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, May 25, 2022

L.A. Times Crossword Wednesday, May 25, 2022 Lynn Lempel

Theme: What's in a name?  The first name of a well known person is repurposed as the second word of an in-the-language phrase, and humor ensues.  

17 A. Make Todd stay home after a "Meet the Press" blooper?: GROUND CHUCK.  Literally, this is GROUND up meat from the front part of the cow, with a high fat content.  CHUCK Todd is the regular host of "Meet the press" an hour-long Sunday Morning public affairs program. Being grounded is a stay-at-home punishment for bad behavior.  Does he deserve it?  You decide.

25. Refuse to let Wood exhibit "American Gothic"?: BLOCK GRANT.  A BLOCK GRANT is money from central government which a local authority can allocate to a wide range of services.  GRANT Wood pointed the famous picture cited in the clue.

38. Make Garfunkel pay for breaking a recording contract?: FINE ART.  ARThur Ira Garfunkel is an American singer, poet, and actor. He is best known for his partnership with Paul Simon in the folk rock duo Simon & Garfunkel.  A FINE is a punishment for malfeasance.  FINE ART is creative art, especially visual art whose products are to be appreciated primarily or solely for their imaginative, aesthetic, or intellectual content.

49. Donate twice as much as Gates?: DOUBLE BILL. A DOUBLE BILL a program of entertainment with two main items or personalities.  To DOUBLE somebody is to do twice as well or twice as much in some endeavor.  William Henry [BILL] Gates III is an American business magnate, software developer, investor, author, and philanthropist. He is a co-founder of Microsoft, along with his late childhood friend Paul Allen.

60. Maneuver Phillips into telling how he got the "Dateline NBC" job?: CORNER STONE.  This is the STONE that forms the base of a corner of a building, joining two walls.  Presumable the most important item in the base of the structure.  STONE Stockton Phillips is an American television reporter and correspondent. He is best known as the former co-anchor of Dateline NBC, a news magazine TV series.

Hi gang, JazzBumpa here to anchor today's episode.  I truly love this theme.   Less enamored with the rest of the puzzle, though, which is rather over-endowed in the proper name department.  Let's see what else we can report on.

1. Andre with eight Grand Slam wins: AGASSI.  Andre Kirk Agassi [b 1970] is an American former world No. 1 tennis player. He is an eight-time major champion and an Olympic gold medalist, as well as a runner-up in seven other majors. 

7. Russell of "The Americans": KERI.  Keri Lynn Russell is an American actress. She portrayed the titular character on the drama series Felicity, which won her a Golden Globe Award, and Elizabeth Jennings on the FX spy thriller series The Americans, which earned her nominations for several Primetime Emmy and Golden Globe Awards.

11. Indian state in the Western Ghats: GOA.  Goa is a state in western India with coastlines stretching along the Arabian Sea. Its long history as a Portuguese colony prior to 1961 is evident in its preserved 17th-century churches and the area’s tropical spice plantations. 

14. Lanai furniture material: RATTAN.   a type of material that is used in wicker weaves. Rattan is a naturally growing vine like species that is native to tropical regions of Australia, Asia, and Africa. For production use, the skin is peeled away and utilized for weaving purposes.

15. "You said it!": AMEN.

16. Furthermore: AND.  Not only that, but. .  .  .

19. Untruth: LIE.  Mendacity.

20. Large planter: URN.  A tall, rounded vase with a base.

21. Barnacle spot: KEEL.  A barnacle ia a marine crustacean with an external shell, which attaches itself permanently to a variety of surfaces. Barnacles feed by filtering particles from the water using their modified feathery legs.  In shipbuilding, the KEEL is the main structural member and backbone of a ship or boat, running longitudinally along the centre of the bottom of the hull from stem to stern. 

22. Hoofbeat sound: CLOP.

23. "Breath, __, Memory": Edwidge Danticat novel: EYES.   The novel deals with questions of racial, linguistic and gender identity in interconnected ways. 

29. LEGO buys: KITS.   A set of parts to be put together to make a finished object

31. Long-necked waders: HERONS.  Any of various long-necked and long-legged wading birds (family Ardeidae) with a long tapering bill, large wings, and soft plumage.   I was lucky to get this picture of one.

32. Iberian peninsula country: SPAIN.   Along with Portugal, Andorra, Gibraltar, and a sliver of France.

35. Bigelow or DuVernay: DIRECTOR.  Film makers

37. "__ we meet again": 'TIL.  Short for "until."

41. Regret: RUE.

42. Hands over: ENTRUSTS.

44. Luxor's country: EGYPT.

46. Folklore monsters: TROLLS.  Large creatures from Scandinavian mythology, typically living in caves or mountains.   They are cruel and hostile to humans and other living things. 

47. Lavish party: GALA.

51. Family nickname: PAPA.  Bumpa doesn't fit.

55. MLB stat: RBIS.  Runs Batted In.

56. Retain: KEEP. Hold as one's own.

58. Filing aid: TAB.  A small flap or strip of material attached to or projecting from something, used to hold or manipulate it, or for identification and information.

59. "You got it": YES.  Agreement

64. "Mangia!": EAT.  Italian.

65. "Motor Trend" topic: AUTO.  A motor car.

66. Pad of paper: TABLET.  A writing pad.

67. Med. caregivers: RNS. Registered Nurses.

68. Cook up: BREW.  Devise a clever or devious story, excuse, or plan.

69. Uses delaying tactics: STALLS.


1. Quarrel: ARGUE.  Make a fuss

2. "Lincoln at Gettysburg" Pulitzer winner Wills: GARRY.  Garry Wills [b 1934] is an American author, journalist, and historian, specializing in American history, politics, and religion, especially the history of the Catholic Church. He won a Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction in 1993.

3. Square things: ATONE.  Make amends.  Here, "square" is a verb, not the adjective you might have expected.

4. Disco __ of "The Simpsons": STU.  Stuart Discothèque, usually known as Disco Stu, is the owner of Stu's Disco. He is a disco aficionado and is usually featured wearing a rhinestone-encrusted leisure suit from the 70's and sports an Afro. The son of Doo-Wop Steve and Public Domain Debbie.

5. Went to the bottom: SANK.  [Glub]

6. Behind, so to speak: IN DEBT.  Failing to make payments, as due.

7. "The Two Fridas" painter: KAHLO.  Magdalena Carmen Frida Kahlo y Calderón [1907 - 1954] was a Mexican painter known for her many portraits, self-portraits, and works inspired by the nature and artifacts of Mexico.   The painting is a double self-portrait.

8. Bird that won't fly away: EMU.   The second-largest living bird by height, after its ratite relative, the ostrich. It is endemic to Australia where it is the largest native bird and the only extant member of the genus Dromaius.

9. __ room: REC.  A place dedicated to fun and games.

10. HP product: INK.  Stuff you can print with.

11. Valor: GALLANTRY.  Courageous behavior, especially in battle.

12. Bowlful often topped with melted GruyËre: ONION SOUP.

13. Skilled (at): ADEPT.

18. Animator's sheets: CELS.  Transparent sheets of celluloid or similar film material, which can be drawn on and used in the production of cartoons.

22. Gator kin: CROC.  Large aquatic reptiles in the Crocodilia order.  They have mostly different habitats.

I give you now Professor Twist,
A conscientious scientist,
Trustees exclaimed, "He never bungles!"
And sent him off to distant jungles.
Camped on a tropic riverside,
One day he missed his loving bride.
She had, the guide informed him later,
Been eaten by an alligator.
Professor Twist could not but smile.
"You mean," he said, "a crocodile."
-- Ogden Nash

24. Need a lift, maybe: SKI.   The lift gets you to the top of the hill so you can SKI back down.

26. __ seed pudding: CHIA.  A custard like desert made from chia seeds and some type of milk, with optional flavorings and toppings.

27. Golden State Warriors coach Steve: KERR.  Stephen Douglas Kerr [b 1965] is an American professional basketball coach and former player who is the head coach of the Golden State Warriors of the National Basketball Association. He is an eight-time NBA champion, having won five titles as a player as well as three with the Warriors as a head coach.

