The Lighter Side of JzB

Here you will find photos, poetry, and possibly some light-hearted foolishness. For the Heavier Side
of JzB
see my other blog,
Retirement Blues. (There be dragons!)

I claim copyright and reserve all rights for my original material of every type and genre.


Every day visits*
From Moose, Goose, and Orb Weaver
All seized by Haiku


"Why moose and goose?" you may ask. Back on 2/04/13 Pirate wrote a haiku with an elk in it, and I responded with
one with a moose and then included him every day. A few days later in comments Mystic asked "Where's the goose?"
So I started including her with this post on 2/07. A week later on the 14th, Mark Readfern
asked for and received a spider. The rest is history.

*Well, most days, anyway. Grant me a bit of poetic license.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Loren Muse Smith & Bruce Haight

THEME - HEARTS and FLOWERS for VALENTINE'S DAY.

Our theme song.



Wow - that's horrible. Moving right along, here are our theme entries.  The first words of each horizontal three-word entry build up to today's pressing question.

19 A. Has no chance of working : WILL NEVER FLY.   Won't get off the ground.

23 A. "This is a sure bet" : YOU CANT LOSE.   If it's too good to be true  .  .  .

42 A. "Hold on a sec" : BE RIGHT BACK.   Don't wait up for me.

48 A. 2000s sitcom starring Jason Lee : MY NAME IS EARL.  Grifting bully wins the lottery and has an epiphany, then decides to use his new unearned wealth to right all the wrongs of his life.  Never watched it.

Today's quasi-unifier completes the idea.  20 D. End of a question begun by part of 19-, 23-, 42- and 48-Across : VALENTINE.  You can read about the eponymous saint here.

Putting it all together: WILL YOU BE MY VALENTINE?.  Of course I will, I love you all.

Found these gems on Face Book.



Hi gang, Jazzbumpa on duty.  I didn't bring you any chocolates,  but let's see what other lovely delights we can uncover.

Across

1. Drive-thru device : ATMAutomatic Teller Machine for banking from your driver's seat.

4. Org. people line up for? : TSA. Transportation Security Administration.   I used to love air travel.  This is one more reason not to.

7. Sell under false pretenses : PALM OFF.  I had PASS OFF, which slowed me down a bit.

14. Tries to scam online : PHISHES.   Uses fraudulent e-mail to get people to reveal personal information, like pass words or credit card numbers.

16. South Pacific region : OCEANIA.  A collective name for the many scattered islands in the  Pacific Ocean, north and south of the equator, plus Australia.


17. Good thing to break gently : BAD NEWS.  Otherwise, you're breaking bad, badly.

18. Bought time : STALLED.  Dragged one's feet.

21. "__ Lisa" : MONA.  Famous painting, and a chance for some better music.



22. Golf's "Big Easy" : ELS.  South African golfer Theodore Ernest [Ernie] b.1969, with 19 PGA wins, 28 European Tour wins, and dozens of other trophies.

28. "Halt and Catch Fire" network : AMC.  TV network formerly known as American Movie Classics.  The named program was a fictional drama series about the early days of personal computing and the growth of the world wide web.

31. Writers Patchett and Brashares : ANNS.  I'm currently reading Lords and Ladies, [without having read the necesssarry prequels, and it's till working out OK] and misread Patchett as Pratchett.  But TERRY doesn't fit.  Ms Patchett [b 1963] is an American writer of magazine articles, short stories and novels.  Her novel Bel Canto won the PEN/Faulkner award in 2002.  Ms Brashares [b 1967] is an American writer of YA fiction, best know for her novel The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.

32. Korea setting : EAST ASIA.  With whom we have not always been at war.

34. Rhodes of Rhodesia fame : CECIL John Rhodes [1853-1902]. Without spending more time than I was willing to, I couldn't verify that he was the eponym for Rhodesia, but I'll still make that intuitive leap.  His Wikipedia entry says he was a mining magnate, businessman and staunch believer in British imperialism, which I take to mean he was also a virulent racist and exploiter.

36. "__-Man": superhero film : ANT.  The IMDB entry for this movie says, "Armed with a super-suit with the astonishing ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength, cat burglar Scott Lang must embrace his inner hero and help his mentor, Dr. Hank Pym, plan and pull off a heist that will save the world."

37. Longtime SeaWorld star : SHAMU.  The killer whale.

38. Four-legged collar wearer : HOUSE PET.  Cat or dog, most of the time.

40. Indigo plant : ANIL.  Indigofera suffruticosa, is a flowering plant of the pea family native to tropical and subtropical Americas.  It is a source of indigo dye.

41. Rubble-making stuff : TNT. TriNitroToluene.  Originally used as a yellow dye, it is now best known as an explosive.  Since it is rather difficult to detonate, it has relatively safe handling properties.

46. Storybook crone : HAG.  Witch.

47. Close at hand : NEAR.

53. "God willing!" : I HOPE SO.  Wishful thinking.

55. "We've heard enough" : SPARE US. T M I.

57. Accumulates : PILES UP.  I had AMASSES, leading to more difficulty.

58. Cautious bettors : HEDGERSHere is how they do it.

59. Mailer's need : ADDRESS.  Only if you want it to arrive.

60. Many promos : ADS.

61. Spot for family game night : DEN.  AKA, family room.

Down

1. Manhunt letters : APBAll Points Bulletin.  A broadcast to law enforcement agencies to be on the look out for a certain dangerous or missing person.

