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, January 18, 2017

L. A. Times Crossword Puzzle Blogging - Wednesday, January 18, 2017 C. C. Bernikel

Theme - BE NOT AFRAID.  A variety of things are related to the fears they might - or in this case, might not - cause.   This is pretty deep.  Each word relating to a common phobia is placed in a different, much safer context.  This makes it a figurative rather than literal reference.  I don't recall seeing a twist like this before.  Very clever and original.

17 A. Not a fearful place for acrophobia sufferers : BROOKLYN HEIGHTS.  Not sure what the elevation is there, but here in the Detroit area, Dearborn and Dearborn HEIGHTS are pretty flat and even.

36 A. Not a fearful fund for agoraphobia sufferers : MONEY MARKET.  This phobia relates to the fear of open places, or any place that might seem to be difficult to escape from, such as a shopping mall.  In the original Greek, an Agora was a public gathering and commercial location - hence the connection to a MARKET.

45 A. Not a fearful Camus work for xenophobia sufferers : THE STRANGER.  This fear relates to foreigners, who might be thought of as strange.   In the absurdist novel, the protagonist Meursault is a stranger in his own land, due to his emotional disconnection.

65 A. Not a fearful roadster for arachnophobia sufferers : ALFA ROMEO SPIDER. Four wheels instead of 8 legs for this model originally introduced in 1966.

Hi gang - Jazzbumpa here with quite the intrepid offering from our Fearless Leader.  It hit on a couple of my favorite phobias; but let's gather our courage, and see what we can discover.


1. Early sitcom co-star Arnaz : DESI.  He and Luci had a Ball.  

5. It's over a foot : SHIN.  No bones about it, the shin is literally above the foot.

9. Zagreb native : CROAT.  In Croatia.

14. Wolfs down : EATS.  Gobbles.

15. Madre's boy : NINO.  Spanish kid.

16. Toy in many "Peanuts" panels : PIANO.

20. Casino lineup : SLOTS.  One armed bandits.

21. Starting on : AS OF.  Some particular date.

22. Palette choices : HUES.  Colors.

23. Morose : DOUR.  From Scottish Gaelic, meaning dull, obstinate or stupid; perhaps related to Latin durus, meaning hard.

25. Droop in the garden : WILT.  So - if your cherry tree wilts, it is a drooping drupe.

27. Tight hold : GRIP.  Though suffering from the grippe, the Grip had a tight GRIP on his grip.

29. 401(k) alternative, briefly : IRA.  Individual Retirement Account.

32. Went ballistic : LOST IT.  Had a fit; went ape.

39. Folk rocker DiFranco : ANI.

40. Belittle : ABASE.

41. Showy Japanese school : KOI.  Of ornamental fish.

42. To a degree, informally : SORTA.   I had KINDA, which is more or less the same idea.

44. Haul to the garage : TOW.  

48. Name on the 1967 album "I Was Made to Love Her" : STEVIE.  Here he is, in case you were wondering.

50. Pilot's stat : ETA.  Estimated Time of Arrival.  Good luck with that.

51. Ward of "Sisters" : SELA.

52. City with ferry service to Copenhagen : OSLO.

54. Damon of "Interstellar" : MATT.

56. Fix, as a pet : SPAY.   Neutering operation.

59. Deft tennis shots : LOBS.  Soft arc.

62. Ragu rival : PREGO.   Pasta sauces.  

68. Prolonged assault : SIEGE.

69. Way through the trees : PATH.

70. Curly cabbage : KALE.  Having green or purple leaves that do not form a head.  This vegetable was common during the middle ages.

71. Wielded an ax : HEWED.  A good old, Anglo-Saxon word meaning to chop.

72. "Button it!" : HUSH.  BE quiet!

73. Actor Byrnes and announcer Hall : EDDS.  Presented for your edification.


1. Cotillion attendees : DEBS.   At formal balls, young ladies of aristocratic birth make their debuts into formal society.  Seems like a sexist and elitist tradition.

