Sep 7, 2019

Saturday, September 7, 2019, Erik Agard

Themeless Saturday by Erik Agard

Perhaps you remember constructor Evan Kalish and his Postlandia web site from August 9. Evan's hobby of collecting pictures of post office from all over this country has amassed him over 30,000 pix.

Today we honor the men and women who staff those facilities and deliver our mail faithfully despite any and all weather conditions. Our carrier is a hard working woman whose muffler announces her arrival two blocks away. She even gets out of her truck and puts the mail in our box when it is blocked by vehicles who should not be there.

Today's constructor is Erik Agard. I have wrestled with Erik's incredibly tough puzzles at his website - Glutton For Pun and thought today's offering would equally tough but I did manage a fairly fast (22 min) journey and had a good time in the process. I also had some electronic exchanges with Erik about the contents of this puzzle and delighted in his mostly terse but pithy replies to me.

Enjoy this fun exchange between Erik as a Jeopardy champion and Alex Trebek.

There's no jeopardy involved if you tried Erik's clever puzzle:


1. Peak of early 2000s cinema: BROKEBACK - The "Peak" Erik was referencing was the Mountain in the title of what some called a groundbreaking movie 

10. Martin Sheen's first name at birth: RAMON.

15. Doesn't honor: RENEGES ON - Native Americans were familiar with this idea

16. Blow away: AMAZE.

17. "Let's rock and roll!": IT'S GO TIME - When Jerry Seinfeld upset Lloyd Bridges as Izzy Mandlebaum, this was Lloyd's response:

18. Actor Max von __: SYDOW His IMDB

19. Verb that sounds like a letter: ARE.

20. Holders of leaves: TEABAGS which might hold 29. Contents of some 20-Across: CHAI tea

22. Rank aboard the Enterprise: Abbr.: ENS - ENSign Pavel Chekov was a navigator on Captain Kirk's Enterprise

23. Turbine blade: ROTOR - Wind turbine ROTORS being transported are a common sight on our highways

25. Moved, as a movie camera: DOLLIED 

27. "Claws" star __ Nash: NIECY - Yikes!

31. Get choppers: TEETHE - This time of an infant's life can make a parent a 32. One up, barely: SLEEPY HEAD.

36. Oozy substances: GOOS.

37. Prefix for "six": HEXA - These HEXAgon tiles can make for a lovely 2. Nostalgi-cool?: RETRO look
38. Class with no struggles: EASY A - Football players populated these classes when I was in college

39. Unwieldy thing: HULK 

40. British boxer Khan: AMIR Here 'ya go

41. Album info: LINER NOTES - The LINER NOTES on this album by these four lads has a price tag well into five figures

43. Talking points?: ROSTRA - The point at which FDR delivered his "Day Of Infamy" speech was from behind one of the more famous ROSTRA in history

45. Role for which Liam got an Oscar nod: OSKAR 

46. Show ardor: ENTHUSE.

48. Occupied: IN USE - When in Rome...

52. IPA, say: ALE.

53. About 5, for coffee: PH LEVEL.

57. Humanities degs.: BA'S.

58. Enjoy a season in a day, perhaps?: BINGE - Can you watch an entire season of The Sopranos in a day?

60. Therapy subjects: AVERSIONS - No therapy will cure my lovely bride of her AVERSION to her 6. __ noire: BETE  (a thing thoroughly detested) - roller coasters

62. Run onstage?: EMCEE - I have run many a program as an EMCEE

63. Wrap up: TERMINATE.

64. Judges: DEEMS.

65. Duty for the bereaved: ESTATE TAX


1. Patch plant: BRIAR - Please don't throw me in!

3. Beginning: ONSET.

4. Pabst dispenser: KEG - My TAP proved to be dry

5. Journey with strokes?: EGO TRIP - Everyone who provided Johnny Manziel with strokes for his EGO TRIP as a college quarterback quickly abandoned him when he was an NFL flop

7. Gobi locale: ASIA - In China and Mongolia

8. Search high and low: COMB 

9. Apt eye rhyme for "bread": KNEAD - An "eye rhyme" is two words that are spelled similarly but pronounced differently. Bread and KNEAD meet that criteria and since you obviously must KNEAD bread dough the "eye rhyme" is apt. When I asked Erik if that was his clue or Rich's, he responded ‾\_(ツ)_/‾

10. Fight in the sticks: RASSLE

11. 2019 Emmy nominee Adams: AMY.

