Showing posts with label Husker Gary. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Husker Gary. Show all posts

Feb 22, 2020

Saturday, February 22, 2020, C.C. Burnikel

Saturday Themeless Puzzle by C.C. Burnikel

Today we get a very nice themeless effort from our resident den mother C.C. Here you can see her with yours truly when Joann and I visited with her and Boomer in our hotel lobby in Minneapolis while we were there for a wedding. I'm not sure how often she wears that Husker shirt but I it gave me a lot of pleasure to give it to her.

She and this website has been an invaluable addition to my life after retirement. We have collaborated on a few puzzles but I really value our exchanges about themes, fill and titles plus events in our private lives.

C.C. also has served as a portal for me to make contact with the wonderful 35. Buddies, in slang: PEEPS who frequent this site. I am honored she has trusted me to take over the Saturday blogging. You can not imagine how patient she was with me when I started. She had more faith in my abilities than I did.

When I asked her about this puzzle and its seemingly random long fill, she replied, "I don't have any note for the puzzle. Sorry. The long fill for themeless are always random, unless there's a mini theme where two entries are placed symmetrically. The goal is just to get the smoothest fill possible."

Let's  see what Zhouqin has for us today:


1. Rubber-stamped item?: INK PAD.

7. Rose's record 14,053: AT BATS Every major league dugout has Rule 21, which you see below, posted in it. Among other things Rule 21 forbids betting on games. Pete walked past it on his way to every one of the AT BATS but he not only bet on games, he lied about it for years and so The Hall Of Fame continues to deny him entrance.

13. Dessert for one, maybe: MINI PIE.

15. Cotton farm threat: WEEVIL - Brook Benton's distinctive voice gives us a song about the Boll WEEVIL

16. Handlers for a mixologist: ICE TONGS - We tend to use our hands here at home

18. Joey of *NSYNC: FATONE - Any real fan would know which one he is. Uh, I don't, but will identify him at the bottom * if you're interested

19. Liquid meas.: GAL.

20. Mythical mount that flies: PEGASUS - A real find on American Pickers features this mythical mount

22. '90s sitcom "__ and Stacey": NED It ran for a year and a half

23. Maintained: HELD - Some views pols HELD years ago have come back to haunt them

25. Invalid: NULL and void

26. Steep projection: CRAG - Would you walk out on a CRAG like this?

27. Shocker on a cop's belt: TASER.

29. High words: ODE - Words of high praise

30. "All done!": THERE.

31. Light lunch choices: VEGGIE WRAPS 

34. Pinkish nail polish shade: CORAL - Redux from last Saturday

36. "That could work": NOT A BAD IDEA - 59. Sent revealing messages: SEXTED - Not so much!

38. Sheets, e.g.: LINEN and 45. One might be fit for a king: SHEET - Ah yes, we honor presidents with SHEET and LINEN sales in February

39. Score half: TEN - Honest Abe is the only reason we know that a "score" is 20.

40. Stadium souvenirs: STUBS - The average cost of Super Bowl ticket STUBS over the years

44. Some are random and kind: ACTS.

45. Alone, in a way: STAG - Going STAG is pretty rare for me now

46. Maui, for one: ISLE - I'd better take along a Snickers Bar

47. "Told ya!": SEE.

48. Hillary aides: SHERPAS - Five days after New Zealander Sir Edmund Hillary and his SHERPA Tenzig Norgay reached the crown of Mt. Everest in 1953, another crown was in the UK news

51. Springfield small business owner: MOE - Moe's Bar and not Apu's convenience store

52. Taste test need: TONGUE - that middle area sees playing time in our puzzles

54. Sun spot?: SOLARIUM 8. Hot spots?: TEAS - I suspect C.C. might have a spot of TEA daily in a Sun Spot SOLARIUM

56. Major course: ENTREE - My birthday ENTREE is a filet at Brother Sebastians in Omaha

57. Team on a football field: DEFENSE - "Push 'em back! Push 'em back! Waaay back!"

58. About 25% of California: DESERT.


1. "Maybe": I MIGHT.

2. City for which a creed is named: NICAEA - Constantine got Christian leaders together in 325 A.D. and they mostly agreed on the Nicene Creed. Dissenters were exiled.

