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 12, 2021

L. A. Times Crossword - Wednesday May 12, 2021 Freddie Cheng

Theme: Here's That Rainy Day.  And here's today's theme song.


Each person in the theme entries notably has the item we need on a rainy day - though they have it when it's not raining.

19 A. Julie Andrews Oscar-winning role: MARY POPPINS.  A magical English nanny blown in on the East Wind - presumably with the help of her - well, we'll see.


26 A. Character who sings "When You Wish Upon a Star": JIMINY CRICKET.  Disney's adaptation of the un-named talking cricket in Carlo Collodi's original story The Adventures of Pinocchio..  In the movie, he is Pinocchio's official conscience.

42 A. Emma Peel's partner on "The Avengers": JOHN STEED.  He has much more to his story than his highly charged association with Mrs. Peel.

So - on to the unifier.  55 A. With "The," Netflix title superhero team ... and a hint to something associated with 19-, 26- and 42-Across: UMBRELLA ACADEMY.  As you have probably gleaned by now, the common characteristic is that each of the theme-noted characters is equipped with an UMBRELLA, with varying degrees of functionality - but always as a fashion accessory.  The UMBRELLA ACADEMY is new to me.  The Netflix series is adapted from a comic book series of the same name, first released in 2007.  You can read more here.


1. Boyfriend: BEAU. A male admirer.

5. Still, briefly: THO.  Truncated "although."

8. Taunt: GIBE. An insult or mocking remark.

12. Chief Norse god: ODIN.

13. Adler in Sherlock Holmes fiction: IRENE.  A former opera singer, and an opponent Holmes admired for her cunning and wit.  Sjho only appears in one story: A Scandal in Bohemia.

15. "I got this, boss": ON IT.

16. __ Khalifa: Dubai structure that's the world's tallest: BURJ.   With a total height of 829.8 m (2,722 ft, just over half a mile) and a roof height (excluding antenna, but including a 244 m spire[2]) of 828 m (2,717 ft), the Burj Khalifa has been the tallest structure and building in the world since its topping out in 2009.  [Wikipedia]

17. Apple throwaways: CORES.  The central part with the seeds.

18. Bout enders, briefly: TKOs.  Technical Knock Outs.  These occur when a referee or court side physician determines that a boxer is incapable of defending himself or has sustained a serious injury; or for some other reason cannot continue.

22. Crimson Tide nickname: BAMA.  Truncated. Alabama.

23. Hightail it, old-style: HIE.  Go quickly.

24. Caps for Highlanders: TAMS.

29. By oneself: SOLELY.  

30. Garden clippers: SHEARS.

32. "Best in Show" actor Willard: FRED. Frederick Charles Willard Jr. (1933 – 2020) was an American actor, comedian, and writer. 

33. Pack animals: MULES.

37. "Shucks!": DRAT.  Dad burn it!

38. Approved, briefly: OK'D.  Gave the OK to.

39. Part ways: SPLIT UP.  


 41. Operative: SPY.  More generally, a skilled worker.  I was not aware of this usage.

44. Luminance: SHEEN.  Characteristic of a bright and shiny surface.

47. Towing org.: AAA.  American Automobile Association.

48. Twiggy abodes: NESTS.  Bird homes.

52. Clothing store department: WOMENS.  Along with MENS and CHILDRENS

54. Justice Gorsuch's predecessor: SCALIA.  Antonine [1936-2016] was appointed to the Supreme Court by Reagan in 1986, and was confirmed by a vote of 98-0.

59. Born, in bios: NEE.  Generally used in wedding announcements to refer to the bride's maiden name.

60. Santa's elves' workplace: TOY SHOP.  At the North pole, of course.

61. "The Grand Budapest Hotel" director Anderson: WES.  Wesley Wales Anderson (b.1969) is an American filmmaker. His films are known for their symmetry, eccentricity and distinctive visual and narrative styles.

62. Dog's warning: GRR.  Growl. 

63. Up-and-down rides: SEE-SAWS.

64. Sign at a hot show: SRO.  Standing Room Only.


1. Hope with jokes: BOB.  Leslie Townes "Bob" Hope KBE (May 29, 1903 – July 27, 2003) was a British-American stand-up comedian, vaudevillian, actor, singer, dancer, athlete and author. With a career that spanned nearly 80 years, Hope appeared in more than 70 short and feature films, with 54 feature films with Hope as star, including a series of seven "Road" musical comedy movies with Bing Crosby as Hope's top-billed partner. [Wikipedia]

2. School URL letters: EDU.  This is the top level domain name for academic institutions in the U.S.

3. Sent by plane: AIR-MAILED.  Transported with at least one leg of the journey by plane.  This typically is quicker and more costly than surface mail.

4. Removed stuck paper from: UNJAMMED.  As from a printer of copier.

5. Prize on the mantel: TROPHY. A decorative object awarded as a prize for victory or success.

6. Like many a rescue: HEROIC.

7. Sale limit, briefly: ONE PER.  One to a customer

8. Prepared to skinny-dip: GOT NAKED.  NAKED - or merely unclothed, like mother EVE?

9. Fountain pen mishaps: INK SMEARS.  Messy

10. eharmony profile part: BIOgraphy.  

11. Sci-fi beings: ETS. Extra-Terrestials - Visitors from another planet.

13. Bone-chilling: ICY.  Brrrr!

14. Sixth sense: Abbr.: ESP.  Exrta-Sensory Perception.  Presumed knowledge or ability without the use of the normal 5 senses.

20. Amtrak track: RAIL. The continuous line of metal bars upon which a train moves.

21. Something to scratch: ITCH.

22. One-named Icelandic singer: BJORK.  Björk Guðmundsdóttir [b 1965] is an Icelandic singer, songwriter, record producer, actress, and DJ. 

25. Watch fastener: STRAP.  Keeps it on your wrist.

27. Female folklore deity: NYMPH.  A mythological spirit of nature imagined as a beautiful maiden inhabiting rivers, woods, or other locations.  Not actually deities, they are personifications of nature, and typically toed to a particular location.

28. Put into circulation, as stamps: ISSUE.  

29. Bay Area airport code: SFO.

31. Messy dorm room, say: STY.  By reference to swine.

34. Arm bone: ULNA.  The thinner and longer of the two bones in the human forearm, on the side opposite to the thumb.

35. __ Cuddy, Dean of Medicine on "House": LISA.  Played by Lisa Edelstein.

36. "At Last" singer James: ETTA.  Jamesetta Hawkins, [1938-2012] known professionally as Etta James, was an American singer who performed in various genres, including blues, R&B, soul, rock and roll, jazz and gospel. 


 39. Shakespeare's 150+: SONNETS.  Fourteen line poems of various rhyme schemes.  The last is No. 154. Make of it what you will.

The little Love-god lying once asleep,
Laid by his side his heart-inflaming brand,
Whilst many nymphs that vowed chaste life to keep
Came tripping by; but in her maiden hand
The fairest votary took up that fire
Which many legions of true hearts had warmed;
And so the General of hot desire
Was, sleeping, by a virgin hand disarmed.
This brand she quenched in a cool well by,
Which from Love's fire took heat perpetual,
Growing a bath and healthful remedy,
For men diseased; but I, my mistress' thrall,
   Came there for cure and this by that I prove, 
   Love's fire heats water, water cools not love.

