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 28, 2019

L.A. Times Crossword Wednesday, August 28, 2019 Steve Mossberg

Theme: THOUGHT FOR FOOD.  The first words of two-word theme answers can also be defined as active kitchen terms.  So let's start with today's theme song.

17 A. *Speak carefully to avoid offense: MINCE WORDS.  Usually presented in the negative, as laying it all on the line.  To MINCE a food item is chop or grind it into very small pieces, often in a machine with revolving blades.

21 A. *Yahtzee, for one: DICE GAME.  The object of the game is score points by rolling 5
DICE to get certain combinations.  I was surprised to discover it was first marketed in Toledo, my home town, in the early 40's.  To DICE food, you cut it into small cubes.

40 A. *Homemade song assortment: MIX TAPE.  A compilation of favorite music, usually by a variety of artists, on some sort of home recording device, TAPEs being quite passé these days.  To MIX is to combine various ingredients so that they are all evenly distributed.

42 A. *Vocally imitate a drum machine: BEAT BOX.  Exactly as described.

To BEAT a combination of ingredients is to stir it vigorously with a fork, whisk, or mechanical beater to make a smooth or frothy MIXture.

56 A. *Lunch from home: BROWN BAG.  To pack a lunch, typically in a BROWN paper bag designed for that purpose, and take it to another destination such as school or a work site.  You BROWN an item by heating it on a stove, typically in a skillet or pan.

65 A. Kitchen guide ... and where to find the starts of the answers to starred clues: RECIPE BOOK. A published collection of cooking directions - e.g. RECIPES - for various dishes.

Hi, Gang.  JzB here to host this dinner.  Did the theme whet your appetite for the main course? Let's grab our forks and see what Steve has cooked up for us.


1. Renovator's protective cover: TARP.  A sheet of canvas or plastic that protects floors and furniture from paint drips, dust, or physical damage during the renovation process.

5. Not so exciting: HO-HUM.

10. Soak up the sun: BASK.  Relax in the pleasant warmth.

14. "Dies __": Latin hymn: IRAE.

Almost 8 minutes - discretion is advised

15. Yoga pose: ASANA.  A posture used in hatha yoga.

16. Hatchet man __ Brasi of "The Godfather": LUCA.

Karma - not easy to watch; discretion is advised.

19. Spoken: ORAL.

20. 2019 award for author Walter Mosley: EDGAR.  Mystery writer's award name for E. A. Poe.

23. Cry of success that can also be a sarcastic admission of failure: NAILED IT.  Some days you get the NAIL, some days the NAIL gets you.

26. Ad-__: improvise: LIB.

29. "__ won't do": THIS.

30. Pinch pennies: SCRIMP.  Partnered with save.

35. Post-op sites: ICUS. Intensive Care Units.

37. Not fooled by: ON TO.  Have it figured out.

39. Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum city: HANOI.  He was the revolutionary leader who won Viet Nam's independence from France in 1954.

44. Spoken: ALOUD. Audible.

45. Poetry event: SLAM.  We humans can make anything into a competition - even the reading of poetry.

47. Hatcher or Polo: TERI.  American actors, born in 1964 and 1969, respectively.  What - no love for Teri Garr [b 1944]?

48. Status __: SYMBOL. A possession that is considered to indicate wealth or social standing.

50. Forget to mention: OMIT.  Leave out, elide.

52. Report card bummer: DEE.  Poor grade.

53. Norse mythology upheaval used as the subtitle of a 2017 "Thor" film: RAGNAROK.  The fate or twilight of the gods - a series of events leading up to a great battle, the death of many of the gods, and devastating h=natural disasters on earth.

60. Repairs: MENDS.  Fixerates

64. Marshmallow blackener: FIRE.  Camp or bon, most likely.

68. Discomfit: FAZE. Disturb.

69. Save a ton on the wedding reception?: ELOPE. How will the lack of a reception be received?

70. Not pro: ANTI-.  I'm against it.

71. Sty feed: SLOP.  For the big and little piggies.

72. Often __: half the time: AS NOT.

73. Check signer: BOSS.  Payroll.


1. Life partner: TIME.  Magazines, not companions.

2. Dry as a desert: ARID. Too dry or barren to support vegetation.

3. Tolled, as a bell: RANG. Pealed.

4. Pie nut: PECAN.  Not to be confused with pine nuts, which are in pesto.

5. Word after hee or yee: HAW.  The braying of an ass or a celebratory howl.

6. Spanish bear: OSO.

7. Most challenging: HARDEST.  Surpassingly difficult.

8. Reversed: UNDID.  Cancelled, repealed, retracted.

9. Dinosaur Jr. frontman J __: MASCIS.  This band was formed in 1984 and was one of the formative influences in American alternative rock.  I never heard of them.

10. Online journal: BLOG. A contraction of WEBLOG.

11. General vibe: AURA.  I have a feeling.

12. Take in: SCAM. Here, SCAM is a verb, indicating an attempt to dupe somebody.

13. Leafy vegetable: KALE.  A cruciferous vegetable coming in several varieties with green or purple leaves.

18. Middle of Q.E.D.: ERAT.  From the Latin phrase "quod erat demonstrandum," meaning "what was to be demonstrated, indicating that a mathematical proof or philosophical argument was completed.

22. __ Sketch: ETCHA.  Quite possibly the most frustrating toy ever invented.

24. Blue-roofed eatery: I-HOP.  For breakfast and lunch, mainly.

25. Fishing gear: LINES.  Rods and reels would otherwise be useless.

26. Succotash beans: LIMAS.  Mixed with corn, and possibly other things, like tomatoes or sweet peppers.

27. Without warmth: ICILY.

28. Full-bosomed: BUXOMBlessing or curse?

31. "Out of the Cellar" metal band: RATT.  This was their debut studio album, released in 1984.

32. Under the covers: IN BED. Possibly asleep.

33. Boxing legend Archie: MOORE. Archibald Lee Wright [1916-1998] was the longest reigning light-heavyweight of all time - December, 1952 to May, 1962.  He had an extraordinarily long career, from 1935 to 1963.

34. Impish fairy: PIXIE.  Diminutive mythical creatures that are childlike, active, and occasionally pranksters.

36. Incomplete Wikipedia entry: STUB.  Needs more info.

38. "Becoming" memoirist Michelle: OBAMA.  Former first lady, nee Robinson [b 1964.]

41. Add beauty to: ADORN.  Decorate.

43. Mideast noble: EMIR.

46. Scam that takes a while to pay off: LONG CON.  An elaborate scheme to trick someone into giving up money or other valuables.

49. __ Tar Pits: LA BREA.  Inside the city of Las Angeles.