12. Escaped: MADE IT OUT - Many athletes have MADE IT OUT of horrible home lives via sports

13. Polar environmental concern: OZONE HOLE Is it healing?

14. Paper departments: NEWS DESKS.

21. Approached nightfall: GOT DARK.

24. In the world: ON EARTH

26. Looney Tunes surname: LEGHORN - Foghorn was modeled after this fictional Southern politician from the Fred Allen Show. This pretend Senator refused to ever wear a "Union suit" or drive through the Lincoln Tunnel when he visited New York City and he claimed to drink only out of Dixie cups.

28. Metaphorical margin of victory: EYELASH.

30. Having only two answers: YES NO - Many a fragile adolescent psyche hung in the balance with this YES/NO questionnaire 

32. Fight over covers, perhaps?: SHARE A BED - I've done this for over 52 years with equitable cover sharing

33. Citrusy flavor: LEMON LIME 

34. "The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very __ is an act of rebellion": Camus (attributed): EXISTENCE - A credo for many a revolutionary

35. Votes for: AYES.

42. Succeeds to the max: NAILS IT.

44. Sri Lankan currency: RUPEES - This house in Sri Lanka can be yours for Rs. 37,000,000 (Rupees) or $206,000

47. Send to cloud nine: ELATE.

49. WWII sub: U-BOAT - Pole Marian Rejewski, Brit Alan Turing, and others at Bletchley Park, broke the Nazi Enigma code to help shut down the horrible U-BOAT damage 

50. Gift list addressee: SANTA.

51. Cape Ann's county: ESSEX - Cape Ann is a rocky cape with towns Rockport and Gloucester about 40 miles NE of Boston 

54. Nights before: EVES.

55. Rapper Lil Uzi __: VERT - If you feel your life is bereft of vulgarity, violence and misogyny, google his lyrics

56. Singer Franklin, Aretha's elder sister: ERMA - The Franklin girls and their Dad

    ERMA                       C.L.                        ARETHA 

59. Opal, for one: GEM.

61. Suffix with salt: INE.

Try to remember to say something nice to your postal carrier today or this week.


Ensign George Gay said...

Fabulous write up Husker and thanks go to Erik Agard for his creation. Love the comment from Erik with the shrug created with symbols that I do not know how to type. I have enough trouble providing a working link, but here goes it...

Lo siento but I am not a trekkie, or even close. So when I see "the Enterprise" in a clue, I think of the USS Enterprise CV-6. Especially when Gary mentions FDR and Enigma and then puzzle also reflects on WWII with the U-Boat. I first became fascinated with the Enterprise and all things WWII after viewing the movie "Midway" as a teenager. I guess I was more enamored with Henry Fonda, Robert Mitchum, Charleton Heston and Hal Holbrook, than I was with William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy.

Here is some incredible history regarding my admiration of...

my hero, The USS Enterprise CV-6

OwenKL said...

FIWrong. SHe/hE ABED instead of SHARE A BED and eMIR instead of AMIR. hOSTRA I figured was wrong, but a Latin plural? I never would have guessed in fewer than Ζ’(26) tries.

E-tail is the way of the future, it's fact.
The mall is fading, Amazon BROKE its BACK.
Is this a HEX* hex?
Will nations go next?
Depend, if they did, you'd still owe E-STATE TAX!

*HEXAdecimal, i.e. CyberSociety.

How ON EARTH have we come to this state?
Culture in schools may no more have a place?
Music, thou art lost,
Drama, thou art tossed,
Will all that's left be ONE ART: Hate?

An EYE RHYME, you language SLEEPY HEAD
(Hung over, I DEEM, from too much mead,
Which made you terry too long TIME ABED)
Is to KNEAD English for the rhyme you need!

AAB... no, ABAC... no, ABAB!

{B+, B-, B.}

D4E4H said...