28. Storybook sister: GRETEL. Sibling of Hansel.  The two children are abandoned in the forest where they are captured by a witch who intends to fatten them up and eat them.  Gretel outwits the witch and kills her, and the children escape with her treasure.  Arya Stark doesn't fit.

30. Completely: IN FULL.  With nothing omitted.

32. Sault __ Marie: STE.   Sault Ste. Marie is the only city in, and county seat of, Chippewa County in the U.S. state of Michigan. With a population of 14,144 at the 2010 census, it is the second-most populated city in the Upper Peninsula after Marquette.

33. Speckled legume: PINTO BEAN.    A variety of common bean. In Spanish they are called judías pintas, literally "speckled bean". It is the most popular bean by crop production in Northern Mexico and the Southwestern United States, and is most often eaten whole, or mashed and then refried.

34. Humanitarians: ALTRUISTS.   Those who are concerned with or seeking to promote human welfare.

35. __ Plaines, Illinois: DES.   A city in Cook County, Illinois, United States. Per the 2020 census, the population was 60,675. The city is a suburb of Chicago and is located just north of O'Hare International Airport. 

36. Jobless, in a way: Abbr.: RETired.  Having left the work force to to age or infirmity.

39. Archipelago part: ISLE.  An individual island in a chain.

40. Govt. crash investigator: NTSB.  National Transportation Safety Board.

43. Steals from: ROBS.  Unlawfully taking property from a person or place by force or threat of force.

45. Opening: GAP.

47. High spirits: GLEE.   High spirited joy.  In Old English this was the specific joy resulting from song.   Possibly related to the group of Germanic words in gl- with senses of "shining; smooth; radiant; joyful" 

48. Phone notifications: ALERTS.  Messages sent to help you see information that could potentially save either your life or someone else's. 

49. Laundry appliance: DRYER.  For your laundry.

50. "No need to remind me": I KNOW.

52. Ring-shaped reef: ATOLL.  A coral island consisting of a reef surrounding a lagoon. 

53. Group of jurors: PANEL.  A small group of people chosen to give advice, make a decision, or publicly discuss their opinions.

54. Helps in a heist: ABETS.   Encourages or assists (someone) to do something wrong, in particular, to commit a crime or other offense.

57. Jr. challenge: PSAT.   The Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test is a standardised test administered by the College Board and cosponsored by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation in the United States. 

60. Pinot alternative: CAB.  Short for Cabernet Sauvignon, a red wine made from a variety of black wine grape of the same name from the Bordeaux area of France, now grown throughout the world.

61. Sharing word: OUR.  Yours and mine.

62. GPS display: RTE.  Route - a way to get from here to there.

63. Scheduling abbr.: TBA.  To Be Announced.

So concludes another Wednesday.  Have a happy middle of the week.

Cool regards!

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Wednesday, May 11, 2022 Robin Stears

Theme: A Quip in three parts.

17 A. First part of a quip about climate change: A MIND CONTROLLED.

27 A. Second part of the quip: AIR DEODORIZER.

45. Third part of the quip: MAKES SCENTS IF.

60. Last part of the quip: YOU THINK ABOUT IT.

It's not clear what this has to do with climate change, but oh, well.  I hold this type of theme in very low regard.  Let's move on.


1. Works in a park, perhaps: STATUES.  Works of art, not labors

8. Chooses: SELECTS.  Opts for

15. City of ancient Greece: CORINTH.  It is located in south-central Greece.   Some guy named Paul wrote letters to his fellow congregants there.

16. Steelmaking raw material: IRON ORE.  It is often found in sedimentary rocks.  The most important 
such minerals are hematite [Fe₂O₃] and magnetite [Fe₃O₄]. 

19. "Cool beans!": NEATO.  Like, a-wow, man!

20. Cookware purchase: POT. Or PAN.  needed perps.

21. Streaming delay: LAG.  Be patient.  it's buffering.

22. Finale: END.  All done.

24. Cornish game __: HEN.  It's just a chicken

26. Abhor: HATE.  Can't stand.

32. "This Is Just My Face: __ Not to Stare": memoir by Gabourey Sidibe: TRY.  Reflections of an unlikely movie star.

33. Green, in a way: NEW.  Raw, too, I suppose.

34. Hearing organ: EAR.  Eh?

35. 2020 N.L. MVP Freddie: FREEMAN.  My grandson Nate is a Dodgers fan and was delighted that they signed him to a six year deal after he spent 12 seasons in Atlanta.  He set a team record in the first game of a double header on Saturday, hitting 3 doubles in 4 plate appearances. in the second game he added a single and a walk as the Dodgers swept the Cubs

38. Beverage similar to hard seltzer: ALCOPOP.  An alcopop is any of certain flavored alcoholic beverages with relatively low alcohol content (e.g., 3–7% alcohol by volume), including: Malt beverages to which various fruit juices or other flavorings have been added.

42. Short lunch?: BLT.  An abbreviated bacon-lettuce and tomato sandwich.

43. Form 1099 agcy.: IRS.  The infernal Revenue Service.

44. Future flower: BUD.  if it doesn't get nipped.

49. Time for action: D-DAY. June 6, 1944 in World War II on which Allied forces invaded northern France by means of beach landings in Normandy.   By analogy then, any day on which an important operation is to begin or a change to take effect.

51. With 58-Down, 2018 Best New Artist Grammy winner: DUA.  Due Lipa b 1995] is an English singer and songwriter. Possessing a mezzo-soprano vocal range, she is known for her signature disco-pop and R&B sound.  Sorry.  Never heard of her.

52. Land north of Den.: NOR.  Denmark and Norway.  our Granddaughter Alexa will be studying this summer in Copenhagen and Stockholm [Sweden.] 

53. Decompose: ROT.  Return to dust.

54. __ and cheese: MAC.  First I entered HAM.  Either way, now I'm hungry.

56. Works very hard: TOILS.  Possibly in a park, maybe, could be

65. Neither here nor there: EN ROUTE.  On the way

66. Flute played by Zamfir: PAN PIPE.

67. Confirm, as a password: RE-ENTER.  Don;t miss-type uit.

68. Syrup source: TREE SAP.  Maple, I hope.


1. PC virus check: SCAN.

2. Hefty book: TOME.  A large, heavy scholarly one.

3. Opera solo: ARIA.  A long accompanied song for a solo voice, typically one in an opera or oratorio.

4. Like some windows: TINTED.  Colored to reduce heat load from the sun.

5. Brought to ruin: UNDONE.   Something has either not gone as planned, or has failed in some way. 

6. "The rest is obvious" abbr.: ETC.  And so on. .  .  .

7. Factory: SHOP.  Manufacturing facility.

8. Minor minder: SITTER.  Person who watches over the little ones.

9. "To __ is human ... ": ERR.  Oops -- my mistake.

10. British lav: LOO.   Necessary facility.

11. Picture that shows more detail: Abbr.: ENL.  Enlargement.

12. Tall decorative addition around some cakes: COLLAR.  If you say so.
13. Spring for lunch: TREAT.   To buy for your companion[s.]

14. Swamp plant: SEDGE.  A grasslike plant with triangular stems and inconspicuous flowers, growing typically in wet ground. 

18. "Ain't gonna happen": NO HOW.   Ain't no time, ain't no place, ain't no way.

23. Was philanthropic: DONATED.   Gave support to a worthy cause.

25. Leslie of "The Naked Gun" films: NIELSEN.  Leslie William Nielsen [1926.2010] OC was a Canadian-American actor and comedian. With a career spanning 60 years, he appeared in more than 100 films and 150 television programs, portraying more than 220 characters. 

26. Long lunch?: HERO.  A stacked sandwich on a long bun.

27. DOJ branch: ATF.  Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms is a branch of the Department of Justice.

28. Sale rack abbr.: IRRegular.

29. Pumpernickel grain: RYE.  For bread.

30. Animal house: DEN.  Or PEN.  Are they wild or domestic?

31. Actor Efron who voices Fred in "Scoob!": ZAC.  Zachary David Alexander Efron [b 1987] is an American actor and singer. He began acting professionally in the early 2000s and rose to prominence in the late 2000s for his leading role as Troy Bolton in the High School Musical trilogy. During this time, he also starred in the musical film Hairspray and the comedy film 17 Again.

