Jun 11, 2014

Wednesday, June 11, 2014 Gail Gabowski

Theme:  Verkehrs-marmelade.   Decades ago, when I was in German class, we invented this Teutonic psuedo-portmanteau for today's hidden word theme.  To dispel whatever mystery there might be, let's start with the unifier.

64A. Rush-hour headache, components of which are hidden in the answers to starred clues : TRAFFIC JAM.   Of course, here JAM means a condition of being stuck and unable to move, not a confection made of smashed fruit cooked with sugar.  Let's check out the components.

17 A. *Big name in veggie patties : BOCA BURGER.   The original vegan version is mostly soy protein and wheat gluten, but there are variations.  The hidden word is a CAB, aka Taxi, a ride for hire.

40 A. *Certain surfer : WEB USER.  We're all WEB USERS on this BUS.   WI FI?  WI not?

11 D. *Passé reception aid : TV ANTENNA.   Gone the way of the rotary phone.  Now it's cable, U-verse or satellite.  You might even get reception in your VAN

35. *Steamy gallery display : EROTIC ART.  Putting a CAR into EROTIC ART is a somewhat different take on auto-eroticism.  I wasted a few good moments trying to find something worth posting, and finally had to settle for this.

Hi gang,  JzB here.  Let's get it in gear and see if we can motor through this puzzle without mashing up too much fruit.


1. Finch or falcon : BIRD.  One would probably eat the other.

5. Heart-to-hearts : TALKS.  Serious business

10. City southwest of Bayeux : ST LO.  Timely with the 70th anniversary of D-Day this past week.  The town was reduced to rubble by the fighting.

14. Actor Ladd : ALAN.  Appeared mainly in westerns and film noir, where he was often paired with Veronica Lake.

15. Intermediary : AGENT.  Cut taker.

16. It bakes the cake : OVEN.   Hot spot.

19. Great __ : DANE.   Going to the dogs.

20. Invite for : ASK TO.   Our two oldest grandchildren got ASKed TO Prom for the first time this spring.  [Back in the day, it was THE Prom but not so now.]  They are both Juniors, and Danny's date had to ASK him, because she's a Senior.

21. Land in the ocean : ISLE.   Speck of land, not a splash.

22. "Fire" bugs : ANTS.  Ants work so hard.  Why would anybody fire them?   The stinging omnivorous variety also popped up in C.C.'s puzzle the last time I blogged.

23. Get one's back up about : RESENT.  Odd, phrase that.  Any INPUT from out linguists?

25. Went for a rebound, say : LEAPT.   Pretty much the antithesis of this.

27. Letter flourish : SERIF.   With Serif.   Sans Serif.  Check under the R and the F.

30. Like some omelets : TWO EGG.  Breakfast!

33. Borscht base : BEET.   As they once said on The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, when it come to Borscht, you can't beat soup!

36. Sch. with 110 NCAA titles : UCLAUniversity of California, Los Angeles

38. Snorer's problem, perhaps : APNEA.  A momentary lull in breathing, while asleep.  The most effect preventive is insomnia.

39. "__ Town" : OUR.  Play about early 20th century Americana by Thornton Wilder.  Oscar was Wilde, but Thornton was Wilder.

42. Time out? : NAP.  Out, as in asleep.  Potenital apnea venue.

43. Pledge of fidelity : TROTH.  Solemn pledge, and that's the truth.

45. Chef's protection : MITT.  Hand in glove, as we say here  in MI.

46. Take the risk : DARE.  Dare to be [fill in the blank.]

47. Blowhard's output : HOT AIR. Nope.  No politics.

49. Playground comeback : DID SO.   Did not!

51. Feedback : INPUT.  Do you input my output, or is there too much FEEDBACK?

53. Unattached : SINGLE.  Unmarried.

57. Clock sound : TICK.  We have ways of making you tock!

59. Spot for a 42-Across : SOFA.  Not for me.  Phooey on SOFA NAPS.  I do it right, and take me to bed!

62. "Even so ..." : STILL.  But, anyway .  .  .

