Showing posts with label Jazzbumpa. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jazzbumpa. Show all posts

May 22, 2019

Wednesday, May 22, 2019 Roland Huget

Theme: LABOR.  The Circled letters spell various kinds of paid gigs.

17 A. Car engine part: CRANKSHAFT.  A SHAFT constructed of a series of CRANKS and CRANK pins that attach to the connecting rods of an engine. A CRAFT is a skill used in making items by hand.

24 A. "Tell me about it": JOIN THE CLUB.  A commiserating phrase along the lines of "I feel your pain." A JOB is a paid position of regular employment.

34 A. Custodian: CARETAKER. Someone assigned to look after a person, pet, property, or entity, depending on context.  A CAREER is a long-term occupation with opportunities for progress.

50. Lonely Planet publication, e.g.: TRAVEL GUIDE.  A book of information about a location designed for visitors and tourists.  A TRADE is a skilled job usually involving manual skills and special training.

58. Temporary fix, or what's found in this puzzle's circles: WORK AROUND.  A method for overcoming a problem or limitation is a system or program.  In the theme, various synonyms for types of WORK book-end the theme fill, so WORK goes AROUND the completed answer.

Hi, Gang - JazzBumpa here, as we WORK our way through this puzzle.  Let's get on the job!


1. Receives at one's roof garden: HAS UP.  I had to ponder this one. To receive visitors, you HAVE them into your home.  So, you could have them up to your roof garden, should you be fortunate enough to possess such a thing.

6. "Shoot!": DARN. Exclamations of disappointment.

10. Bounces on the waves: BOBS.  Like a cork.

14. Food safety concern: E COLI.  Coliform bacteria that can be a food contaminant.

15. Miracle Mets outfielder Tommie: AGEE. [b 1942] He played for Cleveland and Chicago before the Mets.  The Miracle refers to their 1969 World Series win over the heavily favored Baltimore Orioles.  This was the 8th year of existence for the Mets, and their first year with a winning record.  AGEE is credited with making two of the greatest and most critical catches in World Series history in game 3, with the series tied.  He also led off the game with a home run.

16. Bell town in a Longfellow poem: ATRI.  You can read about it here.

19. Like racehorses: SHOD.  Having shoes.

20. __ Bora: Afghan region: TORA.  A cave complex in the mountains of eastern Afghanistan.

21. Roman 151: CLI.  Roman numerals.

22. Prolonged assault: SIEGE.  A tactic of surrounding the enemy's position to cut off supplies in hope of getting them to surrender.

23. U.K. honor: O.B.E.  Order of the British Empire, awarded for outstanding contributions to arts, sciences or public service.

27. Numbers to crunch: RAW DATA. Data in an unprocessed form.  Processing then leads to information.

29. Veer off course: YAW.  Twist around a vertical axis.

30. Poe's "Annabel __": LEE.

31. Stately horse: STEED.

32. Orbit segment: ARC.

33. Alpha-Bits cereal maker: POST.

38. Talk show host Cavett: DICK. [b. 1936]

41. Zamboni surface: ICE.  The Zamboni machine smooths the ice surface for hockey or figure skating.

42. Stretches out for a bit: RESTS.  Takes 5.

46. Bat wood: ASH. The best choice, but other woods are also used.

47. Aromatic garland: LEI.  Flowers strung together to be worn as a necklace.

48. Bob Cratchit's son: TINY TIM.  From A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.

53. Zodiac feline: LEO.  From July 23 to August 22.

54. Relaxed: EASED.  Let up.

55. Salem-to-Portland dir.: NNE.  As the crow flies

56. Gardener's bagful: SOIL.

57. Outdo: BEST.  Perform better than someone.

61. Came to rest: ALIT.  Landed.

62. First name in stunts: EVEL.  AKA Robert Craig Knievel [1938-2007]

63. Superachievers: ELITE. A-list performers in some activity

64. Get out of bed: RISE. Even if reluctantly.  Can be alarming.

65. Obsolete demo medium: TAPE. A musical demo presented for possible publication or professional recording.

66. Cap bill: VISOR.  For shading one's eyes from the sun.


1. Strong-arms: HECTORS.  To bully, intimidate or browbeat,

2. Cirque du Soleil performer: ACROBAT.

3. "Us, too": SO ARE WE.  JOIN THE CLUB!

4. Radius neighbor: ULNA. The two long bones of the forearm.

5. Dental suffix with Water: PIK.  Device for cleaning teeth and massaging the gums.

6. Mexico's national flower: DAHLIA.

7. From the top: AGAIN.  One more time.

8. Sports replay reviewer: REF.  Always trying to get it right.

9. After-tax: NET.  What is remaining after all charges and deductions have been removed.

10. Not advanced: BASIC. The A-B-C's.

11. The lord in "O, beware, my lord, of jealousy!": OTHELLO.  From Shakespeare's play about jealousy and betrayal.

12. Irish accents: BROGUES.  I wasn't able to come up with better information.

13. Extra gambling action: SIDE BET.  An additional bet beside the main wager, generally involving a related issue.

18. Highlander: SCOT.  One likely to speak with a burr instead of a BROGUE.

22. Clinch, with "up": SEW.  Nail it down.

24. "Gotham" actress __ Pinkett Smith: JADA. [b. 1971]

25. Supermodel Banks: TYRA. [b. 1973]

26. Access illegally, as a computer: HACK.  To get unauthorized access to stored data or documents.

28. Swabbing site: DECK.  Naval activity

32. Tucked away: ATE.

33. One being hunted: PREY.

35. Cambodian currency: RIEL. .00025 U. S. Dollar.

36. Vaping product, briefly: E CIG.  It provides a mist containing nicotine, without burning tobacco.

37. Sea eagle: ERNE.  Old school crossword entry.

38. Baked snack with dried fruit: DATE BAR.  A cookie or cake-like item with fruit chunks or filling that is baked and then cut into bars.

