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.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

L.A. Times Cross Word Puzzle Blogging

Wednesday, December 18, 2013  Jeffrey Wechsler

Theme: I wouldn't bet on it.  Or - in the constructor's words - OUTSIDE CHANCE.  Today we have the unlikely occurrence of the word CHANCE, split in two and occurring at the outside edges of the theme entries, like bookends.  

20 A. "Oh, baby, that's what I like!" oldie : CHANTILLY LACE.  The Big Bopper, of course.  February 3rd, 1959 was the day the music died, when the Big Guy, along with Richie Valens and Buddy Holly went down in a plane crash near Mason City, Iowa.  In this video clip he is very much alive.

27 A. Barrier with built-in footholds : CHAIN LINK FENCE.   Still can be hazardous to climb over.  Watch your step.

45 A. Site of the first Winter Olympics : CHAMONIX FRANCE.  1924.  A bit before my time.

And the unifier, 52 A. What a long shot has, and, literally, what 20-, 27- and 45-Across each has : OUTSIDE CHANCE.  An estimate of the likelihood of an occurrence that is neither probable nor impossible, like the Lions winning their division after losing Monday night due to a 61 yard field goal in the waning seconds of the game. 

It's a bit ambiguous because of the placement of the letters "A" in 45 A, but you can read the theme entries as a progression of letters in CHAIN moving from the left to right bookend.  This gives the theme another level of elegance.

Hi gang, JazzBumpa here.  I think there's better than an OUTSIDE CHANCE we'll enjoy today's outing.


1. Poet whose work was read in "Four Weddings and a Funeral" : AUDEN.  The poem is W. H. Auden's Funeral Blues. I never saw the movie, and when the camera pans the congregation I see two of my least favorite annoying British actors, so it's not likely I'll catch up.  But the poetry scene is quite gripping.

6. Animal skin : HIDE.  I got PELTed, but then PELT got perpetrated.

10. Zantac target : ACID.  Acid reflux med.

14. Mowing the lawn, e.g. : CHORE.  Not for me.  We outsourced this job.

15. Venerated one : IDOL.  Some are American.

16. Ritual heap : PYRE.  I'm pretty sure I've linked this before.  Best PYRE seen ever.

17. Andrea __: ill-fated ocean liner : DORIA.   On Wednesday, July 25, 1956, The Andrea DORIA collided with the Stockholm in heavy fog in the ocean south of Nantucket, Mass.  In a great big ocean, isn't that an OUTSIDE CHANCE?

18. Harp constellation : LYRA.  And that's the truth!

19. Assist in a bad way : ABET.  Not bad assistance, but assistance in a bad deed.

23. Dramatist Coward : NOEL.  Just in time for Christmas.

24. Beat rapidly : THROB

32. "Cut me some __!" : SLACK.

33. Corp. bigwig : C.E.OChief Executive Officer.

34. Seventh Greek letter : ETA. Started as a consonant, ended up as a vowel.  Really - what are the chances?.  Looks like this: Η or η.

35. Puts the past in the past : MOVES ON.  Not to be confused with putting the moves on someone.

38. Lhasa native : TIBETAN.

41. Ingested : ATE.

42. Romance : WOO.  Used here as a verb.

44. They're pulled by coachmen : REINS.  It's how they hold their horses.

50. 1950s conflict zone : KOREA.

51. Showy perennial : IRIS.

59. Something extra : PLUS.

61. Acting award : OBIE.  Awarded annually by The Village Voice for off-Broadway productions.

62. Net receipts? : E-MAIL.  Clever.

63. "Great" dog : DANE

64. Make fun of : RAZZ.

65. Tells the cops everything : SINGS.  Squeals, spills the beans, rats .  .  .

66. Tacked on: Abbr. : ADDL. Additional.   This abrv. looks a bit addled.

67. Arboretum growth : TREE.  Druid's company, TREE's a crowd.

68. Make fun of : TEASE.  Don't TEASE me, bro.  PLUS, it's a clecho!


 1. Outlet letters : ACDC.  Electricity.

2. "Here comes trouble!" : UH-OH.  What Lion's fans think late in the 4th quarter.

3. The first Mrs. Copperfield : DORA.  Not DORIA.

4. The Auld Sod : ERIN.  The Emerald Isle.

5. Fastidious folk : NEATNIKS.  The nice thing is, you never have to clean up after them.

6. Early Talmudic sage : HILLEL.  He gave us the golden rule: "That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow. That is the whole Torah; the rest is the explanation; go and learn."

7. Charmingly rustic : IDYLLIC.

8. Small fishing boat : DORY.  A small Hungarian boat is a Hunky DORY.  Mine is named DORA DORIA DORY.

9. Tel Aviv airline : EL AL.

10. Geronimo's tribe : APACHE.  His is a sad story.  You can read about it here.

11. Like the Borg race in "Star Trek" spin-offs : CYBERNETIC.  "Borg" is short for "Cyborg", which is short for "cybernetic organism", a being with both organic and artificial parts.

12. Explosive state : IRE. Often encountered at the end of a Lions game.

13. City of Lions and Tigers: Abbr. : DET.  DETroit.  Lions and Tigers - oh my.

21. Lithium __ battery : ION.

22. Explosives regulating org. : ATF.  The oddly grouped Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms.

25. Fuel number : OCTANE.  Don't knock it.

26. Vegan protein source : BEANS.  To get complete protein, combine with either corn or rice.

27. Thread-spinning Fate : CLOTHO.  In ancient Greek mythology, the younger sister of Lachesis and Atropos.  Clotho spun the thread of human life.  Best not to needle her.

28. Keep available : HAVE AROUND.  Sadly, HAVE ON HAND also fits.

29. Pitcher you can count on : ACE.  We have some in DET.

30. Angler's scoop : NET.

31. Ornamental fish : KOI.   Something fishy is going on here.

32. Suggest the presence (of) : SMACK.  

36. Take responsibility for : OWN

37. "__ don't": terse denial : NO I.  Remember, there's NO I in team. 

39. Most impertinent : BRASHEST.  Yeah.  I own that.

40. Yet, to the Bard : E'EN.  "EVEN" with an elided "V."   I think.

43. Get rusty : OXIDIZE.  Iron oxide is rust.  How do you get wrinkles out of an ox?  Iron ox HIDE.

46. Outfielder Bob of the 1920s Yankees' "Murderers' Row" : MEUSEL.  Also before my time.  Excellent run producing 3rd baseman and outfielder.  You can see his stats here.

47. Muffin grain : OAT

48. Citrus grower's concern : FREEZE.

49. Guitarist Ocasek : RIC.  He is the one.

53. Variety : SORT.  Here, sort is a noun.

54. Construction beam : I-BAR.

55. Gallic girlfriend : AMIE.  Like this, perhaps.

56. The Darlings' dog : NANA.  Not ASTA the other movie dog.  From Peter Pan.

57. Short smokes? : CIGS.   Cigarettes, with ax X-word code for an abbreviation.  

58. "When all __ fails ..." : ELSE.

59. High-tech organizer, briefly : P.D.APersonal Data Assistant

60. Shaver : LAD.  Little shaver.  Haven't heard that expression since I was one.  Evidently the expression stems from considering the wee ones as little chips or shavings off their parents.  Quaint.

Quite a bit of retro today, but a fun romp.  Hope you had a CHANCE to enjoy it.

Cool regards!

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