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 17, 2017

L.A. Times Crossword - Wednesday, May 17, 2017 Alex Eaton-Salners

Theme - LET"S ALL TAKE A BOUGH.  Vertical theme entries all start with, and are therefore TOPPED by letters that spell the name of a TREE.  Let's start with the unifier.

55 A. Canopy creators ... or what can literally be found in 6-, 10-, 24- and 34-Down : TREE TOPS.

Coming back down to earth we have the theme entries.

6 D. Brain part that produces melatonin : PINEAL GLAND.  It is tucked into the groove between the two halves of the thalmus, near the center of the brain.  It is so-named because its shape resembles that of a pine cone.  Topped by a PINE, an evergreen, and the first of our TREEs.


10 D. Cartographer's table : MAP LEGEND.  An inset that explains the meanings of symbols and other features used on the map.  The maple tree is prized for its lumber, used for furniture and decorative purposes.



24. Reason for a parking restriction : FIRE HYDRANT.  FIR trees are can be distinguished from other members of the pine family by their needle attachments and cone shapes.




34 D. "Wascally wabbit" hunter : ELMER FUDD.  Something we all knew.  But it gives me an excuse to post this --.



ELM TREES were used along streets all over America as decoration and to provide shade.  Most of these were lost to Dutch elm disease, caused by a microfungus carried by bark beetles.  Disease resistant varieties have since been developed.


Look for a clue gimmick when the theme arrangement is vertical.  This one is clever, with the tree names topping the theme fill entries.  Two of the four trees are hard woods, and two are conifers.   The conifers are adjacent to the vertical center line, and the hard woods farther toward the edges.

Hi, Gang, Jazzbumpa on duty, lumbering through this puzzle.  Let's see what we can saw.

Across

1. Produced, biblically speaking : BEGAT.  Was the father of.

6. Racetrack stops : PITS.  For fuel and quick tire changes.

10. Finance majors' degs. : MBAS.  Master of Business Administration.  I have one.

14. Kagan associate : ALITO.  Supreme Court Justices.

15. Not yet out of the running : IN IT.  To win it, no doubt.

16. Strong lobby for seniors : AARP.  America Association of Retired Persons.  I belong.

17. One who wants to come home? : BASE RUNNER.  Baseball reference.  Most do not make it, though.

19. Insanity, in court : PLEA.  A formal statement in response to a charge, not [necessarily] a description of behavior.

20. Makes eligible for, with "to" : ENTITLES.  Supplies a legal or just right to something.

21. Sign up : ENLIST.  Or enroll, which sadly has the same number of letters.

23. Albacore, e.g. : TUNA.  Something fishy here.

24. Price of a crosstown ride : FARE.  In a bus or cab.  

25. 19th Greek letter : TAU.  



28. Eight pts. : GAL.  Pints and gallons, guys and gals.

29. "Just think!" : IMAGINE.



33. In unfamiliar territory : AT SEA.  Without a paddle.

35. "An Officer and a Gentleman" star : GERE.



37. Black, in poetry : EBON.

38. Castro of Cuba : RAUL.  Fidel's brother.

39. Adjust to fit : ALTER.  As clothing.

40. Statistician Silver of ESPN's FiveThirtyEight : NATE.  

41. British baby buggy : PRAM.  Short for perambulator.

42. "The cow is of the bovine ilk / One end is moo, the other, milk" poet : NASH.  Ogden.

To keep your marriage brimming
With love in the loving cup,
Whenever you’re wrong, admit it;
Whenever you’re right, shut up.

-  Ogden Nash

43. Floppy disk successor : CD-ROM.  Data storage media.

44. Solemn ending? : SILENT N.  Holy N, Batmen.

46. Vote in favor : YEA.  parliamentary procedure.

48. What's up to you? : SKY.  Sometimes hidden by clouds.

49. Cheese coat : RIND.  More than you want to know.  

50. TiVo products : DVRS.  Digital Video Reordings.  Nobody tapes any more.

52. Confuse : BAFFLE.  Wait . . . what?!?

59. Free speech org. : ACLU.  American Civil Liberties Union.  We won't talk about it here.

60. Three, to nine : SQUARE ROOT.  A number that when multiplied by itself yields another specified number.  Round roots are things like carrots.

62. Get rid of : SHED. Discard, as leaves, skin, hair or clothing.

63. Change directions : TURN.  Don't get steered the wrong way

64. Box cutter insert : RAZOR.  Actually a blade.

65. Top dog : HEAD.  Of an organization.

66. Not hard : SOFT.  Pretty straight forward.

67. Prefix with foam : STYRO-.  Expanded polystyrene.  I worked with it on my first job.

Down

1. Innocent one : BABE.  One who is at a severe disadvantage in the woods.

2. Panache : ELAN.  Confidence, flair, style, enthusiasm.

3. Heart of the matter : GIST.  Get the point?

4. Absorbed the loss : ATE IT.  Financial indigestion.

5. Haitian island whose name is Spanish for "turtle" : TORTUGA.  Located north of the north-west arm of the main island.

7. Overnight stops : INNS.

8. 50-50, e.g. : TIE.  Even score in a sport or game, usually settled by some sort of overtime play.

