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 25, 2016

L. A. Times Crossword Puzzle Blogging - Wednesday, May 25, 2016 Robin Stears

Theme:  Ate a picle, feeling sicle - now how about an icicle?  The fragment -ICLE is added as a suffix to four in-the-language phrases, yielding new, humorous constructions.  

20 A. Bond portrayer Daniel's BuzzFeed piece? : CRAIG'S LISTICLE.  The referent is James Bond actor Daniel CRAIG, who also starred in the Jon Favreau SF/Western mashup Cowboys and Aliens. A LISTICLE is an internet article presented as a numbered or bullet point list.  Since Daniel also starred in the incomprehensible Dream House, his could be a rank-ordered filmography.

26 A. Leftover bit of a physics experiment? : SPARE PARTICLE.  This is my favorite theme entry. A SPARE PART is an item kept on hand to replace a lost or damaged machine PART.  A PARTICLE in a physics experiment is generally something smaller than an atom - proton, neutron, quark, etc. SPARE PARTICLES might be used in subatomic games of bowling.

46 A. Ezine feature? : MODERN ARTICLE.  MODERN ART includes a variety of styles from the 19th century through the 1960's, including Bauhause, surrealism, impressionism, op art, etc.   A MODERN ARTICLE would be published in a modern venue like an Ezine, for sure.  But for my money, this entry is too close in surface meaning to the first one we encountered.

55 A. Beantown treat? : BOSTON POPSICLE.  Beantown is a common name for BOSTON, dating back to colonial times when local puritans typically had a Sunday meal of previously prepared beans and brown bread, to avoid cooking on the sabbath.  With Summer drawing nigh, a POPSICLE is an inviting treat that the Puritans would probably have considered sinful.  

There's your theme, folks.  Hope you don't think its ICLE.

Hi, gang, Jazzbumpa here to provide a quicle tour.

1. Observe Ramadan, in a way : FAST.   Ramadan is the 9th month of the Islamic calendar, during which the faithful avoid [among other things] eating food between dawn and dusk.

5. __ and terminer: criminal court : OYER.  From the Anglo-French meaning "to hear and to determine."

9. Tapered fastener : SCREW.  Threaded, too.

14. Scratch the surface? : ETCH.   Engrave a surface by any one of several means.

15. Sub spot : DELI.  Big sandwiches there.

16. "Glee" club : CHOIR.  "Glee" is derived form the old English word for song.

17. "Sharknado" actress Reid : TARA.  I never saw this movie, but it's generally considered to be pretty bad.


18. Banish to Hades, say : DOOM.   The modern meaning is to be relegated to some horrible fate.  The Old English meaning is closer to "judgment."

19. Like most tarantulas : HAIRY.  These are hairy spiders to which I will not link.

23. That guy : HIM.  Some fella'.

24. Stay-at-home __ : DAD.  I went with MOM first.  Does that make me old?

25. Bonfire residue : ASH.   Any fire, really.

33. Yes, on Talk Like a Pirate Day : AYE.  Avast, matey!

34. Love god : EROS.  Greek mythology.

35. Seagoing mil. group : United States Navy.

36. "__ you!" : TOLD.  Rubbing it in.

39. Source of 20s : Automatic Teller Machine.

40. Icky buildup : CRUD.  A chunk of it is a CRUDICLE.

41. Sydney school : UNI.   Near as I can tell, this refers to the UNIversity of Sydney in Australia.  Maybe I'm missing something, but this entry seems to lack specificity.

42. Charlatan : FAKE.   An imposter - one who claims to be something he isn't, while typically on a quest for some type of personal gain.  Usage for this word peaked around 1940.

44. 18%, often : TIP.  I tip 20% minimum.  It's easier to calculate.

50. "Collages" novelist : NIN.   Unlike most of her other work, this is a dreamy, experimental novel with many characters wandering in space and time.

