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, March 14, 2018

L.A. Times Crossword, Wednesday, March 14, 2018 Robin Stears

Theme:  WORK.  You can WORK out, WORK at something, or WORK on someone.  Alternatively, you can use the word WORK as a modifier or compound noun component, as applied to either half of today's two-word theme entries.  Let's start off with today's theme song number 1.

17 A. Door-to-door seller's form : ORDER SHEET.  This is a list of items you can chose to buy from. A WORK ORDER tells the crew what their next job is.  A WORK SHEET can either be a student's assignment page listing questions with places for answers, or a page in a spreadsheet program.

25 A. Do some bargain-hunting : SHOP AROUND.  Search for the most cost effective alternatives.  A WORK SHOP is a meeting where people engage in activity related to a specific goal or project.  A WORK AROUND is a method for overcoming a problem or difficulty in a system or program,

35 A. Text with maps and timelines : HISTORY BOOK.  A chronicle of who did what to whom, and when and where it happened.  Your WORK HISTORY is a detailed report of all the jobs you've held, complete with dates and titles.  A WORK BOOK contains pages of student's instructions and assignments related to a specific topic.

49 A. Residential get-together : HOUSE PARTY.  A gathering at the residence of the PARTY's host. A WORK HOUSE is a prison where the inmates are subjected to labor as punishment.  A WORK PARTY can be either a social gathering of or for employees, or an organized unit of persons WORKing together.

59 A. Game with ringers : HORSE SHOES.  A game in which two players or teams alternate throwing actual HORSE SHOES or similar U-shaped objects at a stake set in the ground.  A ringer is a HORSE SHOE that completely encircles the stake.  A WORK HORSE is literally a HORSE used for work on a farm, or figuratively a person who dependably and consistently performs hard WORK. A WORK SHOE is a sturdy SHOE designed to provide protection for the foot during a labor assignment.

And the unifier -- 66 A. 2016 #1 hit for Rihanna, which can precede both parts of 17-, 25-, 35-, 49- and 59-Across : WORK.  Now that you can see how this theme WORKs, here is theme song 2.

Hi gang, JazzBumpa on the job.  We definitely have a thematically rich entry today.  How much WORK do you suppose that took?  Let's WORK our way through the puzzle and see what we can accomplish.


1. Flow back : EBB. As tide.

4. "Get outta here!" : BEAT IT.  Advice from Michael Jackson.

10. Column in a pugilist's record : TKOs.  A Technical Knock Out occurs when the referee or official ring physician decides that a boxing mach must be stopped for safety reasons, while a round is in progress.

14. Congressional auditing org. : General Accounting Office.  An independent, non-partisan agency that WORKS for Congress using facts and data to support Congress in meeting constitutional responsibilities and help improve performance and accountability.

15. Rhine wine region : ALSACE.  Located in eastern France, adjacent to Germany and Switzerland.  Historically it's control has been disputed between France and various German states.

16. Stable parent : MARE.  Horse mama.  Mental and emotional states may vary.

19. Very smart : CHIC.  Fashionable and well-appointed.  Levels of intelligence may vary.

20. Gosling of "Blade Runner 2049" : RYAN.  This is a remake of a 1982 classic neo-noir science fiction film.  I never saw either, but long ago I did read the Philip K. Dick novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, on which they are [more or less] based.

21. Tupperware sound : BURP.

23. Jeans label : LEE.  Brand name.

24. Nightly TV staple : NEWS.  What weird thing happened today?

28. Where K-I-S-S-I-N-G goes on : IN A TREE.  Part of a playground taunt traditionally directed at a boy or girl suspected of being attracted to a girl or boy.

(Girl's name) and (boy's name) sitting in a tree
K-i-s-s-i-n-g! (spell it out)
First comes love.
Then comes marriage.
Then comes baby in the baby carriage,
Sucking his thumb,
Wetting his pants,
Doing the hula, hula dance!

 I can testify that I have never kissed anyone while sitting in a tree.

30. Hold the floor : ORATE.  Make a speech - especially pompously or at length.

31. Fabled beast : ASS.  Lots of animals in fables.   Levels of pomposity many vary.

32. Brad Paisley venue : OPRY.  It's grand, it's old, it's country.

34. Copycat : APE. Mimic.

39. Org. in Dan Brown's "Digital Fortress" : NSA.  National Security Agency.  

40. Temps : SUBS.  Temporary or substitute workers.

41. "There's an __ for that" : APP.  APPlication program for your computer or mobile device.

