Showing posts with label Saturday. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Saturday. Show all posts

Jul 4, 2020

Saturday, July 4, 2020, Julian Lim

Themeless Saturday 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

Here is Professor Lim's tweet about a recent investigation of his: We did a non-inferiority analysis comparing group training via videoconferencing during the Covid-19 pandemic with similar content delivered in-person this year and last year. Abstract

After you digest that, here is an analysis of Julian's puzzle on the 244th birthday of our country.


1. Reward for giving, perhaps: TOTE BAG - How do I get this one?

8. Usually not eligible for tenure, as a professor: ADJUNCT - I was an ADJUNCT prof once and the dean came in to see why my adult students were laughing. He had never heard laughter from that room before

15. In sum: OVERALL.

16. Heedless of the consequences: BRASHLY.

17. Dug: WAS INTO

18. "The Meyerowitz Stories" co-star: SANDLER - I can easily recognize four of this group of five from the show. 

19. Xenomorphs, e.g.: ETS - Sigourney Weaver's antagonists in the Alien movies. Here under happier conditions.

20. Switch positions often: JOB HOP - Me? Not so much as I taught for 42 years and have subbed for 8.

22. Razor handle: ATRA - ATRA is the name, or handle, for this Gillette product  which has also has, uh, a handle and we see here often

23. Uses for snoozes: LIES ON - Lily LIES ON about anything in our house

25. Not lots: A FEW.

27. German article: EIN This speech still gives me chills (irrespective of how some translate it)

28. Out of __: SORTS.

29. Range makeup: Abbr.: MTS - A range of MounTainS 

30. Make official: ENACT.

32. Tandoori bread: NAN - NAN bread being cooked in clay cylindrical oven called a tandoor 

33. "Looks to be the case": SO IT SEEMS

35. Safari, say: IPHONE APP - Safari is also the browser I use on my MacBook

37. Au naturel: UNCLOTHED - Reminiscent of yesterday's discussion about nudists and face masks

39. Racing Unsers: ALS - You'd have to blow up this image to see AL senior in the second generation and AL junior in the third generation 

42. Lectured: SPOKE.

43. Mate: PAL.

44. Flabbergast: FLOOR.

46. Sch. with a Phoenix campus: ASU - 13 minute drive between these the Phoenix and Tempe campuses 

47. "Ashes" (2018) singer: DION The voice of an angel How old am I? The first DION singer for me is DION and the Belmonts

49. Shaky start?: SEISMO The latest earthquakes in the USA as determined by SEISMOeters

50. Things to pick: NITS - We can have quite a crop here on certain days

52. Like some dramatic refueling: MIDAIR - Could you clean the windshield too?

54. Some tech sch. grads: EE'S - Electrical Engineers. Don't we have some Double E majors here?

55. Hip: CLUED IN.

57. 2010s TV series that explores hacktivism: MR. ROBOT.

59. More than vex: TORMENT.

60. Opposite of a scenic route: BEE LINE - From Orlando International, we took the BEE LINE west toward Disney or east toward KSC (corrected - hg)

61. Frames on a diamond: INNINGS.

62. Whole number: INTEGER.


1. Drying agents: TOWELS.

2. Standing acclaim, at times: OVATION - One that's hard to earn

3. Mosaic piece: TESSERA - An 800-yr-old Byzantine example of TESSERAS beautifully arranged despite wear

4. "__ tu": Verdi aria: ERI. "ERI tu che macchiavi quell'anima" (It was you who sullied that soul)

5. Pete Seeger wrote a book on how to play five-string ones: BANJOS.

6. Brown in the kitchen: ALTON - Not sauté it appears

7. Jell-O serving, say: GLOB - How many GLOBS in a cup?

8. Strong core components: ABS OF STEEL.

9. Fall loosely: DRAPE - An example on our deck

10. 1, at times: Abbr.: JANuary

11. Food and Nutrition Service org.: USDA - USDA inspectors who wear this badge have coveted jobs in this meatpacking town

12. Minnesota Wild, for one: NHL TEAM.

13. Mullahs or ministers: CLERICS.

14. Very tough boss: TYRANT - Who was worse than Ebenezer Scrooge?

21. Deferentially: HAT IN HAND - "Make your words sweet as you may have to eat them someday"

24. Dancer's boss, informally: ST NICK - Rudolph's too

26. Cry: WEEP 

29. Irrelevancies: MOOT POINTS - Your plane has already left, so why you missed the plane is a MOOT POINT.

31. Katmandu native: NEPALI.

33. "The Chi" airer, briefly: SHO - (the shy) chronicles life on the south side of Chicago

34. Blue: SAD.

36. Beseeched: PLED - A fun song from Godspell (hg)

37. 20th Greek letter: UPSILON - Can you name the two other 7-letter Greek letters?

