Showing posts with label Pawel Fludzinski. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pawel Fludzinski. Show all posts

May 4, 2019

Saturday, May 4, 2019, Pawel Fludzinski

Themeless Saturday Puzzle by Pawel Fludzinski

This first Saturday in May marks the 145th Run For The Roses in Louisville, Kentucky. Not only is it a showcase for beautiful 3 year-old thoroughbreds competing to don the famous wreath of roses, it also a opportunity to imbibe mint juleps and display charming millinery. The favorite Omaha Beach has been withdrawn from the race and so I am rooting for the new favorite Game Winner who is owned by an Omaha couple. The Derby proclaims itself to be "The most exciting two minutes in sports".

The constructor today is our retired organic chemist, now living in New Mexico - Pawel Fludzinski. Here you see him with his lovely 12 year-old daughter in Hawaii last Christmas. 

I asked Pawel for some inside info on this challenging puzzle and he was very generous in his response: In constructing a themeless, I always start with 2 or 3 seed entries.  In this case, I very much wanted to use PERFECT CRIME and FARM TO TABLE.  I had those "in pocket" for a while, and were in several puzzles attempts that were rejected - not because of the seeds, but the rest of the fill. I then found 2 other 11-letter entries that would work in the puzzle, and then spent a great deal of time working on creating 9-stacks that are interesting.  I thought HEDGE FUND and WOLVERINE were interesting enough to justify ANTIVENIN (not a first choice), and HERBARIA was the only thing that would work as I was getting close to the end in the fill.  Not an obvious answer, but perhaps a good challenge for a Saturday.

He added: PS - I always look forward to seeing which of my clues survive - especially for the seed entries and longer entries (i.e. 9-stacks).  I never see the final clues until the puzzle is published.

Now let's get in the starting gate (flamboyant headware optional) for our run for linguistic roses:


1. One of the X-Men: WOLVERINE - Front and center

10. Prior's superior: ABBOT - ABBOT Michael is on the right. Prior Delisi is on the left in this Georgia monastery 

15. Essential supply for an ophiologist: ANTIVENIN - Alternate name for ANTIVENOM which I first wrote in and which Pawel said was not his first choice 55. Less-common spelling: Abbr.: VAR - ANTIVENIN for ANTIVENOM?

16. Home of Bosch's "The Garden of Earthly Delights": PRADO - Madrid, Spain's famous art museum

17. Vehicle in the 2012 film "Arbitrage": HEDGE FUND Rotten Tomatoes opinion

18. New Mexico school athletes: LOBOS - In his last puzzle Pawel referenced Alamogordo, N.M. and today he uses the mascot of his now home state, The University of New Mexico

19. Italy's equivalent of the BBC: RAI Radio Audizioni Italiane is the national public broadcasting company of Italy

20. Some necklaces: CHOKERS - Also athletes who fail at the end of a game

22. Its solution refutes its existence: PERFECT CRIME - The man on the bed (and his girlfriend in the background) thought they had committed the PERFECT CRIME. The man tried to cover up the murder by shooting himself, but Hercule Poirot (Peter Ustinov to the left) saw right through them in Death On The Nile

27. Not on edge: AT EASE.

28. Collections of plant specimens: HERBARIA and 31. Canonized Archbishop of Canterbury: ANSELM were my downfall as I chose an "E" at their confluence

32. Flow __: CHART.

33. Fill a hold: LADE.

34. Ireland's __ Féin: SINN - English: "Ourselves" or "We Ourselves") is a political party active in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland (Wikipedia) 

35. Follower of the old school?: MARM - Here's a School MARM and her charges on the treeless prairie near Dundy, NE

36. Favor, slangily: SOLID - "Hey buddy, would you do me a SOLID (favor)?"

37. Jokers: WAGS.

38. "Everybody Loves __": Johnny Cash novelty song: A NUT - Here sung with 3/4 of the Monkees

39. Pound, e.g.: POET - Ezra. UNIT felt the fury of my delete key! Do you think Pawel did that on purpose? 😏

40. Brawl: MELEE.

41. One with a family practice?: NEPOTIST - An interesting take on the word

43. Gap-related: HIATAL.

44. Becomes an overnight sensation in: TAKES BY STORM - Yeah, I'd say they did!

46. Department store staple: APPAREL.

49. Names: IDS.

50. "Grand Hotel" star (1932): GARBO - Yes, Rotten Tomatoes reviews older movies too

51. Like 24/7 news channels: ITERATIVE - Over and over and over...

57. Listing: ATILT - Leaning like a boat

58. Erin Brockovich, for one: PARALEGAL - real and reel versions 

59. Classic battlers: SEXES.

60. Reacts to a blow: SEES STARS - A comic book staple

And down the stretch we come... 


1. Nursery noise: WAH.

2. White Monopoly bill: ONE.

3. Inc., in Ipswich: LTD.

4. Bookie's cut: VIG Wazzat?

5. High point of Hillary's career: EVEREST - Sir Edmund and his sherpa Tenzig Norgay 

6. Put a new front on, as a building: REFACE - Voila!

7. Nunavut native: INUIT.

8. "Under a Glass Bell" author: NIN.

