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 14, 2014

L.A. Times Crossword Puzzle Blogging

Wednesday, May 14, 2014  C. C. Burnikel

Theme: We all have our ups and downs; even the center of our solar system. I hope you got to see the circles in the puzzle, since they are crucial to discovering the placement and meaning of this clever and original theme.  The word SUN is contained in four symmetrically-placed, multiple-word vertical theme answers, alternating in retrograde and prograde arrangement, giving us two each of  SUN RISE and SUN SET.  I guess that makes this some sort of a concealed rebus, but I'll set aside my usual disdain in deference to this beautiful construction.

Here are the theme entries, presented from left to right in the grid, rather than numerical order, to preserve the rise and fall.

3 D. Pageant for under-20s : MISS TEEN USA.   This year's pageant will be at 8:00 p.m. on August 2nd at the Atlantis Paradise Island Resort in Nassau, Bahamas, many hours after SUNrise.  

32 D. Admits defeat : SAYS UNCLE.  Otherwise the victim's arm could get twisted until SUNset.  This expression might go all the way back to ancient Rome.

9 D. Like our secret : BETWEEN US.  Shhhh! Don't tell anyone.  At least not before SUNrise.

25 D. Cheating victim's cry : THAT'S UNFAIRA fair person would never let the SUN set on such an outrage.

And the centrally placed unifier, 14. "Fiddler on the Roof" song suggested twice by this puzzle's circles : SUNRISE, SUNSET, which then naturally becomes today's theme song.

A nice, elegant touch is that at each rotation of the SUN, the word is broken at the first letter encountered in reading, N for the rises and S for the sets.  Looks like North and South, rather than East and West.

This is not a startlingly unusual grid, but, upon closer inspection, it does seem a bit out of the ordinary.  The symmetrically placed horizontal 6 and 8 stacks near the top and bottom don't leave room for a more typical theme placement.  The 13-letter vertical unifier is not an axis of symmetry.  The only symmetry in the grid is 180 degree rotational, around the center square.  Let's see what else is in orbit.


1. Downfall : DEMISE.  From Late Middle English via Old French, and ultimately Latin.

7. Msg. to squad cars : APBAll Points Bulletin.  Note Abrv. in Cl. & Ans.

10. Luxury resort amenity : SPA.

13. "Savages" director Stone : OLIVER.  Not my kind of movie, but here is the trailer.

14. Unsportsmanlike sort : SOREHEAD.  Bad loser.

16. Egyptian president during the Suez Crisis : NASSER.  Gamal Abdal, Jan 15, 1918 - Sep 28, 1970.  He died of a heart attack shortly after the conclusion of the Arab League Summit Conference.

17. One-piece garments : UNITARDS.  Leotards with legs.

18. Golf Hall of Famer Ernie : ELS.   He is one of six golfers to twice win both the U.S. Open and The Open Championship.

 19. "Death in Venice" author : MANN.  Thomas.

21. Bugs on a highway : VWs.  Beetles.  In August you might see monarch butterflies.

22. Wobble : TEETER.  Weebles TEETER, but they don't fall down.

24. Gossip : YENTA.  Yiddish.

27. See 26-Down : SEA.   Plus:  26 D. With 27-Across, one end of the Dardanelles : AEGEAN.  The Dardanelles is a narrow strait in northwestern Turkey connecting the AEGEAN SEA to the Sea of Marmara.

28. Bird: Pref. : AVI-. So why isn't AVI-brained a common expression?

29. Tie up : TETHER.

31. Still-life pitchers : EWERS.

33. __ Martin: Bond's car : ASTON.

35. Dating service datum : AGE.

36. Summer of songs : DONNA.  Summer is hot.

37. Narc's org. : DEADrug Enforcement Agency.

38. Peso spender's pronoun : USTED.  You, nominative case, formal.

40. __-turn : NO U.  Ixnay on the ooeyay.

41. Brewery supply : YEAST.   Hops, barley, malt.

43. "What a shame!" : SO SAD.

44. Size up : ASSESS.  Want to ASSESS these asses?

46. Beehive State college player : UTE.

48. Attila follower : HUN.  Atilla ruled the Huns from 434 until his death in 453.  This great warrior died of a nose bleed on his wedding night.  The recent report that his grave had been found turned out to be a hoax.

49. Overact : HAM UP.  And 45 D. Overact : EMOTE.  Crossing clechos share the M.

50. Big name in antivirus software : NORTON.

52. "Dear Yoko" subject : ONO.  Song from the Double Fantasy album.

53. Rise precipitously : SOAR

54. Coat lining : FUR.  Silver is for clouds

57. Treatment for burnout : REST CURE

61. "Confidence in Motion" car : SUBARU.  

63. Has a knack for : EXCELS AT

64. Online order confirmations : E-MAILS

65. Designer of Hong Kong's Bank of China Tower : PEI.   Ieoh Ming Pei (born April 26, 1917) is a Chinese born American architect who likes sweeping lines and cantilevered structures.

66. Brain scan letters : EEG. ElectroEncepheloGraph

67. Far from abundant : SPARSE.   I had SCARCE.


1. "Ta-da!" : DONE.  Did you get the Ta-da?

2. Airline to Tel Aviv : EL AL.

4. Drips in the ICU : IVs. Intensive Care Unit and  Intra-Venous.  Note Abrvs.

5. Terse meeting request : SEE ME.  Usually not good news.

6. Editorial slips : ERRATA.  Mistakes in copy.

7. Chicago Loop's __ Center : AON.  Skyscraper completed in 1974, originally the Standard Oil Building

8. In on : PRIVY TO.

10. Inspiring lesson, perhaps: Abbr. : SER.  Sermon.

11. Spot for notes : PAD.  Is your i-Pad a note pad?

12. Website clutter : ADs.

15. "It __ hit me yet" : HASN'T.  And maybe it won't

20. Place name meaning "snow-covered" : NEVADA.  Spanish.

23. Draw wages : EARN.  I'm very disappointed that I couldn't find a picture of a cartoonist literally drawing wages.

27. Logo on some sports bras : SWOOSH.

30. Funny Foxx : REDD.  Of Sanford and Son fame.

31. Writer Ferber : EDNA.  August 18, 1885, July 16, 1968.  She wrote Giant, So Big, Showboat and Cimarron.

34. Skin picture : TATTOO.

39. NYC gallery district : SOHOSouth of Houston Street.

42. Champion, as a cause : ESPOUSE.

47. Deletes : ERASES.

51. "You're fired!" speaker : TRUMP.  The Donald.

55. Bing results, briefly : URLs.  Internet search engine.

56. Stratagem : RUSE

57. GOP member : REPublican.  No politics.

58. Program file suffix : EXEcutable.

59. "Nova" subj. : SCIence.

60. Tattered tee, maybe : RAG.  Re-use for old clothes.

62. Pipe up in the pasture : BAA.  "Is it ewe?" Tom asked, sheepishly.

An excellent puzzle by our own fearless leader.  Hope you all enjoyed this cirque du soleil.

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