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 20, 2011

L..A. Times Crossword Puzzle Blogging - Wenesday, April 20, 2011

Don Gagliardo and C.C. Burnikel 

Cross-posted at The Corner 

 Theme - CLANDESTINE CLAN - each asterisked theme answer contains a hidden family member, spanning words, and stated familiarly.  (Good Lord, I just used "asterisk" as a verb.  Don't tell my daughter.) 

21 A. *Ages : FOREVER AND A DAY.  Or the 12th of Never perhaps.  That's a long long time.  DAD spans three words.  Hi Dr. Dad!

29  A. *Surgery prep area : SCRUB ROOM.  I read recently that doctors are more careless about ygene than they should be, and neckties are horrible germ carriers.  Hence the need to scrub.  BRO is brother, of course.  I am one.

39 A. *"Aha!" : JUST AS I SUSPECTED.   Sometimes I get it right, but that might be by accident.  Wow.  SIS spans three words.  Makes BRO seem like a piker.  Well, my SIS is pretty industrious.

48 A. *Bout with very big contestants : SUMO MATCH.  Those SUMO wrestlers are big guys, aren't they.  We can let MOM get away with only spanning two words, 'cuz MOMs work hard all the time.

And the unifier --  59 A. Groundbreaking sitcom, and a hint to four different three-letter words concealed by starred answers : ALL IN THE FAMILY.  Archie, Edith, Gloria, and the Meat Head. 

Constructors' notes are at the end.  Full disclosure - I gleaned the theme title from the notes.  It's been a great few days for me, with the granddaughters' dance competition, performing with Wayne, and now getting inside this puzzle from the dynamic duo of Don and our own gracious hostess.  No walk in the park for me, but achievable with good Wednesday level effort, and lots of fun, to boot!

I'm quite proud of myself for detecting the theme and sussing the unifier before I saw it.  Finding nothing in common among the first three theme answers, I started probing for hidden words, and had an "aha!" moment when I found them.  Wonderful pattern with 5 theme entries, the center one spanning the special 16 x 15 grid, and just a Q and Z away from a pangram.

Hi gang, it's JazzBumpa.  I guess incuding Bumpa was too much to hope for, but Gloria, the lovely wife is implied in the unifier, and, ironically, I sneak in at 69A.  Well, the family's all here.  Let's stop in for a visit.

1. Berlin Olympics star : OWENS.  Jesse

6. Test sites : LABS.  Not N-tests.  Just LABoratories for more mundane experiments.  In one of my jobs we had a sign that said, "What we need in this laboratory is more labor and less oratory."  Everybody's a comedian.

10. Unexpected result : UPSET.  The Wings are up 3 games to none against whoever they're playing.  No UPSET there, except the other team's fans might be UPSET.

15. "The King's Speech" Oscar winner Firth : COLIN.  I like the scene in Brigid Jones's Diary where he beats up the other, even more annoying British guy.

16. Touched down : ALIT.  Landed, not scored a touchown.

17. Pheasant ragout : SALMI.  Never heard of it.  But now that I know about it, I want some with a cold RYE BEER!

18. Far from fresh : TRITE.  Nothing trite about this puzzle.

19. Snack in a shell : TACO.  TACO means sandwich in Spansh.   Once, in Mexicali, I ordered a Jamon con Queso Taco, and got a ham and cheese on white bread.  It was an unexpected result, but I wasn't UPSET.  
There might have been a Dos Equis in the mix somewhere.

20. Garden figure : GNOME.  Little bearded statues that protect gardens from the evils of black magic

24. Spelling on screen : TORI.  I believe she's famous for being well known, though I might have that backwards.

25. Old Olds creation : REO.  The initials of Ransom Eli Olds who gave us the REO Speedwagon, and much later your father's Oldsmobile.

26. Minnesota twins? : EN'S.  There are two letters "N" side by side in Minnesota.  What's round on both ends and hi in the middle?

27. Buff : FAN.  Aha!  Like a  film buff, frex.  Not JUST AS I SUSPECTED.  I put in FIT, because NAKED wouldn't FIT.

33. Glob suffix : ULE.  A GLOBULE is something smallish and roundish.

34. Mack Sennett lawman : KOP.  Keystone KOPs from old comedy.  Seems like they never got their man.

35. Hard-twisted cotton thread : LISLE.   The manufacturing process burns off lint and fiber ends.  This  leaves a smooth finish.  Hmmm.  So does Lagavulin.

45. "Really __ ...": "Tears of a Clown" lyric : I'M SADNo. 1 hit for Smokey Robinson and the Miracles.

46. __ tai : MAI.  A MAI tai is concoction of rum and fruit juice.  Does it have a smooth finish?

 47. Form 1040 calc. : AGI.  Adjusted Gross Income.  The sum of income from all sources, less certain specified deductions.  An intermediate number in your tax calculation.

53. Droid : BOT.  Two abreviated words that have become accepted as stand-alones, derived from android and robot, respectively, both meaning mechanical humanoids.

54. Go on and on : YAK.  Talking or playing.  It can be a bit Kopish, capiche?

56. Prefix with moron : OXY.  An oxymoron is a self-contadictory expression, like "jumbo shrimp"
 or "tasteful trombonist."