63. Berry promoted as a superfood : ACAI.  There are no known health benefits that are specific to this fruit.

66. In a dilemma : TORN.  Could be a clash of ideas.

67. Actress Lenya : LOTTE.  Wife of Kurt Weill

68. "La Dolce Vita" setting : ROME.   Doesn't really seem that sweet.

69. One opposed : ANTI.  The anti-bellum are opposed to war.

70. College paper : ESSAY.   Write on.

71. Timeline component : YEAR.


1. Elephant in picture books : BABAR.

2. "Guess you beat me" : I LOSE.  Something the Tigers are saying far too often these days.

3. Clothing store fixtures : RACKS

4. Paternity suit procedure : DNA TEST.  The most reliable method to prove or disprove if there's a parent-child relationship.

5. Sigma follower : TAU.  It's all Greek [letters] to me

6. Business opening? : AGRI-   Bah! Agribusiness.

7. Chair parts : LEGS.  I see.

8. Solemn ring : KNELL.  Ask not for whom the bell KNELLS.

9. Main drag, e.g. : STREET. You know its a small town if Main Street is the main street.

10. Picnic drink : SODA POP.  Carbonated.

12. Advanced : LENT.  An advance of money is a loan.

13. Tip jar fillers : ONES.  Dollar bills.  Different sense of the word SINGLE.

18. Dog biscuit shape : BONE. As if the dog cares.

24. "I can't deny that" : TRUE.  It's a fact

26. Wage __ of words : A WAR.   A long argument.

28. Long-range weapon, for short : ICBMInter-Continental Ballistic Missile for long.

29. Gin or tonic : FLUID.  Any liquid. These two work together rather well.

31. Paraphernalia : GEAR.  Stuff.

32. Hang open : GAPE.  As a mouth

33. The pair : BOTH.  The one and the other one.

34. Continental cash : EURO.

37. Piedmont wine area : ASTI.

40. Prepare quickly, with "up" : WHIP.

41. LAX data : ETDS.  ETD or ETA always takes perp help.

44. Beachwear portmanteau : TANKINI.  A portmanteau of TANK top and biKINI, refering to an article of swim wear consisting of a TANK top [imagine that] and biKINI bottom.

46. Comforting words : DON'T CRY.  I don't see a lot of comfort here.

48. Prepare quickly, with "up" : RUSTLE.  As in dinner.

50. Emphatic Spanish assent : SI SI!  We all say "SI SI!" to C.C.

52. Pamplona runners : TOROS.  That's a lot of bull.

54. WWII enlistee : GI JOE.  Before he became an action figure and then a cartoon character.

55. Andean hauler : LLAMA.  South American humpless camelid.

56. Wabbit hunter : ELMER. Fudd.

57. "Toodle-oo!" : TATA.   Bye, now.  No - wait.  Four more to go.

58. Screen image : ICON.  Kinda-sorta.

60. They may be saturated : FATS.  The ones from animals and avocados.

61. Colgate-Palmolive shaving lotion : AFTA.

65. Baldwin's "30 Rock" co-star : FEY.  Tina.

There We made it to the finish line.  Hope you all enjoyed the trip.

Cool regards!


Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

My computer went belly up last night, so no puzzle for me today (I'm typing this from my iPhone). Hopefully I'll be back up and running soon.

Yellowrocks said...

Easy-peasy. Fun blog, JzB, which I'll savor in depth later.
I'm not such good company right now. My home improvement constructor has "my back up,"just like an angry cat humping her back and raising her hackles.

fermatprime said...


Thanks for the interesting puzzle, Gail! Amusing expo, Jazz!

Just guessed at UCLA. Otherwise, no problems.

More later, I hope!


desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Yesterday was apparently so exciting that I forgot to post. Wonder what I was doing.

Never heard of a TANKINI, but I think I like it. I only remember LOTTE Lenya as the memorable kickster, Rosa Klebb, in From Russia With Love.

Our town is too small to have a Main STREET. We do have one four-way-stop intersection, though.

I didn't know that ALAN Ladd was a noir actor. I just remember him as the short, gun-toting hero in Shane.

Time for that 3-mile march....

Lemonade714 said...

Jz B you were firing on all cylinders today with your wit in high gear.