40. Ballpoint covers: PENCAPS.  A word you won't encounter every day.   They may prevent 9 D.

42. Boobird's output: JEER.  Rude, mocking remark, generally in a loud voice.

43. Kaput, as a battery: DEAD.  Out of juice, so to speak.

44. Took a cut, in baseball: SWUNG.  With a bat.

45. Baseball dinger: HOMER.  A home run - a batted ball hit beyond the outfield and out of the field of play, in fair territory.

46. Glowing leftover: EMBER.  A small piece of glowing wood or coal in a dying fire.

49. Oodles: SLEWS.  Big bunches.

50. It may set off a beeper: TIMER.  

51. Right to decide: SAY SO.  Just so.

53. Gin fizz flavor: SLOE.  The sloe is an astringent berry fond in English hedge rows.  Sloe gin is made by infusing gin with these berries.  The fizz is made by combining sloe gin with lemon juice, soda water simple syrup and a fruity garnish.

54. Garbage boat: SCOW.  A flat-bottomed boat with scooping sides.

56. Caustic cleanser: LYE.  Sodium hydroxide, and that's the truth!

57. Pack animal: ASS.  An ASS is a donkey.  A MULE [33 A] is the offspring of a male ass and a female horse.

58. "Bingo!": AHA.  Just so!

That wraps up another Wednesday.  Hope yours wasn't rainy.

Cool regards!

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

L.A. Times Crossword Wednesday, April 21, 2021 Matt Skoczen


This will be easier if we start with the unifier.

56. Tot's sassy demand ... or a hint to the start of the answers to starred clues: GIMME.  Slangy way of saying "Give me." and perhaps more of a demand than a request. So the theme answers are all things that can be requested.

Today's more or less appropriate theme song.


17. *Lamb Chop, e.g.: HAND PUPPET. Lamb Chop was Sherri Lewis's sheepish companion. [read more here] GIMME a HAND is a request for help.

31. *Start a number: BREAK INTO SONG.  Spontaneously start singing, possibly with no provocation.  GIMME a BREAK is an expression of exasperation, protest, or disbelief.

48. *Sheriff Woody's sidekick: BUZZ LIGHTYEAR.  Iconic characters from Disney's Toy Story universe.

GIMME a BUZZ is a request for a phone call.

64. *Spoken language, in semiotics: SIGN SYSTEM.  Semiotics is the study of signs and symbols.  I suppose this refers to a system like ASL, which uses hand signals to emulate the spoken word.  Somebody help me if I got this wrong.   GIMME a SIGN can be a prayerful request for guidance, or a more mundane request to another person for clarification.

Hi Gang, JazzBumpa here.  Not really feeling greedy today, so I'll just give you a tour of today's adventure.

1. Formal ties: ASCOTS.  Neck decorations, not connections.

7. Corp. homes: HQS Head Quarters

10. Govt. farming monitor: USDAU. S. Department of Agriculture.

14. Symphony type pioneered by Beethoven: CHORAL.  The 4th movement of his 9th and final symphony has a chorus join the orchestra.

This takes a half hour - you have been warned!

 15. Agreement that sounds like fun?: OUI.  Wheee - yes!

16. Clogging is one of its two st. dances: N.CAR.  North Carolina.  So - what is the other one?

19. Laura with an Oscar: DERN.  Laura Elizabeth Dern (b 1967) is an American actress and filmmaker. She is the recipient of numerous accolades, including an Academy Award, a Primetime Emmy Award, and five Golden Globe Awards. Her parents are actors Bruce Dern and Diane Ladd.

20. Holiday aide: ELF.  Santa's helper

21. Back: AGO.  Some time in the past.

22. Decisiveness: SPINE.  Being resolute [or stubborn.]

24. Hunk: SLAB.  Chunk of something, not a buff guy in the buff.

26. DJIA listings: COS.  The 30 Companies listed in the Dow Jones Industrial Average.  For anyone interested, I follow it on my blog every business day.  

29. Candy cup creator: REESE.   Chocolate and peanut butter - oh, my.

35. Forbes competitor: INC.  Business magazines.

36. Legal encumbrance: LIEN.  a right to keep possession of property belonging to another person until a debt owed by that person is discharged.

37. Holiday drink: NOG.

38. Lions and tigers and ... not bears: BIG CATS.  The term "big cat" is typically used to refer to any of the five living members of the genus Panthera, namely the lion, tiger, jaguar, leopard, and snow leopard, as well as the non-pantherine cheetah and cougar.

42. Swap with, as in a player-for-player deal: TRADE TO.  Pro sports team do this.

44. Busy-bee link: AS A.  

45. "TrËs __": BIEN.  It's all good.

47. GPS info: RTE.  Your global positioning satellite system will give you a route. 

52. "Silas Marner" child: EPPIE.  A girl whom Silas Marner eventually adopts. Eppie is the biological child of Godfrey Cass and Molly Farren, Godfrey’s secret wife. Eppie is pretty and spirited, and loves Silas unquestioningly.   [source]

53. Plaza de toros cry: OLE.  An encouraing interjection.

54. Lily pad squatter: FROG.  [ribbit]

57. Sap: PATSY.  A person who is easily taken advantage of, especially by being cheated or blamed for something.

59. Erode, with "away": EAT.

62. Team's lack, in a clichÈ: AN I.  There are no me in team.

63. Scot's swimming spot: LOCH.  The Irish, Scottish Gaelic and Scots word for a lake or for a sea inlet. 

68. Tennis great who wrote "Days of Grace": ASHE.  Arthur Robert Ashe, Jr. [1943-1993] was an American professional tennis player who won three Grand Slam singles titles. He was the first black player selected to the United States Davis Cup team and the only black man ever to win the singles title at Wimbledon, the US Open, and the Australian Open.

69. First lady not married to a president?: EVE.  Evidently, she was the apple of Adam's eye.

70. 1996 slasher film: SCREAM.


71. "To __ not ... ": BE OR.  Hamlet's dilemma.

72. Lunch bread: RYE.  For sandwiches.

73. Pasta unit: NOODLE.  For soup, maybe.


1. Workout aftermath: ACHES.  Don'r over do it.

2. Word of intent: SHALL.  

3. Chitchat: CONFAB.  An informal private conversation or discussion.

4. O'Hare, on tix: ORD.   Read about the airport here.

5. Chorizo snack: TAPA.   A tapa is a hot or cold appetizer or snack in Spanish cuisine.  It need not include chorizo.

6. Belt: SLUG.  A powerful punch.

7. Word with hip or bunny: HOP.  Contemporary music or an old-style line dance

8. Hernando's "Huh?": QUE.  Literal, kinda.

9. Has a capacity of, as a diner: SITS.  Seating capacity.

10. Briefs: UNDIES.  Small clothes, in Westeros.

11. 33-Down start, usually: SCENE ONE.  Beginning of the Second Act.

