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, November 7, 2018

L.A. Times Crossword Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2018 Michael Ray Jacobson and Patti Varol

Theme: HAPPY 75th, JONI MITCHELL.  Theme answers feature some of her body of work.

20 A. 1968 55-Across song: BOTH SIDES NOW.  First recorded by Judy Collins in 1968, then the following year by the composer on an album named for a word in this song.

32. 1976 55-Across album: HEJIRA.  Her 8th studio album. It was mostly written on and inspired by a driving trip from Maine to L.A.  You can read about it here.

37. 1970 55-Across song: BIG YELLOW TAXI.  I never knew that was the name of this song.  The things you learn  .  .  .

43. 1969 55-Across album whose last song is 20-Across: CLOUDS.  This is the word. Cf 20 A, above.

55. Singer/songwriter born 11/7/1943: JONI MITCHELL.  The birthday girl, herself. 

Hi gang, JazzBumpa here to spin the platters.  This doesn't quite take me back to my 'ute.  But I'm no spring chicken, either.  It takes me back to early adulthood.  CLOUDS was released about a year before my son was born.

Let's examine this score and see if we can find some high notes.


1. Crowds around: MOBS.  Here, "crowds" is a verb, describing a group of people [presumably] mobbing someone or some thing.

5. Geologic time: EPOCH.  On a geologic time scale, this is a long, but non-specific time period that is shorter than a period and longer than an age.  Certainly longer than my age, and that's saying something.

10. It's the truth: FACT.  An element or aspect of reality.

14. Baseball's Felipe or his son Moises: ALOU.  Along with Felipe's younger brothers Matty and Jesús.  Very talented players from the Dominican Republic.

15. Nabisco wafer brand: NILLA.   Shortened form of VANILLA. the main flavor element of these cookies.

16. Serengeti feline: LION.  And that's a FACT!

17. Barclays Center team: NETS.  Basketball.

18. Strung along: LED ON.   Given false hopes by someone insincere.

19. Boatloads: A LOT.  Non-specific large quantity.

23. Axis foes: ALLIES.  WWII foes.   The main Allied powers were Great Britain, The United States, China, and the Soviet Union.   The main Axis powers were Germany, Japan and Italy.

24. Spot for an AirPod: EAR.  These are wireless headphones made by Apple.

25. Tight spot: JAM.  Unpleasant situation with no easy escape route.

28. "__ whiz!": GEE.  Golly!

29. Sundance's sweetie __ Place: ETTA.  "The Sundance Kid" was outlaw Harry Alonzo Longabaugh. Her real name, age and birthplace are all unknown. Evidently, she was married to Longabaugh.

34. Lofty principles: IDEALS.  Standards of perfection, principles to strive for.

36. "Do __ others ... ": UNTO. Archaic form of "to."

41. "The Walking Dead" survivor Grimes: CARL.  The son of primary protagonist Rick Grimes, and his wife Lori Grimes.  Already more than I know.

42. Advertising lure: COME ON.  Bait.  May or may not come with switch.

46. Business review site: YELP.  An on-line publishing service for crowd-sourced revues of local businesses.

47. Influential D.C. group: PACPolitical Action Committee.

50. Place in the woods: DEN.  An animals lair, I suppose.  Not fond of this clue.

51. Forever and a day: EON.  Is this longer than an EPOCH?

53. "Watch and learn": LIKE SO.  As I demonstrate  .  .  .

58. Auburn rival, familiarly: 'BAMA.  University of Alabama, the Crimson Tide.

61. Miguel's "I love you": TE AMO.  Spanish amor.

62. Small Chevy model: AVEO.  Or Aero.  Needed perp help.

63. Vacationing: AWAY.  Out of town.  Or at least away from the office.

64. Harsh-smelling: ACRID.  Nasty odor.

65. Sharp-edged: KEEN.  Well honed.

66. Tach reading: REVS.  I wanted RPMS.  But R stands for Revs, so OK.

67. Annoy: GET TO.  Bug, in a way.

68. Car trip game: I SPY.   The spy observes something and gives a hint, such as the letter it strts with or its color, and other players have to guess what it is.


1. Metrosexual tote: MAN BAG.  Choose from our wide selection.

2. Repetitive refrain in the song "Hot Hot Hot": OLE OLE.

3. Perfume holder: BOTTLE.

4. Fish dish served with wasabi: SUSHI.  Actually, a vinegared rice dish often, but not necessarily, served with sea food.

5. Willing recruit: ENLISTEE.  One who joins without a lead on or come on.

6. Like a noted piper: PIED. Clad in multicolored clothing.

7. Quaint retail adjective: OLDE.  As in Ye Olde Curiosity Shoppe.

8. In the neighborhood: CLOSE.  Near by, but cigarless.

9. ESPN anchor __ Storm: HANNAH.

10. It may be tragic: FLAW.  Or even fatal.

11. Not feel well: AIL.  Have something

12. Whisper sweet nothings: COO.  Might also involve billing.

13. Explosive letters: TNT.  Dy-no-mite!

21. Far from swanky: SEEDY.  In poor, run-down condition.

22. Mined-over matter: ORE.  Stuff found in a hole in the ground.  Clever clue.

25. "We just said the same thing at the same time!": JINXSo you owe me!

26. Basic drawing class: ART I.  Here the I stands for the number 1, designating the introduction to Art class.  Have you met Art?  Would you introduce me?

27. "Little Red Book" author: MAO.  A book of quotations and writing from Mao Zedong,  chairman of the Chinese Communist Party from its inception in 1949 until his death in 1979.

