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.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Carpe Diem Utabukuro #5 Origami frog

"The goal of CD's Utabukuro is not difficult, because I just ask you to share a haiku or tanka which you admire. That haiku or tanka can be one of a classical or non-classical haiku poet or one by yourself. You can choose what ever you like, but it has to be a haiku or tanka. Maybe the haiku brings you sweet (or sad) memories or you just like it. Explain why you have chosen that haiku or tanka to share here "in" CDHK's Utabukuro, poem bag, and ... that is the second task for this feature, write/compose an all new haiku inspired on the one you have chosen."

I chose one that I wrote earlier this spring.

in the green meadow
amid the buds and insects
lurking orb weaver

This one has phrase and fragment structure, first-third line interchangeability and a deeper, though rather dark, meaning.  Not sure of there is an official kigo here, but the image to me is very Spring-like.  I can't stand spiders in the real world, but have great affection for them in my haiku.

inspired haiku

in the green meadow
a fat toad sits pondering
the taste of spider

My affection for amphibians is boundless.   On its own, this one seems quite classical to me.  In the context of its inspiration, though, there is more than a hint of irony.  Maybe that makes it a senryu.   I can live with that.

What has any of this to do with an origami frog?  To answer that, see the link in the first line above.

green origami
only a paper frog
cob needn't worry

UPDATE:    Just found this wonderful example by Mystic

in a sea of weeds
a lone sunflower fishes
for its lost shadow

My response

for one dark moment
where have all the shadows gone
a cloud passes by

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Carpe Diem Tokubetsudesu #52 full circle challenge "heaven"

I will give you twelve (12) words (for every ''hour'') one word. The goal is to write haiku using the words as given in the clock wise way.

1. Heaven
2. Clouds
3. Palm tree
4. Fountain
5. Goddess
6. Desert
7. Jazz cafe
8. Duke Ellington
9. Summer night
10. Honeysuckle
11. Ancient road
12. Hill

If you follow the words clock wise than you can compose four new haiku. This new feature is just for fun and I hope you will as much enjoy it as I did have fun and joy to create it.

musical heaven
syncopated clouds dance with
the swaying palm tree

in the fountain mist
the image of a goddess
one desert mirage

heaven’s jazz cafe
count basie duke ellington
swing the summer night

honeysuckle rose
song played on the ancient road
just beyond the hill

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Carpe Diem #771 natsu no nami (summer waves)

Are the waves of summer different from other seasons? Maybe ... 

mysterious waves
rippling upon the surface
what lies underneath


hiding under waves
silver scales in the ripples
catching water bugs

Carpe Diem Special #155 Adjei's second haiku "summer sun"

"Our featured haiku poet lives in Ghana, his name is Adjei Agyei Baah. 

"The goal is to write/compose all new haiku in the same sense, tone and spirit as the ones I have given. You may use them all, but that isn't an obligation, you can also take one or two haiku for your inspiration."

and unfolding
the silent clap of a butterfly

(c) Adjei


in air-born eddies
clapping of butterfly wings
the winds of change

(c) JzB

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Carpe Diem Tokubetsudesu #51 classical way of writing haiku

Greetings friends and fellow haijin.

Once again, after a hiatus I return to Cape Diem.   July is a vey busy month for me, but today a have a few spare moments.

Most of June was lost.  on the 2nd, my mother suffered a stroke.  She went down hill rapidly, and her funeral was three weeks later.  She was 94, so I think her age stacked the deck against her.  The picture shows her [standing] and her twin sister on their 94th birthday in May

my mom and her twin
never quite identical
now there is but one


Now, back to the present.  The challenge of this episode is to write a classical haiku inspired by this photo.

within those pages
from masters to their minions
what am i to learn


Wednesday, May 27, 2015

L.A. Times crossword Puzzle Blogging

Wednesday, May 27, 2015 Robyn Weintraub

Theme: INSANE OCTETS.  The theme answers have circles - or at least they should - so that's usually a sign that the theme includes an anagram concept.   This is definitely not my forte, but I sussed it pretty easily.  Lets check it out

17 A. Oscar-nominated song from "The Little Mermaid" : KISS THE GIRL.  Just don't get slapped.

26. Tie the knot : GET HITCHED.  GET MARRIED also fits, but the slangy answer is more appropriate to the clue

33. Jewelry alloy : WHITE GOLD.  Per Wikipedia, "an alloy of gold and at least one white metal, usually nickel, manganese or palladium. In order to make the gold white, it is combined with metal alloys that are white in nature and plated with an extremely hard element called rhodium."