9. Party decoration : STREAMER.  Colorful ribbons used for ornamentation.

10. Cartographer's table : MAP LEGEND.  An inset that explains the meanings of symbols and other features used on the map.

11. Indonesian island : BALI.  Immediately to the east of Java, it is home to most of Indonesia's Hindu minority.

12. "Iliad" war god : ARES.  Greek.  Mars to the Romans.

13. Petty argument : SPAT. It caused a SPAT what he spat on my spats.

18. Forearm part : ULNA.  The longer of two forearm bones, extending from the elbow to the little finger.  The radius extends from the elbow to the thumb side of the hand.

22. New Deal prog. : NRA.  The National Recovery Administration was created in 1933, under the National Industrial Recovery Act.  It had a two year charter and expired in 1935.  At that time the Supreme Court also determined that it infringed on separation of powers and was therefore unconstitutional.  Many of its provisions reappeared under the National Labor Relations Act that same year.

25. Camping cover-ups : TARPS.  Baseball diamonds, too.

26. Centipede creator : ATARI.  Electronic game company.

27. Garden-variety : USUAL.  Typical

30. Bridge beams : I-BARS.  Structural elements named for their cross-sectional profile, which resemble the letter I.


31. Against the rules : NOT OK.  Let the OK - Okay battle begin.

32. Redcoat, to a Minuteman : ENEMY.  American revolutionary war.

36. Sci-fi visitors : ETS. Extra-Terrestrials - off world entities, who sometimes claim to be friendly.

39. Colonies crawling with critters : ANT NESTS.

43. Board game with an "Unemployment Office" corner : CAREERS.


45. Zip : NIL.  Zilch.  Nada

47. Penultimate word of many fairy tales : EVER.  Penultimate -- hmmmm.  I wonder what comes after?

51. Classic guitar, briefly : STRAT.  Fender Stratocaster.  Costing $600, and up.  Buddy Holly's were stolen twice in April, 1958.

52. Shindig : BASH.  Spree, blow out.  Have fun, but make good choices.

53. Bruise symptom : ACHE.  Owie!

54. One in the doghouse? : FLEA.  One hopes not

55. Gang land : TURF.  Claimed territory.

56. Like slime : OOZY.  Moving like this?



57. Substandard : POOR.  Like certain movies from 1958.

58. Houston athlete, for short : 'STRO.  ASTRO evidently has too many syllable to be spoken conveniently.  The STROs are currently atop the A. L. Western division.  Let's give them a bough.

61. Status __ : QUO.  The current state of things.

That wraps up another Woden's Tag.  Hope you got through it without feeling board.  But now I have a strange desire branch out - maybe even join a splinter group.  Perhaps I should just go with the phloem.  Now it's time to leaf.

Cool regards!
JzB




Wednesday, April 19, 2017

L. A. Time Crossword Wednesday, April 19, 2017 C. C. Burnikel

Theme: Something fishy, right up front.  Each theme answer starts with the name of well known fish.

Let us start with the unifier, to make everything clear.

40 D. Ingredient in some Asian soup, or, literally, what each answer to a starred clue has : FISH HEAD.  So, the named FISH is the HEAD, or beginning of each theme fill.   This gives us our theme song.



17 A. *Droopy-eared dog : BASSET HOUND.   The BASSET HOUND has the awkward combination of long ears and short legs, and a sense of smell second only to the blood hound.  It's low slung contour is indicated by by the French word BASSET, meaning "rather low."  BASS are any of several fresh or salt water varieties, similar to perch, belonging to the order perciformes.  The name BASS is derived from a Middle English word for perch.

25 A. *Testimony preceder : SOLEMN OATH.  This involves an appeal to a deity or revered person or symbol to guarantee that oath speaker is making an honest testimony or promise.  SOLE are several varieties of flat fish.

38 A. *Garage alternative : CARPORT.  A more or less protective structure, with a roof but fewer than four walls.  CARP are several species of oily fresh water fish native to Europe and Asia.

52 A. *Common cause of food poisoning : SALMONELLA.  This is a bacterium that can be found in contaminated food.  It is named for Daniel Salmon who was leading the team in the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture that discovered the pathogen.  SALMON fish are born in fresh water.  Some varieties migrate to the sea, then return to where they originated to spawn.

61 A. *Garment with a fitted waist and flared bottom : SKATER DRESS.


The SKATE fish are similar, but not identical, to rays.

Hi gang, an ailing Jazzbumpa here to guide you through this aquatic offering from our fearless leader. Despite the theme, you'll see there is nothing fishy going on here. 

Across

1. Overzealous : RABID. Like certain sports fans,

6. Emotional states : MOODS.  They can be good or bad.

11. Big name in home security : ADT.   The largest security company in the U.S. and Canada with over 6.5 million customers.

