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, September 28, 2016

L.A. Times Crossword Puzzle Blogging - Wednesday, September 28, 2016 Timothy L. Meaker

Theme: OUT OF SIGHT, MAN.  Five two-word theme entries all relate to someone or something whose identity or existence is covered up.  The non-reveal is in the first word of each phrase.

17. Old-time bandits : MASKED MARAUDERS.   I'm not sure this is a generic expression.  Specifically, there is a so-named villain in the Marvel Comics universe who is the main antagonist in the Daredevil title.  Also, this.

26. Narc's quarry : HIDDEN STASH.  Some quantity of drugs that narcotics agents want to confiscate.  But where is it?

38. Special forces mission : COVERT OPERATION.  This is a military or espionage action that is planned and executed in such a way that the sponsor's identity is not revealed, or plausible deniability is maintained.

46. Anonymous holiday gift giver : SECRET SANTA.  A community or other group of people randomly choose individuals to whom they will give a Christmas present.

60. Air marshal's possession : CONCEALED WEAPON.   Air marshals are highly trained marksmen who blend in with other passengers and serve to deter terrorism and protect the flying public.

Pretty straight forward concept in this thematically rich entry, built with three grid spanners and two more theme fill checking in at 11 characters each.

Hi gang, JazzBumpa here to uncover the secrets of today's puzzle.  Let's have a peek behind the curtain.


1. Gain experience (from) : LEARN.  Always important; not always pleasant.

6. Leg muscle : CALF.  The back of the lower leg.

10. World Golf Hall of Famer Karrie : WEBB. [b 1974] Australia's most successful female professional golfer.

14. First host of "The Tonight Show" : ALLEN.   Steve, [1921 - 2000] an American actor, writer, comedian, composer and musician.

15. Like some history : ORAL.  Not written down.

16. Original thought : IDEA.

20. "The Time Machine" race : ELOI.

21. Goes out : EBBS.   Like the tide.

22. First extra inning : TENTH.  A regulation baseball game lasts for 9 innings.  If the score is tied, they keep playing until one team wins.

23. Dallas Mavericks org. : NBA.  National Basketball Association.

25. Old Mideast alliance: Abbr. : UAR.  United Arab Republic.  A political union between Egypt and Syria that lasted from 1958 until 1961.  Egypt continued to use the name for another decade.

32. Nova Scotia hrs. : AST.  Atlantic Standard Time.  This time zone is one step to the east of the continental United States, 4 hours off Greenwich Mean Time.  It includes New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia in Canada, as well as Puerto Rico and the U. S. Virgin Islands

35. City SW of St. Augustine : OCALA.  At ca. 57,500 [2013 census] it ranks as the 45th most poplous city in FLA.

36. Young boys : TADS.   Or LADS, but SLOIC ruined that concept.

37. Place for a pedicure : SPA. A commercial establishment offering health and beauty treatments.

42. Bi- halved : UNI-.   Bi- is a combining form meaning two or twice.  Except when attached to time units, when it might mean either "every two" or "twice per."  Back on topic, consider bi- and uni- -cycles or -valves.  

43. Cambodian cash : RIEL.  Most Cambodians prefer foreign currency.

44. Polar explorer : PEARY.  Robert [1865-1920] might or might not have been the first person to reach the north pole in his 1909 expedition, if he even got there at all.  He might have missed by 60 miles.  Nothing about this is certain.

45. Butter-on-hot-griddle sound : SSS.  Sizzle.

48. Bowl-shaped cookware : WOK.  A versatile round-bottomed cooking vessel of Chinese origin.

49. __ in: surround : HEM.    Specifically to surround in a restrictive manner.

50. Delta rival, as it was once known : USAIR.   Since merged with American Airlines.   The USAIR brand name was discontinued on Oct 17, 2015.

53. Tosca's "Vissi d'arte," e.g. : ARIA.   A vocal solo in the context of a larger work, such as an opera or oratorio.

56. Magic charm : MOJO.  Or spell.

63. "The Mod Squad" role : LINC.   Lincoln "Link" Hayes, portrayed by Clarence Williams III.

64. Automation prefix : ROBO-.  As in ROCO-call.  So looking forward to November 9.

65. Superman's makeup? : STEEL.  He's known as the "Man of STEEL," but this is probably hyperbole.  I suspect he really made of bronze.

66. __ code : AREA.  The regionally assigned 3 digit [in North America] prefix to your telephone number.

