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, December 21, 2011

L.A. Times Crossword Puzzle Blogging

Wednesday, December 21, 2011 Donna Levin

Theme: Je suis chaude* aka FEVER, aka "I got the hots!"

17 A. Crisp cylindrical appetizer : SPRING ROLL.  Translation from the Chinese, 春卷 (Thank you Wikipedia.) A rolled, filled appetizer common in Asian cuisine, with lots of local variation in wrapper, filling and nomenclature.  SPRING FEVER: an ill-defined feeling of restlessness, excitement or laziness, brought about the onset of Spring.

27 A. Tango necessity : DANCE PARTNER. One with whom you dance, natch.  ExampleDANCE FEVER: a disco-era TV variety show featuring couples in dance-off competitions. 

46 A. Pleasure craft : CABIN CRUISER.  A power boat with inside accommodations for passengers and crew.  Pick the one you likeCABIN FEVER.  A feeling of claustrophobia, restlessness, boredom and/or depression resulting from being confined for an extended period with little or nothing to do.

And the unifier: 63 A. State of excitement (generated by the starts of 17-, 27-, 38- and 46-Across?) : FEVER PITCH.   This also implies energetic or frenzied activity.  Origin is not well known, but feverish can relate to an over-wrought or delirious state, so there might be that kind of connection.

* We recently had a discussion about how one must be careful in translating "I am hot," into German, with obvious opportunities for unintended misunderstanding.  I believe the same hazards exist with translating into French, but will defer to the resident expert on such matters.  Kazie?

Hi, gang.  JazzBumpa here.  Let's try not to get too overheated as we explore today's entry.


1. Powder for Junior : TALC.  Talcum powder, sure.  I don't like this kind of imprecise clue.  How about for sis, or mom -- or dad, for that matter?

5. Cyberzines : E-MAGS.  For virtual reading.

10. Sudden show of energy : BANG.  "Sudden" is a bit of understatement for something explosive.  

14. Ho-hum : BLAH.  Bored with the banality.  I can't remember the last time I was unbusy enough to feel that kind of blah.

15. Prepare for a road trip : GAS UP.  Fuel for the auto.

16. Barbra's "Funny Girl" co-star : OMAR Sharif, aka Michael Demitri Shalhoub, an Egyptian actor best known for playing the part of a Russian.  Funny how these things work out.

19. Iditarod destination : NOME.  End point for the famous Alaskan dog sled race.  Also the capital of Nome Man's land.

20. Brazil discoverer Cabral : PEDRO.  Will anybody remember this historical fact the next time it comes up?

21. Season to be jolly : YULE.  The Winter solstice, back in the day; now Christmas, etc.  Be jolly, or YULE be sorry!

22. At liberty : FREE.

23. Founding father? : ADAM.  Leading man from the Book of Genesis.  Unlike Rhett, ADAM did give A DAMN.  Especially after the encounter with that DAMN COBRA.

25. Superlatively spooky : EERIEST.  Not to be confused with EYRIEST, superlatively like an Eagle's nest, or ERIEST, superlatively like that lake by Put-In Bay.

31. Collegiate climber : IVY.  There has to be a great poem about those IVY covered walls.  C.A,?

32. Fury : IRE.  White hot anger.  Can sometimes be seen at a FEVER PITCH.

33. Country with a five-sided flag : NEPAL.  A small South-Asian country high in the Himalayan Mountains between China and India.  The five-sided flag.

37. Strive : VIE.  Not exactly.  One may strive - that is, make great goal-directed effort totally alone, and disconected from anything else.  To VIE indicates competition for something.  Per Mirriam-Webster on line, derivation is via Anglo-French envier to invite, call on, challenge.

38. Jaunt that might get straw in your hair : HAY RIDE.  I'll let Windhover riff on the differences between HAY and straw.

41. Samuel Adams Summer __ : ALE.  Now this is a popular topic at the corner.  I've recently discovered Detroit Lager, and recommend it highly (so to speak.)

42. Words on a fictional cake : EAT ME.  Alice in Wonderland.

44. Article in Le Monde? : UNE.  More French.

45. 1988 Ryan/Quaid remake : D.O.A.  Quiad plays Dexter Cornell, an English Professor who finds people around him dying, - well, murdered actually - and also gets comfort from Sydney Fuller, one of his students, played by Meg Ryan. I do find the thought of 1988 vintage (pre-techical augmentation) Meg Ryan to be rather comforting.

51. Collapsed : CAVED IN.  Apt description.

54. Not domestic, as a flight: Abbr. : INTL.  International

55. Available, as a job : OPEN.  Not nearly enough of them these days.

56. Give __: okay : A NOD. A NOD of the head signals assent.  A shake of the head - well . . . no.

58. Keebler staff : ELVES.  Since all the ELVES went over to Keebler, Santa has had to hire a legion of replacement workers.  He calls them subordinate Clauses.

62. Suds, so to speak : BEER.  Do I detect a sub-theme - or a suds theme?

65. Auctioned auto : REPO.  Short for repossessed.   Not to be confused with the kind of person who needs a second exorcism.

