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, February 26, 2014

L.A.Tmies Crossword Puzzle Blogging

Wednesday, February 26, 2014, Bryan W. Young and Jeff Chen

Theme: TO GRANDMOTHER'S HOUSE WE GO.   Not necessarily over the river, but definitely through the woods, where we encounter THE BIG BAD WOLF in hot pursuit of LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD.  Don't be alarmed if you had trouble finding them.  The forest provides lots of hiding places. [Full disclosure: I had to get help from C. C. to spot them.]  Lots of themage, and tight construction, as all of the WOLF's entries are the first words of two word answer, hugging the left margin, and our heroine's entries are the second words of two word answers, hugging the right margin.  Note also that from top to bottom, our antagonist's and protagonist's answers alternate.  Unusual placement for theme entries makes this a bit hard to suss, but high marks for creativity in executing this original theme.

16. "Blackadder" network : THE BBC.  British Broadcasting

26. Head honcho : BIG CHEESE.   Slang.

 42. Unsavory sort : BAD EGG.   Can one spoil the whole crate?

 53. Borzois, e.g. : WOLF HOUNDS.  Russian variety.

20. Impressionist whom Mel Blanc labeled "The Man of a Thousand Voices" : RICH LITTLE.  I found one that's not political.

 35. Show shame, perhaps : GET RED.  Blushing.when you can't suss the theme.

 48. Driving with abandon : JOY RIDING.  Couldn't find an appropriate clip.

63. Prominent Ore. peak : MT. HOOD.  A stratovolcano in the Cascade Volcanic Arc of northern Oregon, formed by a subduction zone on the Pacific coast.  It's last major eruptive period was about 200 years ago. Note abrv. in cl. & ans.

Hi Gang, JzB here.  Let's grab our borzoi and see if we can make our way through this forest without getting lost or consumed.


1. McCarthy's dummy friend : SNERD.  Edger Bergan's pals Charlie and Mortimer.  Here they with a LITTLE-free impersonation.

6. Baltic, e.g. : SEA.  Water you talkin' about?

9. Cougar : PUMA.  Mountain lion, not that other kind.

13. Canadian dollar coin nickname : LOONIE.  Named for the loon on the reverse of its dohler coil.


14. "I threw away my golf shoes when I got a hole in one," e.g. : PUN.  Double meaning word play

15. Computer operating system : UNIX.  Apple's OS X is a variant.

17. Hosp. heart exam : ECG.  Electro- Cardio Gram

18. Medicinal dose : PILL.  Alternative to a spoonfull.

19. Cutie pie : DOLL.  Like Nancy Wilson.

23. Baltic feeder : ODER.   Does this river smell funny?

25. "... a __ / By any other name ..." : ROSE.  Would still be surrounded by thorns.

30. Tolkien's talking trees : ENTS.  They aren't actually trees.  They just look like them.

33. Equal: Pref. : ISO.  -bar, -metric, -tonic, -mer, etc.

34. "The Mod Squad" cop : LINC.   He's the man in the middle.

37. Smudge : BLUR.

39. '60s jacket style : NEHRU.

41. UFO-tracking org. : SETISearch for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence

44. Respectful address : MA'AM.

46. From, in some European names : VON.  Like the von Trapp family.

47. Star witnesses? : MAGI.  Clever.  They followed younder star.

50. Hispaniola, por ejemplo : ISLA.  Spanish island.

52. Poet __ St. Vincent Millay : EDNA.  Famous for her poetry and many love affairs.

57. Gratify : SATE.

61. Put out : EMIT.

62. Low numero : UNO.  Also a card game, which could have been cited to avoid the Spanish

 65. Wither in the sun : BAKE.

66. Porter's "__ De-Lovely" : IT'S.  Like this DOLL.

67. B beater : A-MINUS.  Making the grade

68. Raised : BRED.  Like a Borzoi.

69. Look at : EYE.   Ogle the DOLLS.

70. Super Bowl XLVII player : NINER.  San Francisco Fourty-Niner.  They lost to the Baltimore Ravins, 34-31.


1. Area below Greenwich Village : SOHO.  Lower Manhattan area South of Houston St.

2. Sleigh ride song : NOEL.  Here we go a-caroling.

3. As a whole : EN BLOC.  I'll bet you have never said this in casual conversation.

4. Kid : RIB. Like an elbow poke there.

5. Making pronouncements : DECREEING.

6. A writer may work on it : SPEC.  Speculation - writing a piece without a contract, in hope of selling it.

7. Trick-taking card game : EUCHRE.  Pronounced Yooker.  Popular game in Michigan, Ohio, Illinois and Wisconsin.  People from other parts of the country might never have heard of it.

