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, September 26, 2018

Wednesday, September 26, 2018 Ed Sessa

Theme:  SPELL IT OUT. Otherwise unrelated answers each contain a stand-alone letter.  These letters, taken in order, spell a word.

20. *Niacin and riboflavin: B VITAMINS.   A class of water soluble, chemically distinct naturally occurring compounds, often found together in the same foods.

28. *Twenty Questions question: WHO AM I?  Animal, vegetable or mineral.

36. *Earth, Wind & Fire hit album whose title means "everything considered": ALL  'N ALL.  Their 8th studio album, released in 1977, which was certified triple platinum in the U. S.

43. *Fighter pilot's sensation: G FORCE. A measurement of the type of acceleration that causes a perception of weight. 

47. *Bravura performance reaction, briefly: STANDING O.  The audience shows their appreciation with a STANDING OVATION.

46. Winning exclamation aptly arranged and spelled by the standalone letters in the answers to starred clues: BINGO.  Also a classic game in which sections of a 5x5 matrix printed on a card are covered with tiles in designated patterns.  The first person to achieve the desired pattern shouts, "BINGO." and receives a prize.  There are many variations.

Hi Gang.  JazzBumpa here.  I'm not the greatest speller, but I think I can get us through this.  Note that the stand alone letters alternate from beginning to end of the fill, except for the middle one, where it is in the middle.  Nice touch! Now, let's sit for a spell, and see how we can do filling in our 15 x 15 matrix.


1. Muslim pilgrimage: HAJJ.  A pilgrimage to Mecca in the last month of the year, a goal for every Muslim.

5. Made docile: TAMED.

10. Valley with a Wine Train: NAPA.  In California

14. Melville's "Typee" sequel: OMOO.  Both novels are narratives of adventures in the south Pacific, based on the author's experiences.

15. Limber: AGILE.  Lithe and flexible.

16. Malicious: EVIL.   Characterized by bad intent

17. Bandit band: GANG.   Or crossword puzzle solvers - right, gang?

18. Jackrabbits, e.g.: HARES.  Leporids in the same family as rabbits, having characteristically longer ears.

19. Minimum __: WAGE.  The least amount an employer can legally pay a full time employee per hour of work.

23. 7UP competitor since 1961: SPRITE.  Lemon-lime flavored soft drinks.

25. Harbinger: OMEN. An OMEN is an event of prophetic significance.  A harbinger announces or precedes the arrival of something.  Not equivalent at all.

29. "I could be wrong": MAYBE NOT.

33. Knocks firmly: RAPS.  As on a door.

34. Pseudonym: FALSE NAME.   Like, for instance - JazzBumpa.

35. Part of LACMA: ARTLos Angeles County Museum of ART.

38. "Nothing to shout about": MEH.  Reaction to mediocrity.

39. Some llama herders: PERUVIANS.  In the Andes Mountains of South America.

41. Nuclear reactor component: CORE.  The location in the reactor containing the fuel components and where the nuclear reactions occur, generating heat.

42. Ceylon, now: SRI LANKA.  An island nation south of India in the Indian Ocean, famous for it ancient Buddhist ruins.

45. Kikkoman sauces: SOYS.  A liquid condiment made of soy beans, grains, and brine, fermented with an aspergillus fungus.

46. Medical lab specimen: BIOPSY.  A tissue sample examined to detect the presence of a disease.

51. Copies: APES.  Mimics.

54. Pogo stick sound: BOING.  Sound of a spring recoiling.

55. Pac-12 team since 2011: UTES.  University of Utah.

59. Mule team beam: YOKE.  A brace joining a pair of animals across the neck and shoulder area so that they can pull a load together.

60. The way we word: USAGE.  The habitual or normal practices in spoken and written language, such as not using the word "word" as a verb.