66. Prepare for more printing : RE-INK. Ink fuels the printing press. In the future, it will be re-pixelate.

67. Radar's favorite pop : NEHI.  Radar O'Reilly On M*A*S*H.  One would assume it goes well with a Hungarian Hot Dog.

68. Vaulted recess : APSE.  In a house of ill repute, such a niche is known as a sin APSE.

69. Supplement : ADD TO.   Nothing more to say about this.

70. Privy to : IN ON.


1. 1/2 fl. oz. : TBSP.  Tabelspoon.  Note Abrv. in Cl. & ans.

2. Mont Blanc, par exemple : ALPE.  I'm guessing White Mountain in the French Alps.  Can any of our world travelers verify?

3. Pie baker's shortening : LARD.  As I understand it, the heavier the shorening, the lighter and flakier the crust.  Jeannie?

4. Sarkozy's predecessor : CHIRAC.  Jacques Chirac should be the start of a nursery rhyme, like Jack Spratt.  At least he was actually French.  Sarkozy's father was nagybócsai Sárközy Pál, a thoroughly obnoxious Hungarian aristocrat.  

5. Food in a shell : EGG.  What - no pistachios?

6. Echoic nursery rhyme opening : MARY MARY, quite contrary, how does your garden grow? With Spratty Jack and Jacques Chirac and Sárközy in a row.

7. Not worth __: valueless : A SOU.  An erstwhile French coin of little value.  I wanted A FIG.

8. Esophagus : GULLET.  Esophagus sounds more sophisticated, but less Anglo-Saxon.  Either way, you swallow through it.

9. It might be vented : SPLEEN Vent one's SPLEEN. This colorful phrase goes back to medieval times, when the SPLEEN was thought to be the source of melancholy. By the 16th century it had been reassigned to rage and ill-temper. Venting, of course is letting it all out, possibly at a FEVER PITCH.

10. Homecoming tradition : BONFIRE.  College homecoming tradition, not arriving home from work.

11. Love, in Livorno : AMORE.  That should be Napoli.  Take it away Dino.

12. Proper nouns : NAMES.  Frex: nagybócsai Sárközy Pál

13. Welcome : GREET.   Hey, how a' ya, Aloha, good buddy.

18. Junction point : NODE.  I assume you all knowed that.

24. Samoa's largest city : APIA.  I'm guessing this has nothing to do with bees.  Check it out.  Sometimes I imagine the LW is Polynesian.  Whenever she kisses me, I want Samoa.

26. Philosopher Descartes : RENE.  Also Jacques Chirac's middle name.

27. Greasy spoon : DIVE.  I will defer to Guy Fiere.  (If you're at work, turn off your speaker.)

28. Nike rival : AVIA.  Comfortable foot wear.

29. Russian refusal : NYET.  I'll be you all no'ed that one, too. 

30. Summer tube fare : RE RUN.  Oh.  TV tube. D'OH!  My mind was running to tube floating and tube topsIs that fare?

34. Paw bottoms : PADS.  The bottoms of dog's dogs.

35. Soothing succulent : ALOE.  The best herbal discovery ever, for cross word constructors.

36. Shakespearean father of three : LEAR.  The King had three daughters: Goneril, which sounds like a disease; Regan, which sounds like a B-movie actor; and Cordelia, which sounds like a Secretary of State.

38. Leader : HEAD.  Could be a president, like Chirac.

39. Occurrence : INCIDENT.

40. Hollywood's Laura or Bruce : DERN.  Actors.

43. Bad boy of 1970s-'80s tennis : McENROE.  John, famous for his FEVER PITCHED SPLEEN ventings.

47. 1960s African famine site : BIAFRA.  A region of southern Nigeria, a make-believe country and part of the detritus of the crumbled British Empire.  The Igbo people of Biafra had little in common with the more northern Nigerians, and seceded in 1967.   War ensued.  The wages of war is famine.  Thus has it ever been.

48. Lacking : IN NEED.  No need to riff on this idea.

49. Sch. near the Rio Grande : UTEP.  University of Texas at El Paso.  I think they might have a basketball team.

50. "Fighting" Big Ten team : ILLINI.   Nickname for the teams from the University of Illinois.

51. Lethal snake : COBRA.  I wanted VIPER.

52. "Not __ out of you!": "Shh!" : A PEEP.  This is what Little Bo said to quiet her sheep.

53. Senate tie breakers, briefly : VEEPS.  The Vice President (VEEP) of the U.S. is the President of the Senate, and only casts a vote to break a tie.

57. "Metamorphoses" poet : OVID.  Got the V from the perp and took a swag.

59. Former Formula One car engine : V-TEN.  I do believe the VIPER still has it.

60. Reverberate : ECHO.  I've heard that before.

61. Commonly bruised bone : SHIN.  Down in the ankle region there isn't much meat between skin and bone.

64. "Citizen Kane" studio : RKO.   Radio-Keith-Orpheum Pictures, from the 30's and 40's.  Their roster of stars included Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Katherine Hepburn, Robert Mitchim and Cary Grant.  How's that for a list of proper nouns?

Very clean and solid puzzle, and just about right for a Wednesday.  Now it's time for me to cool down and HEAD for bed.


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