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, May 9, 2018

Wednesday, May 9, 2018 Mark McClain

Theme: I'M OUTA HERE! The first word of two-word entries is a synonym for some kind of void.

17. Horror film setting: VACANT HOUSE.  I'm not a maven of this genre, but it seems like an appropriately scary choice.

24. Rural "Out of the office" sign: GONE FISHING.  Alternatively, in slang, oblivious or unconcerned about the realities of daily life.  Also, this:

37. Ammo for a starter pistol: BLANK CARTRIDGES.  Contains gunpowder, but no bullet or shot.  When fired, the blank makes a flash and an explosive sound (report), the wadding is propelled from the barrel of the gun, and the firearm's action cycles. [Wikipedia]

48. One whose "chicks" have flown?: EMPTY NESTER.  Parents in the house, after the children are grown and gone.  Tough transition for many.  Our kids are approaching that point in life.

59. Explanation for an evolutionary transition: MISSING LINK. Presumed gap in the evolutionary fossil record.  Most scientists find the term to be cringe-worthy.

Hi gang, JzB NOT absent today, and here to lead the way through - well - nothing, really.  The irony is that, with 5 entries, a theme built around absence is so full of thematic richness.  Let's see if we can poke holes in the rest of the puzzle.


1. Bullpen hero: CLOSER.  The pitcher who is usually brought in for the 9th inning of a game when his team has a small lead he is supposed to protect.

7. Technical opening?: PYRO.  PYRO-technical refers to fireworks displays or a brilliant performance of some specific skill.  Fireworks and affix clues generally leave me cold.

11. Juan or Jose lead-in: SAN.  City names.  SAN Jose is the capital of Costa Rica.   SAN Juan is a town in Trinidad and Tobago, located in the San Juan-Laventille Region in Saint George County.

14. Mom's sis: AUNTIE.  My Mom's twin sis is still alive and will be 97 in a few days.

15. Semi warning: HORN.  Beep-beep.

16. Asian menu general: TSO.

19. Physicist with a law: OHM.  His law states that the current through a conductor is equal to the voltage divided by the resistance: I = V/R.  R is a constant property of the conducting item, and the current flow depends on the applied voltage.

20. Bird feeder cake: SUET.  White animal fat.  The fat is white.  The color of the animal doesn't matter.

21. Common math base: TEN.  The base is the number of symbols [numerals or letters] that a counting system uses to represent numbers.  In base TEN, these symbols are the digits 0 through 9.

22. Ocean dots: ISLES.  Dots represent small islands on maps.

27. Acting twins Mary-Kate and Ashley: OLSENS.  Former child actresses, born in 1986, they shared the roll of Michelle Tanner on the TV series FULL HOUSE.  They have had several other acting projects, and are now fabulously wealthy fashion designers.

30. Feel some pain: ACHE.  Day-after-yard-work syndrome.

31. Send forth: ISSUE.  Emit.

32. Hotshot: ACE.  High-level performer.   What you want your CLOSER to be.

33. Easy gait: LOPE.  A long, bounding stride.

41. Zingers: MOTS.  Short for Bon MOT, which is French for "good word," said of a witticism or biting retort.

42. Vote, say: OPT.  Make a choice from among a range of options.  Also from French, and ultimately Latin optare, choose or wish.

43. Title Kazakh in a 2006 spoof: BORAT.  More low humor.

44. Big heads?: EGOS.  In psychoanalysis, the part of the mind that mediates between the conscious and the unconscious and is responsible for reality testing and a sense of personal identity.  More loosely, a person's sense of self esteem and importance.  In context, an overweening self-importance.

46. Revolver?: PLANET.  Each PLANET in the solar system rotates on its axis and revolves around the sun.

52. Color separator: PRISM.  This video, just under 6 minutes, gets pretty deep into the weeds.  I suspect Gary, at least, will like it.

53. __ Gang: OUR.   Kids comedy team from back in the day.  There are lots of long vids on YouTube, if you want to go down that rabbit hole.  Here's a short excerpt.  Evidently the piano was over-dubbed later, so this 7-yr-old did a really good job of staying in tune on this great old song.

54. Minimally: A BIT. Not too much off the top.  It's thin there.

58. Many times, in poems: OFT.  Because "frequently" is hard to work into the metric scheme.

63. Pointillism unit: DOT.  A neo-impressionist painiting technique that uses tiny dots of pure color that become blended in the viewer's eye.  Interesting counter-point [so to speak] to the prism we encountered not so very long ago.

64. Stirring solo: ARIA.   An operatic song, not mixing alone in the kitchen.

65. Rio Grande city: EL PASO.  In far west Texas, across from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.

66. George Strait's "All My __ Live in Texas": EXS.  As long as we're in Texas, why not.   George Strait is one of the few country singers I can tolerate for more than about 12 seconds.  Here's a link.

67. Watch over: TEND.

68. Bird hangouts: ROOSTS.  Birds' resting spots.  They usually sit upright on roosts.  Bats, however, will hang.  Just sayin'  .  .  .


