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, February 20, 2019

Wednesday, February 20, 2019 George Jasper

Theme: THIS IS REALLY CONFUSING, MAN!  And would be even more so if you didn't get the circles.  Each quartet of circles - and there are five such - contains letters which, when read properly, spell out a synonym for "some guy."  At first glance, the letters appear to be mixed up; but, as we shall see later, there is a bit more to it than that. The circles occur, two each, in adjacent rows, and all contiguous, so there are ten theme- related entries, plus a unifier.

1 A. Gaping mouths: MAWS.  From the Old English word for stomach.
14 A. Nobelist Wiesel: ELIE.  Holocaust survivor and author of 57 books.
Together they give us the letters of MALE, who, if adult and human, is a man.

5 A. "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" composer: DUKAS. Paul [1865-1935] Composer and music critic who was intensely self-critical and destroyed many of his own works.
15 A. Official mandate: EDICT. A decree issued by someone in political or religious authority.  The Edict of Milan in 313 A.D. proclaimed religious tolerance and stopped the persecution of Christians in the Roman Empire.
DUDE stems from the late 19th century, indicating a dandy.  Now it seems to be mostly used ironically, or in contempt.

48 A. Large goblet: CHALICE. Typically a wine vessel, used in a Christian ritual.
54 A. Bamboo lover: PANDA. Genetic studies reveal that it is a true bear that differentiated from other ursine stock about 19 million years ago. Bamboo is the major portion of it's diet, but it will eat just about anything.
CHAP refers to any man or boy, not to be confused with the winter-time condition of my chops.  Evidently derived from chapman, a 16th century designation for a peddler.

58 A. Military expert, say: STRATEGIST. one responsible for formulating and implementing an action plan to achieve some goal.  This involves defining the goal, determining an action plan and mobilizing resources.
63A. Language of Pakistan: URDU.  A variant of Hindustani also having official status in Nepal and 6 States of India.
A STUD is a man who is believed to have above average sexual prowess.  This is no doubt derived from animal husbandry, where a STUD is a male domestic animal used for breeding.

62 A. Canadian fliers: GEESE.
65 A. Govt.-backed bond: T-NOTE.  The T stands for the U. S. Treasury, which issues 3 types of securities, all of which can be broadly characterized as bonds. T-Bills have maturities of 4. 13, 26 and 52 weeks. T-NOTES currently have maturities of 2, 3, 5, 7 and 10 years. Long bonds mature in 30 years.

And the centrally located, grid-spanning unifier -- 37 A. Typical MLB pitching alignment, and a hint to this puzzle's circles: FIVE MAN ROTATION.  Most professional baseball teams have 5 starting pitchers who routinely appear in a specified order, though this can be disrupted by injuries or other considerations.  And this tightly nails down the theme - there are five different synonyms for a MAN, and each set of four letters is to be read in a clockwise fashion, starting at the upper left - hence the "rotation."

Hi Gang, JazzBumpa here.  I'm not overly fond of circled letter themes, but they seem to be firmly entrenched in the crossword world, so here we are.  This one is thematically rich and well executed.  Let's take a spin through the rest of it, and see if George has thrown us any curve balls.


10. States in an outdated atlas: Abbr.: SSRSSoviet Socialist Republics, the once great [or perhaps just pretty good, or maybe not at all] Communist Russian Empire.

16. Analogous (to): AKIN. Related in some way, or of similar character.

17. One way to ride a horse: SIDE SADDLE. This awkward mode of travel was started by Princess Anne of Bohemia in 1382 when she made her way across Europe to marry King Richard II.  After that event, the practice spread, so to speak, and it became vulgar for a lady to ride astride a horse. I have to wonder why she didn't ride in a carriage.  Anyway, according to legend, the ride of Lady Godiva took place at least a century earlier, so depictions of this type might be more or less accurate.

19. Stereotypical pooch: FIDO.  The name is derived from the Latin word meaning "faithful."  The eponym for all subsequent FIDOS was a real dog who lived up to his name in an amazing and extraordinary manner.

20. D.C.'s Pennsylvania, e.g.: AVE.  This route runs for 5.8 miles within Washington D.C.  Notable sites include the White House, the Capitol Building and the John Phillip Sousa Bridge.