I enjoyed the straight forward hide a word puzzle but adore your write up and the tankini. Where pdo I go to fill up on that?

Work a way Wednesday all

George Barany said...

Jzb, let me finish your opening thought. The version I learned from my mother, almost half a century ago, was Verkehrs-Marmelade auf Zeit Quadrant (Traffic Jam in Times Square). Thanks for the thoroughly enjoyable writeup of Gail Gabowski's interesting puzzle.

Mari said...

Good morning everybody.

This was surprisingly easy for a Wednesday puzzle. The only hang-ups I had were ST LO and LOTTE. I entered WENT for 12D Advanced, which messed up any chance of solving 10A.

Never tried a BOCA BURGER. I wonder how they taste.

Have a great day!

Husker Gary said...

-The theme was not obvious or necessary on Gail’s nice mid week exercise
-BOCA BURGER? I’ve never seen/heard of one here in “The Beef State”
-We bought this sleek indoor TV ANTENNA last year when Time Warner and our local CBS affiliate were bickering
-5’6” ALAN Ladd worked well with 5’2” Veronica. His son married Cheryl LADD (nee Stoppelmoor)
-In my physics lab, we used this type of MITT for hot and cold FLUIDS
-When your spouse asks for INPUT, tread lightly
-Dilbert’s take on INPUT
-Mary McGregor was (3:24) TORN Between Two Lovers in this song co-written by one of the P’s in PP&M
-That guy on the tractor around here runs a multi-million dollar AGRIbusiness
-Never get in a WAR OF WORDS with an idiot. People might not be able to tell the difference
- Interesting story about The Three Penny Opera, LOTTE Lenye and Mack The Knife
-In what song did Englebert ask a senorita to “Please, say SI SI”?

CanadianEh! said...

Thanks Gail and JzB for a fun romp today.

My TADA turned into TATA, BULLS into TOROS, and ME TOO into DID SO.

FLUID was an IV substance yesterday and became Gin or Tonic today. Tinbeni's favourite IV!?

Does anyone plight their TROTH anymore?? Now the couples write their own vows, some for better, some for worse IMHO!

Have a great day all!

CanadianEh! said...

Husker Gary: Now I'll have earworm all day ... "please smile for me" (I won't give it away yet!)

HeartRx said...

Good morning everyone!

I chuckled all through your write-up, Jazzb. But I cracked up over "We have ways to make you tock." Too funny!!

I didn't really need the unifier to fill in the theme entries, but it did reveal the vehicles in each one. OK theme, OK fill. No nits!

Happy hump day, everyone.

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

This was a pleasant offering from Gail. Only write-over was chats/talks. Nice job, Gail, and JazzB, I think you're ready for the Comedy Channel! What a witty analysis.

Gloomy here right now and rain in the forecast for the next couple of days but the weekend looks good.

BTW, Bill G and Ferm, the premiere of Suits is tonight.

Have wonderful Wednesday.

kazie said...

I found this one easy too, and thoroughly enjoyed Jazz's colorful write-up.

Everyone must be doing more exciting things today, as we don't have too many here yet for this late hour.

I didn't guess the theme until the unifier made it obvious.

Hope you all have a great day today!

GarlicGal said...

Typical Wednesday for me. Last to fill "TVANTENNA". I was thinking reception as in wedding at first.

Thanks for the heads up re: Suits premiere, Irish Miss. My husband enjoys that show. He'll have to tape it though. Tonight we are off to see "Bonnie and Clyde, The Musical". Yep...that's right, a musical. As my Mother always said "we'll see"...

Off to the shower.

Yellowrocks said...

Very witty, JzB.
I thought Alan Ladd was great in Shane. I have watched it several times.
Those chairs strike me as quite DF. A man's pair of bare legs and feet and a woman's pair, sitting in a chair. Maybe it is just that I finished a fairly graphic novel yesterday.
JzB I loved your German title, traffic marmalade, instead of traffic jam.

C6D6 Peg said...

Nice puzzle by Gail. Very witty write-up, JzB! Thanks to both of you!

CrossEyedDave said...

Way too much material for this one...

Traffic Jam?

To quote Slynter, Onward!


Their everywhere...


Oh, now I see what caused that traffic jam...