61. Snapper rival: TORO.  Lawn and garden tools.

62. Baaing mas: EWES.  Mothers of lambs.

63. Domingo, for one: TENOR.  José Plácido Domingo Embil, [b 1941] known as Plácido Domingo, is a Spanish tenor, conductor and arts administrator.

64. Whack: STAB.   Emulate Lizzie Borden


1. Ungenerous sort: HOG.  One who wants it all.  The opposite of 23 D.

2. Physicians' gp.: AMAAmerican Medical Association.

3. Trevor's predecessor on "The Daily Show": JON. Messrs. Noah and Stewart, respectively.

4. Women's sportswear: JOG BRAS.  Sturdier than the normal bra, they prevent movement and reduce the potential for damage to chest ligaments during vigorous physical activity.

5. South Seas island: TAHITI.  Shaped like a figure 8, it is the largest island in French Polynesia.

6. Striped quartz: AGATE.  A silicate rock containing mixtures of different crystal structures and physical forms, often with a variety of colors. 

7. Actress Sorvino: MIRA.  Mira Katherine Sorvino [b 1967] has won both Academy and Golden Globe awards.

8. Grade sch. level: ELEMentary, my dear Watson.

9. Lucie's dad: DESI. Arnaz.

10. Rather and Cronkite: NEWSMEN.  TV news journalists.

11. Gardner of the silver screen: AVA. Ava Lavinia Gardner [1922-1990] was an American actress and singer.  She was nominated for Academy and Golden Globe Awards, but never won.

12. Sty denizen: PIG.  Farm animal, also, another name for 1 D.

13. Tavern offering: ALE.

21. Vitality: VIM. Vigor's partner.

22. Prestigious prize: NOBEL.  Established by the will of Swedish scientist Alfred NOBEL and first awarded in 1901.  Prizes are offered annually in six categories for outstanding work in physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature, economics (since 1969), and the promotion of peace

23. They're not selfish: SHARERS.  Opposites of 1 D and 12 D.

24. The Supremes, e.g.: POP TRIO.  Group of 3 singers performing commercial popular music.

26. Captivates: ENAMORS.  To attract and hold attention vs to fill with feelings of love.  Not a good match.

27. What the ruthless show: NO MERCY.  Or what a crossword blogger might show for inexact cluing.

28. Gets a present ready to present: WRAPS.  Uses tape and decorative paper.

29. Exodus sustenance: MANNA. An edible substance miraculously supplied to the Israelites during their 40 year ravels in the desert.

30. "That's a shame": ALAS.  An expression of grief, pity or concern.

31. Fashion initials: YSL. Yves Saint Laurent.  I've never seen the appeal of wearing clothing with somebody else's initials on them.

32. Giggle: TEHEE.  Comic book laugh.

34. Reactive criticism: FLAK.  A hard time given to someone, perhaps with NO MERCY.

36. Salt's "Halt!": AVAST.  Stop or cease, generally associated with a naval context.

37. "Hamilton" creator __-Manuel Miranda: LIN. [b 1980]

40. Once-banned James Joyce novel: ULYSSES.  I'm not sure why anyone thought it would be necessary to ban a book that is so unreadable.

41. Weak excuses: COP OUTS.  More generally, taking an easy way out of difficult situations.

43. __ snap: GINGER.  A sharply flavored cookie made with GINGER.

44. Mariner's hazard: FOG.  Impairs visibility.

48. Adjoin: ABUT.  To touch or lean upon.

49. Bridge site: NOSE.  This is the bony upper part of the NOSE, above the nostrils, where eyeglasses rest.

50. Primatologist Fossey: DIAN.  [1932-1985] An American primatologist and conservationist known for undertaking an extensive study of mountain gorilla groups from 1966 until her death. 

51. Pro vote: AYE.  All in favor  .  .  .

52. Comics punch sound: POW.  Sometimes KA-POW, or BANG.

53. Scrape (out): EKE.  To just manage to get by in some tough situation.

56. Little kid: TOT. A small child, possibly a moppet.

57. Historical period: ERA.  A distinct time with particular identifying characteristics.

58. Cry out loud: SOB.  Wah!

And so we reach the end of another Wednesday.  Were you spell-bound?

