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, 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.

Across

1. Bumper car, at times : RAMMER.   The fun of bumper cars is to have as many collisions as possible.  Still, rather an awkward opener.

7. Cookbook author Rombauer : IRMA.  (1887 - 1962) Author of The Joy of Cooking.

11. Smoke : CIGarette.  The thing that is smoked becomes a smoke.  Language is funny that way.  I tried to smoke a fish once, but couldn't keep it lit.

14. Lancelot's unrequited lover : ELAINE. Of Astolat, who dies of grief for her unrequited love, as related in the versions of the Arthurian legend by Mallory and Tennyson.  She is also the inspiration for Tennyson's The Lady of Shalott.

15. Assam products : TEAS.  Dried leaves, boiled in water.  Just that.   As I pointed out last week, we have a cuppa most afternoons.

16. Barcelona bear : OSO.  Note the alliteration.

19. Grabbed a chair : SAT.

20. Melee : SET TO.  Brawl.

21. Ballet bend : PLIE.  At the knees, with the feet positioned just so.  



22. State with five national parks : UTAH.   The Bee Hive State, home to last week's Antelope Island.

26. Priestly vestment : ALB.



29. Right Guard rival : BAN.   Underarm deodorants.

30. Old anesthetic : ETHER.

31. Willy Loman, in a 1949 play : SALESMAN.  Multiple Tony Award winner Death of a Salesman, by Arthur Miller, adapted for the silver screen in 1951, and nominated for many Oscars.

34. Architect Jones : INIGO.   B 1573 - D 1652, which might be why none of us have ever heard of him.  Unlike this guy.


37. McDonald's founder : KROC.   Ray (1902-1984) Little known factoid - He chose the name McDonald's because Krocburgers are only popular in Florida.

38. Make really happy : ELATE.

41. Nobel Prize subj. : ECONomics, the dismal science.

42. "Cheers!" : SKOAL.  A Scandinavian toast, not involving knackebrod.

44. Connections traced on ancestry.com : HERITAGE.   Anything passed down from previous generations.

46. Tiny amounts : DRAMS.  Each dram is 1/16 oz. or 1.7718451953125 grams.  Scarcely enough for a decent SKOAL.

49. Chill in the air : NIP.   A word with many meanings, one of which might be accompanied by a SKOAL.

50. Denials : NOS.  Opposite of yeses, not abbreviated numbers.

55. French friends : AMIS.   French buddies would lose the alliteration.

56. Elevator option : DOWN.  Also a duck option.  And one may duck DOWN.  Neat how that all fits.  But DOWN as an across fill?!?  Is that even legal?

57. Horseshoe-shaped letter : OMEGA.   Only in its upper-case version (capital: Ω, lowercase: ω; Greek Ωμέγα.)    Last letter of the 24 character Greek alphabet.

61. Tried to get into an office : RAN.   Political office.  Moving right along  .  .  .

64. With 43-Down, what a criminal might be on : THE.   We'll defer completing this until we get to 43 D.

65. Augusta National's __ Corner : AMEN.   Too long a story to relate.  You can read about it here.

66. British Invasion star : BEATLE.  Back in my 'ute.  What - no love for The Troggs?!?


67. Doesn't lack : HAS.  Round about clue for possesses.

68. Nothing more than : MERE.

69. Its flag features a six-pointed star : ISRAEL.  I had a star flag last week too.  This is getting spooky.




Down

1. Weight room count : REPS.  Repetitions of a lifting maneuver.  Typically 8 to 12 REPS to a set, 3 sets to a routine.

2. Burn soother : ALOE.  Plant juice.  ALOE, my name is INIGO  .  .  . 

3. Damon of "The Martian" : MATT.


4. Mazda roadster : MIATA.



5. Inters : ENTOMBS.  Alternative to underground burial.

6. Classic auto : REO.



7. Novelist Calvino : ITALO.   [1923-1985] Italian journalist, author of short stories and novels, occasional crossword resident.

8. Deliver from memory : RECITE.    Do you know your lines?

9. Succeed : MAKE IT.    OK - but where?


10. In the Gospels, Jesus rode into Jerusalem on one : ASS.  As in donkey.

11. San José denizen : COSTA RICAN.  Do you know the way?

12. First name in gravity : ISAAC.   Newton.

13. Some black-clad teens : GOTHS.   Who knew this was still a thing?



18. "This Is __ Tap" : SPINAL.   Rock documentary parody from 1984.


22. Early Web forum : USENET.   Worldwide distributed discussion system that debuted in 1980.

24. Title : NAME.  These do not strike me as being equivalent.

25. City with two MLB teams : CHIcago.  Also, one each of football, basketball and hockey.

26. More than wonders : ASKS.  Another odd clue. Asking is not wondering raised to a higher level.

27. Carefree adventure : LARK.

28. Connections traced on ancestry.com : BLOODLINES.  Familial relationships, and a rare full multi-word chleco.

32. Modern birthday greetings : E-CARDS.   We are so retro we send the paper ones via the USPS.

33. "Can't help ya" : NAH.  A generic negative response.

