A

27. Like: A LA - A LA mode means fashion of the day but that phrase is now usually indicates "served with ice cream"

29. Contributed to: FED 

30. Issuer of three-part nos.: SSA - Here's a famous number the Social Security Administration issued to this guy when he was working in Des Moines, Iowa

31. Gulf of __: OMAN - Evan, here is a picture of the Duqm Village, OMAN Post Office. No charge! 😙

35. "I know, right?": TELL ME ABOUT IT.

36. Hypothetical apocalyptic climate effect: NUCLEAR WINTER - Massive nuclear events could cause firestorms whose smoke would block the Sun

37. Single: ONLY.

38. Transparent collectible: CEL.

39. Sticker in a garden: BUR - In 1941 George de Mestral, inspired by the BURS that stuck on his clothing, used biomimicry to invent Velcro.  

40. Issa of "The Mis-adventures of Awkward Black Girl": RAE.

41. Islands sound: SKA All you could want to know

42. __ stop: BUS.

43. Hold up: ROB.

46. Red state?: RASH - Maybe you could use our old cwd friend Aloe Vera

48. Hideout: LAIR.

50. Term popularized by le Carré: MOLE - Le Carré introduced this term for an insider spy in his 1974 novel Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy 

51. Have a positive impact: DO GOOD - Our Oahu guide said, "Missionaries came to Hawaii to DO GOOD and wound up doing very well"

53. Rustic home: LOG CABIN - Who was the last U.S. President to be born in a LOG CABIN which is shown here?. Hint: He was elected in 1880 (Answer at bottom of blog *)

55. Outwitted, in a way: ELUDED.

57. Div. with MLB's southernmost team: NL EAST - MLB thought the Miami Marlins would attract baseball-crazy Hispanic fans but that didn't happen and they now have the worst attendance in baseball

58. Rush hour metaphor: SARDINES A 50-lane traffic jam in China


1. Gainesville athlete: GATOR - Their fans do the GATOR Chomp

2. Glowing rings: AURAE - Various characteristics of different AURAE

3. Servers and such: STAFF.

4. Spring honorees: MOMS.

5. Unverified way of seeing: ESP.

6. Exchanged insults, as competitors: TALKED SMACK - Yeah, I think we know who "said" this

7. Wedding, for one: EVENT - The last wedding EVENT we attended had a 15-min ceremony and then food 5-min later! Yay!

8. Second chance: REDO - Alexander Hamilton did not get one of these in Weehawken, NJ (Evan's picture of its current post office)

10. Emu relatives: RHEAS - The mystery of the flightless birds

11. Confident assertion: I CAN.

12. Middle Eastern leader who grew up in Milwaukee: GOLDA MEIR - In 1917 Golda married Morris Myerson in Milwaukee. She later changed her name to MEIR

13. What an anchor does: GOES LAST - In a relay race, the anchor runs the last leg

14. Camera initials: SLR Here 'ya go

21. Sinus-clearing condiment: WASABI on a 35. Sushi bar order: TUNA ROLL.

24. TV comedy pioneer: BERLE - Uncle Miltie wore thin on me

26. Nonkosher lunch, probably: BACON BURGER - This one has 780 calories and 113% of your daily saturated fat value.

28. Tiny tunneler: ANT.

29. Recklessness: FOLLY - This is the bank draft that paid $7.2M to Russia (about 2 cents/acre) for Seward's FOLLY

30. Wrapped accessory: SHAWL.

31. Web-footed animal: OTTER.

32. Group of local amateur teams: REC LEAGUE - REC(reation) LEAGUE

33. Oreo O's, e.g.: CEREAL - Our ubiquitous friend Oreo in the clue rather than in the fill

34. Many Rwandans: HUTUS Hotel Rwanda showed the violence of the HUTU/TUTSI conflict 

36. Paired conjunction: NOR - Did anyone else think of the U.S. Postal Service motto?

41. Sole providers?: SHOES.

42. Flora and fauna: BIOTA.

43. Crime-fighting sidekick: ROBIN - "Holy Crossword, Batman!"

44. Antipasto morsel: OLIVE  - From anti (latin for before) and pastus (latin for food) - an appetizer course 

45. "Seinfeld" surname: BENES - Elaine's last name

47. Source of fizz: SODA.

49. Remark with a sigh: ALAS.

50. Neighbor of Algeria: MALI - For me here in Fremont, NE, the phrase "From here to Timbuktu, MALI" indicates about 5,600 miles

51. Cubs' home: DEN.

52. Early EPA concern: DDT - The debate continues as to whether its ability to control malaria balances its ecological effect 

54. Scoundrel: CAD.

I hope you found the picture of the post office in your Zip Code. Meanwhile you can electronically send us any comment you have on Evan's puzzle and save a trip to the aforementioned post office.

p.s. Evan, et al, this is what the post office in my hometown of Arlington, NE looked like when a building being torn down next door fell in an unexpected fashion two years ago. The post office (68002) has since been repaired.