51. Thick book: TOME.  Read one if you have enough Tome time.

54. Irish speakers: GAELS.  An ethnolinguistic group associated with Irish, MAnx and Scottish languages.

55. Meaty fare from a falafel stand: KEBAB.  Any of various grilled meat dishes cooked in a middle-eastern stye.

56. Closest pals, initially: BFFS. Best Friends Forever.

57. Tehran money: RIAL.  Currently about .003 of a U. S. cent.

58. Rice-shaped pasta: ORZO.

59. Shed tears: WEEP. Cry.

61. Pitching gem, in baseball slang: NONO.  A perfectly pitched game with NO runs, NO hits, and NO errors.

62. "i" pieces: DOTS.  Don't forget to dot your i's and cross your t's.

63. Hits the slopes: SKIS.  Goes SKIing.

66. Wall St. debut: IPOInitial Public Offering.

67. Darling: PET.  Most favored individual.

That finishes off our Wednesday entree.  Did you notice that we had two green vegetables, meat and a starch - in addition to our IHOP visit?  Is anybody else ready for desert?

Cool Regards!

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Wednesday, August 21, 2019 Jim Bordoni and C. C. Burnikel

Theme: Say HI to the islands - but in their own language.  Here we have an initial theme, i.e. one where the first letter of each of two theme entry words combine to form the abbreviation for the most remote of the 50 states in the U.S.A.  Let's check it out.

17. *British-owned American hotel chain: HOLIDAY INN.  The first HOLIDAY INN was opened in 1952.  It and the next two were on roads to Memphis.  The name was a play on the title of a 1942 Christmas movie starring Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire.  The chain is now owned by InterContinental Hotels Group, and has 1173 active locations.

22. *Went on foot: HOOFED IT.  Traveled by shank's mare - the horse with 10 toes.

33. *Wind chill factor relative: HEAT INDEX.  A combination of heat and humidity which puts stress on the human body.  Read about it here.

38. *Three-time U.S. Open champion: HALE IRWIN. [b 1945] He became the oldest ever Open champion in 1990 at age 45.

46. *Subject of much debate: HOT ISSUE.  Pick a side.

56. With "The," one of 50 since 8/21/1959, as hinted at by the answers to starred clues: ALOHA  STATE.  Which is, of course HAWAII, our most recently admitted state. It's abrv is HI.

So HI, or alternatively, ALOHA, Gang.  JazzBumpa here guide today's tour.  This puzzle is brought to you by our own C. C. and Corner denizen Jim.  I'll admit it took me a bit of time and mental energy to suss this theme.  We have miles to go before we sleep, so let's get moving.


1. Half of a stiff price to pay: ARM. Along with a leg.  Better than "Half a fly," in my opinionated opinion.

4. Chinese food additive: MSG. MonoSodium Glutamate.  Flavor enhancer that gives some people a headache.

7. Breed from Honshu: AKITA.  Dogs originating in the mountainous regions of northern Japan that now come in two varieties.

12. Sob story makeup: WOES.  General ills and misfortunes.

14. __ Nui: Easter Island: RAPA.  An extremely remote island, 2182 miles of the coast of Chile, which annexed it in 1888.  First inhabited ca 1200 A.D., it is the most southeastern point of the Polynesian Triangle, and famous for its unusual stone artifacts.

15. Jell-O flavor: LEMON.  One of many

16. Food for the kitty?: ANTE.  Price of entry for a poker hand.  The kitty is the accumulation of bets to be won.

19. Robert the Bruce, for one: SCOT.  He was King of Scotland from 1306 until his death in 1329.  At the battle of Bannockburn in 1314 he defeated a large English army and won independence from England.

20. Speak with style: ORATE.  Give a formal address or speak pompously and at great length

21. Latin "to be": ESSE.

24. Boys: LADS.  Young fellas.

26. Actress Longoria: EVA.  Eva Jacqueline Bastón (née Longoria) [b 1975] is an American entertainer, business person and activist.

27. Substitute for: RELIEVE.  Usually in a work setting or on a pitcher's mound.

30. Cat Deeley's role on "So You Think You Can Dance": EM CEEMaster of Ceremonies. Never watched it.

35. Jobs title, once: CEO.  Steven Jobs [1955-2011] was, among other things, the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Apple, Inc.  Slightly misleading clue.

36. Represent inaccurately: BELIE. Deceive by lying.  Current usage is from the 17th century, but the word has solid old Anglo-Saxon roots.

37. Web access co.: ISPInternet Service Provider.

41. "Semper fidelis" is one: MOTTO.  A phrase that captures the beliefs or ideals of an individual or institution.  This one belongs to the U. S. Marine Corps, and means "always faithful/loyal." Mine is "What I lack in youth, I make up for with immaturity."

43. Veterans: OLD PROS.  Experienced experts.  In contrast, I am an old amateur.

44. Refuge for couples?: ARK.  Animals, two by two.

45. Italian automaker: FIAT.  Owner of Chrysler.

51. Golfer's transport: CART.  Gets you from tee to green.

53. Night calls: HOOTS.  Owl calls.  Assuming you give a HOOT.

55. Radius neighbor: ULNA.  Bones of the forearm, in case you weren't forewarned.

58. Eyeglass frames: RIMS. Lens holders.

59. Have more People come to the house?: RENEW.  Re-up a subscription to People magazine.  Took me a minute.

60. City near Anaheim: BREA.  This is not the home of the La Brea tar pits, which are about 40 miles to the northwest, within the city of Los Angeles.  It is an important retail center and home to an extensive public arts program.

61. Dueling sport: EPEE.  For sword play.

62. Midler of "Hello Dolly": BETTE.  The divine miss M [b 1945.]

63. Leb. neighbor: SYR.  Lebanon is on the coast of the Mediterranean. SYRIA surrounds it on the east and north.

64. Cap initials at Busch Stadium: STL.  Cardinals baseball team.


1. Knee-deep (in): AWASH.  Flooded by.

2. Chop-O-Matic maker: RONCO.  Former American company founded in 1964 by Ron [no relation] Popeil.  In 2005, he sold the company to Fi-Tek VII, a Denver holding company.  After a couple Chapter 11 bankruptcy filings, the company refiled under Chapter 7 in 2018, to be liquidated and shut down.

3. Anti-harassment movement: ME TOO.  A movement begun in 2017 to demonstrate the wide spread prevalence of sexual harassment, especially in the workplace

4. New Zealand settler: MAORI.  Eastern Polynesians who arrived in NZ by canoe in several waves from ca. 1320 to 1350.  Over several centuries of isolation, they developed their own culture, language, arts and mythology.

5. Paint spill sound: SPLAT.  Or generic cartoon falling sound.

6. Stable pace: GAIT.  One's manner of walking.

7. In the style of: ALA.

8. Entered, as data: KEYED IN.

9. "That went right over my head": I MISSED   IT.  As almost happened to me with today's theme.