44. Figures on a sports news crawl : STATS.  Statistics - also scores and events.

47. Input, as accidentally erased data : RE-ENTER.  Tedious WORK.

53. Aviation prefix : AERO-.  Short for aeronautical, used to construct portmanteau words.

54. Pop __ : ART.  ART based on popular culture, often with critical or ironic intent.

55. Mongolia locale : ASIA.  The largest continent.

56. Camp Lejeune gp. : United States Marine Corp.

57. Losing proposition : DIET.  Ordinarily this means something that turns out - too late, alas - to be a lost cause.  But here, it's a clever misdirection for a nutritional strategy intended for weight reduction.

63. Burden : ONUS.  Literal, from Latin.

64. Smart people? : ALECKS.  Irritating people or who make rude wise-cracks or act superior in knowledge.  Actual knowledge, intelligence and fashion sense may vary.

65. NBC skit show : Saturday Night Live.

67. More sinewy : WIRIER.  More lean and tough.  Try saying it 3 times, quickly.

68. Farm area : STY. Where the pigs hang out.


1. Cause of star wars? : EGO.  Stars as celebrities, not celestial objects - so the wars are rather more trivial, and down to earth.

2. Scrubby wastelands : BARRENS.  Aptly descriptive.

3. Fragrant shower gel : BODY WASH.  Thickened liquid as an alternative to bar soap.

4. Setting for most of "Charlotte's Web" : BARN.

5. Overhead trains : ELS.  So called for their ELevated tracks.

6. Volcanic __ : ASH.  Small mineral particles expelled during a explosive volcanic eruption, correctly referred to as tephra.

7. Billy Blanks' workout system : TAE-BO.  A total body fitness system employing matial arts techniques.

8. Become frozen : ICE UP.

9. Aquarium fish : TETRA.  Small, tropical, brightly-colored tropical fresh-water fish.  Those in aquariums are penta-up.  Fortunately, they cannot put a hex on you, even if you have deviated septa.

10. SHO sister channel : TMCThe Movie Channel.

11. Liqueur in an espresso martini : KAHLUA.  Coffee flavored liqueur.

12. Point in the right direction : ORIENT.  If you point in the wrong direction, someone could end up getting lost by occident.

13. Formally withdraw : SECEDE.

18. Point in the right direction? : EAST.  A clecho, indicating the normal ORIENTation of flat maps.  Do you have to turn the map upside down when traveling south?

22. Ask for a hand? : PROPOSE.  Another nice misdirection.  Not a request for assistance or one's share of the cards, but rather a request for a loved-one's hand in marriage. Possible outcome of K-I-S-S-I-N-G.

24. "Empire" actress Long : NIA.

25. Nasal dividers : SEPTA.   The SEPTUM is the wall of cartilage and thin bone separating the nostrils.

26. Deli option : HERO.  Big sandwich of meat, cheese and spreads made on an oblong roll or similarly shaped loaf of bread that is sliced end-to-end horizontally, alternatively called the dagwood, submarine [sub], hoagy or grinder.

27. Cookie with a Peeps variety : OREO.   Please just stop.

29. Antarctic waters : ROSS SEA.  A deep bay in the extreme south pacific, at the edge of the antarctic continent.

33. Many mos. : YRS. Abbreviated or not, many months make years.

34. "__ Road": Beatles album : ABBEY.

36. QB's mistakes : INTs.  Interceptions - in American football, passes caught by the defenders instead of the intended receivers.

37. Mongolian tent : YURT.  A round, portable tent covered with skins or felt, used as a dwelling by nomads in the steppes of central Asia.

38. London-born supermodel : KATE MOSS.

42. Word of interest? : PERCENT.  Number used to calculate deposit earnings or loan premiums.

43. Quid __ quo : PRO.  Latin - "something for something" - a favor or advantage granted or expected in return for something.

44. Omen on February 2nd : SHADOW.  Woodchuck [marmota monax] as weather maven.

45. "Starsky & Hutch" Ford model : TORINO.