39. Lod native: ISRAELI.  Lod is a city of 75,000 located 9 miles south-east of Tel Aviv, near Ben-Gurion airport.  The area has been inhabited since 5,000 B.C.

40. Car's supporting frame: CHASSIS.  The base frame upon which the body and other componentry is located

43. Midwest city named for a French king: ST. LOUIS.  In Missouri.

44. Connect with: TIE INTO.

45. Do a slow burn: SMOLDER.

47. Took charge of: LED.

48. Wind chime sound: TINKLE.  Tinkle, tinkle, little chime, playing in a windy time.

49. Creative spark: IDEA.

51. Sporty Chevy: VETTE.  Corvette, more formally.

52. Gen. Assembly member: U. N. REP.

56. Etudes, e.g.: SOLI.  An etude is an instrumental study piece designed to improve technique.  As such, it is a solo.. SOLI is the plural.

58. Not just damp: WET. On a spectrum from moist through inundated.

59. In vitro supply: OVA. Unfertilized eggs.

60. Race in the driveway: REV.  To 'race" an engine is to give it gas [REV] while it is not in gear.

That, my circle of friends, wraps up another Wednesday.  Hope you found the work to your liking.

Cool Regards!

May 8, 2019

Wednesday, May 8, 2019 Sam Acker

Theme: ON THE DRAWING BOARD.  Here we will DRAW on our library of in-the-language phrases, to finalize certain concepts.  Since that seems a bit cryptic and abstract, let me DRAW it  more clearly.  This will be easier if we start with the unifier.

7. Infer ... or what the answers to starred clues end with?: DRAW CONCLUSIONS.  Gleaning the meaning from information that may or may not be complete.  In the theme answers, the 2nd word of two-word phrases can also follow the word DRAW to CONCLUDE another two-word phrase.

17. *Mint target: BAD BREATH.  Halitosis.

To DRAW BREATH is simply to breathe, or to pause a moment, and take a breath, before doing something, such as DRAWING a CONCLUSION.

20. *Overhead buzzers: POWER LINES.  Conduits for electricity.  Sometimes they're noisy.  To DRAW LINES is to set limits; figuratively LINES that should not be crossed.

31. *Lists of wrestling matches, say: EVENT CARDS.  Schedules of specific activities occurring at an event.  This phrase also has a variety of other meanings, which you can google, if interested.  To DRAW CARDS is to select specific cards from a deck as part of a game, trick or reading.

39. *Building sites: VACANT LOTS.  Plots of land that are currently undeveloped.  To DRAW LOTS is to decide something - such as who will do something, or in what order things will be done -by picking an item or items at random.

57. *HBO vampire series: TRUE BLOOD.  Never watched it.  Here's the season 1 trailer.

To DRAW BLOOD means to injure an opponent, either figuratively or literally.  Alternatively it means collecting a BLOOD sample from someone to run lab tests.

50. *Civil War volley: CANNON FIRE.  Cannons are now historical weapons.  To DRAW FIRE is to attract an enemy's attention in order to distract him from other tactical activities.

Hi Gang, JazzBumpa here to see what kind of CONCLUSIONS we can DRAW.  The first one is that with 6 theme entries and a grid spanning unifier, this puzzle is extremely thematically rich.  And second, with a central vertical unifier and two stacked theme answer pairs we have an unusual, and quite creative construction. So let us commence.


1. Try to punch: JAB AT.  Could be a swing and a miss.

6. Org. concerned with outbreaks: CDC. Center for Disease Control.

9. Follower of Guru Nanak: SIKH.  The word means a "disciple", "seeker," or "learner."  This is a monotheistic religion started in the Punjab region of India during the latter part of the 15th century.

13. Shapes for running laps: OVALS.  Typical track contour.

14. Shapiro of NPR: ARI. The host of All Things Considered.

15. Sunlit lobbies: ATRIA.  Often with a glass roof.

16. Crunch-like exercise: SIT UP.  Do it properly.

19. Soccer legend Mia: HAMM.

21. Verb type without a direct obj.: INTRansitive.   It' s always an action verb. Frex.: We arrived just in time.

23. Sing smoothly: CROON.

24. Bad guy you root for: ANTI-HERO.  Like Matt Scudder in Lawrence Block's mystery novels.

27. __ de cologne: EAU.  Originally a perfume formulation fron Cologne, Germany, but now a generic term for scented formulations.