43. Alertly eager : BRIGHT EYED.    Evidently, this phrase goes back to the late 1500's, but that's all I was able to uncover.  However, FWIW, there is this --

There is no obvious common thread here, so if you didn't get the circles, you were probably pretty puzzled by the puzzle.  So, here is the unifier.  53 A. Card game that literally explains this puzzle's circles : CRAZY EIGHTS.  "CRAZY" is one of many possible indicators that the letters of the key word "EIGHT" have been mixed up, scrambled or confused, i.e anagrammed.  The letters, contained in circles if you're lucky, in each case are split across two words.  There are 120 permutations of the 5 letters in the word EIGHT, so the puzzle could only give us a small sampling of the possibilities. Very nicely done, I'd say.

CRAZY EIGHTS is a pretty simple game that I must have played at some time in my 'ute.  You can read about it here.  When I did, it occurred to me that UNO is an elaborated derivative of this game.

Hi gang, Crazy ZabaJzump here.  Nice puzzle, well executed theme.  Let's see if we can get through it without any further mix ups.


1. Passé movie rental need : VCR.  Video Cassette Recorder.

4. Defeat decisively : STOMP.

9. Fixtures that may have claw feet : TUBS.   

13. "__ you in or out?" : ARE.

14. On top of things : AWARE.

15. Blazing stars : NOVAE.  All stars are blazing.  These are the REALLY hot ones.

16. Word in four state names : NEW.   Hampshire, Jersey, Mexico, and York.

19. Rose __ : GARDEN.   White House feature

21. Steve Martin film based on "Cyrano de Bergerac" : ROXANNE.

22. Melville novel : OMOO.  Easily the most popular novel in X-words.  Has anyone read it in the last 100 years?

23. Circus prop : STILT.  

25. Friend of Wyatt : DOC.  Earp and Holliday, famous for participating in the gun fight down the street a piece from the OK Corral.

29. Fixed (on) : BENT.  Firm and determend in purpose or belief.

30. Charlemagne's domain: Abbr. : Holy Roman Empire.

31. Peaty land : MOOR.  Acidic soil where plants die faster than they can decompose.

32. __-Coburg, Bavaria : SAXE.   A Duchy from the 14th Century in what is now Bavaria.

36. "Toodles!" : CIAO.  B'bye.

38. City NNE of Austin : WACO.   Never a good thing when it's in the news.

39. Managed care gp. : Health Maintenance Organization.  Note abrv.

42. Half of a Billy Idol #1 song : MONY.   Better than half a fly, I suppose.  Anyway, it's a cover.  Here's the real thing, from 1968.

46. Gardner of film : AVA.  She had many roles from the 40's through the 70's and was married to Mickey Rooney, Artie Shaw, and Frank Sinatra.

47. Debt securities : LIENS.  The way this is phrased makes me think of bonds.  A LIEN is a legal encumbrance on a property, which is a form of security interest.   Details differ from country to country.

48. Invasion time : D-DAY.  On June 6, 1944, the allied forces invaded Normandy, a very complicated operation.

49. Tries to reach again, old-style : REDIALS.   Old time phone calls.

51. Rejects : SPURNS.

56. Super Bowl highlights : ADS.   'Cuz the game itself is often lousy.

57. Anise-flavored liqueurs : OUZOS.   Greek fire water.

58. "Toodles!" : SEE YA.  A chlecho, but I don't believe I've ever heard anybody say "Toodles."