14. Work together : UNITE.  Many hands make light work.

15. Golfer's birdie, often : THREE.  One under on a par 4 hole.  Cf. 33D.

16. "I've seen better" : MEH.

19. King Kong, e.g. : APE.  One of the really great APES.

20. Home buyer's choice : CONDO.  A private residence owned by an individual or family in a building or community with multiple units.

21. Annoyed reply to "Are you awake?" : I AM NOW.  It's about time!

23. Hog fare : SLOP.

28. Pan flying : PETER.  Children's story hero.

30. Present mo. : DEC.  The present month is April; the month for presents is December, which is in the future.

31. Bone, to Botticelli : OSSO.  Italian

32. Quick snooze : CATNAP.

34. "Darn it!" : SHOOT.  Phooey!  Drat!

37. Pop singer Grande's fragrance : ARI.  A steal at $28.82 per oz.

40. Price of admission : FEE.

43. The Euphrates flows through it : SYRIA.  Originates in Turkey, also flows through Iraq into the Persian Gilf.



44. Like King Kong : SIMIAN.  Referring to apes and monkeys.  Also a clecho.

46. Shepherd's dinner, perhaps : ALPO.  German shepherd.

49. Coffee maker unit : CUP. Equivalent to one Keurig pod.

51. Impudent : SASSY.  Don't be that way.


56. Perlman of "The Mindy Project" : RHEA.  Also Carla from "Cheers."

57. Racer's swimwear brand : SPEEDO.  



58. __ setter : IRISH.  Possible ALPO eater.

60. Country that won the most Olympics medals in Rio : USA.  Winning 46 gold, 37 silver and 38 bronze for a total of 121, next were Great Britain with 67, China with 70 and Russia with 55.

66. Something to chew : CUD.  If you're a cow.

67. Ship with liquid cargo : OILER.  Oil tanker.

68. Security breaches : LEAKS.  Unauthorized information escaping through unofficial channels.  

69. Officejet printers : HPS.  Hewlett-Packard

70. Polishing targets : NAILS.  On your fingers and toes.

71. Pearl Jam frontman Vedder : EDDIE. [b. 1964]   He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, just this month.

Down

1. Barbecue spice mixture : RUB.

2. Santa __ Mountains : ANA.   A short range extending for about 61 miles southeast of the Los Angeles basin.

3. Twice-baked cookies : BISCOTTI. They are oblong, dry, crunchy, and intended for dipping - traditionally in Vin Santo, a style of Italian desert wine of variable sweetness.

4. "Come right on in!" : IT'S OPEN.  The door, that is.

5. Celebrity chef Paula : DEEN.  Known for traditional southern comfort food.

6. Highest peak in Ore. : MT. HOOD.  It's height is approximately 11,240 ft.  It is a "potentially active" volcano, with the odds of an eruption during the next 30 years estimated to be between 3 and 7%.

7. "Well, looky here!" : OHO.  Thar she blows!

8. Christian sch. in Tulsa : ORU.  Founded by its eponym in 1965, Oral Roberts University has a high academic standing and a checkered administrative past.

9. Vest fabric : DENIM.  More famous for blue jeans, probably.

10. It often has four doors : SEDAN.  An automobile with front and rear seating suitable for adults, and a cargo compartment, typically in the rear.

11. Some kitchen appliances : AMANAS.  The company manufactures a variety of kitchen and household appliances.

12. Bus stations : DEPOTS.

13. "Tommy" band : THE WHO.



18. Pts. by Vikings : TDS.  Touch Downs scored by a professional football team from Minnesota.  Do we have any RABID fans?

22. Irrelevant : MOOT.  This is the secondary meaning.  The primary meaning is "open to dispute."

23. Critter rescue org. : SPCA.  Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. 

24. Big name in business jets : LEAR.   The LEARJET company was founded in the 1950's by William Powell LEAR.

26. Electric guitar pioneer : LES PAUL.


27. Cave feedback : ECHO.   Reflected sound.

29. Like "Fifty Shades of Grey" : RACY.  Risqué, suggestive, naughty, sexy, spicy, ribald.

33. Golfer's four, often : PAR.  The number of strokes needed by a first class player to complete the hole.  Cf 15A.

35. Hosp. areas : ORS.  Operating Rooms in hospitals.

36. Handle on many elevators : OTIS.   "Handle" here denoting the name.

39. Bento box staple : RICE.  A bento is a single-portion take out or home made meal common in Japanese cuisine.  It usually contains rice along with meat or fish and cooked vegetables.  The actual box can be anything from a cheap disposable to hand-crafted laquerware.

41. Facility : EASE.

42. "Only Time" songwriter : ENYA.  It seems that Eithne Pádraigín Ní Bhraonáin shows up at least half the time when I blog.



