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 9, 2015

L. A. Times Crossword Puzzle Blogging Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2015 Kurt Krauss

Theme: DIVESTITURES, being the opposite of mergers, in which companies come together.  For today's theme, they come apart. To make sense of this, let's part with tradition and start with the unifier.

38 A. Went different ways ... or what each of six sets of circled letters literally represents : PARTED COMPANY.   Anyone who has an Ex or two can relate. But here, COMPANY means a profit oriented business organization.  In the grid, COMPANY names are bookends in the theme fill, PARTED by the central letters.   The letters in the names are indicated with circles in the grid.  If you didn't get them, then the whole thing was probably baffling.

18 A. WWI aircraft : TRIPLANE.  A fixed wing aircraft with three vertically stacked wing planes.  TRANE COMPANY makes heating and air conditioning units for homes.

20 A. They may coordinate with floor mats : SEAT COVERS.  Automotive interior accessories.  SEARS is a chain of department stores founded in 1886

29 A. Bedstead part : FOOT BOARD.  Bedstead is a word you don't see every day.  It is the framework that holds the box springs and mattress.  At a minimum, there will be a head board, FOOT BOARD and side rails of some nature.  FORD is a venerable maker of automobiles and light trucks.

45 A. In the opposite order : VICE VERSA.  Silly me.  I thought this was about DF poetry.  But no, it's a reversal.  You can call me collect and VICE VERSA the charges.  VISA is an American-based multi-national financial services company.  Per Wikipedia, they "do not issue credit cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for consumers; rather, Visa provides financial institutions with Visa-branded payment products that they then use to offer credit, debit, prepaid and cash-access programs to their customers."   

58. Some deal closers : HAND SHAKES.  One of my musician friends just got stiffed on a HAND SHAKE agreement.  His advice, and I think our in-house legal staff would concur, is to always get it in writing.  HANES is probably best known for their undergarments, but they also make other types of clothing for men, women, and children.

62. Hit-by-pitch consequence : DEAD BALL.  Baseball.  DEAD BALL is a type of official time out, when the ball is not playable, and runners may not advance farther than they are forced.  In the hit-by-pitch situation, the hit batter is awarded first base.  A runner on that base advances to 2nd base, but no farther.  Runners on other bases stay put until play is again commenced.

Each company name consists of either 4 or 5 letters.  The 4 letter names are parted 2 and 2, while the 5 letter words are parted either 2 and 3 or 3 and 2 - as close to the middle as you can get.  The six theme entries are arranged symmetrically, with the unifier in the middle.  It's a pretty elegant construction.

Hi, Gang - Jazzbumpa here.  Let's see what else we can find.


1. Under the weather : LAID UP.  Ill and unavailable - probably in bed, laying down.  Thank you English language.

7. Like cotton candy : SPUN.  Cotton candy is spun sugar.

11. Fund-raising org. : PTA.  Parent Teacher's Association, with school fund raisers.

14. Provoke : INCITE.   From the Latin, in + citare, to arouse.

15. Subtle glow : AURA.

16. Trip segment : LEG.

17. Utopian : EDENIC.  Two versions of perfect, idealized existence.

22. Quarterback's target : END.   In American football, an eligible pass receiver.  Richard Rodgers is one for Green Bay.  I don't want to talk about it.

23. Payroll deduction : TAX.

24. Volcanic debris : ASH.  Last Thursday morning, crossword favorite Mt. Etna erupted, spewing ASH 10,000 feet into the sky.  The lava fountain was close to a mile high.  It was all over in less than an hour.

25. Big maker of chips : INTEL.   Computer innards.

27. Till compartment : ONES.   This had me scratching my head till I remembered that till was the cash register drawer, having separate compartments for different bill denominations.  Still seems a bit awkward.

33. MSN, for one : ISP.  MicroSoft Network is an Internet Service Provider.

36. Meander : ROAM.   Rove also fits.  Wander does not.

37. Under the weather : ILL.  Possibly LAID UP or laying down, and a genuine clecho.

42. Homer's path : ARC.  Where did Homer ROAM while writing the Odyssey?  Homer Simpson's path would likely take him to Moe's.  But the path of an air-born struck baseball is an ARC, and a home run, aka HOMER, is one example.

43. Middle name on many patents : ALVA.   Thomas ALVA Edison [1947- 1931], holder of 1093 U. S. patents in a variety of technologies.  

44. BYU or NYU : SCH.  Brigham Young University and New York University are both Schools.

48. Modern address starter : HTTP.  HyperText Transfer Protocol, by which we communicate at The Corner and all over the net, represents the first 4 characters of a web-site address.

52. Tickle : AMUSE.  Have delightful fun.

53. __ in November : N AS.  Initially speaking.

56. Mama bear, in Madrid : OSA.  OSA, a bear, a female bear - En Español.

57. 1980s Peppard co-star : MR.T.  From the A-Team.

64. West Point students : CADETS.  At the U. S. Military Acadamy

65. Corner key : ESCape.  On our computer keyboard - but who would want to escape from The Corner?

66. Italian noble family : ESTE.  Dating from at least the 10th century, the elder branch produced German dukes, the British Hanover line, and Czar Ivan VI of Russia.  I read somewhere once that as early as the 12th century, European royalty was so inbred it was almost impossible to find someone to marry who wasn't a cousin.  These days if you're related to any European royalty, you're related to all of them.

