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, March 28, 2018

L.A. Times crossword, Wednesday, March 28, 2018 Jeffrey Wechsler

Theme: What happened to the Pope?   Let's start with the unifier.  It will make all clear.

54. Minister or imam, say ... and, in two ways, a hint to words hidden in 17-, 29- and 38-Across : RELIGIOUS LEADER.  The titles of RELIGIOUSly ministerial people are indicated at the beginning of each theme answer - thus LEADing the way in.  Let's see how that works.

17. Secondhand wave of excitement : VICARIOUS THRILL.  This is an imagined experience based on the actions or feelings of someone else.  The position of VICAR varies among different Christian denominations, but always involves some level of LEADERship responibiity.

29. Place to get delivery instructions? : LAMAZE CLASS.  This teaches a method of preparation for natural childbirth.  A LAMA is a teacher of the Dhamma, a principle of cosmic order, in Tibetan Buddhism.

38. Hare care site : RABBIT HUTCH.  Clever clue for a place where bunnies are nurtured [not the Playboy Mansion.]   In the Jewish faith, A RABBI is a teacher in Jewish law who also provides pastoral counseling and represents the community.

With two grid-spanners and two more entries of 11 letters each, this is quite rich for a 4-part theme.  Also, I found this to be a bit on the tough side for a Wednesday.  But, it's Jeffery, who we usually see on Fridays, so that might explain it.  In fact, word count, length and freshness are all in the Thursday- Friday range.

Hi, gang, JazzBumpa here to guide you on this pilgrimage.  Remember, religion is off-topic here, so we'll make our excursion secular and apolitical.


1. Touch, e.g. : SENSE.  Along with sight, smell, taste, taste and hearing, the typical 5 SENSES.    Modern thinking identifies a longer list.

6. Model in a bottle : SHIP.

10. SALT weaponry : ABMS.  Strategic Arms Limitation Talks/Treaties concerned Ballistic Missiles and Anti Ballistic Missiles [ground to air] designed to defend against them.

14. "Ta-ta, mon ami" : ADIEU.  French word of departure.

15. Students' lunchroom : CAFETERIA.

19. Surprised cries : EEKS.  Responses to rodent sightings.

20. Court plea, briefly : NOLO contendere, in full.  A plea that neither admits guilt nor claims innocence.

21. Bridal path : AISLE.  Not a horse trail, but the route a bride takes to the altar.

22. "Uh-uh--however ... " : NO BUT.  Always, an objection.

24. They may be raised in casinos : STAKES.  Betting levels.  Are you in or out?

25. Saudi neighbors : OMANISMiddle-eastern geography.

27. Google Apps component : G-MAIL.  21st century communication device.

31. Pro bono TV ad : Public Service Announcement.

34. "Hamilton" climax : DUEL.  I'm not familiar with the ending of the musical - but this event ended Alexander Hamilton's life.  After missing with his first shot, Hamilton was struck by Burr's shot, and died the following day from the wound.

35. 27-Across alternative : AOL.  An internet service provider.

36. Has second thoughts about : RUES.  This rather understates what would be better defined as "bitter regret."

37. Member of the fam : SIS.  I have one.  No bro, though.

42. Thick : DENSE.  Figuratively speaking, a not particularly bright person can be called dense.  In more physical terms, these words refer to a linear dimension and relative heaviness, respectively.

43. Off the beaten path : REMOTE. Or, alternatively, far away.

44. Arcade activity : GAMING.  Generally of video or pin ball varieties.

47. Welcome words to a hitchhiker : HOP IN.  Feel free to enter the vehicle.

48. Kicking partner? : ALIVE.  Words that go together in a vernacular phrase.

49. Ancient France : GAUL. A vast region of Western Europe north of Iberia inhabited by Celtic peoples, that includes parts of several other modern countries.

51. St. Petersburg's river : NEVA. In Russia, not Florida, therefore remote.

57. Jaguar's jaguar, e.g. : TRADEMARK.  A word, phrase or symbol that is registered or established by use to represent a company or product.

58. Clarence Odbody in "It's a Wonderful Life," e.g. : ANGEL.  Specifically, a 2nd class angel, who after 200 years, had still not earned his wings.  Sad.

59. Give a finer edge to : HONE.  Sharpen on a whetstone, or figuratively, refine one's skills.

60. Word with bill or ball : PLAY.  "PLAY ball" announces the start of a baseball game.  A PLAYbill is a poster announcing a theatrical performance.  Here is my lovely wife, Gloria, admiring a recent PLAYbill featuring granddaughter Amanda.