3. Solemn sounds: KNELLS Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard - The curfew tolls the KNELL of parting day," Thomas Gray

4. Date center: PIT - Same for a peach, apricot, et al

5. Each: A POP - The Michelin tires I bought last week were around $200 A POP

6. It goes with wine: DINE - I have never been wined and dined. I got a Big Mac once...

7. Really bad: AWFUL.

9. Get in the pool: BET - Pools like this were very common in our teacher's lounge 

10. Sellers of some beauty products: AVON REPS 

11. Problems for ones making notes?: TIN EARS - An observation from our crossword friend Ari I've used before

12. Heavy hitter: SLEDGE.

14. Starbucks holiday drink: EGGNOG LATTE - Yikes!

17. Many an Arab News reader: SAUDI.

21. Capsule for a nap: SLEEPING POD - Students at the British Columbia Institute of Technology can catch a safe and secure nap between classes in these PODS. I'll bet last week's constructor Julian Lim has studied the effectiveness of this practice 

24. Allocates: DEVOTES.

26. Flatbread similar to naan: CHAPATI - CHAPATI and Keema curry

28. Showed over: RERAN - When Sienfeld episodes are RERAN, Jerry and Larry David make millions

30. According to the poet's oldest son, it was written "by a window looking down a wooded hill": TREES Alfred Joyce Kilmer's poem

32. Shoot the breeze: GAB.

33. Unite: WED - An "L" can be inserted and the clue would still work 

34. What's inside: CONTENTS - Do you really want that Hungry Man Breakfast? 

36. "Impressive!": NICE ONE.

37. Sweeties: DEARS.

38. Went the distance: LASTED.

41. Where a lot of money is made: U.S. MINT - Will/should they quit minting pennies?

42. Top: BLOUSE 43. Appeared: SEEMED - It SEEMED Jerry agreed to wear this Pirate BLOUSE when he couldn't hear the "low talker" who asked him to

48. Litigant: SUER.

49. Bass and such: ALES - A 1953 vintage ad for Bass

50. Call at a base: SAFE - Some umpires maintain there is no such thing as "Tie goes to the runner". You're either SAFE or out

53. Hurdle for srs.: GRE - The Graduate Record Exam shows up here with the LSAT, PSAT, ACT, et al

55. Dog in the Reagan White House: REX - Cavalier King Charles Spaniel REX, takes first couple for a walk

Any comments for our Minneapolis sister?

*Joey is the second from the right on Justin Timberlake's right side

Feb 15, 2020

Saturday, February 15, 2020, Julian Lim

Saturday Themeless by Julian Lim

Another fine puzzle from our Singapore professor Julian Lim. As I look at his specialties at Duke University - University of Singapore I can find many traits of mine that could use remediation

As an educator, I am very interested into seeing the results of his research on mental fatigue and fluctuations in cognitive ability. Taking the SAT or other big tests in one setting may not be a good thing to do. Julian?

I struggled most in the NW corner with ENOKI, EKCO and TYGA


1. Toys with tails: KITES 

6. Mineral used in roofing: MICA - Hey, a portmanteau! 

10. Short answer?: RSVP.

14. Sukiyaki ingredient: ENOKI.

15. Disney theme park designer: IMAGINEER - Hey, another portmanteau!

17. Bounce: EJECT- Not evict it turns out

18. 55-Down warranty brand: APPLE CARE - I've always bought it for my Apple products 

19. Publish: PUT OUT - Rich has to PUT OUT a puzzle per day

21. Salmon or coral: RED.

22. Pathetic start?: SYM - Okay... 

23. George's musical sibling: IRA - The Gershwin Brothers got a little help 
from Dorothy and DuBose Hayward on this fabulous song.  It was written in 29. Key with no sharps or flats: A-MINOR.

24. One may be turned or earned: PROFIT 

27. Convergence points: FOCI - Our Sun is at one of the two FOCI of Halley's Comet's orbit which will next be seen from Earth in 2062

28. Feline rapper?: TYGA - I suppose, a TIGER is a feline and TYGA and a rap device is changing an "ER" ending to an "A" ending as in GANGSTER/GANGSTA

30. The Rams of the Atlantic 10 Conf.: URI Go RAMS!

31. Only Nobelist besides Marie to win the prize in two fields: LINUS - Pauling - 1954 prize for Chemistry and 1962 for Peace as he opposed weapons of mass destruction 

32. Convert wrongly: MISTRANSLATE - Khrushchev later claimed he did not say 

"мы похороним тебя" ("We will bury you") but rather "Мы вас похороним"  ("Your working class will bury you"). Oh... 

36. Game with a pecking order?: SPIN THE BOTTLE - There are G and R rated versions of what is ostensibly a kissing (pecking) game

38. OkCupid alternative with an oceanic name: PLENTY OF FISH - The former is an American-based dating app and the latter is Canadian-based. How does a man who was born in and works in Singapore know this? 😏

39. Droid's "surname": DETOO - Last phonetic half of R2D2 phonetically

40. Fellow: LAD.

41. Swerves at sea: YAWS - The boat can point in a different direction (YAW) than the boat is actually moving.  

45. Boobird's output: JEER.

46. It unfolds before you retire: DAY BED Sleeper, DAY BED or Futon?

49. Mortal Kombat's __ Kang: LIU - Google at will

50. 30-day mo.: APR.