30. Powder puff stuff: TALC.  A finely divided form of hydrated magnesium silicate.

31. Bronze or brass: ALLOY.  An ALLOY is a mixture of metals, generally designed to enhance physical properties.

33. San __, Puerto Rico: JUAN.  Located on the north coast of the island, it is the capital and largest city of the commonwealth.

34. "House," in Inuit: IGLU.  Usually rendered as IGLOO in the English speaking world.

35. A few: SOME.  An indeterminate quantity of moderate size.

37. Hayloft bundle: BALE.  Of hay, of course.

38. Wrinkle remover: IRON.   For your clothing.

39. Prosperous: WELL TO DO.  Upper class.

40. __ sentence: essay opener: TOPIC.  What it's all about.

41. Included in an email, briefly: CCD.  Copied.  Thus, included as a recipient, not in the contents.

44. "Gloria in Excelsis __": DEO.  Glory to God in the highest, in Latin - a Christian hymn, also known as the Greater Doxology.

45. "In America" novelist Susan: SONTAG.  The novel is based on the true story of Polish actress Helena Modjeska who arrived in California in 1876.

47. Pet problems?: PEEVES.  Pet PEEVES are thing you find particularly annoying.  Are they necessarily problems?  I have mixed feelings about this clever, misleading clue.  More clever than accurate, perhaps.

48. __ at the wheel: ASLEEP.  An expression indicating a failure to handle duties or responsibilities.  Also a country music group that has recorded over 20 albums and won 9 Grammies since their start in 1970.

49. Ant-sy complex?: COLONY.   Misleading, but accurate and cute.

52. Female relative: NIECE.  Sister's or brother's daughter.  Mine lives in N. Car.

54. Uniform cloth: KHAKI.  A strong cotton fabric in a dull yellow-brown color.

55. Rogers Centre team, familiarly: JAYS.  Toronto Blue Jays of the American League of baseball.

56. K follower: MART.  Are there any left?  The former K-Mart site near me is being converted into an Aldi grocery store.

57. "Look no further than me": I'M IT.  Choose me!

58. Trivia night site: BAR.  Site for drinking and gaming.

59. Bedazzle: AWE.  Impress in a highly favorable way.

60. Big D hoopster: MAVerick, a player on the team representing Dallas in the National Basketball Association.

That wraps up another Wednesday.  Was it all in tune for you?  A little dissonance, but not too many sour notes, IMHO, and a nice tribute to Ms. Mitchell.

Cool regards!

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Wednesday, October 10, 2018 C. C. Burnikel

Theme: Fast times down in the paddy.  Otherwise unrelated theme answers contain the letters of the word RICE, but WILDLY out of order. In each case, the letters span two words, which is always a nice touch.

16 A. Vice squad operations: POLICE RAIDS. Unannounced visits by law enforcement, using the element of surprise to aid in making arrests, so things don't get too WILD.

28 A. Fictional feline that could disappear at will: CHESHIRE CAT.  Best known for its mischievous grin, and most generally associated with Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by creepy 19th century British minister Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, rather than T. S. Eliot.  Its presence in folk lore pre-dates this 1865 novel, and is of uncertain origin.  As it fades away, the last thing visible is its ionic grin.

45 A. "Talladega Nights" actor: JOHN C REILLY.  Here he is in CHICAGO.

62 A. It eases tension in some serious tales: COMIC RELIEF. A light or humorous episode in an other wise serious dramatic work.

3 D. Social class prominent in "The Great Gatsby": IDLE RICH.  People of substantial inherited wealth who have no need to work for a living.

39. Whole-grain food, and a description of each set of circles: WILD RICE.  This is a separate species from white rice.  Though it is now cultivated, it is still also harvested from shallow lakes in its natural habitat in North America.  The word WILD indicates that the letters of RICE have been rearranged in the theme entries.

The byline indicates that this puzzle was constructed by our gracious and prolific hostess, whose published puzzles now must number in the hundreds.  Note the clever and original grid, with theme fill that is both horizontal and vertical, but not in a pinwheel array.

Hi, Gang - JazzBumpa here.  Let's all have a WILD time together.


1. Vice president after Hubert: SPIRO.  T. Agnew [1918-1996] V.P. under Richard Nixon.  He resigned as a result of a corruption scandal involving kick-backs and tax evasion dating from his time as county executive in MD, and continuing into his vice presidency.  He escaped prosecution in a plea bargain.

6. Harry Potter's lightning bolt, e.g.: SCAR.  On his forehead, resulting from an unpleasant incident when he was in infant, involving Tom Riddle

10. Cauldron stirrer: HAG.  They seem nice.

13. Intense passion: ARDOR.  Fervor, zeal, vehemence.

14. Big strings: CELLI.  Here is a sample.

15. "We're on __ way": OUR.  Be right with you  .  .  .

18. Prefix with angle or athlete: TRI.  Indicating something in threes - a TRIangle is a three sided figure. A TRIathlete competes in a three-part combined event, usually involving running, bicycling and swimming.