43. A handful : SOME.  Not too many.

45. Color named for a planet : MARS RED.   Benjamin Moore 2172-20.

46. In itself : AS SUCH.  Exactly as described or suggested.

47. Devours eagerly : LAPS UP.  To accept something with great enthusiasm.

48. Responds in court : PLEADS.  Presents or argues for a position.

50. Tool box item : PLIERS. Pincers, typically having parallel, flat, serrated surfaces intended for gripping. 

53. Has too much of, briefly : O Ds ON. Technically, to take more than the recommended dose of a medication, or in drug culture to have too much of a narcotic, resulting in a dangerous and potentially lethal condition.  In loose vernacular, to have too much of anything, frex, Easter ham. 

54. Finnish tech giant : NOKIA.   Multinational communications and information technology company founded in 1865.

55. Flight stat. : ARRival time.  

59. On the sidelines : IDLE.  Not currently in use.

62. Legendary fighter : ALI.  Professional boxer Muhammad Ali, originally Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr. [1942-2016.]   He was also famous and controversial as an activist and draft resistor.

63. Business card no. : TELephone.

64. Hit the slopes : SKI.

65. Dallas-to-Houston dir. : SSE.  Texas geography.  Three and a half hour drive via I-45 covering 239 miles.

That wraps it up - a fine puzzle, indeed.  My only nit is the glaring lack of a baseball reference. What's up with that?  

Cool regards!
JzB



Wednesday, April 5, 2017

L. A. Times Crossword - Wednesday April 5, 2017 Mark MacLachlan

Theme: THREE LITTLE LETTERS.  Each theme entry begins with a three letter combination that is repeated, in order, at the end of the entry.  The closest I could come to a theme song is Three Little Words, Eight Little Letters.  Sometimes you just have to make do.  Take three minutes to give it a listen.



Hi Gang, JzB here, as you have probably already guessed.  The Three Little words in the song are: "I love you." A bit of trivia I picked up researching this post is that it was also the name of a 1950 movie about Bert Kalmar and Harry Ruby. the guys who wrote the song. Ironically, they didn't like each other very much.  My last blog also involved letters in threes.  Maybe this is my new assignment.  Let's delve into the theme. 

17 A. *Process of electron gain or loss : IONIZATION.  Chemistry or Physics?  Either way, I get a charge out of it.  Yes, I'm positive!

24 A. *Beneficial substance in berries : ANTIOXIDANT.  Chemistry or Biology?  Oxidation is a process that might or might not involve IONIZATION.  Either way, an ANTIOXIDANT protects something else from being oxidized by getting oxidized itself.  Greater love no molecule hath!

34 A. *Eating : INGESTING.  Taking something, such as an ANTIOXIDANT into the body, by swallowing or absorption.  Yet another physical process.

48. A *London subway system, with "the" : UNDERGROUND.   Here we have a place about which I know very little.  Maybe Steve can help.  It is the main setting of Neil Gaiman's strange novel Neverwhere, in which people lost from normal society find an existence in an alternate reality.

57 A. Each answer to a starred clue begins and ends with identical ones : THREESOMES.  A group of three people or things doing something together.  What they are doing here is acting as bookends.  What else can we find?

Across

1. Chickens (out) : WIMPS.  Usually a noun, but one may WIMP out, so OK.

6. Lay eyes on : ESPY.  This word, ultimately of germanic origin, comes to us via Old French.  I remember my college German Professor remarking that Old French was Latin spoken badly by Germans.  Compare to "spy." 

10. Judge's setting : BAIL.  Not a location, but a quantity of money set by the judge, paid to assure that an accused person does not run off.

14. Like kindling when lit : AFIRE.  Flaming A-word.

15. Advil target : ACHE.  Analgesic for pain relief.

16. Insulate, as a jacket : LINE.  Install a layer of lining for added warmth.

19. Killer whale : ORCA. Aquatic predator.

20. Cereal with lemony lemon and orangey orange flavors : TRIX.  As I recall, they're for kids.



21. Falling-out : RIFT.  Can't we all just get along?

22. Bryn Mawr undergrads : WOMEN.  This is a women's liberal arts college named for the Pennsylvania town in which it is located.  The name means "Large hill" in Welsh.

23. Have a bawl : SOB.  "Clever clue," he cried.  

26. Lacking the skill : UNABLE.   We all have our limits.

28. Not as much : LESS SO.

29. Katy who voiced Smurfette in "The Smurfs" : PERRY.  I did not know that.

30. "Jeopardy!" creator Griffin : MERV.  Nor that.

33. Takes off the shelf : USES.  If one is able.

37. At the center of : AMID.  Surrounded.

40. Compete in a sack : RACE.  The infamous sack race.

41. Lets up : EASES.

45. Asian rice porridge : CONGEE.  Never heard of it.  Is it congealed?

47. Show up : ARRIVE.  Make an appearance.

52. Bus. card info : TELephone number.

53. Highly recommends : TOUTS.

54. "Monday Night Countdown" airer : ESPN.  All sports, all the time TV network.

55. Cruciverbalist Reagle of "Wordplay" : MERL.   We all knew this - right?  What you might not have known is that he retained all rights to his puzzles, and was thus able to make a living exclusively from puzzle construction.   Sadly, he passed away in August, 2015 from a sudden onset of pancreatitis.