1. In __: unborn : UTERO.  Still in the uterus.


1. Hockey announcer's cry : SAVE.  The average NHL goalie's save percentage has been .913 to .915 for the last 5 seasons.

2. Actress Falco : EDIE.  Nurse Jackie, and before that Carmela Soprano.

3. The Sultan of Swat and The Splendid Splinter : NICKNAMES.  I've had a few.  Didn't like most of them.  The ones listed here refer to baseball legends George Herman "Babe" Ruth and Ted Williams, respectively.

4. Like produce at farm-to-table restaurants : SEASONAL.  Fresh and locally produced, unlike strawberries in Michigan in March.

5. The Danube's cont. : EUR. The continent of Europe.  Note abrv. in cl. & ans.

6. "Run along now" : SCOOT.  Get a move on.

7. Pull with effort : HAUL.  Schlep.

8. "Assuming it's true ... " : IF SO.  Conditional.

9. Guinea pig, e.g. : PET.  A domestic or tamed animal kept for companionship or amusement.

10. Taken from above, as photos : AERIAL.  Formerly from a plane, now probably from a drone.

11. Invigorating : BRISK.  Like a cool breeze or cup of hot tea.

12. Jacque's thousand : MILLE.  French number.

13. Cyber Monday events : SALES.  Along with Black Friday, President's Day, the 4th of July and Boxing Day.  All designed to separate you from your money.

16. "To clarify ... " : THAT IS.  What I meant to say  .  .  .

18. Operating : IN USE. Verb form used as a modifier.  Some grammarian help me with the vocabulary.

23. Show __ : BIZ.  There's no BIZ like it.

24. Copenhagen carrier : SAS.  Scandinavian Airlines.

25. Former GM division : OLDS.  It WAS your father's Oldsmobile.

26. Haleakala National Park locale : MAUI.  Oahu would have been my 2nd guess.  It includes both mountainous and coastal regions.

27. Round Earth map : GLOBE.

28. Landlocked African nation : MALI.  South of Algeria, west of Niger.  Chad also fits - it is east of Niger and south of Libya.

30. Airport lineup : CABS.  Taxis.  Alternate definition: red wine line up.

31. Made tense : PUT ON EDGE.  What puts you on edge?

32. Doctrinal faction : SECT.  Another tilt in the direction of religion.  I was going to join my carpenter friend's church, until I found out it was a splinter group.

33. Tennis great Arthur : ASHE.  In the early 80's Ashe is believed to have contracted AIDS from a blood transfusion he received during heart surgery.  He died at age 49 in 1993.

36. Cud-chewing mammal : RUMINANT.  A hoofed animal with a rumen - an extra stomach where plant matter is digested with the aid of bacteria.   Includes cattle, sheep, antelopes, deer and giraffes.

38. Go back (on) : RENEGE.  Fail to honor a promise or contract.

39. Director Lee : ANG.  [b 1953] Also screenwriter and producer whose often emotionally charged works explore cultural and personal conflicts.

40. Disruptive forum visitor : TROLL.  One whose comments serve to cause dissension and conflict for its own sake rather than move the conversation along in a rational manner.

41. With it, once : HEP.  What once was HEP became hip, then rad.  I don't what it is now.

42. Cut into parts : DIVIDE.

44. Brooks with two Grammys : GARTH.  Counrty singer

45. Last 25-Down model : ALERO.  It was built in Lansing, MI from 1998 until 2004.

46. Italian fashion city : MILAN.  The capital of Lombardy and 2nd most populous city in Italy.  It is also a leader in the arts, commerce, education, research and tourism.

47. Iditarod runner : HUSKY.   Sled dog.

49. Hockey announcer's cry : GOAL.  Average number of goals against this year is 2.77, up from 2.59 last year and 2.51 the year before.  Average shots against per game have been 31.8, 30.1 and 29.6, respectively.  More shooting --> more scoring.

50. Pervasive glow : AURA.

52. Turn sharply : VEER.  Suddenly change direction.

53. Guthrie who sang about Alice : ARLO.  Here, for you listening enjoyment, if you have 18 spare minutes.

55. Little trickster : IMP.

56. Seine filler : EAU.  Water in a French river.  A purse seine filler would be poisson, on a good day.

Eau que, that wraps things up for another Wednesday.  Hope you enjoyed the journey.

Cool regards!

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

L.A. Times Crossword, Wednesday, March 14, 2018 Robin Stears

Theme:  WORK.  You can WORK out, WORK at something, or WORK on someone.  Alternatively, you can use the word WORK as a modifier or compound noun component, as applied to either half of today's two-word theme entries.  Let's start off with today's theme song number 1.