59. Originally named : NEE.   Generally used in the context of a bride's maiden name.

60. Flew : SPED.   Look at the time.   I must be having fun.

61. Article of faith : TENET.   Do those of lesser faith only have ninets?

62. Audition, with "out" : TRY.  Competition for roles.


1. "The Starry Night" painter : VAN GOGH.  Vincent.

2. Morning pitcher : CREAMER.  Presumably holding cream for that all-important cup of coffee.  I take mine solo.

3. Did over, as a manuscript : REWROTE.  Writing is rewriting.

4. Japanese libation : SAKE.  An alcoholic beverage made from fermented rice.  Sometimes thought of as either a wine or a beer, but is neither.

5. Mattress size : TWIN.  

6. Defense gp. since 1948 : Organization of American States, founded in 1948.

7. Dash of flavor? : MRS.    Cute

8. Van Dyke role : PETRIE.   Rob, with wife Laura

9. Forum garb : TOGA.

10. Measure discussed on the EPA's SunWise web page : UV INDEX. It predicts the level of solar UV radiation and  indicates the risk of overexposure on a scale from 0 (low) to 11 or more (extremely high).

11. Including everything : BAR NONE.

12. Choose : SELECT.

15. "Wait till __ year!" : NEXT.   Losing sports team's cry of anguish and hope.

18. Clutch : HOLD.

20. Word from Homer : D'OH.

23. Glasgow native : SCOT.  From a city in Scotland.

24. Included free : THREW IN.  Has anyone ever included a free towel for you?

27. Texter's "Here's what I think" : In My Humble Opinion.

28. Paris pronoun : TOI.  Sure.  Whatever.

29. Rancid : BAD.  Food going bad, not misbehaving.   I think.

32. Hotel keycard opening : SLOT.  Keyholes are passé.

33. Route : WAY.

34. Comedy material : GAGS.

35. 23-Down's "Golly!" : OCH.  Scottish vernacular.

36. Watergate subterfuge : COVERUP.  Sometimes worse than the actual crime.

37. Not lucid : IN A DAZE.

39. Curbside water source : HYDRANT.  For putting out house fires.

40. Wind, as a country road : MEANDER.   

41. Post-Trojan War epic : ODYSSEY.   The story of Odyssius taking the long way home.

42. Former Philippine president : MARCOS.  Ferdinand, a corrupt and brutal dictator.

43. Ill humor : BILE.

44. Fight temptation : RESIST.  I misread this a "flight temptation" and was mightily confused.  Anyway, always let your conscience be your guide.

45. University URL suffix : EDU. Representing EDUcation.

47. Sets down : LAYS.  Not lies - that would be untrue.

50. Name on a sport shirt label : IZOD.  Actually, they make all sorts of apparel.

This symbol magically magnifies the value price of whatever it's attached to

51. Eye trouble : STYE. An infected abscess near the edge of the eyelid.

52. H.S. exam : PSAT. Pre-SAT.  Preparation for the SAT, which is a college admission test with no record of predicting success in college.  IMHO, all standardized tests are scams.

54. "Golly!" : GEE.

55. Egg source : HEN. Yeah - but which one came first?

There it is folks, a nice puzzle from start to finish.  I'm not mixed up any more, but I am still crazy.

Cool regards!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Theme:  ONE THING LEADS TO ANOTHER.  A catchy ad phrase is reinterpreted as statements that can lead to a continuing conversation.  Do any of you have friends who can ramble on and on.? If so, you might dread hearing these words. 

17. "Wait, there's more ... " : COME TO THINK OF IT.  Darn, he thought of something else.

27. "Wait, there's more ... " : BEFORE I FORGET.  Drat, too late.

50. "Wait, there's more ... " : THAT REMINDS ME.  Well, doesn't everything?

65. "Wait, there's more ... " : AND ANOTHER THING.  Uh-oh.  Now he's on a roll.

No unifier, but the common clue fills that function.  And the theme fill really need no explanation.

