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, 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!

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Wednesday, August 15, 2016 Roger and Kathy Weinburg

Theme: SPINNING YOUR WHEELS.  The letters of the word TIRE are embedded within the theme answers in rotating order.  THUS: IRET, RETI, ETIR, then TIRE in the unifier.

20 A. Way to move funds: WIRE TRANSFER.  An electronic TRANSFER of funds between entities via a network maintained by hundreds of banks around the world.

28 A. Good manners: PROPER ETIQUETTE.  Conducting one's self according to the most appropriate social norms.   Check here is you're uncertain.

47 A. Artist ErtÈ's real name: ROMAIN DE TIRTOFF.  He [1882-1990] was a Russian-born French artist and designer of the Art DEco period,  known by the pseudonym Erté, from the French pronunciation of his initials, R T.

55. Regular vehicle maintenance suggested by this puzzle's circles: TIRE ROTATION. Moving the wheels and tires from one position on the vehicle to another, in order to achieve even wear and extend the useful life of the TIREs.

Hi gang, JazzBumpa here to make sure this puzzle does not wear you down.  The elegant aspect of this theme is the presentation of the hidden word in a strict rotation of the first letter presented, with the remaining letters following in the order of the proper spelling of the word.  Let's see what other fun letters we can find.  We may have to tread lightly.


1. Beats Electronics co-founder, familiarly: DRE.  This is a division of Apple, Inc. that produces audio products.  It was founded by rapper Dr. DRE [Andre Romelle Young, b. 1965] and Interscope Records co-founder Jimmy Iovine.

4. Birdbrain, or an extinct bird: DODORead all about it.

8. Scrap: TAG END. The last remaining part of something.  Scrap?  Not so sure about that.

14. The guy for ewe: RAM.  They are a wooly couple, sometimes feeling sheepish.

15. "Right you are!": AMEN.  Emphatic agreement.

16. Vanderbilt of fashion: GLORIA. Ms GLORIA Laura Vanderbilt [b 1924 and still going] is an American artist, author, actress, fashion designer, heiress, and socialite.  In 1925 her father died, leaving her with a large trust fund.  A legal battle ensued between her mother, GLORIA Morgan Vanderbilt and her paternal aunt, Gertrude Vanderbilt, over custody of the child and control of the trust fund.  The aunt won.  I would have clued this as JzB's L.W.

17. PD alert: APBAll Points Bulletin, a radio message sent to every officer in a police force giving details of a suspected criminal or stolen vehicle.

18. In fun: FACETIOUSLY.  Don't take this seriously.

22. Slangy turnarounds: UEYS. U-turns. A sharp turn of a vehicle along a U-shaped path in order to proceed in the opposite direction.  Figuratively, a reversal of some plan or policy.

23. "Silly me!": D'OH.

24. Mardi Gras wear: MASK.

33. "Dear Yoko" dedicatee: ONO.  Yoko ONO [b 1933] a Japanese multimedia artist, singer, song writer and peace activist, also known for performance art and film making.  She married her third husband, Beatle John Lennon, on March 20, 1969.

34. Volcanic event: ERUPTION.  A sudden, violent outpouring - in this case of steam and lava [hot, molten or semifluid rock.]

35. Org. with lanes: PBA. Professional Bowling Association. Members are advised to stay out of the gutters.

38. Sch. with a Shreveport campus: LSULouisiana State University.

40. Activate, as a mobile app: TAP.  Lightly touch the app's icon on the device screen to launch it.

41. Wee hour: TWO.  In the morning.  ONE also fits.  The hours after midnight until some uncertain later time before sun rise, indicated on the clock by small numbers.

42. Medium for van Gogh: OIL PAINT.  He is best known for these, but also produced over 150 watercolor paintings.

45. Understand: SEE.  I get it.

52. Winter Palace resident: TSAR.  Russian autocrat, prior to 1917.

53. Mexican gold: ORO.  Spanish, of course.

54. Limo bar: AXLE.  The rod or spindle of any vehicle upon which the TIRES  ROTATE, but not in the same sense as indicated by the theme.

60. Spring cleaning may lead to them: GARAGE SALES.  An event held to raise cash by disposing of unwanted household items, usually in a GARAGE or driveway.

63. Firecracker that doesn't crack: DUD.  Fizzler.

64. Brought to mind: EVOKED. Reminded, awakened, aroused.

65. Small change: CENT.  A penny.

66. Afore: ERE.  Earlier than.

67. They're fed at curbside: METERS.  Parking Meters are "fed" coins larger than pennies to pay for the privilege of leaving one's vehicle there.

68. Icelandic literary work: EDDA.  Old Norse poetic and literary works.

69. "Danny and the Dinosaur" author Hoff: SYD. [1912-2004] American cartoonist and children's book author, along with his most famous work.