38. Sign with a crossed-out horseshoe-shaped arrow: NO U TURN 

40. Take a licking: LOSE BIG.

41. "__ Like You": Adele hit: SOMEONE - Video in black and white

42. __ Spíritus: Cuban city meaning "Holy Spirit": SANCTI - This city of 465,00 is at least a four-hour drive from Havana

44. Polecat relative commonly kept as a pet: FERRET - I only had to let one kid bring his to class before I realize they have an unpleasant odor too.

45. Team listing: ROSTER 1961 Yankee ROSTER. 

48. Using WhatsApp, say: IMING - My Apple IMING (Instant Messaging) works fine

49. Fire engine feature: SIREN - My hometown used a SIREN to summon volunteer firemen and also tell us when it was 7, 12 and 6 o'clock

51. Highway behemoth: SEMI.

53. Both ways at the start?: AMBI - Zach Galifianakas as an AMBIdextrous flute player on SNL

56. Man cave, for some: DEN.

58. World Cup "Way to go!": OLE.

Comments for Julian?

Jun 27, 2020

Saturday, June 27, 2020, Kyle Dolan

Saturday Themeless by Kyle Dolan

Kyle Dolan returns for another themeless puzzle and the solve went very nicely for me. Here are Kyle's comments on this puzzle: 

Hi Gary, 

We're doing well too, thanks.

Here are some thoughts on this puzzle:

I began constructing this grid in March 2019 and I sent it to Rich Norris a couple months later. In October 2019 Rich asked for some revisions in the short fill. Soon after I completed these, he accepted the puzzle. 

DANCE LESSONS was the seed entry for this grid, inspired by the fact that at the time I wrote it, my wife and I were learning how to rumba for our wedding dance! REGINA KING was another early entry, as she had just won her Oscar for "If Beale Street Could Talk". My research indicates that, as of this writing, her full name has never appeared in a newspaper crossword grid before; if that's true I'm very happy to debut it and I hope solvers enjoy seeing her in the grid.

Overall I'm pleased with the way the long fill in this puzzle turned out, but I think now there are a few too many clunkers in the short fill for my liking: A DUB, A TEST, SPAKE, and the like. If I were constructing this puzzle today, I'd try to reduce the number of these kinds of entries if not eliminate them entirely.

By the way, this is my 10th LA Times puzzle, all of which have been Saturday themelesses--including my very firstnewspaper crossword back in 2009.  My thanks to Rich Norris, Patti Varol, and the editorial team who have given me the chance to share my puzzles in this venue; to the bloggers at Crossword Corner and elsewhere, thanks for sharing your thoughts on my puzzles; and to the solvers reading this, I hope you enjoy it!

Thanks again,



1. Gym supplies: MATS.

5. Affectionate-poke-on-the-nose word: BOOP.

9. Cut souvenirs: SCARS - Some SCARS don't show

14. Without instruments: A CAPPELLA - "In the manner of the chapel" Usually two words, two P's and two L's. The A CAPPELLA group, Pentatonix, provides some instrument-like voice accompaniment in this haunting piece.

16. "Haystacks" painter: MONET - This time it was MONET
17. "What?": COME AGAIN.

18. Soaked: SOGGY.

19. "The Twilight Zone" (2019) host Jordan: PEELE - Much more familiar with the guy on the right who created the series in 1959

Jordan PEELE                     Rod Serling
20. Distress: VEX.

22. Ballet move: PLIE.

23. Two-step tutorials, say: DANCE LESSONS - Kyle's seed entry - Let's see a lesson

26. Take a bad turn: GO SOUTH - Some people have seen their businesses GO SOUTH this year

29. "Semper Fidelis" composer: SOUSA - Oorah!