21. Named, briefly: IDEDIdentified.

22. Shop talk: LINGO.  The jargon or argot specific to a particular subject or group of people.

23. One in a hundred?: SENATOR.  Somewhere on Pennsylvania AVE. about 1.2 miles from the White House at 1600, we can find the Capitol, where these people are supposed to be working.  It appears that this building has no actual numbered street address - or, at least, none that I can find.

25. Cafeteria worker's cover: HAIR NET.  Worn to prevent contaminating food.  It is also part of formal attire for females in dressage and other varieties of horsing around.  The oldest known evidence of use is from the 3300-year-old grave of a Danish girl.

27. Affleck of "Gone Girl": BEN.  Benjamin Géza Affleck-Boldt [b 1972] is an American actor and film maker.  He has received two Academy Awards, three Golden Globe Awards, two BAFTA Awards, and two Screen Actors Guild Awards.

28. "Downton __": PBS show: ABBEY.  A period drama set in Yorkshire, England and spanning from 1912 to 1926. It has received numerous nominations and awards.

29. Dramatic opening?: ACT I.

32. Many an emailer: AOLER.  Are there many AOL user these days?  Aren't most of us G-mailers?

34. '50s political monogram: DDE.  Dwight David Eisenhower was the Supreme commander of the Allied Forces in Europe during WWII, and then President of the United States from 1953 to 1961.

41. Train stopping at every sta.: LOC. Local, as opposed to express, which makes few intermediate stops.

42. They turn litmus paper red: ACIDS.  Litmus is a water soluble dye mixture extracted from certain lichens. It exhibits a color change depending on the acidity or alkalinity of a solution to which it is exposed, turning red in the presence of an acid, or blue in the presence of a base.

43. Does impressions of: APES.  Mimics.

44. Grazing groups: HERDS. As of cattle, frex.

46. "Gimme a __": SEC.  A short time increment.

50. "Haven't the foggiest": BEATS ME.  I really have no idea.

55. Alternative to fries: TOTS.  'Tater TOTS.  Grated potatoes that are formed into a shape and deep fried.  They were invented in 1953 to use up the left over slivers of sliced potatoes.  Waste not, want not, I guess.

56. Korean automaker: KIA.

57. Script fraction: LINE. An actors line in a play or movie.

61. Sun Devils' rival: UTES.  Arizona State and Utah University sports teams, respectively.

64. Riverbank residue: SILT. A fine mineral material deposited by running water.

66. "Freeze!": STOP.  Halt!


1. Small plateaus: MESAS.   Table land formations - literally table in Spanish.  These are flat topped hills with steep cliff sides.

2. Still in contention: ALIVE.  Still having a chance.

3. Alleviate traffic on, perhaps: WIDEN.  As a thoroughfare.

4. "Told you": SEE.  Rubbing it in.

5. Exactly right: DEAD ON.  Completely and precisely correct.  I'm not able to trace an origin.

6. Milk source: UDDER.  The mammary gland in cattle, sheep, goats, etc.

7. 10-time NBA All-Star Jason: KIDD. [b 1973] In his 19-year career he played for Dallas [twice], Phoenix, New Jersey and New York.  He has since coached the Nets and Bucks.

10. "On Language" columnist: SAFIRE.  William Lewis SAFIRE  [1929- 2009] American author, columnist, journalist and presidential speech writer.

11. Barely enjoy the pool?: SKINNY DIP.

Look before you leap

12. First Homeland Security secretary: RIDGE. Tomas Joseph RIDGE [b 1945] was a member of the House of Representatives from 1983 to 1995 and governor of Pennsylvania from 1995 to 2001.  He was the Secretary of Homeland Security from Jan. 2003 to Feb. 2005.

13. Condescending one: SNOOT.  I'm guessing because this one looks down her/his nose at others.

18. Place: SITE.  A specific location.

22. First sign of fall: LIBRA.  Zodiac sign, typically from Sept. 32 to Oct. 23.

24. Rose's Broadway beau: ABIEABIE's Irish Rose was a  play that debuted on May 23, 1922 and ran for 2327 performances.  It was made into movies in 1928 and 1946.  The premise involves a young Irish Catholic woman who marries a Jewish man over the objections of their famiies.