1. Prepare, as plans: DRAW UP.  Put together the initial version.

2. Thin sword: RAPIER. A weapon better suited for thrusting than for slashing or cutting.

3. Early stage of life: EMBRYO.  An unborn or unhatched offspring in an earlier stage of development than the fetus.

4. Birdbrained: DAFT.  Lacking intelligence - DODO-like, perhaps.

5. Actor Sharif: OMAR. Michel Dimitri Chalhoub [1083-2015] was an Egyptian actor of Syrian ancestry, best known for the role of Dr. Zhivago.  He was also a horse racing enthusiast and one of the world's best bridge players

6. The aughts, for one: DECADE. Ten year periods starting with years ending in zeros.

7. Musically monotonous: ONE NOTE.  You decide.

8. "Bring on the weekend!": TGIF. Thank God It's Friday.

9. Natural emollient: ALOE.  Specifically ALOE VERA, since the genus ALOE contains over 500 species of succulent plants.  Extracts of the plant have various medicinal uses.

10. Foodie: GOURMET.  Culinary connoisseur.

11. Hosp. areas: ERS. Emergency Rooms, where situations needing immediate care are treated.

12. Zero: NIL.  Nothing here.

13. __ trader: DAY.  One who buys and sells financial instruments within the span of the same day.

19. Summer top: T-SHIRT. A pull-over shirt, generally with a crew neck and short sleeves, and so named because the bod and sleeves approximate a T shape.

21. Bruins star Phil, to fans: ESPO.  He played 18 seasons in the NHL, the first 3 with the Chicago Blackhawks, 8 with the Boston Bruins, and 7 with the N. Y. Rangers.

25. Working hard: AT IT. Or arguing.

26. Put in the overhead bin: STOW.  Pack an object into a particular place.

27. Vegas game: KENO.  A lottery-like game of chance.  Players chose numbers, then winning numbers are selected in some random manner.

29. Baritone Chou in the opera "Nixon in China": ENLAI.   [1898-1976] the first Premier of the people's Republic of China, serving from 1949 until his death.

30. Violinist's supply: ROSIN.  It increases friction so that the bow can grip the strings more firmly to get a clear, strong vibration.

31. Kinda-sorta: QUASI-. Partly, almost, seemingly - but not really.

32. Bunk with a ladder: UPPER.  So you don't have to make a high jump.

35. Left on board?: PORT.  Right is starboard on a ship.

36. "About the author" pieces: BIOS.  Biographies.

37. Michigan city or college: ALMA.  The city is located in the central lower peninsula, 50 miles west of Saginaw.  The school is a private liberal arts college associated with the Presbyterian Church.

39. Annuls: UNDOES.  Negates.

43. Share (in): PARTAKE.  engage in an activity.

44. Upscale apartment feature: TERRACE. A level paved area adjacent to a building.

46. Coup d'__: ETAT.  A violent seizure of power from a government.

48. Rode (around): TOOLED.  Drive a vehicle with no particular destination.

49. Rust and lime: OXIDES. of iron and calcium, respectively.

50. Like a baker's hands: FLOURY.  Covered with flour.

51. Shifted (for oneself): FENDED.  To take care of one's self without assistance.

56. Disney head Robert: IGER. [b. 1951]  Named COO in 2000, and succeeded Michael Eisner as CEO in 2005.

57. Wine list heading: REDS. Opposite the Whites.  Can be dry or sweet.

58. Take care of: TEND. Bar tenders take care of taverns, chicken tenders have a fowl purpose.

59. Hammett dog: ASTA.  Pet of Nick and Nora Charles from Dashiell Hammet's 1932 novel The Thin Man, a seminal text in the hard-boiled mystery genre, but also as much a comedy of manners as a mystery.  A highly successful series of movies followed from 1934 to '47.  Later adaptations ensued on radio, television, as a Broadway musical and a stage play.

60. Real peach: GEM.  An exemplar of some sort.

61. Monopoly deed abbr.: AVEnue. 

62. Go bad: ROT.  Spoil.

Hope you found some traction and made it through without too many skids.

Cool regards!
Jazie Bee [The Other Erté]

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Wednesday, July 18, 2018 Jeffrey Wechsler

Theme: The Great Park Adventure.  The Theme answers in this unusual grid can be combined with the word PARK to yield a meaningful phrase.  The brilliant aspect to it is that the sense of the word PARK is different in each instance.  Let's have a look.

1 D. *It may be political: SCIENCE.  Political SCIENCE is a field of study.  Whether it is an actual SCIENCE is a debate I will not engage at this time.  And politics is outside the limits of discussion on this blog, so caution is advised.  A SCIENCE PARK or RESEARCH PARK is a location where organizations devoted to the study of various aspects of SCIENCE are clustered.