2. Winter warm spell : THAW.  We had two or three last week, with snow storms in between.

3. Skirt style : MIDI.  I had MINI first.  More wishful thinking, I suppose.  Then MAXI 'cuz i go to extremes.


4. Title role for Geena : THELMA.  Along with Susan as Louise.  Iconic feminist story with a Greek tragedy finale.

5. Attached, as a button : SEWN ON.  Holding on by a threat

6. Give the go-ahead : ASSENT.

7. Something struck by a model? : POSE.



8. One in a cast : ACTRESS.  I believe ACTOR is now the preferred non-gender-specific term.

9. Circulars : LEAFLETS.  Things that are circulated, not things that are shaped round.

10. Store collections : MALLS.  Nice misdirection.  Collections of stores rather than collections of things in stores.

11. The Beach Boys' "God __ Knows" : ONLY.   I never knew this was title.



12. Quaint "For shame!" : FIE.  Expression of outrage or disgust.

13. Fidget spinners, apparently : FAD.   Short-lived enthusiasm for some thing that generally doen't deserve it.

15. Kate McKinnon is in its ensemble, briefly : SNLSaturday Night Live.  Common X-word TV entry.

23. Regatta entry : YACHT.  A recreational boat in a race.  The word YACHT derives from the Dutch word for "hunt."  Originally it meant a fast sailing ship used to hunt down pirates and other aquatic miscreants.

24. Diamond situation after a leadoff double : ONE ON.  One base runner in baseball.  Why a double and not a single, triple, walk, or batter hit by pitch?

25. Full-length, as a film : UNCUT.  Unabridged.

26. Several CBS dramas : CSIs.  Crime Scene Investigation - a franchise of CBS crime dramas involving procedural forensics in evidence gathering and crime solving.  Never watched any of them.

27. Bread grain : OAT.  Not just for horses.

28. Yoga pose : ASANA.  Didn't we already have a POSE?!?  An ASANA is a seated posture, or other yoga position.


29. Make like : MIMIC.  Act in the manner of, aka a la.

30. Sink sealant : CAULK.  A waterproof sealant.

33. Captain described as a "grand, ungodly, god-like man" : AHAB.  From Melville's classic Moby Dick.

35. Beirut natives : LEBANESE.

36. Bubbly prefix : AER-.  [gurgle]

39. Winged steed of myth : PEGASUS.


43. Performer with many fans? : GEISHA.  Another misdirection.


44. Secured, as a gate : HASPED.  Dating back to the Germanic origins of Old, English, a HASP is a perforated metal plate that fits over a metal loop that can then be secured with a lock.  Its use as a verb is archaic.

45. Tire features : TREADS.  The textured surfaces where the rubber meets the road.

46. Bouncing off the walls : HYPER.  Over-excited or -active.

48. Shape : MOLD

49. Hairdressing challenges : MOPS.  Unruly locks.  Maybe a HASP would help?

50. Uru. neighbor : ARG. Two So. Amer. Ctries.

51. Swamp thing : REED.   Plant life.

52. Angler's fly, e.g. : LURE.  A type of bait that attracts the targeted fish.

53. Pub letters : IPAIndia Pale Ale.   A high hop content brew, originally designed to be brewed in England and shipped to India.  The hops stabilize the product in transit.

54. Squirreled away : HID.

56. Bank acct. info : SSNSocial Security Number.  Guard it from the PHISHermen.

OK kids. That wraps up another Wednesday.  And since it's Valentine's day, I'll close with this. Nā Pana 'Elua, in Hawiian means "The Two Heartbeats."





Peace and Love!
JzB


Wednesday, January 24, 2018

L.A. Times Crossword Puzzle Wednesday, January 24, 2018 Roland Huget

Theme: A GOOD CLIP.  Indicating a non-specific, but rapid rate of motion.

21 A. Fast clip around the racetrack : BLISTERING PACE.  A very fast horse.

40 A. Fast clip from the pitcher's mound : DIZZYING VELOCITY.  A 100+ mph fast ball

60 A. Fast clip down the slopes : BREAKNECK SPEED.  Downhill ski race.

Consider this -


Or this -


On the other hand  .  .  .


Here we get the theme continuity from the clues rather than the fill.  Not a common approach, but you'll see it once in a while.  Long theme fill, with a grid spanner in the middle.  Not a lot else to say.  Each two-word entry indicates extremely fast motion in a sports context.

Hi gang, JzB here.  Never known for my speed.  This time I swear to give you today's puzzle, the whole of today's puzzle, and nothing but today's puzzle - or help me, 'cuz I'll need it.  Let's proceed at whatever pace you find comfortable, and see what else we can catch up with.

Across

1. Filet mignon source : LOIN.  A superior cut of beef.


5. __ price : ASKING.  What the seller desires.

11. Ran together : BLED.  As of patterns on a dyed cloth.

15. Actress Paquin of Netflix's "Alias Grace" : ANNA.


16. Tremble : SHIVER.  Quake.

17. Slick : OILY.  Slippery or lubed, literally or figuratively.

18. Team first managed by Casey Stengel : METS.  Casey had previously managed the Yankees for many years. My favorite baseball trivia question: What was Casey Stengel doing in 1927 when Babe Ruth of the Yankees hit 60 home runs?  [Answer at the bottom.]