Uh, what?

I always carry a hammock in my car for just this reason!

Excellent write up Jzb!

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

Fun puzzle, and I'm enjoying your comments.

Gary - great find on Mack. Here ins Detroit, we have Mack avenue. No relation, I'm sure.

Here's Louis.

Cool regards,

Jazzbumpa said...

A question for our multi-linguists.

I don't know French, so I went to Google translate with "A combien gonflez vous?" from the auto-erotic picture, which BTW is a post card from the 50's.

It came back with "How you inflate a"

Could this be a word play with a double meaning along the lines of "What pumps you up?

Inquiring Bumpas want to know.


Lucina said...

Hello, friends! Fun expo, Jazz, thank you.

And thanks to Gail for a quick, enjoyable puzzle today. It filled fast and now I have to go get my girls checked. Mammos are not fun.

Have a great Wednesday, everyone!

Chickie said...

Hola Everyone, I had a terrible time with the very center of this puzzle. I put in Are so, then Can so for the playground comeback. UCLA was not evident as I had SCUD instead of ICBM for Long-range weapon. I erased so much in this area that I wore the letters off the page!

When I finally filled in True for "I can't deny that", things started to fall into place, but what a slog for me. It was so evident when I finally filled things in that I felt silly. My input didn't give me a very good output.

I did get the theme and the unifier, so didn't feel too bad about the middle section.

But Fluid for Gin or Tonic? I had mixer and then drink, both which had to be erased.

After whizzing through the whole top third of the puzzle then circling around the edges, I thought I had done this one in record time--not so because of the middle part.

Thanks, JzB for the write-up today. I especially liked the "Chair legs". A fun puzzle from Gail G. today, even though I got jammed up!

Have a great day everyone.

TTP said...

These folks at work need to understand that if I have to keep getting up in the wee hours, I am going to retire.

That's my late arrival excuse.

Puzzle wasn't quite as easy for me in a few places. KNELL threw me, as did EROTIC ART. The T in TANKINI was my last fill. Oh yea. Betroth.

I thought the cluing was excellent.

And I did get the TADA today with no help. Didn't want to start 0-3.

Great writeup JzB. Very witty and funny as others have noted.

So your 1st place Tigers are losing too much lately ? My Pirates need to get on a serious tear...

Justin Verlander and his girlfriend were seen around town here in the windy city the last couple of days. The GQ slideshow there is quite revealing.

See you all later !

Ol' Man Keith said...

I'm one more who never heard of BOCA BURGER before today. That was my take-away from this Weds pzl.

I was in a movie once with Alan LADD. A real gentleman. It's true; they had his co-star, Diane Foster, walking in a rut as they strolled together for a tracking shot, a concession to his short stature.

JJM said...

I too, have never heard of a Boca Burger. (Although the local Poultry store here does make Chicken Burgers, and are they good!)

I never heard the word "TROTH" before either. I'll have to look that up later

Yellowrocks said...

Wedding vow:

I (Bride's Name) take thee (Groom's Name) to be my wedded husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love, honour, and cherish, 'til death do us part, and thereto I plight thee my troth (pledge my loyalty.)
It turned out to be the other meaning of plight, a sad or desperate predicament. HA HA

I've heard of Boca Burger. I never tried one.
From Wiki:
"Boca Burger is a veggie burger made chiefly from soy protein and wheat gluten; it is a registered trademark of the Boca Foods Company, a subsidiary of Kraft Foods." It seems it is just a brand name for a kind of veggie burger. No thanks, I'll take beef.

john28man said...

I have to register a DNF because of the cross between BABAR and BOCABURGER.

Misty said...

Well, not a speed run for sure, but then it is a Wednesday puzzle. Got stuck on top with CHATS instead of TALKS for the longest time (glad I wasn't alone, Irish Miss). But got it in the end and the theme was fun--so, many thanks, Gail. JazzB, loved the Michigan MITT and the picture of a TANKINI. Never heard of it even though we live little more than a mile from the beach. You can tell we don't get out much these days.

Anyway, nice way to celebrate a sunny day in the middle of the week. Have a great one, everybody!

Pat said...