12. Wouldn't dream of it: DARES NOT.

13. Valiant's son: ARN.  From the comic strip.

18. Indented blemish: POCK.  

23. Rotate so the palm faces down or backward: PRONATE.  As defined.

25. __-a-brac: BRIC.  Random non-valuable stuff.

27. Kind of lamp: OIL.  I'm not gas lighting you.

28. Tizzy: SNIT. Todo, when they're at it.

30. French Toaster Sticks brand: EGGO.  A Kellogg's brand of various kinds of frozen waffles, pancakes, french toast and more.

32. Provides with the means: ENABLES.  

33. Intermission follower, perhaps: ACT II. In a play of more than one act.

34. Towel material: TERRY.  A fabric woven with many protruding loops of thread which can absorb large amounts of water.

38. Ruth on a diamond: BABE.  George Herman "Babe" Ruth Jr. was an American professional baseball player whose career in Major League Baseball spanned 22 seasons, from 1914 through 1935.

39. "Sure, probably": I SUPPOSE.  Tepid agreement.

40. Andalusian vegetable soup served cold: GAZPACHO.   A cold soup made of raw, blended vegetables.

41. Bell-shaped lily: SEGO.  Calochortus nuttallii — known as sego lily — is a bulbous perennial which is endemic to the Western United States. It is the state flower of Utah. 

43. Ignoring, with "to": DEAF.   Nope.  Not listening.

46. Org. with Jets and Flyers: NHLNational Hockey League, not the USAF. 

49. Instrument laid flat during play: ZITHER.

50. Many a freshman: TEEN.  One between the ages of thirteen and nineteen.

51. Like 70-Across: R-RATED.  Restricted, Children Under 17 Require Accompanying Parent or Adult Guardian. This rating means the film contains adult material such as adult activity, harsh language, intense graphic violence, drug abuse and nudity.

55. "Paper Moon" Oscar winner: ONEAL.  Was it Tatum or her dad?

58. River of Flanders: YSER.  The Yser  is a river that rises in French Flanders (the north of France), enters the Belgian province of West Flanders and flows through the Ganzepoot and into the North Sea at the town of Nieuwpoort.

60. YWCA part: Abbr.: ASSN.

61. 1997 Mattel acquisition: TYCO.  You can read about their complicated history here.

63. Chem class part: LAB.  Laboratory, where you can make things that smell bad or go BOOM!

65. Climbing greenery: IVY.  Plant on the walls of college buildings.

66. "Wow!": GEE.  Good Golly!

67. Sellout letters: SRO. Standing Room Only.

So ends another Wednesday.  Hope you enjoyed it.

JzB over and out.

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Wednesday, April 7, 2021 Jeff Stillman

Theme - today we have a broken word theme, with FALL getting fractured in three different ways,

16 A. *Second Commandment prohibition: FALSE IDOL.  "Thou shalt have no strange gods before me," is how I remember it.

22 A. *Old-fashioned parting words: FARE THEE WELL. Bye, now.

37 A. *"Cheese stands alone" kids' song title guy: FARMER IN THE DELL.  This children's song probably originated in Germany, and was brought to America by immigrants.  It is popular in many countries and languages.

49 A. *Metaphorical insect observer: FLY ON THE WALL.  Said of one who wishes to listen in on secret conversations.

60 A. Go to pieces, or what's literally hidden in the answers to starred clues: FALL APART. The word is divided in each theme entry and the presentation is elegant.  The first division is after the F, the next two bisect the word after the A, and the last one splits the two Ls.

Today's theme song --


Hi Gang,  JazzBumpa here to pull things together.  Let's get going.  We might have to solve this piecemeal.


 1. Go __: hit to right field batting right-handed, say, in baseball lingo: OPPO.  Is this in the sports language?  If so, I've missed it.  I've heard this in politics as doing research on your opponent.

5. Trying to block: ANTI.  Voting against.

9. Performs like Missy Elliott: RAPS.  I do not know her.

13. Ruckus: FRAY.  Ado

14. Eve's opposite: MORN.  No, not Adam.  Shortened evening and MORNING.

15. Sun: Pref.: HELIO. As our local HELIO-centric planetary system.

18. Heroic sagas: EPICS. Long stories about the great deeds of heroic figures.

19. "Awake and Sing!" dramatist: ODETS.  Clifford [1906-1963]  was an American actor, playwright, screenwriter, and director. As a playwright he was extremely influential in the 1930's and 40's.

20. South Carolina state tree: PALMETTO.  It is native to the southern U.S., Cuba, and other Caribbean islands. 

25. See stars: REEL.  To REEL is to lose one's balance and violently lurch or stagger.  One sees stars from a low to the head.  This could also make one REEL, but that does not make them equivalent.

26. Widen, as pupils: DILATE.  To become wider or more open.  I've been putting off my eye exam for almost a year.

30. Fri. preceder: THU.  THURSDAY and Friday on the calendar.

33. "Oh dear!": ALAS.  Too bad.

36. Sherpa's home: NEPAL. A land-locked Asian country between India and Tibet.  It is mostly mountainous, but also includes parts of the Indo-Gangetic Plain.  

41. When some dinners are served: AT SIX.  We usually start a few minutes earlier.

42. Delhi wrap: SARI.  A garment consisting of a length of cotton or silk elaborately draped around the body, traditionally worn by women from South Asia.   Read about it here

43. "Narcos" org.: DEA.  Narcotics agents in the Drug Enforcement Agency.

44. Certain Tibetan: LHASAN.  One from Lhasa, the capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region, lies on the Lhasa River's north bank in a valley of the Himalayas.

46. Sounds of disgust: UGHS.  Along with eeew, and yuck.

55. "Yada, yada, yada": ET CETERA.  And so on and so forth

58. Old copy: MIMEO.  Short for MIMEOGRAPH, a machine that makes copies by forcing ink through a stencil.   From long ago in grade school I remember the pleasant fruity aroma of the ink.
59. Little pigs number: THREE.  


 63. Tally again: RE-ADD. You can count on it.

64. Skeleton prefix: ENDO-.  means "inside."   You have an ENDOskeleton.

65. Grandson of Eve: ENOS.  The first son of Seth, reckoned to be an ancestor of both Jesus and Mohammed.

66. Geologic spans: EONS.  Generally speaking, non-specific very long time-spans.  In geology, a billion years.

67. __ buco: OSSO.  Cross-cut veal shanks braised with vegetables, white wine and broth.

68. "The Banana Boat Song" opener: DAYO.



1. No longer using: OFF OF.  As a drug, I suppose

2. Designer bag brand: PRADA.  If you have more than  $1000 you don't need.

3. Not as bright: PALER. More pale is more in the language.

4. Raw bar mollusk: OYSTER.  The common name for a number of different families of salt-water bivalve molluscs that live in marine or brackish habitats. 

5. "__ imagining things?": AM I.  Nope.  They really are oysters.

