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, August 9, 2017

L.A. Times Cross Word - Wednesday, August 9, 2017 Richard Monsaythe and C. C. Burnikel

Theme: CATCH of the day.  The last word of 2 or 3-word theme entries is something that can be CAUGHT.  There are a couple of sports references in the grid, but inexplicably, nothing about baseball.  What's up with that?  But, fortunately, that deficiency is correctable.  Here's an outstanding CATCH from last Friday's excellent game between the Tigers and the Orioles.

All Jonathon Schoop [pronounced "Scope"] could do is smile.  Maybe you'll get a smile or two as we proceed.

17 A. *One may follow the wedding dress : BRIDAL TRAIN.  This is the long back portion of a dress that trails behind the wearer.  One can also CATCH a TRAIN, but that is a different matter, so don't get off track

39 A. *Avant-garde : NEW WAVE.  Referring to a new movement or trend in literature music or the visual arts.  I remember the NEW WAVE science fiction of the 1960's, which is now old hat.  To CATCH a WAVE is to latch onto an opportunity.  The source of the phrase should be obvious.

10 D. *Westminster's top canine : BEST IN SHOW.   An award bestowed upon the top dog [so to speak] at the annual competitions presented by the Westminster Kennel Club.  I've already said more than I know about it.  To CATCH a SHOW is to attend a performance, or perhaps watch one on TV. There is an implication of preference, suggesting that you'd rather do this than some other pass time.

29 D. *Harsh and wintry : BITTER COLD.  This is weather that is so COLD that exposure would be unpleasant, or even painful.  But if you bundle up properly, you can revel in it.   Careful, though, so you don't CATCH a COLD; or if you do, keep the tissues handy, drink plenty of fluids and take vitamin C.

63 A. Familiar slogan ... or, based on its last word, what each answer to a starred clue is? : CATCH PHRASE.   A well known phrase, often associated with a particular famous person. Hope you were able to CATCH on to this theme.

Hi Gang, JzB here.  Today we have a puzzle co-constructed by a lady we all know and our Corner companion, Splynter, making his LAT debut.  Congrats to both, and a hat tip to C. C. for her continuing enormous care and generosity. Nice word association theme, and a pinwheel theme entry arrangement, with a central horizontal entry.  Its vertical cross, DRAWS ON, might also have been a theme entry, if you CATCH ON, but it lacked the necessary *.  Also, though CATCH ON is an in-the-language phrase, it doesn't quite fit the pattern, since the other entries are verb - object, and CATCH ON is a verb phrase.  Still, a nice touch.  What other smiles can we CATCH ON to?


1. Heckler's array : JEERS.  Boo and hiss companions.

6. Slender woodwind : OBOE.   It goes like this.

10. Crony : BUD.  Pal.  Homey. Bro.

13. Taxpayer's dread : AUDIT.  An examination of one's tax return by the IRS to assure completeness and accuracy.

14. With 24-Across, Chilean poet with a Nobel Prize : PABLO.

And 24. See 14-Across : NERUDA.  Nobel prize in literature, awarded in 1971 for "for a poetry that with the action of an elemental force brings alive a continent's destiny and dreams".

16. Suffix with Vietnam : -ESE.  Usable with many, though not all nationalities.

19. Total : SUM.  It all adds up.

20. Drunk : SOT. Toper.

21. Pontiac that was Motor Trend's 1968 Car of the Year : GTO.  Gran Turismo Omologato - Grand Touring Homologated.

22. Orchestra overseer : MAESTRO.  The conductor.

26. Places for holsters : HIPS.  On a gun belt.

27. Swedish pop quartet : ABBA.

30. Arnold's crime : TREASON.   Benedict.  He was not a good egg.

33. Stand for a photo? : TRIPOD.  Three-legged camera support.

36. Evaluation for a would-be painter : ART TEST.  Like this.

38. Got together : MET.

41. "The guy over there" : HIM.

43. Makes harmonious : ATTUNES.

45. Frightens : SPOOKS.

47. "Whoa, bro!" : EASY NOW.  Take a deep breath.  Cool your jets.

49. Tiny branch : TWIG.

50. Feudal drudge : SERF.

52. Low-risk govt. securities : T-NOTES are fixed income securities having maturities of 1 to 10 years, backed by the full faith and credit of the U. S Treasury.  Could also have been its companions T-BONDS [20 year] or T-BILLS [52 weeks or less.]  Needed perp help.

55. Strategy : TACTICS.  Well, here is my nit.  These are not equivalent.  A strategy is a large-scale plan, which may involve complex organizational patterns; while a tactic is a short-term, focused measure that might aim to achieve one of a strategy's operational goals.

58. Granola morsel : OAT.

59. 27-Down user's need : PIN. Personal Identification Number.

62. Master : PRO. Ace.

66. Every one : ALL.

67. Poetry Muse : ERATO.  Who is the muse of erotic poetry?

68. __ Hebrides : INNER. An archipelago of 35 inhabited and 44 uninhabited islands off the west coast of Scotland, south of the Outer Hebrides.

69. Knight who played a newsman : TED.  Ted Baxter on the Mary Tyler Moore show, played by Tadeusz Wladyslaw Konopka.

70. Food-growing prefix : AGRO-.  Sometimes with culture.

71. Checked out before a heist : CASED.


1. Quick punches : JABS.

2. Currency since 1999 : EURO.  In Europe, believe it or not.

3. Cut and paste, e.g. : EDIT.  Word processing activities.

4. Freed (of) : RID.  B-Bye.

5. Put on, as a play : STAGE.

6. Decide not to join : OPT OUT.

7. Trivia night locale : BAR.  Locale for drinking games.

8. The Affordable Care Act became law during it : OBAMA ERA.  Barak OBAMA's presidential term.

9. "On the Waterfront" director Kazan : ELIA.

11. Take by force : USURP.  Or to take without legal right.

12. Floor models : DEMOS.

15. __ of a kind : ONE.  I'm unique - just like everybody else.

