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, October 16, 2019

Wednesday, October 16, 2019 Roland Huget

Theme: Any Portmanteau in a storm.  The letters of the prefix INSTA- are scrambled, and the concept is tied together, as we shall see later, with the suffix -GRAM

17 A. Ellington-Strayhorn hit to which Johnny Mercer later added lyrics: SATIN DOLL. Love the tune, not crazy about Mercer's lyrics.  Here is the best arrangement ever, by Sammy Nestico for the Count Basie band.

27. Storied Alpine rescuer: SAINT BERNARD.  Only maybe, as it turns out.

45. Spot treatment: STAIN REMOVER.  Cleaning agent.

59. Social networking service ... or an apt portmanteau for the starts of 17-, 27- and 45-Across: INSTAGRAM.  OK.  The letters of INSTA have been presented in various configurations, and the -GRAM suffix indicates something in writing.  And mashing them together does generate a portmanteau, sort of.  But the surface sense is at best, pretty thin; and the whole concept is a bit of a stretch.  But, high marks for creativity and originality.

Hi, gang, JazzBumpa here see what else awaits us in today's adventure.


1. Give a little: BEND.  Not being rigid.

5. Under-the-sink cleaners: LYES.  Caustic drain unclogging substances.  NaOH, for the technically minded.

9. Spherical: ORBED.  Round, any way you look at it.

14. On the protected side: ALEE.  Away from the wind.

15. Ward of "FBI": SELA.

16. Author Zora __ Hurston: NEALE. [1891 -1960] An anthropologist, film maker and author of influential African-American literature.

19. Mistreat: ABUSE.

20. "The Addams Family" cousin: ITT.

21. Device for scratch removal?: ATMAutomatic Teller Machine, for extracting cash - i.e. "scratch."

22. Something found under a chest: ABDOMEN.  Body parts.

24. Viagra competitor: LEVITRA. Now, let me get this straight  .  .  .

26. Letter starter: DEAR.  The salutation.

32. Useful: OF HELP.  Providing some benefit.

35. Drop off: WANE.  Ebb, decline, fade away.

36. Motes may be seen in one: RAY.  Dust in a sun beam.

37. Two-time Indy winner Luyendyk: ARIE.  Race car driver.

38. Two-__-one: FOR.  Typical half-off sale gimmick.

39. Air Jordan company: NIKE.  Maker of athletic shoes.

40. Thing on a ring: KEY.

41. Bodily fluids: SERA.

43. Filled with wonder: AMAZED.  Cf 49 A.

48. Senate helper: PAGE.

49. "I must be seeing things": PINCH ME.  This can't be real.

53. Reliable income source: CASH COW.

56. Coll. aides: TAsTeaching Assistants

57. Feel poorly: AIL.

58. Tablet download: E-BOOK.  Electronic publication.

62. Nary a soul: NO ONE. Nope -  nobody here.

63. Snap, in ads: FOTO.  Photograph, mis-abbreviated.

64. Radiation units: REMSRoentgen Equivalent Man is an older unit measuring the health effects of low levels of ionizing radiation on the human body.

65. In good shape: TONED.  Buff.

66. Movie lab helper: IGOR.  In various Frankenstein movies.

67. Skip over: OMIT.  Or leave out.


1. Pesto herb: BASIL.  Along with olive oil, parmesan, pine nuts and garlic.

2. Really excite: ELATE.  I see elation as happiness, rather than excitement, so I think this equivalence is pretty dicey.

3. Hulu service: NET TV.  Streaming app.

4. Opus __: "The Da Vinci Code" sect: DEI.  In real life, this group is a secretive, ultra conservative institution within the Catholic Church.

5. '60s "journey": LSD TRIP.  The experience of being under the influence of a psychotropic drug.

6. Coast Guard rank: YEOMAN.  I can't find it listed in this ranking chart.

7. Angled piece: ELL.  Named for its cross-sectional profile.

8. Self-service food station: SALAD BAR.

9. How some silly things are done: ON A DARE.  Earlier: Bet you can't/won't. Later: No, you shouldn't have.

10. Spiritually awakened: REBORN.  Generally referring to a personal religious experience.

11. Gale family creator: BAUM.  In the Wizard of Oz.

12. Otherwise: ELSE. In addition, or instead of.

13. Cook Paula: DEEN.  Southern Fried Everything.

18. Birth-related: NATAL.

23. "I've __ busy": BEEN.

25. "It's clear now": I SEE.  The scales have fallen from my eyes.

28. Clock change hr. (though most do it sooner): TWO AM.  I did not know this.

29. Nev. neighbor: ARIZ.  Two western Sts.

30. Golf bunker tool: RAKE. A bunker is a sand trap.  Golf etiquette is to smooth all footprints, ball trails and club marks.

31. Like green hair: DYED.  Artificially tinted.

32. Symbols of strength: OAKS.  Mighty trees/

33. Fingerboard bar: FRET.  "Guitars and Banjos have ‘fretboards’ as they utilise a board (usually rosewood or maple) that has metal frets slotted into it and the note is sounded via your finger as it presses the string towards the board until the string meets the fret.)"

34. Casual greeting: HI-YA.  Yo, bro.

38. Coffee shop amenity: FREE WIFI.

39. DEA operative: NARC. Short for narcotics agt.

41. Ate at the theater, say: SNACKED.  On popcorn and candy.

42. Proof word: ERGO.  Therefore -

43. One who takes off a lot: AVIATOR.  Up in the sky, it's plane to see.

44. High-scoring club?: MENSA.  Organization of high IQ individuals.

46. Selfie stick attachment: I-PHONE.  Used for taking pictures - of your face.

47. Decides one will: OPTS TO.

50. Sultan's group: HAREM. Wife collection of a Sultan.

51. Marlins' home: MIAMI.  The last place team in the NL East Division, and the 3rd worst team in all of MLB

52. Title loc. in six horror films: ELM ST.  Place for nightmares.

53. Coin often left in a dish: CENT. The U.S. penny is worth one CENT.  I'm not sure what this clue is getting at.

54. Peek-__: ABOO.  Kids' hiding and peeking game.

55. "Are we there yet?" reply: SOON.

60. Yule quaff: NOG.  A spiced dairy-based beverage with variable alcohol content.

61. Miracle-__: GRO. Garden fertilizer product.

That wraps up another Wednesday.  Hope you had a good time.

Cool regards!

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

L.A. Times Crossword Wednesday, September 25, 2019 C. C. Burnikel

Theme: ECO ECHOES. Famous persons who have the letter sequence E CO spanning their names are called out.  In each case, the letters are split E in the first name and CO in the last.  Not sure how ready any of them might have been to do battle, but had they been warriors their ECO ECHO was ready to go.