36. Site to do one's bidding: EBAY.  On line auction site.

37. "Letter From Birmingham Jail" initials: MLK.   the late Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. [1929 - 1968]

38. __ de Triomphe: ARC.  This monument in Paris honors those who fought and died for France in the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, with the names of all French victories and generals inscribed on its inner and outer surfaces. Beneath its vault lies the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from World War I.

39. TV network with pledge drives: PBS.  Public Broadcasting Service.

40. "Certainement!": OUI.  Yes, at the Arc de Triomphe

41. Adobe file format: PDF.  Portable Document Format.  It allows documents to be transferred across otherwise incompatible systems.

43. "Baby Did a Bad Bad Thing" singer Chris: ISAAK.  Christopher Joseph Isaak [b 1956] is an American musician and occasional actor. He is widely known for his hit "Wicked Game", as well as the songs "Baby Did a Bad Bad Thing" and "Somebody's Crying". He is known for his signature 1950s rock & roll style and crooner sound, as well as his falsetto and reverb-laden music.

45. Grown-up: MATURE.  Adult, presumably.

46. Sting's real last name: SUMNER.  Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner CBE [b 1951], known as Sting, is an English musician, singer, songwriter and actor. He was the frontman, songwriter and bassist for new wave rock band the Police from 1977 to 1984.

I had forgotten about this song.

 47. Zip, nada, zilch: NOT ONE.  NOT ANY also fits, unfortunately.

48. Group of traveling performers: TROUPE.

49. Appliance that seems to eat socks: DRYER.   Truth!

50. Lorna of literature: DOONE.  The eponym for a historical romance novel, in which a fictional story is set in the context of real historical events and figures.

55. Ship leader: Abbr.: CAPT.   This threw me, as I was exception CAP'N.  Either way it means captain.

57. "For sure!": IT IS.  Affirmative

58. See 51-Across: LIPA.  Still never heard of her.

59. Pedometer unit: STEP.  A pedometer is an instrument for estimating the distance traveled on foot by recording the number of steps taken.

61. Heavy weight: TON. Two thousand pounds.

62. Shack: HUT.  A small, simple, single-story house or shelter.

63. Mineral suffix: -ITE.  Cf 16A.

64. Watering hole: BAR.  Informal reference to a tavern.

So, we end this Wednesday adventure with the chance for a cold drink.


Wednesday, April 20, 2022

L.A. Times Crossword Wednesday, April 20, 2022 C.C. Burnikel

Theme:  Challenges!  Here, the theme is displayed in the clues rather than the fill.  Each clue can be interpreted as a challenging expression, or perhaps a dare.  But then the associated fill responds to a quite different sense of the clue.  A very clever twist by our own fearless leader.

17. Top that!: WEDDING CAKE.  Do better if you can! [You can't.] A wedding cake is topped with frosting, of course, and often with little bride and groom statues.

30. Beat that!: STEEL DRUM.  Do better if you can! [Nope - It's unbeatable]. But you can beat a SRARE DRUM, my first choice; or, more melodically, the actual given fill.

46. Strike that!: POWER POSE . Take a swing. [You'll miss] But it still might be a great photo op.

63. Take that!: COFFEE BREAK.  Said while delivering a stout clout.  Then we can rest a bit, and have a cup.


1. Nail tech's layers: COATS.  Of polish

6. Open mic night host: EM CEE.  Master of Ceremonies.

11. Automated Twitter user: BOT.   A software application that runs automated tasks over the Internet, usually with the intent to emulate human activity on the Internet, such as messaging, on a large scale.

14. Fire in the belly: ARDOR.  Enthusiasm or passion.

15. Take one's sweet time: DALLY.  I prefer to dawdle.

16. Dedicated lines: ODE.  A lyric poem in the form of an address to a particular subject, often elevated in style or manner and written in varied or irregular meter.

19. Prefix with binary: NON-.  A negating prefix.  Non-binary is an umbrella term for gender identities that are neither male nor female‍—‌identities that are outside the gender binary.  It's complicated.

20. Fair: SO-SO.  Mediocre.

21. Consider: DEEM.  Make a judgment.

22. Kabocha or pumpkin, e.g.: GOURD.  A fleshy, typically large fruit with a hard skin, some varieties of which are edible.

24. Make-up artist?: LIAR.  Ha!  Someone who contrives untruths.

26. Mike who voices Shrek: MYERS.  Michael John Myers, OC (born May 25, 1963) is a Canadian actor, comedian, director, producer and screenwriter. His accolades include seven MTV Awards, a Primetime Emmy Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award. In 2002, he was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 2017, he was named an Officer of the Order of Canada for "his extensive and acclaimed body of comedic work as an actor, writer, and producer." [Wikipedia]
28. David Ortiz's 1,768, briefly: RBIS.   Runs Batted In.  You knew there would be baseball!  David Américo Ortiz Arias (born November 18, 1975), nicknamed "Big Papi", is a Dominican-American former professional baseball designated hitter and first baseman who played 20 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB), primarily with the Boston Red Sox. He also played for the Minnesota Twins. During his 14 seasons with the Red Sox, he was a ten-time All-Star, a three-time World Series champion, and a seven-time Silver Slugger winner. Ortiz also holds the Red Sox single-season record for home runs with 54, which he set during the 2006 season. [Wikipedia]

34. Park fixture for two: SEE-SAW.  It has its ups and downs.

36. SoFi Stadium player: RAM.  American football.

37. Half and half: ONE.  Simple addition, not from the creamery.

38. Caroline du Sud, e.g.: ETAT.  South Carolina is a State, but not in France.

39. Like some angles: ACUTE.  Less than 90 degrees.

41. Intestinal fortitude: GUTS.  Courage and perseverance; grit; pluck. 

42. __ on the side of caution: ERR.  Be careful.

43. Soon-to-be grads: SRS.  Seniors.

44. Realm entered through a wardrobe: NARNIA.  From the series of books by C. S. Lewis.

50. Miami-__ County: DADE.  In FLA.

51. "Count me out": I PASS.

52. Wee: ITSY.  Teeny tiny.

54. Test versions: BETAS.  A version of a piece of software that is made available for testing, typically by a limited number of users outside the company that is developing it, before its general release.

56. Farm skyscraper: SILO.  A tower on a farm used to store grain.

58. Hairstyle for Nina Simone: AFRO.  Eunice Kathleen Waymon (February 21, 1933 – April 21, 2003), known professionally as Nina Simone, was an American singer, songwriter, musician, arranger, and civil rights activist. Her music spanned styles including classical, jazz, blues, folk, R&B, gospel and pop. [Wikipedia]

62. "Kinda": ISH. More or less.

66. Hoover, for one: DAM.  Hold back the water.

67. Come about: ARISE. Happen, ensue.

68. Like a foggy trail path: EERIE.  Spooky.

69. Four-time WNBA champion Bird: SUE.  Suzanne Brigit Bird (born October 16, 1980) is an American-Israeli professional basketball player for the Seattle Storm of the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA).[1] Bird was drafted by the Storm first overall in the 2002 WNBA draft and is considered to be one of the greatest players in WNBA history. As of 2021, Bird is the only WNBA player to win titles in three different decades. She held a front office position for the NBA's Denver Nuggets as their Basketball Operations Associate. She has also played for three teams in Russia. She holds both U.S. and Israeli citizenship. [Wikipedia]

70. Divulge: LET ON.  Reveal.

71. Fine partner: DANDY.  Used to express agreement or approval 


1. Cornfield calls: CAWS.  Songs of crows

2. Cookie that has a lychee flavor in China: OREO.  Crossword favorite cookie - all over the world.

3. States further: ADDS.

4. Slate of chores: TO DO LIST.  Get busy.

5. __ Lanka: SRI.  Sri Lanka, formerly known as Ceylon, and officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, is an island country in South Asia. It lies in the Indian Ocean, southwest of the Bay of Bengal, and southeast of the Arabian Sea; it is separated from the Indian subcontinent by the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait.  [Wikipedia]

6. Trimming tools: EDGERS

7. Nutmeg spice: MACE.  Nutmegs are the actual seeds of the tree while mace is what is known as an airl—the protective coating of the seed.