Today's Theme Song

Hi, Gang -- JazzBumpa here with a nice puzzle by the veteran team of Gail and Bruce.  I'll try not to get carried away with a boring exposition.

1. Windows precursor : MS DOS.  PC operating systems.

6. Hard-to-control groups : MOBS.  Large and disorderly crowds.

10. Forensic investigator's item : SWAB.  An absorbent pad or other item used for collecting samples to be analyzed. 

14. Advil alternative : ALEVE.  Analgesics.  Advil is ibuprofen; ALEVE is naproxin.

15. Pair on a lake : OARS.  In a boat on a lake.

16. Place to slog through : MIRE.  Swamp, bog, fen.

20. Hullabaloo : STIR.  Much ado about something.

21. Barry White genre : SOUL.

22. Dossier cover? : ALIAS.    A dossier is a collection of documents about a particular event, subject, or, in this case, person.  An ALIAS is an alternate name or false identity, which is, in some sense, a cover.  Still, this entry is not working for me.  Am I being dumb?

23. "Boy, am I dumb!" : D'OH.

25. Touch the ground : LAND.   In an aircraft, presumably at an airport.  Vide infra.

33. Airline with the MileagePlus frequent flier prog. : UAL.  Formerly United Airlines.

34. Ole Miss rival : 'BAMA.  Universities on Mississippi and Alabama, respectively.  I think they might have football teams.

35. Customs collection : TARIFF.  An import tax

38. Golf lesson subject : GRIP.  The proper way of holding the club.

40. Charmin layer : PLY.  Tissue layers.

42. Black & Decker rival : SKIL.  Power tools.

43. Dapper : SPRUCE.  I was familiar with the usage as noun and verb, but not adjective.  It is, however, legit.  Neat, smart, or stylish in appearance.

46. Gave up for money : SOLD.  Past tense of the verb "to sell."  Curiously, in Old English, ca. 10th century, this verb meant to give as a gift.

49. Irritated state : IRE.   Having one's dander up.

53. Brainy Simpson : LISA.  Sadly, I could not find a video to verify this concept.

54. Not within walking distance : FAR.  You might need a lift

55. One needing a lift : SKIER.   Clever.  Besides, neither hitchhiker nor Arthur Dent fit.

58. "__ Girl": 2014 Affleck film : GONE.

Does not look like a lot of fun

61. Battery terminal sign : PLUS.  Indicates the positive terminal.

68. D.C. dealers : POLS.  politicians.

69. Hawaiian coffee district : KONA.   On the western part of the Big Island.

70. Put a cap on : LIMIT.

71. Eye woe : STYE.  A bacterial infection of an oil gland at the edge of the eyelid.

73. Stops bleeding : CLOTS.  Clotting is part of homeostasis.


1. Apple Store array : MACS.  Along with iPads, iPods, and iWatches.   I am blogging from my Macbook Pro with Retina Display.

2. Job opening : SLOT.  A position to be filled.  Derived from the Old French word for bosom cleavage.

3. Prefix with goddess : DEMI.  A lower ranking divine personage.

4. Go to extremes : OVERDO.  As, for example, a speaker exemplifying today's theme.

5. Complete collection : SET.  

6. Con __: briskly, on scores : MOTO.  Literally, with motion, thus, to be performed in a lively manner.   I just do whatever the conductor wants.

7. Iolani Palace site : OAHU.  In Honolulu.

8. Estracell sponge brand : BRILLO.  Soap infused steel wool pad.

9. Phishing fig. : SSN.   Social Security Number.  Phishing is a particular kind of internet scam, where the perp poses as legitimate financial company to extract one's personal data, such as SS number.

10. Does a slow burn : SMOLDERS.  Generates smoke, but no flame.  Figuratively, is experiencing but [more or less] containing anger. 

11. Surfing convenience : WIFI.   For internet surfing.  The term refers to a wireless connection, and is derived from "wireless" plus "fi," an arbitrary second element, thus similar in form to hi-fi.