30. Slangy "No reason": CUZ.  Cuz I says so.

35. Prepare to drag: REV.  Gun the engine in preparation for a fast take off.

36. Like maple syrup: VISCOUS.  Thick and slow to pour.

37. Geographical resource: MAP.  It lets you know where you are.  But, as Ned Stark often told his son Robb, "The map is not the territory."

41. "Wherever __": One Republic song: I GO.

42. "I see it now!": OH O or O HO!  Exclamation of surprise or discovery.

43. Yet to be tried: UNTESTED.

45. Flightless birds: RHEAS.  Large South American ratites, distantly related to the ostrich and emu.

49. Aspiring DA's exam: LSATLaw School Admission Test.  It's pretty well established that such standardized tests have little if any actual value, but they continue to be used.

54. Pet healers: VETS.  Animal doctors.

58. San Diego player: PADRE.  National League West baseball team

59. Like games in an arcade bar: RETRO.  Appealing nostalgically to a time in the not too distant past.

60. Protein-building molecule: RNA.  Ribonucleaic acid.

61. Shoelace tip: AGLET.  The plastic or metal tube the keeps the end of the shoelace from unraveling.

62. Young woman: LASS.

63. Mountain road curve: ESS.  A series of curves that double back in the shape of the letter S.

64. Spanish rulers: REYES.  Kings.


1. Kid: JOSH.  Tease playfully or joke.  Also, our 11 year old grandson is a kid named Josh.

2. Nike competitor: AVIA.  Brands of athletic shoes

3. Jewish girl's coming-of-age: BAT MITZVAH.  A ceremony held on the girl's 12th or 13th birthday, in varying traditions, after which she, instead of her parent, is considered to be responsible for her own actions.

4. Grads: ALUMNI.  Those who have completed a program of study and received a diploma from an educational institution.

5. Baker's meas.: TSP.  Teaspoon.

6. __ San Lucas: Baja resort: CABO.   Located at the southern tip of the Baja peninsula.

8. Fall drink: CIDER.  Unfermented juice pressed from fruit, most typically apples.

9. "Gone With the Wind" composer Max: STEINER.  [1888-1971] An Austrian born American composer of music for theater and films.  He was one of the first composers for movies and is known as the father of film music.

10. Shiraz's country: IRAN.  Located in the southwest of the country, Shiraz has been a trade center for over 1000 years.

11. Toy on a string: KITE.  A light frame with thin material stretched over it, to be flown in the wind.

12. Guffaws: HAHs.  Laughs

15. Woody's son: ARLO. Woody [1912-1967] died of Huntington's disease. Arlo [b 1947] is most famous for his epic recording of his narrative song Alice's Restaurant.

18. Pal: BRO.  Buddie.

20. Musician André with 11 Grammys: PREVIN.  [1929 -2019]  He was famous and highly accomplished in three areas - scores for over 50 films; music director and/or conductor for several major symphony orchestras; and jazz pianist, composer and arranger.

22. GIs' support gp.: THE VA. Veterans Administration.

24. Like six starred puz. answers: ACR. Across. A meta, theme-related clue that is not part of the theme.

25. New, in Nogales: NUEVO.  Literally, in Spanish.

26. Snooze: REST.  Sleep.

28. "Truth be told ... ": ADMITTEDLY.

29. Grammarian's concern: USAGE.  The manner in which words and phrases are normally and correctly employed.

32. Animation creation: TOON.  A cartoon character.

33. Nautilus cousin: CUTTLE.  A cephalopod having 8 arms and two tentacles with denticulated suckers to latch on to their prey.  They are typically 6 to 10 inches long.

34. Donkeys: ASSES.  Horse-like animals that are smaller, having longer ears and a braying sound.  They have been used as working animals for over 5000 years.

38. Sci-fi escape unit: POD. A small, secondary vehicle used to evacuate from the main vehicle when under duress.

40. Least gooey brownie pieces: CORNERS.  They bake harder due to having more edge surface.

44. Brutal: SAVAGE.  Fierce, violent, and out of control.

46. Stereotypical train hopper: HOBO.  The term originated in the western U.S in the 1890's, referfing to an impoverished migrant worker or vagrant.

47. Blowup: Abbr.: ENLargement.

48. Ere: AFORE.  Having occurred previously

50. Bottom row PC key: CTRL. A modifier key that performs a special operation when pressed with another key.

51. Real estate calculation: AREA.  Sizes of the lot surface, total dwelling and interior room spaces.

52. Bar freebies: NUTS. Either snacks, like peanuts, or the company of bar flies in questionable mental states.

53. Nutritional stds.: RDAS. Recommended Daily Allowances.

55. Christmas decoration: TREE. I'm going to quibble.  The tree is a symbol. It is adorned with decorations.

56. "Action!" places: SETS.  Places where movie scenes are filmed.

58. 72 for 18 holes, often: PAR.  The nominal proper score for a round of golf.

That wraps it up. Despite my one ADMITTEDLY picky nit, I found this puzzle to be quite up to par.  You, of course, are free to DRAW your own CONCLUSIONS. 

There doesn't appear to be another puzzle by Sam Acker in our library.  So this might be his first L.A. Times entry.  If so, congrats for a highly successful introduction!