1. LeBron et al., briefly: CAVS.  LeBron James and his team mates on the Cleveland Cavaliers professional basketball team.

2. Waikiki party: LUAU.  A traditional Hawaiian party or feast that is usually accompanied by entertainment. It may feature food such as poi, Kalua pig, poke, lomi salmon, opihi, haupia and beer, and entertainment such as traditional Hawaiian music and hula. [Wikkipedia]

3. Back in the day: ONCE. Frex, when the OUR GANG kids were kids.

4. Saves, for a 1-Across: STAT.  If the lead is 3 runs or fewer in the expected final inning of a baseball game when the CLOSER enters, it's a save situation.  If he then shuts down the inning without the opposing team either tying or going ahead, his team wins, and the save is recorded.  Otherwise, there is much wailing and gnashing of teeth.

5. Strauss' "__ Heldenleben": EIN.  "A Hero's Life," an 1898 tone poem by Richard Strauss.  In it's entrirety, it lasts ca. 50 minutes.  Here is a short low brass excerpt - and, oh, boy, are these guys good!

6. 1984 Olympics gymnastics standout: RETTON.  Mary Lou [b 1968] won a gold medal, along with 2 silver and 2 bronze, back in the day.

7. LG product: PHONE.  LG Electronics Inc. is a South Korean multinational electronics company headquartered in Yeouido-dong, Seoul, South Korea, and is part of the LG Group, employing 82,000 people working in 119 local subsidiaries worldwide. [Wikipedia]

8. "That's so __!": YOU.  Said of clothing or a situation that seems to suit a person perfectly.

9. $200 Monopoly props.: RRS.  The Rail Road properties.

10. Vague lunch date time: ONE-ISH.  Approximately 1:00 pm.  Hold a spot for me.

11. Skyy alternative, familiarly: STOLI.  Vodkas. Skyy, now available in at least 17 flavors, is owned by the Campari Group of italy.   Stolichnaya [for long] comes form the former Soviet Union.  Ownership is disputed between a Russian state owned company and a private company owned by a Russian billionaire.

Now vodka is fine in its place;
in martinis, though, never a trace!
It’s swilled on the docks,
Can be used to clean clocks,
The gearwork, the hands and the face.

12. Looking drained: ASHEN.  Pale from shock, fear or illness.

13. Chinese menu promise: NO MSGMonoSodium Glutmate, a flavor enhancer.

18. Coop residents: HENS.  Not sure if they are allowed to occupy the ROOSTS.

23. Jim's role on "The Big Bang Theory": SHELDON.

24. Best Buy "Squad" member: GEEK.  Computer experts.

25. It's true: FACT.  Something that is indisputably correct - though you can always find somebody who will dispute it.  Cf, Flat Earth Society.

26. One piping frosting: ICER.   Cake decorator.

27. Kon-Tiki Museum city: OSLOThe museum presents a broad selection of Thor Heyerdahl's life work.

28. Hurdle for atty. wannabes: LSAT. Law School Admission Test.

29. Stereotypical Western-ending backdrops: SUNSETS.

31. Watson's company: IBM.  Watson is a computer designed to answer questions asked in natural language.

32. National Gallery attraction: ART.  The Gallery is an ART museum located on the National Mall in Washington D. C.

34. Meanie: OGRE.  A mythical man-eating giant, or, figuratively a mean-spirited boss, or bully.

35. Fuel used in some whisky production: PEAT.  An earthy material made of partly decomposed vegetation.  It's used in Scotland for whisky production.  Anywhere else?

36. Md. winter hours: ESTEastern Standard Time.

38. Masked critter: COON.  The raccoon is the largest animal of the procyonid family,

39. Holy recess: APSE.  Usually the semi-circular or polygonal shaped end of a church, where the altar is located.

40. Building girder: I-BAR.  A metal structural beam shaped like the letter I.  this shape maximizes stability in all dimensions.

45. Floor exercise surface: GYM MAT.

46. Spitting sound: PTUI.  Erm  .  .  .

47. "My Fair Lady" lyricist: LERNER.    Alan Jay Lerner and composer Frederick Loewe also collaborated on Camelot, Brigadoon and Paint Your Wagon.

48. Lyric poem: EPODE.  A form written in couplets, with alternating long and short lines.  Another meaning is the third and final part of an ode, following the strophe and the antistrophe  Last time out, I had EPOS, and didn't know that, either.

49. "Fantastic" Dahl character: MR. FOX.    Eponym for the 1970 novel, and then 2009 movie.  A rare story, in which a predator is the hero, and the farmers and their live stock are the enemy.

50. Pulitzer-winning columnist Leonard: PITTS.  His home paper is the Miami Herald.  He won his Pulitzer in 2004.

51. "Alas!": SO SAD.  [sigh]

54. Lunch for Spot, maybe: ALPO.  A dog, and his dinner.

55. Fairness obstacle: BIAS.  A skewed point of view that enables interpreting new information as confirmation of existing beliefs, even when it isn't.