19. Make very happy: ELATE.

20. "__ Go": cellphone game: POKEMON.  A game centered on fictional creatures which humans can train and battle each other for sport. I'll stop here, because this is already more than i know about it, lest I --

22. Mess up: ERR.  Goof.

24. PC core: CPU.   Central Processing Unit.  It perfprms the basic computational, logic and control functions.

26. Sorvino of "Mimic": MIRA.  I had her last time.

27. Hawaiian garland: LEI.   Flower garland necklace.

32. Ultra-masculine: MACHO.  Overtly, aggressively and pridefully male.  Short of toxic masculinity, one would hope

34. Underwater detector: SONAR.  From SOund Navigation And Ranging, a system that uses sound waves to navigate and detect objects, usually under water

35. Sister of Laertes: OPHELIA.  In Shakespeare's play, daughter of Polonius, and the potential wife of Hamlet.

38. Major turf battle: GANG WAR.  Battle for control of a neighborhood or area between rival gangs.

42. They may be pumped or bumped: FISTS.  Or used for fighting.

44. Neutral shade: BEIGE. A pale, sandy yellowish brown color.

50. Meadow: LEA. An open grassy area.

51. Sheriff Andy Taylor's boy: OPIE.  From the Andy Griffith show.

52. Ewe call: BAA.  She said, sheepishly.

53. ISP option: DSL. Digital Subscriber Line.  Distinct from dial-up, but using a telephone line.

54. "Oh, puh-leeze!": SPARE ME.  Get real.

58. African country whose name begins another African country: NIGER. and Nigeria.  Adjacent countries in west Africa.

Niger is in orange

61. Wee one: TOT.  A small child.  I once was one.

66. Baton Rouge sch.: LSULouisiana State University, home of Mike the Tiger.

67. Occupied, as a restroom: IN USE.  Come back later.

68. Award for "Moonlight" or "Spotlight": OSCAR.  An award presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for excellence in the creation and production of movies.

69. Some Caltech grads: EESElectrical Engineers.  People who really do live in the realm of imaginary numbers.

70. "Gee whiz!": GOSH.   Golly.

71. Cautious (of): LEERY. Wary, due to realistic suspicions


1. Liquid from a trunk: SAP.   Sticky stuff from a tree trunk.

2. Golf instructor: PRO.  Or tennis.

4. Churn up: ROIL.  Cf. 10 A.

5. White-bellied ocean predator: ORCA.  The killer whale.

6. __ salt: SEA.  Other wise known as .  .  . salt.

7. Movie excerpt: CLIP.   Cf 10 A, 45 A, 70 A.

8. Big name in footwear: ALDO.  I like Clarks.

9. Put in peril: RISK.

10. One may pick up an embarrassing remark: HOT MIC.  Conversations can be captured when the speakers think the microphone is off.  Ooops!

11. Goddess of the dawn: AURORA.  From Roman mythology.

12. Be amused by: GRIN AT.   Smile!

14. Dessert pancake: CREPE.  A thin pancake, usually rolled and filled with something.

17. Draw with acid: ETCH.  Coat the substrate with a protective substance such as wax, draw on it with a needle to expose the surface, then flow acid over it.  This will attack the exposed surface and create the desired image.

21. Come into view: EMERGE.  Unfold, transpire, become apparent.

22. Sailor's patron: ELMO.  AKA St Erasmus of Formia [d 303 AD.]   The account of his various tortures and imprisonments is disturbing.  You have been warned.

23. Use a scythe: REAP.  For harvesting a crop.  No reason to be grim about it.

25. Navy vessel letters: USS. United States Ship, applied only while it is in commission.

28. Infant's ailment: COLIC.  Abdominal pain caused by gas or obstruction.  Unpleasant for baby, parents, and anyone else near by.

29. Gluttonous sort: HOG.  Greedy one who wants it all.

30. Once __ while: IN A.  Occasionally.

31. Asked for an opinion on, as an idea: RAN BY.

33. Playboy founder: HEFNER.  Hugh [1926 - 1917]

36. Mideast nation: Abbr.: ISRael.

37. Had breakfast: ATE. Typically raisin bran for me.

40. Quite a while: AGES.  Non-specific long time duration.

41. Bona fide: REAL.  From the Latin, meaning "with good faith."

43. Family vacay participant: SIB.  Sibling, joining the fam for a vacation.

45. Push rudely: JOSTLE.  To elbow or push against someone, typically in a crowd.  From late Middle English, derived from jousting [Cf. 48 D.] The original meaning was "to have sex with."  Current, more pedestrian, meaning is from the mid 16th century.

46. Vote against: OPPOSE.  Nay, nay, I say.

47. Continuity break: HIATUS.  A pause or gap in a sequence, series or process.

48. Renaissance Faire weapon: LANCE.   For jousting.  You can find many examples on Youtube.  I chose not to link.

49. Dragon's den: LAIR.  Brings to mind a poem I wrote long ago.


Far from her home, sequestered in a cave
In dampness, gloom and foul lizard's filth
With golden chains that mock a kingdom's wealth,
She waits the coming of the knight or knave --

The fool who'd face the flame and fang to save 
A royal maiden from this monstrous death.
The fool arrives.  To scale and scalding breath
He shouts his dare.  Could one so wild and brave

Be any but a lout?  No doubt he'd clench
A princess as he would some low-born wench. 
Is lance of knight or fang of worm to be
The one to test her vain virginity?

Reposed in prayer she contemplates her sins,
Then spies her knight, and prays the dragon wins.

 © JazzBumpa

55. Vaper's smoke, briefly: E-CIG.  Prompts a question about technology: just because we can, does that mean we should?

56. Stereo preceder: MONO.  In monaural sound, a single channel is used, and all speakers will project the same copy of the signal.  In stereophonic sound, there are typically two channels, and each one projects a different portion of the total sound package.  This gives the effects of directionality and space.

57. Fast Aussie birds: EMUS.  Australian native Dromaius novaehollandiae is the second largest living bird, after the ostrich, which is native to Africa.  Both are fast runners, but neither can fly.