17. Former "CBS Evening News" anchor: KATIE COURIC.   She held this job from 2006 - 2011.  As a TV personality, she's done many other things, both before and since.

23. "School's Out" rocker: ALICE  COOPER.  Vincent Damon Furnier (b. 1948) in an American singer, songwriter, and actor whose career spans over 50 years.  He is regarded as the Godfather of shock rock.

36. "You Are So Beautiful" singer: JOE COCKER. John Robert Cocker (1944 – 2014), better known as Joe Cocker, was an English singer known for his gritty voice and spasmodic body motions.

51. Sid Caesar's "Your Show of Shows" partner: IMOGENE COCA.  (1908-2001) She was an American comic actor who started in vaudeville as a child acrobat.  Her TV carer ran from the '40's to the '90's.

60. Based on a common feature of their names, what 17-, 23-, 36- and 51-Across are well-suited to be?: ECO WARRIORS.  These are people actively involved in preventing damage to the environment.

Like her or not, agree with her or not, Greta Thunberg is the real deal

Hi Gang, JazzBumpa here with our own C.C.'s latest effort.  You don't often see a theme built around people's names, so this is a creative effort.   Let's dig in and see what else our gracious host has created for us.

But first, a reminder: today's theme reveal could be a hot button issue, with overt political overtone.  So - in keeping with the rule of this blog - let's not go there.

As I say on my own blog, play nice and we'll all have fun.  So - onward.


1. "I'm so stupid!": D'OH.

4. Lobbying orgs.: PACSPolitical Action Committees.

8. Dr. Oz's faith: ISLAM.  He is a surgeon, university professor and television personality who promotes pseudo-science and alternative medicine.

13. Craft beer initials: IPAIndia Pale Ale.

14. Material for tatami mats: STRAW.  These mats are traditional Japanese floor coverings, and are made with an exact 2:1 aspect ratio.

15. Disney princess from Motunui: MOANA.

16. FedEx alternative: DHL.  An American-founded German company which is now the international courier, parcel, and express mail division of the German logistics company Deutsche Post DHL. [Wikipedia]

19. "I'll take it from here": LET  ME.

21. Twistable cookie: OREO.  Of course

22. Like a thick, green lawn: LUSH.  Teeming with thick, healthy growth.

26. Go out with: SEE.  He is SEEING her and should be discrete if they don't want to be SEEN.

27. Papier-mâché fiesta item: PINATA. A construction of mashed paper over a skeleton frame, usually brightly decorated, and often in the form of an animal, filled with candy or toys.

28. Magnified atlas image: INSET. A small map set next to or within a larger map to show more detail.

30. Give a little: SAG. Droop.

31. Item in a folder: FILE.

35. Garden tool: SPADE.  A type of shovel with a sharp rectangular metal blade and a long handle.  Can you dig it?

39. Biblical hymn: PSALM.  A sacred song used in worship.

42. Breakfast brand in the freezer aisle: EGGO.  Toaster waffle.

43. Grounded jet: SST. Super Sonic Transport.  Due to technical issues, as well as economic factors, limited range, and high fuel consumption, these planes are no longer in use.

46. Hayride invitation: HOP ON.

47. Allergic reaction: AHCHOO.  Sneeze.  This past week was the peak season for pollen related allergy and asthma difficulties.

50. Capp and Gore: ALS.Alfred Gerald Caplin (September 28, 1909 – November 5, 1979), better known as Al Capp, was an American cartoonist and humorist best known for the satirical comic strip Li'l Abner, which he created in 1934 and continued writing and (with help from assistants) drawing until 1977.  [Wikipedia]

Albert Arnold Gore Jr. (born March 31, 1948) is an American politician and environmentalist who served as the 45th vice president of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Gore was Bill Clinton's running mate in their successful campaign in 1992, and the pair was re-elected in 1996. [Wikipedia]

56. __ puppet: SOCK.  1) a simple hand puppet made from a SOCK. 2)  A false online identity used for purposes of deception.

58. Cowhand's chow: GRUB.  Slangy meal.  Hope it's more appetizing than it sounds.

59. Objects of adulation: IDOLS. 1) Images or representations of gods used in worship.  2) Person or things that are greatly admired, loved, or revered.

63. Little kid: TOT.  Potential moppet.

64. In the country: RURAL. Non-urban.

65. Cruise stopover: ISLET. A small island

66. Find a place for: USE.  Deploy as a means of achieving something.

67. Dead tired: SPENT.  All used up.

68. Half-moon tide: NEAP.  The tide just after the first and third quarters of the moon, when the difference between high and low water is the least.

69. Each: PER.


1. Hit the pool: DID LAPS.  Swam repeated pool lengths.

2. "Hamlet" character who drowns: OPHELIA.  She had climbed a willow tree, and a branch broke, dropping her into a brook where she drowned.

3. Hesitant: HALTING.  Slow, hesitant, faltering.

4. Org. concerned with students: PTA.  The National Parent Teacher Association.

5. Threepio's buddy: ARTOO.  Bots in the Star Wars saga.

6. North African capital: CAIRO.  Egypt

7. Win every game: SWEEP.  In a short series during regular or post season play.

8. Letters before a viewpoint: IMOIn My Opinion.  Opinions worth heeding have some basis in facts and reality.

9. Motown music: SOUL.

10. Tony who managed three World Series-winning teams: LARUSSA. [b 1944] Over a career of 33 years, he managed the Cardinals, A's and White Sox.  You knew there would be some baseball - right?

11. Ouzo flavoring: ANISEED. Also called ANISE; this is a flowering plant native to the eastern Mediterranean region and Southwest Asia that produces a licorice like flavor element.

12. Hacker's tool: MACHETE.  For LUSH jungle undergrowth, not computer mayhem.

14. Sport with clay targets: SKEET.  Dynamic aerial target shooting.

18. Iowa campus: COEThis college is new to me

20. __ Nashville: country label: MCA.  Not sure what the MCA stands for.  You can read about it here.

24. Barista's workplace: CAFE.  A barista prepares and serves different kinds of coffee.

25. Go higher: RISE. Literally or figuratively in an organization structure.

29. "Planet Money" network: NPRNational Public Radio.

32. Winter hazard: ICE.   It's slippery.

33. Piece of campfire fuel: LOG.  Wood fires are de rigueur at our lake-side vacations.

34. Lines at a hosp.: ECG. ElectroCardioGram - a graphic representation of electrical activity in the heart.

36. "World of Dance" judge, to fans: J.LO.  Jennifer Lynn Lopez (born July 24, 1969), also known by her nickname J.Lo, is an American actress, singer, dancer, fashion designer, producer and businesswoman.

Also, THIS.

37. Luxury hotel chain: OMNI.

38. Zen paradox: KOAN.  Think hard, but don't think so hard.

39. "Star Trek" stunners: PHASERS.  Typical weapons used by the Starfleet personnel.