67. Mess offering : MEAL.  Through Middle English via Old French this word traces back to the Latin missum, meaning "something put on the table."  In modern times it most typically refers to a location where a specified group of people, such as in the armed forces, take their meals together.

68. Brits' boob tube : TELLY.  Teevee, stateside.


1. Pathetic, as an excuse : LAME.  Or as many of my jokes.

2. Airline to Jerusalem : EL AL.

3. In addition : ALSO. Too

4. Put the spark back into, as a relationship : REKINDLE.

5. Salem-to-Portland dir. : NNE.

6. It may help with a mop : COMB.  For an unruly head of hair.  Good luck.

7. Many a Syrian : ARAB.  Ethnicity inhabiting several middle eastern countries and many cross word puzzles.

8. Metallica drummer Ulrich : LARS.   I have no idea how I know this.  I think their music is ghastly.

9. St. with a panhandle : FLA.  Florida.  Other states with panhandles, formally called salients, are Alaska, Connecticut, Idaho, Maryland, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas, and West Virginia, which has two of them.

10. Three-lane, vis-à-vis two-lane : WIDER.  Larger in the lateral dimension.

11. "I Dream of Jeannie" star : EDEN.  Barbara [b 1931] star of the show which ran for 5 seasons starting in Sept,  1965.  

12. Buddy of Kermit : BERT.  Muppets.  I can't find a vid where they appear together, so I'm not sure how this buddy thing is working.

13. Big party : BASH.  Seems like the word BEER belongs in there somewhere.

18. Leader with a .edu address : DEAN.  The faculty head of a department.

19. Beehive State : UTAH.  This emblem was chosen in 1848 to symbolize the pioneer virtues of thrift and perseverance, long before UTAH became a state in 1896.

24. Animal symbolizing the 25-Down : BEAR.  This symbol of Russia [and by extension the USSR] has been used in cartoons, articles and drama since the 16th century.

25. World power inits. until '91 : USSR.  Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, aka the Soviet Union.

26. Magical start : HOCUS.  Pocus.   Feel the magic.

27. Tappable cellphone images : ICONS.  Used to launch various apps.

28. "Miles Smiles" trumpeter : DAVIS.   I can find the whole album on YouTube, but not just this song, as played by Miles, so no link.   There are covers, but that just feels wrong.

29. Poker-faced : STOIC.  Indifferent to either pleasure or pain, referring to the Ancient Greek philosophy of Stoicism, founded in Athens by Zeno of Citium.  The IDEA is that the highest good comes from knowledge, and living in harmony with divine reason allows one to disregard fortune, pleasure and pain.

30. Come to a point : TAPER.

31. Fred's dancing sister : ADELE.  Astaire siblings.  Sadly, I can't come up with a video of her dancing.

32. Chinese or Japanese : ASIAN.  Originating in that continent.

33. Hurling or curling : SPORT.  Hurling, similar to field hockey, is the regional game of Ireland and is thousands of years old.  Curling is played with flat stones slid on an ice surface into a target circle.

34. Tucker of country : TANYA.

39. Taxing trip : TREK.

40. Semicircular church section : APSE.  Traditionally, the dome covered recess where the altar is located.

41. One who might go to bat for you? : TEAM MATE.  Baseball reference.

46. Achy : SORE.  Hurting.

47. January warm spell : THAW.  When the ice melts, for a while.

48. Modern witch's religion : WICCA.  A modern pagan belief system with no central authority that exists in many variations, generally based on a god and goddess duality.

50. Home of the NCAA's Bruins : UCLA.   College sports.

51. Evening in Quebec : SOIR.   French.

52. Klein of fashion : ANNE.   Clothing and accessories.

53. Lotion additive : ALOE.  Ubiquitous in skin care products and cross word puzzles.

54. Singer McEntire : REBA. [b 1955, McAlester, OK ] While in high school, she and her siblings sang on local radio and at rodeos. Her performance of the National Anthem at the Oklahoma City rodeo in 1974 got her invited to Nashville, where she signed with Mercury records.  In 1984 she signed with MCA Nashville, and took over creative control of her recordings.

55. Star adored by many : IDOL.   

57. Autobahn auto : OPEL.   German subsidiary of G. M. headquartered in Rüsselsheim.

58. "Piano Man" man : JOEL.   For six months in 1972, William Martin JOEL [b 1949] worked at the Executive Room piano bar on Wilshire Blvd.  This sad song, released in 1973, commemorates that time.