57. He succeeded Boutros : KOFI. U.N. Secretaries General KOFI Annan and Boutros Boutros Ghali -- golly!

64. Arab big shot : SHEIK.  This word is properly pronounced "shake."

65. Sleek, in car talk : AERO.  AS in AEROdynamic.

66. Live : EXIST

68. Like the Vikings : NORSE.  They came from the north, in ships.

69. Fairway club : IRON.  Tiger has a rough time, since does not always use his wood in a fair way.  Ironically, I, RON, would never do such a thing.

70. Religious practices : RITES.

71. Led Zeppelin's "Whole __ Love" : LOTTAThis calls for a link.

72. At sea : LOST.  Nice not to see ASEA in the grid.

73. Foam opener : STYRO.  STYROfoam is expanded polystyrene.


1. Fall mo. : OCT.  October.  Abrv in cl. & ans.

2. Klingon officer in the "Star Trek" franchise : WORFLovely, uh -- man.

3. "The Untouchables" co-author, 1957 : ELIOT NESS.  I used to watch the TV show, and never had any idea NESS wrote the book.

4. Powerful liquid, for short : NITRO.  NITROglycrine for long, or 1,2,3-trinitroxypropane for even longer. It's explosive stuff.  Handle with care.

5. Derisive looks : SNEERS.  See 51 D.

6. Incurring a fine, maybe : LATE.  At the library, perhaps.  Been there, done that.

7. Banned apple spray : ALAR.  We don't see this old crossword stalwart much any more.  It's N-(dimethylamino)succinamic acid for long.

8. Antacid choice, briefly : BICARB.  Sodium Bicarbonate, less briefly. 

9. He who is without sin? : STONER.  Let the one without guilt cast the first stone.  I don't think anybody qualified.  By odd coincidence, the word "sin" in Spanish means "without."  By odder coincidence most STONERS were actually sinners.  I'm taking this on faith.

10. Links gp. : USGA.  The United States Golf Association, a bunch of good sports.  They have links, so I don't need to include one.

11. Prevalent all over : PANDEMIC.  Here, the word is an adjective, meaning widespread or general. As a noun, it means a PANDEMIC disease.

12. Memorial __-Kettering: NYC hospital : SLOAN.  This is a cancer center in NY City.

13. Tube awards : EMMYS

14. Draw : TIE.  An even-score result at the end of the game, not something TIED with a drawstring.

22. VapoRub maker : VICKS.  This brings back awful childhood memories . . .

23. Durante's "Inka Dinka __" : DOOThis doo call for a link.

27. Japan's highest mountain : FUJI.  Is it true there's a film on it?

28. Grad : ALUM.  Graduate and ALUMnus, for long.

30. Reine's spouse : ROI  Queen and King.

31. FedEx rival : U P S  United Parcel Service.

32. Bullring shout : OLE!

36. Balance : STABILITY.  Not falling down.   Here is an example, from right in the family.

37. Kids' block : LEGO.  You can make anything with them. Leggo my LEGO.

38. Do some cutting : EDIT.  Remove all those superfluous, unnecessary extra words that actually give to  a probably already too-long sentence even more gratuitous expanse, for no good reason.

40. It usually includes crossed-off items : TASK LIST.  I put in TO DO LIST, which caused me some grief.

41. Soccer star Freddy : ADU.  Sorry.  Don't follow soccer.

42. Thurman of "Kill Bill" : UMA.  A very demur lady.

43. Used a stool : SAT

44. "__ card, any card" : PICK A.  Magician's come-on.

49. Many a Fed. holiday : MON.  Monday is the day of choice, since it gives a long week end.

50. Beefy stew ingredient : OX TAIL.  Never tried it.  Maybe with a RYE BEER . .

51. "You saved me!" : MY HERO.  Reminds me of Dudley Do Right.

52. Big hits : HOMERS.  Home runs from base ball.

54. Shout of delight : YAHOO!

55. All ears : ALERT.  Tell me more.

58. Handy "Mr." : FIXIT.  Steroetypical name for a handy man is Mr. FIXIT.

60. Swedish furniture chain : IKEA.  Amanda loves this place.

61. Mythical archer : EROS.  One of the Greek Deities. God, I love this guy!

62. Type type : FONT.  Great repetitive clue.  This font is called Georgia, BTW

63. River of Flanders : YSER

64. NBC hit since '75 : SNL.  Saturday Night Live, long running show and long-time crossword stalwart

67. Chicken general? : TSO.  I've still never had General TSO's chicken.  Though I have had the Colonel's.  I guess I struck out on today's culinary offerings.

Well, I enjoyed our visit, but now it's bed time.  Y'all come back right soon, now, capiche?

Notes from C.C. and Don:

This puzzle was also accepted last November. The idea came to me when listening to an interview about clandestine operations. I thought of having clan or kin or other synonyms embedded in front of phrases with a unifier ALL IN THE FAMILY or IT'S ALL RELATIVE, but couldn't work out a coherent theme set. Don wisely guided us to where the theme sits today.

We chose the 16-letter JUST AS I SUSPECTED as center fill because it's a lively phrase and the embed SIS mirrors the DAD span, hence a special 16*15 grid. It's challenging and fun to span key words (all limited to 3 letters) in the middle rather than embed them in front or at the end. We hope you like our work."

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