40. Popular beer pong choice: SOLO CUP.

41. Test result for a HS student: AP SCOREAdvanced Placement test for prospective college students.  IMHO, a huge scam.

43. Grow dramatically: SHOOT UP.  Grow like a weed.

44. "You almost got it": SO CLOSE.

45. 42-Across cooker: TOASTER.  EGGO heater.

48. Bank holdup: HEIST.

49. Looped in on an email, briefly: CCD.  Originally Carbon CopieD, in the pre-email days.

52. Bus. bigwig: MGR.Abrv for Manager.

53. Former senator Hatch: ORRIN. [b 19340]  He retired in January of this year.

54. False front: GUISE. An external appearance that can conceal the true nature of something.

55. Deadly virus: EBOLA.  Cause of a rare and deadly disease, mostly found in sub-Saharan Africa, for which there is no known cure.

57. Olympic skating medalist Michelle: KWAN.  History making.

61. Keyboard shortcut key: ALT.

62. Weight room unit: REP. Repetition of a lift.

There you have it.  Did you skate through?  Was it uplifting?  Did you find some headache relief?

Cool regards!

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

L.A. Times Crossword Wednesday, August 28, 2019 Steve Mossberg

Theme: THOUGHT FOR FOOD.  The first words of two-word theme answers can also be defined as active kitchen terms.  So let's start with today's theme song.

17 A. *Speak carefully to avoid offense: MINCE WORDS.  Usually presented in the negative, as laying it all on the line.  To MINCE a food item is chop or grind it into very small pieces, often in a machine with revolving blades.

21 A. *Yahtzee, for one: DICE GAME.  The object of the game is score points by rolling 5
DICE to get certain combinations.  I was surprised to discover it was first marketed in Toledo, my home town, in the early 40's.  To DICE food, you cut it into small cubes.

40 A. *Homemade song assortment: MIX TAPE.  A compilation of favorite music, usually by a variety of artists, on some sort of home recording device, TAPEs being quite passé these days.  To MIX is to combine various ingredients so that they are all evenly distributed.

42 A. *Vocally imitate a drum machine: BEAT BOX.  Exactly as described.

To BEAT a combination of ingredients is to stir it vigorously with a fork, whisk, or mechanical beater to make a smooth or frothy MIXture.

56 A. *Lunch from home: BROWN BAG.  To pack a lunch, typically in a BROWN paper bag designed for that purpose, and take it to another destination such as school or a work site.  You BROWN an item by heating it on a stove, typically in a skillet or pan.

65 A. Kitchen guide ... and where to find the starts of the answers to starred clues: RECIPE BOOK. A published collection of cooking directions - e.g. RECIPES - for various dishes.

Hi, Gang.  JzB here to host this dinner.  Did the theme whet your appetite for the main course? Let's grab our forks and see what Steve has cooked up for us.


1. Renovator's protective cover: TARP.  A sheet of canvas or plastic that protects floors and furniture from paint drips, dust, or physical damage during the renovation process.

5. Not so exciting: HO-HUM.

10. Soak up the sun: BASK.  Relax in the pleasant warmth.

14. "Dies __": Latin hymn: IRAE.

Almost 8 minutes - discretion is advised

15. Yoga pose: ASANA.  A posture used in hatha yoga.

16. Hatchet man __ Brasi of "The Godfather": LUCA.

Karma - not easy to watch; discretion is advised.

19. Spoken: ORAL.

20. 2019 award for author Walter Mosley: EDGAR.  Mystery writer's award name for E. A. Poe.

23. Cry of success that can also be a sarcastic admission of failure: NAILED IT.  Some days you get the NAIL, some days the NAIL gets you.

26. Ad-__: improvise: LIB.

29. "__ won't do": THIS.

30. Pinch pennies: SCRIMP.  Partnered with save.

35. Post-op sites: ICUS. Intensive Care Units.

37. Not fooled by: ON TO.  Have it figured out.

39. Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum city: HANOI.  He was the revolutionary leader who won Viet Nam's independence from France in 1954.

44. Spoken: ALOUD. Audible.

45. Poetry event: SLAM.  We humans can make anything into a competition - even the reading of poetry.

47. Hatcher or Polo: TERI.  American actors, born in 1964 and 1969, respectively.  What - no love for Teri Garr [b 1944]?

48. Status __: SYMBOL. A possession that is considered to indicate wealth or social standing.

50. Forget to mention: OMIT.  Leave out, elide.

52. Report card bummer: DEE.  Poor grade.

53. Norse mythology upheaval used as the subtitle of a 2017 "Thor" film: RAGNAROK.  The fate or twilight of the gods - a series of events leading up to a great battle, the death of many of the gods, and devastating h=natural disasters on earth.

60. Repairs: MENDS.  Fixerates

64. Marshmallow blackener: FIRE.  Camp or bon, most likely.

68. Discomfit: FAZE. Disturb.

69. Save a ton on the wedding reception?: ELOPE. How will the lack of a reception be received?

70. Not pro: ANTI-.  I'm against it.

71. Sty feed: SLOP.  For the big and little piggies.

72. Often __: half the time: AS NOT.

73. Check signer: BOSS.  Payroll.


1. Life partner: TIME.  Magazines, not companions.

2. Dry as a desert: ARID. Too dry or barren to support vegetation.

3. Tolled, as a bell: RANG. Pealed.

4. Pie nut: PECAN.  Not to be confused with pine nuts, which are in pesto.

5. Word after hee or yee: HAW.  The braying of an ass or a celebratory howl.

6. Spanish bear: OSO.

7. Most challenging: HARDEST.  Surpassingly difficult.

8. Reversed: UNDID.  Cancelled, repealed, retracted.

9. Dinosaur Jr. frontman J __: MASCIS.  This band was formed in 1984 and was one of the formative influences in American alternative rock.  I never heard of them.

10. Online journal: BLOG. A contraction of WEBLOG.

11. General vibe: AURA.  I have a feeling.

12. Take in: SCAM. Here, SCAM is a verb, indicating an attempt to dupe somebody.

13. Leafy vegetable: KALE.  A cruciferous vegetable coming in several varieties with green or purple leaves.

18. Middle of Q.E.D.: ERAT.  From the Latin phrase "quod erat demonstrandum," meaning "what was to be demonstrated, indicating that a mathematical proof or philosophical argument was completed.

22. __ Sketch: ETCHA.  Quite possibly the most frustrating toy ever invented.

24. Blue-roofed eatery: I-HOP.  For breakfast and lunch, mainly.

25. Fishing gear: LINES.  Rods and reels would otherwise be useless.

26. Succotash beans: LIMAS.  Mixed with corn, and possibly other things, like tomatoes or sweet peppers.

27. Without warmth: ICILY.

28. Full-bosomed: BUXOMBlessing or curse?

31. "Out of the Cellar" metal band: RATT.  This was their debut studio album, released in 1984.