51. Chest-beating beast : APE.

52. Marked, as a ballot : XED.

60. Real pip : BEAUT.  A Beauty - can be intended literally or sarcastically.

61. Trompe l'__ : OEIL.  An optical illusion in France.

62. Online urban music magazine : VIBE.  Where one might read a LISTICLE or other MODERN ARTICLE.

63. Actress Woodard : ALFRE.


64. Mantel piece : VASE.  An open container, often decorative, suitable for holding flowers or uncle Henry's ashes.

65. Molecule component : ATOM.  Made up of sub-atomic PARTICLES.

66. Perp subduer : TASER.  A weapon that fires electrical probes to deliver a debilitating shock.

67. Help for the poor : ALMS.  From Old English, via late liturgical Latin, and ultimately tracing to Greek roots indicating both money and compassion.

68. What's going on : NEWS.  Indicating new information obtained via a print, video, or on-line medium.

Down

1. Sell for : FETCH.   A hot item might FETCH a pretty penny.

2. Game company formerly named Syzygy : ATARI.  I did not know that.

3. Beats it : SCRAMS.  Make one's self scarce.

4. Asian language with 44 consonants : THAI.  ODDS ARE that's more than I can pronounce.

5. "Probably ... " : ODDS ARE.  A favorable bet.

6. Shoppe descriptor : YE OLDE.  Of course we all know that the "Ye" is really "The" with the initial consonant sound rendered by the rune "thorn(Þ, þ)  rather than the digraph "Th."  The rune was often represented with a slanted slash coming from the right rather than the closed loop, hence the similar appearance to the modern letter "Y."

7. Weena's race, in "The Time Machine" : ELOI.  Occasionally, the other race - Morlocks - would eat them.  In the 1960 movie version, Weena was played by Yvette Mimieux.



8. What swish shots don't touch : RIMS.  A basketball shot that gets nothing but net.  Still only 2 points, but more pleasing to the eye and ear.

9. Flaky metamorphic rocks : SCHISTS.  Mica, talc and graphite are examples.

10. Joanie's love : CHACHI.   Played by Scott Baio, opposite Erin Moran's Joanie Cunningham from the TV show Happy Days and later it's spin-off featuring them.

11. Bubble and churn : ROIL.  Agitate something physically, and by extension emotionally.  If one become red-faced dong this, it is known as a ROIL flush.

12. Green land : EIRE.  The Emerald Isle, notably not the location of the Emerald City.

13. Seinfeldesque : WRY.  A la the humor of the TV show about nothing.  

21. Wagga Wagga welcome : G'DAY.   This is a city in New South Wales, Australia, Mate.

22. Starchy tuber : TARO.   A perennial tropical plant cultivated for its starchy tuber.

27. Shock absorber : PAD.  A thick section of soft material.

28. Saint at a gate : PETER.   In Matthew 16: 13-19,  Jesus renames Simon son of Jonah as PETER, and gives him the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven.

29. Operational branch : ARM.  A subgroup dedicated to a particular purpose.

30. Mongrel : CUR.  Mutt.

31. "Geaux Tigers" SEC school : Louisiana State University.   Faux-French influenced slogan.

32. Wind down or wind up : END.   Slang terms "for bring to a close."  But a pitcher's wind up or winding up a spring-actuated mechanical device, such as the toy we will met shortly, gets things going.  One more reason to love the English language.   

36. Belly, to a tot : TUM.   Possibly derived from stomach.

37. Sean Lennon's middle name : ONO.   After his mum.

38. Jack-in-the-box flipper : LID.  Child's box-shaped toy with a crank used to start the action by winding up, and ends with a clown figure popping out through the lid.

39. Police blotter letters : Also Known As, indicating the use of an alias.

40. Lowest-ranking NCO : CPL.   Corporal is the lowest ranking non-commissioned officer.

42. Fried corn cake : FRITTER.   Any of several deep-fried, batter coated items, such as fruit, vegetables, or even meat.

43. __ Domini : ANNO.   The Year of our Lord, presumably starting with the birth of Jesus Christ, indicating a dating system that originated in the early middle ages.  But somewhere along the line, there was a mistake.  Jesus was born during the reign of King Herod, who died in 4 B. C.