This was a pretty easy Wednesday puzzle. I really wanted GRIDLOCK for the unifier.

Back in the days when I was a card-carrying member of Weight Watchers, if I was starving and needed a low-point snack, veggie burgers were a good choice. Pile on salsa and it was very filling. I've had my share of BOCABURGERS.

Fermatprime: I haven't heard anything about your puppy lately. How's she doing?

I haven't wanted to say anything about the Tigers because I didn't want to jinx their good record. They seem to be doing a good job of tanking on their own.

Thanks, Gail and JzB. A great way to start my day, (after reading the late night posts).


Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

Straightforward solve, few unknowns. I wouldn't have spotted the theme without the unifier. Part of the reason is that the asterisks are a bit hard to see in my screen presentation.

Howdy JzB, nice to see your sense of humor at work.

Steve said...

Nice puzzle, Gail and cracking write-up there, JzB!

Regarding the "saucy" caption - Google misses the point.

"Combien" also means "how much". If I asked "A combien gonflez-vous vos pneus?" I'd be asking "How much do you inflate your tires?". Leaving off the "tires" part you're left with "So, how much do you inflate?" while he's blowing her skirt up with the air hose.

I don't think the French are particularly renowned for their humor :)

Lucina said...

Count me as one who has never heard of Boca Burgers but then, being a meat lover, I have no interest in anything vegetarian except, of course, vegetables.

Tinbeni said...

Jazz: Nice write-up extraordinaire.
Gail: Thank you for a FUN Wednesday puzzle.

Steve: The French consider Jerry Lewis a comic genius. That explains their "Sense-of-humor". LOL

We've had BOCA BURGER before. A search revealed it was in OUR grid on 1/15/14.
I remember that I commented that it was the first time I ever heard of them.
Like Husker & Lucina I have no-interest in trying them.

My "Pamplona runners" were "BULLS" before TOROS appeared. My only write-over.

Gin or tonic = FLUID ... seems a little weak.
And at Villa Incognito the "Picnic drink" would be Scotch (Pinch, NEAT) before SODA-POP.

Hmm, that gives me an idea ...

PK said...

Hi Y'all! I thought this was easier than Gail's puzzles usually are for me. Fun one! Too funny, JzB.

I did get in a JAM and had no fill for a while in the NE corner. SODA POP/ST.LO brought me to a halt. I tried "iced tea" and Kool-aid for the picnic drink.

I've seen BOCA BURGERs in the freezer cases at the grocery store. Just looking at them triggered my gag reflex. I probably should try them since I am a soybean farmer, but we raised choice beef so long, my taste buds are spoiled for imitations.

TANKINI is a word I learned scanning catalogs which clog my mailbox almost daily.

Where's Owen today? How do we get our limerick fix without him? Hope he's okay.

Lemonade714 said...

To our early creative poster Owen
does this mean you are goin'?
To leave us without our poetry fixes
Will leave us all seven and sixes
And feeling as bad as Lindsey Lohan

JD said...

Good afternoon all,

always love Gail's puzzles because she has the knack of adding words that spark our memories, like Tom Hanks in "You've Got Mail" ...."Don't cry, shopgirl"

Boca Burgers Were a staple when my grandsons started eating finger foods...I'm a meat eater.

Had no trouble with the unifier, but did not see the cab,car,etc...cute. it took me the longest time to understand why advanced was LENT...then laughed and felt silly.

Enjoyed your write up, Bumpa. I don't think I'll ever try on a tankini.LOL!

CrossEyedDave said...

I thought it might be funny to combine two crossword entries,

Elmer Fudd & Erotic Art.

Bugs Bunny didn't work out too good...

Owen, where are you?

Jazzbumpa said...

Like bad jokes, the intrepid Bugs Bunny
Doesn't always turn out to be funny.
But when Dave does his part
With Bug-erotic art,
The results are sure to be punny.


HeartRx said...

Please save us from the pseudo poetry
That is springing from this corner coterie.
What we need is a fix
Of your rhyme making tricks.
And I'm making my case very vocally!

Manac said...

Web User looked like Web Abuser to me.
YR@5:51, Be careful when "Your Back is up"

HG, I think I saw "That guy on the tractor"

And Dave, Does this constitute "Erotic Art"?