8. Chewy chowder chunk: CLAM MEAT.  

9. Animal on Idaho's state seal: ELK.  The elk, also known as the wapiti, is one of the largest species within the deer family, Cervidae, and one of the largest terrestrial mammals in its native range of North America, as well as Central and East Asia. [Wikipedia]

10. Application that may help reduce crow's-feet: EYE GEL.

11. Game show climax, often: BONUS ROUND.

12. Garbage feature: ODOR.  Smell or reek.

13. Mind, as a bar: TEND.  To apply oneself to the care of something.

18. Doc intended to prevent leaks: NDA.  Non-Disclosure Agreement.

23. Windy City airport code: ORD.  Chicago O'hare International Airport.

25. Ariana Grande's "God __ Woman": IS A.

27. Gulf of Aden republic: YEMEN.    A country in Western Asia, on the southern end of the Arabian Peninsula. It borders Saudi Arabia to the north and Oman to the northeast and shares maritime borders with Eritrea, Djibouti, Somaliland and Somalia.

28. Evoking the past: RETRO.

29. "Just wait a bit more!": BEAR WITH ME.  How much can you put up with?

31. Tie for roasting: TRUSS.  

32. Remove, as a ribbon: UNTIE.

33. Painted Desert landform: MESA.  Flat topped, steep sided hill.

34. Leak out slowly: SEEP.  As though a porous material or small holes/

35. Stinging insects: WASPS.   Winged insects related to the bee and ant that have a slender body with the abdomen attached by a narrow stalk and that in females and workers are capable of giving a very painful sting.

40. Regimen with Workouts of the Day: CROSS FIT.  A high-intensity fitness program incorporating elements from several sports and types of exercise.

41. Ambiguous point: GRAY AREA.  Region of uncertainty.

45. Podcast interrupters: ADS.  Annoyances.

47. Org. regulating pesticides: EPA.  Environmental Protection Agency/

48. Mischief-maker: RASCAL.

49. Freestyle skier Gu who won two gold medals at the 2022 Winter Olympics: EILEEN.  Eileen Feng Gu (born September 3, 2003), also known by her Chinese name Gu Ailing (Chinese: 谷爱凌), is an American-born freestyle skier, two-time Olympic gold medalist, and model. She has competed for China in halfpipe, slopestyle, and big air events since 2019.


53. Where to wear a metti: TOE.  A toe ring.

54. Auction actions: BIDS.  Offer (a certain price) for something, especially at an auction.

55. Old Testament twin: ESAU.  Older brother of Jacob.

57. "In that case ... ": IF SO.  Well, maybe then . . .

59. Terrarium plant: FERN.   A class of nonflowering vascular plants that possess true roots, stems, and complex leaves and that reproduce by spores.

60. Bust: RAID.  As by narcotics police.

61. "__-dokey!": OKEY.  Phrase of agreement.

64. Foundry delivery: ORE.  To me smelted.

65. Place to retire: BED.  For the night, not permanently.

So ends another Wednesday.  Hope you were up to the challenge.

Afterthought: The last time I blogged I mentioned that granddaughter Amanda had informed me that sit-ups were a disfavored exercise.  This got some push back.  Yes, it's true that sit-ups and crunches have been around for a long time.  But it's also true that with the passage of time we occasionally  learn more and better information; and that the old way of doing things is not always the best.  My first thought was that someone who has recently earned professional certification in a certain field might actually know what she's talking about.  The reality is that a perfectly executed sit up might have some benefit in developing core muscles.  But in terms of risk and reward, it's a bad bargain. The risks are that if not perfectly done, sit-ups can cause a bulge in the lower abdomen - exactly the opposite of what is desired; and, even worse, damage the lower back.  Further, there are more effective exercises that do not pose these risks.  For more information you can google "don't do sit ups" and find several pages of detail.

Cool regards!

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

L.A. Times Crossword Wednesday, April 6, 2022 Julian Lim

Theme: When the theme entries are vertical, it generally means there is some sort of a gimmick.  The presence of circles in the grid confirms this notion.  If you didn't get them, then this theme would be very opaque.  The circled letters, when read in reverse, spell part a certain kind of fitness activity.  The vertical orientation suggests that the implied common word is UP.  

3 D. "It's safe to come out": THE COAST IS CLEAR.  Idiomatic, suggesting that there are no enemies in sight.  The contained word, when read up is SIT, giving us the SIT UP --  an abdominal endurance training exercise to strengthen, tighten and tone the abdominal muscles.  Our multi-talented oldest granddaughter, Amanda, is a certified fitness trainer, and she assures me that this is a completely useless activity.

9 D. Predictors of most 20th-century U.S. presidential elections: GALLUP POLLS.  Gallop is an organization that conducts polls: assessments of public opinion by the questioning of a [presumably] statistically representative sample.  Here the contained word is PULL.  A PULL UP  is a closed-chain movement where the body is suspended by the hands and pulls up. As this happens, the elbows flex and the shoulders adduct and extend to bring the elbows to the torso.  Resistance is provided by body weight.

25 D. User's rescuer: TECH SUPPORT. This is a service provided by a hardware or software company which provides registered users with help and advice about their products.  The contained word is PUSH.  The PUSH UP is an exercise in which a person lies facing the floor and, keeping their back straight, raises their body by pressing down on their hands.

11 D. Workout suggested by the circled letters and their orientation: EXERCISE ROUTINE.  This is what you get when you combine these items.  My routine involves a tread mill and free weights, instead.

Hi gang, JazzBumpa here.  I'm not a fitness trainer, but I will be guiding us along as we exercise our brains in this puzzle routine.  Let's hit it.


1. Bank security device, briefly: CCTV.  Closed Circuit TV.

5. Aim high: GO BIG. Or, as the saying tells us, go home.

10. Harvest: REAP.  Gathering in of crops.

14. "Fancy meeting you here!": OH, HI.  Sometimes said in awkward situations.

15. Vital vessel: AORTA. The main artery of the body, supplying oxygenated blood to the circulatory system. In humans it passes over the heart from the left ventricle and runs down in front of the backbone

16. Semi bar: AXLE.  A rod or spindle (either fixed or rotating) passing through the center of a wheel or group of wheels. A semi is a tractor trailer rig, which will have several AXLES.

17. Gardener's buy: SEED.  For starting new plants.

18. Shoulder warmer: SHAWL.  An article of fabric worn over the shoulders and/or head.

19. Table parts: FEET.  Person parts, too.

20. Region on the South China Sea: MACAO.  An autonomous region on the south coast of China, across the Pearl River Delta from Hong Kong. 

22. Members with unflinching loyalty: STALWARTS.  Those who are loyal, reliable, and hardworking.

24. Landlord's sign: TO LET.  Meaning: for rent.

26. __ Ellen, J.R.'s wife on "Dallas": SUE.  Portrayed by Linda Grey

27. Maximum: CAP.  As in a limit on spending.

28. HHS agency: FDA. Food and Drug Administration.

29. Exchange need: RECEIPT.  As in returning a purchase to a retail establishment for a refund or replacement.

32. 12-Down output: IPA.  India Pale Ale, a hoppy brew.

33. "No problem!": EASY.  Piece of cake.

35. ER skill practiced on a doll: CPR.  Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation.

36. Pet-adoption ads, briefly: PSAS.  Public Service Announcements.

38. Part of MB: BYTE. The Megabyte [MB] unit of information equal to 2^20 bytes or, loosely, one million bytes.  A byte consists of 8 adjacent binary digits (bits), each of which consists of a 0 or 1. 