12. Opera showstopper : ARIA.  Featured vocal solo.

13. Gets in the pool, maybe : BETS.  Makes a wager in a  betting pool.

18. Milo of the movies : O'SHEA.

19. She adopted Tigger : KANGA.   Friends of a certain silly bear.  I do not Pooh-pooh this kind of trivia.

24. Top of a scepter, perhaps : ORB.   Not every scepter has one.

26. Part of MoMA : ART.  Museum of Modern ART

27. Perturbs : BUGS.

28. O.K. Corral gunfighter : EARP.  The EARP brothers, Virgil, Morgan and Wyatt along with Doc Holiday were on one side against Billy Claiborn, Ike and Billy Clanton and Tom and Frank McLaury. The combatants were only a few feet apart, and the incident was over in a matter of seconds.  It took place at a narrow vacant lot next to a photographer's shop, not at or adjacent to the eponymous corral. Probably the most famous gunfight in the history of the old west, but it was not well known to the American people until 50 years later.

29. Toy (with), as an idea : FLIRT.   Not the first thing that comes to mind when I consider the word "FLIRT."   I guess this is the point where the idea is playfully suggestive [or suggestively playful] but not yet given serious consideration. 

30. Sitter's challenge : IMP.   In Middle English, a child of a noble family.  Somehow, this morphed into a child of The Devil - sort of a demi-daemon.  Now diluted to mean an unruly child. 

31. Quiz answer : FALSE.  If the question is of the True-FALSE variety.

32. Maori carvings : TIKIS.  Check them out.

36. Unshakable : FIRM.   Literally, to physical objects; figuratively to resolute concepts and those who hold them.

37. Cut and run : FLEE.  Escape

A flea and a fly in a flue
Were imprisoned, so what could they do?
Said the fly, "let us FLEE!"
"Let us fly!" said the flea.
So they flew through a flaw in the flue.

--Ogden Nash

39. "Don't make me laugh!" : PUH-LEASE.  Exaggerated pronunciation of PLEASE, for dramatically dismissive affect.

41. __ Kippur : YOM.  Falling on the 10th day of Tishri, this is among the most important high holidays of the Jewish faith.  It is the day of judgement, remembrance and atonement.  [Help me out here if I didn't get this quite right.]

44. Stone monument : CAIRN.  For millennia, they have been used as landmarks, grave markers, in astronomy, or for other ceremonial purposes.

45. UFO fliers, purportedly : ETS.   Extra-Terrestrials in Unidentified Flying Objects.

47. Career officer : LIFER.

48. Forensic investigator's molecule : DNA.  Deoxyribonucleic Acid.  It's in all your cells, and you leave it everywhere, perhaps to be collected on SWABS.

51. Convertible, in slang : RAGTOP.

52. Adviser who was a regular "Oprah" guest : DR. PHIL McGraw.

55. Enervates : SAPS.  Depletes of energy.

56. Feature of some paneling : KNOT.

57. In a laid-back manner : IDLY.

59. Words of dismay : OH NO.

60. Straightened up : NEAT.  SPRUCE; or even better -- without ice.  Oh, yes!

62. Wedding rental : LIMO.  Fancy, multi-passenger hired car, complete with driver.

63. Combat group : UNIT.

64. LAPD ranks : SGTS.  Sergeants in the Los Angeles Police Department 

66. Puts one's initials on : OK'S.  Short form seal of approval.

67. Pampering, for short : TLC.  Tender Loving Care - mom's specialty.

There it is, as succinct as I could make it.  Hope it gets your seal of approval.

Cool regards!
JzB [my ALIAS]

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

L.A.Times Crossword Puzzle Blogging

Wedneday, April 29, 2015 Ed Sessna

Theme: WHY AREN'T YOU IN BED? or WHY iS THERE A TV IN YOUR BED ROOM?  The first words of the theme answers are the first names of a sequence of hosts for a TV show that airs too late to stay up for - at least for me in my time zone.