I'll show myself out.......

Jayce said...

We have a working TV antenna on our roof. Almost everything we want to watch we can get over the air.

You guys are funny!

I like Gail Grabowski's puzzles.

Avg Joe said...

I liked the puzzle and found it just right for a Wednesday, but the theme itself was a little bland. That didn't make it less enjoyable, it just didn't have a big enough payoff.

JazzB, you were on top of your game today. That's a very corny old joke, but it cracks me up every time I hear it......"Ve haff vays of making you tock!" It's part visual, part audial. But I guess it doesn't take that much to entertain me:-)

Manac said...

My Betrothed and I have an agreement.

I run the Chainsaw and she runs the Vacuum!
Heres Why

CrossEyedDave said...

LMAO Manac!


PK said...

Manac: I think I ruptured something laughing at that man trying to start the vacuum. I always claimed my husband didn't know how to start ours.

Yellowrocks said...

Manac, your clip reminds me of all my colleagues who couldn't run various office machines. Nice dodge.

My contractor and I have made up and now things are purring along. We agree that the inept condo association manager is the main road block.

In the meantime, the toilet in the other bath is leaking into the garage, dampening the ceiling. Thankfully, it is only the garage. My favorite plumber before we moved has recently expanded his territory out here. He is the most competent and caring plumber I know. I am soothed. Today has been a better day.

SwampCat said...

Owen??? You there, Cher?? We miss you!!

Anonymous T said...

Hi All!

Nice Wednesday puzzle. Thanks Gail. JzB you crack me up! CED how do you find those? Owen? Owen? Your poetry-JAM mic is not on!

Writeovers: AGRA before AGRI and ETAS before DIDSO fixed it. Same issue with ROMA before ELMER hunted up an E. Last square to drop was the I in ACAI - I can never remember that dumb fruit!

Tin you may have explained why I knew BOCABURGER even though one would never pass my lips.

Likes - RUSTLE near TORO and DNATEST near BONE. Too, GIJOEs DONTCRY. JzB's TANKINI pics were near EROTIC ART.

I'll NAP on the SOFA. Heck, I'd even NAP in a chair if people leave me alone long enough.

I thought ANTI in words like antebellum means pre (pre war) like anti pasta is before pasta. YR? Wait, spell check fixed antebellum - um, Whoosh!

Scariest four words from DW: "We need to TALK."


*TATA For Now

Anonymous T said...

Wow - the only cricket chirping is a SPLOG-Bomber. Think SPAM, Blog, and Photo-bomb JAM-up / portmanteau :-)

C, -T

// Argyle - feel free to delete me when Victoria Terry is iced (sorry Tin...)

Anonymous said...

Thanks, JzB, for temporarily restoring my faith in the blog.
Job well done.
Now, let's hope we get more out of Marti than WEES...

Bill G. said...

Hey, wait a minute! Just hold your horses! I've got an e-mail into this guy to have him make the Dodgers be able to hit and to find out what stocks to buy tomorrow.

Argyle said...

Sorry, Should I bring it back?

Anonymous T said...

Bill G.

Tomorrow (6/12) is crazy sock day to honor Bush-I on his 90th Birthday - so go nuts on your LEGS.

Argyle - No! It was fraught with grammar errors.*

JzB - the Whoosh I heard was your ANTI-Bellum joke going over my head.

Cheers, -T
*tho so is I much-ly

Anonymous T said...

And... I read Bill G.'s "Stocks" as "Socks"...

Abejo said...

Good Thursday morning, folks. Thank you, Gail Grabowski, for a fine puzzle. Thank you, Jazzbumpa, for a fine review.

Started this last night and finished this morning. Very good puzzle. Liked the theme. Traffic jams are a way of life in big cities.

I recently had a sleep APNEA test. Interesting and I passed. I do not need a machine.

TROTH seemed easy. I just though of Betroth.

ST LO is an old favorite in crosswords.

I will not drag this out. Enjoyed the puzzle.

See you later today with today's puzzle.

Lots of gardening to do and a hot water heater to replace for my wife's cousin who lost hers yesterday.