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 19, 2012

L.A. Times Crossword Puzzle Blogging

Theme:  Meanwhile, back at the ranch  .  .  .   or, Mammas, don't let this happen.  Four long theme answers are common phrases related to a cowboy's typical activities, but with figurative meanings.  Two of these are grid spanning, and the other two only miss by 1 letter, so the themeage is pretty rich.

17. Lay a trip on, cowboy-style? : SADDLE WITH GUILT.  This one baffled me until I had enough perp help to suss it out.  Pretty clever, now that I get it.  Someone can try to lay a guilt trip on you, the way a cowboy burdens his horse with a saddle.  But, unlike the horse, you don't have to accept it.

 27. Motivate, cowboy-style? : SPUR INTO ACTION.   This is a pretty literal image, since a cowboy kicks his spurs into the horse to get it going.  A variation on the kick-start idea, maybe.

43. Control spending, cowboy-style? : REIN IN THE COSTS.  And this is equally and oppositely  literal, since our intrepid western hero pulls on the reins to get his horse to stop running.

 56. Hang in there, cowboy-style? : RIDE OUT THE STORM.  Cowboy's do ride, but this is the only theme answer that evokes a nautical rather than an old west image.   Does this detract from the coherence of the theme?  I can't decide.  Anyway, for another grid-spanner, it's worth it.

Hi gang, it's jazzbumpa.  C'mon, pards, let's ride on out and see what we can lasso.


1. "__ Comes Mary": Association hit : ALONG.  They don't write songs like that anymore.

6. Black-clad subculturist : GOTH.  A post-punk splinter group with influence on music and fashion.  Whatever turns you on, I guess.

10. "Famous" snack maker : AMOS.  Famous for his cookies.

14. Fracas : MELEE.  A confused struggle, possibly involving hand to hand combat.  A brawl.

15. Finis : OVER.   Done.  Stick a fork in it.  Like the Lions, frex.

16. Logan of "60 Minutes" : LARA.  This EMMY-winning CBS news correspondent was brutalized by a mob while covering the Egyptian uprising of 2011.

20. Hockey legend : ORR.  Bobby, No. 4 of the Boston Bruins, finished his career with the Chicago Black Hawks.

21. Breezed through : ACED.  Thus spoken of schools exams and unreturnable tennis serves.

22. Tony's cousins : EMMYS.  Television production awards. 

23. Nobelist Hahn et al. : OTTOS.   This German chemist won the  Nobel prize in chemistry for discovering nuclear fission. During WW I he developed poison gas.  I'm speechless.

25. City on the Rhine : BONN.  On a happier German note, they have a monument to Beethoven there.

32. Decathlon gold medalist Ashton __ : EATON.  No clue.

33. Minor quibbles : NITS.  I've had a few.

34. Chest protector : BIB.  Protection from vagrant food residue, worn by babies and lobster eating adults.

36. __ rain : ACID.  Just what is sounds like - rain with a high acid content [low pH.] It can result from natural phenomena such as volcanoes and lightning, or from pollution resulting from human activity.

37. Selassie worshipper : RASTA.  RASTAfarians believe that Ethiopian emperor Haile Sellassie [ruled 1930-74] is the reincarnation of Jesus.

39. One-time teammate of 20-Across, familiarly : ESPO.  Tony ESPOsito had a long and illustrious career playing goalie for the Black Hawks.  But the nick-name refers to his brother Phil, who had a long and illustrious career playing forward for the Black Hawks, Bruins and Rangers.  Tony's first NHL start was a 2-2 tie with the Bruins, in which he made 33 saves and his brother Phil scored both goals on him.

40. Guys : MEN.

41. Actress Skye : IONE. Her film career started in 1986, and in addition to Say Anything and  Wayne's World is a long list of movies I've never heard of.  Anyone here a fan of Girls in Prison or One Night Stand?

42. Winner of 82 PGA Tour tournaments : SNEAD.  Slammin' Sammie.

47. WWII battle site : ST LO. It was almost totally destroyed in WW II during the battle of Normandy.

48. Out of whack : AMISS.  Why is nothing ever in whack when it's going well?

49. Town __ : CRIER.  An official whose duty is to make public announcements.  A bit passé these days, but several municipalities in North America, Australia and New Zealand still have Town CRIERS.  Should I be disturbed that the first answer I thought of was DRUNK?  It fits.

52. Acquisitions in a certain race : ARMS.  Weapons of greater or lesser degrees of destruction.

53. Treat, as a bruise : ICE.  Here, ICE is a verb, meaning to place an ice bag [or equivalent] on the afflicted region.  Actually, a bag of frozen peas works really well.