Cool Regards!

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Wednesday, September 5, 2018 Gary Schlapfer and C. C. Burnikel

Theme: ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL?  The NFL season kicks off [so to speak] tomorrow night with the defending Superbowl Champ Philly Eagles traveling to Atlanta to take on the Falcons. Do you have a raptor preference?

This is one of those rare puzzles where the theme is in the clues - not the fills, which are unrelated two-word common language phrases; brought to us by our own dear hostess, C. C. and Corner denizen Husker Gary.  C. C. and I worked a similar idea in a Sunday puzzle a couple years ago.  And by some weird cosmic coincidence, Gary blogged the puzzle that day, in quite spectacular fashion.

Today our theme clues are words familiar to football fans - and I'm pretty sure Gary is one.  C. C. is more into baseball.  Let's we what we have here.

18 A. BLOCK: CITY SQUARE.  Most cities have streets laid out in a rectilinear pattern.  A BLOCK is the area defined by four streets.  More specifically, a CITY [or town] SQUARE is an open public space near the heart of the town, used for community gatherings.  Here's a trombone's eye view from the bandstand at Kellogg Park, the town square in Plymouth, MI.

My peeps are out there somewhere

To BLOCK in football is to move a defensive player aside so a ball carrier can advance down the field.

23 A. CATCH: HIDDEN SNAG.  I'm imagining an underwater obstruction that a small boat could get hung up on.  Figuratively, it could be any unanticipated difficulty, perhaps as a result of poor planning.  In football, a CATCH is a reception of a PASS [vide infra], viz. a ball thrown to an eligible receiver to advance the team's position on the playing field.

37 A. KICK: CHAMPAGNE EFFECT.  Well, that depends on who you ask.

In football, there are three kinds of KICKS.  The KICK OFF happens at the beginning of each half, and after one team scores, to deliver the ball to their foe. The extra point is a KICK after a touch down is scored.  Success, attained by sending the ball through the uprights, is called a conversion, good for one point. The field goal is a similar kind of KICK, attempted when the offense stalls somewhere on the field.  If successful it nets 3 points.

49 A. PASS: FREE TICKET.  A no-charge permit that authorizes entry and access to a venue or event.  In football, a PASS is ball launched by hand to an intended receiver [vide supra.]

58A. RUN: HOSE MISHAP.  A tear or hole in sheer silk or nylon stockings.  A disaster.

In football, a RUN is an attempt to advance the ball by carrying it around or through the defenders.  Of course, a RUN is a score in baseball, as well.

Hi gang, JazzBumpa here to coach this game.  The theme cluing is pretty straight-forward, and the fills are sparkly in this thematically rich puzzle. And we have some extra bits of elegance.  Each theme clue can be functionally either an action verb, or the name of the action that is so indicated.  And there is a nice element of symmetry.  The first and last Theme entries are a complimentary pair, as are the second and fourth.  That must have taken some extra effort.  And the central theme entry is a grid spanner. So from my view on the side-line, this is a win.  Yay, team!


1. Tot's drink, to the tot: WAWA.  Water, when you are just figuring out how to form syllables.  Fun times.  Also a chain of convenience stores and gas stations located in the eastern U.S.  None in our area, but we always fill the tank and grab coffee and donuts when we leave step-son Tom's for the long drive home.

5. Side-by-side truck tires: DUALS.  They provide more even weight distribution, and thus greater safety and stability

10. Fifth Avenue landmark: SAKS.  An American luxury department store owned by the Hudson's Bay Company, the oldest commercial corporation in North America.