39. Couldn't refuse: HAD TO.  No choice.

41. Text recipient: CELL.  Cellular telephone

44. Tattoo parlor supplies: INKS.   And needles.

46. Pussy-cat's partner, in verse: OWL.  In this bit of doggerel.  Or, perhaps, it's catterel.

47. One with many limbs: TREE.  

48. Facebook barrage, at times: ADS.  Unfortunately.

50. Unconscious: OUT COLD. Unconscious or asleep.

53. "Srsly?!": OMG. Oh My Goodness! [perhaps]

54. Media-monitoring org.: FCC.  Federal Communications Commission.

55. "Up First" network: NPR.  National Public Radio.

56. Flu fighter: SERUM.  A fluid used to provide immunity to a pathogen or toxin by inoculation or as a diagnostic agent.

58. Emotionally break down: FALL APART.  

Like this

62. "__ while they're hot!": GET 'EM. Whatever they happen to be.

64. Bicolor cookie: OREO.  Crossword's favorite cookie.

65. Dinnertime draws: ODORS.  Aromas are more inviting.

67. Italian tower city: PISA.

68. End of the line: REAR.  Back end,

69. Burning again: RELIT.  As upon seeing an old flame?

70. Column in math: ONES. Tens, hundreds, thousands . . .

71. Risk it: DARE.  Take a chance.  It can be beautiful.

72. Walk heavily: TROMP. Or STOMP.

73. Pursue: SEEK.  Follow, attempt to catch.


1. Micro- ending: -COSM.  A community, place, or situation regarded as encapsulating in miniature the characteristic qualities or features of something much larger.

2. Calorie counter's break: CHEAT DAY.   Based on the idea that a dieter can 'cheat' for one day a week as long as they eat to their diet plan for the remaining six days.

4. Author Gore: VIDAL.  Eugene Luther Gore Vidal [1925 - 2012] was an American writer and public intellectual known for his epigrammatic wit, erudition, and patrician manner. Vidal was bisexual, and in his novels and essays interrogated the social and cultural sexual norms he perceived as driving American life. 

5. Fun time, in slang: GAS.

6. Fireworks cries: OOHS.  Not to mention Aahs.

7. Frank's cousin: BRAT.  Two naughty boys?  No, wieners and BRATwurst - types of sausages.

8. Formal confession: IT WAS I.  Yep.  I done dooed it.

10. Nadal's nickname: RAFA.  Rafael Nadal Parera [b 1986] is a Spanish professional tennis player. He is ranked world No. 4 in singles by the Association of Tennis Professionals; he has been ranked world No. 1 for 209 weeks and finished as the year-end No. 1 five times. 

12. Pub dispenser: ALE TAP.  Keg dispenser

13. Pampering spot for cats and dogs: PET SPA

21. Above, in poems: O'ER. As, frex, ramparts.

23. Dampens: WETS.  Moistens.

28. Winter mo.: FEBruary.  Shortest because it's the worst.

30. Bookkeeping pro: CPA.  Certified Public Accountant.

31. Triage MD: ER DOC.  Emergency Room physician.   Triage is the assignment of degrees of urgency to wounds or illnesses to decide the order of treatment of a large number of patients or casualties.

34. Craving: YEN.  I thought about going to Japan but didn't have the YEN to travel.

37. Pretense that's put on: ACT.  As in a play, or sometime in real life.

40. 28-Down number: TWO.  Because it's the second month of the year.

42. "I wanna look!": LEMME SEE.  The more proper "Let me see" also fits.

43. Thanksgiving dinner choice: LEG.  Commonly called a drum stick.  Always my first choice.

45. Hawaii's __ Coast: KONA.  Coffee region, I believe.

48. Pay for on one's own: AFFORD.  The ability of pay for something.

49. Georgetown Univ. locale: DC AREA.  Near the nation's capitol.

51. Wall Street regular: TRADER.  One who frequently buys and sells stocks or options.

52. Ph.D., e.g.: DEG.  An advanced degree.

57. Targets for towers: REPOS.  Towers, as in vehicles that tow, not tall architectural structures.  REPOS are repossessed vehicles, because of a 48 D failure.  

59. Mythology: LORE.  A body of traditions and knowledge on a subject or held by a particular group, typically passed from person to person by word of mouth.  I fail to see equivalence here.  Myths are historical stories, not necessarily factual, that are of importance to a society.  They can be an aspect of LORE, but the whole is not equal to one of its parts.

60. Caramel-centered treat: ROLO.  Coated with chocolate.

61. Request at the barbershop: TRIM.  Just make me look neat.

63. Render indistinct, as an odor: MASK.  Cover something up.

66. Longtime NASCAR sponsor: STP.  It's the racer's edge.

Well - this Wednesday exercise put us through our paces.  Hope it was't too much of a brain strain.  Adios until next time.

Cool regards!

Thursday, March 24, 2022

L.A. Times Crossword Wednesday March 23, 2022 Tim D'Alfonso

Theme: Lacking subtlety, I can't do any better than today's reveal.

58. Music industry advisory ... and a warning that may result from misinterpreting this puzzle's theme?: EXPLICIT CONTENT.  The phrase "explicit content" is written as a warning that media (pictures, films or music) contains adult content. This is often sexual or pornographic. It may be bad language. The explicit content warning is for parents who want to sensor what their children see. 

The  first word of each theme fill gives an example.

17. 42-U.S.-gallon containers: CRUDE OIL BARRELS.  Petroleum, also known as crude oil and oil, is a naturally occurring, yellowish-black liquid found in geological formations beneath the Earth's surface. It is commonly refined into various types of fuels.  Crude can also indicate the use of unrefined language or though processes.

27. Cocktail with a splash of olive juice: DIRTY MARTINI.  I prefer mine to be a crystal clear combination of gin and vermouth, garnished with olives.  Dirty can also mean indecent and vulgar, generally due to sexual content or implication.

44. "Maus" is the only one to win a Pulitzer Prize (1992): GRAPHIC NOVEL.  "Graphic Novel" is a format, not a genre. Graphic novels can be fiction, non-fiction, history, fantasy, or anything in-between. Graphic novels are similar to comic books because they use sequential art to tell a story. Unlike comic books, graphic novels are generally stand-alone stories with more complex plots. Graphic also means giving a vivid picture with explicit detail.

So - here is today's theme song.


1. Alaskan islander: ALEUT.  A member of a people inhabiting the Aleutian Islands, other islands in the Bering Sea, and parts of western Alaska.

6. Bar flier: DART.  Stay on target.

10. Early garden spot: EDEN.  I've heard it was a nice place.

14. Like the yolk in Eggs Benedict: RUNNY.  The recipe calls for a poached egg and Candian Bacon over an English muffin with Hollandaise sauce.  Simmering the eggs for four minutes should give the right yolk consistency.  It's not clear why this needs to be done with stolen eggs, though.

15. MLB Triple Crown category: RBIS.  Runs Batted In.

16. Govern: RULE. Democracies are governed.  Autocracies are ruled.

20. "Try this": HERE.  Have some.

21. Flying geese formation: VEE.  This formation allows for the greatest energy efficiency for the group.

22. Hall partner: OATES.  Daryl Hall and John Oates are an American pop rock duo formed in Philadelphia in 1970. Daryl Hall is generally the lead vocalist; John Oates primarily plays electric guitar and provides backing vocals. The two write most of the songs they perform, separately or in collaboration.   I was never a fan.

23. Tries to make a point?: SERVES.  
on certain sports like tennis or volley ball. Nice clue.

25. Tilt: LEAN.  Be in a sloping position.  You don't need to be skinny.
32. Sierra Nevada resort: TAHOE.  This clue is inexact.  Lake Tahoe is a large freshwater lake in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, straddling the border of California and Nevada. It’s known for its beaches and ski resorts. 

35. Places for hoops, maybe: EARS.  Hoop ear rings.

36. Crime boss: DON.  A person in charge of a criminal organization, aka a crime master, big boss, gang lord, kingpin, godfather, mafia boss, terrorist commander or mob boss.

37. Eagerly excited: AGOG. full of intense interest or excitement 

38. "The Martian" star Matt: DAMON.