18. P.O. box item : LTR.  Letter - a communication on paper, composed of words, which are composed of letters.

23. Horse's hoof protection : SHOE.  I have SHOES to protect my feet, even when I'm not horsing around..

24. Afternoon rest : NAP.

25. Makes use of, as experience : DRAWS ON.

27. Bread box? : ATM. Automatic Teller Machine - a cash dispensing device.

28. La __ Tar Pits : BREA.  Located within metropolitan Los Angeles.

31. Off-rd. transports : ATVS.  All-Terrain Vehicles.

32. Pedometer unit : STEP.  Keeps track of your motion, but not your emotions.

34. Taxing task : ONUS. A daunting chore.

35. Reject as false : DENY.  

37. Luau torch type : TIKI.

40. Attended without a partner : WENT STAG.  Attending an event without a companion of the opposite gender, and can be used by or with regard to either gender.

42. Chinese menu abbr. : MSG.  Monosodium glutamate, a flavor enhancer.

44. Heaviest U.S. president : TAFT.  William Howard, the 27th president of the U. S., serving from 1909 to 1913.   His weight peaked at 335 to 340 pounds during this term.  He was also the 10th Chief Justice of the U. S. Supreme Court, serving from 1921 to 1930.   His health was failing as he joined the court, and he undertook a physical fitness campaign that reduced his weight to 244 lbs. in 1929.

46. Extra NBA periods : OTS. Overtimes.  

48. Joyful shout : WOO-HOO.  Yippee!

50. Mar. 17 figure : ST. PAT.  Bring on the shamrocks and Guinness!

51. "Guitar Town" rocker Steve : EARLE.

53. Strike gently : TAP.  Or PAT, depending on which way you are facing.

54. Guiding principle : ETHIC.

56. Zamboni's milieu : ICE.  It's a vehicle used to smooth and freshen the surface in a ice arena.  But riding on one can also be a romantic adventure.

57. "Fame"-ous Irene : CARA.

59. Harsh reviews : PANS.

60. "That makes sense" : I SEE.

61. Stereotypical Geek Squad employee : NERD.

64. WNBA position : CTR.  Center.

65. Genetics lab subject : RNA.  RiboNucleic Acid, a polymeric molecule vital in several intracellular genetic processes.  

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

L.A. Times Crossword Wednesday, July 12, 2017 Gary D. Schlapfer and C. C. Burnikel

Theme: SCHOOL DAYS.  Various activities that school children may be involved in are indicated by the clues with asterisks.

18 A. *Annual kids' competition aired by ESPN : SPELLING BEE.  A contest to see who can correctly spell obscure words nobody will ever see or hear again.  In the class room version, I hope the target words are more useful.

24 A. *Excursion that may require permission slips : FIELD TRIP.  Visit to a dairy farm, fire station, or some other location that might be of educational interest.  The permission slip allows the teacher and helpers to take the students away from school premisses.

37. *Evacuation exercise : FIRE DRILL.  A practice run for leaving the building in a safe and orderly fashion, so that all occupants can be accounted for.  We had these where I worked, with several thousand people gathering in a number of assigned locations.  As department safety coordinator, I made sure everyone participated.

50 A. *Year-end hurdle : FINAL EXAM.  Year being the school year, not the calendar year.  The last test of acquired knowledge before moving on - or not.

And, the unifier -- 57A. Group lawsuit ... and what each answer to a starred clue is? : CLASS ACTION.  In the lawsuit, a group of people with a common complaint join together to take legal ACTION against some entity. In the CLASS room, it's an activity in which the students participate.

Hi, Gang.  JazzBumpa here for todays lesson. Pretty straight-forward theme - all of these ACTIONS clearly relate to things that students and teachers might be doing, though a couple of them can also occur in other contexts.  You'd almost think that the idea came from someone with inside-the-classroom experience! So - let's put on our thinking caps and see what we can learn.  


1. Place for fuzzy navels : BAR.  This concoction of orange juice and peach schnapps [or many other potential ingredients] might be served in a tavern.

4. Plots of land : TRACTS.   Refers to [usually] large areas of indefinite extent.

10. Animated internet pics : GIFS.  The Graphics Interchange Format was developed in 1987 by Steve Wilhite's team at CompuServe.


14. Whopper, but not a Big Mac : LIE.   Deliberately untruthful statement of some magnitude, not a large hamburger sandwich.

15. Reconciled : MADE UP.  I thought that they had gotten back together, but it was just a story somebody MADE UP. { I loves me the English language!}

16. "You said it, sister!" : AMEN.  Or brother.  Let's be inclusive.

17. Safari find : URL.  Safari is the browser on Apple computers.

20. Kazan who directed Marlon in his first Oscar role : ELIA.  This was Mr. Brando's 4th best actor nomination.  Can you name this 1954 film?  It was also the big screen debut of Eva Marie Saint.

22. Crème de la crème : ELITE.  The ones who are best at something, like ELITE athletes or musicians.

23. Neruda's "__ to Common Things" : ODE.   You can read it here.

27. Not as well-done : RARER.  As a steak, not a task.

29. Not hidden : IN VIEW.  I can see it.

30. Airfield fixtures : TOWERS.  The better to see with.

31. Bridal bio term : NEE.  Referring to her birth [or maiden] name.

32. Reader at Mass : LECTOR.  One who reads a scriptural passage as part of a church service.

36. Pigs out (on), briefly : OD'S.  Over-Doses.  Trivializing a term that otherwise relates to a serious public health problem.

39. Sergeant's address : SIR.  As the Sergeant would be addressed by his underlings, or would address her/his superior officers.

41. Balkan first-timer in the 2016 Olympics : KOSOVO.  Over Serbia's protest, they sent 8 athletes who competed in five events, and took home one gold medal, won by Majlinda Kelmendi in judo.