17 A. Door-to-door seller's form : ORDER SHEET.  This is a list of items you can chose to buy from. A WORK ORDER tells the crew what their next job is.  A WORK SHEET can either be a student's assignment page listing questions with places for answers, or a page in a spreadsheet program.

25 A. Do some bargain-hunting : SHOP AROUND.  Search for the most cost effective alternatives.  A WORK SHOP is a meeting where people engage in activity related to a specific goal or project.  A WORK AROUND is a method for overcoming a problem or difficulty in a system or program,

35 A. Text with maps and timelines : HISTORY BOOK.  A chronicle of who did what to whom, and when and where it happened.  Your WORK HISTORY is a detailed report of all the jobs you've held, complete with dates and titles.  A WORK BOOK contains pages of student's instructions and assignments related to a specific topic.

49 A. Residential get-together : HOUSE PARTY.  A gathering at the residence of the PARTY's host. A WORK HOUSE is a prison where the inmates are subjected to labor as punishment.  A WORK PARTY can be either a social gathering of or for employees, or an organized unit of persons WORKing together.

59 A. Game with ringers : HORSE SHOES.  A game in which two players or teams alternate throwing actual HORSE SHOES or similar U-shaped objects at a stake set in the ground.  A ringer is a HORSE SHOE that completely encircles the stake.  A WORK HORSE is literally a HORSE used for work on a farm, or figuratively a person who dependably and consistently performs hard WORK. A WORK SHOE is a sturdy SHOE designed to provide protection for the foot during a labor assignment.

And the unifier -- 66 A. 2016 #1 hit for Rihanna, which can precede both parts of 17-, 25-, 35-, 49- and 59-Across : WORK.  Now that you can see how this theme WORKs, here is theme song 2.

Hi gang, JazzBumpa on the job.  We definitely have a thematically rich entry today.  How much WORK do you suppose that took?  Let's WORK our way through the puzzle and see what we can accomplish.


1. Flow back : EBB. As tide.

4. "Get outta here!" : BEAT IT.  Advice from Michael Jackson.

10. Column in a pugilist's record : TKOs.  A Technical Knock Out occurs when the referee or official ring physician decides that a boxing mach must be stopped for safety reasons, while a round is in progress.

14. Congressional auditing org. : General Accounting Office.  An independent, non-partisan agency that WORKS for Congress using facts and data to support Congress in meeting constitutional responsibilities and help improve performance and accountability.

15. Rhine wine region : ALSACE.  Located in eastern France, adjacent to Germany and Switzerland.  Historically it's control has been disputed between France and various German states.

16. Stable parent : MARE.  Horse mama.  Mental and emotional states may vary.

19. Very smart : CHIC.  Fashionable and well-appointed.  Levels of intelligence may vary.

20. Gosling of "Blade Runner 2049" : RYAN.  This is a remake of a 1982 classic neo-noir science fiction film.  I never saw either, but long ago I did read the Philip K. Dick novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, on which they are [more or less] based.

21. Tupperware sound : BURP.

23. Jeans label : LEE.  Brand name.

24. Nightly TV staple : NEWS.  What weird thing happened today?

28. Where K-I-S-S-I-N-G goes on : IN A TREE.  Part of a playground taunt traditionally directed at a boy or girl suspected of being attracted to a girl or boy.

(Girl's name) and (boy's name) sitting in a tree
K-i-s-s-i-n-g! (spell it out)
First comes love.
Then comes marriage.
Then comes baby in the baby carriage,
Sucking his thumb,
Wetting his pants,
Doing the hula, hula dance!

 I can testify that I have never kissed anyone while sitting in a tree.

30. Hold the floor : ORATE.  Make a speech - especially pompously or at length.

31. Fabled beast : ASS.  Lots of animals in fables.   Levels of pomposity many vary.

32. Brad Paisley venue : OPRY.  It's grand, it's old, it's country.

34. Copycat : APE. Mimic.

39. Org. in Dan Brown's "Digital Fortress" : NSA.  National Security Agency.  

40. Temps : SUBS.  Temporary or substitute workers.

41. "There's an __ for that" : APP.  APPlication program for your computer or mobile device.

44. Figures on a sports news crawl : STATS.  Statistics - also scores and events.

47. Input, as accidentally erased data : RE-ENTER.  Tedious WORK.

53. Aviation prefix : AERO-.  Short for aeronautical, used to construct portmanteau words.

54. Pop __ : ART.  ART based on popular culture, often with critical or ironic intent.

55. Mongolia locale : ASIA.  The largest continent.

56. Camp Lejeune gp. : United States Marine Corp.

57. Losing proposition : DIET.  Ordinarily this means something that turns out - too late, alas - to be a lost cause.  But here, it's a clever misdirection for a nutritional strategy intended for weight reduction.