32. Under the covers: IN BED. Possibly asleep.

33. Boxing legend Archie: MOORE. Archibald Lee Wright [1916-1998] was the longest reigning light-heavyweight of all time - December, 1952 to May, 1962.  He had an extraordinarily long career, from 1935 to 1963.

34. Impish fairy: PIXIE.  Diminutive mythical creatures that are childlike, active, and occasionally pranksters.

36. Incomplete Wikipedia entry: STUB.  Needs more info.

38. "Becoming" memoirist Michelle: OBAMA.  Former first lady, nee Robinson [b 1964.]

41. Add beauty to: ADORN.  Decorate.

43. Mideast noble: EMIR.

46. Scam that takes a while to pay off: LONG CON.  An elaborate scheme to trick someone into giving up money or other valuables.

49. __ Tar Pits: LA BREA.  Inside the city of Las Angeles.

51. Thick book: TOME.  Read one if you have enough Tome time.

54. Irish speakers: GAELS.  An ethnolinguistic group associated with Irish, MAnx and Scottish languages.

55. Meaty fare from a falafel stand: KEBAB.  Any of various grilled meat dishes cooked in a middle-eastern stye.

56. Closest pals, initially: BFFS. Best Friends Forever.

57. Tehran money: RIAL.  Currently about .003 of a U. S. cent.

58. Rice-shaped pasta: ORZO.

59. Shed tears: WEEP. Cry.

61. Pitching gem, in baseball slang: NONO.  A perfectly pitched game with NO runs, NO hits, and NO errors.

62. "i" pieces: DOTS.  Don't forget to dot your i's and cross your t's.

63. Hits the slopes: SKIS.  Goes SKIing.

66. Wall St. debut: IPOInitial Public Offering.

67. Darling: PET.  Most favored individual.

That finishes off our Wednesday entree.  Did you notice that we had two green vegetables, meat and a starch - in addition to our IHOP visit?  Is anybody else ready for desert?

Cool Regards!

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Wednesday, August 21, 2019 Jim Bordoni and C. C. Burnikel

Theme: Say HI to the islands - but in their own language.  Here we have an initial theme, i.e. one where the first letter of each of two theme entry words combine to form the abbreviation for the most remote of the 50 states in the U.S.A.  Let's check it out.

17. *British-owned American hotel chain: HOLIDAY INN.  The first HOLIDAY INN was opened in 1952.  It and the next two were on roads to Memphis.  The name was a play on the title of a 1942 Christmas movie starring Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire.  The chain is now owned by InterContinental Hotels Group, and has 1173 active locations.

22. *Went on foot: HOOFED IT.  Traveled by shank's mare - the horse with 10 toes.

33. *Wind chill factor relative: HEAT INDEX.  A combination of heat and humidity which puts stress on the human body.  Read about it here.

38. *Three-time U.S. Open champion: HALE IRWIN. [b 1945] He became the oldest ever Open champion in 1990 at age 45.

46. *Subject of much debate: HOT ISSUE.  Pick a side.

56. With "The," one of 50 since 8/21/1959, as hinted at by the answers to starred clues: ALOHA  STATE.  Which is, of course HAWAII, our most recently admitted state. It's abrv is HI.

So HI, or alternatively, ALOHA, Gang.  JazzBumpa here guide today's tour.  This puzzle is brought to you by our own C. C. and Corner denizen Jim.  I'll admit it took me a bit of time and mental energy to suss this theme.  We have miles to go before we sleep, so let's get moving.


1. Half of a stiff price to pay: ARM. Along with a leg.  Better than "Half a fly," in my opinionated opinion.

4. Chinese food additive: MSG. MonoSodium Glutamate.  Flavor enhancer that gives some people a headache.

7. Breed from Honshu: AKITA.  Dogs originating in the mountainous regions of northern Japan that now come in two varieties.

12. Sob story makeup: WOES.  General ills and misfortunes.

14. __ Nui: Easter Island: RAPA.  An extremely remote island, 2182 miles of the coast of Chile, which annexed it in 1888.  First inhabited ca 1200 A.D., it is the most southeastern point of the Polynesian Triangle, and famous for its unusual stone artifacts.

15. Jell-O flavor: LEMON.  One of many

16. Food for the kitty?: ANTE.  Price of entry for a poker hand.  The kitty is the accumulation of bets to be won.

19. Robert the Bruce, for one: SCOT.  He was King of Scotland from 1306 until his death in 1329.  At the battle of Bannockburn in 1314 he defeated a large English army and won independence from England.

20. Speak with style: ORATE.  Give a formal address or speak pompously and at great length

21. Latin "to be": ESSE.

24. Boys: LADS.  Young fellas.

26. Actress Longoria: EVA.  Eva Jacqueline Bastón (née Longoria) [b 1975] is an American entertainer, business person and activist.

27. Substitute for: RELIEVE.  Usually in a work setting or on a pitcher's mound.

30. Cat Deeley's role on "So You Think You Can Dance": EM CEEMaster of Ceremonies. Never watched it.

35. Jobs title, once: CEO.  Steven Jobs [1955-2011] was, among other things, the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Apple, Inc.  Slightly misleading clue.

36. Represent inaccurately: BELIE. Deceive by lying.  Current usage is from the 17th century, but the word has solid old Anglo-Saxon roots.

37. Web access co.: ISPInternet Service Provider.

41. "Semper fidelis" is one: MOTTO.  A phrase that captures the beliefs or ideals of an individual or institution.  This one belongs to the U. S. Marine Corps, and means "always faithful/loyal." Mine is "What I lack in youth, I make up for with immaturity."

43. Veterans: OLD PROS.  Experienced experts.  In contrast, I am an old amateur.

44. Refuge for couples?: ARK.  Animals, two by two.

45. Italian automaker: FIAT.  Owner of Chrysler.

51. Golfer's transport: CART.  Gets you from tee to green.

53. Night calls: HOOTS.  Owl calls.  Assuming you give a HOOT.

55. Radius neighbor: ULNA.  Bones of the forearm, in case you weren't forewarned.

58. Eyeglass frames: RIMS. Lens holders.

59. Have more People come to the house?: RENEW.  Re-up a subscription to People magazine.  Took me a minute.

60. City near Anaheim: BREA.  This is not the home of the La Brea tar pits, which are about 40 miles to the northwest, within the city of Los Angeles.  It is an important retail center and home to an extensive public arts program.