42. Vandalize : MAR.  Cause damage.

45. Oasis visitors : CAMELS.  And, presumably, their riders.

47. Urbana-Champaign "Fighting" team : ILLINI.  University of Illinois sports mascot.

49. What might make a Cardinal an Oriole : TRADE.  From a National League team to one in the American League.  You knew there had to be some baseball in here somewhere.  A quick google search did not reveal any player-for-player trades between these teams in recent years.

53. Wood cutter : SAW.  Carpenter's tool.

54. Maine college town : ORONO.  Home of the University of Maine.  But why is there never any love for ORONO, Minnesota, in Hennepin County on the north shore of Lake Minnetonka?

56. Understands : GETS.  Comprehends.

61. Homeric outburst : D'OH.  Simpson, not the author of The Iliad.

62. Dynamic leader? : AERO-.  Prefix.

63. Crunchy breakfast : MUESLI.  Ugly sounding word for granola.

64. "Just sayin'," in texts : IMO.  In My Opinion.   Admit it - you have one!

65. Must have : NEED.

66. Out in a hammock? : ASLEEP.  Outdoors, and catching some Z's.

67. Empire St. paper : NYT.  New York Times, a continent away from the Golden State's L.A. Times.


1. Much sushi- and sashimi-grade tuna : BLUEFIN.  Several species of tuna in the genus Thonnus, found in many places around the world.

2. Southwest, e.g. : AIRLINE.  The plane truth.

3. Take over for : RELIEVE.  As a baseball pitcher, perhaps.

4. Corp. symbols : TMS.  Trademarks (™).  

5. Eschew the doorbell : RAP.

Rap, rap.
Who's there?
Hip Hop.
Go away, I hate rap.

6. Like __ in the headlights : A DEER.  Refers to someone with a glazed over expression, or frozen into inactivity by fear, panic or confusion.

7. Ma's strings : CELLI.  There are 4 strings on one CELLO.

8. Showy April bloom : TULIP.

9. Shish kebab holder : SPIT.  A rod or stick upon which the meat is skewered.

10. __ rule : GAG.  A imposed prohibition to speak about a specified topic.

11. "There's nothing to do" : I'M BORED.  I have no idea what that feel like.

12. Birdseed buffets : FEEDERS.  

13. Contemptuous looks : SNEERS.

19. Fiddling emperor : NERO.   Nerō Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus [37-68 A.D.], the last Roman emperor of the Julio-Claudian dynasty, from 54-68 A.D.  There is much good and bad to be said abut him.  But he certainly did not fiddle, for that instrument would not be invented for another 900 years.  Rumor had it that he sang and/or played the lyre while Rome burned in July of 64 , but he was out of town at the time.  He organized and participated in relief efforts, and made a new urban plan, with wider roads and more widely spaced brick houses.  But he was scapegoated for the fire, and deflected blame on to Christians, who were then brutally tortured and murdered.  Definitely not this guy.

21. Liston opponent : ALI. Sonny and Muhammad [born Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr.] respectively

25. Where heros are made : DELI.  Sandwiches.

26. Sexy dance moves : TWERKS.  Sexy or downright obscene?  You be the judge.

28. Mil. no-show : AWOL.  Absent Without Official Leave.

30. "Jeopardy!" fare : TRIVIA.

33. VIP with a corner office, perhaps : CEO.  Chief Executive Officer.

34. NFL six-pointers : TDs.  Touchdowns.

35. Guatemala gold : ORO.  Spanish

37. Mister Rogers : FRED. Seen here making sexy dance moves.


38. Take it easy : LOLL.   Just layin' around.

39. Mrs. Smith's rival : SARA LEE.  Purveyors of pre-packaged deserts.

40. "It's not news to me ... " : I'M AWARE.

42. Blended : MIXED IN.  Shaken or stirred.

43. Gray area? : ANATOMY.  Refers to a medical text book of the human body by Henry Gray with illustrations by Henry Vandyke Carter, first published in 1858. The TV medical drama, now in it's 13th season, is GREY'S ANATOMY.  

44. Drummer's sound after a one-liner : RIM SHOT.  Find it here.

45. Med. imaging procedure : CT SCAN. Computerized Tomography combines a series of scanned X-ray images taken from different angles, and uses computer processing to create cross-sectional images of bones, blood vessels and internal organs.

46. Some summer births : LEOs.  The 5th Zodiac sign, in the fire group, symbolized by the Lion.

48. Triangle side : LEG.  All triangles have legs.  Some legs have triangles.

50. Prepare to shoot with a Canon : FOCUS.  Camera, not heavy artillery.

51. Maker of chips : INTEL.   With headquarters in Santa Clara, CA, they are not to be confused with Frito-Lay, with headquarters in Plano, TX.  INTEL has many Trademarks.

52. Cacophony : NOISE.  Cacophony traces back to Greek roots meaning "bad" and "sound."   NOISE, via Old French traces back to the Latin word for seasickness, nausea, which does sound bad.

55. Major Hindu deity : RAMA.  The 7th avatar of Vishnu, the Supreme Being in some Hindu traditions.

58. Lawn roll : SOD.  A grassy layer of earth.

59. Bullring cry : OLE.  An interjection used as a shout of encouragement or approval.

60. Puppy bite : NIP.  Playful, one hopes.

OK, kids - CLASS dismissed.  Our own C.C. and Gary gave us a great lesson plan today.  Hope you found it enlightening.  Now go do your homework.

Cool regards!

P.S.  In case you haven't G-spotted that Eva Marie Saint movie cited above, its On The Waterfront.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

L.A. Times Crossword Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Theme:  The RAT's nest.  Each theme answer has the word RAT comfortably snuggled deep inside.

18 A. Swimmer who medaled at five Olympic Games : DARA TORRES.  She competed in 1984, 1988, 1992, 2000 and 2008.  In 2008, at age 41, she became the oldest American olympic swimmer.  She won silvers medals in her three events that year.