19. Volcanic archipelago state : HAWAII.  Everybody knows this - right?

20. Eyelid bump : STYE.  A painful bacterial infection of an oil gland in the eyelid.

24. Internet subdivision : DOMAIN.   An identifying web address.

25. Feathered layer : HEN. Of eggs.

26. USPS assignment : RTE.  Route.

29. Eagerly took in : ATE UP.  Literally or figuratively

30. Flutist of Greek myth : PAN.  Half man, half goat, Pan is the god of the wild, fields, fertility and Spring, and companion of the nymphs.   Apollo made better music on his lyre - and that's the truth!

33. Romanov rulers : TSARS.  Russian royalty.

35. Classic shoe polish brand : SHINOLA.   You know from SHINOLA - right?  What you might not know it that the brand name now belongs to a Detroit company that makes high-end watches, bicycles, jewelry, leather goods and accessories.

39. Surmounting : ATOP.  Straddling, perhaps.

45. "Field of Dreams" setting : IOWA.  Regarding a baseball field in a corn field.

46. Lowered the grade of : DERATED.  As in creditworthiness.

47. Take potshots : SNIPE.  With a gun or one's tongue

49. Simple survey answer : YES.  

50. Poetry Muse : ERATO.  Her name comes from the same root as erotic, and indicates beauty and desirability.

55. Own, to Burns : HAE.   I guess this means "have" in highland dialect.

56. Craven of horror : WES. The director who brought us Freddie Krueger of Elm Street fame, The Hills Have Eyes, etc.

59. Mental haze : STUPOR.  Confusion.

65. "Toodles!" : CIAO.  Greeting or parting word from an old Italian root meaning "I am your slave."

67. Evening get-together : SOIREE.  From SOIR, the French word for evening.

68. One-named Deco artist : ERTE.  Romain de Tiroff.  ERTE is the French pronunciation of his initials - and mine.

69. Curved paths : ARCS.  Observable with baseballs, footballs, basketballs, tennis balls, and golf balls.

70. There for the __: easy to get : TAKING.   Come and get it.

71. Plug-in vehicle, briefly : E-CAR.  Electric powered conveyance.

72. Chinese toy : PEKE.  Small dog variety, not a child's plaything.  Take your pick.

73. Comes down hard? : SLEETS.  Frozen rain does this.  Clever clue and an unpleasantly chilly experience.

74. Dines : SUPS.  Eats supper.  Or dinner.  You decide.

Down


1. Greek letter whose lowercase indicates wavelength : LAMBDA.  Uppercase Λ, lowercase λ.

Mandatory nerd joke:  Q: What's 𝛎? A:  C/ λ, same as always. 
[Translated: Q: What's new (nu, frequency)? A: The speed of light / the wave length.]

2. Developer's unit : ONE LOT.  A plot in a plat.

3. Early enough : IN TIME. Or ON TIME.

4. Bahamian capital : NASSAU. Or a town on Long Island.

5. Pale as a ghost : ASHEN.  Wan.

6. __-Pei: wrinkly dog : SHAR.


7. Fuzzy fruit : KIWI.

8. "Ghostbusters" director Reitman : IVAN.

9. Secretariat utterance? : NEIGH.  Secretariat was an American thoroughbred race horse that in 1983 became the first triple crown winner in 25 years.

10. Complaint : GRIPE.  Grouse.

11. Anjou kin : BOSC.  A pair of pears.

12. Intelligentsia : LITERATI.  Specifically those with an interest in literature.

13. English cathedral town : ELY.   This town is about 80 miles north of London.  The church community dates back to the 7th century, with the present building dating from the 11th century.

14. Easter egg dip : DYE.   To color the shells.

22. A bit buzzed : TIPSY.  From imbibing alcohol.

23. Aardvark snack : ANT.  Or termite.

27. Bouncy gait : TROT.  A horse's or person's rapid stride.  Less than a CLIP, though, I'm guessing.

28. Best Game or Best Play : ESPY. Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly Award, granted by ABC Sports, and previously by ESPN, to recognize outstanding individual and team achievements.

30. Christmas candle scent : PINE.

31. Fit to be tied : ANGRY.  Feeling choler.

32. Super stars? : NOVAE.  A super NOVA is a transient astronomic event in the last stages of a star's evolution that involves catastrophic destruction via a huge explosion.  NOVAE is the plural.  Clever clue.

34. Plant pouch : SAC.  Animals have them, too.

36. Put out of sight : HID.

37. "I'm game" : LET'S do it.




38. Newcastle Brown brew : ALE.  A decent brown ale produced by Heineken.

40. Wolfgang Puck creation : DISH.  As in entree, not a piece of porcelain dinner ware.

41. New Rochelle college : IONA. Affiliated with the Congregation of Christian Brothers, locared 20 miles north of Manhattan in Westchester County.

42. Twice-baked bread : ZWIEBACK.  Here in MI, it's Trenary Toast, from the U. P.

43. Hit with a laser : ZAP.  or warm in a microwave oven.

44. "Awake and Sing!" playwright : ODETS.