44. Has a few : TIPPLES.   Indulges in alcoholic beverages, and not as in 44A..

45. Treats, as a sprain : ICES.  Tin Man - note here an acceptable use for ice; to reduce swelling of a muscle injury.

47. Make certain : ENSURE.   Why do we have this word, along with "assure" and "insure?"  They came into Old English from Norman French, so that's who I blame.

48. Lao-tzu's philosophy : TAOISM.   Meaning the way, path or principle.  Greatly simplified -- living in harmony with all that exists.

49. Whip up : EXCITE.   As a crowd, or mob.

53. Fight (through), as a crowd : ELBOW.   Not so gently nudging others out of the way.   Not very TAOIST.

54. Considers : DEEMS.    Tracing back to an Old English root meaning to judge, the same as DOOM.

55. Composer Bartók : BELA.  Hungarian composer (1881 - 1945).  The shortest clip I could find (6:20) is is setting of Romanian folk songs for violin and piano.


56. Klutzes : OAFS.   An OAF is a stupid, uncultured or clumsy person.  Strangely, the word traces back to the old Norse word for elf.   The original meaning was "elf's child" [I'm assuming changeling,] later "idiot child," later still, how we use it today.

57. Stellar phenomenon : NOVA.   A cataclysmic nuclear explosion occurring on a white dwarf star.

58. Ring out : PEAL.   Specifically, the ringing of bells.

59. Nobelist Pavlov : IVAN. (1849 - 1936)   Russian psychologist famous for his work on classical conditioning.

60. Ball club : BAT.  In baseball, the ball is clubbed with the bat.   This example is from a couple years ago.  Miggy seems to have his stride back, and has done something similar a couple times in the last week.




There you have it, a wandering in space and time, including a couple excursions into the English of our past, a dystopian view of the far future, a dollop or so of French, and finally back to current reality with some down-to-earth baseball.  Despite my earlier criticle nits, a pretty nice journey.

Cool regards!
JzB


Wednesday, May 11, 2016

L A Times Crossword Puzzle Blogging Wednesday, May 11, 2016 John Guzzetta

Theme:  PHUN WITH FONICS.  Each two word answer has the initial consonant sound /f/ spelt two different ways, with the expected letter "F" and with the digraph "PH."  Without delving too deeply into it, or proposing a general rule, it seems that many words using the "PH" digraph are derived from Greek: philosophy,  phonetics and, for a double whammy, photograph.

17 A. Communication device also called a clamshell : FLIP PHONE.   A cell phone that folds shut and flips open.  This is now a retro design, but is still rather popular.

24 A. Verne's circumnavigator : PHILEAS FOGG.  The protagonist of Jules Vernes 1873 novel, Around the World in Eighty Days.

53 A. Reunion memento : FAMILY PHOTO.   Here's one of Gloria and 8 of our 11 grandchildren, from her birthday last August.

Some of my favorite peeps

39 A. Gym teacher's concern : PHYSICAL FITNESS.   I've been working out this year to do something about my physical fatness.  Lost 9 lbs so far.

64. Ben & Jerry's flavor inspired by a Vermont rock band : PHISH FOOD.   "Chocolate Ice Cream with Gooey Marshmallow Swirls, Caramel Swirls & Fudge Fish."  In my opinion, they fudged on the spelling of Phish.  You can read about it - and listen - here.

Hi, gang.   Jazzbumpa here.   With 5 theme entries, one a grid spanner, this puzzle is pretty rich in themeage. Let's see what else we can phind.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

L. A. Times Crossword Puzzle - Wednesday, April 27, 2016 Mike Doran

Theme: Homophonic Quartet.  Four Two-word phrases have like-sounding second words, all spelt differently.    Straight forward theme idea.

17. Equipment for picnic competitions : POTATO SACKS.   Used for monopodic races.


23. Embryo development sites : AMNIOTIC SACS.   The fluid-filled membrane container where embryos reside and develop until birth or hatching in reptiles, birds and mammals.

51. Big name on Wall Street : GOLDMAN SACHS.  New York based multinational investment banking firm.

62. Lisa Simpson's instrument : BARITONE SAX.   The bari is distinguished by the tubing bend that extends higher than the mouth piece.