10. Truckloads: TONS.   Non-specific large quantities.

11. Heche of "Psycho" (1998): ANNE. [b. 1969]

13. Fixed charge: SET FEE.  A stated amount paid for work or service that does not depend on time spent or how much the service is used.

14. Valerie Harper sitcom: RHODA. The original run on CBS was from September, 1974 to December, 1978.

18. Get rid of: DELETE.

23. Christmas __: EVE.  'Twas the night before.

25. Boxer who beat Frazier twice: ALI.  Muhammed Ali [Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr, 1972 - 2016] was also an activist and philanthropist.

27. Ball game delayer: RAIN.  Baseball.  Football plays through blizzards.

28. Tuxedo part: VEST.

29. Former Canadian MLBer: EXPO.  The EXPOS, based in Montreal, played in the NL East Division from 1969 to 2004.

30. Repeat: ECHO. Literally - sound bouncing back from a solid surface.  Figuratively - a repetition of something.

31. Happy __: MEAL.  Kid's fare from McDonald's.

32. Leading edge of cooler temperatures: COLD FRONT.  Just exactly this.

33. Cuts down: HEWS.  With an ax, pick or other tool.

34. Yale alum: ELI.  For Elihu Yale, founder of the University.

36. Thin soups: BROTHS. Savory liquids in which bones, meat or vegetables have been simmered.

39. Peter the Great, e.g.: EPITHET. An adjective or descriptive phrase expressing a quality or characteristic on a person or thing.

40. 401(k) kin, briefly: IRA. Individual Retirement Account.

41. CT scan relative: MRI. Magnetic Resonance Image.

42. "Sounds good": OK, SURE.  Fine by me.

44. Utterly confused: AT SEA. Baffled.

46. White with frost: HOARY.  Grey or white, as if with age.  I'm taking this one personally.

47. Furry swimmer: OTTER.  Carnivorous mammal with a diet based on fish and invertebrates, related to weasels, badgers, minks and skunks.  The 13 existing species are all aquatic, semi-aquatic or marine.

48. Berth places: SLIPS.  Docking spots adjacent to wharfs or piers.

49. Not yet achieved, as a goal: UNMET. Work in progress, or have you given up?

50. Art class item: EASEL.  Support for your item to be painted.

51. Atkins no-no: CARBohydrates - starches and sugars.

52. Toward shelter: ALEE.  Protected from the wind.

54. Some parlors, for short: OTBSOff Track Betting Sites.

57. Stun: AWE.  Amaze.

That wraps up today's adventure. We met movie stars and extensively traveled the pacific basin.  Hope you enjoyed the journey.

Cool regards!

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

L.A. Times Crossword Wednesday, July 17, 2019 Kevin Salat

Them: 'FRAID SO [Homophonically speaking.]  A bookend theme: the entries all begin with FR and end in AY, which when united spell the word FRAY, not to be confused with the extended FREY clan of Game of Thrones infamy. But I digress.

17 A. Squander little by little: FRITTER AWAY.  To FRITTER [without away] means to break into small fragments; as a noun, it means fragments or shreds.  So the definition given here is apt.

25 A. Unstructured recreation: FREE PLAY.  Also well defined.  Perhaps a way to achieve the previous theme entry with your available time.

38 A. Inlet in an Otis Redding hit song: FRISCOBAY.  Otis finds another way to achieve the first theme entry in this song, released after his death, entitled [Sittin' On] The Dock of the Bay.  This is getting a bit meta.

54. Ruffles snack company: FRITOLAY.   Maker of Fritos, Doritos, Sun Chips, Cheetos and more.  Can theses smallish items be considered FRITTERS?  You decide.

64. Worn-look fabric style that this puzzle's four other longest answers exhibit?: FRAYED EDGES.  Like this on fabric. Are the edges being FRITTERED AWAY?  And, of course, the split word FRAY bookends the theme entries.  So, there you have it.

Hi, Gang, it JazzBumpa, jumping into the FRAY.  Nicely executed theme - not much more to say about it.  So let us venture forth boldly into this puzzle - unafrayed.


1. Santa __: Sonoma County seat: ROSA.  Many Santas. Needed perps

5. Cordelia, to Regan: SISTER.  Daughters of King Lear, along with the unfortunately named Goneril.

11. Small ammo: BBs.  Spherical pellets shot from a certain kind of air gun.  Per Wikipedia, "The term BB originated from the nomenclature of the size of steel shots used in a shotgun. Size "BB" shots were normally 0.180 in (4.6 mm) . . ."

14. At risk of offending, for short: UN-PC.  Not Politically Correct.

15. "Play more!": ENCORE.  An additional song or musical selection played after the planned program is complete, as requested by the audience.

16. Variety: ILK.  Type

19. Foot the bill: PAY.  End up paying for something, especially if the charge is large or unreasonable.  Sad.

20. Expedia info: FARES.  Expedia is an American based travel company that provides FARES and other information for world-wide travel.

21. "__ Tu": 1974 hit sung in Spanish: ERES.

22. Boozer: SOT.  Alcoholic.

23. Nike rival: ADIDAS.  Sports shoes.

28. Back muscle, familiarly: LAT.  More formally, Latissimus dorsi the muscle connecting the upper extremity to the back bone.  Mine are typically tight, probably from my trombone addiction.

29. Garnet or ruby: RED.  Shades of meaning.

31. Double helix part: STRAND.  Come on, baby, let's do the twist.

32. Approximately: OR SO.  In the general vicinity of - or so it is said.

34. Old __: card game: MAID.

37. Small pies: TARTS. Small filled pastries without a top crust.

41. "Hello" singer: ADELE.

44. Subway fare?: HERO.  A sandwich of meat, cheese and vegetables made on a long roll that can be purchased at, frex, the Subway sandwich shop.  A fee is involved.

45. Pollen pouches: SACS.  The structures in seed plants where pollen is produced.

49. Overhaul: REVAMP.  Improve the form, appearance and structure of something.

51. Inquire: ASK.  Asking minds want to know.

53. Stick in the closet?: MOP.  "Stick" is a noun here, and it has a head.

57. Mogadishu native: SOMALI.  A resident of Somalia, a failed nation on the horn of Africa.

59. Master: ACE.

60. __ Bator: ULAN.  The capital of Mongolia, on the Tuul River.

62. "Beauty and the Beast" role: BELLE.  Per Wikipedia, she "is the non-conforming daughter of an inventor who yearns to abandon her predictable village life in return for adventure."  The rest is herstory.

63. Olive center: PIT.  A hard seed.

66. Ginger __: ALE. A carbonated soft drink made with -- wait for it . . . ginger!

67. 2014 boxing biopic: I AM ALI.

68. "Othello" villain: IAGO.  He is Othello's standard bearer, but he hates Othello and seeks his downfall by trying to make him believe his wife is unfaithful with his lieutenant, Cassio.

69. '60s hallucinogen: LSD.  Lysergic Acid Diethyamide. Have a nice trip.