6. Doze: NOD.  Take a nap.

7. Figurative expression: TROPE.  As defined.

8. Eloper's acquisition: IN-LAW.  Member of the new spouse's family.

9. Drove back: REPELLED.  To beat back an attacker.

10. Came down: ALIT.  Landed

11. Early Briton: PICT.  People inhabiting northern Scotland in Roman times.

12. Just okay: SO-SO.  Mediocre, meh.

15. Fashion variable: HEM LINE.  The line formed by the lower edge of a garment.

17. Sunrise dirección: ESTE.  En español.

21. Was ahead: LED

23. Get wind of: HEAR.  Learn about.

24. MLB pitcher Dock profiled in the 2014 film "No No: A Dockumentary": ELLIS.  Dock Phillip Ellis Jr. (1945 – 2008) was an American professional baseball player. He played in Major League Baseball as a right-handed pitcher from 1968 through 1979, most notably as a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

27. Parroted: APED.  Copied

28. One shared at a campfire: TALE.  A story that might or might not be true.

29. Jazz legend Fitzgerald: ELLA.


 30. Maker of nonstick cookware: T-FAL.

31. Doth possess: HATH. The owneth is upon him.

32. Constellation bear: URSA.  AKA Big or Little Dipper

34. Political commentator Navarro: ANA. Ana Violeta Navarro-Cárdenas [b 1971] is an American political strategist and commentator. She appears on various television programs and news outlets, including CNN, CNN en Español, ABC News, and Telemundo.

35. Walk with a swagger: STRUT.

38. Many printer jams: MIS-FEEDS.

39. Praised highly: EXALTED. Held in high regard and spoken of favorably.

40. Elevation word: HIGH.  Hight wold be more appropriate.

45. "Science Guy" Bill: NYE. William Sanford Nye, [b 1955] popularly known as Bill Nye the Science Guy, is an American mechanical engineer, science communicator, and television presenter.

47. Blood: Pref.: HEMA-.  Mediacal prefix derived from Greek

48. Ran through a reader: SWIPED.  As a credit or ID card.

50. Lover of Euridice, in a Monteverdi work: ORFEO.  An opera from 1607.

51. Tandoori breads: NAANS.  Contrived plural for an unleavened  bread traditionally baked on the outside of a clay oven.

52. Maytag rival: AMANA.  Makers of household appliances.

53. "Bad, Bad" Brown of song: LEROY.

54. Bear voiced by Ned Beatty in "Toy Story 3": LOTSO for short .  Lots o' Huggin' for long 

55. Basic French verb: ETRE.  "To be" in French.

56. "Sons of Anarchy" actor Rossi: THEO. John Theodore Rossi [b 1975] is an American actor and producer best known for his portrayal of Juan Carlos "Juice" Ortiz on the FX series Sons of Anarchy. 

57. Fruit drink prefix: CRAN-.  Because who would buy a drink called Crapple?

61. Mormons' gp.: LDS Latter Day Saints.

62. Bath bathroom: LOO.  British English.

That wraps up our legend of the FALL.  Hope you made it through unscathed.

Cool regards!

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Wednesday, March 24, 2021 Jerry Edelstein

Theme:  I've pondered this but cannot come up with something clever, so here is the unifier --

65. Marine Corps motto, briefly, and a hint to the answers to starred clues: SEMPER FI.  This is short for SEMPER FIDELIS, meaning 'always faithful" in Latin.  In our puzzle, the theme fill are two words, both beginning with the letter combination "FI."  So - always FI.

20 A. *Matches with known outcomes: FIXED FIGHTS.  Boxing matches in which one competitor loses on purpose, dishonestly, for reasons related to betting.

56 A. *Music group's lead violinist, casually: FIRST FIDDLE.  I've heard of playing 2nd fiddle, meaning to always play a supporting or inferior role.  By extension, FIRST FIDDLE means to play a commanding role.  I wish it had been clued this way, since it's not really a musical term in common use.

3 D. *Fast-food alternatives to burgers: FISH FILETS.  Popular on Friday's, especially in Lent.

30 D. *Like half a chance: FIFTY FIFTY.  An even bet.  Not sure what half a chance means.

Hi gang, JazzBumpa here, faithful, as always.  Let's charge into this puzzle and see what we can find.


1. Concerning: AS FOR.  With regard to  .  .  .

6. Letters replacing a list: ETC. And so on, and so forth.


 9. Afternoon snooze: NAP.   Zzzzzz  .  .  .

12. Nighttime party: SOIREE.  From the French soir, meaning evening.

14. Soccer tiebreaker, perhaps: SHOOT OUT.  Selected players from both teams take turns attempting to score on the other side's goal keeper.  Same in hockey.  Since nobody can win the regular game, they decide to have a one on one skills contest.  Meh!

17. County on the English Channel: SUSSEX.  South Saxony located on the island's southern coast.  The battle of Hastings was fought near its modern eastern border.

18. Canyon namesake of dry California winds: SANTA ANA.  They sweep westward from the mountains to the coast.

19. Tree with elastic wood: ASH.  Hence its popularity as baseball bats.

22. Hi-__ TV: DEF.  High definition - a high degree of clarity and detail in the images.

23. What "X" may mean: TEN.  Roman numeral.

24. Music center?: ESS.  The middle letter of the word.  Lame clue, lame fill.

25. Dennis the Menace, for one: IMP.  A mischievous child.

28. Beloved: DEAR.  Held in affection

30. Monk's title: FRA.  Derived from frater, the Latin word for brother.

33. Cultural setting: MILIEU.  Environment or setting, from the French, meaning "middle place."

36. Black and blue?: BERRIES.  Also straw and rasp.

39. H or O, in H2O: ELEMENT.  Hydrogen and oxygen, each a fundamental substance consisting of only one kind of atom.  They combine to form water.

41. Contrasting ornaments: SET-OFFS.  Items with differing appearances to achieve a visual effect.

42. Roald Dahl title heroine: MATILDA. A precocious 5 1/2 year old IMP.

43. Submitted, as a manuscript: SENT IN.  By post, or possibly electronically.

44. Kvetching sounds: OYS.  Exclamations of anger or dismay.

45. Weakens: EBBS.  By reference to a receding tide.

48. Give voice to: SAY.

49. __ Lingus: AER.  Airline of Ireland.

51. Partner in a 2020 peace agreement with Isr.: United Arab Emerates, located at the eastern end of the Arabian peninsula, and home to almost 10 million people. 

53. Quite a ways away: FAR.  

61. Anger: IRE.

62. Imagining: IDEATING.

63. Photo taken backwards?: SELFIE.  With a phone camera pointed at the user.

  66. Thrills: ELATES.  To thrill is to give a sudden feeling of excitement or pleasure. To elate is to make someone very happy.  Equivalent?  You decide.

67. General on a menu: TSO.  A Chinese chicken dish.

68. Fair-hiring letters: EOE. Equal Opportunity Employer.

69. Flair: STYLE. Elan.


1. Syrian leader: ASSAD.  Bashar Hafez al-Assad [b 1965] is a Syrian politician who has been the 19th president of Syria since 17 July 2000.