9. Where a gaffer or grip is recognized: END CREDIT - From the funniest movie ever made - Airplane.  Who is that worst boy?

10. Equanimity: APLOMB.

11. Started to perspire: BROKE A SWEAT 

12. Diamond immortal, with "The": BABE - Last Saturday it was Babe Ruth Day

13. Fridge-cleaning motivation: ODOR - This milk smell bad to you?

14. Not sleep well: TOSS - Let Bobby Lewis tell the melodic tale

21. Took on: HIRED.

22. Iconic dot-eater: PACMAN - Trapped!

23. Flammable gas: ETHANE.

24. Rise on hind legs: REAR UP - Hi Yo Silver!

25. "Knowing where your food comes from" movement: FARM TO TABLE Info

26. Aspen abodes: CHALETS - Not A-FRAMES as it turns out

29. Grand Canal span: RIALTO - Our gondolier took us under the famous RIALTO Bridge in Venice 

30. Ready to roll: IN GEAR.

33. Part of a blabbing metaphor: LOOSE LIPS - "LOOSE LIPS might sink ships" from WWII

36. Abrupt increase: SPIKE - Have you bought gas lately?

40. Prayer books: MISSALS - Our paper MISSALettes are now both in English and Spanish 

42. Occult decks: TAROTS.

43. Hard-to-overcome evils: HYDRAS 

45. Brew in Brest: BIERE - How BEER is spelled in this French city that is 400 miles west of Paris

46. Ottoman officers: AGAS Prince Shah Karim Al Hussaini became the Imam of the Shia Ismaili Muslims or Aga Khan IV in 1957. Here he is shown in the celebration of his 60th yr in that capacity 

47. Crown: PATE.

48. Grand __: PRIX.

52. Inventor's monogram: TAE - The Wizard Of Menlo Park

53. Hanoi holiday: TET 

54. Franchise-based supermarket chain: IGA - Here is an Independent Grocery Association store in Nyah West, Victoria, Australia (pop. 552)

56. Local boundaries?: ELS - Yup, LocaL starts with an "L" and ends with an "L". No Ernie Els for our friend Pawel! (Jeffrey had 62. Divided trio?: DEES yesterday)

Now it's time to comment and have a mint julep! 

Mar 30, 2019

Saturday, March 30, 2019, Pawel Fludzinski

Themeless Saturday by Pawel Fludzinski

On this day in 1858, Hymen Lipman received a patent for attaching an eraser to the end of a pencil. So now we celebrate National Pencil Day on this date.

The recent floods prevented me from getting a newspaper for four days and forced me to do the crosswords online instead of using my trusty #2 Ticonderoga. I did not enjoy the experience. 

Fun fact: John Steinbeck was an obsessive pencil user and used more than 300 to write East Of Eden. You're welcome!

Our constructor today is Pawel Fludzinski Ph.D (Pah' vel   Flu gin' ski). His Ph D is in organic chemistry and he retired to Santa Fe, NM in 2015 after 31 years of working for Eli Lilly in Pharmaceutical R and D. 

Pawel and I had a nice email exchange when I blogged his Feb. 3, 2018 puzzle and also for this one.  He said he wrote the cluing for this puzzle over a year ago and so we had some interesting exchanges about the cluing process as he tried to recall what his thought process was. I told him that he looks like he could be a James Bond super villain and he thought that was pretty funny! 

I told him I would love to have a glass of wine with him someday but he says he more or a single malt scotch man and has OBAN (a single malt scotch brand) in a submission. Suffice it to say he is a very interesting guy.

Pawel's license plate tells you both where he lives and what one of his passions is.

Pawel even managed to work his new home state into the first down clue 1. Alamogordo experiment: A-TEST- The first A-TEST detonation for The Manhattan Project occurred 1 hr and 35 min NNW of Alamogordo, NM

Cue the Goldfinger music as we see what Pawel has for us today.


1. SALT topic: ABM - SDS didn't cut it

4. Surface collection: DUST - My dad and his siblings talked a lot about the DUST of their childhoods

8. Territory affected by the 1868 Treaty of Fort Laramie: DAKOTA - The Sioux got rights to their sacred land - The Black Hills. And then gold was discovered there and George Armstrong Custer, et al soon followed 

14. Impulsively attack: TEAR INTO.

16. Panacea: ELIXIR - Good for what ails ya!

17. Makes a pig of oneself: ENGORGES.

18. Coquettes: MINXES - Synonyms for flirts 22. Esteem: REPUTE - Some coquettes can be of ill REPUTE and some can be 44. Smokin': HOT.

19. Showroom surprise: STICKER SHOCK.

21. Every other second?: TOCK - My favorite, Pawel.  I proudly sussed TICK but then I had the wrong vowel for 2. Japanese box lunch: BENTO.