FIR in 86:24 min.

Good morning Cornerites.

Thank you Erik Agard for this impossible Saturday CW.

Thank you Husker Gary for your excellent review.


Lemonade714 said...

It is always a bit discouraging when I have no idea what 1-across is, especially solving one of Erik's puzzles which are often beyond my skills. But as HG said the perps all worked and then it was off to the races. There were many unknowns such as 27. "Claws" star __ Nash: NIECY and Rapper Lil Uzi __: VERT. I also have a nit with Duty for the bereaved: ESTATE TAX because it is not bereaved who pay an estate tax, only inheritance tax if you live in one of the few remaining states that have such a tax. The other is paid by the estate as the name suggests.

I had wondered about the history of ROSTRA especially as it related to ROSTRUM but now I understand how both can be singular.

I also have missed the singing of ERMA FRANKLIN.

Who doesn't love a good LEMON LIME fill? Thank you, Erik and Gary

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Ufda! That California coast took some heavy lifting!. Didn't know the boxer, but with _M_R in place I "knew" it had to be OMAR, right? Wrong! Once I made a judicious application of Wite-Out, I was able to see SHARE and EXISTENCE, et voila c'est fini. Phew. Thanx, Erik and Husker.

SYDOW: I remember Max Von Sydow best as Father Merren (The Exorcist) and Joubert (the assassin in Three Days of the Condor).

U-BOAT: If you've ever seen Das Boot, you know that the life of a U-boat sailor wasn't an easy one.

IN USE: Our bathroom wall is adorned with a framed toilet ticket from the Palace of Versailles -- "2.50 F pour 1 utilisation, pour 1 personne." I don't know what they'd do if you were strapped for cash.

desper-otto said...

Here's what that ticket looks like.

Anonymous said...

Very nice Saturday puzzle. Does a "keg" actually dispense beer or is this the function of the TAP? Convinced myself it had to be TAP which put my solve into OT. Haven't heard the phrase "by an eyelash" in quite some time.

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

Once I filled in a few of the long fill, I was on my merry way to the Tada. HG, you and I were on the same track as I finished in 21:47, rather speedy for a Saturday. My unknowns were Vert, Erma, and Amir. (I'll forego Mr. Vert's misogyny, along with every other "musician" who is revered and rewarded for filth and, from my limited knowledge, that includes females as well as males.) Clever cluing and misdirection were plentiful and, to me, pleasing; Brokeback is the perfect example. I knew Niecy from talk shows, not "Claws", which I've never seen. Seeing Santa is always a poignant reminder of our dear Argyle.

Thanks, Erik, for a satisfying solve and thanks, HG, for your usual award-winning write-up. I share Joann's aversion to roller coasters and anything else more than five feet above the ground.


Bill G, please extend a belated Happy Birthday wish to Barbara. πŸŽ‚πŸŽπŸŽˆπŸΎπŸŽ‰

Does anyone who has Netflix streaming have any suggestions for any worthwhile series to watch? Some that I'm familiar with, such as "Homeland", are rather daunting because of the sheer number of episodes, and some are not appealing due to the story line, e.g., "Dexter" and "Breaking Bad." SciFi is of no interest, at all.

Have a great day.

desper-otto said...

IM, you might like Diagnosis. It's a documentary series about crowd-sourcing medical diagnoses for people with enigmatic conditions. No great acting. No edge-of-your-seat drama. But it is interesting.

inanehiker said...

Well this lived up to the expectations of a Saturday/ Erick Agard puzzle! Aha moments came in fits and starts. Hardest was the NW for me as I put in TAP before KEG and FILM noire before BETE noire! Learning moment was an "eye rhyme" which I thought might be something related to the eye that rhymed with "bread" Bzzzt - wrong! I was confused like YR about whether peak was an actual mountain peak or the best movie in that era!
I thought having the rapper next to Aretha Franklin's sister was going to hang me up- but perps came nicely to the rescue!

Thanks HG for another fun blog and Erik for the challenging puzzle.