Hi gang, JazzBumpa here.  The challenge with this kind of theme is first finding a quartet of homophones, then fitting them into symmetric pairs of in-the-language phrases to build a grid around.  This one is really well done.  With the sound-alikes behind us, lets see what else is in store.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

L. A. Times Crossword - Wednesday, April 20, 2016 Clive Probert

Theme: Since FDR is in the grid: CIVIL CONSERVATION CORPS -  or - Do you C the C's I C?  Or, 1.5 x our gracious hostess.  Near as I can tell, that's it. Three word themers, all with the initial letter C.  Though the middle one is a grid spanner, and the other two fall only one letter short, seems like a rather thin theme concept.

20. Part of the Three Little Pigs' chant : CHINNY CHIN CHIN.  As in, not by the hair of.  Here it is, if you have a spare 8 1/2 minutes.



37. The "Original Formula," soda-wise : COCA COLA CLASSIC.  New COKE fizzed.  No extra charge for the additional 2 C's.

54. Provincetown rental : CAPE COD COTTAGE.  Ours is on the south-west shore of Black Lake.

Not sure what else can be said about it.  Let's proCede and C what we can C.

Across

1. Jellied garnish : ASPIC.  Natural gelatin derived from meat stock, aka glop.

6. Northwestern pear : BOSC.  European variety grown in the NW U.S.



10. Farm youngster : CALF.  Or COLT or LAMB.

14. Good, in Granada : BUENO.   Spanish. Foreign language fill is often indicated by alliteration.

15. Chorus syllables : LA-LA.   Tra followers.

16. Give __ to: approve : A NOD.

17. Trader for whom a northwest Oregon city was named : ASTOR.  John Jacob.

18. __ impasse : AT AN.  I've been there

19. Texas flag symbol : STAR.  



23. Baby beaver : KIT.
24. Mouse-spotter's shriek : EEK.

25. Extremely well-pitched : NO HIT.  Baseball!

26. Gray shade : ASH.
27. Multilayered, as cakes : TIERED.  Or theater seating.

30. Clean Air Act administrative gp. : Environmental Protection Agency, established in 1970.

33. Heads, in slang : NOBS.   

Up Jack got, and off did trot 
as fast as he could caper; 
to old Dame Dob, 
who patched his NOB
with vinegar and brown paper.

36. Persian Gulf cargo : CRUDE.  Oil

41. "__ go!" : GOTTA.  I'm outa here - but not for a while.

42. French 101 verb : ETRE.   To be.

43. Pot contents : TEA.  We have a cup of TEA mid-afternoon most days.

44. Bakes, as 50-Acrosses : SHIRRS.   Word derived form the name of the flat bottomed dish in which EGGS were traditionally baked.



46. "Star Wars" staples : ETs.  Many varieties of Extra-Terrestrials in those movies.

48. Exit poll target : VOTER.  We'll just do a grand jeté around the politics, and move right along.


50. Breakfast food : EGG.  Cereal doesn't fit.  I'm SHIRR.

51. "Pow!" : BAM.  Bat Man or Emeril - your choice.

57. Roast, in Rouen : ROTI.

58. Antelope Island state : UTAH.  The bee hive state.

59. Lesson at the end : MORAL.  As in Aesop's fables.

60. Arabian Peninsula port : ADEN.   Probably handles some of that CRUDE.

61. Went by skateboard : RODE.   Why skateboard?  Car, bus, SUV, moped, trained mule, Conestoga wagon  .  .  .

62. Take in : ADOPT.  As an orphan.

63. Get one's feet wet : WADE.


64. Mesozoic and Paleozoic : ERAS.  Geological time spans.

65. Slangy craving : JONES.  Gotta have it.

Down

1. One way to be taken : ABACK.

2. Japanese finger food : SUSHI.   Items of vinegar-flavored, cold cooked rice that accompany raw fish, vegetables or EGGS.  SHIRR enough!

3. __ four: teacake : PETIT.  Meaning "small oven," since that's where they were often made, next to the main oven.