70. Shiny photo: GLOSSY.  Type of finish surface on the photo paper

71. "You said it!": AMEN.


1. Mark who plays the Hulk: RUFFALO.

2. Tracked by air traffic control: ON RADAR.  What the bleep is that?

3. Bar supply: SPIRITS.  Liquors that have been distilled to increase the alcohol content.

4. Didn't just sit there: ACTED.  Did something.

5. "I __ what you did there": SEE.  Acknowledging someone's cleverness.

6. Memo starter: IN RE.  With regard to --

7. Winter neckwear: SCARF.  A fabric item worn to maintain warmth and ward off the elements.

8. Cell network structure: TOWER.  I was so stuck on biological cells that when this answer emerged I was totally confused.  Of course this refers to the place where antennae are place for cell phone transmissions.  Which prompts the question: does anyone still use their phone to actually call somebody?

9. Clears a whiteboard: ERASES.  Or a blackboard. Works either way.

10. King of Spain: REY.  Literal translation

11. Like many magnets: BIPOLAR.  Having both north and south poles.

12. Glaringly obvious: BLATANT.  In your face.

13. Big __ Country: Montana: SKY.  Don't let them fool you.  The sky is the same size everywhere.  But in Michigan, you often can't see it for the clouds.

18. Ivan the Terrible, e.g.: TSAR.  One of many Russian emperors, prior to 1917.

22. Turns the hose on: SPRAYS.   Fun way to end up single.

24. Rig on the road: SEMI.  Tractor trailer rig.

26. James of jazz: ETTA.

27. Golf course meas.: YDS. Distance from tee to green, in yards.

30. Superspeed boy in "The Incredibles": DASH.

33. Recently: OF LATE.

35. Curling surface: ICE.  This is a game in which large, flat stones are slid along a smooth ICE surface into a target area.

36. Toon explorer: DORA.  Found this on FaceBook recently.

39. San __, Italy: REMO.  A city on the Mediterranean located in the extreme western part of Italy.  San and Santa - near clechoes.

40. Overseer: BOSS.

41. Greeting at a dog park: ARF.

42. Throws off track: DERAILS.

43. Thrown out: EVICTED.

46. Dental filling material: AMALGAM.  Despite containing about 50% elemental mercury, it is considered to be safe.

47. Dartmouth, e.g.: COLLEGE.  An institute of higher learning.

48. Watches through binoculars, maybe: SPIES ON.

50. Like lions and tigers and bears: PLURAL.  Yes they are plurals.  No, I do not like self-referential clues.

52. 18-time NBA All-Star Bryant: KOBE.  According to some, the 12th best player ever.

55. Texas mission: ALAMO.  Famous for the battle of 1836, when Texas was seceding from Mexico.  In a 13 day siege the garrison stationed there was almost completely wiped out.

56. "Get Yer __ Out!": live Stones album: YAYASRead all about it.

58. Mass __: MEDIA.  With tulips in my mind, I guess, I confidently filled in MANIA.  That was a set back.  The correct answer refers to news and communication outlets, like publications, broadcasting and the internet.

61. Guitarist Cline of the band Wilco: NELS.  Was this a Natick for anyone else?

63. Buddy: PAL.  Amigo, BFF.

64. Cookie fruit: FIG.  Classic.

65. Kit letters: DIY.  The set of parts, pieces and tools required to build some thing.  Good luck and - yeah - do read the instructions.

OK, kids - we've frittered away time with this crossword puzzle.  Let's go take on the rest of the day.

Cool regards!

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

L.A. Times Crossword Wednesday, June 26, 2019 Dan Schoenholtz

Theme BATTER UP! Not at the ball diamond this time.  Instead, we find ourselves at the kitchen counter with eggs, oil and today's theme.  Let's check it out

17 A. It may be hard to turn down: NICE OFFER.  Not to be confused with an OFFER that you can't refuse.  The circled letters, here shown in red, can be rearranged to spell COFFEE.  Decaf for me, please - no cream or sugar.

26 A. Stockpiled: LOADED UP ON.  Acquired, collected, and kept; amassed. The red letters can be used to spell POUND.  Is this going to the dogs?  Probably not.

41 A. Sitting in an assigned seat, e.g.: TAKING ONE'S PLACE.  "Everyone take your places," is an in the language phrase.  So, have a seat.  Perhaps your cushion is a cushy SPONGE rubber.

51 A. Corporate annual report focus: FISCAL YEAR.  A 12 month period used for accounting and tax purposes that might not line up with a calendar year.  The red letters can spell LAYER - a ply of something in a built-up construction.  So what are we to make of all this?  Let's consult the reveal.

64 A. Baking conveniences, and a hint to this puzzle's circles: CAKE MIXES.  Aha!  Each of the words is also a type of CAKE, MIXED into the clue fill.  And a CAKE MIX is a store-bought combination of ingredients you can use to make a tasty sweet treat. Are you hungry?  I think CAKE is OK, any time of day or night.  Though, to be honest, I prefer cookies.


1. They may be exchanged in anger: WORDS.  Description of an argument.

6. Jet stream locale?: SPA.  SPA in this case being a whirlpool bath, with jets that stream water onto your aching body.

9. Ziti, e.g.: PASTA.  Per wikipedia, Ziti is an extruded tubular pasta that is smaller than rigatoni, but larger than mezzani.  Pasta is pasta.  Why if comes in so many shapes and sizes is a mystery to me.

14. Scrub, as a launch: ABORT.  From the mission control vocabulary of NASA.  A decision to stop a planned launch after the pre-launch sequence of activities has begun.

15. Short film?: PIC.  An abrv. of [moving] PICTURE

16. Pronouncement platform: ALTAR.  "I now pronounce you man and wife," is one of the kins of pronouncements that can be issued there.

19. Lumps: GLOBS.  Solid or semi-sold masses of no particular size and shape.

20. Small flightless bird: KIWI.

21. "Oye Como Va" songwriter Puente: TITO.  Hey, how is it going?

23. Barnyard noise: MOO. Cow talk.

24. Low-risk investments: Abbr.: CDsCertificates of Deposit.

29. Stooped (over): HUNCHED.

32. Beer container: CAN.  E pluribus unum.

33. "It matters to me": I CARE.  Back in the 60's we said, "Give a damn!"

34. "The Green Hornet" co-writer/star Rogen: SETH. [b 1982] Canadian-American actor, comedian, writer, producer, and director.

37. Scorch: CHAR.  Burn the surface of something with heat or a direct flame.

44. Editor's retraction: STET.  "Let it stand."  (used as an instruction on a printed proof to indicate that a correction or alteration should be ignored).