17 A. *Knave in a black suit : JACK OF CLUBS.   A most excellent clue!  In Britain, and among bridge players,  the Jack of a card suite is known as the knave.  This guy's counterpart is the JACK of Spades, offering another theme opportunity, depending on how many letters were needed.  The host referred to is JACK Parr [1957-62], who got into a big dust-up with the network suits for making a joke about a toilet.

24 A. *Griddle-cooked corn bread : JOHNNY CAKE.  Southern fried fare, and the iconic, always impeccably dressed JOHNNY CARSON [1962-92.]

38 A. *Symbol of nakedness : JAY BIRD.  If you ever wondered where this expression came from, here is your answer.  In my 'ute, a common insult, slightly bowdlerized was," If you stuck your brains in the hindquarters of a JAY bird, he'd still fly backwards."  JAY Leno [1992-2009, 2010-14] is known for his car collection and his chin.

48 A. *Like a well-made lock : JIMMY PROOF.  A JIMMY is a short pry-bar used to force open a door or window, and by extension a device to force open a lock.  JIMMY Fallon [2014 - ] is the current host of the program yet to be identified.

If you haven't sussed it by now, the unifier completely gives it away.   60 A. With "The," post-prime time fare since the '50s, four of whose regular hosts appear in sequence in the answers to starred clues : TONIGHT SHOW.  Since its inception in 1954, this is the longest running regularly scheduled talk and entertainment program on U.S. TV.  Not included in this list are the first host, the brilliant Steve Allen, [1954-7] and Conan O'Brien [7+ months spanning 2009-10] whose short stint was sandwiched between Jay Leno's two runs.  Carson had the longest tenure, but Leno had the greatest number of hosted episodes. 

Hi gang, JazzBumpa here.  Not really a TV maven, but I assume everyone knows about this program and its roster of celebrity hosts.  Let's get through this quickly so I can go to bed at a decent hour.


1. Senate electee : MEMBER.  One who joins, or in this case is [s]elected to be in a group or organization.

7. Russia-Manchuria border river : AMUR.  The world's 10th longest river meanders generally west to east, making the border between the Russian far east and northeastern China.

11. Simile center : AS A.  Right now I'm feeling smart AS A mule.

14. Esoteric : ARCANE.   Secret, mysterious and/or understood by few.

15. Without help : LONE.  

Four and a half minutes of misery

16. Amendments 1-10 subj. : RTS.  The Bill of Rights from the U.S. Constitution.

19. Prefix with state : TRI-.  Referring to a town, city or region that encompasses parts of three states.  There are several such in the U. S.  

20. Maldives landform : ATOLL.  A ring shaped coral archipelago.  The Maldives islands are one such, located in the Indian Ocean, 470 miles south west of Sri Lanka.

21. Taxi pickup : FARE.  Here is a not at all typical example. 

A sad smile, just the same [6:40]

22. Corrosive compound : ACID.  In either of a couple different senses.

23. Tofu source : SOYA.  Glop made from bean curd.

26. By way of : VIA.

28. Former Yankee manager who's now an MLB exec : TORRE.  Joe, who managed the Mets from 1987 to 81, Braves from '82 to 84, Cardinals from '90 to '95, Yankees from 1996 to 2007, and Dodgers from 2008 to 10.  

29. Comedy team who voiced the Piel Brothers of beer fame : BOB AND RAY.  

BOB AND RAY, the Two and Only 

35. Things to avoid : NO-NOS.  Just ask Nanette.

37. Goya's year : ANO.   En Español y sin tilde.

40. Clinker in a Glas : EIS.  And now,  in German, ICE in a glass.  Tin Man, just skip this one.

41. India's first prime minister : NEHRU.  Jawaharlal, in office from 1947 to 1964.

43. Pulitzer-winning WWII journalist : ERNIE PYLE. He died in combat in Okinawa on April 18, 1945.

45. Learns : HEARS.  Well, that is one way to learn.  If you listen.

47. Casual day, perhaps: Abbr. : FRIday.  Dress down day at work.  I never could get myself to wear denims, though.

52. Low-__ diet : CARB.  A la Atkins.

56. Big name in elevators : OTIS.  Big name in crosswords, too, though he had his ups and downs.

57. N.Y. commuter line with a Hempstead Branch : LIRR.  Long Island Rail Road.

58. Malia's sister : SASHA.  Obama, first and second daughters, respectively.

59. Flight-tracking fig. : ETA.  Estimated Time of Arrival.

62. Craving : YEN.    Derived from obsolete English argot for opium craving.   Meanwhile, I considered going to Japan, but didn't have the Yen to travel.

