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

Feb 17, 2018

Saturday, February 17, 2018, Bruce Venzke


Husker Gary here, giving a guided tour of a fun Saturday, Bruce Venzke puzzle. What caught my eye first was three horizontal and vertical grid spanners. The actual design of the grid, which you will find at the bottom of the write-up,  is very elegant. said: Bruce Venzke is a veteran crossword constructor who began constructing puzzles in 2001. Of the nearly 600 puzzles he has made, about 400 have been collaborations with other puzzle creators. He has been published by the NY Times, LA Times, NY Sun, Newsday, Wall Street Journal and various other newspapers and magazines.

Here is a  C.C. interview with Bruce posted on February 2, 2011. 

Two of Bruce's parallel entries paid homage to my home state (hence the title): 

9. Land of Lincoln? : CORNHUSKER STATE - Yeah, even I had to shed the image of Illinois AND

28. Planter : SOWER - The statue that tops our state capitol building in Lincoln

Here are the balance of Bruce's wonderful grid spanners that were also very useful:

20. Grasp : GET THE MEANING OF - In Good Will Hunting, Will did GET THE MEANING OF things others couldn't 

25. Some drips : SALINE SOLUTIONS - I'm sure one of these is a SALINE SOLUTION

43. Charter acquisition : TIME WARNER CABLE - This is the change we got last year in Fremont, NE

48. Markings on gridirons : MIDFIELD STRIPES - Where coin tosses occur. Wait, Joe, someone has to call it first!

4. Unrelenting attempt : SUSTAINED EFFORT - Keep going Sisyphus! 

5. Usury protection : INTEREST RATE CAP - It's amazing what people will pay on short term loans

10. Airport agents see a lot of them : IDENTIFICATIONS - There are many of these sites online:

Here's the rest of Bruce's Saturday lineup:


1. Borrows without returning : BUMS - Also my Dad's beloved Brooklyn Dodgers 

5. Intestinal : ILEAC - Relating to the ILEUM

10. Apple that's inedible : IMAC - I've been mad enough to take a bite out of ours a couple of times but not nearly as often as with PC's

14. 1966 N.L. batting champ Matty : ALOU - Get three vowels in your name and you'll make the starting lineup here!

15. Drag-racing fuel, briefly : NITRO - NITROmethane fuel minimally costs  $10 - $15/gal but definitely gives you more 1. Value for your money, idiomatically : BANG - for your buck

16. Very serious : DIRE

17. Costner role : NESS

18. What tots might go after? : TATER - Pretty clever Bruce!

19. Many an RPI grad : ENGR - Some are on our blog here

23. Atmo- kin : AER - It's all up in the air

24. He served the fewest 20th-century days (83) as U.S. VP : HST - FDR died on April 12th and they finally gave HST details about the atomic bomb on April 24th.

34. Somali-born model : IMAN

35. Things for one to do : SOLOS

36. Blücher's title in "Young Frankenstein" : FRAU - Every time her name is mentioned:

37. Swing improvisation? : TIRE - He should improvise a sturdier rope

38. Move like Miley : TWERK - You'll have to find that on your own time

39. "__ it up and spit it out": "My Way" lyric : I ATE - Paul Anka heard this tune below (translates to As Usual) in Paris, bought the rights to it, came back to America and wrote My Way lyrics for Frank Sinatra

40. Learning ctr. : ACAD - My friend's brother got sent to Wentworth Military ACADemy to "straighten him out". Didn't work

41. "Peg Woffington" novelist : READE - Did anyone here, uh, READE it?

42. Covered, in a way : CLAD - As you see  here

46. Tailor's concern : FIT

47. H.S. hurdle : SAT

57. Assorted mixture : OLIO

58. __ Bruni-Sarkozy, former French first lady : CARLA - From model to Première Dame de France

59. "Chocolat" actress : OLIN - Lena OLIN. Now Sweden is heard from.

60. Title derived from "Caesar" : TSAR

61. Early seal hunter : ALEUT

62. It's off-limits : NO-NO - I called my Aunt Norma Aunt NONO

63. Cease : HALT 

64. Member of a 1969 MLB expansion team : PADRE - You'd have to be a real baseball junkie to recognize this most famous and highest paid 1969 Padre. Appropriate name, huh?

65. Difficult situation : STEW - A non-edible use of this word as a noun. I'd be more likely to use it as a verb unless I was cooking


2. Film apiarist : ULEE - Peter Fonda lives on in Crossword nomenclature

3. A majority : MOST - They got the MOST popular votes but not the necessary electoral ones. I couldn't name Samuel Tilden in this array.