61. Dueling sport: EPEE.  For sword play.

62. Midler of "Hello Dolly": BETTE.  The divine miss M [b 1945.]

63. Leb. neighbor: SYR.  Lebanon is on the coast of the Mediterranean. SYRIA surrounds it on the east and north.

64. Cap initials at Busch Stadium: STL.  Cardinals baseball team.


1. Knee-deep (in): AWASH.  Flooded by.

2. Chop-O-Matic maker: RONCO.  Former American company founded in 1964 by Ron [no relation] Popeil.  In 2005, he sold the company to Fi-Tek VII, a Denver holding company.  After a couple Chapter 11 bankruptcy filings, the company refiled under Chapter 7 in 2018, to be liquidated and shut down.

3. Anti-harassment movement: ME TOO.  A movement begun in 2017 to demonstrate the wide spread prevalence of sexual harassment, especially in the workplace

4. New Zealand settler: MAORI.  Eastern Polynesians who arrived in NZ by canoe in several waves from ca. 1320 to 1350.  Over several centuries of isolation, they developed their own culture, language, arts and mythology.

5. Paint spill sound: SPLAT.  Or generic cartoon falling sound.

6. Stable pace: GAIT.  One's manner of walking.

7. In the style of: ALA.

8. Entered, as data: KEYED IN.

9. "That went right over my head": I MISSED   IT.  As almost happened to me with today's theme.

10. Truckloads: TONS.   Non-specific large quantities.

11. Heche of "Psycho" (1998): ANNE. [b. 1969]

13. Fixed charge: SET FEE.  A stated amount paid for work or service that does not depend on time spent or how much the service is used.

14. Valerie Harper sitcom: RHODA. The original run on CBS was from September, 1974 to December, 1978.

18. Get rid of: DELETE.

23. Christmas __: EVE.  'Twas the night before.

25. Boxer who beat Frazier twice: ALI.  Muhammed Ali [Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr, 1972 - 2016] was also an activist and philanthropist.

27. Ball game delayer: RAIN.  Baseball.  Football plays through blizzards.

28. Tuxedo part: VEST.

29. Former Canadian MLBer: EXPO.  The EXPOS, based in Montreal, played in the NL East Division from 1969 to 2004.

30. Repeat: ECHO. Literally - sound bouncing back from a solid surface.  Figuratively - a repetition of something.

31. Happy __: MEAL.  Kid's fare from McDonald's.

32. Leading edge of cooler temperatures: COLD FRONT.  Just exactly this.

33. Cuts down: HEWS.  With an ax, pick or other tool.

34. Yale alum: ELI.  For Elihu Yale, founder of the University.

36. Thin soups: BROTHS. Savory liquids in which bones, meat or vegetables have been simmered.

39. Peter the Great, e.g.: EPITHET. An adjective or descriptive phrase expressing a quality or characteristic on a person or thing.

40. 401(k) kin, briefly: IRA. Individual Retirement Account.

41. CT scan relative: MRI. Magnetic Resonance Image.

42. "Sounds good": OK, SURE.  Fine by me.

44. Utterly confused: AT SEA. Baffled.

46. White with frost: HOARY.  Grey or white, as if with age.  I'm taking this one personally.

47. Furry swimmer: OTTER.  Carnivorous mammal with a diet based on fish and invertebrates, related to weasels, badgers, minks and skunks.  The 13 existing species are all aquatic, semi-aquatic or marine.

48. Berth places: SLIPS.  Docking spots adjacent to wharfs or piers.

49. Not yet achieved, as a goal: UNMET. Work in progress, or have you given up?

50. Art class item: EASEL.  Support for your item to be painted.

51. Atkins no-no: CARBohydrates - starches and sugars.

52. Toward shelter: ALEE.  Protected from the wind.

54. Some parlors, for short: OTBSOff Track Betting Sites.

57. Stun: AWE.  Amaze.

That wraps up today's adventure. We met movie stars and extensively traveled the pacific basin.  Hope you enjoyed the journey.

Cool regards!

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

L.A. Times Crossword Wednesday, July 17, 2019 Kevin Salat

Them: 'FRAID SO [Homophonically speaking.]  A bookend theme: the entries all begin with FR and end in AY, which when united spell the word FRAY, not to be confused with the extended FREY clan of Game of Thrones infamy. But I digress.

17 A. Squander little by little: FRITTER AWAY.  To FRITTER [without away] means to break into small fragments; as a noun, it means fragments or shreds.  So the definition given here is apt.

25 A. Unstructured recreation: FREE PLAY.  Also well defined.  Perhaps a way to achieve the previous theme entry with your available time.

38 A. Inlet in an Otis Redding hit song: FRISCOBAY.  Otis finds another way to achieve the first theme entry in this song, released after his death, entitled [Sittin' On] The Dock of the Bay.  This is getting a bit meta.

54. Ruffles snack company: FRITOLAY.   Maker of Fritos, Doritos, Sun Chips, Cheetos and more.  Can theses smallish items be considered FRITTERS?  You decide.

64. Worn-look fabric style that this puzzle's four other longest answers exhibit?: FRAYED EDGES.  Like this on fabric. Are the edges being FRITTERED AWAY?  And, of course, the split word FRAY bookends the theme entries.  So, there you have it.

Hi, Gang, it JazzBumpa, jumping into the FRAY.  Nicely executed theme - not much more to say about it.  So let us venture forth boldly into this puzzle - unafrayed.


1. Santa __: Sonoma County seat: ROSA.  Many Santas. Needed perps

5. Cordelia, to Regan: SISTER.  Daughters of King Lear, along with the unfortunately named Goneril.

11. Small ammo: BBs.  Spherical pellets shot from a certain kind of air gun.  Per Wikipedia, "The term BB originated from the nomenclature of the size of steel shots used in a shotgun. Size "BB" shots were normally 0.180 in (4.6 mm) . . ."

14. At risk of offending, for short: UN-PC.  Not Politically Correct.

15. "Play more!": ENCORE.  An additional song or musical selection played after the planned program is complete, as requested by the audience.

16. Variety: ILK.  Type

19. Foot the bill: PAY.  End up paying for something, especially if the charge is large or unreasonable.  Sad.

20. Expedia info: FARES.  Expedia is an American based travel company that provides FARES and other information for world-wide travel.

21. "__ Tu": 1974 hit sung in Spanish: ERES.

22. Boozer: SOT.  Alcoholic.

23. Nike rival: ADIDAS.  Sports shoes.

28. Back muscle, familiarly: LAT.  More formally, Latissimus dorsi the muscle connecting the upper extremity to the back bone.  Mine are typically tight, probably from my trombone addiction.

29. Garnet or ruby: RED.  Shades of meaning.

31. Double helix part: STRAND.  Come on, baby, let's do the twist.

32. Approximately: OR SO.  In the general vicinity of - or so it is said.

34. Old __: card game: MAID.

37. Small pies: TARTS. Small filled pastries without a top crust.

41. "Hello" singer: ADELE.