56. Brookings, e.g.: Abbr.: INSTitution, a century-old American research group on Think Tank Row in Washington, D.C. It conducts research and education in the social sciences, primarily in economics, metropolitan policy, governance, foreign policy, and global economy and development. [Wikipedia] 

57. Boxing stats: TKO'sTechnical Knock Out.  A decision by the referee or ring physician that the boxing match cannot safely continue.

60. Fury: IRE.  Anger.

61. Ignore a Commandment: SIN.  A transgression of divine law.

62. Day-__: GLO.  An American paint and pigment company, and it's registered trademark for luminescent decorative products.

That wraps up another Wednesday, in a bright and colorful manner.  Here's the filled-in grid, then I really am outa-here.

Cool regards!


Wednesday, April 25, 2018

L.A. Times Crossword, Wednesday, April 25, 2018 Gail Grabowski and Bruce Venzke

Theme:  Whatever moves you.   The second word of each 2 or 3 word theme entry indicates a descriptor for being highly motivated.  I wouldn't say they are quite synonyms, by they do have a common feel.  These are the characteristics of ambition and, with along with some luck, skill, and tenacity, success - in business, sports, music or any meaningful endeavor.

17 A. Solar power, e.g. : RENEWABLE ENERGY.  Five types are recognized: solar, wind, biomass, geothermal and hydroelectric. Personally, ENERGY is what gets you out of bed to face the challenges of the day.

26 A. Soul mate : KINDRED SPIRIT.  Those with similar interests and attitudes are KINDRED SPIRITS.  Soul mates are bound together more tightly than that, IMHO.  Many years ago, I wrote a sonnet about them [see below].    Personally, SPIRIT is the enthusiasm that keeps you going.


There are those whose lives are meant to be entwined,
Lovers thrust together by the force of destiny,
When choice and fate converge, that they may be
Connected at the soul, the heart, the mind.

Within their closed circumference one can find
Two curves in perfect fit -- his yang, her yin,
That in each cycle once again begin
To cluster into love's sweet spiral bind.

But consider -- if in the vast span of infinity
One of them becomes displaced in small degree;
Is born a decade late, perhaps is sent
To the farthest corner of the continent --

The distant echo of an unfelt touch, an unseen face.
Who will be the one who comes to take his place?

48 A. Heavy military barrage : ARTILLERY FIRE.  An assault using cannons, mortars, and other weaponry with greater range fire power than rifles and hand guns.  Personally, FIRE [as, in the belly] is powerful ambition and determination.

63 A. Common transmission feature : FRONT WHEEL DRIVE.  Unsurprisingly, this is a tranny system that provides power to the front wheels of a vehicle.  Personally, DRIVE is the urge, sometimes innate, to achieve a goal or satisfy a need. 

This theme is at once simple, but also possibly a bit elusive.  And there's plenty of it, with 2 grid-spanning entries and 2 more at 13 letters each.  The trade-off is more words of shorter length than is typical for a Wednesday.  The lack of a unifier mid-week is also a little strange.

Hi, gang, JazzBumpa here, somehow feeling motivated.  How about you?  Lets FIRE it up, get the SPIRIT moving, and use that ENERGY to DRIVE through today's puzzle.


1. Dull : HO-HUM.  What - bored already?  C'mon, let's keep it moving - at least as far as 20A.

6. "Stronger than dirt" cleanser : AJAX.  This is how I remember it.  [Yes, I am THAT old!]

10. PCs' "brains" : CPUSCentral Processing Units.

14. Backspace over : ERASE.  On a computer, not a typewriter.

15. Try to throw, at a rodeo : BUCK.  The highly motivated action of an unwillingly mounted animal.

16. Tall concert instrument : HARP.  One harp player I've worked with transports hers in a repurposed hearse.

20. Animal that sounds dull : BOAR.  Male hog.  Here's an insect that sounds even duller.
21. Those opposed : NAYS.  Used in voice votes.

22. Simplifies : EASES.

23. Charged particle : ION.  Formed by the transfer of an electron from one atom or molecule to another.

25. Gender problem : GAP.  The discrepancy between men and women in opportunities, status, attitudes, etc.

33. Humiliate : ABASE.  Disrespect.

34. Grand-scale poetry : EPOS.  EPIC also fits, and giving it up gave me fits.

35. It's right on the map : EAST.  Clever clue.  I like it.

38. Slo-mo reviewer : REF.  Baseball, football and hockey all have slo-motion replay reviews for close calls.

39. Inning with a stretch : SEVENTHThis tradition, however, remains unique to baseball.  

42. "Michael Collins" actor Stephen : REA.

43. Any of three 10th-century Holy Roman Emperors : OTTOThe HRE started with Charlemagne in 800 A. D. and ended with Francis II in 1806.  For several decades it was run on Otto-pilot.