IM/Agnes : on Netflix - I like The Crown, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,Ozark. If you haven't caught "The Great British Baking Show" on PBS they have old seasons on Netflix.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Got most of it but I needed a little aid in the SE with ROSTRA and LINER………. On the plus side I was happy with the many tough ones I did get. Excellent cluing. Guess my favorite was sussing LEVEL 5 PH for coffee. Agree with "Yikes" about NIECY.
TEETHE - The 'th' sound is very difficult for a German speaker to master. My parents never did. My dad would regularly remove his false 'tease' to clean and brush them. Getting choppers would be 'teasing'.

Yellowrocks said...

TA DA! I have gotten my groove back, I hope for longer than one day. I found the eastern half fairly easy. I eked out the SW and finally got the NW. The key there was teabags, gotten from the cross reference to CHAI. VERT, AMIR and NIECY were new to me.
PATCH PLANT was devilish. I got BROKE BACK and wondered where the Mountain was. Oh, PEAK! Not the peak of early 2000's movies, but the mountain in the movie. Please pass the V-8 can.
TALKING POINTS was cute. A BETE NOIR for me is talking to people who ignore proposed ideas and questions that don't fit their agenda and resort to non sequitur talking points.
I see Ensign Chekov has gotten much younger looking than he was in the original Star Trek LOL.
Thanks Gary and Erik, for a fine Saturday diversion.
Anonymous @7:14, good point technically, but I didn't overthink it. I had one of the letters so it had to be KEG. Does a milk bottle dispense milk?
Owen, I am wishing you a quick recovery. I would like to send you a card, but I have no address.
Glad you US east coasters survived the storm. How are MA and Nova Scotia doing?

Misty said...

So, let's see how I got started on this puzzle--my first entries were SYDOW, BETE, ARE, and TAP, but that turned out to be KEG later on. I eventually needed help with the long entries, but still enjoyed this Erik Agard puzzle. Then was delighted to see Husker Gary's picture of "Jeopardy"--hey, I remember you on that program, Erik--you were terrific! And I love your funny face response to Gary's question. So, this turned out to be a fun puzzle for me after all. My one bit of important learning was the explanation for "Eye rhyme." I got the KNEAD but it just looked wrong to me. Now I get it, thanks, Gary.

Have a great Saturday, everybody.

Ray - O - Sunshine said...

The coffee 5 thing and some surrounding mistakes ended a DNF Saturday puzzle. Wrong perps didn't help. Fun while it lasted. Cold weekend in the Mohawk Valley. Had to "not nish" the puzzle inside...

Jinx in Norfolk said...

FIR, with a lot of P&P. As hard as this one was for me, I only had to erase enter for EMCEE and a step ahead for SLEEPY HEAD. Had to WAG ON EARTH / Of EARTH x NIECY, and it fell butter-side up.

I say, I say, I say I enjoyed seeing Foghorn Leghorn appear, son.

Softheads know YES/NO as a flag, akin to 0/1, red/green, on/off, true/false, pass/fail, etc.

Thanks to Erik and Gary for all the fun.

AnonymousPVX said...

Well....I thought I finished it.

But....thanks to Natick Central, a bad cell....and it could have been two.

But NIECY? Really? With O_EARTH and _HAI crossing? The first can be an F or an N, and the second can be a C or a T. And they all could be correct.


I had the F and the C, both guesses. I actually felt better about the F.

So a DOUBLE Natick.....congrats. Hard to appreciate the rest of it when you have zero way of knowing if it’s correct.


Enjoy the weekend, see you Monday.

Oh yeah...Thursday Night of the worst games ever. Both teams are terrible, and so is their division.

Lucina said...


Thank you, Erik, for a real challenge today. Unlike others I spent a little over an hour on this puzzle.

My first fill was OSKAR and the eastern strand flowed from there quite easily. VERT too all four perps and lately I've seen Aretha's sister, ERMA, in several other grids. I also wince at seeing SANTA with a remembrance of our dear departed one.

In the NW I held on to TAP for way too long, but finally relinquished it and RENEGESON emerged then thought long and hard of "patch plant" and BRIAR came to mind. I also thought peak might refer to a popular level but had enough letters to fill in BROKE BACK. Aha! That movie.

KNEAD gave me a long pause but had to be correct. Thank you, Gary, for the clear and precise explanation of that!