6 D. *Period in the Age of Reptiles: JURASSIC.  This period lasted 46 million years, from 201 to 145 million years ago, when it was succeeded by the Cretaceous Period.  It began with a major extinction event which wiped out over half of all species known to have existed at that time. Two additional, but less severe, mass extinctions happened during the period. JURASSIC PARK is a science fiction movie in which dinosaurs are cloned from the DNA in fossilized remains, and much mayhem ensues.  There are several sequels in the franchise.  The subject PARK is a cross between a theme PARK and a nature PARK, but since it's used as a fiction title, I'll grant it it's own category.

11 D. *New Orleans time zone: CENTRAL.  The continental U.S. has 4 time zones, Eastern, CENTRAL, Mountain and Pacific.  This zone contains all of 9 states, and parts of 6 others.  CENTRAL PARK is located in Manhattan, New York City.  I'm sure it's the best known of New York's municipal PARKS, and was surprised to learn it is only the 5th largest.  It was established in 1857 and designated a National Historic Landmark in 1962.  I also went to CENTRAL Catholic High School in Toledo many decades ago, but that's off topic.

13 D. *Deep __: SOUTH.  This is a geographic and cultural region of the southern United States, not necessarily defined by state boundaries.  Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas are generally included, along with all or parts of other neighboring states.  SOUTH PARK is an animated TV show for adults, set in the fictional eponymous city, that features satire via dark, surreal humor on a variety of mature topics.

15 D. *Main idea: THEME.  The major topic of a talk, written work or exhibition.  A THEME PARK is an amusement park with a unifying idea or setting.  The Disney PARKS spring to mind. 

And, of course, the unifier -- 54A. Completes a road test maneuver ... or the answers to starred clues, as arranged: PARALLEL PARKS.  This is a parking maneuver in which the vehicle ends up parallel to the street edge or curb.  I used to be pretty good at this, but cannot remember having done it in many, many years.  In this uniquely designed grid, all the above mentioned PARKS are oriented vertically and parallel to each other.  And, as a no-extra-charge bonus, the puzzle is also a pangram, with 6 letters occurring one time each.  IMHO, this is quite stellar.

Hi gang, JazzBumpa in the driver's seat.  Let's take a cruise through the rest of this puzzle.


1. Moo __ pork: SHU.  Sounds like it should be beef, and actually can also be either that or chicken.  This is a northern Chinese dish of stir fried meat, onions and eggs, wrapped in thin pancakes and served over rice.

4. Low-level employment: MCJOB.  Had this entry the last time I blogged.  A lousy job with low pay and limited prospects.

9. Starz competitor: TMC.  Turner Classic Movies.  These are cable channels featuring movies as regular programming.

12. Police: COPS. Slangily.

14. Sweet text: I LUV U.  Because I LOVE YOU has way too many letters.  Possibly influenced by the 1965 Tony Award winning play and resulting 1967 movie romantic comedy LUV.  Or maybe not.

15. "No argument": TRUE.  I agree; amen brother.

16. "Don't make __ hard!": IT SO.  Somehow, I always manage to avoid the easy way.

17. Drew (in): LURED. Was attracted to.

18. Backwoods possessive: HIS'N.  Well, y'all, I ain't so sure 'bout this'n.

19. "__, Brute?": ET TU.  Big Julie's lament, when he was done in by his friends for being too ambitious.

20. Some ski lifts: T-BARS. These are devices which push the skier up the slope by providing a bar on which to sit or lean.

21. "It is the __, and Juliet is the sun": Romeo: EAST.  In this bright metaphor, Romeo refers not only to Juliets's beauty, but also suggests that her affection has relieved the darkness of his rejection by Rosaline.

22. "How cool!": NEATO.  Well done, Will!

24. Former JFK lander: SST. Super Sonic Transport - commercial passenger aircraft that traveled faster than the speed of sound.  The last flight was in 2003.

25. "Burnt" pigment: UMBER.  Raw UMBER is a brown earth pigment containing oxides of iron and manganese.   Heat transforms this into the more richly colored red-brown burnt UMBER by dehydrating the iron oxide.

26. Comic strip woman who married Irving: CATHY.

27. Baja bear: OSO. Spanish is spoken in Baja California.

28. Mac: FELLA.  Just some guy.

29. Language suffix: -ESE.  Englandese, Germanese, Francese.  This isn't working.

30. Prefaced: LED INTO.  Preceded whatever ensued.

33. Au pair's subj.: ESL.  A foreign person who provides housework and/or baby sitting services in exchange for room and board.  So that person might study English as a Second Language.

34. Many Olympic events: RACES. Running, swimming, various down-hill events

35. Wolfs (down): SCARFS. Gobbles, devours.

40. Vistula River city: KRAKOW.  Second largest city in Poland, and an academic, cultural and artistic center that dates from the 7th century.  Early settlements there go back to the stone age.