48. Farm mom : EWE.

51. "Slumdog Millionaire" money : RUPEES.  Indian currency.

52. Brief summary : APERCU.  It should make an illuminating of amusing point.  From the French verb meaning "to percieve."

53. Line dance step : TOE TAP.

54. Military instructions : ORDERS.

57. Bridge seats : EASTS.  Bridge table locations are indicated North, South, EAST and West.  In a tournament, there are several tables.  The N-S pair stays put, while the E-W pair travel in one direction and the pre--dealt cards travel the other way.

58. Scandinavian toast : SKOAL.  Traces back to an Old Norse word meaning "bowl."   Possibly filled with brown ale.

59. Surfboard stabilizers : SKEGS.  A SKEG is a fin underneath the rear of the board.

61. Got up : ROSE.

62. "Just do it" brand : NIKE.  Athletic shoes.

63. Niagara Falls source : ERIE.  Ohio's great lake.

64. Penny : CENT.  One hundredth of a dollar.

65. Ballplayer's hat : CAP.

66. Choler : IRE. Ill humor.

This was not a speed run for me.  How about you?

In 1927, when Yankee great George Herman [Babe] Ruth hit a record-setting 60 ARCS into the outfield seats, Charles Dillon [Casey] Stengel was in my home town managing the Toledo Mud Hens.  Stengel went on to manage the Yankees from 1949 to 1960.  The following year, when Roger Maris hit 61 home runs, the Yankees manager way Ralph Houk.  Stengel managed the Mets from 1962-5.

In those days I was a Yankee fan.  Forgive me, I was young and didn't know any better.

Cool regards!
JzB


Wednesday, January 10, 2018

L.A. Times Crossword Wednesday, January 10, 2018 Paul Coulter

Theme: Why should you never starve at the beach?  Because of all the sand which is there.  [Let the groaning begin.] Three common sandwich fillings are wrapped up inside the theme answers, in each split across the two word fill.  Let's have a taste.

20 A. Blindsided : CAUGHT UNAWARE.  Thus, by surprise.  The infallible internet tells me that UNAWARE is an adjective, but CAUGHT needs an adverb complement - in this case, UNAWARES. I am not making up this not.  Anyway, TUNA is a common sandwich filler, popular with both humans and felines.

33 A. Pumpkin pie maker's tool : NUTMEG GRATER.  A handy little gadget that comes in many designs and varieties.  NUTMEG is not just for deserts, though.  It goes wonderfully with pasta, spinach and Gruyere cheese.  Trust me on this one.  Concealed in this answer is an EGG.  I have not tried this with NUTMEG.  Could be promising.

41 A. One of a global septet : NORTH AMERICA. The other 6 continents are South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and Antarctica.  HAM is of course another classic sandwich filler.  I like mine grilled with Swiss cheese.  Perhaps another NUTMEG opportunity?

And the unifier, or in this case, container -- 56. Flatbread lunch items ... and, as shown by circles, what 20-, 33- and 41-Across are? : SANDWICH WRAPS.  Typically, these are some variety flat bread, literally rolled and wrapped around the filling.

Hi, gang, JazzBumpa here.  Let's head for the dining room and see what else Paul has cooked up for us.  Bon appetit!

Across

1. Share-a-ride pickup hrs. : ETAS. Estimated Time of Arrivals.  Er - Times of Arrival. 

5. Go wild with Wild Turkey, say : TOPE.  Drink to excess, especially if done on a regular basis.

9. Golden Horde member : TATARIt's complicated.

14. Pope __ VI (1963-'78) : PAUL.   Giovanni Battista Enrico Antonio Maria Montini, as Pope, continued and implemented the ecumenical reforms started under Pope John XXIII. 

15. Copied : APED.  APE see, APE do.

16. Be nuts about : ADORE.  

17. "The Simpsons" bus driver : OTTO.

18. Drink garnish : RIND.  Citrus, typically.  Or possibly melon.  I don't claim to know all.

19. Old-time actress Shearer : NORMA.  An accomplished performer who was nominated for 5 Oscars, and best actress winner in 1930 for THE DIVORCEE.



23. "Let's see ... " : HMM.  Thoughtful non-comment.

24. German city on the Danube : ULM.  Along with Regensburg, Passau, Donauschingen, Ingolstadt and Donauwörth, all of which have far to many letters.

25. Set ablaze : IGNITE.  Arson is suspected.

28. The hit in the baseball mantra "A walk is as good as a hit" : SINGLE.  Just as good in the lead off spot.  Not so much with a man on 3rd and two outs.

30. Sugar source : CANE.  Here in the midwest, BEET also works.

32. Cultural funding gp. : National Endowment for the Arts.

36. Beef inspection org. : United States Department of Agriculture.

39. 401(k) alternative, for short : Individual Retirement Account.  N. B. Abrvs. in. Cl. & Ans.

40. __ stick: incense : JOSS.  A thin stick made of paste and a fragrant substance burnt before a Chinese idol.  News to me.

46. Suffix with percent : -ILE.  Each of the 99 intermediate values that divide a frequency distribution into 100 groups.