67. Danish port named for a Norse god : ODENSE.  Denmark's 3rd largest city.  The name is derived from words meaning "Oden's sanctuary."  The site has been inhabited for over 4000 years.  The city celebrated its millennium in 1988.

68. Pen : STY.  For piggies.

69. Hammer-wielding god : THOR.  His name is derived from the same old germanic root as our word thunder, and also gives us our name for the Day Thursday.

70. Got nervous, with "up" : TENSED.   In need of a massage or a stiff drink.  I like to relax by AMUSing myself with VICE VERSA. 


1. Deliberately misinforms : LIES TO.  Why am I thinking of Pinocchio?

2. Like llamas : ANDEAN.   From the Andes mountains.  Though these new world humpless camel wanna-bes probably originated in the North American great plains 40 million years ago, they were gone from the homeland by the last ice age. 

3. Mountaineering aid : ICE AXE.  For chopping hand and foot holds.

4. Effort : DINT.  Originally a forceful blow, or the mark left by one, which does require some effort.

5. City in New York's Mohawk Valley : UTICA.    On RT. 90 between Syracuse and Albany.

6. Cowboy legend __ Bill : PECOS.   A fictional character of pseudo-folklore, invented by Edward O'Reilly and first published in Century Magazine in 1917.

7. Fill and then some : SATE.  Or simply filled to the maximum.

8. Run smoothly : PURR.  Like a well tuned engine.

9. "The Haj" novelist : URIS.  Leon.  This novel, published in 1984, relates the experiences of a Palestinian family caught up in the historical events of 1920's through the '50's.

10. Siesta : NAP.  En Español.

11. Often-fried tropical fruit : PLANTAIN.   Looks like an oversized banana.

12. With affection : TENDERLY.   Like this.

13. "Act your __!" : AGE.   Not me.  My motto is, "What I lack in youth, I make up for with immaturity!"

19. Fallon's predecessor : LENO.   Late night TV hosts.

21. TV channels 2-13 : VHF.  Very High Frequency.  Higher channels are Ultra High Frequency.

25. Computer debut of 1981 : IBM PC.  Needs no explanation.

26. Cholesterol initials : LDL.   Low Density Lipoprotein.   Lipoproteins transport lipids (fats, waxes, sterols) in the blood stream.  The High Density variety are more effective at moving cholesterol and fats.  The LDL's are more likely to allow these molecules to plate out onto the arterial walls causing atherosclerosis.  This gives rise to the confusing bad/good cholesterol concept.  You want to keep your LDL Low and your HDL High.   It's worth noting that - despite decades of misleading advertising - since cholesterol is produced in every cell of the body, there is absolutely no relatoinship between cholesterol in the blood stream and cholesterol in the diet.  Things that do matter are total fat intake, LDL (animal fat) to HDL (vegetable oil) ratio, and exercise.

28. Title for Noël Coward : SIR.   Like this flamboyant, witty English composer, playwright, singer and actor, I'd rather be knighted than benighted.

30. Seal-hunting swimmers : ORCAS.   Killer whales.

31. Valentine card hugs : O-O-O.  Symbolically speaking. ( O )

32. Flat hats : TAMS.

34. Barrel support : STAVE.

35. Soccer legend who turned 75 in 2015 : PELE.

38. Most like a schoolmarm : PRIMMEST.   It's "marm" that elicits the PRIM image, rather than a generic idea of a teacher

39. Precision : ACCURACY.  Sorry, but this is not ACCURATE.  ACCURACY is hitting the bull's eye. Precision is placing all your shots together, even if they miss the target.   A good shooter has both.

40. Device for binge-watching : DVR.  Digital Video Recorder.

41. "How relaxing!" : AHH.   Indulging in a 70A cure, perhaps.

42. Gardner of the silver screen : AVA.

46. Cornerstone abbr. : EST'D.   Established.

47. Furthermore : AND.  Also, too, additionally, to boot.

49. Arcade coins : TOKENS.  Did you ever present someone with an arcade coin of your esteem?

50. African threat : TSETSE.  Blood-sucking vermin and unpleasant carrier of sleeping sickness. It is refreshing to see the whole fly, though.

51. Got a C in, say : PASSED. Got by in a mediocre fashion.

54. Knotted neckwear : ASCOT.

55. Relief from the sun : SHADE.  Trees, umbrellas, tall buildings  .  .  .

58. Diner breakfast order : HASH.  With eggs, presumably.

59. Chorus line? : ALTO.    Alto is, of course, one of the voices.  A composer might write an ALTO part.  Line, though - that's a stretch, and I'm not fond of it.

60. Card or D'back : NLER.  National Leaguer in major league baseball.  One occasionally encounters NLER and it's counterpart ALER outside of crossword puzzles.  Though I love baseball,  I would like to not see them anywhere.

61. Yemeni seaport : ADEN.   On the gulf of Aden, the upper western arm of the Arabian Sea.

62. __ Moines : DES.   Originally, Fort DES Moines, the capital of Iowa and its largest city, nestled along the banks of the river for which it is named, possibly from the French for "River of the Monks."    

63. Wager : BET.

That wraps it up.  I had my nits, but overall, a pretty nice solving experience.  Hope you enjoyed it.

Cool regards!

P.S. Here's a bonus.  Since it's December 9th, and according to the song, it's OK to get that Christmas spirit into gear.   Happy Holidays!

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