* James Garfield was the last American president to be born in a LOG CABIN


BobB said...

7:34 AM EDT and no comments yet, unusual.

Lemonade714 said...

Very unusual but this time of year has historically generated the fewest visitors and fewest comments. It is too bad because Evan's puzzle and Gary's write up are both first class.

There are so many tricky clue/fill combinations but overall it was doable. I was discouraged because I am unfamiliar with Ms. BRIGGS. Luckily I could fill all the perps.

Many nice long fill - thank you Evan and Gary.

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

It's only 6:39 here. I liked this one and solved it in better-than-normal Saturday time. GAS METER, NUCLEAR WINTER, and LOG CABIN were my first guesses, and that helped a lot. On the other hand, TALKED TRASH slowed me down. Waited on BET -- never heard of a "prop bet." Thanx, Evan and Husker.

Post Offices: There are two post offices shown for my current Zip, but not the current P.O. Nothing shown for the Wisconsin town where I grew up.

SLR: Back in the day I owned an Asahi Pentax with a nice assortment of lenses. Never learned to take a decent photo, though.

BUR: It's definitely bur season chez d-o. Long-haired Kitten-A (we ran out of names for a while; she's no longer a kitten) attracts them like a magnet. Her not-so-long-haired sister Kitten-D also lives here.

SARDINES: I do not miss the I-10 backup from my commuting days. They completed the widening just about the time I retired.

MALI: The jet-setter's plaint, "Breakfast in New York, lunch in Paris, luggage in Timbuktu."

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

This was an enjoyable, mostly straightforward effort for me. I Had a few missteps, such as STOLE before SHAWL and TALK TRASH before TALKED SMACK, but those didn't take long to correct. The only section that gave me any serious trouble was the SW, due to me not knowing RAE, not being able to figure out what "red state" was referring to at first, not knowing if it was AL EAST or NL East, and not knowing what type of TUNA was being discussed (not a sushi fan, sorry). My confusion didn't last too long, though, and I managed to get it all done in a decent time for a Saturday.

CartBoy said...

Puzzle was a quick solve for a Saturday.⭐️⭐️

In my rush, had a couple write overs - trashtalked/talkedtrash/TALKEDSMACK, eternal winter/NUCLEARWINTER, uke/SKA, biome/BIOTA and jet/BET but she's done. Really cooling down in the desert...only 102° today. Could fall be in the offing? 🌵

Big Easy said...

It's Saturday and it must be test day- RORSCHACH and BRIGGS (unknown). I passed with only BRIGGS, BENES, BET and RAE as the only perp-filled unknowns. Fast fill for a Saturday.

A prop BET is a term I've never heard of but I'm not a gambler.
NL EAST- knew it was Miami, but didn't know if they were AL or NL
GOLDA & GATOR- gimmes

EVENT- no 15 minute weddings in NOLA. The Catholic ceremonies at a church take forever. Then everybody drives to a reception hall, usually half way across town, then everybody waits (seemingly forever) while photos are taken with every possible relative, and finally the newlyweds appear. Sometimes the bar is already open and food is passed around by waiters; sometimes you have to wait until the bride & groom appear before the band starts and you can get anything to eat and drink.

billocohoes said...

HG, the last LOG CABIN president was JAMES Garfield. John Garfield was a 1940s actor.

Had kiwi before RHEA, glad to know they are related

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Fine intro as always, HG.

Eventually cobbled it together without aid. A little more white-out than I would have liked, but guesses were touchy. Had …trash before …SMACK. Thinking about a ship's anchor, I had 'hold fast' before perps firmed up and I saw we were talking about a sporting event and so GOES LAST made sense. Also had 'biome' before BIOTA.
GAS is really cheap now. The GAS supply rate on my last couple bills was lower than the futures contracts at Henry Hub, LA. Since more electricity is being generated with GAS, it seems to be helping with that spot rate, too.

jfromvt said...