59. __ child : ONLY.   My sister and I are 6 1/2 years apart.  It's almost as if our parents had 2 ONLY children.

61. Branch : ARM.   Extension.

62. Approx. repair cost : EST.   Who establishes this ESTimate?

Well, that wraps it up, but does not put it under wraps.  Hope you enjoyed unraveling all the mysteries.

Cool regards!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

L.A. Times Crossword Puzzle Blogging - Wednesday, September 14, 2016 Gail Grabowski and Bruce Venzke

Theme: I'M SO ANGRY I COULD JUST  .  .  .  The second word of common two-word phrases is transformed from a plural noun to a singular verb, which is a synonym for displaying anger.  

20. Tailpipe emission : EXHAUST FUMES.  In the industry, we really do call them tail pipe emissions, as per the clue, but do not get angry if someone wants to use alternative terminology.

28. Tug-of-war injuries : FRICTION BURNS.  Abrasions caused by harshly rubbing the skin against some surface, in this case a rope.  Losing the war adds insult to injury, whicj does nothign good for one's disposition.

42. Hair-smoothing hairs : BRUSH BRISTLES.  When, for example, a cat is disturbed, the hairs of it back will stand upright, hence the reference.  I was surprised that there actually are boar BRISTLE hair brushes, and am chagrined that I did not know this.  How cilia me!   

47. Shellfish cookouts : SEAFOOD BOILS.  Here's a recipe.   Of course, the sea creature most likely to be angry is the crab.

Hi gang, JazzBumpa here.  Hope you're all in a good mood, and nothing in this puzzle perturbs you today.


1. Hershey's toffee bar : SKOR.  Sold in the U. S. since 1981, originally as competition for the Heath bar, which Hershey acquired along with the Leaf candy company in 1996.  Both are still available.

5. Res __ loquitur: the thing itself speaks : IPSA.  Latin.  I'll let our legal scholars expound on context.

9. Online shopping mecca : E-MALL.  A web site that displays catalogues for various suppliers and charges a commission for sales.  Seriously - this is a thing?

14. Chip in a chip : ANTE.   This one baffled me for a while, but sticking with the theme concept of noun-verb interchangeability, we see chip presented first as a verb and then as a noun.

15. Seasonal song : NOEL.  Christmas season.

16. Hunky-dory : A-OKAY.  All systems are go.

17. Start of a knitting project : LOOP. Now Gail and Bruce are just needling us.

18. Prefix with space : AERO-.   The complete word refers to technology and industry related to aviation and space flight.

19. Dry Italian wine : SOAVE.  Meaning pleasant or agreeable, this white wine is from the Veneto region around Verona.

23. Hot state : IRE.  More anger, spilling out from the theme.

24. Beatty/Hoffman box office flop : ISHTAR.  A 1987 action comedy about two inept lounge singers who book a gig in Morocco and stumble into a 4-way cold war standoff.   Widely considered to be one of the worst films ever made.

32. Former fillies : MARES.   Now we're just horsing around.  [See what I did there?]

34. Ready for a refill : EMPTY.  Like a beer glass.

35. Freelancer's email attachment: Abbr. : INV.  A freelancer works by the job, rather than for a specific employer, then sends the client an INVoice.  

36. Glider on runners : SLED.  For fun on a snowy hill.

37. Flowing garments : CAPES.  Short, sleeveless cloaks.

Not always appropriate

38. Sonar signal : BLIP.

39. Word in a bride's bio : NEE.  Referring to her maiden name.

40. Went a-courting : WOOED

C'mon Frog; I'll buy you a beer.

41. Two-time US Open winner : SELES.   Monica [b 1973] won 8 grand slam singles titles before her 20th birthday, and was the No. 1 player in the world in 1991 and 1992.

45. Library machine : COPIER.

46. "__ the Walrus" : I AM.  

Stunning low fidelity

54. Medicare prescription drug section : PART D.

57. Pre-coll. : EL-HI.  Elementary and High school come before college.

58. Brandy bottle letters : VSOP.   Very Superior Old Pale, refers to a blended cognac that must be aged in oak casks for no fewer than 3 years.  Most houses age longer than the minimum period.

59. Prospero's servant : ARIEL.  A [non-alcoholic] spirit who had been trapped in a tree, now bound to Prospero, who freed him.  Ariel causes the eponymous tempest in act one of Shakespeare's play.