 2. Banjoist Scruggs : EARL.  Has a banjo, and knows how to use it.

 3. Admired reverentially, with "of" : STOOD IN AWE. As, for example, of banjo virtuosity.

 4. Elemental forms used in carbon dating : ISOTOPES.  A radioactive form of an element with a known decay rate.

 5. NBC weekend skit show : SNL.  Live from New York, It's Saturday Night Live.

 6. "'Sup" : HI YA.  Slangy greetings.

 7. Travel section listing : INNS.  Quaint lodgings.

 8. "Not happenin'" : NO HOW.  Slangy denial.

 9. Key econ. indicator : CPI.  Usually it's GDP or GNP.  But not this time - It's the Consumer Price Index, which, as you can see, has been quite tame lately.

 10. Subjects of the first 10 Amendments : RIGHTS.  The Bill of RIGHTS amended to the U. S. Constitution.

 11. Iolani Palace island : OAHU.  Hawaii.

 12. Kitty starter : ANTE.  For the poker pot.

 13. Throw : TOSS.

 18. Sch. near Topeka : KSU.  Kansas State University, home of the Wildcats.

 19. TurboTax option : E-FILE.  Electronically submit your tax return.

 24. Outer edge : RIM.  Of a crater or coffee cup.

 26. Mucho : LOTS A.  Large, slangy quantities.

 27. Future MBAs' exams : GMATS.  Graduate Management Admission Tests.  I don't remember taking one, but since I have an MBA, I probably did.   IMHO, standardized testing is a huge scam offering very little of value.

 28. High-tech worker : ROBOT.  Not often resembling an anthropomorphic machine, but more often specifically designed for the job at hand [so to speak.]  Estimates are that almost all jobs will be replaced by ROBOTS or AI systems in the next 30 years.  Then, what will we do?

 30. Golf bunker tool : RAKE.  I wanted a WEDGE, which didn't fit.  Golf etiquette is to rake a sand trap [bunker] smooth after taking your shot.

 31. Got up : AROSE.

 33. Online pop-up tailored to individual tastes : TARGETED AD.  After I do a google search for something, that item often then shows up on the right side bar of Face Book.  Big Brother really is watching.

 34. Recon goal : INTEL.  Reconnaissance to gather intelligence.

 35. Pageant headpiece : TIARA.  Winner's crown.

 37. Elusive Himalayans : YETIS. The legendary mountain creatures.

 38. "Batman" actress Eartha : KITT.  She was the KITT Cat.

 43. Picket line placard : ON STRIKE.  Unfair!

 46. Word of greeting : HELLO.  'Sup?

 47. Aries symbol : RAM.  Astrology.  Don't let it get your goat.

 49. Journey : VOYAGE.    Trip.

 53. Zing : OOMPH.  Chutzpa.

 55. Droid download : APP.  Application for your mobile device.

 56. Pageant band : SASH.  A wide fabric ribbon, usually brightly colored worn draping across the body from one shoulder to the opposite hip.

 57. Ballet class bend : PLIE.

 58. Small number :  A FEW.  Less than several.

 60. Main squeeze : BEAU.  Boy friend.

 61. Pub crawlers : SOTS.  Heavy drinkers.

 63. Fix, as a horse : GELD.  Back to neutering.

 64. Tram loads : ORES.  From the mine.

 66. Chinese lantern color : RED.

Traditional Dragon Chinese Lantern

 67. "Button it!" : SHH.   Quietly, now.

That wraps it up.  See - there never was any danger - except for certain domesticated quadrupeds. Now, with that calm conclusion, we can all go about our business secure in the knowledge that we are safe.

Cool regards!

Friday, January 6, 2017

L.A. Times Crossword Puzzle Blogging Wednesday, January 4, 2017 Ed Sessna

Theme: FLIGHTS OF FANCY.  We'll let Frank take it away, and save the unifier for last.

20 A. Gathering for February's big game : SUPER BOWL PARTY.  A group of friends might get together to watch the game, and there is a certain culinary item, to be identified in good time, which might be consider traditional for the event.  It is related to the city of Buffalo, though their team is about as likely to show up there as the Lions.  At least the Lions squeaked into the play-offs this year. gives them a 29% chance of getting past the Sea Hawks and <1% chance of winning the SUPER BOWL.  I love their optimism.