51. Column angle: Abbr.: POV - Point Of View is pretty easy to see on these two networks 

54. Botch: MISMANAGE - You say our country is $20T in debt?

58. Sight sharpener: LASIK.

59. Webinars, e.g.: E-LEARNING - Some smaller Nebraska schools offer upper level courses like 52. Pre-coll. class: AP CALC by using E-LEARNING from teachers miles away

60. Classic TV nerd: URKEL Jaleel White on type-casting

61. Match: SYNC - Our cable company can't SYNC the TV picture with the live radio feed for Husker Football. The TV picture is at least 10 seconds behind

62. Brand with a Chop House variety: ALPO - PETA says the owners shouldn't call this lovely dog a "pet"

63. Kind of tire: SPARE - Getting at and lowering your SPARE is much more complicated than grabbing it out of the trunk


1. Generous words: KEEP IT - Words wait staff and taxi drivers love to hear 

2. Tear, perhaps: INJURY - The verb INJURE works too

3. Item seen in the "Six Feet Under" title sequence: TOE TAG - Pretty easy to suss out for a show I've never seen

4. Corningware sister brand: EKCO 

5. Bit of middle management?: SIT UP - Oh, that middle is your tummy

6. "Crimson Peak" co-star Wasikowska: MIA  - Her IMDB

7. Prankster: IMP.

8. __ pants: CAPRI - Also clam diggers and pedal pushers?

9. Tip that prevents fraying: AGLET - From the Old French aguillette for needle. This shoelace tip can be wielded in a variety of ways

10. Org. chaired by Ronna Romney McDaniel: RNC - Mitt Romney's niece 

11. Available periodically: SEASONAL - Those good home-grown T's for BLT's aren't available until July

12. "Aww!": VERY CUTE.

13. Basic part of a TV sa pitch: PREMISE - A very funny PREMISE (:30)

16. Guerrilla combat weapon: Abbr.: IED - Improvised Explosive Device

20. Steed modifier: TRUSTY - Dudley Do-Right's TRUSTY steed was named, uh, Horse

25. Right at the start?: ORTHO 
a combining form occurring in loanwords from Greek, where it meant “straight,” “upright,” “right,” “correct” (orthodox) and on this model used in the formation of compound words (orthopedic).

26. Night light source: FIREFLY - We put ours in a mason jar and poked holes in the lid

27. __ rich: FILTHY - The two presidential adversaries this November?

31. WWII craft: LSTS - LST-134 loading casualties in Normandy, France on D-Day +6

33. Digging a lot: INTO.

34. Saunders/French Britcom: ABFAB - Title for this show that forms another portmanteau

35. "Wish I knew": NO IDEA.

36. Tired way to talk: SLEEPILY.

37. William who plays Grissom on "CSI": PETERSEN His IMDB

38. "A Taste for Death" author: PD JAMES Phyllis Dorothy James, Baroness James of Holland Park, OBE, FRSA, FRSL (3 August 1920 – 27 November 2014), known professionally as P. D. James, was an English crime writer. 

42. Kenai Fjords National Park site: ALASKA - Could be a slog for me to get there!

43. More cagy: WILIER.

44. Nurse: SUCKLE.

46. Summer of disco: DONNA - Get down with DONNA Summer!

47. Use: AVAIL.

48. Report card blemish: D-PLUS.

51. Scorecard number: PAR.

53. Koi, e.g.: CARP - Koi is just a CARP who knows someone!

55. Tech brand since 1998: MAC - July 1998 

56. Economic stat: GNP - Difference between GDP and GNP

57. Certain maniac's focus: EGO A ten question quiz to determine if you are an EGOMANIAC. I got a 34%

Any comments for Professor Lim?

Feb 8, 2020

Saturday, February 8, 2020, Ed Sessa

Saturday Themeless by Dr. Ed Sessa

After only three weeks, Dr. Ed is back again and his distinctive grid immediately caught my eye.  His 10/13/15 horizontal top rows were mirrored with his 15/13/10 bottom row (TERRACE LEVEL?) in this 64-word puzzle. The bottom such trio was much more helpful but as usual Dr. Ed's Rhelped mitigate some of the gloom of this dreary, winter season here on the Great Plains. I wonder if the fill dictated the grid or the grid dictated the fill. Maybe the good doctor will enlighten us.

Avoid Walgreens today and get your elixir direct from the Sessa enclave on Sanibel Island, FL (a spoonful of crossword helps the medicine go down):


1. "We're done here": CASE CLOSED.