Otto I [The Great] 962-973
Otto II 973-983
Otto III 996-1002

45. Jazzman Jackson : MILT.   Vibraphonist Milton "Bags" Jackson [1923-1999] was a founder of the Modern Jazz Quartet. Here is a slightly different line up.

46. Caravan stops : OASES.   Fertile desert spots, with water.

51. Exact revenge on : GET.   As in GET even.

52. Big lug : OAF.  Lout, churl.

53. Letters after thetas : IOTAS.  Not fond of this at all.  The Greek alphabet is a unique thing, as are each of the letters in it. Sure, some word could have multiple IOTAS in it, but that is not the sense of this clue. 

56. Until next time, in texts : TTYLTalk To You Later.

59. Slanted page? : OP-ED. Located Opposite to the Editorial Page.  Viewpoints are only slanted if you disagree.

66. Sportswear brand : IZOD.  Ordinary clothing adorned with an expensive alligator.

67. Lawman played by Russell and Costner : EARP.  Wyatt, of OK Corral fame.

68. Ill-fated Ford : EDSEL.  Manufactured from 1958-60.  Now a collectors item.

69. Lady Gaga's "Cheek to Cheek" duettist Bennett : TONY.  These kids are having way too much fun.

70. Helpful hints : TIPS.  Pro-tip: see if you can land a gig with Lady Gaga.

71. Virtual transaction : E-SALE.   On-line commerce.


1. Chef's flavoring : HERB.  Tasty and/or aromatic plant leaves.

2. Double Delight cookie : OREO.

3. Tennis great Mandlikova : HANA.

4. Password partners : USER IDS.  Protection for your on-line activities.

5. Litter cry : MEW.  It's the cat's meow.

6. "SOS" band : ABBA.

7. Month with fireworks : JULY.  This is what makes the 4th of July my least favorite holiday.

8. Blackjack components : ACES. Along with face cards or 10s.  Blackjack is the name of the game, but also a 2-card holding consisting of an ace, counting 11 points, along with one of the other mentioned cards, counting 10.  Other spot cards have the count of their pips.  Winner is the player who comes closest to 21 without going over, regardless of the number of cards held.

9. Vintage Jag : XKE.   Jaguar car.

10. Inexpensive brand : CHEAPIE.  Probably won't last.

11. Golf targets : PARS.  In the abstract.  PINS, the physical targets, also fits.

12. Try to convince : URGE.  In another sense, could have echoed the theme.

13. 1974 Gould/Sutherland CIA spoof : SPYS.

18. "Worst Cooks in America" judge Burrell : ANNE.  This is a thing?!?

19. Within walking distance : NEAR.  Close

24. Mine extractions : ORES.  Pay dirt.

25. Main idea : GIST.  The heart of the matter.

26. Syrup brand since 1902 : KARO. Corn syrup.  Not the same as high fructose corn syrup, which is highly processed.

27. Skeptical words : I BET.  

28. Tripartite commerce pact : NAFTA. North American Free Trade Agreement.

29. Underworld boss? : DEVIL.  No typical crime syndicate don, instead the master of Hades.

30. Be in a bee : SPELL.  Participate in a spelling contest.  I would lose.

31. Florence's __ Vecchio : PONTE.  A closed bridge over the Arno, dating to some uncertain time before the 1400's.  

32. Foot bones : TARSI.  A cluster of 7 articulating bones at the back of the foot.  Five of them connect to the metatarsals - the long bones of the foot.

36. Lifeline reader : SEER.  Fortune teller, mystic.

37. Overpower with a shock : TASE.  Use a Taser, an elecroshock gun, on someone.

40. Give off : EMIT. As light, heat, or an odor.

41. Boxer Oscar De La __ : HOYA. [b 1973] He holds dual American and Mexican citizenship.  Representing the U. S., he won an olympic gold medal in 1992.

44. Fine cotton fabric : ORGANDY. A translucent fabric that is usually stiffened and used in women's clothing.

47. Provides with, as an opportunity : AFFORDS.  From an Old English root meaning "go forth."

49. Trial : TEST.

50. Hot streak : ROLL.  Experience a prolonged spell of success or good luck.

53. "__ ain't broke ... " : IF IT.  Don't fix it.

54. Minestrone pasta : ORZO. Noodles the approximate size and shape of rice grains.

55. Snagglepuss, e.g. : TOON. Created in 1959, he was featured in a series of shorts, then became a semi-regular on the Yogi Bear Show, and also appeared in other Hanna-Barbera series.
56. Bangkok native : THAI.  From the Kingdom of Thailand. The country has always been called Mueang Thai by its citizens.  Until 1949 it was called Siam by outsiders.

57. Maryland athlete, for short : TERP.  Terrapin, for long.

58. Slangy affirmatives : YEPS.

60. Tuscan tower site : PISA. Home of the leaning tower, in Italy.

61. First name in stunts : EVEL.  Mr. Knievel [b 1938, d 2007.] Contrary to rumor, he never jumped the Grand Canyon.  His Snake River Canyon jump was a bust, both as a stunt and financially.  