25. Saintly glows: HALOS. Generally represented as a circle of light above or behind the head of a sacred peron.

26. Drive the getaway car, say: ABET.  Assist in the commission of a crime.

29. Partner of 30-Down: AFL. American Federation of Labor.

30. Partner of 29-Down: CIO. Congress of Industrial Organizations.  The organizations combined in 1955 after a long estrangement.  Together, they are made up of 55 national and international unions, representing over 12 million active and retired workers.

31. Remote choice: TV CHANNEL. Make your selection from the vast wasteland.

32. Ouzo flavoring: ANISEPimpinella anisum, a flowering plant native to the eastern mediterranean regions with a flavor similar to licorice.

33. MDW : Midway :: __ : O'Hare: ORD.  The 3 letter codes for two Chicago area airports.  Some explanation here.

35. Anonymous Jane: DOE.

36. Peyton Manning's four?: ENS.  He has 4 N's in his name to my mere one.  I detest these self-referential clues.

38. Educator Montessori: MARIA.  Maria Tecla Artemisia Montessori [1870-1952] was an Italian physician and educator, and eponym for a specific philosophy of education.

39. Adapter letters: AC/DC.  This is definitely not in my wheelhouse.  You can read about it here.

40. Delicate handling: TACT.  Adroitness and sensitivity in dealing with others or with difficult issues.

45. Firstborn: ELDEST.  Of a group of siblings.  My baby sister will be 66 this summer.

46. Parlor piece: SETTEE.  Typically a seating place for two, with a slimmer profile than a sofa.

47. Let up: EASE.  Become less intense, serious or severe.

48. Just above average: C PLUS.  The high end of mediocrity.

49. One side of Hispaniola: HAITI.  The other side of the island is the Dominican Republic.

50. Talk oneself up: BOAST.  Talk with excessive pride and self-satisfaction about one's abilities, possessions and accomplishments

51. School uniform part, perhaps: SKIRT. Why are they always plaid?

52. Foul up: MISDO.  Looks odd as a present tense verb form.  Action word for a schlemiel or evil-doer.

53. Thoroughly enjoy: EAT UP.

55. Early smartphone: TREO.  Nineteen different models were released between 2002 and 2008.

58. Rank above cpl.: SGT. Corporal and Sergeant military ranks.

59. Coffee break time: TEN.  In the morning.

60. Mercury astronaut Grissom: GUS.  Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom [1926-1967] was one of the seven original National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Project Mercury astronauts.  He was a veteran of WW II and the Korean War, and an Air Force test pilot who received several awards, including the Congressional medal of Honor.  He died, along with fellow astronauts White and Chaffee, in a command module fire on a launch pad at Cape Canaveral.  There were many lethal hazards and design flaws in the cock pit and in the conduct of the pre-launch test that took their lives.

That's a sad note to end on, but reality can be that way sometimes. The rest of the puzzle was enjoyable.

Cool regards,
JzB signing out.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

L.A. Times Crossword. Wednesday, February 6, 2019 Jerry Edelstein

Theme: THE TANGLED STRAP.  Each theme entry has circled letters spanning two words, which, when untangled can spell the word STRAP, though I might have that backwards.

17. Does really well, for a weekend golfer: SHOOTS PAR.  Each golf hole has a par rating, between 3 and 5 strokes, depending on tee to green length.  Typical par for 18 holes is 72. The letters of STRAP occur at the end of the phrase.

22. "Next time's for real": JUST PRACTICING.  I practice a lot, but have a hard time coming up with a real life situation where one might utter these words.  There are, however, memes that use the phrase, if you care to look for them.  The letters of STRAP span the two words, and are internal.  Same as in the next two entries.

36. Cardiologist: HEART SPECIALIST.  A specific kind of medical doctor. 

46. Jewish deli meat: KOSHER PASTRAMI. Read all about it.

56. "America's Got Talent" judges' concern: STAR POWER.  That elusive combination of poise, talent, stage presense, sex appeal and a certain je ne sais quoi, perhaps. Here, the letters occur at the beginning of the phrase, offering a nice symmetry, where the first shall be last, and the last first.