59. Earth sci.: GEOLogy  is an earth science.  As the saying goes, GEOLOGY rocks, but Geography is where it's at.

60. "What __ can I do?": ELSE.  An offer of further assistance, or an expression of exasperation.  You decide.

63. "Kinda" suffix: -ISH.

64. Piece of corn: EAR. Something to listen for when you stalk the grain.

65. Cook, as spring rolls: FRY.  Cook with hot oil in a shallow pan.  Then maybe have a side of WILD RICE.

That wraps up another Wednesday.  Hope you found this puzzle to be delicious, nutritious and just crunchy enough.

Cool regards!

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Wednesday, September 26, 2018 Ed Sessa

Theme:  SPELL IT OUT. Otherwise unrelated answers each contain a stand-alone letter.  These letters, taken in order, spell a word.

20. *Niacin and riboflavin: B VITAMINS.   A class of water soluble, chemically distinct naturally occurring compounds, often found together in the same foods.

28. *Twenty Questions question: WHO AM I?  Animal, vegetable or mineral.

36. *Earth, Wind & Fire hit album whose title means "everything considered": ALL  'N ALL.  Their 8th studio album, released in 1977, which was certified triple platinum in the U. S.

43. *Fighter pilot's sensation: G FORCE. A measurement of the type of acceleration that causes a perception of weight. 

47. *Bravura performance reaction, briefly: STANDING O.  The audience shows their appreciation with a STANDING OVATION.

46. Winning exclamation aptly arranged and spelled by the standalone letters in the answers to starred clues: BINGO.  Also a classic game in which sections of a 5x5 matrix printed on a card are covered with tiles in designated patterns.  The first person to achieve the desired pattern shouts, "BINGO." and receives a prize.  There are many variations.

Hi Gang.  JazzBumpa here.  I'm not the greatest speller, but I think I can get us through this.  Note that the stand alone letters alternate from beginning to end of the fill, except for the middle one, where it is in the middle.  Nice touch! Now, let's sit for a spell, and see how we can do filling in our 15 x 15 matrix.


1. Muslim pilgrimage: HAJJ.  A pilgrimage to Mecca in the last month of the year, a goal for every Muslim.

5. Made docile: TAMED.

10. Valley with a Wine Train: NAPA.  In California

14. Melville's "Typee" sequel: OMOO.  Both novels are narratives of adventures in the south Pacific, based on the author's experiences.

15. Limber: AGILE.  Lithe and flexible.

16. Malicious: EVIL.   Characterized by bad intent

17. Bandit band: GANG.   Or crossword puzzle solvers - right, gang?

18. Jackrabbits, e.g.: HARES.  Leporids in the same family as rabbits, having characteristically longer ears.

19. Minimum __: WAGE.  The least amount an employer can legally pay a full time employee per hour of work.

23. 7UP competitor since 1961: SPRITE.  Lemon-lime flavored soft drinks.

25. Harbinger: OMEN. An OMEN is an event of prophetic significance.  A harbinger announces or precedes the arrival of something.  Not equivalent at all.

29. "I could be wrong": MAYBE NOT.

33. Knocks firmly: RAPS.  As on a door.

34. Pseudonym: FALSE NAME.   Like, for instance - JazzBumpa.

35. Part of LACMA: ARTLos Angeles County Museum of ART.

38. "Nothing to shout about": MEH.  Reaction to mediocrity.

39. Some llama herders: PERUVIANS.  In the Andes Mountains of South America.

41. Nuclear reactor component: CORE.  The location in the reactor containing the fuel components and where the nuclear reactions occur, generating heat.

42. Ceylon, now: SRI LANKA.  An island nation south of India in the Indian Ocean, famous for it ancient Buddhist ruins.

45. Kikkoman sauces: SOYS.  A liquid condiment made of soy beans, grains, and brine, fermented with an aspergillus fungus.

46. Medical lab specimen: BIOPSY.  A tissue sample examined to detect the presence of a disease.

51. Copies: APES.  Mimics.

54. Pogo stick sound: BOING.  Sound of a spring recoiling.

55. Pac-12 team since 2011: UTES.  University of Utah.

59. Mule team beam: YOKE.  A brace joining a pair of animals across the neck and shoulder area so that they can pull a load together.

60. The way we word: USAGE.  The habitual or normal practices in spoken and written language, such as not using the word "word" as a verb.

61. Snapper rival: TORO.  Lawn and garden tools.

62. Baaing mas: EWES.  Mothers of lambs.

63. Domingo, for one: TENOR.  José Plácido Domingo Embil, [b 1941] known as Plácido Domingo, is a Spanish tenor, conductor and arts administrator.

64. Whack: STAB.   Emulate Lizzie Borden


1. Ungenerous sort: HOG.  One who wants it all.  The opposite of 23 D.

2. Physicians' gp.: AMAAmerican Medical Association.

3. Trevor's predecessor on "The Daily Show": JON. Messrs. Noah and Stewart, respectively.

4. Women's sportswear: JOG BRAS.  Sturdier than the normal bra, they prevent movement and reduce the potential for damage to chest ligaments during vigorous physical activity.

5. South Seas island: TAHITI.  Shaped like a figure 8, it is the largest island in French Polynesia.

6. Striped quartz: AGATE.  A silicate rock containing mixtures of different crystal structures and physical forms, often with a variety of colors. 