2. W.C. Fields persona: SOUSE. A habitually excessive drinker, from the verb "souse," meaning to drench with liquid.

4. RN workplaces: ORS.   Registered Nurses in Operating Rooms.

5. Sailing danger: REEF.  A ridge of jagged rock, coral or sand near the surface of the sea.

6. Ancient mystic: ESSENE.  Members of a Jewish sect, ca 200 BCE to 200 CE who lived in community practicing voluntary poverty and asceticism.

7. Jazz trumpeter Jones: THAD.  Thaddeus Joseph Jones [ 1923 - 1986]  was also a composer, arranger, and one of my jazz heroes.   He was born into a musical family, in near-by Pontiac, MI.


 8. Meeting group: CONFEREES.  

9. Biblical boater: NOAH.   Hosted a variety of animals during a flood.

10. Bee, to Opie: AUNT.  From the Andy Griffith Show.

11. School orgs.: PTASParent- Teacher-Organizations.

13. Leave: EXIT. Depart

15. Name seen on one's way to the penthouse?: OTIS.  Brand name for elevators.

16. License plates: TAGS.  So your car can be on the road legally.

21. Marked on a ballot: X-ED.   We get bubbles to fill in.

26. "La BohËme" role: MIMI.  In my mind, she was FIFI.  That disappointed me.

27. Banana covering: PEEL.   Technically, a banana is a berry.  Blackberries and raspberries are not

29. Hunk's pride: ABS.  Hard, flat abdominal muscles on a well toned fellow.

31. APR-reducing loan: REFI.  Refinancing a loan to get a better interest rate.

32. Pt. of AAA: ASSNAmerican Automobile Association.

33. Office notice: MEMO.  A written message, usually in a business context.

34. "Now __ me down to sleep ... ": I LAY.   Beginning of a night time prayer.

35. Being severely criticized: UNDER FIRE.  The subject of an attack.

37. Numbered rds.: RTES.  Routes.

38. Novelist Jaffe: RONA.  [1931-2005]  She also wrote for Cosmopolitan in the '60's.

40. Diner check: TAB.  Record of accumulated charges.

46. Aussie parrot, briefly: BUDGIERead all about them.

47. Mournful: SAD.   Feeling sadness, regret or grief.

49. 33-Down demand, perhaps: ASAP. As Soon As Possible.

50. Luncheon end?: ETTE.  Suffix denoting small size.

52. "... or __!": ELSE.  Overt threat.

54. Cartoon mermaid: ARIEL.

55. Actress Witherspoon: REESE.  Laura Jeanne Reese Witherspoon (b.1976) is an American actress, producer, and entrepreneur.   She has won an Academy Award, two Golden Globe Awards, and a Primetime Emmy Award.

56. Punch deliverer: FIST.  

57. March time: IDES.  (In the ancient Roman calendar) a day falling roughly in the middle of each month (the 15th day of March, May, July, and October, and the 13th of other months) from which other dates were calculated.

58. San __: Italian resort: REMO.  A city in extreme western Italy on the
 Mediterranean coat. 

59. Recon target: INFO. Reconnaissance to gather information.

60. Sniggler's catch: EELS.

64. Map line: Abbr.: LATitude.  Position on a line north of south of and parallel to the equator.

OK, gang we are FInally FInished for this Wednesday.  Hope you enjoyed it.

Cool regards!

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Wednesday, March 10, 2021 Roland Huget

Theme:  Once again, the unifier sums it up perfectly.

60. Skirt, as an issue ... or a hint to the puzzle's circles: DANCE AROUND.  To make an evasive move.  Here the letters spelling a particular kind of dance book-end the theme fill.  It's easy to see if you got the circles.  Otherwise, not so much.

17. "ABC" group, with "The": JACKSON FIVE.   A pop singing group founded in 1965 with the brothers Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon and Michael.


JIVE dance originated in the early 1930's.  Not sure how closely modern competitive jive dancing matches the original, but here we go.

26. Part-plant DC Comics superhero: SWAMP THING.  A humanoid/plant elemental creature with environmentalist tendencies.  It has been featured in comics, movies, animation and a TV series.

SWING dance is from the 1940's big band era.

36. Pioneer's wagon with an upward-curved floor: CONESTOGA.  The curve was to prevent cargo from tipping or shifting.  You can read about it here.  

The CONGA is a dance that likely originated in Africa and came to the U.S. via Cuba, in the 1930's.  It's a line dance, never mind that these dancers aren't in a line.

50. Weight loss guru:  JENNY CRAIG.  Genevieve Guidroz (b. 1932) from Louisiana, married Sindney Crain in 1979.  In 1983, they created a nutrition, fitness, and weight loss program in Australia and began offering the program in the United States in 1985.

The JIG is a dance form in 6/8 or 9/8 time with rapid footwork.  It is derived from British isles folk dancing of the 16th century.

Hi, Gang.  JazzBumpa here to lead you through today's adventure.  There's dancing to be done, so let's step to it.


1. Is sporting: HAS ON.  Wears

6. Bobby who lost to Billie Jean King in tennis' "Battle of the Sexes": RIGGS.

11. Place to unwind: SPA.  Relaxation site

14. Grenoble's river: ISERE.  It's 178 mile course runs from its source in the Alps near the Italian border to where it joins the Rhone.

15. Sign up, in Sussex: ENROL.  British spelling, I assume

16. Reliever's asset: ARM.  Baseball pitcher who replaces the starter.

19. USN clerk: YEO.  Shouldn't this be YOEMAN?

20. Hot state: IRE.  Anger

21. Heat unit: THERM.  A unit equivalent to 100,000 BTU's.

22. Ruhr Valley city: ESSEN.  Famous for its coal mining and steel production.

24. Art class subject: NUDE.   A form of visual art focussed on the unclothed human form.  It's history goes back to the ancient Greeks.

28. Compulsive thief, for short: KLEPTO-.  One experiencing a certain kind of impulse-control disorder.

30. Thoughts spoken onstage: ASIDES.  Words spoken by a character directly to the audience, not to other characters.

31. Prefix with comic: SERIO-.  Some combination of the comic and the serious.

32. "Not for me": PASS.  I'll sit this one out.

35. Left on a liner: PORT.  Right is starboard.

39. Popular side: SLAW.  Chopped cabbage in a vinaigrette or mayonaise dressing.

42. Sore: ACHY.  In pain.

43. Makeshift knives: SHIVS.  Home-made sharp edged weapons.

47. More minute: TINIER.  Smaller

49. Without a musical key: ATONAL. Sure.  But can you dance to it?

54. New Haven Ivy: YALE.  Founded in 1701.

55. Stream of insults, say: ABUSE.  Cruel or harsh treatment.

56. "It's __ to you": ALL UP.  Do your part.