58. With 62-Across, handyman's assortment, and a hint to what's in each set of circles: LOOSE.

62. See 58-Across: PARTS.  Here we have a rare two-part unifier, in which it is revealed that the circled letters represent a scrambled word, as indicated by the suggestive modifier LOOSE, and that STRAPS is PARTS

Very thematically rich array, with a central grid spanner, two others just a letter short, and even the shorter entries having nine letters each. And the initial - central - final placement of the circled letters is an elegant touch.

But there are a couple problems.  First, LOOSE PARTS does not appear to be an in-the-language phrase meaning what the clues suggest. Or, if it is, I'm failing to find any evidence of it.   Instead, it indicates a group of resources that provide children with an intellectually stimulating outlet for creative play.

Second - and this might be just a nit - but KOSHER PASTRAMI can also be parsed this way, with the PARTS not straddling both words.  Is anyone else bothered by this?

Hi gang, It's JazzBumpa, perhaps in an overly-critical mood.  Grab your STRAPS and PARTS and lets see what we can uncover.


1. Area with pews: NAVE.  The central area of a church.

5. It's saved for a rainy day: TARP.   Covering to protect the infield of a baseball stadium from rain.

9. Monster party: BASH.  A better than average party, with more excitement or better accessories.

13. Constrain: HEM IN.  Enclose something, or prevent it from moving.

14. Singer Adams: EDIE.  Her husband was Ernie Kovacs.

Having way too much fun

15. Spanish "this": ESTA.  Literal.

16. In first place: AHEAD.  At the head of the pack.

19. Sophs, come Sep.: JRS.  2nd and 3rd Yr students, respectively.

20. "Who Dat Girl" rapper __ Rida: FLO.  It's on You Tube, if you're interested.

21. Corkscrew pasta: ROTINI.  Descriptive name - Italian for "spirals.".

26. Hurry, old-style: HIE.  To rush or hasten, from Old English hīgian "strive, pant", of unknown origin.

27. Leaf-clearing tool: RAKE.  To clean them up when they fall in the Fall.

28. Hairy spider: TARANTULA.   I refuse to post a picture.

33. It stings: BEE.  I was always told that if I leave them alone then it will leave me alone.  Opinions?

40. Energy unit: ERG.  A minuscule unit of energy equal to 10−7  Joule.  An erg is the amount of work done by a force of one dyne exerted for a distance of one centimeter.  One of my college profs described it as the amount of energy exerted when one fly does one push up in one second.

41. Looks through, as a keyhole: PEERS INTO.  Sounds sneaky.

42. Tennis immortal: ASHE.  Arthur [1943 - 1993]  He won 3 grand slam titles and retired in 1980.

45. Spanish "that": ESA.  Also literal

53. Learn from A to Z: MASTER.  Have complete knowledge and facility in some activity or endeavor.

54. Little newt: EFT.  It's a strange life cycle

55. Bloke: GUV.  Types of British slang for a man.

60. Latvian seaport: RIGA. Latvia's capital, on the Baltic sea at the mouth of the Daugava River.

61. De __: again: NOVO.  Anew, from the beginning.

63. Cocktail garnish: PEEL.  Typically of an orange or lemon

64. Gets the picture: SEES.  Comprehends.  Not necessarily a visual reference.

65. Keep up (with): STAY.  Be like an electrician, and  STAY on top of  current events.


1. '60s jacket style: NEHRU.  The Nehru jacket is a hip-length tailored coat for men or women, with a mandarin collar, and with its front modeled on the Indian achkan or sherwani, a garment worn by Jawaharlal Nehru, the Prime Minister of India from 1947 to 1964.   [Wikipedia .]

2. "What __!": "Ick!": A MESS.  A situation or thing in a condition of disarray, and possibly unsanitary.

3. By way of: VIA.  From the same word in Latin meaning "way" or "road."

4. See 28-Down: END.  But, as you can see we still have a ways to go. Vide infra.

5. Musk's electric car brand: TESLA.  Named for this guy.

6. Limited in scope, as a committee: AD HOC.  Latin, literally, "to this, " designating a committee assembled for a specific purpose.

7. Grande opening: RIO.  Together these words make the name of a border river separating Texas from several Mexican States.  Lame clue.

8. Illinois city that symbolizes mainstream America: PEORIA.

9. Lifelong pal: BESTIE.  From Best Friend.

10. Clinton's first Defense secretary: ASPIN.   Leslie Aspin, Jr. [1938 - 1995] was a representative from Wisconsin from 1971 to 1993, and Defense Secretary from January, 1993 to February, 1994.