45. Picnic pests: ANTS.  Six-legged invaders.

46. Blows off steam: VENTS.  Pssssst.

47. Feverish, say: ILL. Exhibiting symptoms of sickness.

49. Doesn't continue, as an argument: LET'S DIE.  It's hard to know when to let up.  Sometimes continuing is futile.  I was arguing about socialism with some guy on FaceBook.  He wouldn't accept the dictionary definition.  I finally gave up and told him to have a nice day.

56. "Irreverence is easy--what's hard is __": Tom Lehrer: WIT.  Keen mental sharpness and inventiveness.

57. Lime ending: -ADE.  The juice of the lime ends up in a fruity drink.  In my house, it's far more likely to end up in a spicy guacamole.

58. 12-1 MLB victory, e.g.: ROUT.  A lop-sided victory.  Or, from the Tigers' perspective, a lop-sided defeat.

59. Davenport setting: IOWA.  Or my late mom-s living room.  A city and an item of furniture [if you want to couch it in those terms], respectively.

62. Like spinach, say: LEAFY.  As rose bushes are thorny, and trees are barky.

68. Tanning site: SALON.

69. Spy org. called "The Company": CIA.  Central Intelligence Agency.  We learn this vocabulary from a 2003 semi-factual novel by Robert Littell.

70. Hapless: INEPT.  Everybody, get yourself some hap, so you can be EPT.

71. North Sea county: ESSEX.  Located North and East of London, England.

72. __-country music: ALT.  ALTernate.  A loosely defined sub-genre of county/rock music.  Styles can be significantly different in style from mainstream or pop country.

73. "Get it done!": TODAY.  Stat! [Not stet]


1. Lacking color: WAN. Pale and weak looking.

2. Tokyo sash: OBI.

3. Large python: ROCK SNAKE.  A large, non-venemous, but extraordinarily vicious and dangerous snake living in sub-saharan Africa.

4. German trio: DREI.  The number three.

5. Put away: STOW.

6. Sunscreen letters: SPFSun Protection Factor.  Understand it here.

7. Michelangelo masterpiece: PIETA.

8. Sharp: ACRID.  Having an irritatingly strong and unpleasant taste or smell.

9. Taoist temple: PAGODA.

10. Every one of: ALL. Don't leave me out.

11. Defeat soundly: STOMP.  In other words, a ROUT.

12. Off-limits: TABOO.  Forbidden.

13. Fiery crime: ARSON.  The crime of deliberately setting fire to property.

18. Computer menu heading: FILE. You can save and print, among other options.

22. Computer fixers: TECHS.

24. Vouchers: CHITS.  IOUs

25. Old European coin: DUCAT. Any of various gold and silver coins.

27. Eats too much of, as junk food: ODs ONOver-Dose, trivializing the real meaning.

28. Family tree figures: UNCLES.  What I am to my niece and nephew.

30. Blogger, at times: CRITIC. Or, in my case, almost always.

31. Farm clucker: HEN.  And egg layer.

35. Sinusitis-treating doc: ENTEar, Nose and Throat specialist.

36. Edison contemporary: TESLA.  Nikola Tesla [1956-1943] was a Serbian-American inventor, electrical engineer, mechanical engineer, and futurist who is best known for his contributions to the design of the modern alternating current electricity supply system. [Wikipedia]

38. Manually spiffed up at the carwash: HAND WAXED.  Manual labor.

39. When the duel occurs in "Hamilton": ACT II.

40. Start over: RESET.

42. Big name in California viticulture: GALLO.  Brothers Ernst and Julio.

43. Entry-level GI: PVT. Private.

48. Voice box: LARYNX.  the hollow muscular organ forming an air passage to the lungs and holding the vocal cords in humans and other mammals;

50. Scary-sounding lake: ERIE.  Toledo's lake.

51. Like many a rumor: FALSE.  Fake news?

52. Creative output: IDEAS.  Brain storms.

53. Makes airtight: SEALS.  Closes up.

54. Desert plant with sword-shaped leaves: YUCCA.

55. Source of net profits?: ETAIL.  Electronic - i.e on-line - retail.

60. Exclude: OMIT. Leave out, elide.

61. Sot: WINO.  Alcoholic.

63. Enemy: FOE.  Not a friend

65. Dennings of "2 Broke Girls": KAT.

66. AQI monitor: EPA.  The Air Quality index is monitored by the Environmental Protection Agency, established in 1970.

67. Muddy pen: STY. Home for swine.

One more in a long line of Wednesday puzzles, but this one takes the cake.   Hope you were able to slice through it without getting frosted.

Cool regards!

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

L.A. Times Crossword - Wednesday, June 19, 2019 Lewis Rothlein

Theme - WORD LADDER.  This is a word game invented by Lewis Carroll, in which a starting word is transformed into a target word by changing one letter at a time.  The challenge is to accomplish this in the fewest steps.  Here all the ladder words have circled letters, and are stand alone fill.  Let's see how this works.

1. Strong drink, and part 1 of a word ladder: DOUBLE.  A DOUBLE is a drink with 2 ounces of liquor.  It is also our starting word.  Looking ahead, our target word is SHIFT.  So, one can work a DOUBLE SHIFT.  I've never done that, and let's hope we don't have to.  But hold that thought.

20. Tabloid item (part 2): COUPLE.  A COUPLE in a tabloid is often referred to as an item.  Usually they show up because of some scandal, rumor, or bit of personal news involving them.  None of this is anybody's business, of course, but inquiring minds want to know.  The changed letters are highlighted in red.  Hang on a sec - letters!?!  Two of them? Should I call foul on this?  Let's defer that answer for the nonce.

28. Two-door cars (part 3): COUPES.  Cars with fixed roofs, two doors, and sloping rears.  Two letters changed.

36. Brunch order (part 4): CREPES. These are thin pancakes, usually rolled and wrapped around a filling.  My favorite is apricot.  Again, two letters have changed.

42. Underground tombs (part 5): CRYPTS. I can't improve on that definition.  Nor on the consistent changing of two letters.

48. Arts' partner (part 6): CRAFTS.  The skills involved in making things by hand.  Or craftally changing two letters at a time.

56. Wanders (part 7): DRIFTS.  Travels aimlessly.  Or changes by two letters at a time, with a specific aim in mind.  Hmmm  .  .  .

68. Work assignments ... and, preceded by 1-Across, the key to creating the word ladder (and part 8 of it): SHIFTS.  You can work several kinds of SHIFTS - day, night, third, or swing.  But, back to the puzzle, now all becomes clear.  Putting the first and last words together, we get DOUBLE SHIFTS - thus the alteration of two letters at a time.  Tadah!

That's a bit meta, but certainly clever, and I'll give some extra credit for that.

Hi, Gang.  It's JazzBumpa, not feeling at all SHIFTY.  So let's double down and see what the rest of this puzzle has to offer.