11. Wit: FACETIOUSNESS - How hard can she throw that club?

14. Lead-in for an old saw: AS THE SAYING GOES - "Hell hath no fury..." (see above)

16. Bio lab preparation: STAIN 

17. Star associated with Venus: SERENA - The tennis star sisters

18. It may be taken before a vote: POLL 

19. Reality: FACT.

23. __ Stadium, home to the 49ers: LEVIS and 48. Word with box or dome: SKY - Here's a SKYBOX at LEVIS Stadium

24. Wild fruit is a feature of it: PALEO DIET - A diet that emulates our hunter-gatherer ancestors

27. Unadon fish: EELS - A classic Japanese dish consisting of steamed rice topped with filets of EELS (Unagi).

28. Manufacturing statistic: NEW ORDERS 

30. Either co-author of Curious George books: REY.

31. Ward of "FBI": SELA - A beautiful and frequent crossword law enforcement visitor

32. Clubs for Cubs: BATS - In 1932

34. Movement-controlling pedal: GAS 42. Fill up again: REPLENISH - How hard you push the pedal determines how often you have to REPLENISH the GAS

37. Decides when: SETS A DATE - My granddaughter Emma has SET A DATE of January 2021 for her wedding after Colten popped the question in Estes park

40. Aphrodite's love child: EROS - Another cwd All Star

44. Opposite of original: TIRED.

46. Baseball's Maglie and Bando: SALS - If you're interested - Maglie - Bando

47. TurboTax pros: CPA'S - My tenth year using this instead of a CPA

49. Tequila sources: AGAVES.

51. Short-legged lizard: SKINK - Cute?

52. Song title line after "once, twice": THREE TIMES A LADY - A very nice musical respite

57. Basements, to Realtors: TERRACE LEVELS - This apartment building units are Upper Floor, Main Floor and, uh, TERRACE LEVEL

58. Sources of sprays: NEBULIZERS - The only way my poor asthmatic brother got through his childhood


1. Andorra's only official language: CATALAN - "I am a citizen of Andora" is "Sóc ciutadà d’Andorra" in CATALAN and "Soy ciudadano de Andorra" in Spanish

CATALAN is the first language of 38% of Andorrans
2. Victim of Paris: ACHILLES - I think we all know where Paris is aiming to kill ACHILLES 

3. Understood: SEEN.

4. "Men in Black" gp.: ETS and 5. "Men in black" gp., some say: CIA - Aliens and spooks

6. Myrna who played Nora Charles: LOY.

7. Sí, across the Pyrenees: OUI - When those ANDORRANS cross the Pyrenees into France 

8. Figs. with two dashes: SSN'S.

9. Tannenbaum topper: ENGEL - In Deustchland, "Our Christmas tree has an angel on top" becomes  "Unser Tannenbaum hat einen ENGEL an der Spitze"

10. Master's award: DEGREE - I've got one of those 

11. Depth-of-field setting: F-STOP.

12. To any extent: SO EVER.

13. Declining in later years: SENILE - MIL's Dementia and Alzheimers issues have dominated our last few months

14. Slithery danger: ASP.

15. Back-talking: SASSY.

19. Bit of deception: FOOLER - If Penn and Teller can't figure out how a magician does a trick on their TV show, the magician is called a FOOLER, wins a cheesy FU (Fooled You) trophy and gets to appear in their Las Vegas show. Sample

20. Marketing fees: AD RATES - The AD RATE for the Super Bowl I was $37,000 for thirty seconds. This year for Super Bowl LIV, it was over $5M for the same time 

21. "El Cantar de mío __": Castilian epic poem: CID The Song Of My CID (Lord or master)

More Spanish Geography

22. Minor league game?: TEE BALL - This minor is serious about using a TEE in this league game

25. Farm animals that sound like trees: EWES - Yews/EWES

26. Sports news highlights: TRADES The most lop-sided TRADES in history

29. Hockey Hall of Famer Mikita: STAN - One of a few STANS we get here

33. Exacting sort: STICKLER 

34. Try to say: GET AT.

35. Correctly: ARIGHT - Have you ever said something stupid and then had to set things ARIGHT with a sincere apology? Me too!!

36. Like a June day, to Lowell: SO RARE.

38. Where many get manis: SPA.

39. Observations: ESPIALS - A natural collection of ESPYING efforts

41. The U.S. Naval Academy is situated at is mouth: SEVERN - Two weeks ago, Evan Kalish clued Annapolis as the second city in an alphabetic list of state capitals.

43. Piano duet quartet: HANDS - These four hands had a beautiful Top 40 Hit in my yute

45. Caterpillar rival: DEERE.

50. Whack: STAB - I'll take a STAB/Whack at it!

51. Act with a rainy day in mind?: SAVE.

53. Hosp. area with few visitors: ICU.

54. "AGT" judge __ B: MEL She storms off the show dramatically by throwing water in Simon's face during a taping of America's Got Talent 

55. Singer in the Whiffenpoofs, e.g.: ELI.

56. Slangy states?: SEZ Mike Royko's book

I'm thinking of going off to pack to take up Dr. Ed's invitation of three weeks ago for any of us to visit him on Sanibel Island. You can comment while I get out my suitcase.