62. Proofreader's "drop this" : DELE.  Delete.

64. Just out of the pool : WET.  Untoweled

65. Dead end? : DEE.  Spelt out terminal letter.  Rather a sad way to end a puzzle.

That wraps up another Wednesday. With only a couple of nits, my enthusiasm remains undampened.  Don't lose that passion, peeps!

Cool regards!

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Dave Pell - 1957

Somebody posted a link to this album at a jazz arranging page I follow on Face Book.

Great west coast coast mid-50's sound, and very precise playing.  A real treasure.

Posting it here in case anyone else digs this kind of thing.


Here is the track listing.

L.A. Times Crossword Puzzle Wednesday, April 11, 2018 John Guzzetta

Theme: Use Your Noodle.  This one would be pretty close to themeless if it weren't for --

55A. Old family recipe (and see circles): SECRET SAUCE.  

The remaining long fill entries, in a pinwheel array, have nothing obvious to do with each other.  If you didn't get the circles, this SECRET will be a real mystery.  If you did get them, you'll see they are centrally located in the shape of the letter S, which can stand for either SECRETSAUCE, the word that the circled letters spell, SPAGHETTI, or the letter S occurring twice each in the other long fills.

This is an original theme concept.  At least I don't remember seeing anything quite like it before.  The fill entries with the circled letters also have nothing else in common. Here they are in order.

26A. Filing tool: RASPA coarse file used for rough shaping.

30A. Collars: ARRESTS.  Places under legal custody.  When the bandit fell in love with the police woman who captured him, it was cardiac ARREST.

34A. Web unit: PAGE.  An element of internet presence, not typically associated with silken threads.

38A. Skater Sasha or comic Sacha Baron: COHEN.  Alexandra Pauline "Sasha" Cohen is an American figure skater. She is the 2006 Olympic silver medalist, a three-time World Championship medalist, the 2003 Grand Prix Final Champion, and the 2006 U.S. Champion.  Sacha Noam Baron Cohen is an English actor, comedian, screenwriter, and producer. Baron Cohen is most widely known for creating and portraying four fictional characters: Ali G, Borat Sagdiyev, Brüno Gehard, and Admiral General Aladeen. Both per Wikipedia.  You probably don't confuse them.

41A. Veggie burger veggies: PEAS.   The PEA pod is actually a fruit, and the PEAS we eat are immature seeds, but are generally though of as vegetables.  I don't associate them with veggie burgers, but I'm an omnivore, so what do I know?.

43A. Struggled to achieve: EKED OUT.  Just barely succeeded at something, like survival, frex., often via excessive effort.

47A. With 31-Down, "Proud Mary" singer: TINABecause Creedence Clearwater Revival doesn't fit.

Also -- 17. Phoenix-based hotel chain (and see circles): BEST WESTERN.  The chain operates 2163 hotels in North America, and over 4000 world wide.

11D. Produce served in the fall (and see circles): ACORN SQUASH.  So named because of it's shape.  

25. Feature of some penny loafers (and see circles): SADDLE STRAP.  It's not clear to me what these last three have to do with the theme, other than each containing the letter S twice; but since the circles are mentioned, I'll include them here.  Am I missing something?

Hi, Gang.  JzB here.  And there is your tasty theme, complete with SAUCE, a veggie burger and even an unusual dessert.  The theme visual can be found in the grid diagram at the bottom of this post.  Now, let's get out of the kitchen and explore the rest of this offering.


1. Film director's honor: OSCAR.  One of 24 awards issued annually by the Academy of Motion picture Arts and Sciences for artistic or technical merit.

6. Rich, dusty soil: LOESS.  A loosely compacted deposit of windblown sediment.

11. Greeting at a dog park: ARF.  Sound of a dog's friendly bark.

14. 100 kopecks: RUBLE.  Russian money, if you are in a hurry.

15. Common film festival film: INDIE.  Independent - i. e. not associated with a major studio.

16. Loving murmur: COO.  Get a room  .  .  .

19. Mac platform: OSX.  Version 10 of the Apple Macintosh operating system.  I'm using Version 10.10.5 Yosemite.

20. Crankcase reservoir: OIL PAN.   The bottom section of the crankcase where the oil resides.

21. Small bouquet: SPRAY.  

23. "Help!" at sea: SOS.  The Morse Code international distress signal, a continuous sequence of 3 dots, 3 dashes and three dots.  So if you panic and start sending out OSO, it really doesn't matter.

27. Threadbare: WORN.  Thin and tattered with long use.

28. Place for prayer: CHAPEL.  Typically, a small church.

33. __ the hills: OLD AS.  Contrary to popular belief, I am younger than some of the hills.

36. Here, in Spanish: AQUI.  There is Ahi or alli.

Wait for it

37. Agrees quietly: NODS.  

39. Short: CURT.

40. Indianapolis NFLer: COLT.  

Are they out of Luck?

