Feb 29, 2020

Saturday, February, 29, Michael Wiesenberg

Saturday Themeless Puzzle by Michael Wiesenberg

Our professional poker player/author and crossword constructor from Calgary gives us a very doable Saturday themeless puzzle.

Advice on gaming can be found in his book Ready, Bet, Go 

Odds are always good that Michael will deal us a fun puzzle and he has done so on this Leap Day:


1. Baseball warm-up word: SHAG - In 2012, Mariano Rivera tore his ACL while SHAGGING fly balls before a game in Kansas City. What's SHAGGING in baseball, Gary?

5. Brazilian music genre word meaning "trend": BOSSA - In 1963 Eydie Gorme sang Blame It On The Bossa Nova (New Trend) or in Spanish:

10. Secured: ICED and 15. Nailing, in a way: ACING - Steph Curry NAILED this three-point shot to ICE the game

14. Ebb: WANE.

16. Weather __: VANE.

17. Kitchen fixture: OVEN.

18. Mountain slope debris: SCREE - SCREE skiing in Austria - Yikes!

19. Welder's output: ARCS - Not quite the same 

20. Home improvement team: REMODELERS.

22. One of two sts. admitted to the Union 11/2/1889: N DAK - The map the year before:

23. Elder of an '80s-'90s country duo: NAOMI JUDD (corrected picture)

24. Metaphorical casino loss: SHIRT - A prescient clue that hints that if I study Daniel's book maybe I won't lose my SHIRT

25. Formed by solidified magma: IGNEOUS - Uh, I'd try to keep my car out of the path of magma before it solidifies into that IGNEOUS rock

26. Is __: imminently will: SOON TO.

27. Turndowns: NOES.

28. Perceived Cold War weapons disparity: MISSILE GAP.

31. Propelled, as a raft: POLED - In Sweden you can sign up for a five-day "Huckleberry Finn" adventure to POLE down the Klarälven River 

32. Words preceding an important reminder: PLEASE NOTE - PLEASE NOTE: today would be Leap-Day-Baby Dinah Shore's 26th birthday as she was born on this day in 1916.

37. Power eponym: WATT - James

41. Antagonism: RANCOR.

42. Amazon, notably: E-TAILER - I tried to shop local but getting a taillight on Amazon saved me $500 

44. Singer for whom Bernie wrote lyrics: ELTON - This movie told the story of ELTON John and his longtime lyricist Bernie Taupin 

45. Remit, nowadays: PAY ON LINE - My wife/bookkeeper of 53 years insists on checks, stamps and envelopes 

47. "Contact" author Sagan: CARL - I loved the first half of this movie and then it fell apart. 

48. Comes to terms: MAKES A DEAL - this 1963 pilot is like a time capsule with pre-costume contestants, very small prizes and modestly dressed models

49. "I'll do it": OKAY - The last line in this hilarious Seinfeld scene is spoken by Marlee Matlin

50. Formal "Who's there?" response: IT IS I - A grammatically correct but perhaps slightly pretentious reply

51. Letter-bottom abbr.: ENCLosure

52. Bit of progress: DENT - Beetle Bailey is often shown trying make a DENT in the pile of potatoes 

53. Atlantic food fish: SCROD - On a Boston picnic, one might eat SCROD in someone's yahd after pahking the cah 

54. Pak of the LPGA: SE RI - One of many fabulous Asian players on the tour

55. Artist's pseudonym formed from the French pronunciation of his initials: ERTE Romain de Tirtoff Russian-born French artist and designer known by the pseudonym Erté, from the French pronunciation of his initials (pronounced [ɛʁ.te]AIR TAY)

56. 1953 Ladd classic: SHANE.

57. Casual wear: TEES.


1. Like court witnesses: SWORN IN - Putting your hand on a Bible is not required these days and the witness can AFFIRM and not SWEAR to tell the truth

2. Try it: HAVE A GO.

3. Buttercup family member: ANEMONE - Buttercup seems like a apt name to me

4. Biological mapping subjects: GENOMES Here ya go!

5. Parachutist using low-altitude starting points: BASE JUMPER - BASE stands for jumping from Building, Antenna, Span, or Earth (cliff). Here's an Earth  jumper shown in stop motion photography

6. Blockage: OCCLUSION - The repair of two coronary OCCLUSIONS

7. Brought into being: SIRED.

8. Dummy Mortimer: SNERD - I never thought Bergen was a very good ventriloquist and perhaps Mortimer would not be accepted today