24 A. Subjected to harsh criticism : UNDER ATTACK.  Verbal attack. Topical, but let's not go there.

36 A. Soccer deadlock breaker : EXTRA TIME. Overtime in American Football and basketball.

51 A. Many a Sports Illustrated cover figure : STAR ATHLETE.  Well sure, sports magazine, star athletes - a perfect fit.  Not always how it works out, though.  I was unable to locate an SI cover of DARA TORRES.  So this will have to suffice.

And the unifier -- 58 A. Suspicious comment ... and a hint to what's hidden in 18-, 24-, 36- and 51-Across : I SMELL A RAT.    This is the comment of a suspicious person - perhaps in a noirish movie - rather than a comment one should be suspicious of.  The expression goes back to at least 1851, and might be based on a cat's ability to detect a RAT by scent, even if it is out of sight.

Note that the letters R, A and T are broken across two words in each answer, and, as a nice touch, the break point alternates between after and before the A.

Hi, gang, it's JzB, who actually has been a lab RAT, of a sort, in the distant past.  Let's put on our lab jackets and see if we can find any other RATS in the labyrinth that C. C. has set out for us today.


1. "MasterChef" tools : PANS.  Cooking tools used on the TV show.

5. Street shader : ELM.  The once great shade source on many American streets, long since devastated by Dutch Elm Disease.   Resistant varieties are now available.

8. Very dangerous : TOXIC.   Poisonous - as related to certain substances or persons in relationships.

13. Maker of Anew skin care products : AVON.  

14. Have to have : NEED.  In my marketing class many years ago, I learned that advertisers do not distinguish between wants and needs.  My protest that I need transportation, but want a Porsche Carrera went unheeded.

16. Cuban dance : RUMBA.  The term has long since lost whatever specificity it may once have had, and is applied to many styles of dance and music with a latin flair.  Here is a modern example from Mexico.

17. Fancy wheels : LIMO.  Usually stretch versions of vehicles for transporting partiers, prom goers, bride's maids, et. cet.

20. Apparel : GARB.  Clothes.

22. Exodus peak : SINAI.  The mountain where Moses received the 10 Commandments.  It took no time at all for them to get broken.

23. Actor's rep. : AGT.  Agent.

26. Turn a different color : DYE.  Did you see that red head Harry was with?  Yeah, that's his wife.  I thought he was married to a brunet!?!   He was, but she DYED.

27. Belgian detective played by Ustinov, Welles, Finney and others : POIROT.   Hercule, an Agatha Christie character who appeared in 33 novels, over 50 short stories and one play between 1920 and 1975.

28. Knight in shining armor : SAVIOR.  If being saved from a fire-breathing dragon counts as salvation.

30. Fast Company magazine competitor : INC.   Titles of business oriented magazines.

31. Nobelist Bohr : NIELS.  He received his prize in 1922 for contribution to the understanding of quantum theory.  Some of Einstein's friends thought that Albert was interesting, but NIELS was a Bohr.

35. Pot promise : IOU.  Promise to pay in a poker pot.

39. "Bad" cholesterol, initially : LDL. Low Density Lipoproteins are the culprits; cholesterol gets the bad rap.

41. Battery-free calculators : ABACI.  Not only that, they're also digital!  A competent operator is also lightning quick.

42. Mama bear, in Chihuahua : OSA. Spanish. 

45. Home to about 740 million : EUROPE.  includes Spain.

48. Christmas cupful : EGG NOG.

50. Fort Myers-to-Orlando dir. : NNE.

55. Grazing spot : LEA.  An open field.

56. Oohed and __ : AAHED.  As at babies - human and otherwise.

57. Bottom : TUSH.  The posterior of a person.

61. Connected (to) : TIED.

63. Cook, as dumplings : STEAM.  Or vegetables.

64. "Game of Thrones," for one : SAGA.  A long story of heroic achievement.  GoT is certainly long.  Whether anyone lives long enough to actually achieve heroically is very much up in the air [as are the dragons.]

65. Architect Saarinen : EERO.  [1910-1961] Born in Finland, he grew up in Bloomfield Hills, MI.

66. Fruity desserts : TARTS.  An open pastry, often filled with fruit and/or custard.

67. Butterfly catcher : NET.   At the end of the day, a butterfly catcher records his NET gain.

68. "Got it" : I SEE.  Comprendo!


1. Best bud : PAL.  Amigos, not flowers.  These days: bestie.

2. French city on the Rhone : AVIGNON.

3. Inclined to wander : NOMADIC.

4. Noisy sleeper : SNORER.  Guilty

5. Go "pfft" : END.  Disappear in a puff of smoke?

6. Bare minimum : LEAST.  It's the bare minimum I could do.

7. __ badge : MERIT.  Boy scout's symbol of achievement.

8. Three-horse vehicle : TROIKA.

9. "__ Song": Taylor Swift hit : OUR.   On YouTube for anyone who is interested.

10. Satellite service for road trips : XM RADIO.  They might also play it there.

11. "Pretty please?" : I BEG YOU.   Can I - huh, huh?

12. Furniture wheel : CASTER.  Mounted in such a way that it can roll in any direction.

15. Fox's "X-Files" partner : DANA.  Scully, played by Gillian Anderson, partner of Fox Mulder, played by David Duchovney.

19. Tic __: mints : TACS.  Candy or breath mint?  You decide.

21. Borough bordering Yonkers : BRONX.  The northernmost of New York City's 5 boroughs.

24. Wire service co. : UPI.  United Press International.

25. Butting heads : AT IT.  Vying, perhaps.

29. Go toe-to-toe : VIE.  At it again, maybe.

32. Stretch in history books : ERA. A time period notable for some characteristic.

33. Research site : LAB.  Also home to some RATS.

34. Metro stop: Abbr. : STAtion.

36. Symphonic rock gp. : ELO.  Electric Light Orchestra.

37. "Law & Order: SVU" actor : ICE-T.  Tracey Lauren Morrow.