56. Danish shoe company : ECCO.  A family-owned company founded in 1963.    They opened their first retail outlet in 1982.  Products, now including other leather goods, are sold in 14,000 sales points in 88 countries.

59. Big bunch : SLEW.  Derived from the Irish word sluagh, mid 19th century.

60. Golf game spoiler : RAIN.  Baseball, too.

61. Sailor's "Halt!" : AVAST.

62. Gull relative : TERN.  Shore birds.

63. Start of a preschool song : ABCD.  Four little letters?  Probably not.  Nor this one, I'm guessing.



64. __-Bismol : PEPTO.  Pink stuff for an upset tummy.

Down

1. Watches late TV until a teen comes home, say : WAITS UP.   Probably impatiently.

2. "From my perspective ... " : I FOR ONE.  


3. Hotel room amenity : MINIBAR.  Contains small, overpriced liquor bottles.

4. Amount to pay in Calais : PRIX.  The French price.

5. "__ who?" : SEZ.  Users of American slang, that's who.

6. Absorb the loss : EAT IT.  More American slang, for taking a financial loss.

7. "The Martian" genre : SCI-FI.  Science fiction.

8. Snapchat upload : PHOTO.  Pictures.

9. Nikkei index currency : YEN.  Japanese money

10. Diabetic's concern : BLOOD SUGAR.  The amount of glucose present in the blood stream.  Values outside the normal range can indicate a medical condition.

11. High behind a front, e.g. : AIR MASS.  A body of air with horizontally uniform temperature, humidity and pressure.

12. Holy smoke : INCENSE.  A substance burned for it's sweet aroma.  As the clue indicates, it is often associated with solemn religious ceremonies.

13. Campsite shelters : LEAN-TOS.    Simple structures composed of a slanted roof-wall, with or without 2 side walls.  The fourth side is open, generally oriented away from the prevailing winds. 

18. Former Education secretary Duncan : ARNE.   Does anybody remember this man who served from 2009 through 2015?  Does anyone know for sure which name goes first or last?  It goes like this: ARNE Duncan.

22. Golfer Michelle : WIE.   [b 1989] She announced she was turning pro a week before her 16th birthday, and joined the PGA tour in 2009.  Here are some highlights from last year.


24. Kirk __, first movie Superman : ALYN.  He appeared in serialized Superman movies in 1948 and 1950.

25. Last Super Bowl won by the Giants : XLVI.    The game was played on Sunday, Feb. 5, 2012 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.    Eli Manning was the MVP as the Giants beat the Patriots 21-17.

27. Capital of Barbados : BRIDGETOWN.  Located at the southwest corner of this island nation.  I had no clear idea of where Barbados is.  It is the eastward-most of any island in that part of the world.





30. "Tell __ story" : ME A.  Once upon a time . . .

31. PC key : ESCape.

32. MapQuest output: Abbr. : RTE.  Way Frm Pt A to Pt B.

35. Oldest Brady boy : GREG.  Played by Barry Williams




36. Geeky sort : NERD.

37. Most severe : ACUTEST.  In this sense, experienced to an extreme degree.   Is this word the awkwardest?

38. Accessory for Mr. Peanut : MONOCLE.



39. Ambien, vis-à-vis sleep : INDUCER.  It aids in falling asleep, but not in staying there.  But still can cause residual drowsiness the following morning.

42. Webpage index : SITE MAP.

43. "Into Thin Air" peak : EVEREST.  Book and movie of the same name that attempt to recreate the disastrous events of a climb that occurred on May 10, 1966.

44. Does business with : SELLS TO.   Or buys from.

46. Workplaces for LPNs : ERS. Licensed Practical nurses and Emergency Rooms.

47. Green Gables girl : ANNE.  An 11-year-old orphan girl mistakenly sent to Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert, a brother and sister team who were expecting a boy to help on their Prince Edward Island Farm, in Lucy Montgomery's 1908 novel.  The story has been adapted many times into movies and plays.

49. Post-op therapy : REHAB.

50. "Hamlet" courtier : OSRIC. A superficial, shallow and insincere plotter.

51. Flip over : UPEND.

55. Bit of chess action : MOVE.  Almost - but not quite - always involves a single piece at a time.

57. __-la-la : TRA.  Sing-song syllables.

58. Con man's target : SAP.  An easy mark.

That wraps up another Wednesday.  Hope all your letters are lining up.

Cool Regards!
JzB



Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Wednesday March 22, 2017 Dan Gagliardo and C. C. Burnikel

Theme: VOWEL TRIFECTA.  In the 2nd, 4th and 6th letter position of the first word of each two-word theme entry is a repeated vowel.  These entries appear in the grid in alphabetical order, viz. A-E-I-O-U. Let's have a look.