44. Subway fare?: HERO.  A sandwich of meat, cheese and vegetables made on a long roll that can be purchased at, frex, the Subway sandwich shop.  A fee is involved.

45. Pollen pouches: SACS.  The structures in seed plants where pollen is produced.

49. Overhaul: REVAMP.  Improve the form, appearance and structure of something.

51. Inquire: ASK.  Asking minds want to know.

53. Stick in the closet?: MOP.  "Stick" is a noun here, and it has a head.

57. Mogadishu native: SOMALI.  A resident of Somalia, a failed nation on the horn of Africa.

59. Master: ACE.

60. __ Bator: ULAN.  The capital of Mongolia, on the Tuul River.

62. "Beauty and the Beast" role: BELLE.  Per Wikipedia, she "is the non-conforming daughter of an inventor who yearns to abandon her predictable village life in return for adventure."  The rest is herstory.

63. Olive center: PIT.  A hard seed.

66. Ginger __: ALE. A carbonated soft drink made with -- wait for it . . . ginger!

67. 2014 boxing biopic: I AM ALI.

68. "Othello" villain: IAGO.  He is Othello's standard bearer, but he hates Othello and seeks his downfall by trying to make him believe his wife is unfaithful with his lieutenant, Cassio.

69. '60s hallucinogen: LSD.  Lysergic Acid Diethyamide. Have a nice trip.

70. Shiny photo: GLOSSY.  Type of finish surface on the photo paper

71. "You said it!": AMEN.


1. Mark who plays the Hulk: RUFFALO.

2. Tracked by air traffic control: ON RADAR.  What the bleep is that?

3. Bar supply: SPIRITS.  Liquors that have been distilled to increase the alcohol content.

4. Didn't just sit there: ACTED.  Did something.

5. "I __ what you did there": SEE.  Acknowledging someone's cleverness.

6. Memo starter: IN RE.  With regard to --

7. Winter neckwear: SCARF.  A fabric item worn to maintain warmth and ward off the elements.

8. Cell network structure: TOWER.  I was so stuck on biological cells that when this answer emerged I was totally confused.  Of course this refers to the place where antennae are place for cell phone transmissions.  Which prompts the question: does anyone still use their phone to actually call somebody?

9. Clears a whiteboard: ERASES.  Or a blackboard. Works either way.

10. King of Spain: REY.  Literal translation

11. Like many magnets: BIPOLAR.  Having both north and south poles.

12. Glaringly obvious: BLATANT.  In your face.

13. Big __ Country: Montana: SKY.  Don't let them fool you.  The sky is the same size everywhere.  But in Michigan, you often can't see it for the clouds.

18. Ivan the Terrible, e.g.: TSAR.  One of many Russian emperors, prior to 1917.

22. Turns the hose on: SPRAYS.   Fun way to end up single.

24. Rig on the road: SEMI.  Tractor trailer rig.

26. James of jazz: ETTA.

27. Golf course meas.: YDS. Distance from tee to green, in yards.

30. Superspeed boy in "The Incredibles": DASH.

33. Recently: OF LATE.

35. Curling surface: ICE.  This is a game in which large, flat stones are slid along a smooth ICE surface into a target area.

36. Toon explorer: DORA.  Found this on FaceBook recently.

39. San __, Italy: REMO.  A city on the Mediterranean located in the extreme western part of Italy.  San and Santa - near clechoes.

40. Overseer: BOSS.

41. Greeting at a dog park: ARF.

42. Throws off track: DERAILS.

43. Thrown out: EVICTED.

46. Dental filling material: AMALGAM.  Despite containing about 50% elemental mercury, it is considered to be safe.

47. Dartmouth, e.g.: COLLEGE.  An institute of higher learning.

48. Watches through binoculars, maybe: SPIES ON.

50. Like lions and tigers and bears: PLURAL.  Yes they are plurals.  No, I do not like self-referential clues.

52. 18-time NBA All-Star Bryant: KOBE.  According to some, the 12th best player ever.

55. Texas mission: ALAMO.  Famous for the battle of 1836, when Texas was seceding from Mexico.  In a 13 day siege the garrison stationed there was almost completely wiped out.

56. "Get Yer __ Out!": live Stones album: YAYASRead all about it.

58. Mass __: MEDIA.  With tulips in my mind, I guess, I confidently filled in MANIA.  That was a set back.  The correct answer refers to news and communication outlets, like publications, broadcasting and the internet.

61. Guitarist Cline of the band Wilco: NELS.  Was this a Natick for anyone else?

63. Buddy: PAL.  Amigo, BFF.

64. Cookie fruit: FIG.  Classic.

65. Kit letters: DIY.  The set of parts, pieces and tools required to build some thing.  Good luck and - yeah - do read the instructions.

OK, kids - we've frittered away time with this crossword puzzle.  Let's go take on the rest of the day.

Cool regards!

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

L.A. Times Crossword Wednesday, June 26, 2019 Dan Schoenholtz

Theme BATTER UP! Not at the ball diamond this time.  Instead, we find ourselves at the kitchen counter with eggs, oil and today's theme.  Let's check it out

17 A. It may be hard to turn down: NICE OFFER.  Not to be confused with an OFFER that you can't refuse.  The circled letters, here shown in red, can be rearranged to spell COFFEE.  Decaf for me, please - no cream or sugar.

26 A. Stockpiled: LOADED UP ON.  Acquired, collected, and kept; amassed. The red letters can be used to spell POUND.  Is this going to the dogs?  Probably not.

41 A. Sitting in an assigned seat, e.g.: TAKING ONE'S PLACE.  "Everyone take your places," is an in the language phrase.  So, have a seat.  Perhaps your cushion is a cushy SPONGE rubber.

51 A. Corporate annual report focus: FISCAL YEAR.  A 12 month period used for accounting and tax purposes that might not line up with a calendar year.  The red letters can spell LAYER - a ply of something in a built-up construction.  So what are we to make of all this?  Let's consult the reveal.

64 A. Baking conveniences, and a hint to this puzzle's circles: CAKE MIXES.  Aha!  Each of the words is also a type of CAKE, MIXED into the clue fill.  And a CAKE MIX is a store-bought combination of ingredients you can use to make a tasty sweet treat. Are you hungry?  I think CAKE is OK, any time of day or night.  Though, to be honest, I prefer cookies.


1. They may be exchanged in anger: WORDS.  Description of an argument.

6. Jet stream locale?: SPA.  SPA in this case being a whirlpool bath, with jets that stream water onto your aching body.

9. Ziti, e.g.: PASTA.  Per wikipedia, Ziti is an extruded tubular pasta that is smaller than rigatoni, but larger than mezzani.  Pasta is pasta.  Why if comes in so many shapes and sizes is a mystery to me.