30. "Concord Sonata" composer: IVES - Wow, Charles!

31. Race units: LAPS.

34. Talked like Moses or Abraham?: SPAKE - And thus God SPAKE unto Noah,"Uh, you're gonna need a bigger boat"

36. Tart finish?: LET A tart is a baked dish consisting of a filling over a pastry base with an open top not covered with pastry. 

37. In actuality: DE FACTO - I may be listed as "head of household" but...

39. The last pope named Clement: XIV (1760 - 1774) Obverse: Clement XIV. Reverse: Jesus, Peter and Paul expelling the Jesuits which Clement did in their name

40. Cleaner brand with a macron on its first vowel: DRANO which makes the drain 42. Circulate: FLOW better

1950's Can
43. Cornmeal product: PONE.

44. Ones known for excellent service: ACERS - 163mph tennis serve is the record

46. Many people make them at work: LIVINGS.

48. Blizzard portmanteau: SNOWMAGEDDON - A news media image after a 6" snow was predicted

51. "Rub-__ ... ": A-DUB - Three men in a tub

52. Root that may be cubed: YAM - We math peeps appreciate the two red herrings

53. Big battery: D-CELL.

56. Realm of Tolkien's Dwarves: MORIA Here 'ya go!

58. Are useful: FILL A NEED - For good or ill, I do that here on Saturday

61. Cleared in a diner: BUSED.

62. Proverbial nonexistent meal: FREE LUNCH.

63. Nuclear trial: A-TEST.

64. Pamplona pronounESOSESOS pantalones están sucios (Those pants are dirty)

65. BFN alternative: TTYL - Bye For Now vs Talk To You Later


1. Buddy: MAC and 32. Buddy: PAL.

2. "Rent-__": 1988 film: A COP - This turkey had some big name stars

3. Unlikely to titillate: TAME.

4. Small trunks: SPEEDOS - Google if you must

5. "Go easy on me": BE GENTLE when correcting any 
49. Faux pas: GAFFE I make here

6. Copacabana greeting: OLA and 48. Copacabana steps: SAMBA OLA. ¿Te gustaría SAMBA? (Hello. Would you like to SAMBA?)

7. Tree sacred to Athena: OLIVE What's that all about?

8. "Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!" group: PANEL - Here is Tom Hanks serving as a guest host

9. Texting format, briefly: SMS - I use Short Message Service for texting and love it when people respond quickly. 

10. Confines: COOPS UP - We've all had months of this recently

11. Norman Conquest victim: ANGLO SAXON - When the last ANGLO SAXON king, Edward the Confessor, died childless in 1066, William of Normandy (later The Conqueror) invaded to take the British crown from two others 3-minute summary

12. 2019 Best Supporting Actress winner for "If Beale Street Could Talk": REGINA KING - Kyle is happy to have introduced her name into crosswords. Her IMDB

13. They may be treated with compresses: STYES - Saturday cluing for a staple

15. Country in the Caroline Islands: PALAU - Peleliu is a small island in the PALAU archipelago and saw bitter fighting in WWII

21. Strike symbols: XES - Here's the last two XES on Boomer's twentieth 300 game

24. Source of livestock feed: CHAFF - Dried chopped forage used to add bulk to animal feed
25. Okay: SO SO.

26. Deceptively adorn: GILD - There's no need to GILD the lily

27. Transmission conclusion: OVER AND OUT 

28. Start of typical "Star Trek" navigation orders: SET A COURSE 

33. Admonish: SCOLD.

35. Tense times, maybe: EVES - This dystopian song came to my mind

37. School house: DORM - My first DORM room was #237 in Morey Hall in 1964

38. Turns idly, as a pencil: TWIDDLES.

41. Green ones: NEWBIES.

43. Pesto ingredient: PINE NUT - among other ingredients

45. For example: SAY.

47. Inclined to opine: VOCAL.

50. Mideast dignitaries: EMIRS.

54. Advanced: LENT - I LENT/advanced a family member a lot of money to help adopt a child from China and in my heart I knew I would never get it all back. BTW, she was worth it!

55. Goranson of "The Conners": LECY - Then/now

57. Big name in home security: ADT - Is the sign enough to deter criminals?

59. Summer sign: LEO.

60. FedEx rival: DHL 

Comments for Kyle?