46. Chef's hat: TOQUE.  Does the hat matter as much as what's under it?

47. Little untruth: FIB.

50. Ewe-ish?: OVINE.  Does this one have Jeffrey feeling sheepish?  How wool we ever know?

51. Uncertainty: DOUBT.   Maybe; maybe not.

52. Master: ACE.  Someone who exhibits excellent skills.

53. Medieval weapons: MACES.  A MACE is a heavy club with a metal hear and spikes.

57. Game before the finals: SEMI. Game involving the last four eligible teams.  The winners move on to the finals.

58. Doughnut finish: GLAZE.  A mixture of confectioner's sugar in milk, applied to a fresh donut and allowed to dry.. 

59. Analogy words: IS TO.  A is to B as Y is to Z.

61. __ II razor: TRAC.  A double-bladed razor.

62. One wearing gloves to work: BOXER.  An athlete who engages in pugilistics.

63. Poolroom array: CUES.  Sticks used to strike the CUE balls.

64. Tax form IDs: SSNSSocial Security Numbers.

65. Pipsqueak: TWERP.  An insignificant silly and annoying person.

66. Omar of "House": EPPS. [b 1973] American actor, rapper, song writer and record producer.


2. Starbucks purchases: HOT TEAS. Alternatives to coffees.

3. Lake Placid, vis-a-vis New York City: UPSTATE.  A place or area farther north, from the coast, or at a higher elevation from one's present location.

4. Jazz vibraphonist Jackson: MILT. [1923 - 1999] His nickname was "Bags."

5. Spritzer mixer: CLUB SODA.  Carbonated water with either potassium carbonate, potassium sulfate or both added to enhance flavor.

7. Intimation: OVERTONE.  A subtle quality, implication or connotation.

8. Blossoms-to-be: BUDS.  a BUD is a growth element on a plant that develops into a leaf, flower or shoot.

9. Subject to court judgment: TRIABLE.  Able to be put on trial.

10. Common paella ingredients: MUSSELS.  Edible marine bivalve mollusks.

23. Skinny toon Olive: OYL.

25. Mysterious craft: UFO. Unidentified Flying Objects, typically suspected of being of extra-terrestrial origin.

31. Stammering sounds: ERS.  Along with ems and ums.

32. Disapproving sound: TSK.  Tongue clucking sounds.

35. Criterion: Abbr.: STD.  Standard, or benchmark against which something may be judged..

36. Craftsmen paid by the barrel?: COOPERS.   They make and repair barrels and casks.

37. Atlantis dweller of comics: AQUAMAN.  I mis-read this as Atlanta dweller, and was vary confused.  He first appeared in MORE FUN COMICS #73 [November, 1941]; then in the late 50's became a founding member of The Justice League.

38. Protocols: RUBRICS.  Statements of policies, purpose or action.

39. Greek cheese: FETA. A Greek white cheese made from the milk of ewes or goats.

41. Tomato variety: ROMA.  A firm, meaty, flavorful tomato, suitable for canning and making paste and sauce.

42. Greed: AVARICE.  Extreme covetous materialism.

43. Creates, as a fuss: KICKS UP.

44. Ragtime dance: ONE STEP.  Shortest direct route from A to B?  With possible KICKING UP.

45. Director Craven: WES.  Best known for horror films of the slasher variety.

47. Uncultivated, as farmland: FALLOW.  Plowed, but left unsown, to restore fertility as a part of crop rotation.

48. Mountaineer's aid: ICE AXE.  Item used by climbers to cut footholds in the ice.  It has a fead with one flat and one pointed end, and a spike on the foot.

49. Richard of "Law & Order: SVU": BELZER. [b 1944] American actor, author and comedian.

55. Pride parade letters: LGBTLesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgendered.  The initialism has been adopted as self-identification by those so described, and is intended to emphasize the the diversity of sexuality and gender identity-based cultures.

56. Heist puller: PERP.  The original meaning of a term [that we have adopted here for some fell purpose of our own] is as the PERPETRATOR of a crime, i.e. the guilty party.

57. City map parts: Abbr.: STS.  Along with Aves. Blvds. and Pkwys.

60. CIA predecessor: OSSOffice of Strategic Services, founded in 1942 to coordinate espionage activities behind enemy lines for all armed forces branches.  other functions included the use of propaganda, subversion and post-war planning.  It was dissolved by President Truman in 1945, and it's functions assigned to other agencies.  In 1946 the Central Intelligence Group was formed by the Presidnet.  The National Security act of 1947 established the Central Intelligence Agency, which then took up OSS functions.

Having completed our maneuver, we are now safely PARKED at the finish line of this UNPARALLELED puzzle.  Hope you enjoyed the excursion.

Cool regards!

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Wednesday, July 4, 2018 Jeffrey Wechsler

Theme: Buried Treasures.  Highly desirable, indeed, coveted items are concealed in multi-word answers.  Let's look first at the unifier to see what kind of hidden words we should look for.