58. Given a meal: FED.  

59. Printemps month: MAI.  In France.

63. Outer: Prefix: ECT-. As in ectoderm.

64. Slices in a pie, often: OCTAD.  Any grouping of 8 items.

65. Gold unit: OUNCE.  This is the Troy ounce, equal to 31.1034768 grams. 

66. Blue shade: SKY.

67. Designer fragrance: C K ONE.  A Calvin Klein product

68. Prepared for a TV interview: MIKED.  Equipped with a microphone.


1. Mischief: HI-JINKS.  Boisterous or rambunctious carryings-on : carefree antics or horseplay. Mischief is causing annoyance, trouble or minor injury.

2. Ordinarily: AS A RULE. Typically, what you can expect.

3. Any of 11 1860s states: SECEDER.  The confederacy.  And, yes, it was all about slavery.  The Articles of Secession of each confederate state make this abundantly clear.

4. Sitcom planet: ORK.  From the the TV show Mork and Mindy.

5. Outdoor home: NEST.   Where birds dwell.

6. Agree to more issues: RENEW.  Ambiguous clue.  To continue a subscription to a publication.

7. Start to structure: INFRA-.  Refers to the basic physical and organizational structures and facilities (e.g. buildings, roads, power supplies) needed for the operation of a society or enterprise.  I dislike this kind of clue for a prefix.

8. Big name in fairy tales: GRIMM.   The Brothers Grimm, Jacob Ludwig Karl Grimm and Wilhelm Carl Grimm, were German academics, philologists, cultural researchers, lexicographers and authors who together collected and published folklore during the 19th century. 

9. Federal URL ending: GOV.  The last portion of the internet address.

10. Makes things slippery, in a way: SLEETS.  Sleet is a mixture or rain and ice pellets. 

11. Closes the marital deal: SAYS I DO.  You may now kiss the bride.

12. Peacock, e.g.: PREENER.  It straightens its feathers with its beak.

13. Surrounded by: AMONGST.  In the midst of.

18. Extremely: OH SO.  Very, very.

23. Shout from the main mast: SHIP AHOY. A call to greet or get attention.

25. Momentous victories: EPIC WINS.  

27. Part of UTEP: PASO.  University of Texas at El . . . 

29. Excessively: TOO.  As too much, too often, too far, etc.

32. Bench press target, for short: PEC.  Pectorals, for long -- each of the four large paired muscles that cover the front of the rib cage and serve to draw the forelimbs toward the chest.

33. Bat wood: ASH.  What Bat Man hits with.

34. Metaphor for a mess: STY.  Where pigs live.

37. "Breaking Bad" agent: NARC.   The word narc is slang shorthand for "narcotics agent," a federal agent or police officer who specializes in laws dealing with illegal drugs.

38. Prime meridian std.: GST.  Presumably Greenwich Standard Time.  I don't mean to be mean, but I don't think this is legit.  Everything I can find refers to Greenwich Mean Time

39. Place near the Pennsylvania Railroad: ST JAMES.  Properties on the Monopoly game board.

40. Relax: LIE BACK.  Recline

41. Retirement income source: ANNUITY.  A form of insurance or investment entitling the investor to a series of annual sums.

44. Down: IN A FUNK.  Depressed.

45. Chemical bonding number: VALENCE.  The number of chemical bonds between an atom and the other atoms it is bonded to in a molecule.

46. Tobogganed: SLEDDED.  Slid down a snowy hill.

48. Ophthalmologist, for short: EYE DOC.   An ophthalmologist diagnoses and treats all eye diseases, performs eye surgery and prescribes and fits eyeglasses and contact lenses to correct vision problems. 

49. Lago filler: AGUA.  Spanish lake with Spanish water.

51. Wound up costing: RAN TO.  Total of all purchased items.

52. Highway through Whitehorse: ALCAN.  The Alaska Highway (French: Route de l'Alaska; also known as the Alaskan Highway, Alaska-Canadian Highway, or ALCAN Highway) was constructed during World War II to connect the contiguous United States to Alaska across Canada. It begins at the junction with several Canadian highways in Dawson Creek, British Columbia, and runs to Delta Junction, Alaska, via Whitehorse, Yukon. When it was completed in 1942, it was about 2,700 kilometres (1,700 mi) long. [Wikipedia]

53. __-France: ILE DE.   A region in north-central France. It surrounds the nation’s famed capital, Paris, an international center for culture and cuisine with chic cafes and formal gardens. 

57. Senior's highlight: PROM. A formal dance, often with a theme [but not part of this puzzle's theme] held near the end of the academic year.

61. Comic strip cry: ACK.  Of pain or dismay.

62. Non opposite: OUI.  No and Yes in the Ile de France, ne c'est pas?

So ends our dance sessions.  Hope you avoided any potential faux pas.

Cool regards!

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Wednesday February 24, 2021 Bryant White

 Theme: LET'S HANG OUT.  Here is today's theme song from my first trombone idol.  It's only 1 minute 38 seconds.

All the theme elements except the unifier are vertical, and that means something, as we shall soon see.

3 D. Blood-drinking mammal: VAMPIRE BAT.  They are pretty nasty looking, and I couldn't find a suitable pic of one hanging, but it is what they do, so use your imagination.

5 D. High light: CHANDELIER.  A ceiling- mounted light fixture that light hangs, shedding its light from above.

7. D Spelunking sight: STALACTITE. A hanging formation formed by the solidification of a dripping liquid.  I limestone caves these are mineral formations resulting from the drip of dissolved material from the ceiling.  Icicles are also stalactites, though rather more short-lived

9 D. Support for Tarzan: JUNGLE VINE.  Or, for George, though not without its mishaps.  Anyway something for a swinger to hang onto.

51. Loitering ... or how 3-, 5-, 7- and 9-Down might be seen?: HANGING AROUND.  Loitering is a less literal version of hanging.  More literally, It's the only thing these danglers have in common.  

Hi, gang, JazzBumpa here to hang out with you for a while.  There's a puzzle waiting so let's get down to it.


1. It may break and crash: WAVE.  The ocean variety

5. It has an eye on TV: CBS.  Network logo for the Columbia Broadcasting System.

8. Slightly open: AJAR.

12. Sea that's a victim of irrigation projects: ARAL.  It keeps shrinking.

13. Water park feature: CHUTE.  SLIDE also fits.  Either way, you travel down in or on it.

15. Heavyweight fight?: SUMO.  Japanese wrestlers

16. Capital founded by Pizarro: LIMA.  Peru.

17. They may draft briefs: PARAS.  PARA-legal, I assume.

18. Saloon door's lack: KNOB.  Swings both ways.


 19. Civil War topper: KEPI. A cap with a flat top and visor of French origin, typically associated with a military organization.  Read more here.

20. Tattoo joint?: ANKLE.  Flexing body part, not a tattoo parlor.  I guess ankles probably get more tattoos than knees.

21. Folklore monster: OGRE.


 22. Move furtively: SLINK.or SKULK

24. "Breaking Bad" org.: DEA.  The Drug Enforcement Administration is tasked with combating drug trafficking and distribution within the U.S.