11. Sporty Ford, to devotees: 'STANG.  Mustang.  I am not familiar with this slangy abbrv. but I guess it's real.

12. Big name in spydom: HARIMargaretha Geertruida "Margreet" MacLeod [1876 - 1917] better known by the stage name Mata Hari, was a Dutch exotic dancer and courtesan who was convicted of being a spy for Germany during World War I and executed by firing squad in France. [Wikipedia]

13. Pilgrimage to Mecca: HAJJ.  This takes place in the last month of the year, something all Muslims are expected to complete.

18. Clock sound: TOCK.  Or TICK

20. Guitar neck features: FRETS.  Metal strips inserted into the fingerboard to divide it into fixed segments.  Each fret represents one semi-tone in standard western equal tempering.  If you don't know about tempering and tuning systems, believe me, you are far better off.

23. Whaling direction: THAR.  Evidently meaning "there."

Cetaceans don't get any privacy

24. Pub order: PINT.  Half a quart, or 0.473 liter.

Is anybody thirsty?

25. Copy on a transparent sheet: TRACE.

28. With 4-Down, fairy tale's last words: THE. Vide supra.  Anyway, I thought it was "They lived happily ever after."  But hang on; we're still not finished!

29. Fizzy prefix: AER-.  Indicating something to do with air, in this case inducing bubbles.

30. Tattered cloth: RAG.  

31. Word with class or case: UPPER.  UPPER class indicates having lots of money, irrespective of actual classiness. [Funny how that works.] Upper case indicates THIS KIND OF LETTERING.

32. Blues legend John __ Hooker: LEE.


33. Storage container: BIN.  Of Celtic origin, via Old English, indicating a container of no specific type.

34. Approximate fig.: ESTimate.

35. WWII arena: ETOEuropean Theater of Operations.

37. "__ my case": I REST.  An indication that you [believe that you have] done enough to prove your point, and no more argument is necessary.  The origin is from courts of law, indicating that an attorney has finished presenting her case to the judge and/or jury.

38. Exec's hire, perhaps: ASST.  Assistant.  N.B. Abbrv.

39. "Tell the truth!": LIAR.  A command presumably issued with no sense of irony to someone you don't believe.

42. Starlike: ASTRAL.  From the Latin astrum, meaning "star."  Relating to actual stars in the sky; or to a supposed nonphysical realm of existence to which various psychic and paranormal phenomena are ascribed, and in which the physical human body is said to have a counterpart.

43. Fox News anchor Smith: SHEP.  [b 1964] He serves as the channel's chief news anchor and as managing editor of the breaking news division.

44. Wading birds: HERONS.  There are 64 known species, some of which are referred to as egrets or bitterns.

I got this pic of a great blue heron on the grounds where my mom was in hospice in 2015.

46. Five-time Olympic swimming gold medalist Ledecky: KATIE.

47. Missouri river: OSAGE.   A 276-mile-long tributary of the Missouri River in central Missouri, draining a mostly rural area of 15,300 square miles.

48. "Pet" irritation: PEEVE.  We all have one, right?  My petty pet PEEVE is gratuitous verberization - the morphing of perfectly fine nouns into completely unneeded verbs.  "Parenting" frex.  Grrrrrrr!   What's yours?
49. High dos:
AFROS.  Hair dos, a la Jackson Five.

50. Greek marketplace: AGORA.  A public space used for assemblies and markets.

51. Smelling of mold: MUSTY.  A damp, vaguely unpleasant odor associated with mold, mildew or decay.

52. Lithographer James: IVES. [1824 - 1895]  He oversaw the business and financial side of the Currier and Ives print-making firm.

53. No. on a new car window: MSRPManufacturer's Suggested Retail Price.

57. Misery: WOE.  Great sorrow or distress.

58. CD predecessors: LPS.  Differently formatted discs for recording and playback of music or other audio presentations.

59. Breakfast grain: OAT. A cereal grain, Avena Sativa, grown for its seed.  It is suitable for both humans and livestock.

On that nutritious note, our journey ends.  A very well constructed, thematically rich puzzle, though I had my nits.  Hope it gets your Wednesday off to a good start.

Cool regards,