7. Actress Sorvino: MIRA.  Mira Katherine Sorvino [b 1967] has won both Academy and Golden Globe awards.

8. Grade sch. level: ELEMentary, my dear Watson.

9. Lucie's dad: DESI. Arnaz.

10. Rather and Cronkite: NEWSMEN.  TV news journalists.

11. Gardner of the silver screen: AVA. Ava Lavinia Gardner [1922-1990] was an American actress and singer.  She was nominated for Academy and Golden Globe Awards, but never won.

12. Sty denizen: PIG.  Farm animal, also, another name for 1 D.

13. Tavern offering: ALE.

21. Vitality: VIM. Vigor's partner.

22. Prestigious prize: NOBEL.  Established by the will of Swedish scientist Alfred NOBEL and first awarded in 1901.  Prizes are offered annually in six categories for outstanding work in physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature, economics (since 1969), and the promotion of peace

23. They're not selfish: SHARERS.  Opposites of 1 D and 12 D.

24. The Supremes, e.g.: POP TRIO.  Group of 3 singers performing commercial popular music.

26. Captivates: ENAMORS.  To attract and hold attention vs to fill with feelings of love.  Not a good match.

27. What the ruthless show: NO MERCY.  Or what a crossword blogger might show for inexact cluing.

28. Gets a present ready to present: WRAPS.  Uses tape and decorative paper.

29. Exodus sustenance: MANNA. An edible substance miraculously supplied to the Israelites during their 40 year ravels in the desert.

30. "That's a shame": ALAS.  An expression of grief, pity or concern.

31. Fashion initials: YSL. Yves Saint Laurent.  I've never seen the appeal of wearing clothing with somebody else's initials on them.

32. Giggle: TEHEE.  Comic book laugh.

34. Reactive criticism: FLAK.  A hard time given to someone, perhaps with NO MERCY.

36. Salt's "Halt!": AVAST.  Stop or cease, generally associated with a naval context.

37. "Hamilton" creator __-Manuel Miranda: LIN. [b 1980]

40. Once-banned James Joyce novel: ULYSSES.  I'm not sure why anyone thought it would be necessary to ban a book that is so unreadable.

41. Weak excuses: COP OUTS.  More generally, taking an easy way out of difficult situations.

43. __ snap: GINGER.  A sharply flavored cookie made with GINGER.

44. Mariner's hazard: FOG.  Impairs visibility.

48. Adjoin: ABUT.  To touch or lean upon.

49. Bridge site: NOSE.  This is the bony upper part of the NOSE, above the nostrils, where eyeglasses rest.

50. Primatologist Fossey: DIAN.  [1932-1985] An American primatologist and conservationist known for undertaking an extensive study of mountain gorilla groups from 1966 until her death. 

51. Pro vote: AYE.  All in favor  .  .  .

52. Comics punch sound: POW.  Sometimes KA-POW, or BANG.

53. Scrape (out): EKE.  To just manage to get by in some tough situation.

56. Little kid: TOT. A small child, possibly a moppet.

57. Historical period: ERA.  A distinct time with particular identifying characteristics.

58. Cry out loud: SOB.  Wah!

And so we reach the end of another Wednesday.  Were you spell-bound?

Cool Regards!

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Wednesday, September 5, 2018 Gary Schlapfer and C. C. Burnikel

Theme: ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL?  The NFL season kicks off [so to speak] tomorrow night with the defending Superbowl Champ Philly Eagles traveling to Atlanta to take on the Falcons. Do you have a raptor preference?

This is one of those rare puzzles where the theme is in the clues - not the fills, which are unrelated two-word common language phrases; brought to us by our own dear hostess, C. C. and Corner denizen Husker Gary.  C. C. and I worked a similar idea in a Sunday puzzle a couple years ago.  And by some weird cosmic coincidence, Gary blogged the puzzle that day, in quite spectacular fashion.

Today our theme clues are words familiar to football fans - and I'm pretty sure Gary is one.  C. C. is more into baseball.  Let's we what we have here.

18 A. BLOCK: CITY SQUARE.  Most cities have streets laid out in a rectilinear pattern.  A BLOCK is the area defined by four streets.  More specifically, a CITY [or town] SQUARE is an open public space near the heart of the town, used for community gatherings.  Here's a trombone's eye view from the bandstand at Kellogg Park, the town square in Plymouth, MI.

My peeps are out there somewhere

To BLOCK in football is to move a defensive player aside so a ball carrier can advance down the field.

23 A. CATCH: HIDDEN SNAG.  I'm imagining an underwater obstruction that a small boat could get hung up on.  Figuratively, it could be any unanticipated difficulty, perhaps as a result of poor planning.  In football, a CATCH is a reception of a PASS [vide infra], viz. a ball thrown to an eligible receiver to advance the team's position on the playing field.

37 A. KICK: CHAMPAGNE EFFECT.  Well, that depends on who you ask.

In football, there are three kinds of KICKS.  The KICK OFF happens at the beginning of each half, and after one team scores, to deliver the ball to their foe. The extra point is a KICK after a touch down is scored.  Success, attained by sending the ball through the uprights, is called a conversion, good for one point. The field goal is a similar kind of KICK, attempted when the offense stalls somewhere on the field.  If successful it nets 3 points.

49 A. PASS: FREE TICKET.  A no-charge permit that authorizes entry and access to a venue or event.  In football, a PASS is ball launched by hand to an intended receiver [vide supra.]

58A. RUN: HOSE MISHAP.  A tear or hole in sheer silk or nylon stockings.  A disaster.

In football, a RUN is an attempt to advance the ball by carrying it around or through the defenders.  Of course, a RUN is a score in baseball, as well.