25. Verne who created Nemo: JULES.  In the novel Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. 

26. Dodger rival of shortstop Rizzuto: REESE.    Harold Peter Henry "Pee Wee" Reese (1918 - 1999) played for the Dodgers in Brooklyn and then L.A. from 1940 to 1958.  He was a 10-time all-star and inducted into the Hall of fame in 1984.  
Philip Francis Rizzuto (1917 – 2007) played for the Yankees from 1941 t0 1956.  He entered the Hall of Fame in 1994

28. Bucket of bolts: CRATE. Derisive terms for a decrepit automobile.

30. "Evita" narrator: CHE.  Ernesto "Che" Guevara [1928-1967] was an Argentine Marxist revolutionary, physician, author, guerrilla leader, diplomat, and military theorist. A major figure of the Cuban Revolution, his stylized visage has become a ubiquitous countercultural symbol of rebellion and global insignia in popular culture.

32. Gummy bear ingredient: GELATIN.  Of course.

34. YouTube clip, for short: VID.  Video for long.

37. Prefix with call: ROBO-.  An automated telephone call which delivers a recorded message, typically on behalf of a political party or telemarketing company.  And the reason why I let all call from unrecognized callers go to the answering machine.  They rarely leave a message.

39. Meek: TIMID.  Showing a lack of courage or confidence.

40. Tubes on the table: ZITI.  Extruded pasta tubes, usually with square cut ends.

41. Sonicare rival: ORAL-B.  Makers of electric tooth-brushes.. They are especially useful if you have electric teeth.

43. Get into a stew?: EAT.  Here indicating something you can chow down on.  Odd though, since the stew actually gets into you.

44. One who digs hard rock: MINER.  Ore retriever who might or might not also be a head banger.

45. Wedding reception hiree: CATERER.  One who supplies food and the necessary accessories.

47. Pressing: EXIGENT. Demanding and immediate.  I had to look it up.

49. Catch a bug, say: AIL.  Have an illness.  I have a vaccine appointment on Saturday.

50. Energy unit: ERG.  A tiny unit.  One of my professors defined this as the amount of energy it takes for one fly to do one push-up

58. Magic prop: WAND.  A long, thin stick, or rod.

59. Tech company that became a verb: XEROX.  A brand name for copying machines that morphed into a verb for making copies.

60. Source: ROOT.  That from which something comes.

62. Harper's Bazaar designer: ERTE.  
Roman Petrovich Tyrtov [1892-1990] had an illustrious career that included designing costumes and stage sets.  Between 1915 and 1937, Erté designed over 200 covers for Harper's Bazaar, and his illustrations would also appear in such publications as Illustrated London News, Cosmopolitan, Ladies' Home Journal, and Vogue.

63. Absurd: INANE.  Silly

64. Swear to be true: AVOW.  

65. Tap serving: BEER.  Or ALES.  Good either way 

66. California's Point __ National Seashore: REYES.  A peninsula north-west of the Golden Gate with a vast expanse of protected coastline in Northern California’s Marin County with both beaches and a rocky headland.

67. Cook Islands export: TARO.  Colocasia esculenta is a tropical plant grown primarily for its edible corms.


1. Constitutional events: WALKS.  Going out for a walk, especially to get fresh air and exercise, often referred to the activity as "taking a constitutional walk." The word "constitutional" refers to one's constitution or physical makeup, so a constitutional walk was considered beneficial to one's overall wellbeing. (Or, as some would prefer to call it, "wellness.") The phrase is more common in British literature than in American letters. Source.

 2. Disney mermaid: ARIEL.  


 4. "Seinfeld" regular: ELAINE.


 6. Delta of "Designing Women": BURKE.

8. Try to date: ASK OUT.

10. Love, to Luigi: AMORE.  Literal, in Italian.

11. Judicial attire: ROBES.  Makes them look judicial, I suppose.

13. One working on bks.: CPA.  A Certified Public Accountant works on financial records.

14. Linguistic suffix: -ESE.  

23. It may be tapped: KEG.   For BEER or ale.

25. Fifth of 12, alphabetically: Abbr.: JAN.  When arranged this way, April,  August, December and February precede January.  Not sure why anyone would do this.

27. Place for shooting stars?: SET.  With movie cameras.

29. Free (of): RID.  out, out, damned spot.

30. Shoe that's full of holes: CROC. Confuse them with gaiters at your peril.

31. Dance that may involve a chair: HORA.  Though not always, it seems.

33. Reddit Q&A session: AMAAsk Me Anything.

35. Cal.-to-Fla. highway: I-TEN.  It spans 2460 miles from Santa Monica, CA to Jacksonville, FL

36. Gossip: DIRT.  I can dig it.

38. Poisonous flowering shrub: OLEANDER.

40. Terraced structure of ancient Mesopotamia: ZIGGURAT.  A terraced structure of successively receding levels,

42. Naval lockup: BRIG.  Shipboard jail.

44. Surrealist Joan: MIRO.   
Joan Miró Ferra [1893 - 1983]  was a Spanish painter, sculptor, and ceramicist.
46. Magical potion: ELIXIR.


 48. Persian king: XERXES.  [c. 518 – August 465 BCE,] commonly known as Xerxes the Great, was the fourth King of Kings of the Achaemenid Empire, ruling from 486 to 465 BC. 

51. "__ Trigger": Bugs Bunny cartoon: HARE.  Not sure why I can't come up with the full cartoon. Here are the beginning and end.


 52. Stud fee, maybe: ANTE.  Stud poker, not what you're thinking.

53. Hawaiian goose: NENE.   Found only in Hawaii and crosswords.

54. Anatomy book author Henry: GRAY.  Gray's Anatomy is a textbook of human anatomy written by Gray and
 illustrated by Henry Vandyke Carter.  It was first published in 1858.

55. Five-star: A-ONE.  First rate.

56. Smoked salmon: NOVA.  The name for this salmon comes from its origin, in Nova Scotia, Canada, where salmon is cured and then cold smoked. The color is a much deeper pink, almost a burnt orange, compared to other cured salmon. The fish flavor is also a bit more intense than lox or gravlax.

57. Cuckoo clock feature: DOOR.  Whence commeth the bird.

58. Baseball glove part: WEB.

61. Vegas snake eyes: TWO.  A pair of one-spot dice.

Thanks for hanging out today, friends.  Hope you enjoyed it.

Cool regards!

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

L.A. Times Crossword Wednesday, February 10, 2021 Catherine Cetta

Theme -- I can't do much better than the unifier, so let's start with that.

 56 A. Relatively unknown quality items ... and what can be found in 16-, 26- and 42-Across: HIDDEN GEMS.  Typically something great that most people don't know about.  Here, it's literally precious stones hidden in the theme fill.

16 A. Arose to catch the proverbial worm: GOT UP EARLY.  Arise before dawn - or, in my case, before 9:00 a.m.  Do that that and you might be able to catch an oyster with a perfect PEARL.  This is a small, spherical, usually white object that forms around a grain of sand inside the shellfish.  Pearls are commonly strung together as a necklace.