Cool regards!

Apr 24, 2019

Wednesday, April 24, 2019 Ed Sessa


The letter sequence spelling LEG occurs in vertical theme fill.  Proceeding from left to right, this sequence appears successively higher in the grid.

45 D. *What makes Guy a guy?: LITTLE G.  Referring to upper and lower case lettering.  A bit strained, in my opinion.

37 D. *Post-apocalyptic Will Smith film: I AM LEGEND.  A virus has wiped out most of man-kind and the hero, Robert Neville, played by Smith, searches for a cure while battling nocturnal mutants.

30 D. *Gray wrote one in a country churchyard: ELEGY.  A poem of lamentation.  You can read it here.

10 D. *346-piece Big Ben, e.g.: LEGO SET.  Here's a 9 1/2 minute video if you're interested.

9 D. *Telegraphed message: CABLEGRAM.

And the unifier -- 66 A. Competitive edge, as illustrated in the answers to starred clues from left to right: A LEG UP.  This phrase means some sort of boost, assistance or circumstance that gives one an advantaged position relative to the competition.  In the puzzle grid the LEG letters climb from left to right, each time advancing by exactly one square - all the while maintaining perfect rotational symmetry.  This is an unusual construction in a couple ways.  Having the theme in the vertical fill isn't unknown but it's also not common.  Further, a phrase of the type "LEG UP" generally indicates that the letters would be climbing within the fill, so they would be reversed in the answer word(s). Here, the upward motion is within the grid, from one theme fill entry to the next.  This is, in my experience, unique.  So, high marks for both technical virtuosity and creativity!  

Hi, Gang, JazzBumpa here with both feet firmly on the ground.  Let's high step through the rest of this puzzle and see what tickles our toes.


1. Keepsake containers: CHESTS.  Large storage boxes, typically made of wood.

7. Biological pouch: SAC. A cavity enclosed by a membrane that contains air, liquid, or solid structures.

10. "I'm up for it!": LET'S.  We should do this.

14. Change in a big way: REWORK. I guess changing in a small way would be a revision.

15. Santa __ winds: ANA.  Hot, dry, downsloping winds that originate inland and blow toward the coast in California.  They seem to be named for the Santa Ana Canyon in Orange County.

16. Singer Adams: EDIE.  Probably most famous for this.

17. World's largest peninsula: ARABIA.  Perhaps it should be considered a sub-continent since it lies on its own tectonic plate.

18. Antagonist in many le CarrÈ novels: KGB AGENT.  Spy stuff

20. Nemesis: BANE. A cause of great distress or annoyance.

21. Teeny-tiny fraction: TRILLIONTH.  1/10^12.  Less than miniscule.

23. "Better Call Saul" actress Seehorn: RHEA.

25. Wrigglers sought by snigglers: EELS.  Rhyme time in the EEL creel.

26. Demean: ABASE. Degrade or belittle.

29. Floating ice hazard: BERG.  Properly, ICEBERG - a large piece of freshwater ice broken from a glacier or ice shelf floating in open salt water.

31. Hearing things?: EARS.   Interesting word play.  EARS are things that hear.  If you are hearing things that are not there, the ears are not involved - it all in your head.

35. Leader of a flock: Abbr.: REV.  An ordained minister leading her/his congregation.

36. Remote precursor: DIAL.  Playing with parts of speech again - in the past, the various DIALS on your TV set performed the functions of the various buttons on your remote control unit.

38. Hooch: ROTGUT.  Bad whiskey.

40. Sport-__: UTE.  Utility vehicle

41. Oatmeal-crusted treat: DATE BAR.  A baked item containing chopped fruit.

43. 12 meses: AÑO.  12 months make a year in Spain, same as here.

44. Uproarious confusion: BEDLAM. Named for an infamous British asylum  for the insane.

46. Places to shoot hoops: GYMS. Basketball venues.

47. Big kahuna: VIPVery Important Person.

48. Jai __: ALAI.  A sport involving a ball bounced off a walled space with a hand held device [cesta.]

49. Places, as a bet: LAYS.  Probably because you LAY your money down.

51. Signs of the future: OMENS.  Events considered to announce or predict some good or evil thing that will happen soon.

53. Those opposing us: THEM. Always us vs THEM.

55. Counting-out word: EENY. Meeny, miney, moe.

57. Seven-sided: HEPTAGONAL.  Literal, if you know Greek.

61. Saintly glow: HALO.  A circle of light around or above the hear of a saint to signify her/his sanctity.

65. "Madame Bovary" subject: ADULTERY.  The ultimately tragic story of a young French woman who lived extravagantly beyond her limited means.  Bored with her dull husband, she sought pleasure and adventure though affairs with two men who eventually grew tired of her.

68. Steady look: GAZE.

69. Bridal bio word: NEE.  Referring to the bride's original surname.

70. Excitedly unwrapped: TORE AT.

71. Layer over some cities: SMOG.  A combination of fog with smoke and other atmospheric pollutants.

72. Mar.-to-Nov. hrs.: DST. Daylight Savings Time - the clock is moved forward by one hour to extend daylight into the evening.