8. Prefix meaning "English" : ANGLO.

9. Portable shelters : PUP TENTS.  For your young borzoi.

10. Curriculum part : UNIT.

11. Grain grinder : MILL.

12. Rod in a hot rod : AXLE.  Keeps the wheels from falling off.

13. Letters on some Brit. letterheads : LTD.  For Private Limited Liability Corporation.  It's shares may not be sold to the public.

21. Dancer Castle : IRENE.  She and her husband Vernon were the best known ballroom dancers of the early 20th century, and appeared in films and musicals.

22. Oracle's opening : I SEE.  Did you see this coming?

24. UPS competitor : DHL.  Shipping, transport, and import-export services company.

26. Lettuce variety : BIBB.  A type of head lettuce with a loose arrangement of leaves, known for its sweet flavor and tender texture.

27. Imam's faith : ISLAM.

28. Fondue choice : GOUDA.  A Big Cheese!

29. Knucklehead : SCHMO.  Typical Yiddish insult beginning with SCH-.  Originally an idiot or cuckold.

31. "Three Coins ..." fountain : TREVI.   In Rome.

32. Resolute about : SET ON.

35. Reserve soldier : GUARDSMAN.  This took a lot of perp help.

36. Minor dent : DING.

38. Put a bad present to good use : REGIFTED.  If "put to good use" means "got rid of."

40. Like daisies : RAYED.

43. Lillian of the silver screen : GISH.  Her movie career spanned 1912 to 1987.

45. Musical key abbr. : MIN.  Minor.  Here's an example from a major composer.  Note the shift to major from 1:43 to 1:57 in this 3 minute clip.

48. Smart-looking : JAUNTY

49. Enter quickly : DASH IN.

51. Character in "Donald's Nephews" (1938 cartoon) : LOUIE.  Along with Huey and Dewey

53. 5'7" Spud who won the 1986 NBA Slam Dunk contest : WEBB.  At 5'7", he's one of the shortest players in NBA history.  His career lasted from 1985 to '98.

54. "Rubáiyát" poet : OMAR. Per Wikipedia, Ghiyāth ad-Dīn Abu'l-Fatḥ ʿUmar ibn Ibrāhīm al-Khayyām Nīshāpūrī was a Persian polymath, philosopher, mathematician, astronomer and poet. He also wrote treatises on mechanics, geography, mineralogy, music, and Islamic theology.  Busy guy.

55. Enjoy : LIKE

56. Bouquet : NOSE.  Aroma

58. Top-of-the-line : A-ONE.  Better than A-minus.

59. Visit with a guide : TOUR.

60. Money mgrs.? : EDSMoney Magazine Editors.  Sneaky.

64. Texter's "I didn't need to know that!" : TMI.  Too Much Information.

The theme was a tough nut to crack, and the long down fill further complicated the matter.  But still, a well-constructed, fun solve.  Hope you enjoyed it.

Cool Regards

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

L.A. Times Crossword Puzzle Blogging

Wednesday, February 12, 2014 Jim Horne and Jeff Chen

Theme: What - the H?  or The H you say!   When you see a strikingly unusual grid, that's a strong hint that something out of the ordinary is up, and we got it today in spades.  I guess the big block H in the center of the grid, surrounded by horizontal and vertical brackets, serves as a unifier, of a sort.  Instead of a conceptual theme, today every horizontal and vertical entry contains the letter H.  I can't even imagine what was involved in putting this together.  For most of the fill, it's exactly exactly one time, but there are a few two H words. 

Hi Gang, JazzBumpa at the helm.  No Hemming and Hawing, let's have at it.


1. Scale on which diamond is assigned a "10" : MOHS.  Hardness of minerals.  Talc is softest. 

5. Owl's question? : WHO.  How should I know?

8. "Music __ charms ..." : HATH. To soothe a savage breast.  The actual quote has the word "HAS" not "HATH."  This is the first line of the play The Mourning Bride by William Congreve, spoken by Almeria in Act I, Scene 1.

12. The sego lily is its state flower : UTAH.  Hibiscus is Hawaii's

13. Map out : CHART.  Here are some of my charts [graphs, actually], if you're interested.  Six Decades of U. S. Population Growth.

