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, June 15, 2016

L.A. Times Crossword Puzzle Blogging June 15, 2016, Jeffrey Wechsler

Theme:  Of COURSE I will treat you in a FAIR WAY, and never give you a ROUGH time. Did you suspect a TRAP? You must be GREEN as grass!  Today we have a hidden words theme, which is much easier to spot if you also had the circles.  The hidden words, in reverse chronological order will take us through one short par 4 hole on a golf course.  Each hidden word is the name of a golf shot, and spans two words of a multi-word phrase.   

17. "It's now or never!" : I CAN'T PUT THIS OFF.  This looks over-eager, but it pays to be patient when you are lining up your PUTT.  This is the shot where you roll your ball along the green and hope that it either goes into the hole or hits some solid object behind it.

27. Play the Lute or Grasp the Sparrow's Tail, in martial arts : TAI CHI POSITION.  The CHIP is a short approach shot to the green, generally highly arched.   I know nothing of TAI CHI, but here are some of the positions.

47. Folk ballad also known as "Cowboy Love Song" : RED RIVER VALLEY.   The DRIVE is typically the first shot on any par 4 or 5 hole.

59. "Whatchu talkin' 'bout, Willis?" sitcom ... or, literally, occupants of this puzzle's circles : DIFF'RENT STROKES.   Each swing of a golf club counts as one STROKE, and here we have three diff'rent ones.  Missing from this sequence is the fairway iron shot, but if you can get close to the green with your DRIVE, you won't need one.   When I played, it was more accurately descriptive to spell golf backwards.  I have since determined that my quality of life is in direct proportion to my distance from the game.   Maybe Husker Gary should have done this one.

The subject TV show ran from 1978 to 1986, starring Gary Coleman as Arnold and Todd Bridges as his brother Willis, two orphaned African-American boys taken in by a rich white widower for whom their late mother formerly worked.

Hi gang, JazzBumpa here to FLOG this one along.  Let's see if we can avoid hazards and reconnoiter on the 19th hole.


1. Ritzy : POSH.  Ostentatious display of conspicuous consumption.

5. Cockroach, e.g. : PEST.  No need for a link.

9. Puccini classic : TOSCA.  I don't like opera, so no link here either.

14. Acreage : AREA.  As of a golf course or some other plot of land.

15. Comics pooch with a big red tongue : ODIE.

16. Islamic analogue of kosher : HALAL.

20. Where to buy EBAY : NASDAQ.  Listing service for stocks not on the New York or American Stock Exchanges.

21. Was in charge of : RAN.

22. Org. for Serena Williams : Woman's Tennis Association.

23. Canine tooth : CUSPID.  A tooth with a single cusp or point.

26. School gps. : Parent Teacher AssocoationS.

32. Dating : WITH.  Sure, you can be WITH someone you're dating, but you can also be WITH your golf group or your dog.  Not fond of this clue.

33. Skin blemish : ZIT.  Acne, the adolescent's bane.

34. Addams family nickname : TISH.   Morticia.

35. Journalist Stewart or Joseph : ALSOP.   Brothers who cowrote the "Matter of Fact" column for the New York Herald Tribune from 1945 to 1958.   They were grand-nephews of Theodor Roosevelt.

37. Use, as resources : TAP.

39. Hardly economical : STEEP.   As in a high price.

42. Novelist Stoker : BRAM.  He gave us Dracula.

44. Logical beginning? : GEO-.  Prefix clue for the science of earth study. 

46. Galley implements : OARS.  Ancient warship propelled by both sails and rowers. 

50. Course elevators : TEES.  Not a teaser clue - little devices that elevate golf balls, and thus relate to the DRIVE portion of the theme.  

51. Scatter : DISPEL.  More commonly, get rid of.  Comes from the Latin, meaning to drive away -  which, I suppose, could be in several directions.  

52. Lease alternative : OWN.  We OWN one vehicle and lease the other.

53. Sit in a cellar, say : AGE.  As wine or cheese.

54. Marriott rival : RAMADA.  Hotels

63. Curaçao neighbor : ARUBA.  Tropical islands

64. Something to file : NAIL.  On the finger or toe.  As opposed to paper work.

65. Dump at the altar : JILT.  Heart-breaking moment that probably works out for the best.

66. Jacket fabric : DENIM.  Also used for blue jeans,

67. First name in advice : ABBY.  Abigail Van Buren, pseudonym for Pauline Esther Phillips [1918-2013] who began her advice column in 1956.  Her twin sister also gave advice as Ann Landers.

68. Cognizant of : ON TO.   Aware of.


1. What acupuncture relieves, for some : PAIN.  I read an article recently by an M.D. stating that all the controlled studies have determined no greater efficacy than a placebo effect.  My sister, who has had significant knee pain for years, got a great deal of relief from acupuncture, and her blood pressure dropped by about 20 points.  Go figure.