73. Genesis follower: EXODUS.  Second book in the Bible.


1. __ bisque: CRAB.  A rich creamy soup, typically made with shell fish.

2. Mount Olympus queen: HERA.  Sister wife of Zeus in the olympian pantheon.  She was jealous of his many lovers and offspring.

3. McGregor of "Christopher Robin": EWAN.  The actor portraying a now grown-up boy who once was the playmate of Winnie the Pooh.

4. Sleeps it off, with "up": SOBERS.  Recovers from non-fatal alcohol toxemia.

5. Prefix with atomic: TRI-.  Referring to a molecule composed of three atoms.  The clue is weirdly specific for a prefix with many other, more common applications.

6. Circle the rink: SKATE.  Ice or roller SKATING.

7. H.H. Munro's pseudonym: SAKI. [1870 - 1916] A British master of the short story form who satirized Edwardian society.

8. One opening a can of worms?: ANGLER.  A fisherman getting into a container of bait.

11. Paradise: EDEN.  The biblical home of Adam and Eve, before they got kicked out for disobedience.

12. Salon treatment: TINT.  Hair coloring.

13. Meyers of "Late Night": SETH. [b 1973] American comedian, writer, actor and television host.

19. Have a bug: AIL.  Be sick from a viral or bacterial infection.

22. Moroccan capital: RABAT. Located along the Atlantic coast along the Bouregreg River.

24. Gossip columnist Hopper: HEDDA. [1885 - 1966] American actress and gossip columnist for the L.A. Times, known for feuding with her rival Luella Parsons.

26. Dutch-speaking Caribbean island: ARUBA.  One of the 4 countries comprising the Kingdom of the Netherlands, along with Curaçao, and Sint Maarten.  It is located off the coast of Venezuela, about 1000 miles west of the Lesser Antilles.

27. Asian palm nut: BETEL.  Because of the materials it is prepared with, it is a serious health hazard in Asia, where it's use is very common.

28. "Plant-powered" hair care brand: AVEDA.

32. Tequila source: AGAVE. A succulent plant native to arid regions of Mexico and the American southwest.

33. Scrap: RUN IN. A disagreement or fight, especially with someone in an official position.

34. Puts an end to: STOPS.

39. Welles who played Kane: ORSON. [1915-1985] An American actor, director, writer and producer who worked in theatre, radio and film.

42. What "two" meant to Paul Revere: BY SEA. Paul Revere [1734-1818] was an American silversmith, engraver, early industrialist, and Patriot in the American Revolution. He is best known for his midnight ride to alert the colonial militia in April 1775 to the approach of British forces before the battles of Lexington and Concord.  The warning signal placed in the tower of the North Church indicated British troop movement by land with one lantern and by water with two. [Wikipedia]

50. Ovid collection: AMORES.  Ovid [b 43 BC] was a contemporary of Virgil and Horace during the reign of Augustus.  AMORES is his first book of poetry, in an erotic mode, but often humorous, subversive, and sometimes even absurd.

52. "You saved me!": MY HERO.

54. Tipped top: HAT.  Tipping one's hat is a sign of respect.

56. Make very happy: ELATE.

57. Fairy tale crones: HAGS. Witches.

58. Paraffin-coated cheese: EDAM. From the Netherlands part of the Netherlands.

59. "The Godfather" novelist: PUZO. Mario [1920-1999]

60. Nureyev's no: NYET.  Literal, if you speak Russian.

62. On in years: AGED.  I'm getting there.

63. Tropical party: LUAU.  Traditional Hawaiian party or feast featuring local foods and entertainment.

64. Chooses: OPTS. Decides either for or against.

67. Bagel topper: LOX. Fillet of brined salmon.

On that tasty note, we end up another Wednesday.  Hope you found the leg lifts exhilarating.

Cool regards!

Apr 10, 2019

Wednesday, April 10, 2019 Jeff Stillman

Theme: URBAN RENEWAL.  Steps in an aspect of property improvement are presented in their logical order.

18 A. Controversial excavation method: STRIP MINING.  Instead of digging tunnels, the top layers of soil are STRIPPED away, revealing an open pit from which ore or coal can be removed.  Forests, top soil, other plant life, and even entire mountain tops are removed.  This is a very environmentally hostile technique.  In theme context, we will STRIP off the old paint - or, perhaps, wall paper - to reveal a fresh surface for redecoration

20 A. Beach house?: SAND CASTLE.  Not a class home or rental on what 38A suggests, but an ephemeral bit of perhaps artistic handiwork near the shore line.  Check these out.  I couldn't pick one.  On a somewhat less grandiose scale here are some of my grandchildren filling the moat on their construction at Coldwater Lake in 2006.

You SAND the surface using SAND paper, to remove foreign material and provide a smooth substrate for the next steps.

38 A. Beachfront property, often: PRIME REAL ESTATE.  It's always pricey along the water.  At this point I was confused about the theme.  What did STRIP MINING have to do with expensive beach front property?  But the theme uses a different sense of the word PRIME.  To get a good, smooth finish, you often need to PRIME the surface. This seals pores in the material, provides better adhesion for the top coat, increases durability and provides more robust protection for the painted surface.

