The Lighter Side of JzB

Here you will find photos, poetry, and possibly some light-hearted foolishness. For the Heavier Side
of JzB
see my other blog,
Retirement Blues. (There be dragons!)

I claim copyright and reserve all rights for my original material of every type and genre.

Every day visits*
From Moose, Goose, and Orb Weaver
All seized by Haiku

"Why moose and goose?" you may ask. Back on 2/04/13 Pirate wrote a haiku with an elk in it, and I responded with
one with a moose and then included him every day. A few days later in comments Mystic asked "Where's the goose?"
So I started including her with this post on 2/07. A week later on the 14th, Mark Readfern
asked for and received a spider. The rest is history.

*Well, most days, anyway. Grant me a bit of poetic license.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

L. A. Times Crossword Wednesday, January 23, 2019 Roland Huget

Theme: Every Snowflake Is Different!  What I love about this claim is that it is not testable.  In today's puzzle, the claim is that for each multi-word theme entry, every letter is different.  This is testable, so let's get our deerstalker hats and magnifying glasses and have a go at it.

20 A. 2011 Steve Carell romcom: CRAZY STUPID LOVE.  Careful inspection confirms that each letter is, indeed, unique.  I am not a fan of the genre.  The presence of Jennifer Aniston in a movie's cast is enough to make me say, "No, thanks," no matter how cute she is.  But this movie has Julianne Moore supported by an all-star cast.  I'm actually rather fond of this flick.

34 A. Rickety abode: TUMBLE DOWN SHACK.  Not a phrase you're likely to encounter in daily conversation, but the meaning is clear enough. Reminds me of my mom's humble beginning in rural south-east Ohio. Searching through all the rooms - and even the outhouse - I was unable to find even one duplicated letter.  So far, so good,

41 A. "Stop whining!": DON'T BE SUCH A WIMP.  Do WIMPS duplicate letters?  Not here they don't! Not on my watch! Does this phrase foster toxic masculinity? I'll just leave that as food for thought.

53 A. Neither 20-, 34- nor 41-Across has any: REPEATED LETTERS.  Is it my hyper-active sense of irony that notes the repeated Rs, Es and Ts in the unifier?  Well - be that as it may, we do have a clever and unique theme, aptly described, with four grid-spanning entries, and that is only a J and a Q away from being a pangram. Yes, I also love run-on sentences.

Hi, Gang.  Inspector JazzBumpa here looking under cushions and dusting for prints.  Let's see what we can find.


1. Soft ball: NERF.  A toy brand created by Parker Brothers and now owned by Hasbro.  The product line is mostly foam-based items, like balls and weaponry.  Mostly harmless, I suppose.

5. Berkshire Hathaway headquarters city: OMAHA.  A multi-national conglomerate run by Warren Buffet.  Note the repeated A.

10. Greenish-yellow pear: BOSC.  A European cultivar that originated in France, now grown in many locations in Europe and North America.

14. Mine, in MontrĂˆal: AMOI. They speak French there.  I visited the city once, back in the early 80's.  It was wonderful.

15. Chicano rock band Los __: LOBOS.  It means The Wolves.

16. "Enchanted" girl in a 2004 film: ELLA.  Not your typical RomCom.

17. Hors d'oeuvre cracker: RITZ.  Nabisco product introduced in 1934, the depth of the depression, to offer their customers "a bite of the good life."

18. Lose tautness: DROOP.  Sag, limply hang down.

19. Logician's error, maybe: LEAP.  One step should lead logically to the next.

23. Slangy affirmative: YEH. Unhuh.

24. Light beam: RAY.  Heavy beams are used in construction.

25. Poseidon's realm: SEA.  In Greek mythology, the god of the sea, storms, earthquakes and horses.  Horses?  How did they get in there?  Anyway, He was one of the most ill-tempered, moody and greedy Olympians.