26 A. Award won twice by Adele and Kelly Clarkson: BEST POP ALBUM.   Awards in several categories are distributed annually by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States to "honor artistic achievement, technical proficiency and overall excellence in the recording industry, without regard to album sales or chart position."  The 2020 winner was Billie Eilish for When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?   An OPAL is a soft hydrated amorphous form of silica (SiO2·nH2O); its water content may range from 3 to 21% by weight, but is usually between 6 and 10%. The gemstone opal shows a variable interplay of internal colors, 

42 A. Philanthropist who was a Time Person of the Year co-honoree in 2005: MELINDA GATES.  In 2000, she and her husband Bill Gates co-founded the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the world's largest private charitable organization as of 2015.  Read more about her here.  "AGATE is a common rock formation, consisting of chalcedony and quartz as its primary components, consisting of a wide variety of colors. Agates are primarily formed within volcanic and metamorphic rocks. The ornamental use of agate dates back to Ancient Greece in assorted jewelry and in the seal stones of Greek warriors." [Wikipedia]

Hi, Gang, JazzBumps here. These are all gems of the minor variety; no diamonds in the rough here.  Lets see what else of value we can discover in today's puzzle.


1. Not imagined: REAL.  No matter how wild your flights of fancy, there is always the REAL world to come back to.

5. On: ATOP.  

9. Arthur of tennis: ASHE.

13. Country quarters: INNS.  Establishments for the lodging and entertainment of travelers, generally smaller than hotels and with fewer amenities.

14. Be behind: TRAIL.  Lag

15. Skier's need, maybe: SNOW.   For several varieties of down-hill or cross-country skiing

18. Presidents' Day event: SALE.  Many holidays really.

19. Ivy League student: ELI.  Specifically at Yale U.

20. Dynamic prefix: AERO.  Designed to reduce air drag and/or wind resistance.

21. Sushi bar brews: SAKES.  A fermented rice beverage

22. Ristorante favorite: LASAGNA.  Layers of noodles, meat and cheese, usually with a tomato based sauce. 

24. "Holy smokes!": ZOWIE.  Golly!

30. Monks' wear: COWLS.  Long, hooded garments with wide sleeves, sometimes, just the hood. 

33. Total drubbing: ROUT.  Like a bad Super Bowl game.

34. Flatow of "Science Friday": IRA.  [b. 1949] A radio and television journalist and author.
35. Opposite of home: AWAY.  

36. Dozen dozen: GROSS.  That's 144 of anything.

38. Craftsy etailer: ETSY.  An American e-commerce website focused on handmade or vintage items and craft supplies. 

39. Tiny, for short: LI'L.  Little, for long

40. "Not long": SOON. Li'l bit of time.

41. Guilty and not guilty: PLEAS.  Formal statements by or on behalf of a defendant or prisoner, stating guilt or innocence in response to a charge, offering an allegation of fact, or claiming that a point of law should apply.

46. Spectrum maker: PRISM.  Could be a brand name product or service, but not this time.  A PRISM will divide white light into color components, based on wave length.

47. Comment after a missed shot: NICE TRY.  Condolence or sarcasm?

51. Characteristic: TRAIT. A distinguishing quality of a person or thing.

53. Shred: IOTA.  Tiny amount

54. Tint: HUE. Coloration

55. "I didn't mean to do that": OOPS.  Utterance after an accident.

59. Unmitigated joy: GLEE. Originally, the specific joy of music and singing.

60. Seller, usually: OWNER. Or his/her agent.

61. Its symbol is Fe: IRON.  Elemental metal.

62. Some cameras, for short: SLRSSingle Lens Reflex.

63. Amorously pursues: WOOS

64. Fiddling emperor: NERO.  While Rome burns.


1. Orion's left foot, some say: RIGEL.  Rigel is a blue supergiant that is the brightest star in the constellation Orion (the Hunter). Due to its measured size and brightness it is expected to end in a supernova one day. 

2. __ Gay: ENOLA.  a Boeing B-29 Superfortress bomber, named after Enola Gay Tibbets, the mother of the pilot, Colonel Paul Tibbets. On 6 August 1945, piloted by Tibbets and Robert A. Lewis during the final stages of World War II, it became the first aircraft to drop an atomic bomb.

3. Naysayers: ANTIs.  Those with negative viewpoints.

4. Pelican State sch.: LSU.   Louisiana State University.

5. Biblical mount: ARARAT.  Legendary landing place of Noah's Arc. 

6. Tropical root vegetable: TARO.  A food staple in African, Oceanic and South Asian cultures.

7. Squeaky-wheel need: OIL.  Lubricant.

8. Tissue layer: PLY.  A single layer of any multiple layer construction, such as ply wood.

9. Attack: ASSAIL.

10. Hazard in many old Westerns: SNAKE BITE.  

11. Opening: HOLE.   An aperture or gap.

12. Lambs' moms: EWES.  Female sheep.

14. New drivers, typically: TEENS.  People between the ages of 13 and 19, inclusive.

17. Novel units: PAGES.  Not new and unusual things, but the two-sided papers bound into books.

21. Whack at a mosquito: SWAT.

23. With skill: ABLY.  

24. Family outing destinations: ZOOS.

25. Numbered piece: OPUS.  A separate composition or set of compositions by a particular composer, usually ordered by date of publication.

27. Outlet insert: PRONG.  A slender pointed or projecting part: such as a fang of a tooth ora point of an antler, or an electric plug.

28. Celestial bear: URSA.  Either the URSA MAJOR or URSA MINOR constellation.

29. First Black MLB team captain, 1964: MAYS.  Willie Howard Mays Jr., [b 1931] nicknamed "The Say Hey Kid", is an American former professional baseball center fielder. He spent almost all of his 22-season Major League Baseball career playing for the New York/San Francisco Giants before finishing his career with the New York Mets. [Wikipedia]

30. Not nervous: CALM.  Serene.

31. Something Mommy needs to kiss?: OWIE.  Booboo.

32. Computer screen background: WALLPAPER.

36. Odin and Thor: GODS.  In the Aesir.

37. Wander: ROAM.  

38. "Need anything __?": ELSE.

40. Sulky state: SNIT.

41. Pie nut: PECAN

43. Flowery van Gogh work: IRISES.   You can see it here.

44. Battery terminals: ANODES.  And Cathodes

45. Solution strength measure: TITER.  Determined by 2 conflicting methods.  Read about it here.

48. "Over __!": THERE.   A 1917 song written by George M. Cohan that was popular with the United States military and public during both world wars. It is a patriotic song designed to galvanize American young men to enlist and fight.


 49. Something from a mill?: RUMOR.  People who start and spread rumors.

50. Type of survey question: YES/NO.  As opposed to multiple guess.

51. Duds: TOGS.  Clothing.

52. Dinner table staple: ROLL.  A small, usually round or oblong individual loaf of bread served as a meal accompaniment (eaten plain or with butter)

53. License plate fig.: ID NO.  Identification Number.

56. "__ come?": HOW.  Said when asking how or why something happened or is the case.

57. Iconic WWII island, briefly: IWO.  An island 750 miles south of Tokyo. It was the site of an iconic WW II battle in February and March of 1945.

58. Winning game cry: GIN.   From a card game, not a martini, alas.

So goes another Wednesday.  Hope it was valuable.

Cool Regards!