9. Quite a while: AGES.

10. Rowena's lover: IVANHOE All you wanna know

11. Bouncer's job: CARDING - Hand up if you had a fake ID!

12. Early Wikipedia competitor: ENCARTA - 1993 - 2009

13. Icon locale: DESKTOP - The one on my MacBook Pro is very cluttered

21. Giovanni's god: DIO  - The Italian song DIO, come ti amo  means "God How I Love You"

24. Roman sun god: SOL - One of many in the deity array

26. Like a pendulum's movement: SIDE TO SIDE - Galileo used his pulse to time how long it took for the side-to-side swings of a pendulum (chandelier) in a Pisa Cathedral

29. __-mo: SLO.

30. Saw: SET EYES ON - Doing this with Lady Liberty is a highlight for many entering N.Y. Harbor

32. Like Hollywood films before censorship guidelines were introduced: PRE-CODE Ten PRE-CODE movies that pushed the envelope

33. LeBron, since Jul. 2018: LA LAKER - Cavalier, Heat, Cavalier, Laker

34. One in a 1K, say: ENTRANT - That 1-Kilometer ENTRANT would have to run/walk about  .62 miles

35. Follower: ACOLYTE - Usually young people who help in religious services 

36. Certain youngster's nickname: SON - Something I can't call anyone

37. Least civilized: WILDEST.

38. Property recipient, in law: ALIENEE Here ya go

39. Like a good-sized farm: TEN ACRE - C'mon, TEN ACRES? Around here that's barely a good-sized sweet corn patch

40. Plant support: TRELLIS - In the background you can see my wife's Clematis starting to bloom on its TRELLIS

43. Santa follower: ANA.

45. Cabbage site: PATCH.

46. "Ran" director Kurosawa: AKIRA His IMDB

48. Wish were here: MISS - My wife would write that to our kitty 

Feel free to ante up an opinion. 


Lemonade714 said...

Good morning. I did not know the legendary DINAH SHORE was a leap baby, but I did know that SHAKER LEADER ANN LEE was. I lived in a home she built - ANN LEE COTTAGE - for two years in high school.

PAK SE RI is not only a HOF but inspired the Asian rise to prominence on the LPGA.

I did not the makeup of the BASE in Base Jumping. I also had only the vaguest memory of ENCARTA and the hard to say ANENOME

HG, I really appreciated the trip back to my childhood with the LET'S MAKE A DEAL pilot. We were so proper before the '60s flipped the script.

Thank you both for the fun.

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Is it possible to through one's back out while asleep? I think I did that last night. Walking gingerly this morning.

This one looked tough, but came together very quickly. Thought the baseball warmup word would be BULL. Nope. Wondered what a LALA KER could be. ALIENEE came back for an encore -- got it quickly this time. Thanx for the outing Daniel and for the expo, Husker. (That's actually Wynonna and her sister Ashley.)

SHANE: You could really tell in that movie that Alan Ladd was short -- actually 5'6" tall.

SNERD: Edgar Bergen always moved his lips. I guess that didn't matter on radio.

desper-otto said...

Throw -- not through.

Anonymous said...

Actually the other half of the country duo would be Wynonna Judd, Ashley’s older sister

Jinx in Norfolk said...

FIR, but erased tied for ICED, id check for CARDING, claimee for ALIENEE, and tresles (UNTIE!) for TRELLIS. DNK ALIENEE or AKIRA.

Other than the NBA stars, Ashley JUDD is probably the most famous University of Kentucky grad. She goes to a lot of Wildcats basketball games, and the TV cameras MUST cut away from the action to show her.

I agree with Gary that 10 acres is a small, not a good-sized, farm. Would be a nice sized garden, though.

Thanks to Michael for the fun, easy-for-Saturday puzzle. And thanks to Gary for the expo. I especially liked reading about the PRECODE movies. Who knew? I remember dating the only Catholic girl in town before the MPAA ratings. Her parents insisted on knowing what movie we planned to see, and her mom looked it up the Church's rating in some magazine. The ones I really wanted to see were rated C - Condemned - so we couldn't go to those.

Big Easy said...

Two days in a row from Constructors from W. Canada. The NW & SE were indeed 'very doable' but the NE gave me fits until I realized the clue for 22A had 'sts.' and I stuck with UTAH. V8 moment- either N or S DAK. I didn't know Rowena's lover but after ICED, VANE, & ARCS were filled IVANHOE was a good guess and my only unknown today. Never heard the term PRECODE but it was filled with solid perps.