63. Some Alcan Highway pumps : ESSO.  Canadian petrol brand.

64. Email again : RESEND.

65. Soon-to-be grads: Abbr. : SRS.  Last year's JRS.

66. Afterwards : THEN.  Refers to the ensuing subsequent event that followed.

67. "__ End": 1970-'71 Streisand hit : STONEY.  

I forgot about this one


1. Subjects of two Goya paintings : MAJAS.  Anything worth doing is worth doing twice - right?

2. Muse for Millay : ERATO.  The muse of lyric poetry, especially of the romantic erotic, or perhaps even BAWDY variety.  Her name, meaning "desired" or "lovely," derives from the same root as Eros.  This muse is especially appropriate for Edna St. Vincent Millay, who was both a Pulitzer Prize winning poet and wildly promiscuous.

3. Kelley's "Star Trek" role : McCOY.  

4. Syrup-topped pastry : BAKLAVA.  Filo dough, nuts and honey.

5. Organic compound : ENOL.  This always bothers me, first, because the clue is so vague - there are literally millions of organic compounds, and second, because enols are inherently unstable, and quickly transforms into ketones.

6. One who whistles while he works : REFeree.  Cute clue

7. God of Islam : ALLAH.   Same God as Christians and Jews, just a different name.

8. Grieve : MOURN.

9. Not having yielded : UNBENT.  House Martell of Dorne has this motto as it's House Words: "Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken."

10. Hi-__ image : RESolution - clarity of image, having nothing in particular to do with New Year's Eve..

11. Ed Norton player : ART CARNEY.  From the Jackie Gleason sit-com, The Honeymooners; not to be confused with Ed Norton, the actor who played the un-named protagonist in the movie Fight Club.

This guy, being shown the door

12. Drill successfully : STRIKE OIL.  My dentist did some drilling a couple weeks ago.  Nothing this exciting ensued, I'm happy to say.

13. Parenthetical comment : ASIDE.  A comment a stage-play character makes to the audience, rather than as part of dialogue; or more generally, a comment in a text that is ancillary to the main topic.

18. Fiscal exec : CFO.  Chief Financial Officer.

22. Phobia lead-in : ACRO-.   Fear of heights.  I can relate.

24. Actress Pinkett Smith : JADA.  Veteran of many movies and TV shows, including the voice of Gloria the Hippo in the animated Madagascar movies.

25. Over there : YONDER.

27. Strain or sprain : INJURY.

29. Interdict : BAN.

30. Game that's close to perfect : ONE HITTER.  A baseball game in which the pitcher gives up only one hit to the opposing team.   In a perfect game, there are no hits and no walks.

31. Dvorák and Smetana : BOHEMIANS.   Two gentlemen from that geographic region in the Czech Republic, rather than the artsy-fartsy proto-hippies of the 19th century.  Though both were composers, so who knows. 

32. Deli option : RYE.  Bread.  Of course, there are also RYE whiskey, and RYE beer, for the trifecta.  

33. Like many dicts. : ABR.  I guess "dict." is the ABReviation for "dictionary," but I'm have a hard time making sense of this entry.

34. Feminine force : YIN.  The make counterpart is Yang.

36. Kalamazoo-to-Cincinnati dir. : SSE.  South-South-East.  There's also a song about Kalamazoo, which has been my ear worm for about the past month.

Everything's O-K- . . .  

