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.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

L.A. Times Crossword Puzzle Blogging - Thursday, November 17, 2016 Jeffrey Wechsler


The circles, if you got to see them, are located in quasi-symmetrically placed vertical words. In each case, they contain the letters P I N, in that order.  If we start with the unifier, all will become clear.  This is the first puzzle I know of with a split unifier since the first one that C. C. and I did together.  

7 D. With 36-Down, what you can't do regarding this puzzle's circled letters : HEAR A.

36 D. See 7-Down ... or, with "a," what you can see in this puzzle's circled letters : PIN DROP.

If it's really quiet, you can HEAR A PIN DROP.  But you can't in this puzzle, since it's the written, not the spoken word.  [Though reading aloud is allowed.] The theme entries each contain the word PIN, and in the vertical orientation, the PINS are DROPPING.

2 D. Flooring wood : PINE.  Pretty common.  I prefer oak.

5 D. Custody : KEEPING.  As in safe KEEPING.

49 D. One of a gripping tool pair : PINCER.  Half of this item.

59 D. Go around : SPIN.  Demonstrated here by our oldest granddaughter.

Another unusual aspect of this grid is the bilateral vertical symmetry.  [There is neither horizontal nor rotational symmetry.] This, along with the very careful placement of the theme entries allows for 5D and 49 D to have a characteristic I don't recall ever seeing before - similar right-left placement, with vertical displacement and different length. This is a very unusual and creative construction.


1. Touch off : SPARK.  To begin something, but since the implication is something inflammatory, it's generally not pleasant.

6. Electrical unit : OHM.  Are you resistant to this entry?  Did you want AMP?  That's more along the lines of current events, for which there will be a charge.

9. What wind ensembles usually tune to : B FLAT.  This hung me up.  Not my most typical playing venue.  In orchestra we tune to A.  In jazz band we tune the reeds to A and the brass to B FLAT.  Of course, the trombone has the infinite capacity to play any note out of tune. Meanwhile, the whole NE corner gave me fits.

14. Actress Anouk whose last name means "beloved" : AIMEE.   [b 1932] Starting her career at age 14, she later appeared in La Dolce Vita, 8 1/2, A Man and a Woman, and 67 other films, mostly in French, and won many awards.

15. Place for grazing : LEA.  A meadow. This relates back to Old English, German, and ultimately Sanskrit words for an open space.

16. Appreciative cry : BRAVO.

17. Travelocity ad figure : GNOME.

18. "Hotel du __": Anita Brookner novel : LAC. A story of disappointment and self-discovery set in a hotel on the shore of Lake Geneva.

19. Still : QUIET.  Like a time when you can hear the sounds of silence.

20. Fabulous writer? : AESOP.  Author of many fables.  In this one we see the silence of the lambs.

21. Roth __ : IRA.  Subject to strict contribution limits, but not subject to mandatory withdrawal.

22. Washer function : RINSE. The soap removal cycle.

23. Production capacity review : LINE AUDIT.  For trouble shooting or improving the efficiency of a manufacturing production line.

26. Refused : SAID NO.

29. Very deep places : ABYSMS.  I had forgotten that this archaic word exists, and was perplexed that ABYSSES didn't fit.  It goes back to medieval Latin and came into English ca. 1150, somehow acquiring a Greek ending along the way.  It refers to hell, the bottomless pit, the great deep, the primal chaos.   Nietzsche advises us to not stare into it.

33. Shore soarer : ERN.   Sea eagle.  Paleo-crossword vocabulary.

34. Bellyachers : GRIPERS.  Complainers, not to be confused with grippers, which are PINCERS, nor Ronald Reagan, who played the Gipper.

38. Excessively : TOO.  As in TOO much of my siliness.

39. Work (on), as 9-Down : GNAW.  A fine old Anglo-Saxon word meaning to bite and chew on something.

41. "__ Romance": Jerome Kern song : A FINE.  Some better music.