Fun puzzle, but one of the easier Saturdays in a while IMO. Got the top and bottom pretty quickly, struggled a bit with the long middle answers. Also had TRASHTALKED, then TALKEDTRASH, before getting that figured out.

It’s been a great summer in VT, but high only in the 60’s today. I’m in a golf tournament, with a bad back, so a nice warm day would be preferable.

TTP said...

Good morning !

Well, I woke up in the middle of the night and couldn't get back to sleep, so I solved it then. Not so easy for me today, at 47 minutes and change. But still fun.

I looked up a bunch of Post Office pics in the PMCC online tool in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas. Got hits that brought back memories of 5 for 5 in Ohio, 1 for 5 PA, and 4 for 5 in Texas. But granted, I was cherry picking very small towns in Western PA just to see if there were pics of them.

Busy day. Gotta run. Thanks HG, and Thanks Evan ! Fun stuff all around.

JJM said...

Good Saturday puzzle that most will like. I had to red letter one cell because i couldn't spell rorschacH, and didn't know the answer going down for Many Rwandans ?utus.... so a DNF for me. Ive ridden about 75 mi. this week but the last 2 days have played golf with my 20 year-old. It's beautiful here today, so I think it'll be golf again today.
Enjoy your weekend!

oc4beach said...

Finished Evan's puzzle in about 30 minutes. HG's write-up explained a lot of my perp fill ins.

I knew RORSCHACH and MEYERS-BRIGGS from courses that I took years ago. Most everything else fell into place with Perps. My biggest sticking point was the crossing of AURAE and REF. I had an S at the end of AURAs, so I couldn't figure out what a RsF was. Finally the light bulb lit up and I stuck in the E.

I checked out a few of Evan's Post Office pictures and found that he still has a few to go in Pennsylvania where there are a number of small village and hamlet POs that only have mail boxes and no delivery service. Places like Hawk Run, Pleasant Gap (closed in the last few years), and Morrisdale. Wellsboro, PA (actually a town with over 3200 people) and Philipsburg, PA are two of the larger towns not included in Evan's database yet.

Nice day here, hope it's nice where you are.

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

It took me longer to read HG's commentary and check out the links than it did to solve the puzzle. Both tasks were equally enjoyable and informative. My unknowns were Briggs and Benes. I know Elaine from short clips of Seinfeld, but didn't know her last name. Briggs was a total unknown. I did take the test, though, and discovered that I'm The Defender: Protective, Warm, and Caring. I'll settle for those traits. I, too, Talked Trash before Smack and conflated the Tutsis and Hutus by fillin in Tutus. I also mixed up Aden for Oman, Led for Fed, and Cola before Soda. My favorite C/A was What an anchor does=Goes last.

Thanks, Evan, on a just-right Saturday challenge. I'm impressed with the depth and breadth of your very unusual hobby. Continued good shooting! Gary, you are a blogger extraordinaire. I feel so much smarter after reading your diverse tidbits and the many detailed and in depth facts and figures in your summaries. I particularly enjoyed the clip of Boomer's outstanding achievement of 20 perfect games! Happy National Bowling Day, Boomer.

Have a great day.

Yuman said...

Fun puzzle. Had the same hits and misses most of you had. Rec league was new to me.
CartBoy, yes the temperature down but the humidity is high the dew point this morning is 70,you will probably get rain, we will get a dust storm. Next week we will be back to 114!

Lucina said...


I see I'm in good company with my write overs! WEES. I've also never heard of BRIGGS but knew RORSHACH TEST with a few spelling iterations. FOLLY and BERLE finally yielded the right combination.

I got BET but didn't know prop BET.

Issa RAE is new to me so LIU. ROSY gave way to RASH.

NL EAST is unknown, too, so LIU as well.

Whew! My eraser worked double time today but it was a satisfying solve. Thank you, Evan Kalish! What an interesting hobby you have and I have yet to peruse the photo gallery. Phoenix has some interesting architecture on the older POS.

Thank you, Gary! As has been noted, you provide us with some colorful details and illustrations to give depth to our solve.

Boomer, happy Bowling Day!