Okay men, go SHAG those fly balls. I wonder how they comprehend that saying in Britain.
BASE JUMPER- like Steve Irwin; not a question of if they will get killed, just a question of 'when'.
TEN ACRE farm- tough to make a living from something that small.
ENCARTA (along with Microsoft MAPS) came on CD with the first PC I bought.

Jinx- remember GEORGE BLANDA? UK grad.

Yellowrocks said...

Fastest Saturday ever but, unfortunately, I knew BISE JUMPER was wrong and didn't change it, even though I have heard of BASE JUMPER. Needlessly, one bad cell. "Pride goeth before a fall."
I loved the movie, "Shane," and have seen it multiple times. I have read a quite a bit about the range wars between the cattleman and the sheepmen which it depicts.
Remember the Cabbage Patch Kids mania? Did you ever hear of "found in a cabbage patch" instead of "brought by the stork?"
I encountered much sliding scree while hiking. That and going down a steep hill in the fall on inches deep wet leaves are kind of scary. I still miss my hiking and camping days.
Gary, you taught me how to pronounce Erte. Instead of TAY for the last syllable I was saying TUH. At least, I got the fill correct.
Jinx, we were not allowed to read comic books due to "trashy" love stories. But we couldn't even get the non love story ones. I didn't mind too much because I read novels voraciously, but it made me different from my peers.
I am, picking up Alan and taking him to lunch today.
DO, sorry to hear about your back problem. When that happens to me, a heating pad is very helpful.

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

On the enjoyment solving meter, this earns an unequivocal 10! For me, it was a typical Saturday: First Pass, uh oh, I'm in trouble; Second Pass, Oh, I know this; Third Pass, Aha, Voila, I'm done! Well, maybe not quite that simple, but the extensive, easy to suss long fill led to a fairly fast and successful solve. I needed perps for a few entries, namely Elton and Ivanhoe, but no real stumbling blocks. I liked Wane and Vane, Etailer above Pay on Line, and Encarta abutting Desk Top.

Thanks, Michael, for a happy ending to this week's puzzle solving and thanks, HG, for the always delightful commentary and colorful images and links.

Have a great day.

jfromvt said...

Got OVEN and NAOMI in the NW corner, but otherwise a DNF for that section. Do ANEMONE and GENOMES side-by-side qualify as Naticks?

Otherwise a good, challenging puzzle.

inanehiker said...

This was a quicker than usual Saturday for me - helpful perps, answers in my wheelhouse.
WEES about a ten acre "farm" - around here that would be considered a "hobby farm" or when we lived in Wisconsin a "Farmette"!
When I was young the end of SHANE made me tear up every time - same with "Old Yeller"!

Thanks HG - amusing blog as always and to Daniel for the puzzle!

Referring back to yesterday's blog - "The Band's Visit" musical was very good - very unique, not your standard musical- I can see how it won the Tony!

Ray - o - sunshine said...

Grazie a DIO it wasn't three on a match and I finally finished. And a Saturday no less! Does that cancel out the two previous DNFs? I lost my copy of the "Codex Cruciverbi"

But it took me forever to make a DENT in the SW corner.

Perp walked corrections include "check ID" for CARDING. "Apostle" for ACOLYTE. "Sink" for Oven. I knew ERTÉ when I googled it previously and ALL I remembered was the name derivation.

A buttercup looks nothing like an anemone.

The girl from Ipanema is upset! If it's Brazilian, BOSSA must be a Portuguese term not Spanish as implied in the narrative.

MISSILE GAP..A dearth of prayer books at Mass.

Snow White remarked on first meeting them "Gee, Gnomes?" Response "No! We're Dwarfs!"

Rowena, do you have any garden tools? ..."IVANHOE"

"SERI, end this nonsense."

Lucina said...


I'll add my two cents' about this puzzle being very doable and quick with not too many challenges.

LA LAKER might have been a Natick but most of the letters were already in place.

I recall going to the beach in San Diego looking for sea ANENOMEs for one of my classes, probably biology.

ACOLYTE is also one of the steps leading to ordination of a priest.

My jasmine is overloading the TRELLIS and I may have to trim it.

If TEN ACRE is too small, how many acres should a good sized farm be? I'm curious.

An ENCARTA CD was included with my first computer along with several others.

This was fun. Thank you Michael Wiesenberg and Gary!

Have a stupendous day, everyone!

desper-otto said...