40. Word with print or note: FOOT.  Foot prints and foot notes.  Nice!

41. Word of dissent: NAY.

42. Late NBA legend, familiarly: KOBE.  Kobe Bean Bryant [1978 - 2020] was an American professional basketball player. A shooting guard, he spent his entire 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers in the National Basketball Association, where he won championships and other honors.  He, his daughter Gianna and seven others died in a helicopter crash into a mountain side in heavy fog. 

43. Mopey states: SULKS.  Being silent, morose, and bad-tempered out of annoyance or disappointment.

48. Caps, e.g.: HATS.

49. Certain agent's area: REALTY.  Land and/or buildings.

52. Corrective surgery acronym: LASIK.   The acronym for Laser Assisted in Situ Keratomileusis which refers to creating a flap in the cornea with a microkeratome and using a laser to reshape the underlying cornea.

55. Took a load off: SAT.

56. The Beatles' "__ Leaving Home": SHE'S.

I don't recall ever hearing this sad song.

62. Doorstep delivery, at times?: NOEL.  I guess the refers to the old custom of going door to door singing Christmas carols.  Am I missing anything.

63. October birthstone: OPAL.

64. Main line: AORTA.  The main artery of the body, supplying oxygenated blood to the circulatory system. In humans it passes over the heart from the left ventricle and runs down in front of the backbone.

65. One of Snoopy's brothers: ANDY.

66. Bunyan's blue ox: BABE.

67. Fishing tool: SPEAR.  Takes a keen eye and a steady hand.


1. Principal: ARCH.  As in enemy or rival.

2. Fishing gear: LURES.  A type of artificial fishing bait which is designed to attract the attention of predatory fish, using prey-like appearances, movements, vibrations, bright reflections and flashy colors to appeal to the fish's predation instinct and entice it into striking.

3. Habituate: ENURE. Get used to.

4. Expected loser: UNDERDOG.  A competitor thought to have little chance of winning a fight or contest.

5. Sheridan of "Ready Player One": TYE.  Tye Kayle Sheridan [b 1996] is an American actor and producer. He is best known for playing the young Scott Summers / Cyclops in the reboot X-Men film series, as well as Wade Watts in Ready Player One and Ben Goudy in Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse.

6. Most arid: DRIEST.  

7. Fit: ABLE.  Sufficiently skilled to do the job.

8. Bone in the torso: RIB.

9. Screeners at LAX: TSA. Transportation Security Administration.

10. Not on target: ERRANT.  Erring or straying from the proper course or standards.

11. Daft Punk, for one: DUET.  A two-person performing group.

12. Fashion magazine since 1945: ELLE.

13. Condition suffix: -NESS.  As in, frex., smuttiness. 

18. One more time: OVER.  Another repetition.

19. Stadium sounds: ROARS.  Crown noises.

24. Contend: VIE.  Compete with someone for a prize or achievement.

25. ROFL cousin: LMAO.  Text speak for humorous responses.  ROFL is Rolling on the Floor Laughing.  LMAO is the ore anatomical Laughing My Abdomen Off.  YMMV.

26. Bring in: EARN.  As one's paycheck.

28. Coastal Arab country: YEMEN.  Officially the Republic of Yemen, it is a country in Western Asia, on the southern end of the Arabian Peninsula. It borders Saudi Arabia to the north and Oman to the northeast and shares maritime borders with Eritrea, Djibouti, Somaliland and Somalia.

29. One on a fan site: IDOL. A person or thing that is greatly admired, loved, or revered.

30. Cozy spot: NOOK.  A corner or recess, especially one offering seclusion or security.

31. DBs' stats: INTS.  In American football a Defensive Back is a defender against passing plays.  If he can grab the ball away from the intended receiver, he is credited with an INTerception.

32. Little kick: TANG.  This involves the taste buds, not the feet

33. Petri dish filler: AGAR.  A gel-like substance used for growing cultures.

34. Georgetown athlete: HOYA.  The team name is derived from the mixed Greek and Latin chant "Hoya Saxa" (meaning "What Rocks"), which gained popularity at the school in the late nineteenth century. The name "Hoyas" came into use in the 1920s. Most teams have their athletic facilities on the main campus of Georgetown University.

38. "Just __!": DO IT.   A trademark of shoe company Nike, and it is one of the core components of Nike's brand. The slogan was coined in 1988 at an advertising agency meeting.   Also, a short motivational speech by Shia LaBeouf.

39. Basics: ABCS.

40. Brit's period: FULL STOP.  That little dot following these words.

42. Bold-sounding trouser material: KHAKI.  This was puzzling, since in my pronunciation, it does not sound like cocky.

43. Coral __: SEA.

45. City famous for cheesesteaks, informally: PHILLY.  I understand the original version is made with Cheese Whiz.

46. Soothsayer: ORACLE.  One who can foretell the future

47. Kill, as a bill: VETO.  A power grants to the President of the United States and a U.N. Security Council Member.

50. "Voila!": THERE.  Indicating a success at something.

51. Gossip spreader: YENTA.  A woman who is a gossip or busybody

52. "Master of None" Emmy-winning writer Waithe: LENA.  [b 1984] An American actress, producer, and screenwriter. She is the creator of the Showtime drama series The Chi and the BET comedy series Boomerang and Twenties. She also wrote and produced the crime film Queen & Slim and is the executive producer of the horror anthology series Them.

53. Nerve cell part: AXON.  A portion of a nerve cell (neuron) that carries nerve impulses away from the cell body. A neuron typically has one axon that connects it with other neurons or with muscle or gland cells. 

54. Hustled: SPED.  Hied.

55. Guess: STAB.  Informally.

57. Common flag feature: STAR.  On the flags of many countries.

59. Corn throwaway: COB.

60. Pub pick: IPA.  India Pale Ale. A hoppy beer style within the broader category of pale ale. The style of pale ale which became known as India pale ale was widespread in England by 1815, and would grow in popularity, notably as an export beer shipped to India and elsewhere. 

61. "King's Disease" Grammy-winning rapper: NAS.  Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones, [b 1973] better known by his stage name Nas, is an American rapper, songwriter, and entrepreneur. Rooted in the New York hip hop scene, he is regarded as one of the greatest and most influential rappers of all time.

That's all there is for another Wednesday Folks.  Hope you found it arousing.

Cool regards!

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

L.A Times Crossword Wednesday, March 9, 2022 Stella Zawistowski

Theme: FITNESS, NOT FATNESS.  The first word of each theme answer describes a fitness activity, in a phrase that is repurposed from its surface meaning. 

16. Work out like a hairdresser?: PUMP UP THE VOLUME. Play your music louder.  Alternatively, a hairdresser can give you a puffy do.  Also, the verb relates to weight or resistance training. 

30. Work out like a bartender?: LIFT YOUR SPIRITS.  Literally, to make someone more cheerful.  Spirits are alcoholic beverages that one might imbibe festively when the bartender lifts the bottle.  LIFT is what one does with free weights, a type of resistance training.

38. Work out like a fine artist?: SWEAT THE DETAILS.  Pay close attention to, or perhaps worry excessively about the minor aspects of some activity.  This one doesn't quite fit the pattern, since SWEAT is the result of physical activity, not the activity itself.   Oh, well.

57. Work out like a stockbroker?: EXERCISE OPTIONS.  An OPTION is the right to buy or sell a security at a given price within a given time frame.  To complete that transaction is to EXERCISE the OPTION.  In the theme context, EXERCISE is any physical activity designed to improve health and fitness.

Hi Gang, JazzBumpa here.  I'm not qualified to be a physical training instructor, though I do work out most days.  So lets move forward and work out the rest of this puzzle.


1. Expand, as bread dough: RISE.  It pumps itself up

5. Lift option: T-BAR.  A type of ski lift to glide you up the hill.

9. Guard's order: HALT.  Stop.

13. Responsibility: ONUS.  The weight of duty or responsibility that must be exercised.

14. It borders It.: AUSTria, home of Hans and Franz.

15. Crown-wearing literary elephant: BABAR.  Elephant King from kiddie lit.

19. Time worth naming: ERA.  As, frex. jazz, occurring 100 or so years ago, when jazz music and dance styles were sweeping America.