38. Power : MIGHT.

39. Ambien alternative : LUNESTA.   Sleep aid drugs.

40. Starry-eyed sort : DREAMER.  LUNESTA user?

42. Baby's bodysuits : ONESIES.  Or adults'.

43. "As I predicted!" : SO THERE.  Told ya'!

44. What candles may signify : AGE.  Well - that takes the cake!

45. Volunteer, in a way : ENLIST.  In the armed forces or other organization.

46. Bible book with 150 poems : PSALMS.  I recently had a chance to play this beautiful Russian Hymn based on psalm 74.

47. Footnote shorthand : ET AL.  And others - a list shortener.

49. Muscles strengthened by lunges : GLUTEI.  Is this a mini-theme, or am I getting a little behind?

52. Cries of discovery : AHAS.  Or Eurekas.

53. Showed once more : RERAN.  As a TV show.

54. Maxim : ADAGE.  An old saw.

59. Fast no more : EAT.  Slowly. Eat slowly.  Chew every bite.

60. Parlor art, for short : TAT.  Body art, applied at a tattoo parlor

62. Girl in a forest : DOE.  A deer, a female deer.

That wraps another Wednesday.  C. C. gave a fine puzzle to while away a few well-spent moments. Hope you made it through OK.  Now - who moved my cheese?

Cool Regards!


Wednesday, May 31, 2017

L.A. Times Crossword - Wednesday, May 31, 2017 Samuel A. Donaldson

Theme: here is it is in full.

Amendment I. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

20. 2010 Best Picture Oscar winner : THE KING'S SPEECH.

27. Become born-again, perhaps : GET RELIGION.

37. United Nations gathering : GENERAL ASSEMBLY.

44. Self-publishing option : VANITY PRESS.

The theme fill contain some of the key words of the specified rights, and the unifier seals the deal.

52. Source of the freedoms found at the ends of this puzzle's four other longest answers : FIRST AMENDMENT.  Of the Constitution of the United States of America.

Well, here we have the two things that we do not discuss here - politics and religion. We do need to report on and discuss the content of the puzzle - and most particularly the theme - but let's all please respect the spirit of the ground rules.  The theme is well timed, coming during the week of Memorial Day.

So, let us ASSEMBLE our wits, PRESS on, and SPEAK FREELY about the rest of this puzzle.


1. Resorts with body wraps : SPAS.  Saunas, towels and robes.

5. Hook-shaped ski lift : J-BAR.  

9. Canon setting : F STOP.  The ratio of a camera's focal length to the diameter of its aperture, hence a dimensionless number relating to lens speed.

14. Formal agreement : PACT.  Treaty, deal, settlement.

15. Deep sea predator : ORCA.  AKA killer whale

16. PEN/Faulkner, for one : AWARD.   Recognition for achievement.

17. Wastes away : ATROPHIES.  Withers, shrives, shrinks.

19. Beantown team : CELTS.  Pro basketball.

22. Env. insert : ENClosure.

23. Former Mississippi senator Trent : LOTT.  Was in the House of Representatives from 1972 to 1988, then in the Senate from 1989 to 2007.  In 2008, opened a lobbying firm with former Senator John Breaux.  Careful, now.  More polotics

24. Post-J.D. degree : LLM.  Legum Magister, Latin for Master of Laws.  [In Latin the plural of a word is abbreviated by repeating the initial.]

33. Ready for a kick, with "up" : TEED.  In football, a kick off is generally executed with the ball placed on a kicking tee.

35. Society page word : NEE.   From the French word for "born," generally referring to a married woman's maiden name.

36. City bonds, for short : MUNIS.  Municipal Bonds are securities issued by a local authority to finance a capital project.  The are frequently exempt from federal taxation.

41. Layer with a hole : OZONE.  An upper atmospheric layer. 

42. Pocatello sch. : ISU.  Idaho State University.  Their mascot is Benny the Bengal.

43. "The Da Vinci Code" priory : SION.  Well - this is confusing.

48. Health products chain : GNC.  General Nutrition Center.

49. One who may converse in Erse : GAEL. Gaelic person from Ireland or Scotland. 

50. Top bond rating : AAA.  Indicating the highest degree of credit worthiness.

59. Argue with : JAW AT.  

60. One selling wheels : CAR DEALER.   "Wheels" being vernacular for a vehicle.

61. Online party notice : E-VITE.  A portmanteau of electronic and invitation.

62. Pelee Island's lake : ERIE.  Located in Canadian waters, but for me, this hits close to home.

63. Zilch : ZERO.  Nada, nuthin'.

64. Decreases in strength : WANES.   Or any other measurable characteristic.

65. Phone-answering asst. : SEC'Y.  Administrative Assistant.

66. Social sci. major : ECONomics.  The flip side of the political coin.


1. Cross words : SPAT.  An argument.

2. Way to go : PATH.  A route from point A to point B.

3. Farm fraction : ACRE.  Land area measure.

4. Feed with fuel : STOKE.  Specifically, solid fuel, as coal.

5. WWE wrestler in the film "Trainwreck" : JOHN CENA.  No idea.

6. Naval lockup : BRIG.   Jail on a ship.

7. Pocket rockets, at the poker table : ACES.  A holding of pocket aces in the game of Hold 'em.

8. Fight, in the sticks : RASSLE.  Wrestle, in the city.

9. Video chat option : FACE TIME.  Proprietary Apple app.

10. Trees with fragrant sap : SWEET GUMS.

11. Gymnast's powder : TALC.   Used to absorb moisture and as a dry lubricant.

12. Straight: Pref. : ORTH.  From the Greek.

13. Troopers' gps. : PDs.  Police Departments.

18. Troubling engine sound : PING.

21. D.C. figure : POLitician.

24. No. 2 at the statehouse : LT. GOV.  Lieutenant Governor.

25. Talk show host who won "The Celebrity Apprentice" in 2015, familiarly : LEEZA.  Gibbons.

26. Runners occupying bases : MEN ON.  They want to go home, but often do not get there.

28. No. in a contacts list : TELephone.

29. Broadcast again : REAIR.

30. With a lot at stake : IN BIG.   As a wager or financed deal.

31. Rub __: lubricate : OIL ON.

32. "Bye Bye Bye" boy band : NSYNC.  Mainly popular in the late 90's

34. Bad-mouth : DENIGRATE.  Disparage, belittle, denigrate.

38. Samples again, during cooking : RETASTES.  This entry feels awfully strained, and not especially in the language.

39. Memphis-to-Mobile dir. : SSE.   Tennessee to Alabama.

40. "The Partridge Family" actress : SUSAN DEY.  [b 1952]