42. TV princess : XENA.

43. Radam├Ęs' love : AIDA.  From the opera.

44. Cover letter letters : ENClosure.

45. Far from bold : MEEK.  Opposites.

46. Pentax competitor : LEICA.  Cameras.

48. Cholesterol initials : LDL.  Low Density Lipoprotein.  You want your LDL to be low, and your HDL to be high.

49. Hides : PELTS.   Animal skins.

50. "U slay me!" : LOL.  Texters argot, abbrv. for Laughing Out Loud.

51. Chorus syllable : TRA- la-la.

52. Travelers' bus. : INSurance.  Company name.

53. Teddy's Mount Rushmore neighbor : ABE.   Faces on the mountain.

55. Kitchen appliance : GAS OVEN.

58. Inflation fig. : PSI.  I wanted CPI, but it's tire pressure, not economics.

61. Office fasteners : JUMBO PAPER CLIPS.

64. Like battleships : ARMORED.

65. Get by the sentry : SNEAK IN.

66. Looked inside, in a way : X-RAYED.   Medical imaging.

67. Show the ropes : ORIENT.   Help someone get acclimated to a new position or circumstance.


1. It's a long story : SAGA.  Or EPIC.  Needs perps.

3. "The Cookie Never Crumbles" co-author Wally : AMOS.  [b. 1936] Talent agent who started selling cookies in L.A. in 1975.

4. Alter the shape of : REMOLD.

6. Kukla cohort : OLLIE.  Along with Fran Allison.

8. Portuguese territory until 1999 : MACAU.  Autonomous region on the south coast of China, across the pearl River delta from Hong Cong.

9. Pitmaster's offering : BBQ RIBS.

10. Like dessert wines : FRUITY.

11. "... this skull has __ in the earth ... ": Hamlet : LAIN.  Not to be confused with Nunckle Tim's shin.

Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio: a fellow
of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy: he hath
borne me on his back a thousand times; and now, how
abhorred in my imagination it is! my gorge rims at
it. Here hung those lips that I have kissed I know
not how oft. Where be your gibes now? your
gambols? your songs? your flashes of merriment,
that were wont to set the table on a roar? Not one
now, to mock your own grinning? quite chap-fallen?

12. Urban rtes. : AVES.  AVEnues are routes, not rites.  I was off in the wrong direction.

13. Membership drive gift : TOTE.  carry-all bag.

24. "The Thin Man" role : NORA.  Nick and NORA Charles, from the indicated 1934 comedy-mystery movie that was based on the novel of the same name by Dashiell Hammett.  
25. Have what it takes : DARE.  Having the courage to do something.  If you have what it takes, you might succeed.  Otherwise  .  .  . ?

26. "The Goldbergs" actor George : SEGAL.  A program that not only have I never seen, but before now never knew existed.  Based on the childhood and 80's family life of the show's creator and producer Adam F. Goldberg.

27. Links legend, familiarly : ARNIE. Palmer

28. Conflicted : IN A DILEMMA.  A choice between unpleasant alternatives.

30. Classic golf shoe feature : STEEL SPIKE.  For gripping the turf.

31. "Haystacks" series painter : MONET.  Claude [1840 - 1946].

32. Overcharges : SOAKS.  

35. "That really depressed me" : I FELT SAD.    Expression of woe.

37. Isolated communities : ENCLAVES.  A place different in character form the surrounding area.

40. City south of Fort Worth : WACO.  

42. Magneto's enemies : X-MEN.  A group of superheroes from the Marvel Comic universe.  Each is a mutant with a unique special ability.

47. Sharer of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize : AL GORE. [b 1948] Former U.S. vice-president.

53. Trojan War hero : AJAX.  Fought with Hector several times.

54. "Hamilton" role : BURR.   Aaron. [1756 - 1836]  He was sitting vice president at the time of their famous duel.

56. Mocked : APED.  Made fun of.  Not so much fun on the receiving end.

57. Puzzlemaker Rubik : ERNO.

60. Hall & Oates' "Say It __ So" : ISN'T.   Not a fan, so no link.

62. Son : BOY.

63. My __, Vietnam : LAI.  That village that had to be destroyed in order to be liberated.  Kind of a downer to end on.

Well, that wraps it up.  Hope the silence wasn't oppressive.

Cool regards!

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