6. He played Oskar in "Schindler's List" : LIAM - Neeson

7. Diminutive suffix : ETTE

8. Realtor's measure : AREA Claustrophobia alert! Here's a five-minute tour of a tiny house with an AREA of approx. 200 sq. ft.

11. Flash Gordon foe : MING - The Merciless

12. Mythical vessel : ARGO

13. Random House co-founder : CERF - Best known for his work on this panel. Shown here in a very early edition! 

21. Layer : HEN - It was so windy the HEN laid the same egg four times! Rim shot!

22. Tour finish? : IST

25. Occupy, as a table : SIT AT - Who is allowed to SIT AT your table is a big deal in school cafeterias

26. Firenze friends : AMICI -More than one AMICO

27. 2016 NFL returnee : LA RAM - The RAMS are easier to move because their helmets have no city designaton like KC and some others

29. City in southwestern New York : OLEAN - The largest city in Cattaraugus County

30. 2013 Grammy winner for "Royals" : LORDE - Born inNew Zealand as Ella Marija Lani Yelich-O'Connor. LORDE crossing READE could have been a trap for me but it came to heel (I'll take mixed metaphors for $200 Alex!)

31. Sonicare rival : ORAL-B

32. South African province KwaZulu-__ : NATAL - Da Gama founded this area on Christmas day and NATAL is the Portuguese word for Christmas. The northern part of this territory was ruled for years by the Zulus.

33. Kid stuff? : SUEDE - Leather items made from baby goat skins. 

44. __ Chess: video game : WII - Most nursing homes (retirement homes?) have WII bowling which I really enjoy as well.

45. Train part : CAR - Arlo sang of The City Of New Orleans which had "Fifteen CARS and fifteen restless riders. three conductors and twenty-five sacks of mail."

48. Clothes consumer? : MOTH 

49. Victor Laszlo's wife, in a classic film : ILSA- When she thought Victor was dead...

50. Retro calling aid : DIAL - Thing used one is The Addams Family

51. Like a fantasy land? : LA LA

52. Historic plaintiff Scott : DRED - A horrible part of our past

53. Musical connector : SLUR - Notes sang/played without separation

54. One may be hatched : PLOT - John Wilkes Booth had laid out a very elaborate PLOT but only his tragic part of it hatched

55. Strauss' "__ Alpensinfonie" : EINE - An Alpine Symphony

56. Buffalo feature, often? : SNOW - Coming off our old cwd friend Lake Erie

What say you?


Notes from C.C.:

1) Happy 51st wedding anniversary to dear Gary and his amazing wife Joann! I met them when they came to Minneapolis for a wedding a few years ago. Gary is gracious, witty and patient in person as he is on the blog.

2) Happy Birthday to Chairman Moe (Chris), our wine and beer expert. Thanks for the punny haiku and daily fun!

3) The 41st American Crossword Puzzle Tournament (March 23-25, 2018) will be held at the Stamford Marriott in Stamford, Connecticut. For those who attend, I hope you won't miss the Cru Dinner organized by the great Mike Alpern.

The Cru Dinner officially kicks off the tournament and is a great opportunity to meet with constructors and fellow solvers. Our own Jeffrey Wechsler stopped by there last year. Today's constructor Bruce Venzke has been a ACPT judge for years. He might have attended one of those Cru Dinners also.
The space is limited, so be sure to contact with Mike ( as soon as possible. Mike also takes fantastic photos of the tournament each year. See Rich Norris?

Mike just turned 71. Have to share with you this wonderful picture of him.

Mike Alpern

Feb 10, 2018

Saturday, February 10, 2018, Michael Wiesenberg


Today's constructor is a man  from Calgary who wears many hats in the world of games. Michael is not only a masterful puzzle maker, he is also a renowned expert in poker. He made his living playing poker for 10 years before turning to technical writing in the computer field. C.C.'s 2009 interview with Michael

Here are some long fills that are always helpful on a Saturday excursion:

1. Empathetic words : I CAN RELATE

12. Disappointed observation : IT'S NOT HERE - and now a "I CAN RELATE" for my lovely bride

16. Revelation setting : ARMAGEDDON - One of its portents in Rev. 17  is a prostitute riding a seven-headed monster. Yikes!

10. Sitcom sidekick whose wife sometimes calls him by his last name : ED NORTON - You can hear Ralph call him NORTON throughout this all-time funny scene. You won't spend a funnier four minutes today!

11. Bit of bun flavoring : SESAME SEED - C'mon, you all know the words to this ad with SESAME SEED at the end. Go ahead and see how fast you can say/chant it!