45. To date : YET.  Up to now.

46. Pre-curtain call : PLACES.  Everyone get into position.

47. "Smooth Operator" singer : SADE.

51. Floor : AMAZE.  Frex: I was floored by that revelation.

52. Broad bean : FAVA.  Pairs well with a nice Chianti.

53. Triumphant shout : I WIN.

54. Stable mother : MARE.  Just horsing around.

55. Old Norse explorer : ERIC.  When you get exiled for being too obnoxious even for the Vikings to put up with, you might as well go sight seeing.

56. Util. bill : ELECtricity.

57. Detective Wolfe : NERO.  Created by Rex Stout.

58. 1982 sci-fi film with a 2010 sequel : TRON.

59. Passover observer : JEW.  Start with politics, end with religion.  Passover commemorates the Israelites departure from ancient Egypt.

Well, folks, that wraps up another Wednesday.  Hope you were able to exercise your freedoms and still get through the puzzle without too many arguments.

Cool Regards!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

L.A. Times Crossword - Wednesday, May 17, 2017 Alex Eaton-Salners

Theme - LET"S ALL TAKE A BOUGH.  Vertical theme entries all start with, and are therefore TOPPED by letters that spell the name of a TREE.  Let's start with the unifier.

55 A. Canopy creators ... or what can literally be found in 6-, 10-, 24- and 34-Down : TREE TOPS.

Coming back down to earth we have the theme entries.

6 D. Brain part that produces melatonin : PINEAL GLAND.  It is tucked into the groove between the two halves of the thalmus, near the center of the brain.  It is so-named because its shape resembles that of a pine cone.  Topped by a PINE, an evergreen, and the first of our TREEs.

10 D. Cartographer's table : MAP LEGEND.  An inset that explains the meanings of symbols and other features used on the map.  The maple tree is prized for its lumber, used for furniture and decorative purposes.

24. Reason for a parking restriction : FIRE HYDRANT.  FIR trees are can be distinguished from other members of the pine family by their needle attachments and cone shapes.

34 D. "Wascally wabbit" hunter : ELMER FUDD.  Something we all knew.  But it gives me an excuse to post this --.

ELM TREES were used along streets all over America as decoration and to provide shade.  Most of these were lost to Dutch elm disease, caused by a microfungus carried by bark beetles.  Disease resistant varieties have since been developed.

Look for a clue gimmick when the theme arrangement is vertical.  This one is clever, with the tree names topping the theme fill entries.  Two of the four trees are hard woods, and two are conifers.   The conifers are adjacent to the vertical center line, and the hard woods farther toward the edges.

Hi, Gang, Jazzbumpa on duty, lumbering through this puzzle.  Let's see what we can saw.


1. Produced, biblically speaking : BEGAT.  Was the father of.

6. Racetrack stops : PITS.  For fuel and quick tire changes.

10. Finance majors' degs. : MBAS.  Master of Business Administration.  I have one.

14. Kagan associate : ALITO.  Supreme Court Justices.

15. Not yet out of the running : IN IT.  To win it, no doubt.

16. Strong lobby for seniors : AARP.  America Association of Retired Persons.  I belong.

17. One who wants to come home? : BASE RUNNER.  Baseball reference.  Most do not make it, though.

19. Insanity, in court : PLEA.  A formal statement in response to a charge, not [necessarily] a description of behavior.

20. Makes eligible for, with "to" : ENTITLES.  Supplies a legal or just right to something.

21. Sign up : ENLIST.  Or enroll, which sadly has the same number of letters.

23. Albacore, e.g. : TUNA.  Something fishy here.

24. Price of a crosstown ride : FARE.  In a bus or cab.  

25. 19th Greek letter : TAU.  

28. Eight pts. : GAL.  Pints and gallons, guys and gals.

29. "Just think!" : IMAGINE.

33. In unfamiliar territory : AT SEA.  Without a paddle.

35. "An Officer and a Gentleman" star : GERE.

37. Black, in poetry : EBON.

38. Castro of Cuba : RAUL.  Fidel's brother.

39. Adjust to fit : ALTER.  As clothing.

40. Statistician Silver of ESPN's FiveThirtyEight : NATE.  

41. British baby buggy : PRAM.  Short for perambulator.

42. "The cow is of the bovine ilk / One end is moo, the other, milk" poet : NASH.  Ogden.

To keep your marriage brimming
With love in the loving cup,
Whenever you’re wrong, admit it;
Whenever you’re right, shut up.

-  Ogden Nash

43. Floppy disk successor : CD-ROM.  Data storage media.

44. Solemn ending? : SILENT N.  Holy N, Batmen.

46. Vote in favor : YEA.  parliamentary procedure.

48. What's up to you? : SKY.  Sometimes hidden by clouds.

49. Cheese coat : RIND.  More than you want to know.  

50. TiVo products : DVRS.  Digital Video Reordings.  Nobody tapes any more.

52. Confuse : BAFFLE.  Wait . . . what?!?

59. Free speech org. : ACLU.  American Civil Liberties Union.  We won't talk about it here.

60. Three, to nine : SQUARE ROOT.  A number that when multiplied by itself yields another specified number.  Round roots are things like carrots.