Next came the SW where SEXA refused to budge but SLEEPYHEAD forced it to HEXA. I knew EXISTENCE and LEMONLIME had to be right. CSO to Lemonade!

NIECY? That one was LIU because I'm completely unfamiliar with the name. AMIR Khan seems vaguely familiar so I must have heard of him.

Thank you again, Gary, you supplement this fine puzzle extraordinarily well.

I hope everyone is enjoying a beautiful day! Is Dorian finished yet?

Lemonade714 said...

I never thought to save a receipt, but some public "toilets" do cost 5 baht. I also saw my parent put money into the door at bathrooms when I was very young.

SwampCat said...

Lemony , I also remember putting coins in a slot in the door to bathrooms. I also remember Bella Abzug putting a toilet on the steps of the Capitol with a HUGE sign that read “No one should have to pay!”

Not sure of the effectiveness, but shortly after that I noticed the potties were free.

Spitzboov said...


An emoticon representing a smirking face and a pair of arms raised in a shrug; a shruggie.

Mark S said...

Great puzzle. One Look up Niecy. Does anyone know where to find and print out daily jumble?

Mark S

Jayce said...

I liked this puzzle. It was, of course, quite a challenge and for a while I despaired of being able to finish it without resorting to looking stuff up. But Finish It Right I did, and enjoyed every minute of it. Hand up for entering TAP and then having to change it. I also put in SEEK and had to change it to COMB. (COMB is way cooler.) I loved the cluing.

Gary, your write-up is excellent. Thank you for doing it, and thank you for explaining what eye rhyme is.

LW and I have a lot of respect for our letter carrier. Sometimes not so much for the substitutes, though.

I love that Foghorn Leghorn character. Well said, Jinx.

As for 5G wireless, I still can't decide if its downsides outweigh its purported upsides. Still a YES-NO question in my mind.

Good wishes to you all.

desper-otto said...

Lucina, the all-clear has sounded for Dorian in all states...with the exception of Alabama.

Jinx in Norfolk said...

IIRC, $0.10 toilets were the norm in hotel lobbies, bus and train stations, department stores and the like. Seems like all but one or two required a coin, and the others were free. Difference was they apparently cleaned the pay toilets occasionally.

I was about 9 years old when this rhyme was popular: "Here I sit all broken hearted, paid a dime to shit but only farted." Not quite OKL quality, but to snot-nosed nine year olds it was hilarious.

Anonymous said...

d-o. Its sad how much real estate he owns in your head.

Anonymous T said...

Hi All!

So Peak wasn't an actor/actress who's career fizzled out in the early-aughts?

Erik Agard's puzzles are always fun because of his playfulness with the language. SLEEPY HEAD, GOT DARK, Foghorn LEGHORN, -- just a sample of fun fill.

All the names, however, made this an impossible endeavor for me. TAP didn't help either. Thanks HG for the grid-peeks and extra-play. Thanks Erik for the puzzle.

WOs: TLA (three letter acronym) instead of ALE [would have help if I could spell EXISTaNCE - which I knew sans perpage!], wraSLE, IdE b/f INE, and, hand-up, for film not BETE (hi Inanehiker!)

Fav: LINER NOTES - I just miss the days of physically packaged music with all the care put into the artwork and backstory that's put into the music. Eldest loves it too and visits the RETRO stores for vinyl.

{A (that's a solid 10 (DEC*)), B, B+}

FLN: OKL - 42 :-)

D-O: Oy! 1/3 € to go to the can? I wonder now how many Euros (cash) I must take to Italy.
LOL Alabama!

Spitz - you beat me to the "shruggie."

Jinx - I'm 49 and my 9yro self is giggling. The only time I recall seeing pay-toilets was on WKRP's Fish Story

Cheers, -T
*It's not weird to base-switch in your head, right?

CanadianEh! said...

She the North!
Wow! Bianca did it. US Open champion over Serena

Sandyanon said...

Canadian Eh, I'm happy for Bianca Andreescu, but you must be ecstatic.
6-2, 7-5, New U.S. Open champion.

Jinx in Norfolk said...