4. Privy to : IN ON.  Knowledgeable of.

5. Eye part : CORNEA.   The transparent layer covering the front of the eye.

6. Subject for Stephen Hawking : BLACK HOLE.  Astronomy.

7. Promise : OATH.  

8. Killed, as a dragon : SLAIN.


9. Is unable to : CAN NOT.  Killing dragons is hard!

10. Supermarket employees : CASHIERS.   Ring 'em up!

11. Like the Sherman Act : ANTI-TRUST.   Anti-monopoly legislation designed to promote competition in industry, passed into law in 1890.

12. Deal with interest : LOAN.  Most bankers find loans to be quite interesting.

13. New Deal pres. : FDR. Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 32nd president.  

21. Basic question type : YES / NO.

22. Spanish girl : CHICA.

28. Falco of "Oz" : EDIE.   And "The Sopranos,"and "Nurse Jackie."

29. Prefix with pod : DECA-.  Denoting 10-legged critters, an order of crustaceans that includes crayfish, crabs, lobsters, and shrimp.   What - no love for squids?!?

30. They record beats per min. : ECGs.  Electrocardiogramcheck the electrical activity of the heart.

31. Friend of Tigger : POOH.   


32. Switched on : ACTIVATED.

34. Compete in a box : BAT.   Batter's box - more baseball.



35. Braking sounds : SCREECHES.   Indicating the linings are worn.

38. Medication used for dilating pupils : ATROPINE.   Also a toxic alkaloid found in nightshade, mandrake and jimson weed.

39. Bistro offering : CARTE.   A French menu.

40. "Unhand me!" : LET GO.  

45. Tie tightly : SECURE.

47. High-ranking NCO : SGT MAJ.  Sargent major, the highest NCO rank in the U.S. Army or Marines, above master sargent and below warrant officer.  

49. Turbine blade : ROTOR.   They go round and round.

51. Industry honcho : BARON.

52. Wide open : AGAPE.

53. Runs down the mountain, maybe : MELTS.  As snow in the Spring.

54. Musical finale : CODA.   From the Italian word for tail.  Often it is an addendum to a formal musical structure containing different but similar and compatible musical content.  

55. Man Ray genre : DADA.   Man Ray [1890- 1976] was an American visual artist who spent most of his career in France.



56. Commotion : TO DO.  As in hockey playoffs.

57. Wet behind the ears : RAW.    Expressions indicating someone lacking experience.

OK. All done.  I SHIRR had a BUENO time.  How about you?

Cool regards!
JzB



Wednesday, March 30, 2016

L. A. Time Crossword Puzzle Blogging Wednesday, March 30, 2011 Bruce Haight

Theme:  Being in Agreement.  Common expressions indicating agreement are reimagined as being directed to their most amusingly appropriate recipients.  And, impressively, they are all grid spanners. Rather an unusual approach.  Let's have a look.

17 A. Yes, to a cowboy? : YOU BET YOUR BOOTS.  Evidently, this expression goes back to the old west ,where a good pair of boots was as important as a reliable horse.   These days, they also make a fashion statement.


27 A. Yes, to an architect? : SOUNDS LIKE A PLAN.  Bit of wordplay here, equating a plan of action with a design drawing of a proposed structure.



43 A. Yes, to a traffic court judge? : SUITS ME JUST FINE.  The traffic court judge is likely to issue a FINE, but there are other possibilities with this one.   Law SUITS are also settled in court, or one might obtain a SUIT of clothes from a haberdasher, and thus become SUITED in a FINE way.

Judges' suits are rather drab

54. Yes, to the Magic 8 Ball : IT IS DECIDEDLY SO.   The Magic 8 Ball has been available since the 1950's and is manufactured by Mattel.  It provides one of 20 possible answers to yes/no type questions. IT IS DECIDEDLY SO is one of the 10 positive answers that the Ball might provide.  The other 10 responses are evenly divided between negative and non-committal. 


Hi, Gang - JazzBumpa here, and in an agreeable frame of mind.  My last Blog outing at the Corner was a hair raising experience, coincidentally, also with Bruce.  Our stars also aligned back in January, so this is getting to be a bit of a habit.  Let's see if we can have positive responses to all of today's crossword questions.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Care Diem #936

The challenge today is to write a haiku using paradox.  This strikes me as being a very zen exercise.