63. Burden : ONUS.  Literal, from Latin.

64. Smart people? : ALECKS.  Irritating people or who make rude wise-cracks or act superior in knowledge.  Actual knowledge, intelligence and fashion sense may vary.

65. NBC skit show : Saturday Night Live.

67. More sinewy : WIRIER.  More lean and tough.  Try saying it 3 times, quickly.

68. Farm area : STY. Where the pigs hang out.


1. Cause of star wars? : EGO.  Stars as celebrities, not celestial objects - so the wars are rather more trivial, and down to earth.

2. Scrubby wastelands : BARRENS.  Aptly descriptive.

3. Fragrant shower gel : BODY WASH.  Thickened liquid as an alternative to bar soap.

4. Setting for most of "Charlotte's Web" : BARN.

5. Overhead trains : ELS.  So called for their ELevated tracks.

6. Volcanic __ : ASH.  Small mineral particles expelled during a explosive volcanic eruption, correctly referred to as tephra.

7. Billy Blanks' workout system : TAE-BO.  A total body fitness system employing matial arts techniques.

8. Become frozen : ICE UP.

9. Aquarium fish : TETRA.  Small, tropical, brightly-colored tropical fresh-water fish.  Those in aquariums are penta-up.  Fortunately, they cannot put a hex on you, even if you have deviated septa.

10. SHO sister channel : TMCThe Movie Channel.

11. Liqueur in an espresso martini : KAHLUA.  Coffee flavored liqueur.

12. Point in the right direction : ORIENT.  If you point in the wrong direction, someone could end up getting lost by occident.

13. Formally withdraw : SECEDE.

18. Point in the right direction? : EAST.  A clecho, indicating the normal ORIENTation of flat maps.  Do you have to turn the map upside down when traveling south?

22. Ask for a hand? : PROPOSE.  Another nice misdirection.  Not a request for assistance or one's share of the cards, but rather a request for a loved-one's hand in marriage. Possible outcome of K-I-S-S-I-N-G.

24. "Empire" actress Long : NIA.

25. Nasal dividers : SEPTA.   The SEPTUM is the wall of cartilage and thin bone separating the nostrils.

26. Deli option : HERO.  Big sandwich of meat, cheese and spreads made on an oblong roll or similarly shaped loaf of bread that is sliced end-to-end horizontally, alternatively called the dagwood, submarine [sub], hoagy or grinder.

27. Cookie with a Peeps variety : OREO.   Please just stop.

29. Antarctic waters : ROSS SEA.  A deep bay in the extreme south pacific, at the edge of the antarctic continent.

33. Many mos. : YRS. Abbreviated or not, many months make years.

34. "__ Road": Beatles album : ABBEY.

36. QB's mistakes : INTs.  Interceptions - in American football, passes caught by the defenders instead of the intended receivers.

37. Mongolian tent : YURT.  A round, portable tent covered with skins or felt, used as a dwelling by nomads in the steppes of central Asia.

38. London-born supermodel : KATE MOSS.

42. Word of interest? : PERCENT.  Number used to calculate deposit earnings or loan premiums.

43. Quid __ quo : PRO.  Latin - "something for something" - a favor or advantage granted or expected in return for something.

44. Omen on February 2nd : SHADOW.  Woodchuck [marmota monax] as weather maven.

45. "Starsky & Hutch" Ford model : TORINO.

46. Highbrow filmmaker : AUTEUR.  One who controls all aspects of a collaborative creative WORK.

48. The "N" of CSNY : NASH.   Graham, along with David Crosby, Steven Stills and Neil Young.

Still great 48 years later

50. "Get outta here!" : PSHAW.  An expression of contempt, impatience or disbelief.

51. Garlic mayonnaise : AIOLI.

52. Worth more to collectors : RARER.

56. KGB country : USSR.  The Soviet Union, a grouping of nominal republics under Russian hegemony that existed from 1922 - 1981.  The KGB was its main security agency.

58. "Naughty, naughty!" : TSK.  Comic book attempt to indicate the disparaging sound of tongue clucking.

60. __-fi : SCI.  Reference to the SCIence Fiction genre of speculative literature.

61. Squeeze (by) : EKE.  To barely achieve, with great difficulty.

62. Plotting : SLY.  Cunning and deceitful or secretive.

That wraps up another Wednesday's labor.  Did you love it, or were you lost?

Cool Regards!