Congratulations to Bianca Andreescu for her fine victory in the US Open. CSO to C-Eh!

Ol' Man Keith said...

Well, this has been an easy week, so it was bound to change sooner or (in this case) later. Clever stuff today, but impossible to get 100%...

Thanks for setting the ol' walnut a-buzz, Mr. Agard! Please, sir, may I have another?

Wilbur Charles said...

The pay toilets were cleaner. Generally a quarter.

I started fast then struggled. Went to do other things. Kept at it and SLEEPYHEAD perped giving SHAREABED. I had ENTHUSE and RUPEES but they were shaky. I had no hope on VERT and ERMA without PHLEVEL.

Satisfying FIR. ONESRTH was earlyweek type of clue which invariably throws me off on a Saturday.


Canada wins while Nebraska loses

Bill G said...

I remember seeing pay toilets as a kid. I didn't like the idea then and I would like it even less now. I seem to remember an outdoor pay toilet in France. After you finished and left, the door locked for a couple of minutes and the inside was totally pressure-washed and sanitized.

Heh heh, I remember that WKRP episode too.

Jinx in Norfolk said...

WC, my experience with the pay... er, WC was in Eastern Kentucky. You may have had to pay a quarter, but ours was only a dime. I guess it was whatever the market would "bare". Patrons in your neck of the woods must have been flush by comparison to my folks back home.

Anonymous T said...

Jinx - Flush... TEHEED meself, I did. -T

Husker Gary said...

-We paid for WC’s all across Italy and in Venice the only free toilet was at the McDonalds and so there was a line there and they had to close it down hourly to keep it from backing up.
-At the Leaning Tower my wife’s twin didn’t see the attendant and she got an earful from the woman who was sitting by the bowl, uh, the tip bowl not the porcelain device.
-Huskers got off to a big lead but in the second half Nebraska and Colorado both did the same thing: They stopped the Husker offense. Nebraska’s defense got tired in the heat and mile high air. Life goes on!

Ol' Man Keith said...

Paying for public toilets is like our our wacky health care system, but worse--without even the insurers. Essential physiological functions need to be serviced by general taxation, else what's a government for?
If this is too political, my friends, kick me now.

T. Crapper said...

Haha OMK.

Or at least I hope you are joking. Government should supply us with a place to shit? Really?

Lucina said...

Paying, er, tipping the toilet cleaners was the biggest surprise of all when I first traveled to Europe. One always had to insure having small bills or coins for that. Here in the U.S. the toilets once, many years ago, had coin slots at the airport. It's the only place I've seen them here.

PK said...

Wasn't Niecy Nash briefly on Dancing With the Stars or did I hallucinate that?

Pay toilets are cruel and unusual punishment. Hard to find a coin if your knees are crossed and clamped shut.

Thanks for a great expo, Gary. As for the puzzle, I spent more time checking all my wrong answers than I did filling the squares.

TX Ms said...

Thanks, Gary, for the s'plainin'. Never heard of "Claws" and was sure Ogden Nash didn't star in it so I had to LIU. Never heard of "liner notes". Gary, though you posted the Beatles' album cover, I still don't see the connection - no matter. Never heard of winning by an "eyelash" - whatever happened to "by a nose?" All in all, I enjoyed the Saturday brain-stretch (for me at least).

D-O @ 3:10p [snicker!]

Anonymous T said...

@9:50p - Don't look through our privileged lens - women of the world need it. //see: 9th paragraph.

TxMs - LOL Ogden. I thought (and erased it from my brain) too.
Re: Liner Notes - HG's image was not the album cover, which are cardboard-y, but the thin paper sleeve that actually holds the 33 1/3 RPM and keeps it scratch-free. At some point in history, artists would put notes/lyrics on the sleeve, er liner, and well, there you are.

D-O, having been a DJ, could probably explain it better.

Cheers, -T

Lemonade714 said...

PK you have an amazing memory as NIECY NASH SEASON 10 was indeed a DWTS participant.The name is just a nickname for her birth name DENISE.

Husker Gary said...

-Here’s my defense for Beatles liner notes. I too think of the actual record sleeve but I'm flexible