2. Killer whale : ORCA.   They are diverse eaters and apex predators - at the top of the food chain, nobody eats them. 

3. Bering and Ross : SEAS.   The Bering Sea is North of the Aleutian Islands between Alaska and Siberia. The Ross Sea is an arm of the Pacific Ocean extending into Antarctica South of New Zealand.

4. Word with deck or dock : HAND.  Either way, a hard working laborer.

5. Classroom surprise : POP QUIZ.  Surprise test - but why no love for mom?

6. Part of a collegiate address : EDU.  Slightly misleading clue, but we all know he means a web address.

7. Kennel command : SIT.

8. Game whose original packaging boasted "From Russia with Fun!" : TETRIS.  You can play it on line here.

9. Like Laurel, but not Hardy : THIN.

10. Western treaty gp. : Organization of American States.

11. Frustratingly on the mend : SLOW TO HEAL.  Hand injuries can be that way.

12. Kind of robe : CAFTAN.   Varies in style, design and fabric, often worn as a house coat or overdress.

13. Italian racers, familiarly : ALFAS.

18. Dash gauge : TACHometer.  Measures RPM's.

19. __ made: was set for life : HAD IT.   Received a large inheritance, struck oil, made a killing in the market, etc.  A then blew it all on an Alfa.

24. Rotisserie rod : SPIT.  Skewering device that rotates.

25. Thick soups : POTAGES.   From the French for "potted dish."  This type concoction, in which a variety of foodstuffs are boiled together until thick, dates back to medieval northern France.  

26. Oklahoma State mascot __ Pete : PISTOL.

27. Former flier : Trans World Airlines - from 1925 to 2001, when it was acquired by AMR, Inc, the parent company of American Airlines. 

28. Feel bad : AIL.

29. "I had a blast!" : ITS BEEN FUN.

30. Basic guitar lesson : CHORDS.

31. Carol opener : 'TIS the season, etc.

36. Line on a scorecard : PAR.   More golf.  PAR is the theoretical number of strokes to be taken on each hole. You then compare your actual number and either laugh or cry.

38. Cop's catch : PERP.   Short for PERPETRATOR, one who has committed a crime, because the cops never, ever catch an innocent person.  In Corner parlance, a PERP is a word PERPendicular to a word you're trying to fill in, which gives you a letter you need to catch your target word.

40. Before, before : ERE.  A relic from Olde English, showing it germanic roots.

41. Future therapist's maj. : PSYchology.

43. Moose's girlfriend, in Archie comics : MIDGE.

45. In plain view : OVERTLY.  Via Old French from the Latin aperire, to open.

47. Upgrade electrically : REWIRE.  Provide new electrical wiring.

48. Capital on the Danube : VIENNA.  Austria.

49. Banned fruit spray : ALAR.   It was used to prevent premature fruit dropping and improve color, firmness and quality during storage.  It was banned in 1989 due to cancer-causing concerns.  It was most famously used on apples, but also on cherries, peaches, pears, tomatoes and peanuts.

50. Inscription on a June greeting card : TO DAD.   Father's day is coming up this weekend.  My son and fam are coming over, and he's going to grill.

53. Saroyan's "My Name Is __" : ARAM.   A book of short stories first published in 1940 concerning the eponymous boy of Armenian descent living in Fresno, CA.

55. Spell-casting art : MOJO.   Probably of African origin.

56. Similar : AKIN.

57. Bench press beneficiary : DELToid muscle.

So you can shoulder a load

58. Regarding : AS TO.  In re:.

60. "Criminal Minds" agcy. : Federal Bureau of Investigation, featured on yet another TV show I've never watched.

61. It's next to Q on most keyboards : TAB.  The indent key.

62. Unc, to Dad : SIB.  Uncle and Dad are siblings.  But not for my kids, I don't have a brother.

Well, that finishes another round.  Rather odd to see Jeffrey, who I think of as Mr. Friday, show up on a Wednesday, but life is full of surprises, and it's all good.  Hope you were up to par [but not too far over] on this one.

Cool Regards!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

L. A. Times Crossword Puzzle Blogging Wednesday, June 1, 2016 C. C. Burnikel

Theme:  LET ME OUT OF HERE!  The final word of the three main theme entries can all precede the word ESCAPE, yielding a sensible, in-the-language phrase.

20A. Bar exhortation : DOWN THE HATCH.  Getting a drink to your interior as quickly as possible.  Probably the best way to handle Chicago right-of-passage liquor Malort.

An ESCAPE HATCH is an emergency exit on a submarine, ship or aircraft.

27A. "Defense of Fort McHenry" poet : FRANCIS SCOTT KEY.  This poem supplies the words for The Star Spangled Banner, the U. S. National Anthem.  Key wrote it while observing the British bombardment of the eponymous fort during the war of 1812.  