Have a super Saturday, everyone! Book club meeting today.

AnonymousPVX said...

This Saturday puzzle was appropriately tough.

Okay, let’s start a TALKED TRASH club, lots of members today. I wonder if it’s a generational thing, Talked Trash vs Smack?

Got the solve, but not without


A Prop Bet...for instance, during the Super Bowl, you may have a bet on the game. A Prop bet would be betting on the next play being a first down or something similar.

Enjoy the weekend, see you Monday.

CrossEyedDave said...

Tossed the dead tree version to do the puzzle at the Mensa site,
but now it doesn't work at all for me. I used to get an option
to enable flash, but now nothing...

Reading the Blog having not done the puzzle
is no fun...

The inkblot test link just added insult to injury...

I think I will just go outside and enjoy the sunshine,
but I bet a bird will shit on me...


Wilbur Charles said...

I just erased my Friday comments. Not much since PK knew the GASOLs and my mention of Tony OLIVA's 1-5 in the penultimate game of the 1967 Pennant Race was TMI for Boomer.

Speaking of.. Nice delivery there.

Re. Gary's comment: I guess for Aaron, Alex was a BURr in his side. I had TRASH which greatly slowed me down until I grok'ed TELL ME ABOUT IT. Thus FUN became REC. Those leagues quickly become NO FUN as a former umpire/REF can attest.

My mother laughed uproariously at unca Miltie. He was King for the first decade of TV

Re. Gas.. As I was telling Picard, the Senate sustaining the Trump veto on Saudi arms is the predictable key to gas plummeting. Diesel following a little slower. Sam's ticked me off when I drove the 8 miles to find the Wawa I passed had the same price.

I liked Gary's links and style of the write-up. FIR on a very doable Saturday. The NE held me until GOES LAST Popped.


AnonymousPVX said...

I just looked up the Post Office in the town where I grew up, East Haven, CT. NADA.

I also just took the personality test. Tried to answer truthfully...the results include recommended careers....the top one suggested was Computer Engineering and similar.....which is what I did for 36 odd years. Not bad.

Jinx in Norfolk said...

FIW, missing my WAG bOLa x bALI x BaNES. Don't normally attempt Saturday puzzles, but yesterday's grid left such a bad taste that I decided to give it a try. I'm glad I did, and even though I got beat I had a swell time.

Adam Ruins Everything skewered the Myers Briggs test. The two ladies are great marketeers, but the product is rubbish. Aside to Abejo - When my DW and her gal pals used to give this test to everyone who would sit for it, I told them I already knew what I was - a TJSF! My No. 2 EAX buddies got a kick out of that, but uninitiated folks just gave me a blank stare.

I wonder if DEALER plates signify something something different in Colorado.

Thanks to Evan for the fun and easy-ish Saturday challenge. Had I not been the only person who hasn't watched Seinfeld I think I would have gotten the whole shebang. And thanks to HG for yet another fine review.

Jinx in Norfolk said...

PP, it doesn't measure anything. It is a parlor game, nothing more.

Ol' Man Keith said...

A worthy Saturday Jawbreaker.

As a solver, I rate myself as pretty good. But then along comes a pzl like this from Mr. Kalish and --Boom!--I am blown out of the water. This is the type of challenge that tells me I'll be spending way too much time doing Xwds if I can ever beat it (thank you very much).

All respect to those who can finish a tough Saturday job; they're just beyond me.

Jinx in Norfolk (once more FLN) ~
From Tom Joad (movie 1943, book 1939): “Good, rich land layin’ fallow… One guy with a million acres, and 100,000 farmers starvin’…”
Sound familiar?
One diagonal on each side.
On the near end, the diagonal's anagram would seem to be an updating of Tom Joad's opinion of the million-acre one-percenters. They're just...

Jayce said...

I enjoyed yesterday's and today's puzzles. No opportunity to comment yesterday but I read all of your comments.

Based on my very recent personal experience I am going to harangue all of you Windows 10 users to make regular backups! I thank my lucky stars I did, otherwise years of my work would be lost forever. Also, please regularly make what are called a "recovery drive" and a "rescue disc." You'll need an external USB hard drive for the former and writeable DVD discs for the latter. I was darn sorry I hadn't kept mine up to date, so they were almost worthless when good ole Windows got irrecoverable dementia several days ago. The upside is that I now have a lovely Solid State Drive and a completely "clean" new installation of Windows that I bought and for which I was very willing to shell out less than $140. Another upside is that I am slowly realizing I can, and will, do without a lot of the junk apps that I had before. It's like throwing away a lot of junk when you move.