38 A. George Washington never slept there : THE WHITE HOUSE.  This has been the presidential residence since John Adams occupied it in 1800.   George Washington was the first president after the adoption of the Constitution, serving from 1789 to 1797.  The interior of the original structure was destroyed by the British during the war of 1812, but reconstruction began almost immediately.  An addition on the western side of the building was completed in 1901.  An addition on the east side, now used as the visitor's entrance, was completed in 1942. More on these later.

58 A. Heavenly protectors : GUARDIAN ANGELS.  Since antiquity, ANGELS have been believed to be spiritual beings that are superior to humans in power and intelligence.  The Christian concept of their hierarchy and duties was largely developed in the 5th century.  A GUARDIAN ANGEL is presumed to watch over and guide a specific person, group, or nation.  When anthropomorphized in art and literature, they are generally conceived as having certain anatomical features that are not characteristic of human kind.  So ---

At last, the unifier: 70 A. What 20-, 38- and 58-Across have in common : WINGS.  

The PARTY WINGS come from chickens, and are deep fried and served with sauces, originally vinegar and cayenne pepper based, but now existing in a variety of types, flavors and heat intensities.

The WHITE HOUSE east and west WINGS,as mentioned above.

ANGELS are generally pictured with enormous WINGS sprouting from where their shoulder blades ought to be.  How they get into those robes is a bit of a mystery.

Hi gang, and happy New Year.  JazzBumpa here to take you soaring through Ed's entry. This is pretty much my kind of theme, with a common word displaying a few different meanings. Let's launch into it!


1. "Scrubs" nurse married to Dr. Turk : CARLA.   TV show that ran from 2001 to 2010.  I only watched it a few times.

6. Suddenly became attentive : SAT UP.  And took notice.

11. Letter addition letters : PPS.  Post Scripts.  I wanted PS'S.

14. They may be gray : AREAS.  Found in many regions of thought and philosophy.

15. Make one of many : UNITE.

16. __ polloi : HOI.  Ordinary folk  .  .  .

17. Brown bread : TOAST.  S/B browned bread.

18. Files in a recycle bin : DELETIONS.   Computer files.

22. Exploit : USE.

23. Flooring choice : OAK.  

24. Irish lullaby syllables : LOORA.

26. Colombia neighbor : PERU.   South American countries.

28. Lead-in for jet or prop : TURBO.  Airplane propulsion systems.

32. Gritty genre : NOIR.  Crime fiction characterized by fatalism, cynicism and moral ambiguity.

33. Second of three O's : TAC.  In the game of noughts and crosses, aka tic-tac-toe, played on a hash tag grid.

35. Job rights agcy. : EEOC.  Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

37. Adobe file format : PDF.  Portable Data File

42. Singer Carly __ Jepsen : RAE.  Canadian singer/song writer who has won many awards.

43. Sainted fifth-century pope : LEO I.  Pope from 440 t0 461.  An Italian aristocrat who persuaded Attila the Hun to not attack Rome in 452.

44. Novelist Deighton : LEN.  Acclaimed spy novelist, military historian, cookery writer and graphic artist.

45. Publication sales fig. : CIRCulation.

47. 1983 60-Down winner Tom : SNEVA.  Also known for his several crashes, holding the record for the most crashes during the Indianapolis 500 race.  The most notable was in 1977, when his car got ripped in half.

49. Siouan tribe : OTOE.  A semi-nomadic people who lived along the Missouri River, farming and hunting buffalo.  With or without the terminal E they populate far more crossword puzzles than do the Iroquois.

53. Big aluminum producer : ALCOA.  Foiled again!

55. Yale Blue wearer : ELI.  The nickname for the Yale student.

57. Took cover : HID.

63. Fleeting affair : DALLIANCE.  A fling.

64. "The Maltese Falcon" actor Peter : LORRE.  Speaking of film NOIR - this 1941 adaptation of Dashiell Hammett's 1929 novel stars Humphrey Bogart as detective Sam Spade and Mary Astor as his femme fatal client.  