The first one is built around something my father once said about a grumpy man - hence, a senryu.

The second is a nature snapshot - more legitimately a haiku, I think.

It's late, I'm tired.  This is all I've got.



that old curmudgeon 
the only time he’s happy

is when he is sad

~~::~~


a blazing sunset
turning waves red and orange
the sea is on fire

~~:::~~:::~~





Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Carpe Diem Tokubetsudesu #72 Use that quote

Hello haijin and long lost friends.  Once again I return return to Carpe Diem Haiku Kai.

For this week's episode of Tokubetsudesu themed "Use That Quote" I have a nice quote for you by the Dalai Lama. A real nice quote which gives you a lot of space to create haiku (or tanka).

Here is the quote by the 14th Dalai Lama for your inspiration:

[...] "The purpose of our lives is to be happy". [...]  Dalai Lama

It's a nice quote as you can see and it really gives you freedom to create / compose an all new haiku, tanka or other Japanese poetry form.

Since they speak of the human condition, I suppose the first two entries are senryu rather than haiku.


living the moment
happiness and a full life
found in simple things

~~::~~

the way of love
to find your own happiness
make someone happy

~~::~~

springtime vibrations
the hum of a fly-struck web
happy orb weaver

~~::~~::~~



L.A. Times Crossword puzzle Blogging - Wednesday, March 9, 2016 Bruce Haight

Cross posted at The Corner

Theme: Will my do do for you? The second words of common two-word phrases are relocated to a common location, as indicated by the unifier, so let's start there.

62. Permanent place, and a hint to the ends of the answers to starred clues : HAIR SALON.  Nice play on "permanent" indicating something of long duration, or, as in this case, a coif treatment. The SALON, of course, is the place where it all happens.

17. *Seriously indoctrinate : BRAIN WASH.  Generally BRAIN WASHING involves some radical or extreme set of ideas, and some powerful coaxing.  A HAIR WASH might be the first step in the SALON's process.

21. *Improvised rap : FREE STYLE.  New usage to me, but it's a real thing.  HAIR STYLE is the way the actual tresses are arranged.

28. *Risqué : OFF COLOR.  Of questionable taste, not suitable for polite company, or as we say here: DF.  The phrase evidently arose ca. 1860 in the diamond industry, referring to stones that are not pure white or of any definite color, and therefore of poor quality.  Hair COLORing is a SALON service.

37. *Weight-training exercise : BICEP CURL.   Demonstrated below.  People with straight HAIR want to acquire a CURL.  This seems to work the other way, as well.



49. *Markdown : PRICE CUT.  Of course, those of us with HAIR need to have it CUT occasionally, even if, as in my case, there's not a lot of it.  A PRICE CUT means you can save money on your purchase - but not as much as if you opt not to make it.

56. *Brand created in Toronto in 1904 : CANADA DRY.  Soft drinks.  And drying the HAIR is what completes the process.

Hi gang - JazzBumpa here, doing my part, so to speak.  With 6 theme entries plus a unifier, this puzzle is unusually thematically rich.  Let's see if we can make it through without getting either clipped or locked up.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

L.A. Times Crossword Puzzle Blogging - Wednesday, February 17, 2016 Todd Gross

[Cross-posted at The Corner.]

Theme: It's all about space.  But what about time, I wonder?  What would Einstein say?  Actually, that's misleading.  Today's theme goes off to a different dimension - or at least in a different direction.

No double meanings in today's straight forward, sideways and up and down theme.  Simply the grid-spanning titles of three 3-D movies.   No - that's not quite right, either.  As we are about to see, it's the THREE D titles of three movies.

So, first the unifier.   63 A. Like some movies ... literally including 17-, 37- and 56-Across : THREE D.   Usually, this designation indicates that the movie is presented in THREE Dimensional format, where interesting or frightening objects seem to jump out of the screen at you.   But here, it's reconsidered to mean movies with the letter D appearing THREE times in the title.

