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, May 23, 2012

L.A. Times Crossword Puzzle Blogging

 Wednesday, May 23, 2012  Jack McInturff

Theme:  "Where pride goeth."   The first word of each theme answer can precede the word "FALL" to yield a good, in-the-language phrase. 

17. *It's lower during dry seasons : WATER TABLE.  This is the level below which the ground is completely saturated.  Of course, in dry weather it will be lower, and you'll have to dig a deeper well. WATER FALL:  the world's highest is Venezuela's Angel Falls, AKA "Kerepakupai Vená."

23. *Index that measures skin sensation : WIND CHILL FACTOR.  Not sure what I was expecting, but it sure wasn't this.  Very apt description, though.  It's a measure of how cold windy air feels on the skin, as compared to a colder temperature in still air.  WINDFALL: an unexpected, unearned, or surprising gain or advantage.  This expression dates back to the bad old days when all land was owned by the nobility (a title category granted with no sense of irony) and the picking of fruit or felling of trees was forbidden.  But anything blown down by the wind was fair game.

36. *Road trip respite : PIT STOP.   From the world of racing, where pits stops are for refueling and tire changes done in less than a minute, to the vernacular.  When traveling the LW and I strategize according to the distance between highway plazas:  36 miles - I think we're OK; 62 miles - nope, we're stopping here.  PIT FALL: a trap placed or dug into the ground that captures whatever wanders into it.  In the vernacular, any hidden hazard.

 38. *Winter storm respite for some : SNOW DAY.  School is closed on account of snowy weather.  When a SNOW DAY is expected, some of the grandchildren have a ritual of placing white crayons on the window sills and wearing their pajamas backwards.  It doesn't always work.  SNOW FALL: just exactly what you think it is.

 47. *Knocked loopy : DOWN FOR THE COUNTNot like this.   Totally without hope, like a boxer knocked down for the referee's count of 10.  DOWNFALL:  A sudden loss of wealth, status, or reputation from a previously exalted position.  

And the unifier;  58. Lag, and a hint to what the starts of the answers to starred clues have in common : FALL BEHIND.  The expression should be self explanatory.  And, literally, the word FALL can go behind the first word each of five(!) theme answers - two of them grid spanning.  Good, solid tight theme.  Pretty impressive - no?

Hi gang, JazzBumpa here.  Let's see if we can get through this thematically rich puzzle without FALLING BEHIND.


1. First country you'd come to if you sail west from Mumbai : OMAN.  Oh, man, I did not know that

5. Soft wood : BALSA.   Remember model airplanes?

10. Out of sight, perhaps : AFAR.  Especially for the nearsighted. 

14. Sex researcher Shere : HITE.  She wrote many books, including The Hite Reports on male and female sexuality, and books of advice for women about good and bad guys.

15. Online commerce : E-TAIL.  Everything on line is E-whatever.  Word play on retail.

16. CBer's handle : NAME.  10-4 good buddy.

19. Minor quarrel : TIFF.  I had SPAT at first.

20. Cockney abode : 'OME.  An 'ouse isn't necessarily one.

21. Part of many a plot : ACRE.  My plot is smaller than that.

22. Fallen orbiter : MIR.  This low orbit space station was assembled in orbit by the Soviet union starting in 1986.  It was used for experiments in biology, physics, astronomy and meteorology until its DOWNFALL on March 21, 2001.

29. Pseudonym preceder : AKA Also Known As.

30. Lewd look : LEER.  This is a sidelong glance with lewd, sly, and/or malicious intent.  OGLE is more of an open stare.

31. Old MGM rival : RKORadio-Keith-Orpheum (not Olberman) Pictures, one of the big five from Hollywood's golden age.  Performers in their films included Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, and Katherine Hepburn.  RKO produced Citizen Kane and the original King Kong.  "It was beauty killed the beast."

32. Support staff? : CANE.  Clever clue.  My M-i-L is a citizen who needs a CANE.

34. Burn slightly : SEAR

35. A boater may rest on them : OARS.  At the end of the race, a hearty boater may rest on his laurels.

40. Barbados, e.g. : ISLE.  A sovereign island country in the Lesser Antilles, of about 166 square miles.  Traditionally, the local economy was based on the citizen's cultivation of sugar CANE.  In the last few decades it has diversified into manufacturing and tourism.

41. Carry : TOTE.  Here, a verb.  Can also mean a bag in which to TOTE things.  But, see 53A.

43. Roger of "Cheers" : REESThis Welsh actor.  Can't say I remember him. 

44. Earth-friendly prefix : ECO.  What would an earth-hostile prefix be?

45. Yours, to Yves : ATOI.  Bah - French!

46. Collected dust : SAT.  Idle.  Nice visual.  Well, maybe not nice, but apt.

53. Add (up) : TOT.  I was ready to call foul here, since this word really should be spelt the same as 41A.  But, the online dictionary recognizes this spelling, so I'll have to (grudgingly) let it go.