14. Scrub, as a launch: ABORT.  From the mission control vocabulary of NASA.  A decision to stop a planned launch after the pre-launch sequence of activities has begun.

15. Short film?: PIC.  An abrv. of [moving] PICTURE

16. Pronouncement platform: ALTAR.  "I now pronounce you man and wife," is one of the kins of pronouncements that can be issued there.

19. Lumps: GLOBS.  Solid or semi-sold masses of no particular size and shape.

20. Small flightless bird: KIWI.

21. "Oye Como Va" songwriter Puente: TITO.  Hey, how is it going?

23. Barnyard noise: MOO. Cow talk.

24. Low-risk investments: Abbr.: CDsCertificates of Deposit.

29. Stooped (over): HUNCHED.

32. Beer container: CAN.  E pluribus unum.

33. "It matters to me": I CARE.  Back in the 60's we said, "Give a damn!"

34. "The Green Hornet" co-writer/star Rogen: SETH. [b 1982] Canadian-American actor, comedian, writer, producer, and director.

37. Scorch: CHAR.  Burn the surface of something with heat or a direct flame.

44. Editor's retraction: STET.  "Let it stand."  (used as an instruction on a printed proof to indicate that a correction or alteration should be ignored).

45. Picnic pests: ANTS.  Six-legged invaders.

46. Blows off steam: VENTS.  Pssssst.

47. Feverish, say: ILL. Exhibiting symptoms of sickness.

49. Doesn't continue, as an argument: LET'S DIE.  It's hard to know when to let up.  Sometimes continuing is futile.  I was arguing about socialism with some guy on FaceBook.  He wouldn't accept the dictionary definition.  I finally gave up and told him to have a nice day.

56. "Irreverence is easy--what's hard is __": Tom Lehrer: WIT.  Keen mental sharpness and inventiveness.

57. Lime ending: -ADE.  The juice of the lime ends up in a fruity drink.  In my house, it's far more likely to end up in a spicy guacamole.

58. 12-1 MLB victory, e.g.: ROUT.  A lop-sided victory.  Or, from the Tigers' perspective, a lop-sided defeat.

59. Davenport setting: IOWA.  Or my late mom-s living room.  A city and an item of furniture [if you want to couch it in those terms], respectively.

62. Like spinach, say: LEAFY.  As rose bushes are thorny, and trees are barky.

68. Tanning site: SALON.

69. Spy org. called "The Company": CIA.  Central Intelligence Agency.  We learn this vocabulary from a 2003 semi-factual novel by Robert Littell.

70. Hapless: INEPT.  Everybody, get yourself some hap, so you can be EPT.

71. North Sea county: ESSEX.  Located North and East of London, England.

72. __-country music: ALT.  ALTernate.  A loosely defined sub-genre of county/rock music.  Styles can be significantly different in style from mainstream or pop country.

73. "Get it done!": TODAY.  Stat! [Not stet]


1. Lacking color: WAN. Pale and weak looking.

2. Tokyo sash: OBI.

3. Large python: ROCK SNAKE.  A large, non-venemous, but extraordinarily vicious and dangerous snake living in sub-saharan Africa.

4. German trio: DREI.  The number three.

5. Put away: STOW.

6. Sunscreen letters: SPFSun Protection Factor.  Understand it here.

7. Michelangelo masterpiece: PIETA.

8. Sharp: ACRID.  Having an irritatingly strong and unpleasant taste or smell.

9. Taoist temple: PAGODA.

10. Every one of: ALL. Don't leave me out.

11. Defeat soundly: STOMP.  In other words, a ROUT.

12. Off-limits: TABOO.  Forbidden.

13. Fiery crime: ARSON.  The crime of deliberately setting fire to property.

18. Computer menu heading: FILE. You can save and print, among other options.

22. Computer fixers: TECHS.

24. Vouchers: CHITS.  IOUs

25. Old European coin: DUCAT. Any of various gold and silver coins.

27. Eats too much of, as junk food: ODs ONOver-Dose, trivializing the real meaning.

28. Family tree figures: UNCLES.  What I am to my niece and nephew.

30. Blogger, at times: CRITIC. Or, in my case, almost always.

31. Farm clucker: HEN.  And egg layer.

35. Sinusitis-treating doc: ENTEar, Nose and Throat specialist.

36. Edison contemporary: TESLA.  Nikola Tesla [1956-1943] was a Serbian-American inventor, electrical engineer, mechanical engineer, and futurist who is best known for his contributions to the design of the modern alternating current electricity supply system. [Wikipedia]

38. Manually spiffed up at the carwash: HAND WAXED.  Manual labor.

39. When the duel occurs in "Hamilton": ACT II.

40. Start over: RESET.

42. Big name in California viticulture: GALLO.  Brothers Ernst and Julio.

43. Entry-level GI: PVT. Private.

48. Voice box: LARYNX.  the hollow muscular organ forming an air passage to the lungs and holding the vocal cords in humans and other mammals;

50. Scary-sounding lake: ERIE.  Toledo's lake.

51. Like many a rumor: FALSE.  Fake news?

52. Creative output: IDEAS.  Brain storms.

53. Makes airtight: SEALS.  Closes up.

54. Desert plant with sword-shaped leaves: YUCCA.

55. Source of net profits?: ETAIL.  Electronic - i.e on-line - retail.

60. Exclude: OMIT. Leave out, elide.

61. Sot: WINO.  Alcoholic.

63. Enemy: FOE.  Not a friend

65. Dennings of "2 Broke Girls": KAT.

66. AQI monitor: EPA.  The Air Quality index is monitored by the Environmental Protection Agency, established in 1970.

67. Muddy pen: STY. Home for swine.

One more in a long line of Wednesday puzzles, but this one takes the cake.   Hope you were able to slice through it without getting frosted.

Cool regards!

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

L.A. Times Crossword - Wednesday, June 19, 2019 Lewis Rothlein

Theme - WORD LADDER.  This is a word game invented by Lewis Carroll, in which a starting word is transformed into a target word by changing one letter at a time.  The challenge is to accomplish this in the fewest steps.  Here all the ladder words have circled letters, and are stand alone fill.  Let's see how this works.

1. Strong drink, and part 1 of a word ladder: DOUBLE.  A DOUBLE is a drink with 2 ounces of liquor.  It is also our starting word.  Looking ahead, our target word is SHIFT.  So, one can work a DOUBLE SHIFT.  I've never done that, and let's hope we don't have to.  But hold that thought.

20. Tabloid item (part 2): COUPLE.  A COUPLE in a tabloid is often referred to as an item.  Usually they show up because of some scandal, rumor, or bit of personal news involving them.  None of this is anybody's business, of course, but inquiring minds want to know.  The changed letters are highlighted in red.  Hang on a sec - letters!?!  Two of them? Should I call foul on this?  Let's defer that answer for the nonce.