47. College city on I-35 : AMES. Located in the center of Iowa, and home to Iowa State University.

48. Sharp : SHREWD.   Mentally.

52. Yom Kippur month : TISHRI.  From an Akkadian root meaning "beginning."   The first month of the civil year and 7th month of the eclesaitical year in the Hebrew calendar.

54. "Who am __ judge?" : I TO.  Who, indeed?

55. China's Chou En-__ : LAI.  Or Zhou Enlai, first Premier of the People's Republic of China, and a highly skilled diplomat.

60. Work really hard : SLAVE.  I don't suppose working hard at surfing counts.

62. '60s-'70s pitcher nicknamed Blue Moon : ODOM.  Johnny Lee ODOM, b. 1945 won three consecutive World Championships in 1973-4-5 with the Oakland A's.  He also had a pretty sever substance abuse problem.

63. Huge : EPIC.  

64. Awards for Asimov et al. : HUGOS.  Named for HUGO Gernbach, founder of the magazine Amazing Stories, they are presented each year at the World Science Fiction Convention.   Isaac Asimov is an American biochemist who became a science-fiction and then non-fiction author and editor of hundred of books

65. Computer list : MENU. Or cafe.  We do have a sandwich theme!

66. Concerning : AS TO.  In re:

67. Suits : EXECS.  Corp big wigs.  I've met a few and was not impressed.

68. Musically low : BASS.  


69. Floral neckwear : LEIS.  Flower garlands associated with Hawaii.

Down 

1. Young Cleaver, for short : BEAV.  From the 50's - 60's sit-com about Wally Cleaver's younger brother Timothy, portrayed by Jerry Mathers.

2. Idris of "Luther" : ELBA.  British actor, producer, musician, and DJ.

3. Service call? : AMEN.  Actually a response at a religious service.

4. Penicillin source : MOLD.  This was discovered completely by accident when mold spores got into petri dishes of Staphylococcus aureus while microbiologist Alexander Fleming took a long week end in 1928.

5. She sang about McGee : JOPLIN.  Janice, aka Pearl.




6. Iroquois tribe : ONEIDA.  Native Americans of the Great Lakes region in the U.S and Canada.

7. Willy or Lenny of Manhattan deli fame : KATZ.  Proprietors of Katz's Deli [Est. 1888] in Manhattan, not the Manhattan Deli chain, as near as I can tell.

8. Pentathlon sword : EPEE.  Famous competitive dueling sword, often crossed in crossword puzzles.

9. 35mm camera type : Single Lens Reflex.

10. Russell __ Candies : STOVER.

11. Heart chambers : ATRIA. Two auricles, two ventricles, no oracles.

12. Played over : RERAN.

13. "You __ cool!" : ARE SO.  Why thank you. [blushing]

16. Selma's state : ALABAMA.

20. "So that's the puzzle theme!" : AHA.  Or, occasionally, HMM.

24. Torso topper : HEAD.  Anatomy.

25. Torah chests : ARKS.   Housing for the Torah scrolls in a Synagogue.

26. One of a vivacious pair? : VEE.  This letter appear twice in the subject word.  Self-referential clue. Meh!

27. Origami bird : CRANE.  Folded paper art.

28. Discontinued Saturn model : ION.

29. Noir weapon : GAT.  A gangster's gun, in a sub-genre of American crime fiction.

30. School support org. : Parent-Teachers Association.

32. Cooped (up) : PENT.

33. Co-worker of Clark : LOIS.

34. "The good is __ interred with their bones": Antony : OFT. Marc, via that spear-shakin' guy.

36. Stuffed one's face : ATE A TON.  As I did on thanksgiving.

37. Throw on : DON. As apparel.

38. Jettas, e.g. : VWs.  Der Gute Deuetsche VolksWagen.

39. Rev : GUN.  An engine.  Has nothing to do with a GAT.

43. Protégé : MENTEE.  One who mentored.


44. Midnight rider : REVEREYet another Paul.  I'm a-Pauled.  This one was an American silversmith, engraver, early industrialist, and Patriot in the American Revolution. He is best known for his midnight ride to alert the colonial militia in April, 1775 to the approach of British forces before the battles of Lexington and Concord.

45. Like a ripped-up check : VOIDED.  To void a check, you write the word VOID across it.  This check can then be used to set up direct deposit or automatic electronic payments.  A ripped up check is just shredded paper.

46. Taylor of fashion : ANN.  Not a real person.  This is a group of retail apparel shops founded by Richard Liebeskind in New Haven, Connecticut.  Ann Taylor was the name of a best selling dress at his father's shop.  Dad gave both the dress and the name to his son.

47. On the blink : KAPUT.  Inoperative.

48. Maureen of "The Quiet Man" : O'HARA.  Maureen Fitzsimmons [1920-2015] was an Irish actress and singer who often worked with John Ford and Marion Mitchell Morrison [aka John Wayne.]

49. Wedding bands : RINGS.

52. Layered mineral : MICA.

53. Arabian Sea sultanate : OMAN.

54. Loads : GOBS.  Large quantities.

55. Vaccine holder : VIAL.  A small cylindrical container, usually made of glass, used to hold medications or scientific samples.

56. "Not only that ... " : ALSO. In addition  .  .  .

57. Politburo no : NYET.  Russian negation.

59. "Newhart" production co. : MTM.  Named for Mary Tyler Moore.  The Newhart program ran on CBS from 1982 to 1990.