Lucina, as the west was settled, dairy farms were usually 160 acres in size -- 1/4 square mile or 1/4 section. Fields and pastures were often 40 acres. You've probably heard the expression the "back forty." Cattle ranches had to be a lot bigger than that to provide grazing space. They were often miles on a side.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Got hung up in the barbed wire in the SW. Only had some certainty with RANCOR and CARL. Got everything else, though, and I thought it was a masterful puzzle from Michael. Did have a GAP in spelling MISSILE GAP but SIDE-TO-SIDE rectified that.
TEN-ACRE - Agree with Big Easy; not very big and not usually viable per economies of scale required.
OCCLUSION - Reminds me of my entrance physical to the Navy - the Dentist identified a malOCCLUSION, so my acceptance was put on hold. So a trip to St. Albans Naval Hospital in Queens to resolve the issue was ordered. The Dentist there took a look; ground down a couple of my incisors a bit, said "bite down" and, voilà, I passed.

Have a great Leap Day.

PK said...

Hi Y'all! Thanks, Daniel, for a challenge. Thanks, Gary, for a great expo!

Lucine, out here a good-sized farm needs to be at least 1,000 ACREs or you need a job in town to support your farming habit. Even then, you aren't getting rich because of the high price of machinery vs. low prices for crops.

I had almost nothing in the NE & SW until I resorted to red-letters to get some toe-holds.

That picture is mother Naomi and daughter Wynona early in their singing career. Ashley would have still been a child. Really gorgeous women in one family.

D-O: you certainly can put your back out while asleep -- just sleep crooked or roll over wrong. Been there, done that. Try some stretching exercise.

Anonymous said...

So, John Marries Nick... Becomes Elton Nolte.

Farm/ranch size and what you could make from it depends on the crop. I live in the middle of a vineyard in Sonoma County's Alexander Valley. One of the world's premium grape growing regions. You would gross about $600,000 on just 50 acres of vineyard. Some mature vineyards sell for $150,000 per acre!


Wendybird said...

From yesterday, I’d forgotten how much I love Arlo Guthrie’s “City of New Orleans”. Thanks for posting it, D-O... and watching the video made listening to the words even more poignant.

Today, the SW almost did me in. OKOK/OKAY kept me from getting the down words until Jack rescued me. I wanted salsa for BOSSA, so that was another snag. Lots of whiteout!

Thanks for the workout, Michael and the tour, gary.

Jayce said...

I enjoyed this puzzle. Solving methodology very similar to what Irish Miss described.

Ol' Man Keith said...

A good tough but do-able Saturday pzl.

The SE sector seemed easiest to me. I labored in the NW, took some help, then sailed

Isn't this the second time for ENCARTA this week?

Happy Leap Day, folks!
Four diagonals today. 3 on the near side, and 1 in opposition.
The near-side main diag yields an anagram for a promise from a hobo, a...

AnonymousPVX said...

This Saturday themeless came together after a slow start.


I grew up Catholic complete with the Condemned movie lists, it always struck me as hypocritical....”Judge not lest Ye be judged” indeed. Actually, it appears to me that the RC church never misses an opportunity to turn off more believers. Or at least get them believing someone/thing else. Every time. Without fail. But then again, it’s not easy being a male dominated organization when your males like little boys. That’s why they don’t want any females getting in the way between them and the acolytes.

And Shane....I’ll watch that any time it is shown. Alan Ladd was of short stature just like Tom Cruise. Any time Cruise has to run in the movies it’s a close shot, when it’s a long shot he looks like he’s running in Frankenstein’s shoes.

Enjoy the weekend, see you Monday.

Picard said...

SE RI unknown. Learning moment. Last to fall was SW. Stuck with INCH->STEP before DENT. Fun challenge to FIR! I had an ENCARTA encyclopedia on CD. A bargain at the time.

Husker Gary thank you for the learning moment about BASE JUMPER. A gimme, but I did not know the origin. Never heard of that meaning of SHAG!

I got to meet CARL SAGAN once, but I don't seem to have a photo. I thanked him for his insight in his Cosmos finale "Who Speaks for Earth". But it did not go as planned.
Here is a transcript of CARL SAGAN's Who Speaks for Earth plea.

SCROD was often on the menu at the MIT dining room. A well-known Boston joke refers to it as "past pluperfect subjunctive" of a certain verb. Google it.

Here is a unique WEATHER VANE I spotted while leading a Sierra Club hike in Summerland near Santa Barbara.