28. Lav, in Bath: LOO.  Comfort station, to be delicate.

30. Zero in: AIM.  Focus attention on something.

31. Federal bldgs. with mailboxes: POSPost Offices.  Though I imagine other Fed bldgs. might also have mailboxes.

38. Diva's time to shine: ARIA.  Solo vocal feature in a longer musical work such as an opera or oratorio.

39. Savings plan inits.: IRAIndividual Retirement Account.

40. Fair-haired sci-fi race: ELOI.  One of two post-human races of the far distant future in The Time Machine, from 1895 by H. G. Wells

46. Chinese menu surname: TSO.  Generally speaking.

47. Put away: EAT.  Consume at the dinner table.

48. Pine-__: cleaning brand: SOL.  A registered trade mark of Clorox.  From its inception in 1929 until 2016 it contained pine oil.  Then the product was cheapened to increase profitability.

49. Old Nintendo game console: Abbr.: NES.  The classic Nintendo Entertainment System was released in 1985.

50. UFO pilots, supposedly: ETSExtra-Terrestrials.  I suspect they took one look at us, shook their hairless, crenellated heads, and just kept on going.

51. Nintendo game console: Wii.  The letters don't stand for anything.  Instead, the two lower case is are intended to represent gamers together, reinforcing the "we" pronunciation of the item's name

62. Similar in nature: AKIN.  Derived from the word "kin" meaning related by blood.

63. Online biz: E-TAIL.  Electronicized retail.  Is this a portmanteau?

64. Compete for the America's Cup: SAIL.  This Cup is the prize awarded to the winer of a race between yachts, so named because the original winner in 1851 was the schooner America.  Any qualifying yacht club can challenge the current cup holder, at a place and time determined by mutual agreement.  The winner retains the cup until defeated.

65. Fish catchers: NETS.

66. Art class subjects: NUDES.   Unclothed models.

67. Stubborn sort: MULE.  A sterile beast of burden, bred from a male donkey and a female horse.  By extension, a person who acts as stubborn as one.

68. Aussie greeting: G-DAY.  Short mouth for "good day."

69. Part of LED: DIODE.  An electrical component that only allows current flow in one direction.

70. Marked for deletion: EXED. X marks the spot - and not in a good way.


1. DEA operative: NARC. The Drug Enforcement Agency employs NARCotic agents to enforce the relevant laws.

2. House of Saud bigwig: EMIR.  A title for various rulers of Arabic Muslim countries.

3. Duty roster: ROTA.  Derived from the Latin word for wheel.  I imagine this might indicate that the jobs rotate.  But I'm just guessing.

4. Like soda pop: FIZZY.  Bubbly, due to carbonation.

5. Part of a comfort simile: OLD SHOE.  I found a proverb I wasn't familiar with: "Old shoes are easy, old friends are best."  So, an OLD SHOE is something you are unquestionably at ease with.

6. Mad Magazine cartoonist Drucker: MORT.  He was born in 1929, started with Mad Mag in 1956 and continued with them for 55 years.  I loved Mad when I was a kid, and his satirical drawings of pop culture icons was a part of it.

7. Leigh Hunt's "__ Ben Adhem": ABOU.  A poem with a sweet message, that you can read here.

8. Earring style: HOOP.  A round dangling ornament.

9. "Take two __ and call me ... ": ASPIRIN.  Cliched expression representing being shrugged off by an uninterested doctor.

10. Kind of dancer: BELLY.

A brief how-to video

11. Breakfast spread: OLEO.  An ersatz butter substitute made from vegetable oil, also called margarine.

Also a jazz standard written by Sonny Rollins in 1954, to the same chord progression as the Gershwin classic tune I've Got Rhythm.

12. Balkan native: SLAV.   Members of an Indo-European ethnolinguistic group.  There are three geographic sub-groups, Eastern, Western and Southern.  Balkan natives are in the Southern sub-group.

13. Superman accessory: CAPE.  Dracula, too - but not always a good idea.

21. Holler: YELL.  Produce a loud vocalization.

22. Beaver creations: DAMS.

25. Town, in Germany: STADT.  Literal.

26. Irish banknotes: EUROS.  Unaffected by Brexit, Ireland remains in the E. U.

27. Protein-building acid: AMINO.  An organic compound containing both amine and carboxylic acid functionality. These are active groups that can react with each other, and therefore build long chain molecules.  Due to its alternating vowels and consonants, it is also a frequently useful building block for crosswords.

29. Poet with dedication?: ODIST.  One who writes an ode - a lyric poem, usually in an elevated style, in the form of an address to a particular subject.