39. Jazz solo : RIFF.  Not really.  It's more of an ostinato phrase that might support an improvisation.  Here's a classic example.

Frank Rosolino on the trombone solo

42. Lambs' kin : RAMS.  The kids' dads and uncles.

44. Artist who had a Blue Period : PICASSO.  Pablo had his blue period from 1901-4, painting mostly in shades of blue.  These works were unpopular at the time, but are very popular now.

46. Jumping-in-puddles sound : SPLOSH.  Not SPLISH nor SPLASH?

All wet

48. Young hoppers : JOEYS.  Kangaroo offspring.

49. Car wash cycle : RINSE.   Heavy metal laundry.

50. Hunter seen at night : ORION.   The constellation that is home to Rigel and Betelgeuse.

51. Kin of gov : ORG.  Two top level domain url suffixes, for government agencies and organizations, respectively.   The ".org" designation was originally intended for non-profits, but now includes other types of organizations such as schools, opens source projects, and communities.

53. Pale : ASHEN.

54. French wine region : RHONE.  I southern France along the Rhone river, where wine grapes have been cultivated since around the year 600 A.D.

55. Off-color : BAWDY.   Lewd, or, more specifically, dealing with sexual matters in a humorous way.

58. Editor's mark : STET.  From the Latin for "let it stand," indicating that a previously noted editorial change should be ignored.

60. Vietnamese holiday : TET.  The lunar new year.

61. Billing nos. : HRS.  For attorneys and other professionals who bill according to time spent on a project. 

Well, that wraps it up.  Good puzzle, nice theme, well executed, albeit with a couple questionable entries.  Hope you didn't lose any sleep over it.

Cool regards!


Wednesday, April 8, 2015

L. A. Times Crossword puzzle Blogging

Wednesday, March 8, 2015  D. Scott Nichols & C.C. Burnikel

Theme - THE WEARIN' O' THE GREEN.  Nope - nothing to do with St. Pat - that was last month. In fact, this puzzle, for reasons that will soon become clear, is much more timely than that.  I'm referring to the iconic item of apparel given to the winner of a sporting event which will be identified shortly.

17 A. Hold banned in amateur wrestling : FULL NELSON.  This hold is more easily pictured than described.

Byron NELSON was the winner of the subject event in 1937 and 1942, the latter in a playoff with Ben Hogan - before my time.

24 A. Premier League athlete : SOCCER PLAYER.  The English Premier League is where professionals play a sport known as "football" most everyplace except here in the U.S.  Gary PLAYER, from South Africa was the winner in 1961, 1974 and 1978.

40 A. Innocents : BABES IN THE WOODS.  This is the title of a gruesome traditional childrens' tale, first published in 1595, then passed into every-day speech to indicate any inexperienced or unwary persons thrust into hazardous situations.  Tiger WOODS is perhaps more famous now for his adventurous personal life that his sporting feats; but he once dominated his sport, and won the subject event in 1997, 2001, 2002, and 2005. Looks like he will participate this year.

52. Influential teams : POWER COUPLES.  From the Urban Dictionary: "A couple who seems to have a fairy tale romance. Also, both parties involved in the power couple have tremendous influence over people around them because of their devastating good looks* and seemingly perfect relationship with their significant other. 

*the most common type of power couple is between a male athlete and an actress and/or singer."

Fred COUPLES, the only one-time winner in the puzzle, took the prize in 1992.

It should be obvious by now that the the sport is golf, and the unifier gives us the event.  65A. April golf tournament, four of whose winners appear in 17-, 24-, 40- and 52-Across : THE MASTERS tournament, an event held every April at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, GA.  It is the first of golf's four major championships held in 2015.   Each year the winner is awarded the iconic green blazer.

This year's MASTERS starts tomorrow, so the puzzle is right on time. And did you notice the constructors?  Our own fearless leader and prolific puzzle maven C.C. along with Monday-Tuesday blogging stalwart, Santa Baby.  More feathers in the corner cap.   Yay team!

Let see if our friends have given us a rough time or treated us in a fair way.