Well, that [ahem] WRAPS is up for another Wednesday.  Sadly, no love for peanut butter.  Hope you didn't EAT A TON.

Cool regards!
JzB

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Just another Spider Tuesday in the Garden

It's an open forum on Tuesday, even if you don't get to it until Wednesday.

I have a lot of music events on the near horizon, including some challenging solos to master.  I guess I have a limited amount of creativity, since it seems to always be music or writing, not both.

Here's a haiku I wrote for Carpe Diem back in 2014.   There were strict requirements, as per classic haiku.  I've written a lot of bad ones, and even worse - haiku shaped word clusters, but this one came out well, I think.


on the silken strands
sad fly plays a minor chord
orb weaver's delight


It has 5-7-5 structure, a summer kigo, 1st-3rd line interchangeability, and phrase and fragment structure - an English language adaptation of the cutting word.  There might also be a deeper meaning, which I'll leave for you to ponder, if you so chose.

Happy Thanksgiving, all.  He will be spending the day with my kids and their kids.


L.A. Times Crossword Wednesday, November 22, 2017 Johanna Fenimore

Theme: WELL, THAT WAS UNPLEASANT!  The first word of the theme answers are adjectives describing things that might make you curl your lip, cover your eyes, plug your nose and leave in disgust.

18. Last one in, so they say : ROTTEN EGG.  Swimming pool/hole cry, and a nasty sulfurous odor.

29. Bad thing to end on : SOUR NOTE.  Indeed, the first rule of the musician's code is to always end on a good note.  A sour note in the middle of a tune might be forgotten, or better yet, not noticed. But at the end - it's a poor statement that might be remembered.  By analogy, can apply to any situation that ends badly.

34. Serious carelessness, in tort law : GROSS NEGLIGENCE.   Per Wikipedia, the "lack of slight diligence or care" or "a conscious, voluntary act or omission in reckless disregard of a legal duty and of the consequences to another party."  In a different, more vernacular, sense, something GROSS is disgusting.

43. Place at the very bottom : RANK LAST.  To have an unsuccessful competitive season or tournament.  Somebody has to end up there.  In a different sense, RANK describes an offensive odor.

55. Trait of one given to obscenities : FOUL MOUTH.  A person with a FOUL MOUTH utters what we used to call "bad words."  Odors and struck baseballs can also be FOUL.

And, tucked deep into the far corner [but I can still smell it]  the unifier:  67. Reaction to the starts of the five longest puzzle answers : YECCH.  A vocalized expression of disgust.

Hi Gang, JazzBumpa on duty.  Let's set the unpleasantness aside, and and seek the good stuff in this puzzle.  With 5 theme entries, including a grid-spanner, plus the unifier, it's thematically rich.

Down

1. Minty Derby drink : JULEP.   Now this more like it!  Bourbon, crushed ice, sugar and fresh mint, typically served in a tall frosty glass.  A Kentucky Derby tradition.



6. Shopping extravaganza : SPREE.  An event of self-indulgence, carousal, or extreme activity.

11. ABC show for early risers, briefly : Good Morning America.  A news and pop-culture program shown from 7:00 to 9:00 a.m. in all time zones, live in the Eastern Zone and on broadcast delay in the others.

14. "Ditto," more formally : AS AM I.  Me too.

15. "Can't win 'em all" : I LOST. Somebody always goes home disappointed.  Wish it were the other guy.

16. Conniving "2001" computer : HAL.



17. Copperfield's field : MAGIC.  David Seth Kotkin [b 1956] aka David Copperfield is an American illusionist who has grossed [in yet another sense of the word] over $4 billion in ticket sales, more than any other solo entertainer in history.   He also owns 11 islands in the Bahamas, called Musha Bay, which he uses as a private resort.

20. Complain : KVETCH.  Something I assume Mr. Kotkin would have little cause to do.

22. __ extra cost : AT NO.  It's all included.

23. Banged shut : SLAMMED.  As a door, frex.

27. Cover the spread? : CATER.  My first reaction was - eh?  But a CATERER provides the victuals, aka "the spread," for an event.  Clever!

28. More unsure : WARIER.  More cautious, actually.  Is a person who is less unsure under wary?

32. Feels lousy : AILS.  Hurts or has a tummy ache.

33. Casual "You game?" : WANNA.  "Do you want to?" in short mouth.

41. Westminster landmark : ABBEY.  The Collegiate Church of St. Peter at Westminster, opened in 1090 C. E.,  is a large, mostly gothic structure located in the City of Westminster, London.

42. Indifferent responses : MEHS.  I'm not impressed.

47. Letter-shaped shoe fastener : T-STRAP.  A description that fits to a T.





49. Tablet download : E-BOOK.  Electronic Book to be read on your portable device. I have sheet music on mine.

50. Becomes depleted : RUNS DRY.  Gets all used up.

51. "Tickle Me" toy : ELMO.  Fuzzy red muppet.

52. Tries one's hand (at) : HAS A GO.  This always reminds me of the scene in Raymond Carver's short story, "Will You Please Be Quiet, Please?" when Mitchell Anderson asks Marian, "Would you like to HAVE A GO at it?"  And she does.