53 A. They're "presented" in 20-, 28- and 46-Across: ACTING AWARDS. They'll be identified in the theme entries below - "presented," yes, but in an obscure way.

20 A. "What a terrifying experience!": I WAS SO SCARED.  We've all had those moments.  You know what yours are.  Twenty-four OSCARs are presented each year by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science for acting and various other categories of artistic and technical excellence.

28 A. "Love to everyone!": GIVE THEM MY BEST.  Lots of affection to spread around.  The EMMY awards are presented at various times throughout the year for excellence in television by three different organizations -  the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, and the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

46. Leave the firm to work solo: GO OUT ON YOUR OWN. Do you have that entrepreneurial spirit?  The TONY awards recognize excellence in Broadway plays.  They are presented at an annual ceremony in New York by the American Theater Wing and the Broadway League.

Hi, Gang - JazzBumpa on center stage today, a bit surprised to not see an Independence Day theme.  But we do have a fine entry by Jeffrey.  So let's read this script down and see if we can act on it.

But first - come on, it's the 4th of July, so this is mandatory.

Who doesn't love the Muppets?
OK - back to business.


1. Error: SLIP.  Starting off with a mistake.  Did somebody miss a cue or forget their lines?

5. Place for a panel: DAIS.  A low platform for a lectern, seats of honor or a throne. STAGE also fits.

9. Chemistry lab fluids: ACIDS.  Solutions of pH less than 7, capable of neutralizing alkaline materials by donating a proton or accepting an electron pair.  Sorry for going all geeky on you.  Long ago I was a chemist.

14. "Gray's Anatomy," for one: TOME.  A large, heavy or scholarly BOOK [which also fits, BTW,] not the like-named TV drama.

15. Austen novel: EMMA. A comedy of manners set in Regency England.  The eponym considers herself to be a match-maker, and misadventures ensue.

16. Four-page sheet: FOLIO.  This is one of three page-related meanings indicated by this word.

17. Wilson of "Father Figures": OWEN. Actor, producer and screen-writer who received an OSCAR nomination for best screen play for co-writing The Royal Tannenbaums with Wes Anderson

18. Ground corn, e.g.: MEAL.  The edible portion of ground grain.

19. "Poems are made by fools like me" poem: TREES.  By Joyce Kilmer.

I think that I shall never see 
A poem lovely as a tree. 

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest 
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast; 

A tree that looks at God all day, 
And lifts her leafy arms to pray; 

A tree that may in Summer wear 
A nest of robins in her hair; 

Upon whose bosom snow has lain; 
Who intimately lives with rain. 

Poems are made by fools like me, 
But only God can make a tree.

23. __ Major: constellation: CANIS.  Had the sky bears last week, along with Orion the Hunter.  Today, it's going to the dogs.  This is the big one, Orion's hunting dog, Laelaps.

24. Fitting: APROPOS. Apropriate, apt, timely.  From French, meaning "on that subject."

32. Summer on the Seine: ETE.  A French season that is not tarragon.

33. Sch. term: SEM.  Short or long, a school term is a semester.

34. Author Joyce Carol __: OATES. [b. 1938] Author of over 40 novels, and many plays, short stories, novellas and poems.

35. Arctic deer: CARIBOU.  Also known as reindeer, they are native to all sorts of arctic and sub arctic terrain in Europe, Siberia and North America.

38. Org. providing creature comfort?: ASPCAAmerican Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.  Be kind to your hunting dog.  Or caribou.

42. Sue Grafton's "__ for Lawless": L IS.  Her alphabet mystery series started with A is for Alibi.  I lost interest around D.

43. "Cats" monogram: T S EThomas Sterns Elliot.  Jellicle Cat comes from his infant niece's attempts to say "calico cat," or perhaps it was "dear little cat."  Some things are uncertain.

50. Run: OPERATE.  Be in control of.

51. "There is __ in the affairs of men": Brutus: A TIDE. "  .  .  .  Which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune."  Sounds like an opportunist to me.

57. Sprint, e.g.: TELCO.  Telecommunications Company.

60. Bearded critter: GOAT.  I wanted a GNU, the the news is - that didn't fit.

61. Picket fence piece: SLAT.  Aka -- picket.  If you are keenly interested, this vid might be fascinating.  Otherwise, it might cure insomnia.

62. First-stringers: A-TEAM.  The best ones we have.

63. Quasimodo creator: HUGO.  Victor [1802 - 1885] One of the best known French novelists.  Q is The Hunchback of Notre Dame.  His other famous work is Les Miserables.  Two of my grandsons were in a youth production of the musical a few years AGO.  Watching them die at the barricade was wrenching.

64. Head, in Le Havre: TETE.  French.  I have no head for French.

65. Muckety-muck: NABOB.  A person of conspicuous wealth or high status.  Sometimes used ironically about one who overestimates himself.