57 A. Breed of Tonto's Scout: PAINT HORSE.  This is a registered breed that developed from spotted horses with thoroughbred and quarter horse blood lines.  There are a few images on this Wikipedia page.  All of the preceding was preliminary to the finishing step, which is to PAINT the item that has received all this care and effort.

59. Handyman's work suggested by the starts of 18-, 20-, 38- and 57-Across: RESTORATION.  Returning something to its prior or original condition, or - in this case - making over and improving a property or item.  A new PAINT job can be a part of that freshening process.

Hi, Gang.  It's JazzBumpa here to supervise the job. We outsource this sort of work. It relieves me of a burden, and helps keep the economy moving. And to be honest, it gets done better.  Let us keep moving and see what we can uncover in the rest of the project.  


1. Punk rock subgenre: EMO.  More complex and emotionally driven than punk rock in general.

4. Catches red-handed: NABS.  Capturing the miscreant in flegrante delicto.  By analogy to catching  murderer with blood on his hands.

8. Medieval stringed instruments: REBECS.  As you can see here, there are two ways to hold it.

14. GoPro product, briefly: CAMera for taking action movies..

15. Many a homecoming attendee: ALUMnus/na.  A graduate of an educational institution.

16. Covent Garden offerings: OPERAS.  This place is London's main theater and entertainment district, and home to the Royal Opera House.

17. All-Star pitcher: ACE. the best starting pitcher on a baseball team, and generally the first in the rotation.

22. Little biter: GNAT. Any of many small two-winged flying insect that often form large swarms.  There are biting and non-biting varieties.

23. Bible book between Daniel and Joel: HOSEA.  The same 8th century B.C. Old Testament prophet of doom who appeared in my last blogging effort here.  Due to failing eyesight in his later years, he was often asked, "Hosea, can you see?"

24. Biblical pronoun: THY.  Wrinkle not THY nose at my attempts at Biblical humor.

25. Nursery cry: MAMA.  Baby talk.

26. Form 1040 agcy.: IRSInfernal Revenue Service, as they used to say on HeeHaw.  Or so I've been told by people who actually watched it,

28. Permanent sites?: SALONS.  Hair dos.

30. Sounds of contentment: AAHS.  Spa noises.

33. __ Fables: AESOP'S. He was an old Greek story teller.

37. Criticize harshly: RIP.  A figurative, not literal, rending.

41. Org. for netmen: ATPAssociation of Tennis Professionals.  They have an objective, merit-based system for determining entry qualifications and seeding in tournaments.

42. "Barney Miller" star Hal: LINDEN.  Harold Lipshitz [b 1931] began his career as a big band singer in the '50's.  The Barney Miller series, named for the character he portrayed, ran from 1975 to 1982.

43. Linear: ONE-D.  One dimensional.

44. Biathlon weapons: RIFLES.  This is hybrid sport that combines shooting for accuracy and cross country skiing for speed.

46. __ Bund: Swiss newspaper: DER.  Meaning THE Union, this publication has fallen on hard times in recent decades.

48. Skelton's Kadiddlehopper: CLEM.  A country bumpkin character who was slow witted and kind hearted.

49. Merit badge org.: BSA. Boy Scouts of America.

52. Tut-tutted: TSKED.  A tongue-clicking sign of disapproval.

56. Scottish family: CLAN.  A kinship group having a sense of shared identity.

61. Shortest surname in Cooperstown: OTT. Mel [1909-1958] played right field for the New York Giants from 1926 to 1947.  A 12-time star, he finished his career with a .304 bating average, 488 doubles and1860 RBIs.  He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1951.

62. Kin of jujitsu: AIKIDO.  a Japanese form of self-defense and martial art that uses locks, holds, throws, and the opponent's own movements.  "The name Aikido is composed of three Japanese words: ai, meaning harmony; ki, spirit or energy; and do, the path, system or way. Aikido is the way of the spirit of harmony. Martial arts are studied for self-defense and self-improvement but Aikido is different from other martial arts in that practitioners seek to defend themselves without causing injury to their attackers."

63. Yours, to Yves: ATOI. French

64. Once known as: NEE.  Referring to a married woman's maiden name.  Also French

65. Planted a red herring, say: MISLED.  Figuratively sending someone in a wrong direction.

66. Poolroom powder: TALC.  It's used to reduce moisture and friction in the pool players hand that is used as a bridge for the cue stick.

67. Drop the ball: ERR. A defensive mistake in baseball.


1. Cybermoney: E-CASH.

2. Chinese gambling mecca: MACAO. A former Portuguese colony that was returned to China in 1999.  It has a separate system of government from the rest of mainland China.

3. Forebodings: OMENS.  Events presumed to foretell ensuing good or evil.

4. Sprint Cup org.: NASCAR.  The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing is headquartered in Daytona, Fla.

5. Utah ski resort: ALTA.

6. Break open: BURST.

7. Word for word?: SMITH. A wordSmith is a skilled user of words, but the sense of this clue escapes me.

8. Tiber River capital: ROME.  In Italy.

9. Center starter: EPI-.  Prefix for loanwords from Greek, meaning upon, over, at or near.  Center comes to us from Greek, via Latin.