46. Highbrow filmmaker : AUTEUR.  One who controls all aspects of a collaborative creative WORK.

48. The "N" of CSNY : NASH.   Graham, along with David Crosby, Steven Stills and Neil Young.

Still great 48 years later

50. "Get outta here!" : PSHAW.  An expression of contempt, impatience or disbelief.

51. Garlic mayonnaise : AIOLI.

52. Worth more to collectors : RARER.

56. KGB country : USSR.  The Soviet Union, a grouping of nominal republics under Russian hegemony that existed from 1922 - 1981.  The KGB was its main security agency.

58. "Naughty, naughty!" : TSK.  Comic book attempt to indicate the disparaging sound of tongue clucking.

60. __-fi : SCI.  Reference to the SCIence Fiction genre of speculative literature.

61. Squeeze (by) : EKE.  To barely achieve, with great difficulty.

62. Plotting : SLY.  Cunning and deceitful or secretive.

That wraps up another Wednesday's labor.  Did you love it, or were you lost?

Cool Regards!

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Wednesday, February 28, 2018 Paul Coulter

Theme: CAPITAL IDEAS.  This one is unusual.  Four country names cross the names of their capital cities.  They are arranged in two country-capital pairs, each of which is diagonally symmetrically placed in the grid.  Each country is placed across and each capital is placed down.  Lots of geometric thought went into this arrangement.  Note that the grid symmetry is 180 degree rotation around the central cell - the G of GRIDLOCK. Also, quite a trick finding the places that make this work.

3 D. With 17-Across, where the Duma sits : MOSCOW.
17 A. See 3-Down : RUSSIA.

13 D. With 23-Across, where the Hellenic Parliament sits : ATHENS.
23 A. See 13-Down : GREECE.

42 D. With 52-Across, where the Assembleia Nacional sits : LUANDA.
52 A. See 42-Down : ANGOLA.

45 D. With 58-Across, where Parliament sits : OTTAWA.
58 A. See 45-Down : CANADA.

And the centrally-placed, vertical, grid-spanning unifier -- 7 D. Legislative impasse ... and what occurs at this puzzle's circles? : CAPITAL GRIDLOCK.  Without getting political, this refers to the inability of congress to pass meaningful legislation due to intractable competing interests.  In the puzzle, the crossing of the countries with their capital cities locks both into the grid.  Nicely done.  And a lesson in the spellings of CAPITAL and CAPITOL, for those like me who need it.

Hi Gang, JazzBumpa here. Let's unlock the grid.


1. Fitting the season : TIMELY.  Our daffodils are about 2 inches tall, but the crocuses have yet to make an appearance.

7. Innermost part : CORE.  Of an apple or nuclear reactor, among other things.

11. Gp. known for travelers' checks? : TSA.  The Transportation Safety Administration checks the travelers before they board airplanes.  Clever misdirection.

14. Ancient markets : AGORAE.  In ATHENS.  I wanted a terminal S, but the perps took care of that.

15. Erelong : ANON.  Soon.

16. Bow (out) : OPT.  You can also OPT in.

18. Sullen look : POUT.  Girls in my family, across the generations, have an infamous lower lip pout.

19. "Well, __-di-dah!" : LAH. An expression of derision directed at the pretentious.

20. Nutmeg spice : MACE.  Nutmeg is the ground seed-stone of the nutmeg plant.  MACE is the dried fibers of the surrounding fruit.

21. NY engineering sch. near Albany : RPIRensselaer Polytechnic Institute is a private research university and space-grant institution located in Troy, N. Y.  to the best of my knowledge, Helen never matriculated.

25. Enero to enero : ANO.  From January to January is one year in Spain, just like everywhere else.

26. Charcuterie fare : MEAT.  This is a store selling cold cooked MEATs.

27. Tippi of "The Birds" : HEDREN.  Famous Hitchcock movie.

28. Black bird's call : CAW.  Vide supra.

29. Necessitate : ENTAIL.

31. Goes on and on : GABS.  Blah, blah, blah.

32. Fish often fried : COD.  From the north Atlantic.

33. "The Thin Man" actress : LOY.