7. Kiss: BUSS.  From the Latin basiare, probably via French and late Middle English.

11. Injured, as a knee: BUM.

14. Damage: IMPAIR.  As, for example, a knee.

15. Private tutoring session: ONE ON ONE.

17. Theater walkways: AISLES.  Or in churches.

18. Injured, as an ankle: SPRAINED.  When the ligaments are stretched or torn.  We are having a rather bad leg day.

19. Cancels a dele: STETS.  Editor's marks for delete and let it stand, respectively.

21. The "S" of CSNY: STILLS.  I was stuck on NY as being New York.  That was a complete dead end.  This "S" is Steven Stills of Crosby, STILLS, Nash and Young.  Remember them?

24. "No more sharing," briefly: TMIToo Much Information - not on my need-to-know list.

25. Genetic material: DNA. Deoxyribonuclaic acid.  We all took biochemistry - right?

30. 1975 Tony-winning play about a stableboy: EQUUS.  About which I know nothing.

32. Former Boston commuter org.: MTA. Municipal Transit Authority.

35. Small, chirpy bird: WRENSeveral varieties.

37. "It can't be!": OH NO.  Dang!

39. Unsuccessful Ford: EDSEL.  But now a cult classic.

41. Personal care brand with a bird in its logo: DOVE.

44. Mining hauls: ORES.  Rocks containing useful metals.

46. Circus safety feature: NET.  To catch a falling star.

47. Owl sounds: HOOTS.  Do you give one?

50. Piercing tool: AWL. For puncturing leather, not owls.

51. Japanese assent: HAI. Means yes.

53. Sandal parts: STRAPS.  Keeps them on your feet.

59. Taxpayer's option: E-FILE.  Electronic submission.

61. Neckwear that makes a statement: POWER TIE.  It's all nonsense, in my humble opinion.

63. Older, as bread: STALER.  Not that I've ever made that specific comparison.

64. Like the print version of an e-book, say: DEAD TREE.  Paper pulp source.

65. Abrasion: SCRAPE.  Damage due to friction - more pain. Ouch!

66. Cook in oil: FRY.

67. Insolence: SASS.  Impudence and rudeness.   Thad says, don't do it.


1. Days in Quito: DIAS.  In Ecuador, they speak Spanish, todos los días.

2. Drops: OMITS.  Leaves out or excludes.

3. Hot and bothered: UPSET.  Disturbed, or - if you prefer - excited.

4. Like Estonia and Latvia: BALTIC.   Also Lithuania - refers to countries on the eastern coast of the Baltic Sea, across from Sweden.

5. Stays out of sight: LIES LOW.  Avoiding attention and detection, generally for the purpose of staying out of trouble.

6. Trauma ctrs.: ERSEmergency Rooms.

7. Pear variety: BOSC.  Unique in shape and color.

8. Removes for transplanting: UNPOTS.  Out of one pot, and into another - or, perhaps, the ground.

9. Antitoxin: SERUM.

10. Having more lather: SOAPIER.

11. Took a refresher course in: BONED UP ON.  You can BONE UP ON it here.

12. Half of deux: UNE.  Two divided by two is one.  This looks suspiciously like French to me.  Numbers in French go hilariously wonky, as you will soon see. My granddaughter Alexa, who has studied French, assures me that every bit of this is true.

13. __ school: MED.  Where one learns to be a doctor.

16. Zero, in soccer: NIL.  Exactly nothing.  Probably the same - or something close to it - in French.  I hope.

22. Angling needs: LURES.  Things that attract the fish.  In another puzzle I worked recently the answer to this clue, in the singular, was LINE.

23. Went like the wind: SPED.  If i do that, I get winded. 

26. Béisbol team complement: NUEVE.  A baseball team has 9 players, in any language.  Spanish numbers, if I recall correctly, make some sort of sense.

27. Desirable trait: ASSET.

29. Belgian painter James: ENSOR. [1860-1949] Read about him here.

31. Logician's "as was proven": QED.  Quod Erat Demonstrandum - loosely, that which was to be demonstrated.

32. Coffee flavor: MOCHA. A coffee-chocolate combination.

33. Host, as a party: THROW.

34. With no discernable pattern: ANY OLD WAY.  Whatever.

36. Chin indentation: CLEFT.

38. Back (out): OPT.  Choose to not participate.

40. Labeled times: ERAS.

43. Warm-weather wear: T SHIRTS.

45. Warm up before a run: STRETCH.

48. Boston and Chicago: CITIES.  Large municipalities.

49. "Green Hills of Africa" journey: SAFARI.  From the Arabic word safara - to travel.

52. Union that merged with SAG in 2012: AFTRA.  Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists.

54. Rice dish: PILAF.  Cooked in broth with spices and vegetables or meat.

55. Snoozed: SLEPT.

57. See 58-Down: RED.  The color of anger.

58. With 57-Down, loses one's cool: SEES.  To see red is to become suddenly enraged.  From an earlier expression "To see things red," from ca. 1900.  Probably not related to a bull fighter's red cape.

60. Part of a Spanish "to be" conjugation: ERES.  I'll leave this to a Spanish speaker to explain.

61. Adobe doc suffix: PDF. Portable Document File.

62. Atop, poetically: O'ER. As, for example, ramparts.

63. Griddle sound: SSS.  Onomatopoeia, I suppose.

That wraps up another Wednesday.  I'll add this, just because I can - a big trombone [and tuba] choir I participate in once a year.  This year it was on June 9th.

Cool Regards!

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

L.A. Times Crossword Wednesday, May 22, 2019 Roland Huget

Theme: LABOR.  The Circled letters spell various kinds of paid gigs.

17 A. Car engine part: CRANKSHAFT.  A SHAFT constructed of a series of CRANKS and CRANK pins that attach to the connecting rods of an engine. A CRAFT is a skill used in making items by hand.

24 A. "Tell me about it": JOIN THE CLUB.  A commiserating phrase along the lines of "I feel your pain." A JOB is a paid position of regular employment.

34 A. Custodian: CARETAKER. Someone assigned to look after a person, pet, property, or entity, depending on context.  A CAREER is a long-term occupation with opportunities for progress.

50. Lonely Planet publication, e.g.: TRAVEL GUIDE.  A book of information about a location designed for visitors and tourists.  A TRADE is a skilled job usually involving manual skills and special training.

58. Temporary fix, or what's found in this puzzle's circles: WORK AROUND.  A method for overcoming a problem or limitation is a system or program.  In the theme, various synonyms for types of WORK book-end the theme fill, so WORK goes AROUND the completed answer.

Hi, Gang - JazzBumpa here, as we WORK out way through this puzzle.  Let's get on the job!


1. Receives at one's roof garden: HAS UP.  I had to ponder this one. To receive visitors, you have them into your home.  You, you could have them up to your roof garden, should you be fortunate enough to possess such a thing.

6. "Shoot!": DARN. Exclamations of disappointment.