Also, keep a list of your passwords somewhere, and keep it up to date. My lucky stars saved me again because I had a list stashed in my sock drawer. I was surprised how many passwords there were. Again, though, I will probably never again need most of them, but man oh man what a pain it would have been not to have a list of those I frequently use. For example, the one needed to sign in here.

See y'all tomorrow. Good wishes to you.

PK said...

Hi Y'all! Great puzzle, Evan. Great expo, Gary.

WEES. I filled it, but needed more than usual red-letter runs to get some toe-hold on vague clues.

USPS isn't very popular with me these days. I paid my bills this past week and put the letters out for the postal carrier to take. Three days junk mail appeared in my box but the 6 envelopes clipped to the front remained. I saw the back of a very large uniformed person down the block climb into the mail truck. Not my usual tiny female carrier who is super. Not wanting to incur late fees on my utility bills, I finally unhooked my car from the battery charger and drove to a mailbox and the bank. (First time I have driven since early March.) The next day I happened to see my substitute mail carrier: female, very tall, very obese, staggering down the street in the heat with a very red face. I was alarmed that she was going to keel over, so watched until she was safely back in her truck. While I applaud her effort, she was not doing the needed job and endangered her health. The next day, my tiny mail lady was back. She looks too small to carry the big bag, but is very efficient and congenial. Don't men apply for this job anymore?

Jinx in Norfolk said...

Jayce, it is also good to keep a drive image made with disk cloning software. With the cloned image you don't have to reinstall application software (or for that matter, Windows). Just load up your new drive (hopefully an SSD) and swap out the drives. Won't work to upgrade to a new PC, just to recover from a bad drive on your existing machine.

oc4beach said...

WC: I find that using the GASBUDDY app on my IPhone gives me the current gas prices at all of the local gas stations before I head out to get gas. Another good one is GAS GURU. They both work on Android phones also. I think there are others that work just as well. Saves me an unfruitful trip.

Wilbur Charles said...

Oc4, fortunately I was heading that way to try the new Culver's for which my friend raved about the BURGER. I'd rate the cod sandwich a B or on the Owen scale a C+.

Ironically, the famous icecream barely got a C-

Sam's actually broke the mythical $2.20 barrier. Diesel and regular only have a rough correlation; the former not getting any respect but plenty of excuses.

I would compare gas pricing with a basketball game where two of the refs and several players on both sides are shaving points. The delivery price to the station is immaterial; whatever the "Master Cylinder"* says , that's the price


*Old enemy of Rocky and Bullwinkle or similar Saturday character.

Just LIU, it was Poindexter (and Felix the Cat)

Anonymous said...

Well, I'm now only a week behind, I thought it might be OK to post, but still doubt if anyone will read it.
This was a tough puzzle for me because of so many LUs. WEES about TALKED TRASH instead of ...what was it again? Also, the middle took longer not only because of TRASH/SMACK but also because it took me so long to break down and put in NUCLEAR WINTER because the clue was wrong. Nuclear winters would be apocalyptic, all right, but have nothing to do with global climate change (also apocalyptic, of course).
Whoever commented about the lateness of the first post reminded me that I haven't seen usually-first Fermat Prime for ages. I hope she's OK, and that her absence is due to my inability to keep up with reading the blogs.
Many thanks to Evan for a fine, mostly tough (for me, anyway) and to HG for his usual plethora of illustrations.
Couldn't find Woodland Hills in the PO list for CA. It's a large suburb of LA, and in fact is part of the city of LA, like many other LA "suburbs."

RetFizz said...

My post above was made w/o a full understanding of your new policy. My name is RetFizz and my email is Please don't make me an Anonymous! Please!

Have mercy. After filling out the data below for my Google account, I couldn't click in the I'm not a robot box, and when I tried again I was asked to pick all the images with CARS. My eyesight isn't so great at my age, so maybe I missed one. My email for comments is Mercy! Mercy!

TTP said...


Comments on blog posts over two days old get sent to moderation. We had too many spam comments getting posted to older blog posts. They will be reviewed when C.C. or I see them in the moderation folder. If not spam, we usually post them.