60. Sheryl Crow's "__ Wanna Do" : ALL I Wanna Do is have a little fun before I die.  Seems like a modest enough goal.

61. Baby's word : MAMA.  Often baby's first word, and sound meaning "mother" in many languages around the world

62. "... but it could be otherwise" : OR NOT.   Only maybe.

63. Swimming contest : MEET.  Or a foot race contest. 

64. Needy : POOR.  Two reasons why we don't need the word "indigent."

65. Carpenters' tools : RASPS.  Rough files used for shaping.  Also great for scraping knuckles.


1. Playground retort : AM SO.  Are not  .  .  .

2. King with three daughters : LEAR.  It's hard to have much sympathy for a guy who would name his daughter Goneril.  How is she ever going to get a date?

3. Thing to break free of, perhaps : OLD ROUTINE.  If you are in a rut.

4. Folk hero Kelly : NED.  Or cold-blooded murderer.  Who you gonna believe? He was an Irish-Australian bushranger, and bankrobber.  Eventually, he was hanged.

5. Glue base : GELATIN.  This is animal protein glue, though I never think of GELATIN in this context.

6. Greeley's advice : GO WEST.  Horace was a newspaper editor, abolitionist, vegetarian, and socialist.  Probably wouldn't do Jello shots.

7. Exiled Roman poet : OVID.  In 8 AD he was exiled by emperor Augustus from Rome to Tomis (now Constanţa, Romania), on the shores of the Black Sea, for reasons unknown.  At that time Tomis was a remote outpost at the edge of civilization, for Siberia had not yet been invented.  Maybe some of his pithy poetry pithed off old Augie.

8. Asian holiday : TET.   "Tết Nguyên Đán" is the Vietnamese New Year.  Why is Viet Nam so often conflated with all of Asia?   Or is this just another NIT?

9. Royal title: Abbr. : HRHHer Royal Highness.

10. Grads : ALUMNI.  Originates from the Latin alere, "to nourish or be nourished."

11. Hurt badly : MAIM.  Likely causing permanent damage.

12. Paris airport : ORLY.  Located 8 miles south of Paris, the 2nd busiest airport in France.

13. H.S. hurdles : S.A.T.'SScholastic Assessment Tests

18. MBA's course : ECON.  I had Finance and Accounting classes in my MBA program, but no ECONomics. 

19. Classy guys : GENTS.  Abrv. for GENTlemen.

24. Walked : TROD

25. Worms, e.g. : BAIT.  For some reason, this was elusive.

26. Prefix with -gon : OCTA.  Could have been POLY, HEXA, DECA  .  .  .

27. Jeans joint : SEAM.  I tried KNEE, then SEAT.  Neither SEAMed quite right.

28. '70s AMC compact : PACER.  A genuinely ugly vehicle, with none of the Edsel's piquant charm.

29. Beginning : ONSET.

30. More than just desires : OBSESSIONS.  I took "desires" to be a verb, and entered LUSTS AFTER.  Hey - it fits, in more ways than one.

31. Try to bite, puppy-style : NIP ATOh, my.

35. Spa displays? : BODS.  BODies, that is.  Could be, I guess.

37. Stir up : ROIL.  Am I stirring things up too much?

38. __ Domini : ANNO.  The year of our Lord, Roman calendar convention.

39. Grandson of Eve : ENOS.  The son of Seth, Adam and Eve's third son.    Also a very forgettable Dukes of Hazard spin-off.

41. Brief opening : INTRO.  Brief meaning abrvtd.

42. Cut : SCISSOR.  Here, SCISSOR is a verb.  I'm having some problems with parts of speech.

44. Response to "Look!" : I SEE IT.

45. Sarcastic laugh : HAR-HAR.

46. Palindromic fashion model : EMME. A plus size-model, and 22A homophone.

49. Squeeze (in) : CRAM.  Just the sound of the word makes it sound like a struggle.

50. Annoy : RILE.   And a near sound-alike to 37 A.  Are these fleckos?

51. Vegging out : IDLE

52. Sphere starter : ATMO -   Meh!  The layer of air surrounding the earth.

54. Harvesting target : CROP.

55. Paramedics, briefly : E.M.T.'S Emergency Medical Technicians

57. Diamond caller : UMP.  Used to be the UMPire calling balls and strikes incorrectly at the old ball game, but the short form now seems pretty standard.

58. Eastern path : TAO.  The Chinese word for path, route or way.  Laozi's metaphysical concept that is the basis for Confucianism and Zen Buddhism.

59. Song syllable : TRA.  Usually travels with La.

That's it, fellow travelers.  Overall an enjoyable puzzle though I did round up a few stray NITS.

Cool regards!

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