42. Accra is its capital: GHANA.  West African country located on the Gulf of Guinea.

45. Yellowstone attraction: GEYSER.  A hot spring that emits a column of water and steam.

46. Brewski: SUDS.  AKA a cold one.

49. Nine and five, in nine-to-five: Abbr.: HRS.  Typical working hours.

50. Cast a ballot: VOTED.

52. Sources of fragrant wood: CEDARS.  True CEDARS are conifer trees of the family pinaceae. There are many other many other conifers that have similarly colored and scented woods.

54. Make a mistake: ERR.  It's only human.

60. Salty body: SEA.  Of water.

61. "Carmen," e.g.: OPERA.

62. Not yet realized: UNMET.  As needs.

63. Peak: TOP.

64. Ten-time French Open winner: NADAL.  Rafael "Rafa" Nadal Parera is a Spanish professional tennis player, currently ranked world No. 1 in men's singles tennis by the Association of Tennis Professionals.

65. Sounds from a belfry: PEALS.  The loud ringing of bells.


1. Mercury or Mars: ORB. A celestial sphere - in this case a planet.

2. Alphabet Series novelist Grafton: SUE.

3. "Young Sheldon" network: CBS.

4. Kind of clarinet: ALTO.  The clarinet you typically think of is the soprano version.  This one is larger and pitched a 5th lower in Eb and has a curved metal bell.  Little known factoid - the clarinet was invented by a French musician who named it after his daughters, Claire and Annette.

5. Does some electrical work: REWIRES.  Could be shocking.

6. Speech therapist's concerns: LISPS.  Eathy for you to thay.

7. Ready to pour: ON TAP.  As, frex, SUDS.

8. Genesis garden: EDEN.  Life was simpler back then.

9. Ringo Starr's title: SIR.   Ringo was knighted by Prince William just a few weeks ago.

10. Motion detector, e.g.: SENSOR.

12. Civil rights hero Parks: ROSA.  Rosa Louise McCauley Parks [1913 -2005] refused to move to the back of the bus in Montgomery ALA in 1955.   She was arrested for violating the segregation law, and became an important symbol of the civil rights movement.

13. Sly: FOXY.  Clever and cunning.

18. Airline to Tel Aviv: EL AL.  The flag carrying airline of Israel since 1948.

22. Tediously moralistic: PREACHY.  Often implying an undeserved tone of moral superiority.

23. One carrying a torch?: SCONCE.  A wall mounted fixture, not a person.

24. "Hey, check it out!": OH LOOK.  Get a load of that!

27. Small, chirpy bird: WREN.

29. Incurring late fees: PAST DUE.  As library books or loan payments.

30. Forever: AGES.  

31. See 47-Across: TURNER.  Tina, from the thema.

32. Indian lutes: SITARS.

34. "Always be a __, even in prose": Baudelaire: POET.  

35. Finder's cry: AHA!  Eureka!

38. Computer "brains," briefly: CPUS.  Central Processing Units.

42. Gets ready (for): GEARS UP.

44. Heavily favored: ODDS ON.

45. Pesky flier: GNAT.  Annoying insect.

47. __ cotta: TERRA.  Unglazed, typically red-brown earthenware.

48. Exemplary: IDEAL.  Perfection!

50. Garment for brisk days: VEST.  COAT also fits.

51. Two-toned snack: OREO.  More food, common x-word fare.

52. Sent a dupe to: CCED. Carbon copies are so 1980, but still the abrev persists.

53. Reasonable: SANE.  That's not-crazy talk.

56. Org. that monitors wetlands: EPA.  Environmental Protection Agency.

57. Actress Thurman: UMA.

58. Cartoon sheet: CEL.  

59. Purported UFO crew: ETS.  Extra-Terrestrials, off planet expats.

OK, Kids.  That wraps up another Wednesday. Hope you enjoyed it.

Cool regards!

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

L.A. Times crossword, Wednesday, March 28, 2018 Jeffrey Wechsler

Theme: What happened to the Pope?   Let's start with the unifier.  It will make all clear.

54. Minister or imam, say ... and, in two ways, a hint to words hidden in 17-, 29- and 38-Across : RELIGIOUS LEADER.  The titles of RELIGIOUSly ministerial people are indicated at the beginning of each theme answer - thus LEADing the way in.  Let's see how that works.

17. Secondhand wave of excitement : VICARIOUS THRILL.  This is an imagined experience based on the actions or feelings of someone else.  The position of VICAR varies among different Christian denominations, but always involves some level of LEADERship responibiity.

29. Place to get delivery instructions? : LAMAZE CLASS.  This teaches a method of preparation for natural childbirth.  A LAMA is a teacher of the Dhamma, a principle of cosmic order, in Tibetan Buddhism.

38. Hare care site : RABBIT HUTCH.  Clever clue for a place where bunnies are nurtured [not the Playboy Mansion.]   In the Jewish faith, A RABBI is a teacher in Jewish law who also provides pastoral counseling and represents the community.