35. Disco adjective : GO-GO.

36. Tip jar fillers : ONES.  Dollar bills.

39. Lease signer : TENANT.   Apartment renter.

40. "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" writer Carle : ERIC.



43. See 64-Across : LAM.  Apparently this is an old word meaning to beat or thrash.  So to go on THE LAM is literally to beat it.


45. Galaxy alternatives : I-PHONES.  Hand held communicating and computing devices.

47. Title for Bovary : MADAME.   Emma, the eponym for Gustav Flaubert's first novel.

48. Distracting bedmate : SNORER.  Let's not get personal.

51. "Party on, Wayne" speaker : GARTH.   From Wayne's World on SNL.

52. City on the Missouri : OMAHA, Nebraska -- Gary?

53. Sty denizens : SWINE.   Big piggies, little piggies, sows.

54. Ugly campaign tactic : SMEAR.   We'll have none of that here.

58. "¿Cómo __?" : ESTA.   How are you?

59. "The Wizard of Oz" family name : GALE.  

60. Skater's maneuver : AXEL.  Available in single up to at least quad varieties.




62. Impact sound : BAM.  Or pow!  Yet another rerun from last week.

63. Geisha's sash : OBI.



OK, that wraps it up.  I had a few nits, but over-all a good Wednesday offering, with a bit of deja vu at no extra cost.

SKOAL!
JzB



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.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

L.A. Times Crossword Puzzle Blogging - Wednesday, January 27, 2016 Bruce Haight

[Cross-Posted at The Crossword Corner]

Theme: Wealth well within the dreams of avarice.  Phrases representing large sums of money are clued in such a way that the phrase relates to a person's occupation or avocation.  

17. Tidy sum, to a coin collector? : PRETTY PENNY.   This phrase is known to go back to the 1760's.  In this instance, PENNY is a synecdoche for money in general, as contrasted to its usual indication of an insignificant amount, so the phrase incorporates a modicum of sardonic humor.  A coin collector would have above average appreciation for a literal PRETTY PENNY, if it were of sufficient rarity.   Alternatively, one may consider  .  .  .


28. Tidy sum, to a chairmaker? : AN ARM AND A LEG.  This phrase is not known to go back any further than 1949.  It may be derived from 19th century phrases like "I'd give my right arm for . . ." which seems familiar and " . . . even if it takes a leg," which does not.  In any event, it's more in-the-language than A SEAT AND A BACK, which the chairmaker must also consider.

43. Tidy sum, to a soothsayer? : SMALL FORTUNE.  This phrase is more literal, and I can't find any information on where it came from.  It indicates a sum beyond what is reasonable in some circumstance, but certainly less than a large fortune.   A soothsayer can presumably use some occult mechanism to predict your future.  But - can you afford it?

56. Tidy sum, to a chess player? : KING’S RANSOM.  Now we're talking real money.  The phrase is only known to go back to the 13th Century.  In 1260, during the 7th Crusade, King Louis IX of France was captured in Egypt by Turks, who demanded a large amount of money to secure his release. However, during the 3rd Crusade, Richard I Plantagenet of England was captured in December, 1192 by Duke Leopold of Austria who had a real or imagined grudge.  The amount demanded for his release was more than twice the annual income of the English crown.   Taxes were raised, the churches were looted of their treasures, and eventually the money was delivered.  Richard was released on Feb. 4, 1194.  As a side note, Richard's brother John offered a tidy sum if Richard would be detained until Michaelmas - Sept 29th.  This offer was rejected.   It's highly unlikely that any chess piece, even the King, would demand such a quantity.

Hi gang,  JazzBumpa here - sadly, no richer than the last time we met.  We were shopping that day, and today we can consider if we perhaps paid too much.

Onward, then, to the rest of the puzzle.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

L.A. Time Crossword Puzzle Blogging - Wednesday, January 13, 2016 C. C. Burnikel

Theme:  But wait, there's more  .  .  .  The first words of three theme entries describe ways in which you can make purchases from the comfort of your own home.

18 A. Worker in a red, white and blue truck : MAIL CARRIER.   For the U.S. Postal Service.   You can use it to order by mail.

37 A. eBay event : ON-LINE AUCTION.   And you can also order ON-LINE from Amazon and many traditional retailers.

61 A. Document that might be subpoenaed : PHONE RECORD.   I'll let our legal experts explain why PHONE RECORDS might be gathered as evidence.   But you can also make your purchases by phone.  Have your credit card handy.

And the reveal:  40 D. Catalog come-on ... three ways to do it begin 18-, 37- and 61-Across : ORDER NOW.   Our sales executives are standing by.  Act fast and at no extra charge  .  .  .  Well, you get the idea.

Today's constructor is, as Robert Plant once said, "a lady we all know."  And it looks like she's getting ready to buy something.  Even if the stores are all closed, she's discovered several ways to get what she came for.

Hi gang - JazzBumpa here, repping for The Corner Crew.  Are you in a buying mood?  It makes me wonder. Ooh, it really makes me wonder.  Let's check out the merchandise.