57. Held the deed to : OWNED.

62. Dawn goddess : EOS.  The rosy-fingered goddess who opens the gates of heaven so that the sun may rise.

63. Naturally lit lobbies : ATRIA.  A large open air or sky light covered space surrounded by a building.

64. Connect with : TIE TO.  Make an association between

65. Apt. divisions : RMS. Rooms, with or without views.

66. Oyster bead : PEARL. A more or less spherical calcium carbonate object produced within the soft tissue of a mollusk.  They have long been prized as gem stones.


Down

1. Traffic snarl : JAM.  I deal with it several times a week.

2. Mex. neighbor : USA.  Los Estados Unidos de Mexico and the United States of America.

3. Fall behind : LAG.

4. Old U.K. record label : EMI.

5. Hand raiser's cry : PICK ME.  There's always that one kid in the back of the classroom  .  .  .

6. Fathered : SIRED.  Begat.

7. Devious scheme : PLOT.

8. Campus cadets' org. : ROTCReserve Officers' Training Corp.

9. Bk. before Job : ESTHer.

10. Summer on the Seine : ETE.  French

11. "In the __": Elvis hit : GHETTO.



12. Refrigerator art holder : MAGNET.  We currently have several photos in place.

13. Climate Reality Project chairman : AL GORE.  ]b 1948]  Former congressman, senator, vice president and presidential candidate.

19. Indian flatbread : NAAN. A leavened  oven-baked flat bread common in south and central Asia.

21. Bible transl., e.g. : VERsion.   Who knew there were so many?

23. Party loot : SWAG.  Things given away as gifts, usually for promotional purposes.

24. Den : LAIR.  Where the Lions live.  They'll need to be better than they have been against the Vikings tomorrow, and I'm not a liar.

25. Guthrie of folk : ARLO.  Who provided us with another Thanksgiving Day tradition.  [Warning: it's a little over 18 minutes.]



26. __ Piggy : MISS.  And her handsome beau, Kermit.  It's a match made in a bog.  Or maybe a sty.



27. Rock climber's handhold : CRAG.   In rock climber's lingo, a crag is any climbable cliff.  But I think the intended meaning here is an outcropping that can be grasped.

29. "Full House" actor : SAGET. Bob [b 1956] as Danny Tanner from 1987-95.  He's also done several other TV and movie projects.

30. Like a child without siblings : ONLY.  I was one for 6 1/2 years.  It's almost like my parents raised to ONLIES.

31. Start of a cycle? : UNI-.  Half a bicycle.  I'm not fond of cutsie affix clues.

33. Woven traps : WEBS.    The work of spiders.  Here is one of my better haiku.

on the silken strands
sad fly plays a minor chord
 orb weaver's delight

35. Polio vaccine pioneer : SALK.  Jonas [1914-1995]

36. Kevin Durant's org. : National Basketball Association.

37. CPR specialists : Emergency Medical TechnicianS.

38. Geek : NERD.  Call him/her for your computer or cell phone issues.

39. Sear : CHAR.  Burn or blacken the surface of something.

40. Award for athletes : ESPY.  Granted by sports TV network ESPN.

43. Sailor's jacket : REEFER.  A thick, close-fitting, double breasted coat.  I believe this word might also have another meaning.

44. Flowering : ABLOOM.  Buds are busting out all over.

45. Half a rhyming "easy to do" phrase : NO MUSS.  No fuss, no bother.

46. Menthol cigarette brand : KOOL.  First introduced in 1933.

47. Harbor helper : TUG.  A boat that moves other larger boats by pushing or towing them in hard to maneuver places.

48. Highfalutin : SNOOTY.  Elitist.

50. 1986 Indy 500 winner Bobby : RAHAL. [b 1953]  Winner of 3 championships and 24 races in the CART open-wheel series.

52. Table d'__: fixed menu : HOTE.  Meal with a fixed price and few options.  You get what you get.

53. Mystical glow : AURA. A supposed emanation surrounding living creatures, allegedly discernible by certain adept individuals.

54. Cookbook verb : STIR.  What ya got cookin'?

56. "The Amazing Race" prop : MAP.  To determine the next leg of the adventure.

Hope you enjoyed this adventure, and escaped with your senses and sensibilities unscathed.

Happy Thanksgiving to all.  We'll have 10 family members joining us to celebrate.



Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Tuesday Gardening

Tuesdays are wide open in the garden.  Here is another demented sonnet from archives.

The captured maiden, monster, rescuing hero trope is as old as story telling.  One common variation derived from European folk-lore has a princess and a dragon in the starring roles.  This has become a fantasy cliche over the last few decades, eventually leading to creative alternate approaches, such as in the movie SHREK.  I've written a couple of stories that play with the idea, and this poem, which I think takes an original approach.  I hope you enjoy it.

Also, this trope plays into male-dominance, and its a short step from there to the abuse and pedophilia that is so prominent in the news these days.   It's all about power in relationships, and power corrupts.

Afterthought - I didn't watch the music vid at the Garden post until just now, so the idea of using a dragon is completely coincidental, and resonates in a rather weird way.