With two grid-spanners and two more entries of 11 letters each, this is quite rich for a 4-part theme.  Also, I found this to be a bit on the tough side for a Wednesday.  But, it's Jeffery, who we usually see on Fridays, so that might explain it.  In fact, word count, length and freshness are all in the Thursday- Friday range.

Hi, gang, JazzBumpa here to guide you on this pilgrimage.  Remember, religion is off-topic here, so we'll make our excursion secular and apolitical.


1. Touch, e.g. : SENSE.  Along with sight, smell, taste, taste and hearing, the typical 5 SENSES.    Modern thinking identifies a longer list.

6. Model in a bottle : SHIP.

10. SALT weaponry : ABMS.  Strategic Arms Limitation Talks/Treaties concerned Ballistic Missiles and Anti Ballistic Missiles [ground to air] designed to defend against them.

14. "Ta-ta, mon ami" : ADIEU.  French word of departure.

15. Students' lunchroom : CAFETERIA.

19. Surprised cries : EEKS.  Responses to rodent sightings.

20. Court plea, briefly : NOLO contendere, in full.  A plea that neither admits guilt nor claims innocence.

21. Bridal path : AISLE.  Not a horse trail, but the route a bride takes to the altar.

22. "Uh-uh--however ... " : NO BUT.  Always, an objection.

24. They may be raised in casinos : STAKES.  Betting levels.  Are you in or out?

25. Saudi neighbors : OMANISMiddle-eastern geography.

27. Google Apps component : G-MAIL.  21st century communication device.

31. Pro bono TV ad : Public Service Announcement.

34. "Hamilton" climax : DUEL.  I'm not familiar with the ending of the musical - but this event ended Alexander Hamilton's life.  After missing with his first shot, Hamilton was struck by Burr's shot, and died the following day from the wound.

35. 27-Across alternative : AOL.  An internet service provider.

36. Has second thoughts about : RUES.  This rather understates what would be better defined as "bitter regret."

37. Member of the fam : SIS.  I have one.  No bro, though.

42. Thick : DENSE.  Figuratively speaking, a not particularly bright person can be called dense.  In more physical terms, these words refer to a linear dimension and relative heaviness, respectively.

43. Off the beaten path : REMOTE. Or, alternatively, far away.

44. Arcade activity : GAMING.  Generally of video or pin ball varieties.

47. Welcome words to a hitchhiker : HOP IN.  Feel free to enter the vehicle.

48. Kicking partner? : ALIVE.  Words that go together in a vernacular phrase.

49. Ancient France : GAUL. A vast region of Western Europe north of Iberia inhabited by Celtic peoples, that includes parts of several other modern countries.

51. St. Petersburg's river : NEVA. In Russia, not Florida, therefore remote.

57. Jaguar's jaguar, e.g. : TRADEMARK.  A word, phrase or symbol that is registered or established by use to represent a company or product.

58. Clarence Odbody in "It's a Wonderful Life," e.g. : ANGEL.  Specifically, a 2nd class angel, who after 200 years, had still not earned his wings.  Sad.

59. Give a finer edge to : HONE.  Sharpen on a whetstone, or figuratively, refine one's skills.

60. Word with bill or ball : PLAY.  "PLAY ball" announces the start of a baseball game.  A PLAYbill is a poster announcing a theatrical performance.  Here is my lovely wife, Gloria, admiring a recent PLAYbill featuring granddaughter Amanda.

1. In __: unborn : UTERO.  Still in the uterus.


1. Hockey announcer's cry : SAVE.  The average NHL goalie's save percentage has been .913 to .915 for the last 5 seasons.

2. Actress Falco : EDIE.  Nurse Jackie, and before that Carmela Soprano.

3. The Sultan of Swat and The Splendid Splinter : NICKNAMES.  I've had a few.  Didn't like most of them.  The ones listed here refer to baseball legends George Herman "Babe" Ruth and Ted Williams, respectively.

4. Like produce at farm-to-table restaurants : SEASONAL.  Fresh and locally produced, unlike strawberries in Michigan in March.

5. The Danube's cont. : EUR. The continent of Europe.  Note abrv. in cl. & ans.

6. "Run along now" : SCOOT.  Get a move on.

7. Pull with effort : HAUL.  Schlep.

8. "Assuming it's true ... " : IF SO.  Conditional.

9. Guinea pig, e.g. : PET.  A domestic or tamed animal kept for companionship or amusement.

10. Taken from above, as photos : AERIAL.  Formerly from a plane, now probably from a drone.

11. Invigorating : BRISK.  Like a cool breeze or cup of hot tea.

12. Jacque's thousand : MILLE.  French number.

13. Cyber Monday events : SALES.  Along with Black Friday, President's Day, the 4th of July and Boxing Day.  All designed to separate you from your money.

16. "To clarify ... " : THAT IS.  What I meant to say  .  .  .