30. Military plane acronym: AWACS. Airborn Warning and Control System - designed to detect various kinds of vehicles at long distances and perform command and control functions in a battle engagement.

31. McCain's running mate: PALIN.  'Nuff said.

32. "__, all ye faithful ... ": O COME.  Opening of a famous Christmas carol.

33. Decides not to attend: SKIPS. As a school class or social event.

35. Baseball club: BAT.  The smooth, tapered wooden club used to strike the ball.  An ambiguous clue, since an organized team is also called a club.

36. Tulsa sch. named for an evangelist: ORUOral Roberts University, an interdenominational Christian university founded in 1963, and named for its founder.

37. Use an axe on: HEW.  Chop.

42. Test version: BETA. A software version with a limited distribution for testing, prior to public release.

43. London area that includes Canary Wharf: EAST END.  You can read about it here.

44. "Is there another way?": HOW ELSE.  Searching for alternatives.

45. Landed: ALIT.  Descended from above.

50. Itty: EENSY.  Teeny tiny.

52. Answer at the door: IT'S ME.  Truthful, no matter who says it.

53. Pealed: RANG.  Loudly, as in a bell in a bell tower.

54. Scratched (out): EKED.  Got by with difficulty.

55. Pocket bread: PITA.  From the Greek word for a pastry.  In this context, a flat, hollow, unleavened bread that can be split open and filled.

56. Small decorative case: ETUI.  From an Old French word meaning: something shut up, as a prison; then by the 17th century, a small container.

57. Carpentry groove: DADO.  A flat-sided groove cut into a board so that it may be attached to the edge of another board.

58. Wasn't honest: LIED.  Made an intentionally false and misleading statement.

59. French waters: EAUX. Literal.

60. Stir up: RILE.  Early 19th century variant on ROIL, meaning to aggravate, bother, annoy, or make water muddy by disturbing the sediment.

61. Malamute's burden: SLED.  The malamute is a large domestic dog bred for strength and endurance to haul heavy loads, and therefore dog SLEDS.  It is closely related to the Siberian Husky and the Alaskan Husky, but not the Canadian Eskimo dog nor the Greenland dog.

That wraps up another Wednesday.  And true to the theme, every answer was unique.

Cool Regards,

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

L.A.Time Crossword Blogging Wednesday January 9, 2019 Debbie Ellerin

Theme: Comedy, in the end, is where you find it.  Today you can find it at the end of the theme entries, indicated by the asterisks in their clues.  Let's check it out.

16 A. *"Righto!": YOU BETCHA.  Emphatic vernacular agreement, with some merriment at the end.

20 A. *Big boss: HEAD HONCHO.  Vernacular nomenclature for a corporate executive.  I've laughed at several - from behind.

34 A. *2005 Emma Thompson magical role: NANNY MCPHEE.   She is the grotesque looking woman who shows up in the home of widower Cedric Brown to bring order to his 7 unruly children.  Each time the children learn a lesson, she becomes a bit less ugly.  I won't give away any more of the plot - mainly because I don't know it.  It ends with comedy - at least in the context of this puzzle.

51 A. *Cold-water salmon-like fish: ARCTIC CHAR.  This fish lives in the far north, in rivers, lakes or the ocean, and always spawns in fresh water.  It is variable in color, and closely related to both salmon and lake trout, displaying characteristics of each. This is not only fishy, but also a fish with a funny tail.

And the unifier -- 56 A. Ultimate satisfaction, and a hint to the answers to starred clues: LAST LAUGH.  The early bird gets the worm; but the second mouse to the trap gets the cheese.   So the early LAUGHER might not be the one who ultimately prevails. There could be a moral here about delayed gratification.

Hi Gang, JazzBumpa here as your MC at the comedy club today.  Let's see if this puzzle is anything to LAUGH at.


1. Fall sign: LIBRA.  The 7th Zodiac sign, generally spanning from September 23 to October 23. 

6. Medic: DOC. Physician.  That's what I would name my dog, if I had one, so I could say, "Physician, heel thyself."

9. 6-Across's "Pronto!": STAT.  Quickly, with urgency, from the Latin statum, meaning immediately.