66. Lose one's cool: SNAP.  Throw a fit.

67. River of central Germany: EDER.  A 177 Km long tributary of the Fulda, a 220 KM long tributary of the Weser, a 281 Km long river which flows through Bremen and empties into the North Sea at Bremerhaven.  From this port my Hungarian grandmother came to America, lo, these many years past.


1. Unlikely to become overwrought: STOIC.  One who does not show emotion, named for the 3rd century B.C. Greek school of philosophy founded by Zeno of Citium.  This was a philosophy of personal ethics based on logic and an unwillingness to give in to the passions of the moment, with a view towards fairness and justice.

2. Like a McJob, typically: LOW WAGE.  Also with few prospects, for which the worker is typically over-qualified.

3. "This is serious!": I MEAN IT.  Not joking, this time.

4. Thoughtful: PENSIVE.  Long ago I saw a movie that had a snippet of dialog that went something like this --

He: You look pensive.
She: No.  I was just thinking  .  .  .

Don't remember what movie it was.

5. Sales rep's aid: DEMO.  A working model or example, used to demonstrate the product

6. Iowa college city: AMES.  Iowa State U. is in AMES, which is about 30 miles north of Des Moines.

7. All-in-one Apple desktop: I-MAC.  Computer.

8. Arabic for "peace": SALAAM.

9. Door holder's words: AFTER YOU

10. Andalusian city: CORDOBA.  In southern Spain, this area has been occupied since Neaderthal times. The city originated as a Roman settlement, then was a center of Muslim culture from the 8th century until it was recaptured by Christian forces in 1236.  It is the hottest city in Europe with an average high temperature of 37 C [99 F] in July and August.

11. Martinique, par exemple: ILE.  An island in the Lesser Antilles.

12. Quit working: DIE.  Said of batteries and machinery.  I quit working almost a decade ago, and am still alive.

13. Coast Guard pickup: SOS.  An international code signal indicating great distress and an urgent need for help, used especially by ships at sea.

21. Chicago-to-Chattanooga dir.: SSE. South-southeast.  Maybe even add in another south.

22. LP's 33 1/3: RPM.  Spin [or should I say "swirl"] rate of Long Playing phonograph records, in Revolutions Per Minute.

25. Adoptee from the 38-Across, perhaps: PET.  An animal taken into a person's home to live.

26. Sugar suffix: -OSE.  Glucose, dextrose, fructose, etc.  I wasn't able to track down the origin with only minimal effort, so we can all wonder why.

27. GPS lines: STS.  Streets.

29. Safety org. with "Travel Tips" blog posts: TSATransportation Security Administration.

30. Part of HMS: HER. The other parts are "Majesty's" and "Ship," because the Queen owns the navy.

31. First name in American poetry: EMILY.  Dickenson [1830 - 1886]

Ample Make This Bed

Ample make this bed.
Make this bed with awe;
In it wait till judgment break
Excellent and fair.

Be its mattress straight,
Be its pillow round;
Let no sunrise' yellow noise
Interrupt this ground.

- Emily Dickenson

35. Ancient underground tunnel: CATACOMB.  Originally, a subterranean cemetery, with recesses for tombs, as constructed by the Romans. Less strictly, any similar underground construction.

36. Sci. course: BIOlogy.

37. Stillwater sch.: OSU.  Oklahoma State University, not THE O. S. U.

38. In the past: AGO.  Derived from an obsolete Middle English verb used to indicate the passage of time.

39. Absorb, with "up": SOP.  As a sponge, or slice of bread.

40. "The Tell-Tale Heart" author: POE. Edgar Alan [1809-1849.]  The story of a murder, committed for no known reason, as told by the murderer, who wants us to think he is sane.

41. Mai tai liqueur: CURACAO.  It is flavored with the dried peel of the laraha, a bitter orange native to the Lesser Antilles island for which the drink is named.

43. How food may be salted: TO TASTE.  A lot or a little - your choice.

44. Moved like a dust devil: SWIRLED.  A dust devil is a well-formed, generally harmless whirl-wind a few meters wide with an upward thrust. It is formed when a pocket of warm surface air rises through cooler air above it.

45. Last chance to catch a live show: END DATE.  The date on which something comes to a close.

47. Baseball legend Mel: OTT. [1909 - 1958] Right fielder for the New York Giants from 1926 to 1947; 6-time National League home run leader; All-Star for 11 consecutive seasons; inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1952.

48. Paddock sounds: NEIGHS.  Horses, not whispering.

49. Like fish in ceviche: RAW.  This dish is popular in the Pacific coastal regions of Latin America.  The fresh fish is cured in citrus juices and spiced with peppers, and other seasonings such as onions and cilantro.  It must be prepared and eaten fresh, since it is not cooked.