23. Keystone figure: KOP.

26. King or queen: BED 

28. "Return of the Jedi" dancer: OOLA - A picture of the character autographed by Femi Taylor who portrayed her

29. Article beginning, in newspaper jargon: LEDE LEAD/LEDE

30. Like some colors: MUTED.

32. Dish-washing liquid: TAP WATER - TAP WATER safety was a real concern during recent Nebraska flooding but it remained fine in my town

34. Lively ballroom dances: BOLEROS - I've never danced with someone who could touch the ceiling with her foot

36. City named for a Suquamish chief: SEATTLE - Below is the grave site of Chief Noah Sealth. Seattle founders mispronounced the chief's name to arrive at Seattle. Sealth was converted to Christianity by French missionaries

37. Interminably: AT LENGTH - Fidel Castro could talk for muchas horas 

39. Expand: SWELL.

40. Young follower?: STER - Voila! An description becomes a person

41. College bookstore, perhaps: COOP - This one probably has a lot of books that I would not understand

43. Sylvie's soul: AME - Sylvie a une belle ÂME (Sylvie has a beautiful soul)

45. Surveyor's equipment: TRIPOD - Today that TRIPOD is likely to support a surveying  laser

47. U.K. honors: OBES - Here Stella McCartney, Paul and Linda's daughter, receives the Order of the British Empire

50. Fix things?: STACK THE DECK - Nepotism can "STACK THE DECK" against you for getting a job

52. Not the usual merchandise amount: ODD LOT - One sleeve is 2" shorter?

55. French actress Adjani with a record five César Awards: ISABELLE Her Internet Media Data Base page

56. Words of despair: NO HOPE - An ominous doormat "Abandon HOPE all ye who enter here" 

57. Smear protection?: LIBEL LAW - Can you sue for LIBEL if it's true? 

58. Excessively focus (on): OBSESS Emerson's take on this

59. Ruhr refusal: NEIN.

60. D and C in D.C.: STS - Here they are just north of the Capitol. Very clever Pawel!


3. Panacea: MAGIC BULLET - A famous/infamous one

4. __ Nowitzki, 21-season NBAer: DIRK A great German-born seven footer

5. Neat freak of film and TV: UNGER - Tony Randall was my favorite Odd Couple Felix

6. Sound purchase: STEREO

7. Pink elephant sighter: TOSS POT - A Britsh insult - Beer or ale was customarily served in ceramic pots, so a tosspot was a person who copiously 'tossed back' such pots of beer.

8. Rock samples?: DEMO TAPES - What musicians submit in hopes of getting recorded or published

9. "You're nothing but a pack of cards!" speaker: ALICE.

10. Flaw: KINK - We've all used this as a verb to get a drink from a hose

11. Losing game line: OXX - Top line here

12. Nil-nil, e.g.: TIE - Zero to zero on this side of the ocean

13. Razor edges?: ARS - Yes, R's start and end the word RAZOR

15. Gagarin or Glenn: ROCKETEER - I'm calling a foul, Pawel! Astronaut also has 9 letters. 😏

20. Island dances: HULAS

23. Exercise equipment sometimes swung: KETTLE BELLS 

24. New York Giants' star __ Beckham Jr.: O'DELL - Just this month, this flashy receiver became a Cleveland Brown

25. Famille member: PERE -  Mon PÉRE, était pompier volontaire (My Dad was a volunteer firefighter)

27. "Nebraska" Oscar nominee: DERN - A wistful look at aging and small town life - Trailer

29. Part of a getaway car description, maybe: LATE MODEL - Thieves can't drive old clunkers?

30. Words often framed: MOTTO.

31. Pet shop buys: DOG CRATES - They were temporary homes during our recent floods

33. Toddler's drink: WAWA - I better remember Gildna Radner's Bawbwa WAWA

34. Disparage: BASH - Ah, next year is an election year so let the BASHING begin

35. Unflappable: STOIC.

38. Brewer's drier: HOP KILN - Along with our cwd friend OAST

42. Friend of Richie, Ralph and the Fonz: POTSIE Warren "POTSIE" Weber (Anson Williams)

45. 'Vette options: T-TOPS - '68 was the first 

46. Abu __: DHABI - Ferrari Abu DHABI is a motor themed amusement park and the world's largest space frame structure 

48. Panache: ECLAT  and 50. Gin flavor: SLOE and 52. "The world's most famous unknown artist": Lennon: ONO - Three old cwd friends

53. Passport nos.: DOB - Speaking of John and Yoko, John had his middle name changed from Winston to ONO. His passport shows both middle names along with his Date Of Birth

49. Unfairly presents: SKEWS - Good luck finding a news source that doesn't 

51. __ Upton, co-founder of the U.K.'s Raspberry Pi Foundation: EBEN Here ya go!

54. They don't play the field: Abbr.: DHS - The American League still uses the Designated Hitter and The National League does not.

All right class, pencils down! It's time to electronically comment on this puzzle from the Dr. Fludzinski in the highest (7,000') state capital in America

Psst! When I can't find my #2 Ticonderoga, I use these because they have a great eraser and cost less than a dollar each!