Hi gang, JazzBumpa here to coach this game.  The theme cluing is pretty straight-forward, and the fills are sparkly in this thematically rich puzzle. And we have some extra bits of elegance.  Each theme clue can be functionally either an action verb, or the name of the action that is so indicated.  And there is a nice element of symmetry.  The first and last Theme entries are a complimentary pair, as are the second and fourth.  That must have taken some extra effort.  And the central theme entry is a grid spanner. So from my view on the side-line, this is a win.  Yay, team!


1. Tot's drink, to the tot: WAWA.  Water, when you are just figuring out how to form syllables.  Fun times.  Also a chain of convenience stores and gas stations located in the eastern U.S.  None in our area, but we always fill the tank and grab coffee and donuts when we leave step-son Tom's for the long drive home.

5. Side-by-side truck tires: DUALS.  They provide more even weight distribution, and thus greater safety and stability

10. Fifth Avenue landmark: SAKS.  An American luxury department store owned by the Hudson's Bay Company, the oldest commercial corporation in North America.

14. Help with a heist: ABET.  Provide assistance to a crime or other offense.

15. Play direction: ENTER.  Tells the actor to go onto the stage.

16. Lint collector: TRAP.  Belly button doesn't fit.

17. Sci-fi princess with a twin brother: LEIA.  Stars Wars, of course.  The brother is Luke Skywalker.

20. Abs exercise: LEG RAISE.  Get a leg up with proper form.

22. Take out of the packaging: UNBOX.  Open it up.

26. Picnic crasher: ANT.  Six-legged interloper.

28. Harrison of "My Fair Lady": REX.

29. Help: AID.  Assistance.

30. Tiny Lab, e.g.: PUP.  Young dog.

33. "But seriously folks ... " is one: SEGUE.   In music, a move from one song to the next without interruption.  Here, a little more loosely, a transition in a monologue.

35. Forest ranger?: ELK.  Per Wikipedia, these large members of the deer family "range in forest and forest-edge habitat, feeding on grasses, plants, leaves, and bark."  So - yep.

36. Selfish shout: MINE.  I get to use this again.

41. "What __!": "I've been had!": A RIP.  As in RIP off - a fraud or swindle, often based on something being over-priced

42. Little chap: LAD.  A boy.  From Middle English, of unknown origin.  The word was much more popular a century ago, but has had a recent resurgence.

43. Big dipper: LADLE.  Kitchen utensil, not something written in the stars.

44. Many a dad joke: PUN.  Strained puns that are anodyne and therefore OK to tell in mixed, but non-critical company.

Did you hear about the restaurant on the moon? Great food, no atmosphere.
What do you call a fake noodle? An Impasta.
Want to hear a joke about paper? Nevermind it's tearable.
I just watched a program about beavers. It was the best dam program I've ever seen.
Why did the coffee file a police report? It got mugged.
How does a penguin build it's house? Igloos it together.

You get the picture.

45. Transparent art surface: CEL.  Speaking of pictures, CEL is short for celluloid, a transparent sheet where objects are drawn for traditional cartoon animation.  It is an artifact of obsolete animation technology.  Now, some cels are special editions of animation artwork, not intended for production.  Mine is from Mickey's Philharmagic at Walt Disney World.

46. MADD message, e.g.: PSA. A Public Service Announcement from Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

48. __ Lingus: AER.  The flag carrier air line of Ireland, now owned by IAG, the parent company of British Airways and Iberia.

52. Legend automaker: ACURA.  The luxury vehicle arm of Honda.

55. Alternative medicine staple: ALOE VERA.  Extract from the eponymous evergreen perennial succulent.

61. Its oxide makes Mars red: IRON.  Rust, an IRON-oxygen compound.

62. Retired tennis pro Kournikova: ANNA.  She was born in 1981 and retired from competitive play at age 21 due to spinal problems.

63. Bartlett entry: QUOTE.  An American reference book, first published in 1855, now in its 18th edition.

64. Gunk: CRUD.  An unpleasantly dirty and messy substance.

65. Woodpecker's tool: BEAK. Used for digging under the bark of trees to get insects, and for communication by drumming on hard surfaces.

66. Go over the limit: SPEED.  Driving in excess of the posted limit, which nobody does, ever.

67. Ball elevators: TEES.  In golf, the first stroke on any hole is hit with the ball slightly elevated from the ground on a wooden peg, called a TEE.  After that, one must play it where it lies.


1. Outlet site: WALL.  A srtucture designed to keep a door upright.

2. Busy as __: A BEE.  Oh, honey  .  .  .

3. Reason to purchase a new belt: WEIGHT GAIN.  I don't want to talk about it.

4. Pong maker: ATARI.  Speaking of back in the day.  You can tell your grandchildren that this was once a ground-breaking new video game.

5. Get off the fence: DECIDE.  Well  .  .  . ? [fingers drumming]

6. Like the name Pat: UNISEX.  Non-gender-specific.  My sister's full name is Patricia, which removes all doubt.  But her initials spelt the short form of her name.

7. When some local news airs: AT TEN.  In the evening.

8. Emmy-winning ESPN reporter Bob: LEY.  The network's longest tenured on-air employee.

9. Soon-to-be alumni: Abbr.: SRS.  Senior class members, hoping to graduate.

10. Smarted: STUNG.  If it hurt, how smart could it be?

11. Riyadh resident: ARAB.  Riyadh is the capital and most populous city of Saudi Arabia.

12. Pecan pie syrup: KARO.  A sweetener made from corn starch, containing varying amounts of maltose and higher oligosaccharides [sugar polymers of 3 to 10 units.]  High fructose corn syrup is made by further processing that converts much of its glucose into fructose, which tastes sweeter.