62. Get rid of : SHED. Discard, as leaves, skin, hair or clothing.

63. Change directions : TURN.  Don't get steered the wrong way

64. Box cutter insert : RAZOR.  Actually a blade.

65. Top dog : HEAD.  Of an organization.

66. Not hard : SOFT.  Pretty straight forward.

67. Prefix with foam : STYRO-.  Expanded polystyrene.  I worked with it on my first job.


1. Innocent one : BABE.  One who is at a severe disadvantage in the woods.

2. Panache : ELAN.  Confidence, flair, style, enthusiasm.

3. Heart of the matter : GIST.  Get the point?

4. Absorbed the loss : ATE IT.  Financial indigestion.

5. Haitian island whose name is Spanish for "turtle" : TORTUGA.  Located north of the north-west arm of the main island.

7. Overnight stops : INNS.

8. 50-50, e.g. : TIE.  Even score in a sport or game, usually settled by some sort of overtime play.

9. Party decoration : STREAMER.  Colorful ribbons used for ornamentation.

10. Cartographer's table : MAP LEGEND.  An inset that explains the meanings of symbols and other features used on the map.

11. Indonesian island : BALI.  Immediately to the east of Java, it is home to most of Indonesia's Hindu minority.

12. "Iliad" war god : ARES.  Greek.  Mars to the Romans.

13. Petty argument : SPAT. It caused a SPAT what he spat on my spats.

18. Forearm part : ULNA.  The longer of two forearm bones, extending from the elbow to the little finger.  The radius extends from the elbow to the thumb side of the hand.

22. New Deal prog. : NRA.  The National Recovery Administration was created in 1933, under the National Industrial Recovery Act.  It had a two year charter and expired in 1935.  At that time the Supreme Court also determined that it infringed on separation of powers and was therefore unconstitutional.  Many of its provisions reappeared under the National Labor Relations Act that same year.

25. Camping cover-ups : TARPS.  Baseball diamonds, too.

26. Centipede creator : ATARI.  Electronic game company.

27. Garden-variety : USUAL.  Typical

30. Bridge beams : I-BARS.  Structural elements named for their cross-sectional profile, which resemble the letter I.

31. Against the rules : NOT OK.  Let the OK - Okay battle begin.

32. Redcoat, to a Minuteman : ENEMY.  American revolutionary war.

36. Sci-fi visitors : ETS. Extra-Terrestrials - off world entities, who sometimes claim to be friendly.

39. Colonies crawling with critters : ANT NESTS.

43. Board game with an "Unemployment Office" corner : CAREERS.

45. Zip : NIL.  Zilch.  Nada

47. Penultimate word of many fairy tales : EVER.  Penultimate -- hmmmm.  I wonder what comes after?

51. Classic guitar, briefly : STRAT.  Fender Stratocaster.  Costing $600, and up.  Buddy Holly's were stolen twice in April, 1958.

52. Shindig : BASH.  Spree, blow out.  Have fun, but make good choices.

53. Bruise symptom : ACHE.  Owie!

54. One in the doghouse? : FLEA.  One hopes not

55. Gang land : TURF.  Claimed territory.

56. Like slime : OOZY.  Moving like this?

57. Substandard : POOR.  Like certain movies from 1958.

58. Houston athlete, for short : 'STRO.  ASTRO evidently has too many syllable to be spoken conveniently.  The STROs are currently atop the A. L. Western division.  Let's give them a bough.

61. Status __ : QUO.  The current state of things.

That wraps up another Woden's Tag.  Hope you got through it without feeling board.  But now I have a strange desire branch out - maybe even join a splinter group.  Perhaps I should just go with the phloem.  Now it's time to leaf.

Cool regards!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

L. A. Time Crossword Wednesday, April 19, 2017 C. C. Burnikel

Theme: Something fishy, right up front.  Each theme answer starts with the name of well known fish.

Let us start with the unifier, to make everything clear.

40 D. Ingredient in some Asian soup, or, literally, what each answer to a starred clue has : FISH HEAD.  So, the named FISH is the HEAD, or beginning of each theme fill.   This gives us our theme song.

17 A. *Droopy-eared dog : BASSET HOUND.   The BASSET HOUND has the awkward combination of long ears and short legs, and a sense of smell second only to the blood hound.  It's low slung contour is indicated by by the French word BASSET, meaning "rather low."  BASS are any of several fresh or salt water varieties, similar to perch, belonging to the order perciformes.  The name BASS is derived from a Middle English word for perch.

25 A. *Testimony preceder : SOLEMN OATH.  This involves an appeal to a deity or revered person or symbol to guarantee that oath speaker is making an honest testimony or promise.  SOLE are several varieties of flat fish.

38 A. *Garage alternative : CARPORT.  A more or less protective structure, with a roof but fewer than four walls.  CARP are several species of oily fresh water fish native to Europe and Asia.

52 A. *Common cause of food poisoning : SALMONELLA.  This is a bacterium that can be found in contaminated food.  It is named for Daniel Salmon who was leading the team in the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture that discovered the pathogen.  SALMON fish are born in fresh water.  Some varieties migrate to the sea, then return to where they originated to spawn.

61 A. *Garment with a fitted waist and flared bottom : SKATER DRESS.

The SKATE fish are similar, but not identical, to rays.

Hi gang, an ailing Jazzbumpa here to guide you through this aquatic offering from our fearless leader. Despite the theme, you'll see there is nothing fishy going on here. 


1. Overzealous : RABID. Like certain sports fans,

6. Emotional states : MOODS.  They can be good or bad.

11. Big name in home security : ADT.   The largest security company in the U.S. and Canada with over 6.5 million customers.

14. Work together : UNITE.  Many hands make light work.

15. Golfer's birdie, often : THREE.  One under on a par 4 hole.  Cf. 33D.

16. "I've seen better" : MEH.