The melody, written by John Stafford Smith, was originally a British drinking song called Anacreon in Heaven.  It covers an octave and a fifth and is notoriously hard to sing.   I've hear anthem singers that made me shudder and wince; but Detroit's Karen Newman never disappoints.

And, of course, I would be terribly remiss if I failed to acknowledge 89-year-old holocaust survivor Hermina Hirsch, who fulfilled a life-long dream by singing the anthem before a recent Tigers game.

The ESCAPE KEY on your computer can sometimes be used to stop a runaway program, and is also used in shortcuts on Windows systems.

47 A. "Let's do it!" : SOUNDS LIKE A PLAN.  This expression offers approval for a suggested course of action.  An ESCAPE PLAN is a scheme, often sneaky or convoluted, to get out of a place or situation.

And the unifier -- 54 A. Magician suggested by the ends of 20-, 27- and 47-Across : ESCAPE ARTIST   My first thought is of Harry Houdini [1874-1926] Who escaped from all sorts of locks, traps, boxes and cells - all without a KEY.  And the word ESCAPE thus completes the theme concept.

Hi Gang - JazzBumpa here to lead you though and out of today's puzzle.  Is there a HATCH; will we need a KEY; do I have a PLAN?  Well - let's find out.


1. Bid with a weak hand, often : I PASS.  One can dispute whether this is a bid or the absence of a bid, but with a weak hand it's generally the right call.

6. Nikon D5300, e.g. : Single Lens Reflex, a type of camera using a mirror and prism arrangement that allows the photographer to view through the lens and see exactly what image will be captured.

9. Team up with : JOIN.  This word has a number of senses relating to bringing people or things together in a variety of ways.  Here it indicates forming or becoming a part of a group.

13. "Ya think?!" : NO DUH.  Sarcastic agreement, like with something a bit too obvious.

14. Like newly Botoxed skin : TAUT.  Pulled tight or over-inflated.

16. Clip contents : AMMO.  For fire arms.

17. Young fella : KIDDO.  Would a young gal be a kiddett?

18. When Valjean adopts Cosette : ACT I.  From Les Miz.  Two of my grandsons were in a production a couple years ago and died on the barricade.  That was wrenching.

19. Sorento and Sedona : KIAS. Sorrento [note spelling] is a village overlooking the Bay of Naples in southern Italy; Sedona is a city in Arizona.  As presented here, they are two vehicle models from the KIA, South Korea's 2nd largest auto maker. 

23. Firetruck tool : AXE.  For getting into or ESCAPING from a burning place.

25. Kerfuffle : ADO.  Much Kerfuffle About Nothing just doesn't quite sound as good.

26. It can cover a lot : TAR.  Most likely a parking lot.

33. "Total Recall" (2012) director Wiseman : LEN.  Don't know him.

34. Out-and-out : UTTER.  Modifiers that amplify some action or feeling, and generally not in a good way: UTTER contempt, out and out nonsense.

35. Designer Klein : ANNE.  [1923 - 1974] Nee Hanna Golofski, An American fashion designer, who revolutionized styles for young women in the 1940's.

36. Acting coach Hagen : UTA. [1919 - 2004]  Born in Germany, her family migrated to the U. S. in 1924.  Because of her association with Paul Robeson she was on the Hollywood Black List, so her acting career was focused on New York theater instead of movies.

37. "Don't text and drive" ad, briefly : Public Service Announcement.   Sadly, though, I see people doing it all the time.

38. Lodging provider : INN.

41. Up-in-the-air approx. : Estimated Time of Arrival, for airplane travel.

42. "This doesn't __ well ... " : BODE.  A good Anglo-Saxon word, from the Old English bodian, meaning to proclaim or foretell.  Modern usage seems to always be in anticipation of something unpleasant.  Also remotely related to "bid."

44. Wingtip strings : LACES.  I somehow got stuck on airplanes, not shoes.  [Say this with a brogue.]

46. Get someone's name wrong, e.g. : ERR.  Or muff a simple ground ball to extend the inning and allow three unearned runs to score, thus losing the game.  But I have forgiven Ian Kinsler for Sunday's ERRor.

51. Rim : LIP.  As of a cup, wine glass or volcano.

52. Wine stain color : RED.  When there is a slip between the cup and LIP.

53. Egyptian slitherer : ASP.  A snake in de Nile?

59. Sweet pea : DEAR.  Honey-snookems.

60. Seafood restaurant order : CRAB.  One of many possibilities.  FISH also fits; carp, sole, etc.

61. "In my view ... " : I'D SAY.  Offering an opinion.

65. Crew of buddies : GANG.

66. Long-drawn-out account : SAGA.   From old Norse, originally indicating a long prose narrative of heroic achievement.

67. Poppycock : TRIPE.  Nonsense, balderdash, blather; derived from 19th century Dutch dialect pappekak, from pap ‘soft’ + kak ‘dung.’   Perhaps of the kind left behind by bulls, though that is not specified.