10. Cincinnati player: BENGAL. Professional football.

11. "Happy Days" actress: ERIN MORAN.  [1960-2017] She played Joanie Cunningham.

12. Inhabitant of ancient Palestine: CANAANITE.  Any member of several ethnic groups who occupied parts of modern-day Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan during the bronze age and earlier.

13. NCO rank: SSGT.  A Staff Sergeant is a Non-commissioned officer.

19. Work at, as a trade: PLY. Related to "apply," meaning to work steadily at one's business or trade.

21. Reason-based faith: DEISM.  Belief in the existence of a creator as "first cause" that rejects notions of miracles, revelations, or a God that interacts with humans

25. Easter liturgy: MASS.  The liturgical service of the Christian Catholic church.  Masses are certainly held on Easter - as well as every other day of the year.  This is a very poor clue.

27. One-piece dresses: SARIS.  The SARI, or saree, is traditional garb from India.

28. Go through: SPEND.  Use up one's funds.

29. Floored it: SPED.  Pushing the gas pedal to the floor boards.

30. On __ with: A PAR.  Equivalent or similar.

31. Constitution section that creates the executive branch: ARTICLE II.  Article I creates the legislative branch.  Article III creates the judicial branch.

32. On-the-sly alcohol containers: HIP FLASKS. A container that can be slipped into a pocket.

34. Poetic time: E'EN. Evening.

35. Downcast: SAD.  Unhappy or depressed.

36. Bullfight cheer: OLE. From Spanish-speaking countries.

39. K thru 6: ELEMentary school grades.

40. Upper body: TORSO.  The trunk of the body, exclusive of the head and limbs.

45. Soup legume: LENTIL. A small, round, lens-shaped bean.  As a food crop, the majority comes from India, Canada and Australia.

47. Cultural, as cuisine: ETHNIC.  Relating to a population subgroup with a common national or cultural tradition.

49. Sheep's cry: BAA. Or MAA.  You never know.

50. Occupy, as a desk: SIT AT.

51. Santa __ racetrack: ANITA.  The Santa ANITA park is located in Arcadia, CA.

53. Scandinavian coin: KRONE.  Currently equal to about  $0.12.

54. Fragrant compound: ESTER. They occur in many natural products and provide the aromas of most fresh fruits.

55. Discourage: DETER. Block, impede, hamper.

56. Pull an all-nighter: CRAM.  Last minute studying for a big test.  Probably not a very good ides.

57. Urge: PROD.  Poke, jab, nudge.

58. Item in a kit: TOOL. A device or implement - in this case hand held - used to carry out a particular function

60. "__ to My Right Knee": Rita Dove poem: ODE.  A lyric poem in elevated style addressing a particular object.  This one is not exactly an homage.

That completes this project.  Hope the results are pleasing.

Cool regards!

Mar 27, 2019

Wednesday, March 27, 2019 Norfleet Pruden

Theme: On your Marx, get set  .  .  .  Three long answers are common, in-the-language phrases doubling as movie titles.  These movies star a band of brothers.

20 A. Shenanigans: MONKEY BUSINESS.  Mischievous or deceitful behavior.  Also, a 1952 movie staring Carey Grant, Marilyn Monroe and Ginger Rogers.

But more to the point, this 1931 movie featuring the aforementioned siblings.

In either case, you can find the entire movie on Youtube.

37 A. "Nonsense!": HORSE FEATHERS.  An expression of disagreement, disbelief or frustration. Also, another epic on the silver screen, this time from 1932.

53 A. Nabisco product whose package formerly displayed circus cages: ANIMAL CRACKERS.  Small cookies in the shapes of zoo and circus animals, available since 1902.

And, sure enough, yet another movie title, from 1930.

66 A. Surname of the stars of 20-, 37- and 53-Across: MARX.  Groucho [Julius,] Harpo [Arthur,] Zeppo [Herbert] and Chico [Leonard.]  A fifth brother. Gummo [Milton,] never appeared in any of their movies.  [Wikipedia]


1. Sow chow: SLOP.  Unspecified liquid or semi-liquid kitchen scraps as an alternative to Purina Swine Chow.

5. Sport with clay disks: SKEET.  The disks are propelled in the air as shooting targets.

10. "House Hunters" channel: HGTV.

14. Kind of curriculum: CORE.  A set of common courses required of all students, irrespective of their major.

15. Mural prefix: INTRA-.  Literally "within the walls," referring to sport or other competitions among students of a single institution.

16. Nécessité for a soufflé: OEUF.  French eggs.

17. Food thickener: AGAR. A gelatinous material extracted from red seaweed.

18. Anti-wrinkle option: BOTOX.  A drug prepared from botulism toxin used to treat certain muscular conditions, and to remove facial wrinkles.

19. Hearty bowlful: STEW.  A meal of meat and vegetables cooked together in broth.

23. Wrinkly little dog: PUG.  A small breed with a deeply wrinkled face.  Any irony with 18 A?

24. Gore and Green: ALS.  AL Gore is a Viet Nam war veteran, former Representative in Congress, Senator, Vice President and presidential candidate.  AL Green is a singer and ordained minister who has led a complicated and eventful life.