18. Operating : IN USE. Verb form used as a modifier.  Some grammarian help me with the vocabulary.

23. Show __ : BIZ.  There's no BIZ like it.

24. Copenhagen carrier : SAS.  Scandinavian Airlines.

25. Former GM division : OLDS.  It WAS your father's Oldsmobile.

26. Haleakala National Park locale : MAUI.  Oahu would have been my 2nd guess.  It includes both mountainous and coastal regions.

27. Round Earth map : GLOBE.

28. Landlocked African nation : MALI.  South of Algeria, west of Niger.  Chad also fits - it is east of Niger and south of Libya.

30. Airport lineup : CABS.  Taxis.  Alternate definition: red wine line up.

31. Made tense : PUT ON EDGE.  What puts you on edge?

32. Doctrinal faction : SECT.  Another tilt in the direction of religion.  I was going to join my carpenter friend's church, until I found out it was a splinter group.

33. Tennis great Arthur : ASHE.  In the early 80's Ashe is believed to have contracted AIDS from a blood transfusion he received during heart surgery.  He died at age 49 in 1993.

36. Cud-chewing mammal : RUMINANT.  A hoofed animal with a rumen - an extra stomach where plant matter is digested with the aid of bacteria.   Includes cattle, sheep, antelopes, deer and giraffes.

38. Go back (on) : RENEGE.  Fail to honor a promise or contract.

39. Director Lee : ANG.  [b 1953] Also screenwriter and producer whose often emotionally charged works explore cultural and personal conflicts.

40. Disruptive forum visitor : TROLL.  One whose comments serve to cause dissension and conflict for its own sake rather than move the conversation along in a rational manner.

41. With it, once : HEP.  What once was HEP became hip, then rad.  I don't what it is now.

42. Cut into parts : DIVIDE.

44. Brooks with two Grammys : GARTH.  Counrty singer

45. Last 25-Down model : ALERO.  It was built in Lansing, MI from 1998 until 2004.

46. Italian fashion city : MILAN.  The capital of Lombardy and 2nd most populous city in Italy.  It is also a leader in the arts, commerce, education, research and tourism.

47. Iditarod runner : HUSKY.   Sled dog.

49. Hockey announcer's cry : GOAL.  Average number of goals against this year is 2.77, up from 2.59 last year and 2.51 the year before.  Average shots against per game have been 31.8, 30.1 and 29.6, respectively.  More shooting --> more scoring.

50. Pervasive glow : AURA.

52. Turn sharply : VEER.  Suddenly change direction.

53. Guthrie who sang about Alice : ARLO.  Here, for you listening enjoyment, if you have 18 spare minutes.

55. Little trickster : IMP.

56. Seine filler : EAU.  Water in a French river.  A purse seine filler would be poisson, on a good day.

Eau que, that wraps things up for another Wednesday.  Hope you enjoyed the journey.

Cool regards!

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


1. Flow back : EBB. As tide.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

21. Tupperware sound : BURP.

23. Jeans label : LEE.  Brand name.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

34. Copycat : APE. Mimic.

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

40. Temps : SUBS.  Temporary or substitute workers.

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

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

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

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

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

55. Mongolia locale : ASIA.  The largest continent.

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

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

63. Burden : ONUS.  Literal, from Latin.

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

65. NBC skit show : Saturday Night Live.

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

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


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

2. Scrubby wastelands : BARRENS.  Aptly descriptive.

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

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

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

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

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

8. Become frozen : ICE UP.

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

10. SHO sister channel : TMCThe Movie Channel.

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

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

13. Formally withdraw : SECEDE.

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

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

24. "Empire" actress Long : NIA.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

38. London-born supermodel : KATE MOSS.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Still great 48 years later

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

51. Garlic mayonnaise : AIOLI.

52. Worth more to collectors : RARER.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cool Regards!

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Wednesday, February 28, 2018 Paul Coulter

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

15. Erelong : ANON.  Soon.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

29. Necessitate : ENTAIL.

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

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

33. "The Thin Man" actress : LOY.

34. Zeta follower : ETA.  Letters from ATHENS.

35. Pack away : STOW.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

45. Food scrap : ORT.  Crossword fodder.

48. More unsightly : UGLIER.

50. Minor body-shop job : DENT.

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

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

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

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

56. Bouncing effect : ECHO.

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

4. Hebrides language : ERSE.  Scottish Gaelic.

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

6. Like closing financial reports :  YEAR END.

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

9. Or so : ROUGHLY.  An approximation.

10. __ nous : ENTRE.  Just between us,

11. Stand : TOLERATE.  Put up with.

12. Long key : SPACEBAR.  On your keyboard.

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

24. Enter cautiously : EDGE IN.

26. Cat call : MEOW.

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

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

35. Overconfidence : SMUGNESS.  More like excessive pride.

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

37. ATM code : PINPersonal Identification Number.

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

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

41. Railroad maintenance vehicle : HAND CAR.

44. Bumped into : MET.

46. Library patron : READER.

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

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

54. White flakes : SNOW.  Winter is going.

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

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

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

Cool regards!