65. French season : ETE.  Summer.

66. Pianist Watts : ANDRE.

A short excerpt

67. Bubbling hot : ABOIL.  A dreaded A- word.  Dreaded because they are almost never used in actual conversation, thus not really in the language, except perhaps at the fringe.

68. Director Anderson : WES.  Known for The Royal Tenenbaums, Moonrise Kingdom, The Grand Budapest Hotel, and several others.

69. Seven-__ cake : LAYER.  Rich desert.  Have a narrow slice.


1. Takeout packet : CATSUP.  Side vegetable to go with your happy meal.

2. Stir to action : AROUSE.  Excite or incite.

3. One with a sickle : REAPER.   He can be grim.

4. Operate using a beam : LASE.   Using a LASER in a surgical or commercial operation.

5. Houston pro : ASTRO.   Baseball - many long and dreary months away.

6. Daily paper logic puzzle : SUDOKU.  Numbers in a box.

7. From the beginning : ANEW.  All over again.  Devja vu, anyone?

8. Dough drawer : TILL.  Cash register drawer; dough, as in bread, so to speak.

9. Sch. near the Rio Grande : University of Texas at El Paso. 

10. Iris part : PETAL.  Flower, not a portion of the uvea.  Anyway, I went into a blind ally with sepal.

11. Occasions that usually elicit big smiles : PHOTO-OPS.  Chances for publicity pics.  Say cheesy.

12. Fair activity for kids : PONY RIDE.  Activity at the fair, not necessarily in a fair way, which would involve golf.  This is getting rough.

13. One of the fam : SIS.  I have one.  No bro, though.

19. Waffle maker : IRON.  Batter up!

21. Baker's units : BATCHES.  As, frex, of cookies, from my SIS.

25. "Walk me!" : ARF.   Dog speak.

27. 4 x 4, briefly : UTE. Sports Utility Vehicle.

29. Tighten, as laces : RETIE.  Shoe business.

30. Nectar eater : BEE.

31. French "Wowza!" : OOH LA LA.

34. Leather punch : AWL.  Small pointed tool used to pierce holes.

36. Miler Sebastian : COE.  British inner of 4 Olympic gold metals in 1980 and '84, who went on to be a member of parliament from 1992-97.   Now he is a chancellor at Loughborough University and chairman of the British Olympic Association.

38. Follow too closely : TAILGATE.  Alternatively, a pre-game outdoor party that might involve WINGS.

39. Mythical hero with a labor force? : HERCULES.  He was forced to perform 12 labors, involving a great deal of murder, theft and mayhem.   Sneaky clue.

40. Electrified particle : ION.  An atom or molecule either having or lacking one or more electrons from its neutral state.

41. Colorful card game : UNO.

42. LG rival : RCA.

46. Early steam engine fuel : COAL.

48. Facade : VENEER.   This is a stretch.  A VENEER is a thin layer of fine wood applied over a not so fine wood, while a facade is the front of a building.  Either might also indicate an outward appearance designed to conceal something that is probably dishonest or unpleasant.

50. Charlize of "Monster" : THERONA movie about that rare aberration - a female serial killer.  Quite a transformation for this role.

51. Coastal fuel extractor : OIL RIG.  We won't talk about the spills.

52. 1950s disasters : EDSELS.  This classic car a disaster?!?  Oh, come now.

54. Easy-to-read font : ARIAL.  Like this.

56. Marriage acquisition : IN-LAW.  Relatively speaking.

59. Perfumery that created Tabu : DANA.   House of DANA perfumery was established in Barcelona, Spain in 1932.  the headquarters moved to Paris, then to the U.S. during WW II

60. 200-lap race, briefly : INDY. The Indianapolis 500.

61. 43,560 square feet : ACRE.  Or, 1/640 Sq. Mi.

62. Asian desert : GOBI.  Spanning northwestern China and southern Mongolia.

63. Grass coating : DEWDroplets of condensed water.

As you have probably guessed by now, I usually just WING it on these write-ups.  Hope this one didn't ruffle your feathers.

Cool regards!