Now let's sit in to see what else Michael has dealt us this week:


11. RSVP part : SIL Répondez S’IL vous plaít. Some say that nowadays no response to this implies you are attending

14. One may run for a week : PERSONAL AD - Yeah, they're lined up around the block!

15. Townshend of The Who : PETE

17. Olympus neighbor : OSSA (alternate name Kissova) - A four-hour drive

18. Put forth : SAY

19. Metro __ : AREA

20. Grounded : ON LAND - Huh?

22. Horoscope heading : SIGN

23. Wish for : DREAM OF

24. Subject for Linnaeus : BOTANY - His classification system works for animals too like our Lily

27. Relocate in, as after one's career : RETIRE TO - We are RETIRED TO where we grew up with no regrets. Dorothy was right.

28. Maternally related : ENATE - My love of crosswords is directly related to the ENATE side of my family 

29. "Dead Souls" novelist : GOGOL - A remorseless satire of imperial Russian venality, vulgarity and pomp. Ok, raise your hand if you have read this and let me get a count...

30. "Billions" network, briefly : SHO - Showtime 

31. Fake out : DEKE - The old "hidden ball" fake out

32. __ legend : URBAN - Nope, an URBAN legend according to 
33. Sugar source : BEET

34. Sugar suffix : OSE

35. Some pretenders : SNOBS - Prius owners? 😊

36. Membre de la famille : FRERE - Did anyone ever find out if Brother John was asleep  (Frère Jacques, Dormez-vous?)

37. Celebration honoring a saint : FEAST DAY - Feb. 10th is the FEAST DAY for St. Scholastica, Virgin

39. Crossed at a shallow spot : FORDED - Juilius Caesar FORDING the Rubicon

40. Rocky of song : RACCOON - A silly Beatle song

41. Munich title : HERR 

42. Home of Canada's Parliament : OTTAWA

43. Secular : LAIC - Acts performed by the laity

44. Phased-out refrigerant compound : CFC - ChloroFluoroCarbon was said to be a danger to the ozone layer

47. "__Language": 1993 comedy best-seller : SEIN - Yeah, that makes sense

8. Pierce portrayer : ALDA - Another sitcom legend

48. Ecstatic : BLISSED OUT - I guess if you can be STRESSED OUT...

51. Amor counterpart : EROS

52. Game with wagering restrictions : LIMIT POKER - Gee I wonder where a POKER reference came from. 😏

53. Three-part fig. : SSN - Mine starts with 507. Yours?

54. Bit of rifle range debris : EMPTY SHELL - Shirt seen on some shooting ranges


1. Draft orders : IPAS - India Pale Ale'S

2. "Juno" actor Michael : CERA - Michael's character Paulie and Juno had a situation to deal with

3. Fighting group : ARMY

4. Govt. employer of mathematicians : NSA

5. Treatment for losing one's head? : ROGAINE - Reviews I read said it works for only a small part of the population

6. Going concern? : ENERGY

7. Like a full hold : LADEN and 35. Put in a hold : STOW- Like here in the Mayflower

9. Eastern way : TAO

13. In danger of being ticketed : LEAD FOOTED - You are busted!

15. Magnetic? : POLAR - Poles on the Moon are not magnetic

21. First name in astronautics : NEIL - His biography I recently read revealed him to be  a much better astronaut than husband or father

22. Stuff : SATE - Maybe I didn't need the large box of popcorn

23. "The Dance Class" painter : DEGAS - Impressionism at its best

24. Easy Street kin : BED OF ROSES - Mena Suvari in American Beauty (repeat from Argyle's Monday's puzzle)

25. Most bicycles : ONE SEATERS - Unless you're dating this girl name Daisy

26. Do something : TAKE ACTION

27. "Forbidden Planet" robot : ROBBY - 98% on Rotten Tomatoes

29. Punster's reward? : GROAN - But, he's a GROAN man!

32. Impossible : UNDOABLE

33. Cold reaction : BRRR - Heard outside the Super Bowl last week!

36. Grasping pair : FORCEPS

38. Input methods : SCANS - Here's a SCANNER I always have with me

39. Full of pluck : FEISTY - FEISTY O's manager Buck Showalter meets an equally FEISTY umpire. Oh yeah, Buck also got tossed out of the game

41. "Rumor __ ... " : HAS IT

43. Favor one side over the other : LIMP - A lot of us here know a) the character below with a LIMP, b) who the other characters are and c) the name of the show

44. Fountain choice : COKE - You might have to ask a jerk for one

45. Drive : FUEL - These can FUEL dreams

46. PC key under Shift : CTRL

49. Airport in Peru's cap. : LIM

50. [Head slap] : DOH

All in, I'll bet that you liked Michael's puzzle. Call?