17 A. 1986 movie set partly in the Australian Outback : CROCODILE DUNDEE.   As near as I can tell, this movie was only released in TWO D flat screen format.  And as near as I can recall, it's a movie about a knife.


37 A. 1988 movie set in a Southern California high school : STAND AND DELIVER.  About a math teacher who inspired a tough group of drop-out prone kids to excel in calculus.  Originally released in 2D, it was re-released in 3D in 2012.


56 A. 1996 movie set in Nevada's Area 51 : INDEPENDENCE DAY.  A seemingly invincible alien force attacks earth on July 2nd.  The scrappy earthlings - specifically Americans - figure out a way to win, a mere 2 days later.   A THREE D rerelease was planned in 2012, but cancelled.



Hi gang, JazzBumpa here to explore what goes along with this solid [see what I did there?] theme.  Let's dig in. 

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

L.A. Times Crossword puzzle Blogging Wednesday, February 3, 2016 C. W. Stewart

[Cross-posted at The Corner.]

Theme:  Something you find on a fish.  No, not FINS or GILLS.  Think more musically - no, not even Vince Gill - and the reveal will make it clear.  So let's start there.

38 A. Musical sequence found at the starts of the answers to the starred clues : SCALE.   This word has many disparate meanings as both a noun and a verb.  Here, we are talking about a set of musical notes, ordered by pitch.  This puzzle has them ordered in ascending sequence, though, of course, you can also go the other way.  We're not told if the quality of the scale is major, minor, nor if it is one of the many modal variants.  But we can sing along anyway.  

The beginnings of the first words of eight in-the-language phrases name the notes of the SCALE.

1 A. *Where deliveries may be left : DOOR STEP.   The spot where mail-order deliveries end up.  DO is the first scale note, and the tonal center, aka tonic, for the SCALE and any music based upon it.

17 A. *Airport pickup : RENT-A-CAR.   The plane does not take you to your final destination.  You usually need to drive there, and you can use a conveniently located vehicle for a price.  RE is the 2nd SCALE step, a whole tone above the tonic.   We won't talk about the Phrygian mode, the comma of Pythagorus, nor vibrational frequencies.


20 A. *Modest garment : MIDI-SKIRT.  Mid-calf-length to protect delicate legs from winter winds and prying eyes.  Seems a bit awkward.  MI is the third scale step, another whole tone above RE in a major scale, but only a half tone up if the quality of the SCALE is minor.  BTW - the distance from one note to another is called the interval.


26 A. *Hiker's pouch : FANNY PACK.  A container on a belt, often perched over a person's back side. [But not in England.]  FA is the fourth scale step above the tonic.  This note does not vary between major and minor scales, and its interval above the tonic is called the perfect fourth. 
51 A. *Infant's dietary prohibition : SOLID FOOD.  Mom's milk is best, formula is OK.  Save the bran flakes for when they're a bit older.  SOL is the fifth scale step, always a perfect fifth above the tonic.  

58 A. *Breaking point : LAST STRAW.  An ancient measure of camel capacity being the last straw minus one.   LA is the 6th scale step, a major or minor sixth above the tonic, depending on the quality of the scale.

67 A. *History book chart : TIME LINE.   A graphic representation of what happened when.  TI is the penultimate SCALE step, either a major or minor seventh interval above the tonic.  As you may have gleaned by now, the natural minor SCALE differs from the major by having lowered 3rd, 6th, and 7th SCALE steps.   There are other versions, but we needn't get into that here

72 A. *Words of admonishment : DON’T DO IT.   Have we heard these words?  Have we heeded them?  Probably not.  This brings us to another DO, a perfect octave above where we started.  Despite what I said earlier, I'll point out that the frequency is exactly twice that of the previous DO.

Hi gang.  JazzBumpa conducting for today's thematically rich excursion.  Note that though the spellings are right on for the eight notes, the pronunciations vary a bit.  Rogers and Hammerstein wrote a song, based on a major scale, that illustrates all this, but I hate it and will not link. However, I will wave my arms around - so let's see where the music takes us.