20. Late time, in ads: NITE.  Night, mis-spelt.

21. Bills worth a hundo: C-NOTES.  Worth $100; but hundo?!?

22. Enjoy a La-Z-Boy: RECLINE.  I am sitting in my La-Z-Boy recliner with my lap top as I write this,

24. "Didn't hear you" interjections: EHs.  So pump up the volume.

25. A lot, to Auden: OFT. Often, I suppose, but I don't get the reference.

26. Mother of life, in Greek myth: GAIA.  In Greek mythology, GAIA is the personification of the Earth, and one of the Greek primordial deities. GAIA is the ancestral mother of all life. 

27. Needing to be settled: DUE.  As a bill.

35. Evidence of shortages, for short: IOUS.  I owe, I owe . . .

36. Catch, as a flick: SEE.  Watch a movie

37. __ menu: EDIT.  A list of operations available in computer software.

43. Good buddy: PAL.

44. Little winged singer: WREN.  Any of numerous small, active songbirds of the family Troglodytidae, especially Troglodytes troglodytes, of the Northern Hemisphere

45. Slice (off): LOP.  

46. Crew implement: OAR.  Used in the sport of racing human propelled boats, called rowing, or CREW in the U.S. In this sport, the Oars are attached to the boat by oarlocks.

47. Top-flight: CLASSIC.  Of high quality.

51. Training song in "Flashdance": MANIAC.


 55. Protagonist of the "Divergent" novels: TRIS.  Never read them.  Divergent is a series of young adult science fiction adventure novels by American novelist Veronica Roth set in a post-apocalyptic dystopian Chicago.  There is a parallel movie trilogy, realized in March of 2014, 2015, and 2016.

56. Exec with the purse strings: CFO.  Chief Financial Officer.

60. Be worthy of: MERIT.  What one has earned.

61. Cons' counterparts: PROS.  For, as opposed to against.

62. Destine for failure: DOOM.  Experience a terrible fate.

63. Partner of ends: ODDS.  Those things in your junk drawer.

64. Avonlea adoptee: ANNE.  Anne Shirley, an 11-year-old orphan girl, who is mistakenly sent to two middle-aged siblings, Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert, who had originally intended to adopt a boy to help them on their farm in the fictional town of Avonlea in Prince Edward Island, Canada.   The novel, "Anne of Green Gables," was published in 1908.

65. Numero dopo le sette: OTTO.  The number after seven is eight, especially in Italy.


1. Rodeo performer: ROPER.  A person who uses a lasso to catch an animal, especially in a rodeo.

2. Accustom (to): INURE.  Accustom (someone) to something, especially something unpleasant.

3. Component of the spice blend za'atar: SUMAC.  Sumac is a spice that is popular in the Middle East. It is related to the poisonous shrub by the same name, but the culinary variety is safe to use and easily identifiable by its vibrant red berries (poisonous sumac is white).1 The berries are turned into a coarse powder and sold as a ground spice.

4. Medium ability: ESP.  A medium is an individual held to be a channel of communication between the earthly world and a world of spirits, by using Extra Sensory Perception.  A 4 foot 2 spiritualist on the lam is a small medium at large.

5. Take advantage of: TAP INTO.

6. Raised landform: BUTTE.  AKA: Mesa or table land

7. Tennis immortal: ASHE.  Arthur Robert Ashe Jr. [1943 - 1993] was an American professional tennis player who won three Grand Slam singles titles. 

8. U.S. __ 1, East Coast hwy.: RTE.  Route.

9. Saintly symbol: HALO.  A disk or circle of light shown surrounding or above the head of a saint or holy person to represent their holiness.

10. Share a border with: ABUT.  To touch or lean on.  The human butt ABUTS the lower back.  A BUTTE, on the other hand, ABUTS nothing.

11. Tinseled fabric: LAMÉ.  A type of fabric woven or knit with thin ribbons of metallic fiber.  Not to be confused with lame, which might describe a trombonists attempt at humor.

12. Half of seis: TRES.  Six and three en Español.

15. Literally, "tray planting": BONSAI.  The art of growing ornamental, artificially dwarfed trees or shrubs.

17. Bring together: UNIFY.

18. Parental control option: V-CHIP.  A computer chip installed in a television receiver that can be programmed by the user to block or scramble material containing a special code in its signal indicating that it is deemed violent or sexually explicit.

23. Much, casually: LOTSA.  A compressed form of "lots of."

24. Relaxed: EASED.

26. Golfer's target: GREEN.  The smooth grassy area at the end of a golf fairway containing the hole.

27. Gregorius of the Phillies: DIDI.  Mariekson Julius "Didi" Gregorius, OON*, is a Dutch professional baseball shortstop for the Philadelphia Phillies of Major League Baseball. He previously played in MLB for the Cincinnati Reds, Arizona Diamondbacks, and New York Yankees.

* Orde van Oranje-Nassau, Dutch pronunciation: [ˈɔrdə vɑn oːˌrɑɲə ˈnɑsʌu]) is a civil and military Dutch order of chivalry founded on 4 April 1892 by the Queen regent Emma, acting on behalf of her under-age daughter Queen Wilhelmina.  The order is a chivalric order open to "everyone who has earned special merits for society.” [Wikipedia]

28. Either of two Monopoly properties that can't be built on: Abbr.: UTILities -- Water Works and Electric Company

29. Ballpark figs.: ESTS.  Estimates.  "In the ballpark" indicated a reasonable approximation.

30. Have trouble with one's sisters?: LISP.  Or perhapth one'th thithters.

31. Where much of "Children of the Corn" was filmed: IOWA.  

32. Coal, for one: FUEL. Material such as coal, gas, or oil that is burned to produce heat or power.

33. Arena worker: USHER.  A person who shows people to their seats, especially in a theater or at a wedding.

34. Harvests: REAPS.

39. Like many a Broadway musical: TWO ACT.   A two-act play consists of two parts with an intermission in between. This allow for more complex sets, since the stage crew can set up a new scene during the intermission.

40. Bingham of "Baywatch": TRACI. Traci A. Bingham (born January 13, 1968) is an American actress, model, and television personality. Beginning her professional career in the early 1990s, Bingham is best known for her role as Jordan Tate on the NBC action drama television series Baywatch (1996–1998).


41. Conic section: ELLIPSE.  A regular oval shape, traced by a point moving in a plane so that the sum of its distances from two other points (the foci) is constant, or resulting when a cone is cut by an oblique plane which does not intersect the base.

42. Canapé base, often: TOAST.  A canapé is a type of hors d'oeuvre, a small, prepared, and often decorative food, consisting of a small piece of bread, puff pastry, or a cracker wrapped or topped with some savoury food, held in the fingers and often eaten in one bite. TOAST is sliced bread browned on both sides by exposure to radiant heat.

47. Sing like Michael Bublé: CROON.  Hum or sing in a soft, low voice, especially in a sentimental manner.

48. Slide (over): SCOOT.

49. Otherwise: IF NOT.  Else

50. "Fun Fearless Female" mag: COSMOpolitan.   An American monthly fashion and entertainment magazine for women, first published based in New York City in March 1886 as a family magazine; it was later transformed into a literary magazine and, since 1965, has become a women's magazine.

51. Company message: MEMO.  Short for memorandum, a usually brief written message or report .

52. Cut: AXED.  Either literally with an ax, or figuratively, as in sacked or fired.

53. "__ alert!": NERD.   It's used to signify learning, reading, being smart, acting dorky, or “geeking out” to your guilty pleasures.


 54. Centenarian fashion icon Apfel: IRIS.  An American businesswoman, interior designer, and fashion icon [b 1921.] In business with her husband, Carl, from 1950 to 1992, Apfel led a career in textiles, including a contract with the White House that spanned nine presidencies. 

55. Fork-tailed flier: TERN.  Seabirds in the family Laridae that have a worldwide distribution and are normally found near the sea, rivers, or wetlands. There was a boy who went to the shore to throw rocks at them.  He was so efficient he left no TERN unstoned.

58. Relaxing resort: SPA.  A commercial establishment offering health and beauty treatment through such means as steam baths, exercise equipment, and massage.