54. Greenish blue : TEAL.  I assume this is the eponym.

55. What a winner may have to break : TIE.  The only possibility of bringing baseball into this puzzle.  C.C. mentioned former Tiger Brandon Inge yesterday.  Here is a TIE breaking grand slam home run with his new team.  Brandon had 16 RBI's in a week, and is now sidelined with a groin injury.

56. Get hot : BOIL.  Literally or figuratively.

61. BMW rival : AUDI.  A couple of German cars getting hot in competition.

62. Feudal lord, or his subject : LIEGE.  Strangely, the word is derived, via Old French, from the Middle High German ledic, meaning free, empty, or vacant.  Go figure.

63. Treated, as a sprain : ICED.  To keep the swelling down.

64. Bark site : TREE.  On the outside.

65. Latin bears : URSAE.   Some are big and some are little.

66. Like child's play : EASY.  Do you think this puzzle is child's play?


1. "Yikes!" : OH WOW!  Gee whillikers!   Expressions of surprise, amazement or dismay.

2. "__ Vice" : MIAMI.  Another TV show I never watched.

3. When many start fifth grade : AT TEN.  Sure enough, Nate will be TEN in August, and starts the 5th grade in September.  

4. Society page word : NEE.  From the French, I believe.  It refers to a married woman's maiden name, frex: Catelyn Stark, NEE Tully.

5. "You __!": "Yep!" : BETCHA!  Yer durn tootin' I won't get political.

6. Pong producer : ATARI.  The height of video gaming technology, back in the day.

7. Two-time Grammy winner Patti : LABELLE.   One of Patricia Louise Holte-Edwards' Grammys was for Burnin', these twenty years gone.  Great pipes.

8. RSVP part : S'IL.  This is where French children place their crayons blanc, in hope for a jour de neige.  No, wait,  RSVP is short for répond s'il vous plaît, i.e. "respond, if you please."  S'IL means "if."  It does not please me. 

9. Draft pick : ALE.  Now this is more like it.  Misdirection, playing on NFL draft day, but an experienced pub crawler will not be fooled.

10. Prank : ANTIC.  Obsolete pranks from days of yore are antique ANTICS.

11. Movement to promote equitable commerce : FAIR TRADE.  Good luck with that.

12. Bowling equipment mfr. : AMF  American Machine and Foundary, founded in 1900.  Does anyone have more 300 games than Boomer?

13. Court arbiter : REF.   Basketball or tennis.

18. Dishonest scheme : RACKET.  Not a loud noise, nor a tennis implement.

22. Mess up : MAR.  Josh Hamilton's bloop single with one out in the ninth messed up Justin Verlander's bid for a third no-hitter on Friday.   I don't think he was very happy.

24. Saint-Saëns' "__ Macabre" : DANSE.  Based on a poem by Henri Cazalis about an old - yep, you guessed it - French superstition that the Grim Reaper calls the dead forth from their graves at midnight on Halloween, and they must dance for his diabolical violin playing until dawn.

25. Car dealer's offer : LEASE.  Mine is up in nine months.  Maybe next time I'll buy.

26. Plant with fronds : FERN.

27. Gumbo pods : OKRAS.

28. Optimistic : ROSY.  My ROSY outlook for the Tiger's prospects this year is slowly turning into ashes.

32. Kid in Westerns : CISCO.  A TV show that I did watch.

33. When many dig clams : AT LOW TIDE.  It's certainly more convenient then.

34. Animal trail : SPOOR.  Any sign or trace that can be followed: prints, odor, droppings, bread crumbs, etc.

35. Be a debtor of : OWE TO.   Straight forward.

36. Mottled : PIED.  Like a piper or windhover, maybe.

37. "Beetle Bailey" dog : OTTO.   Arf!

39. Ancient consultant : ORACLE.  One who was divinely inspired to give good advice or predictions.

42. Dots : TITTLES.  The dots over lower case letter i and j, and used as diacritical marks in other languages (frex: Hägar) are tittles.  The things you learn . . . (<=== these are not TITTLES.)

45. Back, at sea : AFT.  Go to the back of the boat, s'il vous plaît,.

46. Naval builder : SEABEE.  No mere acronym, this is the proper name for a member of the Navy Construction Battalion, derived from the initials. 

48. "Honestly" : NO LIE.  Words that often precede or follow a LIE.

49. Hägar's comics wife : HELGALovely lady.

50. Erie Canal city : UTICA.  In New York.

51. Dressed to the __ : NINES.  Being rather informal, I generally only dress to the sevens.

52. Brother of Jack and Bobby : TEDDY.  Kennedys

56. Night flier : BAT.  Or a member of the Louisville AAA baseball team.  I've seen them play the Mud Hens.

57. Sharer's word : OUR.  Yours and mine.

58. Winter woe : FLU.  Influenza, AKA the miseries.

59. Get out in the open : AIR.  A nudist camp is a place where men and women go to AIR their differences.

60. Make haste : HIE.  In order to not FALL BEHIND.  A crossword stalwart.

Well, despite my grousing, I liked this puzzle a lot, had fun blogging it, and got to work in more baseball that I first thought.  (BTW, Nate's team won 8-6 last night.)  Hope you like it, too

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