15. Nymph rejected by Narcissus : ECHO.  He loved his image.  She loved her voice.  Unhappy ending

16. Actress Elisabeth : SHUE.  Heroine?

17. Deck opening : HATCH. For loading cargo.

18. Work on jerky : CHEW.  Holy mouthful, Batman.

19. WWII aircraft carrier plane : HELLCATHigh performing flyer.

21. Iowa native : HAWKEYE.

23. Tax-sheltered nest egg : ROTH IRA.

25. Hippy dance : HULA.  Hips in motion, not from the Haight-Ashbury hangout

28. 1963 Newman film : HUD.  Anti-hero.

29. Ousted Iranian : SHAH.  Horrible despot.

33. Arctic "snowshoe" critters : HARES.

34. Quizzical sounds : EHS.

35. Bears owner/coach who won eight NFL titles in four different decades : HALAS.  Highly successful.

37. Singer Piaf : EDITH.  Huge in France.

38. Soup base : BROTH.

39. Luxury craft : YACHT.

40. Quiet "Quiet!" : SHH.  Hush.

43. "Ulysses" actor Milo : O'SHEA.

44. Quaint pronoun : THEE.

45. "Isn't __ bit like you and me?": Beatles lyric : HE A.  Where is he?

46. Solvers' cries : AHAS.  Having that AHA moment.

47. Tremulous glow : SHIMMER.

50. Except : SHORT OF.

54. Beeline : MAD DASH.  Hurrying.

59. "Hava Nagila" dance : HORA.  Hold hands; dance in a circle.

60. Different : OTHER.   Who are you?

62. Worker welfare org. : Occupational Safety and Health Adminitration.

63. Progress slowly : INCH

64. Organ with chambers : HEART.  Has auricles and ventricles.

65. Son of Odin : THOR. Hammer guy.

66. Sinister chuckles : HEHS.

67. "Revenge is __ best served cold" : A DISH.  Has uncertain origin.

68. Seven: Pref. : HEPT-.  Is a member of a cool HEPTet a HEPT cat?


 1. Soft stuff : MUSH.

2. Will-wisp link : O' THE.  Hinkypunk - per Wikipedia, atmospheric ghost light seen by travelers at night, especially over bogs, swamps or marshes. It resembles a flickering lamp and is said to recede if approached, drawing travelers from the safe paths.

3. Truck : HAUL.

4. Poet Silverstein : SHEL.  He wrote Where the Sidewalk Ends.

5. Words said with a double take : WHAT THE.  Often followed by H  .  .  .

6. Fez, e.g. : HAT. Head cover.

7. Corsage flowers : ORCHIDS.

8. "Consarn it!" : HECK.  Not the H  .  .  . word I had in mind.

9. Motrin target : ACHE.   Hurts!

10. Those folks : THEY

11. Suffragette Julia Ward __ : HOWE. (1819-1910) Also abolitionist and poet, she wrote The Battle Hymn of the Republic.

13. Former Labor secretary Elaine : CHAO.   Only cabinet member to serve under President George W. Bush for his entire administration; Wife of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell

14. Where she blows : THAR.  Whale.

20. Vehicle safety measure : CRASH TEST.

22. Jug band percussion instrument : WASH BOARD.  Here's how it's done.

24. "Say what?" : HUH.

25. Tackled : HAD AT.  Attempted

26. "Vega$" actor : URICH.  Robert.

27. Mythical river of forgetfulness : LETHE.  Hades river, flowing around the cave of Hypnos and through the underworld.

30. Grating : HARSH.

31. "Hello, wahine!" : ALOHA. Hi.  Howaya?

32. Can't stand : HATES.

33. "You, there!" : HEY.

36. Doo-wop syllable : SHA.

40. Went from first to second, say : SHIFTED.  Ha - gears.  I wanted a stolen base.

41. Jeans bottom : HEM.  Stitchery.

42. Pounds : HAMMERS.  Like THOR.

48. Ado : HOOHA.   Or Brouhaha.

49. Mars neighbor : EARTH.  Heavenly orbs.

50. __ Tzu : SHIH.  Hairy hound

51. Fine-tune : HONE.

52. B'way seating area : ORCHestra.

53. Sounds from the stands : RAHS.  Hooray!

55. Shakespearean verb : DOTHHow DOTH the little crocodile?

56. 1975 Wimbledon winner : ASHE. Tennis star Arthur.

57. Hit the mall : SHOP.

58. Antlered deer : HART.

61. Ginza agreement : HAI はい "Yes" in Japanese.

How did you like this puzzle by Messrs. Horne and Chen ?  Has a couple of force-fit entries, but over-all pretty smooth construction, and quite an original concept.  Did anybody else think of Hard and soft G's?

Cool Regards!