60. Highest sudoku digit : NINE.  Numbers in rows, columns and boxes.

61. Hip bones : ILIA.  The largest and uppermost bone of the pelvis.

62. Free, in France : LIBRE.   Alas, the puzzle is not free of French.

63. Armoire feature : DOOR.   An armoire is a free-standing wardrobe closet.

64. Counting-out word : EENY.  Meeny, miney  .  .  .


1. Cyber Monday event : SALE.  Marketing ploy in the U. S. to get people to shop on line the Monday after Thanksgiving.

2. Fort with lots of bars : KNOX.  Gold bars, not jail cell bars. 

3. "Then again," in tweets : OTOH.  On The Other Hand  .  .  . she had warts.

4. Fixed : REPAIRED.  Corrected an inoperative condition, quite the opposite of 53D.

5. "Be right with you" : IN A SECond.  

6. Pound, but not ounce : POET.  Ezra [1885-1972] Also a noted racist and fascist sympathizer.  Very complex figure.

7. Medieval laborer : SERF.  The lowest level of feudal society and economics.  [Anyone who is interested can find my thoughts on the topic here.  Caution, though- one cannot delve into the history of economic systems without also considering politics.  That's taboo here, but not at the link.  My ideas might put you in the state of today's theme. Caveat lector. You have been warned.]

8. Six-time All-Star Moises : ALOU.   Baseball player, 4 letters, plug in ALOU and move on.  Coincidentally there are 4 of them: Dad Felipe, and bros. Matty and Jesús. Three letters, it's OTT.

9. Slips past : EASES BY.

10. __ pork: Chinese dish served with pancakes : MOO SHU.  Shredded pork with vegetables and seasonings.

11. Letters often after a perp's name : AKA. Also Known As.

12. Loo : LAV.  Personal comfort station.

13. Corrosive substance : LYE.  Sodium hydroxide [NaOH], and that's the truth.

21. "Exodus" author : URIS.  Leon [1924 - 2003]  The book was published in 1958, and made into  major motion picture in 1960.

22. Money makers : MINTS.  Where currency is manufactured

25. Warbles : TRILLS.   Yes, you can do this on the trombone.

Yeah, I can do this, too

26. Musical set in an orphanage : ANNIE.  Based on the comic strip Little Orphan Annie.

27. Replies to an invite, for short : RSVPs.  Abreviated French, meaning please respond.

28. Make available : FREE UP.

29. "__ coffee?" : TEA OR.  Beverage choices.

30. Louvre Pyramid architect : I M PEI.  [b 1917] Designer of many famous projects throughout the world.

31. Pages with views : OP-EDS.  Located OPposite to the EDitorial page.

32. Rachel Maddow's network : MSNBC.  News, politics and opinion and politics.

33. Final Olds made : ALERO.  Maybe it IS your father's Oldsmobile.

37. Charming snake? : COBRA.  A snake just right for charming, if you have the right skill set.

38. 2007 animated film in which Sting voices himself : BEE MOVIE.   Never saw it, but this is brilliant casting.

40. Coax : WHEEDLE.  Using endearments or flattery - a manipulative ploy.

41. Big chunk : SLAB.  

43. Many a bridesmaid : SISTER.  Sadly COUSIN also has 6 letters.  It's all relative, I guess.

44. Less cluttered : TIDIER.   Neatness, peeps!

48. Shift (for oneself) : FEND.   To provide for or defend oneself.  I'm not getting "shift" as a meaning here.

49. Hodgepodge : OLIO.   Melange.  I'm pretty sure I've never seen "OLIO" outside of a puzzle or this website.

50. "How awful!" : OH NO.  Bad news.

51. Cruise stop : ISLE.   Port of call.

52. Pork choice : LOIN.  Well CHOP also has 4 letters.   The LOIN comes from along the top of the RIB cage.  On which, more later.

53. Do a vet's job : SPAY.  Gender neutralization of your pet.  

54. Chum : PAL.  Buddy, bro, homie, peep.

55. NPR journalist Shapiro : ARI.

56. Bone in a cage : RIB.  See, I wasn't Loin - I mean Lyin', nor was I ribbing you about anatomy.  OTOH, I wanted to come up with a picture of a trombone in a cage - 'cuz, of course I would.  Sadly, the best I could do is these guys behind a wrought iron fence.

Well, that wraps it up.  I had my moment of confusion but am not upset.  Hope the rest of your day keeps you on an even keel.

Cool regards!