52. Fragrant compound: ESTER. Formed by the reaction of an alcohol with a carboxylic acid.  Low molecular weight ESTERS are usually pleasantly fragrant.  They commonly occur in the essential oils of plants, and are responsible for the aromas of fruits.

54. Soup or salad: NOUN.  Maybe it's just me, but I find this type of reflexive clue to be profoundly annoying.

55. Wildly enthusiastic (over): GAGA.  Are you enthusiastic?

They have way too much fun

56. Surmounting: ATOP.  On top of.

57. Khaki kin: TAN.  Colors, not fabrics.

58. Landing hr. calculation: ETAEstimated Time of Arrival.

59. Isr. neighbor: LEBanon.  To the north.

Well, not surprisingly, I had my nit, but this was still a fine and fun outing from Jeffrey.

I'll close with some musical selections from last Thursday's concert when your humble trombonist performed with the Plymouth Community Band at Kellogg Park.  This program is traditional for the last performance before the 4th of July, and draws, by far, the largest audience of the Summer.  Videos courtesy of my Lovely Wife.

Cool regards - and have a happy and blessed holiday.

Liberty Fanfare and the National Anthem

America the Beautiful, Olympic Fanfare and Armed Forces Salute

And - to counter-balance that bit of foolishness at the top --

The Best Sousa march EVAH!

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

L.A. Times Crossword Wednesday, June 27, 2018 Bill Zagozewski

Theme:  Failure of imagination on my part, maybe, but I can't come up with anything better than the reveal:

60. "Careful now" ... and a hint to what's hidden in 17-, 27- and 46-Across: EASY DOES IT.

Unless I'm missing something else [always a possibility] this indicates that in the two-or-three-word theme entries, the penultimate word ends in E, and the last word starts with Z; the spoken letters E-Z being phonetically equivalent to EASY.  See - it's not hard.

17. Marmalade ingredient: ORANGE ZEST.  So, it's ZEST, not PEEL, as I originally entered, and the jar in my fridge lists as an ingredient.   I'm a big fan of this jam-like preserve, but my lovely wife doesn't like it at all.  

27. Sign near school playgrounds: DRUG FREE ZONE.  Keeping our kids clean and sober.

46. Theoretical lowest temperature: ABSOLUTE ZERO.  Take some cold comfort in knowing there is a limit to how cold it can get.  This is ZERO on the Kelvin scale, -273.15 Celsius, or -459.67 Fahrenheit. Anyone for some ice cream?

Hi gang, JazzBumpa on duty.  Let's proceed and see how E-Z  today's puzzle is.


1. Far direction?: EAST.   There's a near EAST and a far EAST, which can be reached by traveling west.  That is circular reasoning.

5. Frankfurt's river: ODER.  Es gibt twei Frankurt.  Frankfurt am Main und Fankfurt an der Oder.  The Oder river rises in the Czech Republic and flows north-ish through Poland and defines 187 Km of the Germany-Poland border.  At 525 Km, the Main is the longest river completely contained in Germany.  It meanders in every direction imaginable, but ultimately westward, where it joins the Danube at the city of Mainz.  Strangely, the two names are not related.

9. Word repeated in a historic FDR quote: FEAR.  Nothing to FEAR here, move right along.

13. Formal "no" from 14-Across: VETO.  A bill passed by both houses of congress can be signed into law by 14. A or vetoed.  To over-ride a veto requires a two-thirds majority vote in both houses.

14. White House VIP: POTUS. President Of The United States.

16. Tomb Raider's __ Croft: LARA.

19. Takes the stage: IS ON.  After waiting in the wings, perhaps.

20. Hunter constellation: ORION.

21. Violent windstorm: TEMPEST.  Traces utimately back to Latin Tempus, meaning time, via Tempastas, meaning season.

23. Ceaselessly: NO END.  Going on and on and  .  .  .

26. City in Florida or Italy: NAPLESNAPLES [Napoli] Italy is a city in southern Italy, not far from Mt. Vesuvius.   It dates to the 2nd millennium, B. C. and has many centuries of important art and architecture.  NAPLES, FLA is an up-scale city in souther FLA on the Gulf of Mexico, surrounded by miles of white sand beaches.

31. Geological period: EON.  In geology and astronomy, one billion years; casually, an indefinite but very long time period.

32. __ trap: SET A.  Literally, make a trap ready to catch an animal; figuratively, invent a plan to catch someone doing something wrong.

33. Bear in two constellations: URSA.  Major and Minor, AKA Big and Little Dippers.

36. Symbol of rank: BADGE.

39. Former U.N. leader Hammarskjöld: DAG.  Swedish economist and diplomat who served as the 2nd Secretary General of the U. N.

40. Biblical song: PSALM.   A sacred hymn, specifically in the O.T Book of Psalms.    Here is a setting of Psalm 74 in the Russian chant style by Russian composer Pavel Chesnikov, arranged by Holland, that we performed last year.  One of the most beautiful compositions I've ever played.