59. Courtroom affirmation: I DO. Swearing to tell the truth.

So - another Wednesday heads for the shower.  Hope this puzzled exercised your brain, and maybe gave you a lift.  

Cool regards!

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

L. A. Times Crossword Wednesday, February 23, 2022 Judy Hughes

Theme: Do you have the will to win? Let's see what it takes, starting with the unifier.

54 A. Work really hard for victory ... and a hint to the start of 20-, 31- and 39-Across: HAMMER OUT A WIN.  Not sure that this is an in-the-language phrase, but the meaning is clear enough.  I associate HAMMERING OUT with completing a difficult negotiation.  Presumably that is win-win.  Anyway, it does set the stage for for some dramatic winning situations.

20 A. Train vigorously: WHIP INTO SHAPE.  I've been exercising religiously for the past few months; so I guess I am doing that to this old body.  To WHIP an opponent is to decisively win the competition.

31. Show eager anticipation: LICK ONES CHOPS.  As if in anticipation of a hearty meal - or anything else earnestly desired.   To LICK an opponent is to soundly thrash them.

39. Search everywhere: BEAT THE BUSHES. To conduct an exhaustive search.  This term originally alluded to hunting, when beaters were hired to flush birds out of the brush. [1400s] Also see beat around the bush.

To BEAT an opponent all you have to do is score more points.  Unless you're playing golf.

Hi Gang, JazzBumpa here.  Let's dive into the puzzle and see if we can emerge victorious.


1. Pierre's st.: S. DAK.  This city is the capital of South DAKota.

5. Retro ski area sight: T-BAR.  A type of ski lift named for its shape

9. Sounding amazed: AGASP.  In a state of gasping for breath.

14. Dance at Jewish weddings: HORA.

15. Slippery: EELY.  

16. Not exactly a company person: LONER.  A person who prefers not to associate with others.

17. Like a GI doing dishes: ON KP. Kitchen Police - enlisted personnel detailed to help the cook by washing dishes, peeling vegetables, and performing other kitchen duties..

18. It starts the pot: ANTE.  A stake put up by a player in poker and similar games before receiving cards.

19. Former Portuguese territory in China: MACAO.  Macau is an autonomous region on the south coast of China, across the Pearl River Delta from Hong Kong. A Portuguese territory until 1999, it reflects a mix of cultural influences. 

23. Obscure: NO NAME.

24. Worldwide cultural org.: UNESCO.  The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialised agency of the United Nations aimed at promoting world peace and security through international cooperation in education, arts, sciences, and culture.

27. Part of a play: ACT.

29. Like wee bairns: SMA.  Spelling the Scottish dialect for small.

30. Street-paving goop: TAR.  

35. Citrus drinks: -ADES.  A CSO to our own Lemonade?

37. Brazil __: NUT.  Someone who is crazy about Brazil.  Or, alternatively, the edible seed from a large, long-lived tree in the Amazon valley.

38. Cookies-and-cream ingredient: OREO.  The crossword world's favorite cookie

44. Timeworn: OLD.

45. Paddle relative: OAR. Canoe mover.

46. Honor society starter: PHI. Then Beta, then Cf 4 d.

47. Subject of the Book of Proverbs: WISDOM.  The Bible says in Proverbs 4:6-7, "Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding."

49. Neither early nor late: ON TIME.

58. Classic mother-and-son statue: PIETA.  a work of Renaissance sculpture by Michelangelo Buonarroti, housed in St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City. 

60. Pub projectile: DART.


61. Yellowish green: LIME.  the color, not the fruit.

62. Primp: PREEN.  Spend time making minor adjustments to one's hair, makeup, or clothes.

63. Geometry product: AREA.  Calculation of the space enclosed by a given shape.

64. Techie, say: USER.  I think of a Techie as someone who helps a typical user of computers or apps.

65. Cline of country: PATSY. (born Virginia Patterson Hensley; 1932 – 1963) was an American singer. She is considered one of the most influential vocalists of the 20th century and was one of the first country music artists to successfully cross over into pop music.  She died tragically in a plane crash in bad weather near Camden, Tennessee.  

66. Sail support: MAST.  Big pole in a ship

67. "Get lost!": SHOO.  Go away.


1. Exhibited, as a home for sale: SHOWN.  

2. Hawaiian singing legend: DON HO.  Donald Tai Loy Ho (1930 – 2007) was an American traditional pop musician, singer and entertainer.


 3. Alan of "Argo": ARKIN.  Alan Wolf Arkin [b 1934] is an American actor, director and screenwriter. Throughout his career spanning over six decades, he has received various accolades, including an Academy Award, a British Academy Film Award, and a Golden Globe Award.

4. Honor society ender: KAPPA.   Completing 46 a.

5. Town where the New Jersey (now Brooklyn) Nets played home games for their first year: TEANECK.  A township in Bergen County, New Jersey, United States, and a suburb in the New York metropolitan area. As of the 2010 United States Census, the township's population was 39,776

6. Twisted: BENT.  Crooked.

7. The "A" in SATB: ALTO.  Along with soprano, tenor and bass.

8. Bar shelf lineup: RYES.  American Whisky made from a mash containing at least 51% rye grain.

9. Annual fact book: ALMANAC.

10. Act bonkers: GO APE.  Melt down, lose it.

11. Family tree members: ANCESTORS. Your grand parents' grandparents, free.

12. North __: SEA.   A sea of the Atlantic Ocean lying on the European continental shelf between Great Britain and the continent.

13. Play-for-pay: PRO.  A PRO is anyone who makes a livelihood performing an activity.  As an adjective, which is what I take to be the intent here, it describes such an individual, typically involved in sports.  But the clue makes it look like a verb, so maybe I'm missing something.

21. Apple desktop: iMAC.  

22. Sings without lyrics: HUMS.  The Black Eyed Peas can sing us a song.  The chick peas can only humus one.

25. Common superhero garb: CAPE.  Though not always.

26. Estimate qualifier: OR SO.  Circa, more or less.

28. Printer supply: TONER.  A substance (such as a thermoplastic powder) used especially to develop an image (such as a latent xerographic image) on a piece of paper

29. Prep: SET UP.  Get ready

31. Bare bones musical notation: LEAD SHEET.  The manuscript of a song consisting of the melody, words, and indication of the basic harmony written in simple form.

32. Loyal end?: IST.   Cutsey suffix clue.  Meh!  A loyalist is one who is or remains loyal especially to a political cause, party, government, or sovereign.

33. Heart: NUB.  As, free., of a matter.

34. Garden tool: HOE.  A tool with a thin flat blade on a long handle used especially for cultivating, weeding, or loosening the earth around plants.

35. Take __: acknowledge applause: A BOW.  

36. Business with a slicer: DELI.   A store where ready-to-eat food products (such as cooked meats and prepared salads) are sold.
40. More than needed: TOO MANY.  An unnecessary surplus.

41. Soccer great Mia: HAMM.    Mariel Margaret Hamm, (b. 1972, Selma, Alabama, U.S.), American football (soccer) player who became the first international star of the women’s game. Playing forward, she starred on the U.S. national team that won World Cup championships in 1991 and 1999 and Olympic gold medals in 1996 and 2004. 

42. Call to from a distance: SHOUT AT.  In my experience, this was mainly an expression of anger, but as indicated also works.

43. Clue: HINT.  

48. Sources of high school jitters: DATES.  Agreements to go somewhere and do something as a couple.

50. Anklebone: TALUS.

51. "If only": I WISH.  

52. Old copy machine: MIMEO.

53. Four before mayo: ENERO.  January and May en Español.

55. Dutch cheese: EDAM.  Cross words favorite cheese.

56. __ avis: RARA. Literally, a rare bird; used to describe someone outstanding of unusual. 

57. Mining targets: ORES.  Pay dirt.

58. Very softly, in music: PPP.  Abbreviation of pianississimo meaning "very, very soft."  A trombonist in this aural region would be a RARA AVIS.

59. Sr.'s nest egg: IRA.  Individual Retirement Account.

That's all, folks.  Hope this puzzle didn't beat you up.

Cool regards!