14. Help with a heist: ABET.  Provide assistance to a crime or other offense.

15. Play direction: ENTER.  Tells the actor to go onto the stage.

16. Lint collector: TRAP.  Belly button doesn't fit.

17. Sci-fi princess with a twin brother: LEIA.  Stars Wars, of course.  The brother is Luke Skywalker.

20. Abs exercise: LEG RAISE.  Get a leg up with proper form.

22. Take out of the packaging: UNBOX.  Open it up.

26. Picnic crasher: ANT.  Six-legged interloper.

28. Harrison of "My Fair Lady": REX.

29. Help: AID.  Assistance.

30. Tiny Lab, e.g.: PUP.  Young dog.

33. "But seriously folks ... " is one: SEGUE.   In music, a move from one song to the next without interruption.  Here, a little more loosely, a transition in a monologue.

35. Forest ranger?: ELK.  Per Wikipedia, these large members of the deer family "range in forest and forest-edge habitat, feeding on grasses, plants, leaves, and bark."  So - yep.

36. Selfish shout: MINE.  I get to use this again.

41. "What __!": "I've been had!": A RIP.  As in RIP off - a fraud or swindle, often based on something being over-priced

42. Little chap: LAD.  A boy.  From Middle English, of unknown origin.  The word was much more popular a century ago, but has had a recent resurgence.

43. Big dipper: LADLE.  Kitchen utensil, not something written in the stars.

44. Many a dad joke: PUN.  Strained puns that are anodyne and therefore OK to tell in mixed, but non-critical company.

Did you hear about the restaurant on the moon? Great food, no atmosphere.
What do you call a fake noodle? An Impasta.
Want to hear a joke about paper? Nevermind it's tearable.
I just watched a program about beavers. It was the best dam program I've ever seen.
Why did the coffee file a police report? It got mugged.
How does a penguin build it's house? Igloos it together.

You get the picture.

45. Transparent art surface: CEL.  Speaking of pictures, CEL is short for celluloid, a transparent sheet where objects are drawn for traditional cartoon animation.  It is an artifact of obsolete animation technology.  Now, some cels are special editions of animation artwork, not intended for production.  Mine is from Mickey's Philharmagic at Walt Disney World.

46. MADD message, e.g.: PSA. A Public Service Announcement from Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

48. __ Lingus: AER.  The flag carrier air line of Ireland, now owned by IAG, the parent company of British Airways and Iberia.

52. Legend automaker: ACURA.  The luxury vehicle arm of Honda.

55. Alternative medicine staple: ALOE VERA.  Extract from the eponymous evergreen perennial succulent.

61. Its oxide makes Mars red: IRON.  Rust, an IRON-oxygen compound.

62. Retired tennis pro Kournikova: ANNA.  She was born in 1981 and retired from competitive play at age 21 due to spinal problems.

63. Bartlett entry: QUOTE.  An American reference book, first published in 1855, now in its 18th edition.

64. Gunk: CRUD.  An unpleasantly dirty and messy substance.

65. Woodpecker's tool: BEAK. Used for digging under the bark of trees to get insects, and for communication by drumming on hard surfaces.

66. Go over the limit: SPEED.  Driving in excess of the posted limit, which nobody does, ever.

67. Ball elevators: TEES.  In golf, the first stroke on any hole is hit with the ball slightly elevated from the ground on a wooden peg, called a TEE.  After that, one must play it where it lies.


1. Outlet site: WALL.  A srtucture designed to keep a door upright.

2. Busy as __: A BEE.  Oh, honey  .  .  .

3. Reason to purchase a new belt: WEIGHT GAIN.  I don't want to talk about it.

4. Pong maker: ATARI.  Speaking of back in the day.  You can tell your grandchildren that this was once a ground-breaking new video game.

5. Get off the fence: DECIDE.  Well  .  .  . ? [fingers drumming]

6. Like the name Pat: UNISEX.  Non-gender-specific.  My sister's full name is Patricia, which removes all doubt.  But her initials spelt the short form of her name.