68. Alternatively : ELSE. Either this, or ELSE that.  Those are your choices.

69. Get into the pool : BET.  And see if your bid BODES well.

70. Silver dollar topper : SYRUP.   Pancakes.  Had me buffaloed for the longest time.


1. Medium of much Chinese art : INK.   Used in calligraphy and in picture drawing, generally with the same techniques [oils are not used] typically on paper or silk.

2. Luau chow : POI.   Made from the corm of the taro plant.

3. Tack on : ADD

4. Out-of-the-blue : SUDDEN

5. "Scat!" : SHOO.   Go away!

6. Shows confidence and pride : STANDS TALL.

7. Cause of much intolerance? : LACTOSE.  My favorite clue.  LACTOSE intolerance is an inability or difficulty in digesting this sugar, which occurs naturally in milk and dairy products.

8. Babe or Baby : RUTH.  George Herman "Babe" RUTH, iconic baseball star who played from 1914 - 1935, mostly with Yankees.  Baby RUTH is a candy bar originally developed by the Curtiss Candy Company, and named suspiciously.

9. Capital of Indonesia : JAKARTA.  Located on the NorthWest coast of Java.

10. Overlook : OMIT.  Leave out.

11. All-in-one Apple : I-MAC.   Computer.

12. Quick bite : NOSH.  From Yiddish.

15. Connect with : TIE TO.

21. Bides one's time : WAITS. Like this, if you have 5 minutes.

22. Bean cover? : HAT.  Bean bein' slang for one's head.

23. Playground response : ARE TOO.  Response to a taunt.

24. Second word of Coleridge's "Kubla Khan" : XANADU.

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree:
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea.

27. Blunders : FLUBS.  Makes an error.  I won't get into the sad events of Monday's game.

28. Flagstick holder : CUP.  On the green of a golf course.

29. It's swung by some pinch hitters : CRICKET BAT.   Well - this is a surprise.  A baseball-related misdirection. I didn't know there were pinch hitters in CRICKET.

30. Prepares to be knighted : KNEELS.  To recieve a pat on either shoulder with the flat of a sword.

31. Trick : ENTRAP.  With some sort of ruse or snare.

32. Long (for) : YEARN.  A strong desire to be with some one or some thing that is absent or missing.

From the Maxims section of The Exeter Book [ca. 975]

Longað þonne þy læs      þe him con leoþa worn, 
oþþe mid hondum con      hearpan gretan; 
hafaþ him his gliwes giefe,      þe him god sealde. 

As best I can remember, Tolkien translated this more or less as:

Longing is less troublesome to one who knows many songs, 
Or can touch the harp with his hands; 
He has his gleeful gift that God gave him.

Both "ð" and "þ" represent the modern digraph "th."  There seems to be no specific correspondence to the voiced and unvoiced pronunciations. 

39. "__ say more?" : NEED I.   Probably said too much already.

40. Decryption org. : National Security Agency.

43. Make easier to read, in a way : ENLARGE.  For old men with bifocals - like me.

45. Fits in a cabin? : AIR RAGE.  Wasn't familiar with the term, but it's easy enough to suss.  Per Wikipedia, "aberrant, abnormal, or violent behavior exhibited during the air travel process."  There is also a movie with this title.

48. Hummus, e.g. : DIP.   A thick sauce for dunking food items.  I can make a meal of hummus and the blue corn chips form Trader Joe's.

49. Publisher's guidelines : SPECS.  SPECifcationS.

50. Gently towel off : PAT DRY.  Instead of wiping, which can be harsh.

54. Slight lead : EDGE.  Relates ultimately back to the sharp edge of a blade, which can be how narrow the lead is.

55. Tough navy guy : SEAL.   Tough indeed.  These guys are elite.

56. Case units, often : CANS.  Of soup, motor oil, etc.  Usually 12 or 24, sometimes 36 or 48.  Strange when our maths are mostly base 10. 

57. Many a Meccan : ARAB.  Mecca is city in Saudi Arabia located about 50 miles inland from the Red Sea.

58. Tends tots : SITS.  As in baby sitting.

62. Military address : SIR.   Not a postal drop, but a way of speaking to superior officers.

63. Manjula's husband, on "The Simpsons" : APU.  Apu Nahasapeemapetilon is the operator of the Kwik-E-Mart on that TV show that I still have never watched.

64. "You betcha!" : YEP.  Fer sure.   My dad used to say, "You bet your life;" and I'm guessing "You betcha" is that in shortened form.

Well, folks, that wraps up another entry from our gracious hostess, whose puzzles now number in the hundreds.  Good one?  You betcha!  Hope you ESCAPED it unscathed.

Cool regards!