34. Zeta follower : ETA.  Letters from ATHENS.

35. Pack away : STOW.

37. Ratings for family-friendly films : PGS.  No sax or violins.

38. Rathskeller draft : BIER.   Contents are closely regulated.

39. __ goo gai pan : MOO.   Americanized Chinese cuisine - a stir-fried dish of chicken with button mushrooms and vegetables.

40. Wine-and-cassis drink : KIR.   Cassis is a black current liquer.  KIR is a measure of cassis topped up with white wine, usually drunk as an apéritif.

41. Cooped-up female : HEN.   Chicken lady.

42. Break in the action : LULL.  Time out.

43. 20 Questions category : ANIMAL.  Along with vegetable and mineral.  One of my long ago colleagues, a PHD physicist, chose something he claimed as vegetable, and nobody could suss it.  Turned out to be crude oil.

45. Food scrap : ORT.  Crossword fodder.

48. More unsightly : UGLIER.

50. Minor body-shop job : DENT.

51. Lipton product : TEA.  I happen to be sipping a mug of Twinings Earl Grey at the moment.

53. Inc., in London : LTD.  Designations for a limited liability corporation.

54. Wild guess : STAB.  Shot in the dark.

55. Class-conscious org.? : The National Education Association is a professional organization for teachers and support personnel.

56. Bouncing effect : ECHO.

60. "Spring forward" letters : DSTDaylight Savings Time.

61. À la mode : CHIC.  Per the current fashion, rather than served with ice cream.  Will be passé in no time.

62. Confessor : AVOWER.  I knew to avow meant to assert.  Didn't know it also meant to confess.  Learning moment.

63. Enzyme suffix : -ASE.   An enzyme is a large molecule that aids chemical reactions in biochemistry.

64. Watch word? : TICK.  It's companion is TOCK.

65. Word on a lost-dog poster : REWARD.


1. Airport surface : TARMAC.  Pavement, generally made from tar and crushed rock.

2. Galápagos lizard : IGUANA.  A large arboreal lizard native to Central and South America.  Be careful in Florida.

4. Hebrides language : ERSE.  Scottish Gaelic.

5. French narrative poem : LAI.  A rhyming, counted-syllable form.

6. Like closing financial reports :  YEAR END.

8. "Oh Yoko!" dedicatee : ONO.  Japanese mulimedia artist and activist, best known as John Lennon's second wife.

9. Or so : ROUGHLY.  An approximation.

10. __ nous : ENTRE.  Just between us,

11. Stand : TOLERATE.  Put up with.

12. Long key : SPACEBAR.  On your keyboard.

22. Bit of butter : PAT.  A non-specific rather small quantity, so-called because fancy restaurants would pat butter into a mold to give it a decorative shape, such as a flower.

24. Enter cautiously : EDGE IN.

26. Cat call : MEOW.

30. Platform for Siri : IOS.  Operating system for Apple branded mobile devices.

32. "Cookin' With __": rapper/chef's web show : COOLIO.  Artis Leon Ivey Jr. (born 1963) is an American rapper, actor, chef, and record producer.

35. Overconfidence : SMUGNESS.  More like excessive pride.

36. Bridge entrance structure : TOLL GATE.  Only if it's a bridge that requires that a toll be paid.

37. ATM code : PINPersonal Identification Number.

38. One-swallow drink : BELT. Slug, gulp.

40. Pakistani port : KARACHI.  The CAPITAL of Sindh Province and, with 21.1 million residents, the most populous city in the country, and also a major industrial and financial center.

41. Railroad maintenance vehicle : HAND CAR.

44. Bumped into : MET.

46. Library patron : READER.

47. "The Canterbury Tales" inn : TABARD.  This is a real place, established in 1307, that was often used by pilgrims on the way to Canterbury.  Also the name of a peanut-shell-strewn tavern, back in the day, just down the road from my alma mater.

49. Campaign poster word : ELECT.  Vote for me!

54. White flakes : SNOW.  Winter is going.

57. Hawaiian Punch alternative : HI-C.  A fruit juice flavored drink made by the Minute-Maid division of the Coca-Cola Company.

59. Hail, to Caesar : AVE.  Latin word of greeting.

That's it for another Wednesday.  Hope you were able to work through it.

Cool regards!

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Loren Muse Smith & Bruce Haight


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.


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.


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!

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.


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.


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!

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!


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.


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!

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.


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.


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.