Ray - O - Sunshine said...

So much for "no religion"

Anonymous said...

I really liked this puzzle. A lot of stuff I didn't know or didn't know in that context (ICED, SCREE, SERI, etc), but the difficult stuff had easier crosses, so it all balanced out and was do-able. Bravo!

Yellowrocks said...

DO, I have damaged cervical and lumbar discs. I can do most normal everyday things, but for shorter period of time than previously, except that I am not camping and hiking. Sleeping "wrong", vacuuming, standing for long periods, dancing every single tip or set, etc. causes pain. An hour ago I took ibuprofen and am alternating heat on my neck and lower back. It feels great. It is worth a try.

Anonymous T said...

Hi All!

Thanks Michael for the doable (with persistence) Saturday puzzle.

Fun expo HG - enjoyed the link to PRE CODE films.

I did most of the puzzle in between watching Youngest dance at competition today. She did quite well considering a sprained left wrist.

WOs: put ENCL in DENT's squares. Multiple misspellings (vowels) fixed by perps (e.g. BaSSA, ACOLaDE), SNEeD before it was RE MODEL'd.
Favs: Clues for ELTON & SHIRT

Funny DR OMK [but I'm partial to the word Hobo - see: John Hodgman. If you've never seen this 'fakeumentary' [~8m]

I'm fascinated by time and how we track it. Years ago, I was teaching a C++ class and thought, I want the students to build themselves a little tool (we call these apps today) that they want. I wanted UNIX's cal [short for calendar] on Windows so I set to port it.
I knew leap years are TRUE if (year/4 and !year/400) but I didn't know that we skipped 11 days in the calendar back in 1752. There are 11 days missing from September. I included that in my code so it would calculate the correct day of the week before 1752 (at least for Americans, Brits, & Canadians).

D-O: I can't recall the comedian:
When I was young, dad would come out of bed and say, 'My neck hurts, I musta slept wrong.
Slept wrong, how can you f*** that up?
Now that I'm old, I understand.

Cheers, -T

Wilbur Charles said...

I need not repost* my version of Ivanhoe although the linked synopsis is accurate re. Brian de Bois Gilbert. Did I mention that at the end of MY Ivanhoe Wilfrid and Richard reveal that they have a gay relationship which is a bonding moment for Rebecca and Rowena.

Microsoft bought out a map system which ran on a PC and had a separate GPS. On the SS van we had the PC setup next to the driver seat.

Blanda probably played for Bear Bryant at Kentucky.

SCROD could be any fish caught that day and quickly prepared in places like NoName or Durgin Park with it's cafeteria style seating.

Re. The XW… I took a quick peek this morning and spotted Alan Ladd and SHANE. LALAKER was another gimme.
Still had a lot of white but the fills kept coming. Like others said: doable with some work. Medium Saturday difficulty. FIR.


*Did I post my IVANHOE Version in here? Obviously no one read it. Maybe I put it in the jumble blog.

waseeley said...

PLEASE NOTE: Today is also the 57th birthday of opera composer Gioacchino Rossini (e.g. "The Barber of Seville"). He was born in 1792.

Anonymous T said...

Waseeley - Oh, he died so young...
For Rossini's 57th!. [Live (with a Wabbit) - 7:02]


CanadianEh! said...

Superb Saturday. Thanks for the fun, Daniel (glad to welcome a fellow-Canadian) and HuskerG.
Instead of WEES, I will use WIMS (what Irish Miss said) and I see Jayce agrees.
All but the SW corner filled on the way to visit the grandkids; tonight I Googled to find CARL, break open that area and finish.

The only version of SHAG that I knew must be PRECODE,
Hand up for Sink before OVEN and Step before DENT. My raft was rowed before POLED.
I had Crudest before WILDEST.
Perps changed Deo to DEI.

Someone explained ERTE here recently, and I remembered! Thanks.
The PRECODE link had Three on a Match; I learned the meaning of that phrase here recently also.

Hand up for getting an ENCARTA CD with a new PC. Kids used it regularly for school projects.
My parents raised 3 kids on Three ACRES of prime market garden land. Yes, we had a Cabbage PATCH.

Hope everyone had a great Leap Day.

OwenKL said...

Picard -- I screwed up my courage and took your Google challenge. G reminded me I had heard it before, but mercifully forgotten.
Thanks for the Carl Sagan essay. It was fresh in mind when I wrote my first poem for tomorrow's two Jumbles.
As for the weather vane: "Thar she blows!"