19. King Kong, e.g. : APE.  One of the really great APES.

20. Home buyer's choice : CONDO.  A private residence owned by an individual or family in a building or community with multiple units.

21. Annoyed reply to "Are you awake?" : I AM NOW.  It's about time!

23. Hog fare : SLOP.

28. Pan flying : PETER.  Children's story hero.

30. Present mo. : DEC.  The present month is April; the month for presents is December, which is in the future.

31. Bone, to Botticelli : OSSO.  Italian

32. Quick snooze : CATNAP.

34. "Darn it!" : SHOOT.  Phooey!  Drat!

37. Pop singer Grande's fragrance : ARI.  A steal at $28.82 per oz.

40. Price of admission : FEE.

43. The Euphrates flows through it : SYRIA.  Originates in Turkey, also flows through Iraq into the Persian Gilf.

44. Like King Kong : SIMIAN.  Referring to apes and monkeys.  Also a clecho.

46. Shepherd's dinner, perhaps : ALPO.  German shepherd.

49. Coffee maker unit : CUP. Equivalent to one Keurig pod.

51. Impudent : SASSY.  Don't be that way.

56. Perlman of "The Mindy Project" : RHEA.  Also Carla from "Cheers."

57. Racer's swimwear brand : SPEEDO.  

58. __ setter : IRISH.  Possible ALPO eater.

60. Country that won the most Olympics medals in Rio : USA.  Winning 46 gold, 37 silver and 38 bronze for a total of 121, next were Great Britain with 67, China with 70 and Russia with 55.

66. Something to chew : CUD.  If you're a cow.

67. Ship with liquid cargo : OILER.  Oil tanker.

68. Security breaches : LEAKS.  Unauthorized information escaping through unofficial channels.  

69. Officejet printers : HPS.  Hewlett-Packard

70. Polishing targets : NAILS.  On your fingers and toes.

71. Pearl Jam frontman Vedder : EDDIE. [b. 1964]   He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, just this month.


1. Barbecue spice mixture : RUB.

2. Santa __ Mountains : ANA.   A short range extending for about 61 miles southeast of the Los Angeles basin.

3. Twice-baked cookies : BISCOTTI. They are oblong, dry, crunchy, and intended for dipping - traditionally in Vin Santo, a style of Italian desert wine of variable sweetness.

4. "Come right on in!" : IT'S OPEN.  The door, that is.

5. Celebrity chef Paula : DEEN.  Known for traditional southern comfort food.

6. Highest peak in Ore. : MT. HOOD.  It's height is approximately 11,240 ft.  It is a "potentially active" volcano, with the odds of an eruption during the next 30 years estimated to be between 3 and 7%.

7. "Well, looky here!" : OHO.  Thar she blows!

8. Christian sch. in Tulsa : ORU.  Founded by its eponym in 1965, Oral Roberts University has a high academic standing and a checkered administrative past.

9. Vest fabric : DENIM.  More famous for blue jeans, probably.

10. It often has four doors : SEDAN.  An automobile with front and rear seating suitable for adults, and a cargo compartment, typically in the rear.

11. Some kitchen appliances : AMANAS.  The company manufactures a variety of kitchen and household appliances.

12. Bus stations : DEPOTS.

13. "Tommy" band : THE WHO.

18. Pts. by Vikings : TDS.  Touch Downs scored by a professional football team from Minnesota.  Do we have any RABID fans?

22. Irrelevant : MOOT.  This is the secondary meaning.  The primary meaning is "open to dispute."

23. Critter rescue org. : SPCA.  Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. 

24. Big name in business jets : LEAR.   The LEARJET company was founded in the 1950's by William Powell LEAR.

26. Electric guitar pioneer : LES PAUL.

27. Cave feedback : ECHO.   Reflected sound.

29. Like "Fifty Shades of Grey" : RACY.  Risqué, suggestive, naughty, sexy, spicy, ribald.

33. Golfer's four, often : PAR.  The number of strokes needed by a first class player to complete the hole.  Cf 15A.

35. Hosp. areas : ORS.  Operating Rooms in hospitals.

36. Handle on many elevators : OTIS.   "Handle" here denoting the name.

39. Bento box staple : RICE.  A bento is a single-portion take out or home made meal common in Japanese cuisine.  It usually contains rice along with meat or fish and cooked vegetables.  The actual box can be anything from a cheap disposable to hand-crafted laquerware.

41. Facility : EASE.

42. "Only Time" songwriter : ENYA.  It seems that Eithne Pádraigín Ní Bhraonáin shows up at least half the time when I blog.

43. A handful : SOME.  Not too many.

45. Color named for a planet : MARS RED.   Benjamin Moore 2172-20.

46. In itself : AS SUCH.  Exactly as described or suggested.

47. Devours eagerly : LAPS UP.  To accept something with great enthusiasm.

48. Responds in court : PLEADS.  Presents or argues for a position.

50. Tool box item : PLIERS. Pincers, typically having parallel, flat, serrated surfaces intended for gripping. 

53. Has too much of, briefly : O Ds ON. Technically, to take more than the recommended dose of a medication, or in drug culture to have too much of a narcotic, resulting in a dangerous and potentially lethal condition.  In loose vernacular, to have too much of anything, frex, Easter ham. 

54. Finnish tech giant : NOKIA.   Multinational communications and information technology company founded in 1865.

55. Flight stat. : ARRival time.  

59. On the sidelines : IDLE.  Not currently in use.

62. Legendary fighter : ALI.  Professional boxer Muhammad Ali, originally Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr. [1942-2016.]   He was also famous and controversial as an activist and draft resistor.

63. Business card no. : TELephone.

64. Hit the slopes : SKI.

65. Dallas-to-Houston dir. : SSE.  Texas geography.  Three and a half hour drive via I-45 covering 239 miles.

That wraps it up - a fine puzzle, indeed.  My only nit is the glaring lack of a baseball reference. What's up with that?  

Cool regards!