16 A. Monkey cage discard : BANANA PEEL.  Stereotypically, monkeys love BANANAS, but who wants to eat the outer part, despite its having appeal?  You don't want to encounter one at the top of a slippery slope

22 A. Reason for totaling, as an insured car : SEVERE DAMAGE.  "Totaling," in this sense indicates declaring the vehicle to be a total wreck, destined for the junk yard.  Sadly, I totaled my most favorite car in a multi-vehicle pile up on the Southfield Freeway, back in 1991.

29 A. Cause of some tan lines : BIKINI TOP.  A BIKINI is a two piece swim suit consisting of a bra top and a separate bottom part.  Coverage is widely variable, depending on the specific design parameters.  Of course, the covered parts will not be suntanned, resulting in tan lines.  Per Wikipedia: "The name was coined in 1946 by French engineer and clothing designer Louis Réard, after the recent nuclear tests at Bikini atoll —often better known than its namesake—and with the slogan 'an anatomic bomb.'''


37 A. Ornate 18th-century genre : ROCOCO ART.  This is a late baroque style that originated in Paris that employed a jocular and florid approach.  The style was ornate, colorful, curvy, and asymmetric, frequently based on witty or playful themes.


44 A. Fluffy sun blocker : CUMULUS CLOUD.   Well described by the clue, these clouds are generally of low altitude, and often have a flat base along with a puffy, cotton-like top.


55 A. Baseball rarity, and a hint to the vowels in the first words of 16-, 22-, 29-, 37- and 44-Across : TRIPLE PLAY.  Of course, the mandatory baseball reference!  Here, the triple play refers to the repeated vowel in each theme entry.  In baseball, it's an event in which 3 outs are made on a single batted ball.  As rare as this occurrence is, this example is of what must be an even more rare variety.



Hi gang, JzB reporting for duty, with a fine puzzle by our famous dynamic duo.  Clever gimmick and elegant execution.  Very rich themeage, with five entries, plus a unifier.  Nicely done.

Across

1. "That's enough out of you" : CAN IT.  Put a lid on it; give it a rest.

6. Addams family nickname : TISH. Morticia Addams.



10. Festoons with Charmin, for short : TPS. The childish prank of Toilet Papering a tree.

13. Chicago airport : O'HARE.

14. Barak of Israel : EHUD.  Prime Minister from 1999 to 2001, also a highly decorated soldier who held several other political and government positions.

15. __ butter : SHEA.  A fatty substance from the nut of the SHEA tree.

18. Phone using a tower : CELL

19. Govt. agency that supports startups : Small Business Administration.

20. Kettle output : STEAM.

21. Ride in the desert : CAMEL.  The ship of the desert.

24. Social ranking : STATUS.  

27. Many mobile downloads : APPS.  APPlications.

28. Coral component : POLYP.  This is an individual animal that, when combined into large clusters can form a coral reef.

34. "All Things Considered" co-host Shapiro : ARI.

35. Day of song : DORIS.  Not a day of the week.


36. Fleece source : EWE.  Lamb's mom.

40. Thyme piece : SPRIG.  A small stem, including it's minor branches.

42. Pre-hurricane emergency op : EVACuation.

43. Runs after : CHASES.   Can also involve vehicles.


49. "No one can beat me" : I RULE.  Arrogant.

50. Poker game concern : CHEAT.  Well - any game, really.

51. Unit of resistance : OHM.  Electricity.

54. Poker at the table? : TINE.  Part of a fork.

57. Where buds may go : EARS.  For listening to music, podcasts, etc.

58. Right hand : AIDE.  Top assistant.

59. Meditation teachers : YOGIS.  

60. "The Affair" network, briefly : SHOtime.

61. Flow with force : SPEW.

62. Place on a pedestal : EXALT.

Down

1. Corny leftovers : COBS.

2. Starbuck's boss : AHAB.  Characters from Moby Dick.

3. Child tender : NANA.  Grandmother.

4. Tax-deferred plan, briefly : Individual Retirement Account.

5. Stiffen in fear : TENSE UP.

6. Prairie home : TEPEE. A portable conical tent made from skins, cloth or canvas on a frame of poles.

7. The Supremes' "__ a Symphony" : I HEAR.

8. "See if I care!" : SUE ME.

9. Cholesterol letters : High Density Lipoprotein. 

10. Annual Augusta National event : THE MASTERS.  Golf tournament.

11. "Pequod" co-owner : PELEG.  The pequod is the Nantucket-based whaling ship from the novel Mobey Dick.

12. Room in a maison : SALLE.  French for house and room, respectively.

15. Shrimp dish : SCAMPI.  This is the Italian word for prawn, which is a crustacean similar, but not quite identical to a shrimp.  You have to count their legs to tell.  The dish is typically made by broiling with garlic butter.

17. Off-roaders, for short : ATVS. All Terrain Vehicles.

21. 2-Down's title, informally : CAP'N.

22. Dirty digs : STY.  A pig's place.

23. Place of honor : DAIS.  A low platform for a lectern, seat of honor, or throne.

24. Prep for a bout : SPAR.  Boxing practice.

25. Big name in riding mowers : TORO.

26. Canadian short story writer awarded a Nobel Prize in 2013 : ALICE MUNRO. [b. 1931]  Her stories explore human complexities in an uncomplicated prose style.

