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 21, 2017

L.A. Times Crossword Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Theme:  The RAT's nest.  Each theme answer has the word RAT comfortably snuggled deep inside.

18 A. Swimmer who medaled at five Olympic Games : DARA TORRES.  She competed in 1984, 1988, 1992, 2000 and 2008.  In 2008, at age 41, she became the oldest American olympic swimmer.  She won silvers medals in her three events that year.

24 A. Subjected to harsh criticism : UNDER ATTACK.  Verbal attack. Topical, but let's not go there.

36 A. Soccer deadlock breaker : EXTRA TIME. Overtime in American Football and basketball.

51 A. Many a Sports Illustrated cover figure : STAR ATHLETE.  Well sure, sports magazine, star athletes - a perfect fit.  Not always how it works out, though.  I was unable to locate an SI cover of DARA TORRES.  So this will have to suffice.

And the unifier -- 58 A. Suspicious comment ... and a hint to what's hidden in 18-, 24-, 36- and 51-Across : I SMELL A RAT.    This is the comment of a suspicious person - perhaps in a noirish movie - rather than a comment one should be suspicious of.  The expression goes back to at least 1851, and might be based on a cat's ability to detect a RAT by scent, even if it is out of sight.

Note that the letters R, A and T are broken across two words in each answer, and, as a nice touch, the break point alternates between after and before the A.

Hi, gang, it's JzB, who actually has been a lab RAT, of a sort, in the distant past.  Let's put on our lab jackets and see if we can find any other RATS in the labyrinth that C. C. has set out for us today.


1. "MasterChef" tools : PANS.  Cooking tools used on the TV show.

5. Street shader : ELM.  The once great shade source on many American streets, long since devastated by Dutch Elm Disease.   Resistant varieties are now available.

8. Very dangerous : TOXIC.   Poisonous - as related to certain substances or persons in relationships.

13. Maker of Anew skin care products : AVON.  

14. Have to have : NEED.  In my marketing class many years ago, I learned that advertisers do not distinguish between wants and needs.  My protest that I need transportation, but want a Porsche Carrera went unheeded.

16. Cuban dance : RUMBA.  The term has long since lost whatever specificity it may once have had, and is applied to many styles of dance and music with a latin flair.  Here is a modern example from Mexico.

17. Fancy wheels : LIMO.  Usually stretch versions of vehicles for transporting partiers, prom goers, bride's maids, et. cet.

20. Apparel : GARB.  Clothes.

22. Exodus peak : SINAI.  The mountain where Moses received the 10 Commandments.  It took no time at all for them to get broken.

23. Actor's rep. : AGT.  Agent.

26. Turn a different color : DYE.  Did you see that red head Harry was with?  Yeah, that's his wife.  I thought he was married to a brunet!?!   He was, but she DYED.

27. Belgian detective played by Ustinov, Welles, Finney and others : POIROT.   Hercule, an Agatha Christie character who appeared in 33 novels, over 50 short stories and one play between 1920 and 1975.

28. Knight in shining armor : SAVIOR.  If being saved from a fire-breathing dragon counts as salvation.

30. Fast Company magazine competitor : INC.   Titles of business oriented magazines.

31. Nobelist Bohr : NIELS.  He received his prize in 1922 for contribution to the understanding of quantum theory.  Some of Einstein's friends thought that Albert was interesting, but NIELS was a Bohr.

35. Pot promise : IOU.  Promise to pay in a poker pot.

39. "Bad" cholesterol, initially : LDL. Low Density Lipoproteins are the culprits; cholesterol gets the bad rap.

41. Battery-free calculators : ABACI.  Not only that, they're also digital!  A competent operator is also lightning quick.

42. Mama bear, in Chihuahua : OSA. Spanish. 

45. Home to about 740 million : EUROPE.  includes Spain.

48. Christmas cupful : EGG NOG.

50. Fort Myers-to-Orlando dir. : NNE.

55. Grazing spot : LEA.  An open field.

56. Oohed and __ : AAHED.  As at babies - human and otherwise.

57. Bottom : TUSH.  The posterior of a person.

61. Connected (to) : TIED.

63. Cook, as dumplings : STEAM.  Or vegetables.

64. "Game of Thrones," for one : SAGA.  A long story of heroic achievement.  GoT is certainly long.  Whether anyone lives long enough to actually achieve heroically is very much up in the air [as are the dragons.]

65. Architect Saarinen : EERO.  [1910-1961] Born in Finland, he grew up in Bloomfield Hills, MI.

66. Fruity desserts : TARTS.  An open pastry, often filled with fruit and/or custard.

67. Butterfly catcher : NET.   At the end of the day, a butterfly catcher records his NET gain.

68. "Got it" : I SEE.  Comprendo!


1. Best bud : PAL.  Amigos, not flowers.  These days: bestie.

2. French city on the Rhone : AVIGNON.

3. Inclined to wander : NOMADIC.

4. Noisy sleeper : SNORER.  Guilty

5. Go "pfft" : END.  Disappear in a puff of smoke?

6. Bare minimum : LEAST.  It's the bare minimum I could do.

7. __ badge : MERIT.  Boy scout's symbol of achievement.

8. Three-horse vehicle : TROIKA.

9. "__ Song": Taylor Swift hit : OUR.   On YouTube for anyone who is interested.

10. Satellite service for road trips : XM RADIO.  They might also play it there.

11. "Pretty please?" : I BEG YOU.   Can I - huh, huh?

12. Furniture wheel : CASTER.  Mounted in such a way that it can roll in any direction.

15. Fox's "X-Files" partner : DANA.  Scully, played by Gillian Anderson, partner of Fox Mulder, played by David Duchovney.

19. Tic __: mints : TACS.  Candy or breath mint?  You decide.

21. Borough bordering Yonkers : BRONX.  The northernmost of New York City's 5 boroughs.

24. Wire service co. : UPI.  United Press International.

25. Butting heads : AT IT.  Vying, perhaps.

29. Go toe-to-toe : VIE.  At it again, maybe.

32. Stretch in history books : ERA. A time period notable for some characteristic.

33. Research site : LAB.  Also home to some RATS.

34. Metro stop: Abbr. : STAtion.

36. Symphonic rock gp. : ELO.  Electric Light Orchestra.

37. "Law & Order: SVU" actor : ICE-T.  Tracey Lauren Morrow.

38. Power : MIGHT.

39. Ambien alternative : LUNESTA.   Sleep aid drugs.

40. Starry-eyed sort : DREAMER.  LUNESTA user?

42. Baby's bodysuits : ONESIES.  Or adults'.

43. "As I predicted!" : SO THERE.  Told ya'!

44. What candles may signify : AGE.  Well - that takes the cake!

45. Volunteer, in a way : ENLIST.  In the armed forces or other organization.

46. Bible book with 150 poems : PSALMS.  I recently had a chance to play this beautiful Russian Hymn based on psalm 74.

47. Footnote shorthand : ET AL.  And others - a list shortener.

49. Muscles strengthened by lunges : GLUTEI.  Is this a mini-theme, or am I getting a little behind?

52. Cries of discovery : AHAS.  Or Eurekas.

53. Showed once more : RERAN.  As a TV show.

54. Maxim : ADAGE.  An old saw.

59. Fast no more : EAT.  Slowly. Eat slowly.  Chew every bite.

60. Parlor art, for short : TAT.  Body art, applied at a tattoo parlor

62. Girl in a forest : DOE.  A deer, a female deer.

That wraps another Wednesday.  C. C. gave a fine puzzle to while away a few well-spent moments. Hope you made it through OK.  Now - who moved my cheese?

Cool Regards!


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