42. Division on a Clue board: ROOM.  Have you played the Harry Potter version?  It murders the players.

43. Sardine holders: TINS.  Metal containers.  Cans also fits.

45. Philosopher __-tzu: LAO.  Ancient Chinese philosopher and writer, and founder of Taosim.  Quote: "Do the difficult things while they are easy and do the great things while they are small. A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step."

50. Brownish horse: SORREL.  A horse of various reddish-brown hues, with same color or lighter mane and tail.  Sometimes also called chestnut; there is confusion and controversy about the two names.

53. Yarn: STORY.  Generally one that challenges the willing suspension of disbelief.

54. Mathematical proposition: THEOREM.  A proposition that is not self-evident, but can be proven by a chain of reasoning.

56. City near the Great Salt Lake: OGDEN. In the Bee Hive State.

59. Prego competitor: RAGU.  Pasta Sauces.

64. Turkmenistan neighbor: IRAN.  Turkmenistan is South of Uzbekistan, North of Afghanistan, North-east of Iran.

65. Green __: THUMB.  High level of gardening ability.

66. Actress Blanchett: CATE.  Among her many other roles, she portrayed the Elf Queen Galadriel.

67. Remain undecided: PEND.  Decisions  .  .  .

68. "Haven't decided yet": I MAY.  Still thinking  .  .  .

69. Topple from power: OUST.  Via the voting booth, or revolution.


1. Bolivian leader Morales: EVO.  President since 2006, and the first to come from the indigenous population.

2. Prefix with dynamic: AERO-.  Relating to the motion physics of air or other fluids around moving bodies.

3. Headliner: STAR.  An actor or other performer, not a celestial body.

4. Weight-training activity: TONING. Body definition from moderate muscle building and loss of fat.

5. Bar gadgets: OPENERS.  For various kinds of bottles.

6. Egg qty.: DOZ.  They usually come in cartons of 12.  Note abrv. in cl. & ans.

7. Bastille Day saison: ETE.  French Summer.

8. Fall color: RUST.  This year sure is going by quickly.  Autumn leaves are various shades of red.

9. Diving gear: FLIPPERS.  Quasi-fish feet.

10. Prop for Picasso: EASEL.  Art supporter.

11. Came up: AROSE.  Emerged, became apparant.

12. Flies off the handle: RANTS.  Loses it.

15. Shorthand expert, for short: STENOgrapher.

18. Cause for an "Oops!": GOOF.  Error, mistake, faux pas.

22. "Don't be such a baby!": MAN UP.  Be brave or tough enough to deal with it.

24. Must: NEED TO.  Meet or satisfy a requirement.

25. Nuts and bolts, so to speak: DETAILS.  God is there - or the devil, depending on your point of view.

27. Cotillion girl: DEButant.  Young ladies introduced to polite society at a formal ball.

28. Katy Perry hit with the lyric "Louder, louder than a lion": ROAR.

29. PC command after an "Oops!": UNDO.  I can realate.

30. Hershey bar in a red-and-yellow wrapper: ZAGNUT.  Peanut brittle and cocoanut with a small amount of cocoa - no chocolate to melt and make a mess.

34. Mall event: SALE.  Price reduction promotion.

35. Bygone apple spray: ALAR.  Daminozide, a plant growth regulator used to keep unripe apples from falling off the tree from 1963 to 1989, when it was voluntarily withdrawn doe to cancer fears.

37. Skirt: GO AROUND.  Evade, avoid.

38. Fireplace bit: EMBER. Glowing ash.

41. Sound from the pasture: MOO.  The song of cows.

44. Stuck with, as a friend: STOOD BY.  A friend, indeed.

47. Wintry mix component: SLEET.  Frozen rain.

48. Therefore: ERGO.  Hence, for that reason, consequently.

49. Bayou music style: ZYDECO.

50. __ mining: STRIP.   A form of extraction, most commonly used for coal, in which the surface soil and rocks are removed to reveal the mineral, which is then extracted with heavy machinery.

51. Midwestern hub: O'HARE.  Chicago airport.

52. Lear daughter: REGAN. The  middle child. Her sisters are Cordelia and the eldest, unfortunately named Goneril.

55. Half a fish: MAHI.  No better than half a fly.  MEH!

57. Jacob's twin: ESAU. Biblical antagonists.

58. Quibbles: NITS.  Half a fish, for example.

61. Bottom line: SUM.  Of an added-up column of numbers.

62. Singer Sumac: YMA. [1923-2008] Peruvian coluratura soprano with a vocal range of over 4 1/2 octaves.

63. Saigon holiday: TET.  Vietnamese lunar new year.

That's it.  Not to hard, not too E-Z, and not bad, though I had my half-nit, or so. Thus endeth another Wednesday.

Cool regards!