13. Keep clear of: AVOID. Or EVADE.  Always needs perps.

14. Sorta cousin: -ISH.  Suffix indicating in the manner of, or approximately similar to.

15. "Leaving on a Jet __": PLANE.  Peter Paul and Mary classic.

18. "Nick of Time" singer Bonnie: RAITT.

19. Enters the wrong area code, say: ERRS.  To err is human, and not just in baseball.

22. Unburdened (of): RID.  No longer having to deal with some unpleasant person or thing.

23. "Mean Girls" screenwriter Tina: FEY.   Of SNL fame

24. Coder's conditional construct: IF-THEN.  A hypothesis followed by a conclusion, noted as p -->q.  If p is true, then q is also true.  If this is the case, then the conditional statement is true.

25. Navy builder: SEABEE.  Derived from C. B. for Construction Battalion.  I'm trying to decide if this qualifies an an acronym.  Thoughts?

27. Ink spot?: TAT. Body art.  Can be found on almost any SPOT on the body.  I'll admit that the fascination with ritual mutilation baffles me.  In keeping with todays theme, I went in search of funny ones.  They are mostly not very laughable.  Here's one I'm willing to share.

29. Uses Google Hangouts, briefly: IMS.  Sends Instant Messages using the communication platform developed by Google which includes messaging, video chat, SMS [short message system] and VOIP [Voice Over Internet Protocol] features.

30. Apple's virtual assistant: SIRI.  Apple acquired SIRI in 2010.  The original development team had various explanations for the name.  Dag Kittlaus, the Norwegian-American CEO of SIRI, once considered using SIRI as the name of his child and liked the Norse meaning "beautiful woman who leads you to victory." It also means "beauty" in Sinhalese, and "secret" in Swahili.

31. Lose one's shirt: GO BUST.  To lose all of an investment.  More literally, expose one's bust.  Hmmm.

37. Hurricanes and blizzards: STORMS.  Violent disturbances of the atmosphere involving some combination of strong winds, thunder, lightening rain and/or snow.

38. Enjoy, as benefits: REAP.  Expanded from the original meaning of gathering a harvest.

40. Mauna __: KEA.  Or LOA, again requiring perp help.  Mauna KEA is a dormant volcano on the island of Hawaii, and at 4207 m. above sea level, the highest point in the State.  Muana LOA, another of the 5 volcanos that make up the island, is only slightly shorter at 4169 m.  It's most recent eruption was in 1984.

43. Mattel product: TOY.  Child's plaything.

44. Tippi of "The Birds": HEDREN.  Nathalie Kay Hedren [b 1930] is an American actress, animal rights activist and former fashion model.  Her daughter, Melanie Griffith, later married Tiipi's The Harrad Experiment costar, Don Johnson.

46. Parkway feature: ON RAMP.  Entrance to a limited access roadway.

49. Spring sign: BUD.  An emerging leaf, flower or shoot.

50. Con's opponent: PRO.  Against and for something or someone, respectively.

54. Summer sign?: PLUS.  "+"  Found in math, not the Zodiac, contra 1A.

55. High-tech eye surgery: LASIK.  Using a laser to correct vision by reshaping the cornea.

58. Far from klutzy: AGILE.  Dancing granddaughter Amanda is supple, limber, acrobatic and fleet of foot.  She also walks into walls.  Go figure.

59. Refuge for very old couples?: ARK.  Not old as in aged, but rather as in having been around a long time ago, as in this Old Testament story of a family saved from flooding on their ARK.

60. 1973 Stones ballad: ANGIE.  It characterizes the end of a romance.  There is speculation as to whether the title refers to an actual person, and what her identity might have been.

61. Dropped in the mail: SENT.  Using actual physical mail, SENT via the Postal Service.  How quaint.

62. Oui or hai: YES.  Affirmative declarations in French and Japanese, respectively.

63. Western flatlands: MESAS.  A flat topped hill with sheer sides.  Mesa is the Spanish word for table, and these are also called table lands.


1. Features of lasagna and tiramisu: LAYERS.  Alternating quantities of different component ingredients.

2. They may be tickled: IVORIES.  Refers to playing the piano.

3. Late host of "Parts Unknown": BOURDAIN.  Anthony Michael BOURDAIN [1956 - 2018] was an American TV personality, author, traveler and celebrity chef.