10. Bounces on the waves: BOBS.  Like a cork.

14. Food safety concern: E COLI.  Coliform bacteria that can be a food contaminant.

15. Miracle Mets outfielder Tommie: AGEE. [b 1942] He played for Cleveland and Chicago before the Mets.  The Miracle refers to their 1969 World Series win over the heavily favored Baltimore Orioles.  This was the 8th year of existence for the Mets, and their first year with a winning record.  AGEE is credited with making two of the greatest and most critical catches in World Series history in game 3, with the series tied.  He also led off the game with a home run.

16. Bell town in a Longfellow poem: ATRI.  You can read about it here.

19. Like racehorses: SHOD.  Having shoes.

20. __ Bora: Afghan region: TORA.  A cave complex in the mountains of eastern Afghanistan.

21. Roman 151: CLI.  Roman numerals.

22. Prolonged assault: SIEGE.  A tactic of surrounding the enemy's position to cut off supplies in hope of getting them to surrender.

23. U.K. honor: OBE.  Order of the British Empire, awarded for outstanding contributions to arts, sciences or public service.

27. Numbers to crunch: RAW DATA. Data in an unprocessed form.  Processing then leads to information.

29. Veer off course: YAW.  Twist around a vertical axis.

30. Poe's "Annabel __": LEE.

31. Stately horse: STEED.

32. Orbit segment: ARC.

33. Alpha-Bits cereal maker: POST.

38. Talk show host Cavett: DICK. [b. 1936]

41. Zamboni surface: ICE.  The Zamboni machine smooths the ice surface for hockey or figure skating.

42. Stretches out for a bit: RESTS.  Takes 5.

46. Bat wood: ASH. The best choice, but other woods are also used.

47. Aromatic garland: LEI.  Flowers strung together to be worn as a necklace.

48. Bob Cratchit's son: TINY TIM.  From A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.

53. Zodiac feline: LEO.  From July 23 to August 22.

54. Relaxed: EASED.  Let up.

55. Salem-to-Portland dir.: NNE.  As the crow flies

56. Gardener's bagful: SOIL.

57. Outdo: BEST.  Perform better than someone.

61. Came to rest: ALIT.  LAnded.

62. First name in stunts: EVEL.  AKA Robert Craig Knievel [1938-2007]

63. Superachievers: ELITE. A-list performers in some activity

64. Get out of bed: RISE. Even if reluctantly.  Can be alarming.

65. Obsolete demo medium: TAPE. A musical demo presented for possible publication or professional recording.

66. Cap bill: VISOR.  For shading one's eyes from the sun.


1. Strong-arms: HECTORS.  To bully, intimidate or browbeat,

2. Cirque du Soleil performer: ACROBAT.

3. "Us, too": SO ARE WE.  JOIN THE CLUB!

4. Radius neighbor: ULNA. The two long bones of the forearm.

5. Dental suffix with Water: PIK.  Device for cleaning teeth and massaging the gums.

6. Mexico's national flower: DAHLIA.

7. From the top: AGAIN.  One more time.

8. Sports replay reviewer: REF.  Always trying to get it right.

9. After-tax: NET.  What is remaining after all charges and deductions have been removed.

10. Not advanced: BASIC. The A-B-C's.

11. The lord in "O, beware, my lord, of jealousy!": OTHELLO.  From Shakespeare's play about jealousy and betrayal.

12. Irish accents: BROGUES.  I wasn't able to come up with better information.

13. Extra gambling action: SIDE BET.  An additional bet beside the main wager, generally involving a related issue/

18. Highlander: SCOT.  One likely to speak with a burr instead of a BROGUE.

22. Clinch, with "up": SEW.  Nail it down.

24. "Gotham" actress __ Pinkett Smith: JADA. [b. 1971]

25. Supermodel Banks: TYRA. [b. 1973]

26. Access illegally, as a computer: HACK.  To get unauthorized access to stored data or documents.

28. Swabbing site: DECK.  Naval activity

32. Tucked away: ATE.

33. One being hunted: PREY.

35. Cambodian currency: RIEL. .00025 U. S. Dollar.

36. Vaping product, briefly: E CIG.  It provides a mist containing nicotine, without burning tobacco.

37. Sea eagle: ERNE.  Old school crossword entry.

38. Baked snack with dried fruit: DATE BAR.  A cookie or cake-like item with fruit chunks or filling that is baked and then cut into bars.

39. Lod native: ISRAELI.  Lod is a city of 75,000 located 9 miles south-east of Tel Aviv, near Ben-Gurion airport.  The area has been inhabited since 5,000 B.C.

40. Car's supporting frame: CHASSIS.  The base frame upon which the body and other componentry is located

43. Midwest city named for a French king: ST. LOUIS.  In Missouri.

44. Connect with: TIE INTO.

45. Do a slow burn: SMOLDER.

47. Took charge of: LED.

48. Wind chime sound: TINKLE.  Tinkle, tinkle, little chime, playing in a windy time.

49. Creative spark: IDEA.

51. Sporty Chevy: VETTE.  Corvette, more formally.

52. Gen. Assembly member: U. N. REP.

56. Etudes, e.g.: SOLI.  An etude is an instrumental study piece designed to improve technique.  As such, it is a solo.. SOLI is the plural.

58. Not just damp: WET. On a spectrum from moist through inundated.

59. In vitro supply: OVA. Unfertilized eggs.

60. Race in the driveway: REV.  To race an engine to give it gas [rev] while it is not in gear.

That, my circle of friends, wraps up another Wednesday.  Hope you found the work to your liking.

Cool Regards!

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

L.A. Times Crossword Puzzle Wednesday, May 8 Sam Acker

Theme: ON THE DRAWING BOARD.  Here we will DRAW on our library of in-the-language phrases, to finalize certain concepts.  Since that seems a bit cryptic and abstract, let me DRAW it  more clearly.  This will be easier if we start with the unifier.

7. Infer ... or what the answers to starred clues end with?: DRAW CONCLUSIONS.  Gleaning the meaning from information that may or may not be complete.  In the theme answers, the 2nd word of two-word phrases can also follow the word DRAW to CONCLUDE another two-word phrase.

17. *Mint target: BAD BREATH.  Halitosis.

To DRAW BREATH is simply to breathe, or to pause a moment, and take a breath, before doing something, such as DRAWING a CONCLUSION.

20. *Overhead buzzers: POWER LINES.  Conduits for electricity.  Sometimes they're noisy.  To DRAW LINES is to set limits; figuratively LINES that should not be crossed.

31. *Lists of wrestling matches, say: EVENT CARDS.  Schedules of specific activities occurring at an event.  This phrase also has a variety of other meanings, which you can google, if interested.  To DRAW CARDS is to select specific cards from a deck as part of a game, trick or reading.

39. *Building sites: VACANT LOTS.  Plots of land that are currently undeveloped.  To DRAW LOTS is to decide something - such as who will do something, or in what order things will be done -by picking an item or items at random.