    IN PRAYER SHE CONTEMPLATES

Far from her home, sequestered in a cave
In dampness, gloom and foul lizard's filth
With golden chains that mock a kingdom's wealth,
She waits the coming of the knight or knave --

The fool who'd face the flame and fang to save 
A royal maiden from this monstrous death.
The fool arrives.  To scale and scalding breath
He shouts his dare.  Could one so wild and brave

Be any but a lout?  No doubt he'd clench
A princess as he would some low-born wench. 
Is lance of knight or fang of worm to be
The one to test her vain virginity?

Reposed in prayer she contemplates her sins,
Then spies her knight, and prays the dragon wins.


~~::~~::~~

Friday, November 10, 2017

It's All Relative In The Garden

Isadora asks us to,"Write about a relative's encounter with a famous person. That's all. The encounter doesn't have to have actually happened. And the famous person does not need to be living or even from the same era."

Well, if the famous person can be fictional, then why not the relative? And if not the same era, then why not a different planet?  Full disclosure: I do not have a cousin named Amoretta. Her name and a draft of the first two couplets popped into my head from who-knows-where. I wrote them before I went to bed, then composed the rest on my pillow [instead of sleeping] and set it all down this morning. Can't tell you when the last time was I wrote anything rhyming and metric, so this was a fun challenge.


                                  SNOW FALL

My cousin Amoretta was a drudge at Winterfell;
For a simple low-born lass she was doing well.

Robb Stark never noticed her, though she tried to flirt;
He was destined for a high-born girl whose skirts weren’t fringed with dirt.

So she set her mind and heart on father Ned’s by-blow:
A sullen and impulsive lad whose bastard name was Snow.

This Jon Snow had a weakness for girls with hair of red,
So red-haired Amoretta sought to lure him to her bed.

But their tryst was interrupted when he answered duty’s call
And road off to the North to join the Watchers on the Wall.

Then she was left alone again, bereft of love and joy
Until she caught the eye and heart of the burly black smith boy.

Soon they were wed and she decided he must never know
That in their closest moments she was dreaming of Jon Snow.


~~::~::~~


Monday, November 6, 2017

L. A. Times Crosword -- Wednesday, November 8, 2017 C. C. Burnikel

Theme - CONVERSATIONS of a sort. The circled letters that book-end the theme answers to the asterisked clues are all synonyms for TALK.  Hence today's theme song.




Let's check them out.

16 A. *Golfer's guide for measuring distances : YARDAGE BOOK.  I'm not familiar with this term, but it's clearly a record of tee to green distances.  To YAK is to overdue the talking.

28 A. *Philatelist's find : RARE STAMP.  A philatelist is a stamp collector.  A rare one can be worth a fortune.  About 50 years ago the word RAP meant to have a casual conversation, perhaps involving some vocabulary lubricating substances.  Now it indicates a music genre in which rapidly and rhythmically delivered words are presented over some sort of music background.

44 A. *Hybrid retriever : GOLDEN LAB.  Labrador retrievers are hunting and working dogs that make good pets.  They come in black, brown and various shades of yellow.  In a quick search I couldn't come up with anything about hybrids.  There is a mixed breed dog called a Goldador, which is a cross between a Lab and a Golden Retriever. It's a smart and easy going type of dog, but I don't think it is quite the same thing as a Golden Lab, which looks to be a naturally occurring variant.   To GAB is to talk overlong about trivial matters, or engage in idle chatter.

61 A. *Winter warming spell : JANUARY THAW.  The calm between the winter storms.  To JAW is pretty much the same as to YAK or GAB.  The English language is rich in unnecessary synonyms.

Usually it can be hard to grasp this type of theme if your puzzle source doesn't include the circles.  But today's unifier, tucked into the southeast quadrant, is helpful in figuring it out.

38 D. Popular mobile app ... and, as shown by circles, what the inner parts of the answers to starred clues do : SNAPCHAT.    This is an app for sharing pictures and messages.  Unlike on other social media platforms, SNAPCHAT items automatically are deleted after some time.  The sense of the clue is that the interior letters have been snapped and trapped, alligator style, leaving the circled letters as a free-standing word.

Hi Gang, JzB here to start the conversation.  Now - who would come up with such a snappy theme idea?  Why, it is our own C. C.!  With split-word themes I always look for symmetry or balance. Here, the first two entries split after the first letter of the 3-letter target word; and in the last two, it's after the second letter - a nice, elegant touch. Let's SNAP our way through the rest of the puzzle and CHAT about it in comments.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Cold Flash in the Garden


I immediately thought of the song displayed below, and that guided my entry.

I really couldn't go anywhere else.




in pale perfection
she lies supine on a plinth
we are both breathless


Thursday, November 2, 2017

Carpe Diem #1297 White Hand of Moses

At this stage of my life I am starting to see my grandchildren emerge as adults.  My parents are both gone, and many people of my generation leave this earth every day.  Thus has it ever been.

Kristjaan shares with us the 4th quatrain from the Rubaiyat - a difficult verse with esoteric imagery.

Now the New Year reviving old Desires,
The thoughtful Soul to Solitude retires,
Where the WHITE HAND OF MOSES on the Bough
Puts out, and Jesus from the Ground suspires.

© Omar Khayyam (Tr. FitzGerald)

See his post for an excellent analysis and explanation.


My inspiration

after the solstice
new life rises from humus
the cycle of life

~~::~~