4. Corduroy ridges: RIBS.  Corduroy is a durable fabric made from parallel cords that are stitched together.

5. Citrus suffix: - ADE.  A drink made form a citrus fruit.

6. Unpredictable: DICEY.  Said of something uncertain, risky, and perhaps dangerous.

7. Whistleblower-protecting org.: OSHA. Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

8. Landlocked African nation: CHAD.  The Republic of CHAD is surrounded by Lybia, Sudan, The Central African Republic, Camaroon, Nigeria and Niger.  Lake Chad, for which the country is named, and it's capital, N'Djamena, are both located along the western border, where the thin northern projection of Camaroon  separates it from Nigeria.

9. Bias: SLANT.  Both literally and figuratively

10. Meditative exercise regimen: TAI CHI.

11. Country music?: ANTHEM.  Every country has one.

12. "Grand" mountains: TETONS.  Google translate tells me this means "big nipples."

15. Duke VIP: PROF.  College PROFESSOR.

17. "How do I love __?": Browning: THEE.  Let me count the ways.

21. Ask (for), as money: HIT UP.   Not to be confused with HIT ON, which is a different kind of request.

23. Deceptive move: FEINT.  A deceptive or distractive move in boxing, fencing, or other activities, intended to create an opening that can be exploited.  In hockey, it's called a deke.

26. Tops in a lingerie catalog: BRAS.  Undergarments that cover and support a lady's bosom.  That is as delicate a description as I can contrive.

27. "Pinball Wizard" show: TOMMY.

28. Basic skills: ABCS.  Fundamentals of any discipline.

31. Greek lamb sandwich: GYRO.  Pronounced yeero, it is a sandwich on a pita made from a dense lamb meatloaf cooked on a vertically rotating skewer.  For my money, the best GYRO in the region is from the Senate Coney Island at the corner of Stark and Plymouth in Livonia.  They also have the best chicken-lemon-rice soup.  This has been an unpaid, unsolicited testimonial.

32. Rip to pieces: SHRED.  Cut up, tear up, grate, mince, macerate or grind.

33. Really annoyed, with "off": TEED. Couldn't come up with a sensible derivation, and that really bugs me.  First known use in this sense [rather than a golf stroke] is from 1951.

35. Unacceptable to some, for short: NOT PC. To be Politically Correct is to attempt to be neutral, sensitive and anodyne. Ironically, some people get TEED ODD by this behavior.

36. Protection from snorers: EAR PLUGS.  Inserts for the ear to eliminate or reduce external sounds.  I wear them as protection from the trumpets.  They don;t help with tinnitus.

39. Italian city that hosts the annual Eurochocolate Festival: PERUGIA.  The capital city of Umbria in central Italy.  The festival started in 1993, and draws over 1 million people each year.  Next event is Friday, Oct. 18 to Sunday, Oct.29, 2019, so plan ahead.

40. Eucalyptus munchers: KOALAS.  The eucalyptus provides the vast majority of the meager nutritional needs of these asocial, sedentary, arboreal Australian marsupials.

41. Really rile: ENRAGE.  Is this worse than TEEING someone OFF?

42. Inverse trig function: ARC SIN.  I'm not going to try to explain it.

44. Offended: HURT.  Cause someone to feel upset, annoyed or resentful.  A different sort of negative emotional reaction than being TEED OFF.  Perhaps as a reaction to something NOT PC.  Is this another mini-theme?  Is it annoying?

45. Snacks: NOSHES. Munchies.

47. Not straight up: ATILT.  Leaning, caused by a SLANT.

48. Greenberg or Golic of sports-talk radio: MIKE.  Both of ESPN, among other things.

49. Catches some rays: BASKS. Lies exposed to, as the warmth of the sun.

52. Potter's medium: CLAY.

53. His nap cost him the race: HARE.  From one of Aesop's fables.  Choose your nap time carefully.

54. Stained-glass piece: PANE.  Any sheet of flat glass, actually.

57. Felon's flight: LAM.  Flee and escape.

Well, I had a few smiles along the way.  Hope you found the experience to be somewhat amusing.

Cool regards!