29. Lavish wrap : BOA.

30. Discount rack abbr. : IRRegular.

31. First-aid gear : KIT.

32. Boo-boo : OWIE.  Kid-speak for a minor injury.

33. Cribbage markers : PEGS.

35. Prefix with drama : DOCU-.

38. Small eggs : OVULES.

39. NASCAR's Yarborough : CALE. [b. 1939] One of only two NASCAR drivers to win three consecutive championships, with 83 total wins on the all-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series winner's list.

40. Z's : SHUT EYE.  Sleepy time.

41. Elbow protector : PAD.  Cushioning gear to protect against injury.

43. Mine extraction : COAL. A combustable black or brown rock composed of fossilized organic material.

44. Names as a reference : CITES.  Typically in a foot note.

45. Hater of David, in Dickens : URIAH.  Mr. Heap, the obsequious weasel from the Charles Dickens novel, David Copperfield.

46. Rx : SCRIP.  A doctor's prescription for a certain medication.

47. Reprimand : CHIDE.

48. Aggressive cat lover of cartoons : LEPEW.  Pepe.


51. Gymnast Korbut : OLGA.   She won 4 gold and 2 silver medals for the Soviet team in the 1972 and 1976 Summer Olympics.


52. Flag down : HAIL.

53. Classic PC adventure game : MYST.  A graphic puzzle-adventure game having a variety of endings, depending on the player's choices.

55. Some univ. proctors : TAS. Teaching Assistants.

56. Curse : POX.

Lots of good stuff here, including a whaling sub-theme.  No less than we would expect form this all star team.

Cool regards!
JzB





Thursday, March 16, 2017

Crocuses


St. Urho's day crocus report. 
Looks like we will have three purple blooms this year. 
It's always been just one.




earliest blossoms
arrive before snow departs
leave in early spring

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

L.A. Times Crossword Puzzle - Wednesday, February 22, 2017 Jascha Smilack

Theme: THE COLOR OF ANGER.  Each theme fill entry is two words, the first of which is a color. Notably, one color is missing from this exposition, but shows up both in the unifier, and elsewhere, as we will see - in disguise.

20 A. *Fictional road material : YELLOW BRICK.   From the Wizard of Oz, of course.



57 A. *Cola flavor : BLACK CHERRY.



10 D. *One with noble lineage : BLUE BLOOD.  Presumably because, since they never had to do manual labor and led an indoor existence, their pale skin allowed the blue of veins to show through.

14 D. *Floral papal ornament : GOLDEN ROSE.  Despite growing up Catholic, I know nothing of this tradition.

26 D. *Chard, by another name : SILVER BEET.  I knew this was a green leafy plant in the beet family, but didn't know about the silver part, which refers to the white stalk.

33 D. Angrily ignoring the first half of the answers to starred clues? : SEEING RED.  Well, ignoring all the other colors somehow equates to seeing RED, but not GREEN nor VIOLET.  But, OK, let's just go with it.  The color of Magic, BTW, is Octarine.

High gang, JazzBumpa here to guide you through a late winter color tour.  Let's see if we can get through it without too much rancor.

Across

1. Spot for an AirPod : EAR.   Wireless headphone parking place.

4. Chowder morsel : CLAM.  Soup ingredient.

8. Moscow currency : RUBLE.  The Russian monetary unit for the last 500 years.  Currently equal to about 1.7 US cents.

13. Slept like __ : A LOG.  I wonder how that feels?

15. Color in a Spanish rainbow : ROJO.  Red, of course.  Irritably missing from the theme, but we have it here.


16. Religion of Basra : ISLAM.  Basra is a city in Iraq whose local economy is largely dependent on petroleum.

17. Corn Belt tower : SILO.  Here's an example in Maumee, a suburb of Toledo.


18. Latin I verb : AMAT.  Do I love this entry?  No, I do not.

19. Riyadh resident : SAUDI.  The capital and most populous city in the country.

23. Bookshelf bracket shape : ELL.  The "L" you say!

24. Of a battery terminal : ANODAL.  Specifically, the positive one.  Would it be an anodyne to say I'm positive?

25. Necessity for a game of Ultimate : FRISBEE.  This is the trademark for a flying disc, owned by the Wham-O toy company.  Points are scored by passing the disc to a team mate in the opponent's end zone

27. History class assignment : ESSAY.  A written paper on a specific topic.

30. Elec. or water : UTILity.

31. __ a clue : HASN'T.  I tried HADN'T first.  HAVEN'T also does not work.