57. *HBO vampire series: TRUE BLOOD.  Never watched it.  Here's the season 1 trailer.

To DRAW BLOOD means to injure an opponent, either figuratively or literally.  Alternatively it means collecting a BLOOD sample from someone to run lab tests.

50. *Civil War volley: CANNON FIRE.  Cannons are now historical weapons.  To DRAW FIRE is to attract an enemy's attention in order to distract him from other tactical activities.

Hi Gang, JazzBumpa here to see what kind of CONCLUSIONS we can DRAW.  The first one is that with 6 theme entries and a grid spanning unifier, this puzzle is extremely thematically rich.  And second, with a central vertical unifier and two stacked theme answer pairs we have an unusual, and quite creative construction. So let us commence.


1. Try to punch: JAB AT.  Could be a swing and a miss.

6. Org. concerned with outbreaks: CDC. Center for Disease Control.

9. Follower of Guru Nanak: SIKH.  The word means a "disciple", "seeker," or "learner."  This is a monotheistic religion started in the Punjab region of India during the latter part of the 15th century.

13. Shapes for running laps: OVALS.  Typical track contour.

14. Shapiro of NPR: ARI. The host of All Things Considered.

15. Sunlit lobbies: ATRIA.  Often with a glass roof.

16. Crunch-like exercise: SIT UP.  Do it properly.

19. Soccer legend Mia: HAMM.

21. Verb type without a direct obj.: INTRansitive.   It' s always an action verb. Frex.: We arrived just in time.

23. Sing smoothly: CROON.

24. Bad guy you root for: ANTI-HERO.  Like Matt Scudder in Lawrence Block's mystery novels.

27. __ de cologne: EAU.  Originally a perfume formulation fron Cologne, Germany, but now a generic term for scented formulations.

30. Slangy "No reason": CUZ.  Cuz I says so.

35. Prepare to drag: REV.  Gun the engine in preparation for a fast take off.

36. Like maple syrup: VISCOUS.  Thick and slow to pour.

37. Geographical resource: MAP.  It lets you know where you are.  But, as Ned Stark often told his son Robb, "The map is not the territory."

41. "Wherever __": One Republic song: I GO.

42. "I see it now!": OH O or O HO!  Exclamation of surprise or discovery.

43. Yet to be tried: UNTESTED.

45. Flightless birds: RHEAS.  Large South American ratites, distantly related to the ostrich and emu.

49. Aspiring DA's exam: LSATLaw School Admission Test.  It's pretty well established that such standardized tests have little if any actual value, but they continue to be used.

54. Pet healers: VETS.  Animal doctors.

58. San Diego player: PADRE.  National League West baseball team

59. Like games in an arcade bar: RETRO.  Appealing nostalgically to a time in the not too distant past.

60. Protein-building molecule: RNA.  Ribonucleaic acid.

61. Shoelace tip: AGLET.  The plastic or metal tube the keeps the end of the shoelace from unraveling.

62. Young woman: LASS.

63. Mountain road curve: ESS.  A series of curves that double back in the shape of the letter S.

64. Spanish rulers: REYES.  Kings.


1. Kid: JOSH.  Tease playfully or joke.  Also, our 11 year old grandson is a kid named Josh.

2. Nike competitor: AVIA.  Brands of athletic shoes

3. Jewish girl's coming-of-age: BAT MITZVAH.  A ceremony held on the girl's 12th or 13th birthday, in varying traditions, after which she, instead of her parent, is considered to be responsible for her own actions.

4. Grads: ALUMNI.  Those who have completed a program of study and received a diploma from an educational institution.

5. Baker's meas.: TSP.  Teaspoon.

6. __ San Lucas: Baja resort: CABO.   Located at the southern tip of the Baja peninsula.

8. Fall drink: CIDER.  Unfermented juice pressed from fruit, most typically apples.

9. "Gone With the Wind" composer Max: STEINER.  [1888-1971] An Austrian born American composer of music for theater and films.  He was one of the first composers for movies and is known as the father of film music.

10. Shiraz's country: IRAN.  Located in the southwest of the country, Shiraz has been a trade center for over 1000 years.

11. Toy on a string: KITE.  A light frame with thin material stretched over it, to be flown in the wind.

12. Guffaws: HAHs.  Laughs

15. Woody's son: ARLO. Woody [1912-1967] died of Huntington's disease. Arlo [b 1947] is most famous for his epic recording of his narrative song Alice's Restaurant.

18. Pal: BRO.  Buddie.

20. Musician André with 11 Grammys: PREVIN.  [1929 -2019]  He was famous and highly accomplished in three areas - scores for over 50 films; music director and/or conductor for several major symphony orchestras; and jazz pianist, composer and arranger.

22. GIs' support gp.: THE VA. Veterans Administration.

24. Like six starred puz. answers: ACR. Across. A meta, theme-related clue that is not part of the theme.

25. New, in Nogales: NUEVO.  Literally, in Spanish.

26. Snooze: REST.  Sleep.

28. "Truth be told ... ": ADMITTEDLY.

29. Grammarian's concern: USAGE.  The manner in which words and phrases are normally and correctly employed.

32. Animation creation: TOON.  A cartoon character.

33. Nautilus cousin: CUTTLE.  A cephalopod having 8 arms and two tentacles with denticulated suckers to latch on to their prey.  They are typically 6 to 10 inches long.

34. Donkeys: ASSES.  Horse-like animals that are smaller, having longer ears and a braying sound.  They have been used as working animals for over 5000 years.

38. Sci-fi escape unit: POD. A small, secondary vehicle used to evacuate from the main vehicle when under duress.

40. Least gooey brownie pieces: CORNERS.  They bake harder due to having more edge surface.

44. Brutal: SAVAGE.  Fierce, violent, and out of control.

46. Stereotypical train hopper: HOBO.  The term originated in the western U.S in the 1890's, referfing to an impoverished migrant worker or vagrant.

47. Blowup: Abbr.: ENLargement.

48. Ere: AFORE.  Having occurred previously

50. Bottom row PC key: CTRL. A modifier key that performs a special operation when pressed with another key.

51. Real estate calculation: AREA.  Sizes of the lot surface, total dwelling and interior room spaces.

52. Bar freebies: NUTS. Either snacks, like peanuts, or the company of bar flies in questionable mental states.

53. Nutritional stds.: RDAS. Recommended Daily Allowances.

55. Christmas decoration: TREE. I'm going to quibble.  The tree is a symbol. It is adorned with decorations.

56. "Action!" places: SETS.  Places where movie scenes are filmed.

58. 72 for 18 holes, often: PAR.  The nominal proper score for a round of golf.

That wraps it up. Despite my one ADMITTEDLY picky nit, I found this puzzle to be quite up to par.  You, of course, are free to DRAW your own CONCLUSIONS.

Cool regards!