13. Glasses, informally: SPEX.  Or SPECS, short for spectacles.  Speaking of dad jokes - did you hear about the optometrist who fell into the lens grinding machine?  He made a spectacle of himself.

19. College courtyard: QUAD.  A square or rectangular space, mainly, or partly enclosed on all four sides by buildings.  Like a CITY SQUARE, but different.

21. Campaign pro?: AD REP.  A person responsible for an advertising effort intended to sell a product or service, not one involved in a political or military campaign.

24. Counter offer?: SALE.  Things are offered for SALE on or behind the counter of a store.  Clever mis-direction.

25. Goddess of victory: NIKE.  Her Roman equivalent is Victoria.

26. Music rights gp.: ASCAP. American Society of Composers, Authors and Plagiarists  Publishers.

27. '60s jacket style: NEHRU. A hip length tailored coat with mandarine collar.

30. Apartment used for overnight trips to the city: PIED A TERRE.  Literally, foot to the ground, going back to 18th century France, used to indicate any temporary lodging.  Now meaning a secondary residence [but not a vacation home] that is used occasionally during part of the year or part of the work week.

31. "I give up!": UNCLE.  North American usage, origin unknown.

32. Saint at a gate: PETER. An image in popular culture indicating St. Peter as the gate keeper of heaven.

34. Official behind a catcher: UMP.  Baseball umpire.

35. Word with tight or split: END.  Another football term, relating to the placement of a potential pass receiver.  Split ends could also be part of a bad hair day.

36. Juilliard deg.: MFAMaster of Fine Arts.

38. Away from the wind: ALEE. Nautical term, gong back to Middle English.

39. Beaufort scale word: GALE. A measure of wind speed.

40. Cereal bit: FLAKE.   Grains are crushed, ground, and then cooked for several hours, possibly with added vitamins and flavorings.  The resulting slurry is then pressed between rollers that flatten the grains.  They are then transferred to a heated drum for drying.  Additional additives may be sprayed on at this point.

45. Study a lot in a short time: CRAM.  To stuff something full - as one's brain with subject matter.

46. Pontius __: PILATE. The 5th prelate of the Roman provence of Judea, serving from A.D 26 to 37.

47. Checked (out): SCOPED.  Visually examined.

49. Come unglued, with "out": FREAK.  Lose it, go berserk, go ballistic.

50. Lake near California's Squaw Valley: TAHOE.  A large lake in the Sierra Nevada mountains, straddling the California - Nevada border, famous for its beaches and near-by ski resorts.

51. Throw out: EVICT.  A legal process to remove a tenant.

52. Queequeg's captain: AHAB. From Moby Dick.

53. Scoop perch: CONE.  Ice cream holder.

54. Military sch. whose mascot is Bill the Goat: USNAUnited States Naval Academy, located in Annapolis, MD.

56. Casanova: ROUE.  French term for one broken on a wheel, indicating the tortuous punishment such a debauchee allegedly deserves.

57. Common conjunctions: ANDS.  Sometimes associated with IFS and BUTS.

59. Brightness figs. not measured in watts: IQSIntelligence Quotient, indicating mental brightness.

60. "What's goin' on?": 'SUP.  Que pasa? 

That all, folks. C. C. and Gary gave us a sporting chance.

Cool regards!

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Wednesday, August 29, 2018 Craig Stowe

Theme: SHORT CUTS.  The word SHORT is cut up and shuffled into the theme answers. They locations of these letters are - or should be - indicated with circles.

17. Follow-up vaccination: BOOSTER SHOT.  Re-exposure to an immunizing antigen to increase or restore immunity.  I thought it was a snort of alcohol for a devotee of college athletics.

26. Bit of equine trickery: GIFT HORSE.  Unhappy memory for Trojans, but, somehow otherwise, not to be looked in the mouth.

36. Tall tale: FISH STORY.  An improbable, boastful tail.

52. Part of Ursa Minor: NORTH STAR.  Polaris, a trinary star system with a yellow super-giant and two small companions.

61. Cheat at checkout ... and a hint to the circled letters: SHORT CHANGE.  Literally, not give back sufficient CHANGE for a large bill.  Figuratively, to treat unfairly by withholding something of value.  In the theme fill, the word SHORT is CHANGED by re-ordering its letters.  This would be tough to spot if you didn't get the circles

Hi Gang, JazzBumpa here to check out this puzzle and see to it we don't get cheated out of anything. Let's start at aisle 1.


1. Script deviations: AD LIBS. Spontaneous, not formally prepared speech.

7. Shallot, e.g.: BULB.  A type of onion, with a milder flavor.

11. "Wicked!": RAD.  Slang words for "good."

14. Knitted shoe: BOOTEE.  Infant's foor wear.

15. "The African Queen" screenwriter James: AGEE.

16. Bird on Australian coins: EMU.  A large flightless bird that is one of the cultural icons of Australia.  Here it is on a postage stamp.  Inexplicably, this is not the mascot of Eastern Michigan University.

19. Cul-de-__: SAC. Literally, the bottom of a sack, but generally used to indicate a dead-end street.

20. Birth announcement abbr.: OZS.  Along with Lbs.

21. MontrÈal mates: AMIS.  French speaking friends from our neighbor to the north..

22. Defeat soundly: CRUSH.  Stomp, bash, trounce.

24. Clip-on accessories, perhaps: TIES.

29. Fax forerunners: TELEXES.  Per Wikipedia, they comprised a public switched network of teleprinters similar to a telephone network, for the purposes of sending text-based messages.