34. Slangy pounds : QUID.  British money.  Even before Brexit they opted out of using the Euro.

36. Financial help : LOAN.

39. End __ : USER.

40. Tomato product : PUREE.

41. Preference indicator : VOTE.

42. Religious prefix : THEO-.

43. Grub : EATS.  Unattractive sounding vernacular.

44. Brought about : LED TO.  Preceded and caused whatever then ensued.

45. Tenerife, por ejemplo : ISLA.  Spanish Island.

47. Take the helm : STEER.  Direct the movement of a vehicle, in this case a ship.

49. Surface layers : VENEERS.   Generally decorative, as a fine wood over a less elegant wood.

52. Clogs from France : SABOTS.  Each one hollowed out of a single piece of wood.  Hence the word sabotage, meaning to wreck something by kicking with sabots.   I read once somewhere that the Luddites sabotaged weaving machinery by throwing sabots into the works, but that might be apocryphal.

56. Neurologist's order, briefly : EEG. The ElectroEncephaloGram detects electrical activity in the brain.

60. Pop-up foul-up : ERROR.  Baseball boo-boo, dropping a short fly ball.

62. Stereotypical family spoiler : NANA.  Grandmother, or, as some in our clan say, "Grandmom."

63. Pulitzer-winning novelist Jennifer : EGAN.  In 2011 her novel A Visit From The Goon Squad won the Pulitzer prize for fiction.

64. Renaissance painter __ della Francesca : PIERO.  Many of his paintings are on religious themes.



65. Minute quantity : DROP.  A drib, a drab or a TRACE.

66. Fish __ : TACO.   I had one once.  It was OK.

67. Family car : SEDAN.  Typical 2 or 4 door auto with front and rear seats.

68. __-Coburg: former Bavarian duchy : SAXE.  Read all about it.

69. Homer's neighbor : NED.  Flanders from the Simpsons.  



Down

1. Class requiring little effort : EASY A.

2. Distant and then some : ALIEN.  Beyond the pale, perhaps.

3. Pal of Nancy, in comics : ROLLO.


4. Barely advances : CRAWLS.  Makes slow, possibly steady progress. 

5. Big name in vision care : LOMB.  Along with Bausch.

6. Slightly open : AJAR. When is a door not a door?  When it is a jar.

7. Recurring theme : MOTIF.  As in music, literature or visual design.

8. Go out on a limb : RISK IT. Take a chance.

9. Stars and Stripes land: Abbr. : USA.  Mandatory.


11. Crock-Pot server : LADLE. For soups and stews.

12. French novelist Zola : EMILE. [1840-1902] Also a playwright, journalist and contributor to literary and theatrical realism.  Also a major figure in the exoneration of wrongly accused and convicted military officer Alfred Dreyfus.

21. Brewery kiln : OAST.  A drying oven.

22. Input for a refinery : CRUDE.  Petroleum.

28. Marine shade : AQUA.   Ocean blue - a hue tinged with green.

29. Portable Mongolian dwellings : YURTS.  Collapsable circular tents used by nomads.

31. Simple dwelling : HUT.  A simple, single-story dwelling, perhaps a step up from a YURT. 

32. Shade of gray : ASH.  Not all grays are created equal.  

35. Luck, pluck or duck ending : IEST.  Modifier degrees are positive, comparative, and superlative.  This illustrates the latter.

37. Part of D.A.: Abbr. : ATT.  District ATTorney.  Typically, a prosecutor.

38. Prefix with con : NEO-.  Referring to NEO-conservatism, which is distinguished by aggressively interventionist foreign policy, strong support for Israel, and hostility toward other middle-eastern regimes.

40. Shade of gray : PEARL.  A gray shade tinged with blue or green, having a pearlescent luster.

44. Jacob's wife before Rachel : LEAH.  Jake got snookered by Lebon, his mother's brother into marrying LEAH, Lebon's older daughter, when he was expecting to marry the younger sister Rachel, whom he loved.  Eventually he married Rachel as well.  Both of them bore him children, as did Zilpah, a servant that Leban had given to Leah.  

46. James with three NBA titles : LEBRON.  Not to be confused with Lebon, he was first loved and then hated by Cleveland fans.  Not sure what his status is now.
  
48. Tunnel out, maybe : ESCAPE.  As from prison or a PoW camp.

49. Many future presidents, as it turned out : VEEPS.   Vice Presidents.

50. Like "Stranger Things," e.g. : EERIE.  Weird and/or spooky.  The show is a Netflix original series concerning the searches for a 12- year-old boy who disappeared amid supernatural occurrences.

51. Metaphorical moments of time : SANDS.



53. Skin, but not bones : ORGAN.   A body part with a distinct structure that performs a specialized task.  From my brief on-line research, it seems that bones are considered to be organs.  Hmmmm  .  .  .

54. Kind of evidence : TRACE.  Some small incriminating quantity - only a DROP, perhaps.

55. Ecclesiastical council : SYNOD.  In modern usage, the governing body of a particular church.

58. Word of amore : CARA.  Italian term of endearment.


59. Fort with billions in bullion : KNOX.  Located near the Ohio River, south-west of Louisville.  

61. "... man __ mouse?" : OR A.  Challenging words.

That wraps it up.  We had some religion and politics in the fill, so please don't go there in the comments. Also, some colors outside the theme fill.  Did you color within the lines?  Hope after all this, you're not seeing RED.

Cool regards!
JzB