7. When some local news airs: AT TEN.  In the evening.

8. Emmy-winning ESPN reporter Bob: LEY.  The network's longest tenured on-air employee.

9. Soon-to-be alumni: Abbr.: SRS.  Senior class members, hoping to graduate.

10. Smarted: STUNG.  If it hurt, how smart could it be?

11. Riyadh resident: ARAB.  Riyadh is the capital and most populous city of Saudi Arabia.

12. Pecan pie syrup: KARO.  A sweetener made from corn starch, containing varying amounts of maltose and higher oligosaccharides [sugar polymers of 3 to 10 units.]  High fructose corn syrup is made by further processing that converts much of its glucose into fructose, which tastes sweeter.

13. Glasses, informally: SPEX.  Or SPECS, short for spectacles.  Speaking of dad jokes - did you hear about the optometrist who fell into the lens grinding machine?  He made a spectacle of himself.

19. College courtyard: QUAD.  A square or rectangular space, mainly, or partly enclosed on all four sides by buildings.  Like a CITY SQUARE, but different.

21. Campaign pro?: AD REP.  A person responsible for an advertising effort intended to sell a product or service, not one involved in a political or military campaign.

24. Counter offer?: SALE.  Things are offered for SALE on or behind the counter of a store.  Clever mis-direction.

25. Goddess of victory: NIKE.  Her Roman equivalent is Victoria.

26. Music rights gp.: ASCAP. American Society of Composers, Authors and Plagiarists  Publishers.

27. '60s jacket style: NEHRU. A hip length tailored coat with mandarine collar.

30. Apartment used for overnight trips to the city: PIED A TERRE.  Literally, foot to the ground, going back to 18th century France, used to indicate any temporary lodging.  Now meaning a secondary residence [but not a vacation home] that is used occasionally during part of the year or part of the work week.

31. "I give up!": UNCLE.  North American usage, origin unknown.

32. Saint at a gate: PETER. An image in popular culture indicating St. Peter as the gate keeper of heaven.

34. Official behind a catcher: UMP.  Baseball umpire.

35. Word with tight or split: END.  Another football term, relating to the placement of a potential pass receiver.  Split ends could also be part of a bad hair day.

36. Juilliard deg.: MFAMaster of Fine Arts.

38. Away from the wind: ALEE. Nautical term, gong back to Middle English.

39. Beaufort scale word: GALE. A measure of wind speed.

40. Cereal bit: FLAKE.   Grains are crushed, ground, and then cooked for several hours, possibly with added vitamins and flavorings.  The resulting slurry is then pressed between rollers that flatten the grains.  They are then transferred to a heated drum for drying.  Additional additives may be sprayed on at this point.

45. Study a lot in a short time: CRAM.  To stuff something full - as one's brain with subject matter.

46. Pontius __: PILATE. The 5th prelate of the Roman provence of Judea, serving from A.D 26 to 37.

47. Checked (out): SCOPED.  Visually examined.

49. Come unglued, with "out": FREAK.  Lose it, go berserk, go ballistic.

50. Lake near California's Squaw Valley: TAHOE.  A large lake in the Sierra Nevada mountains, straddling the California - Nevada border, famous for its beaches and near-by ski resorts.

51. Throw out: EVICT.  A legal process to remove a tenant.

52. Queequeg's captain: AHAB. From Moby Dick.

53. Scoop perch: CONE.  Ice cream holder.

54. Military sch. whose mascot is Bill the Goat: USNAUnited States Naval Academy, located in Annapolis, MD.

56. Casanova: ROUE.  French term for one broken on a wheel, indicating the tortuous punishment such a debauchee allegedly deserves.

57. Common conjunctions: ANDS.  Sometimes associated with IFS and BUTS.

59. Brightness figs. not measured in watts: IQSIntelligence Quotient, indicating mental brightness.

60. "What's goin' on?": 'SUP.  Que pasa? 

That all, folks. C. C. and Gary gave us a sporting chance.

Cool regards!