32. Florida produce: ORANGES.  Citrus fruit.

33. Turkey neighbor: SYRIA.  South of Turkey, north-west of Iraq.

34. "__ news?": ANY.  Update, anyone?

35. Supreme leader?: ESS.  First letter of the word.  The type of self-referential clue that diminishes the quality of a puzzle.

40. Airline to Oslo: SAS.  Scandinavian Airlines.

43. Shoot the breeze: YAK.  Chew the fat.

44. Watts of "Twin Peaks" (2017): NAOMI.

47. Kind of illusion: OPTICAL.  See some here.

50. Drive back, as attackers: FEND OFF.  Repel hostile adversaries.

54. Mine, in MontrÈal: AMOI.

55. Justice Samuel: ALITO.  Appointed by George W. Bush and on the bench since January, 2006.

56. Organic fuel: PEAT.  Boggy ground consisting of partly decomposed vegetable matter.  Not the only organic fuel.

59. Directional suffix: -ERN.   All's quiet on the -ERN front.

60. Tank or tee: TOP.  Article of informal clothing worn on the torso.

65. Birthday card number: AGE.  These numbers keep increasing.

66. Currency for 19 countries: EURO.  It was introduced on January 1, 1999.

67. Apartment dweller, typically: RENTER.

68. Barrett of Pink Floyd: SYD.

69. Gas in a sign: NEON.  A noble gas [chemically inert] with atomic number 10 and atomic weight of 20.1797, having a density about .9 * that of air.

70. Like the smell of a brewery: YEASTY.  Brewers' yeast transforms carbohydrates to alcohol under low oxygen conditions.


1. Costello's cohort: ABBOTT.  Comedy partners

2. Humdingers: DOOZIES.  Things that are remarkable or outstanding.  "Humdinger" is a word of uncertain origin that arose in the U. S. in the late 19th century.  It might simply be a mash-up of hummer and dinger, older words of similar meaning.  DOOZIE is of unknown origin.  It is definitely not derived from the name of the Duesenberg motor car, as is sometimes suggested.  The use of the word predates the 1920 introduction of the automobile by more than 20 years.

3. How some scripts are adapted from novels: LOOSELY.  ASoIaF mavens take note.

4. "__ go time!": IT'S.  A challenge to fight some one; or a realization that the moment for decisive action has arrived.  Also, this year's advertising slogan for the Detroit Visitor's Bureau.

5. Software prototype: BETA. A test version of the package, prior to its commercial release.

6. Appear to be: SEEM. Give the impression or sensation of having a particualar quality.

7. Operatic voices: BASSI.  Italian plural of BASSO.

8. "Gross!": UGH.  Eeew!

9. Zodiac sign: LEO.  July 23 to August 22.  We are now in Virgo.

10. "You __!": "Bingo!": BETCHA.  Of course.

11. Make a comeback: RESURGE.  To regain popularity or strength after a decline.

12. Stockpiles: AMASSES.  Accumulates.

13. New title for Meghan Markle: DUCHESS. Of Sussex, having married Prince Harry on May 19th of this year.

18. Semis: RIGS.  North American term for large trucks.  More generally, a RIG is an apparatus or device designed for a specific purpose.

23. "This Is Us" Emmy nominee __ Cephas Jones: RON.  No idea.

25. Feudal laborer: SERF.  Laborers who were bound to a particular piece of property.

27. Word processing choice: FONTLetter character style.

28. "Have a sample": TRY ONE.  A tiny morsel.

30. A dozen ova?: XII.  OK.  Ova is latin for eggs; eggs are generally sold by the dozen; and XII is the Roman numeral for 12.  Still  .  .  .

31. Helpful courses for underachievers: EASY As.  A class where a high grade can be achieved with minimal effort.

34. Inquire: ASK.

37. "Don't move!": HALT.  Stay put.

38. Campaigned: RAN.  As for public office.

39. Diminutive Jedi master: YODA.

40. Mozart works: SONATAS.  Musical selections for solo instruments.  Here is a well known example.

41. Expression of regret: APOLOGY.  I'm sorry!

42. Like Ronald McDonald's sleeves: STRIPED.  Advertising mascot in a clown outfit.

45. They may be precious: MOMENTS.  Sweet memories, or overly cutsie ceramic miniatures, if you're in to that sort of kitsch..

46. "My memory fails me": I FORGET.  What was i saying  .  .  .  ?

48. Cousin of Gomez Addams: ITT.  From the Addams Family TV show.

49. Selected: CHOSEN.

50. Lose sleep (over): FRET.  Worry.

51. Sunday best: FINERY.  One's best clothing.

53. It may say "World's Okayest Cook": APRON.  A protective and/or decorative garment worn over the front of one's clothing, and tied in the back.

57. __ for help: A CRY.  S.O.S. perhaps.

58. Quaker pronoun: THEE.  Obsolete singular objective case version of "you."  A relic of the English language's Germanic roots.

62. Shade: HUE.  An attribute of color determined by its wavelength distribution, independent of brightness or intensity,

63. Conquistador's treasure: ORO.  Spanish gold.

64. Actress Ortiz of "Ugly Betty": ANA.

Betty's more fashionable sister

Well, that wraps up another Wednesday.  Make sure you have all your nickels and dimes - and marbles, too, just to be on the safe side.

Cool regards!