28. Two-door cars (part 3): COUPES.  Cars with fixed roofs, two doors, and sloping rears.  Two letters changed.

36. Brunch order (part 4): CREPES. These are thin pancakes, usually rolled and wrapped around a filling.  My favorite is apricot.  Again, two letters have changed.

42. Underground tombs (part 5): CRYPTS. I can't improve on that definition.  Nor on the consistent changing of two letters.

48. Arts' partner (part 6): CRAFTS.  The skills involved in making things by hand.  Or craftally changing two letters at a time.

56. Wanders (part 7): DRIFTS.  Travels aimlessly.  Or changes by two letters at a time, with a specific aim in mind.  Hmmm  .  .  .

68. Work assignments ... and, preceded by 1-Across, the key to creating the word ladder (and part 8 of it): SHIFTS.  You can work several kinds of SHIFTS - day, night, third, or swing.  But, back to the puzzle, now all becomes clear.  Putting the first and last words together, we get DOUBLE SHIFTS - thus the alteration of two letters at a time.  Tadah!

That's a bit meta, but certainly clever, and I'll give some extra credit for that.

Hi, Gang.  It's JazzBumpa, not feeling at all SHIFTY.  So let's double down and see what the rest of this puzzle has to offer.


7. Kiss: BUSS.  From the Latin basiare, probably via French and late Middle English.

11. Injured, as a knee: BUM.

14. Damage: IMPAIR.  As, for example, a knee.

15. Private tutoring session: ONE ON ONE.

17. Theater walkways: AISLES.  Or in churches.

18. Injured, as an ankle: SPRAINED.  When the ligaments are stretched or torn.  We are having a rather bad leg day.

19. Cancels a dele: STETS.  Editor's marks for delete and let it stand, respectively.

21. The "S" of CSNY: STILLS.  I was stuck on NY as being New York.  That was a complete dead end.  This "S" is Steven Stills of Crosby, STILLS, Nash and Young.  Remember them?

24. "No more sharing," briefly: TMIToo Much Information - not on my need-to-know list.

25. Genetic material: DNA. Deoxyribonuclaic acid.  We all took biochemistry - right?

30. 1975 Tony-winning play about a stableboy: EQUUS.  About which I know nothing.

32. Former Boston commuter org.: MTA. Municipal Transit Authority.

35. Small, chirpy bird: WRENSeveral varieties.

37. "It can't be!": OH NO.  Dang!

39. Unsuccessful Ford: EDSEL.  But now a cult classic.

41. Personal care brand with a bird in its logo: DOVE.

44. Mining hauls: ORES.  Rocks containing useful metals.

46. Circus safety feature: NET.  To catch a falling star.

47. Owl sounds: HOOTS.  Do you give one?

50. Piercing tool: AWL. For puncturing leather, not owls.

51. Japanese assent: HAI. Means yes.

53. Sandal parts: STRAPS.  Keeps them on your feet.

59. Taxpayer's option: E-FILE.  Electronic submission.

61. Neckwear that makes a statement: POWER TIE.  It's all nonsense, in my humble opinion.

63. Older, as bread: STALER.  Not that I've ever made that specific comparison.

64. Like the print version of an e-book, say: DEAD TREE.  Paper pulp source.

65. Abrasion: SCRAPE.  Damage due to friction - more pain. Ouch!

66. Cook in oil: FRY.

67. Insolence: SASS.  Impudence and rudeness.   Thad says, don't do it.


1. Days in Quito: DIAS.  In Ecuador, they speak Spanish, todos los días.

2. Drops: OMITS.  Leaves out or excludes.

3. Hot and bothered: UPSET.  Disturbed, or - if you prefer - excited.

4. Like Estonia and Latvia: BALTIC.   Also Lithuania - refers to countries on the eastern coast of the Baltic Sea, across from Sweden.

5. Stays out of sight: LIES LOW.  Avoiding attention and detection, generally for the purpose of staying out of trouble.

6. Trauma ctrs.: ERSEmergency Rooms.

7. Pear variety: BOSC.  Unique in shape and color.

8. Removes for transplanting: UNPOTS.  Out of one pot, and into another - or, perhaps, the ground.

9. Antitoxin: SERUM.

10. Having more lather: SOAPIER.

11. Took a refresher course in: BONED UP ON.  You can BONE UP ON it here.

12. Half of deux: UNE.  Two divided by two is one.  This looks suspiciously like French to me.  Numbers in French go hilariously wonky, as you will soon see. My granddaughter Alexa, who has studied French, assures me that every bit of this is true.

13. __ school: MED.  Where one learns to be a doctor.

16. Zero, in soccer: NIL.  Exactly nothing.  Probably the same - or something close to it - in French.  I hope.

22. Angling needs: LURES.  Things that attract the fish.  In another puzzle I worked recently the answer to this clue, in the singular, was LINE.

23. Went like the wind: SPED.  If i do that, I get winded. 

26. Béisbol team complement: NUEVE.  A baseball team has 9 players, in any language.  Spanish numbers, if I recall correctly, make some sort of sense.

27. Desirable trait: ASSET.

29. Belgian painter James: ENSOR. [1860-1949] Read about him here.

31. Logician's "as was proven": QED.  Quod Erat Demonstrandum - loosely, that which was to be demonstrated.

32. Coffee flavor: MOCHA. A coffee-chocolate combination.

33. Host, as a party: THROW.

34. With no discernable pattern: ANY OLD WAY.  Whatever.

36. Chin indentation: CLEFT.

38. Back (out): OPT.  Choose to not participate.

40. Labeled times: ERAS.

43. Warm-weather wear: T SHIRTS.

45. Warm up before a run: STRETCH.

48. Boston and Chicago: CITIES.  Large municipalities.

49. "Green Hills of Africa" journey: SAFARI.  From the Arabic word safara - to travel.

52. Union that merged with SAG in 2012: AFTRA.  Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists.

54. Rice dish: PILAF.  Cooked in broth with spices and vegetables or meat.

55. Snoozed: SLEPT.

57. See 58-Down: RED.  The color of anger.

58. With 57-Down, loses one's cool: SEES.  To see red is to become suddenly enraged.  From an earlier expression "To see things red," from ca. 1900.  Probably not related to a bull fighter's red cape.

60. Part of a Spanish "to be" conjugation: ERES.  I'll leave this to a Spanish speaker to explain.

61. Adobe doc suffix: PDF. Portable Document File.

62. Atop, poetically: O'ER. As, for example, ramparts.

63. Griddle sound: SSS.  Onomatopoeia, I suppose.

That wraps up another Wednesday.  I'll add this, just because I can - a big trombone [and tuba] choir I participate in once a year.  This year it was on June 9th.

Cool Regards!