25. Defunct supermarket chain that once had nearly 16,000 stores: A AND P.  Originally the Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company.  they went out of business in 2015, after 156 years.

27. Lines on a list: ITEMS.

29. Thick slice: SLAB. As bacon, concrete or marble.

32. Break bread: EAT.  Together with other people.  Evidently, the referent is the Last Supper.

33. Adds bubbles to: AERATES.

36. Tropicana Field MLB team: RAYS.  Last year they won 90 games and finished 3rd in the powerful AL East division, behind the Red Sox and Yankees.

40. Cry under a pop fly: MINE.  So that other fielders will back off and avoid a collision.  Except for a weird 2 games series that the Mariners swept from the A's in Japan last week, the regular season starts for the rest of MLB tomorrow.  The Tigers open at Toronto, 3:37 pm local time.

41. Shiraz resident: IRANIAN.   Shiraz is the 5th most populous city in Iran.  It has been a population center since at least 2000 B.C.  This week, torrential rains have lead to devastating flooding and several fatalities.

42. Find a job for: USE.

43. Organic compound: ENOL. More common in crosswords than in chemistry labs, probably.

44. Freeways and parkways: ROADS.  Thoroughfares.

48. Store in a queue for printing: SPOOL.

50. Like some pkgs.: PPD. Post Paid or Pre Paid.  [???]

52. India-born author Santha Rama __: RAU. [1923-2009]  Author of several books.

58. Soon, long ago: ANON. It can be traced back to the 11th century, meaning "in one" indicating "right away."

59. Baby's ailment: COLIC.  Frequent extended episodes of crying in small infants, with no identifiable cause.

60. Oodles: LOTS.  Non-specific large quantity,

61. URL connection: LINK.  Direction to an internet site, not to be confused with a sausage unit.

62. Tiny amount: TRACE.  Non-specific small quantity.

63. Beekeeper played by Peter Fonda: ULEE.

64. Deck quartet: ACES.  A deck of cards has four cards of equal rank, in each of four suits.

65. Underground home of the Ninja Turtles: SEWER.  Never watched them


1. Shrimp dish: SCAMPI.  Large shrimp sautéed in garlic and butter.

2. Leave a chat room, say: LOG OUT.  Or LOG OFF.  Need perps.

3. Grand Marnier flavor: ORANGE.  A blend of Cognac, essence of bitter orange and sugar.

4. Central __: "Friends" coffee house: PERK.

5. Female oracle: SIBYL. A so-named single prophetess in the 4th and 5th centuries B.C. located somewhere in Anatolia.  After that time SIBYL became a title and there were several found in various locations.

6. Drawer handles: KNOBS.  Suitable for pulling.

7. Words to a traitor: ET TU.  From when Caesar was sectioned.

8. Love god: EROS.  From Greek mythology, the son of Aphrodite, not to be confused with the too-cutesy, cherubic renaissance representations of his Roman counterpart, Cupid.

9. Roll to the runway: TAXI.  The motion of an airplane while on the ground.

10. Biblical prophet: HOSEA.  From the 8th century B.C.  He was often viewed as a prophet of doom.  Hence the expression: "No waya, Hosea!" But his messages often contained a promise of restoration.

11. Comes close to: GETS  NEAR.  Approaches

12. When general U.S. elections are held: TUESDAYS.  In November.

13. Ex-GIs' gp.: VFWVeterans of Foreign Wars.

21. Makes less difficult: EASES.  Alleviates, mitigates, assuages.

22. Catch red-handed: NAB.  This expression goes back to 15th century Scottish law, referring to catching a murderer in the act.

26. Qt. halves: PTS.  Mind your P[int]s and Q[uart]s.

28. Stable mother: MARE.  Horse mom.  Mental and emotional condition may vary.

29. Base runner's ploy: STEAL.  In baseball, attempting to advance a base while the ball is being pitched.  A risky maneuver that can be rewarding.

30. Like tough economic times: LEAN.  Indicating that there is little opportunity to improve the situation by trimming.

31. Wine province near Turin: ASTI.  Purveyor of bubbly spirits.

34. Free __: carte blanche: REIN.  Unfettered freedom of action or expression.  Kind of like what I have here.

35. Jackson 5 hairdo: AFRO.

36. City that aptly rhymes with "casino": RENO.  Casino city.

37. From Latin America: HISPANIC. Relating to country of origin in Spanish-speaking Central, or South America and the Caribbean, regardless of ethnicity.

38. Like a typical therapy session: ONE ON ONE.  A meeting or encounter between two individuals.

39. Capital of Canada?: HARD C.  If you can't say anything nice  .  . .

40. Juilliard subj.: MUS.  The Julliard School is located in the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in Manhattan.  In addition to MUSic, it also offers degree programs in theater and dance.

43. Shade tree: ELM.

45. Colorful ring: AREOLA.  A small, circular colored area.  I'll leave google image searching to the curious.

46. Quick mover: DARTER.

47. English Channel county: SUSSEX.  On the eastern part of the southern coast, along the English Channel, due south from London.

49. Sty chorus: OINKS.  The singing of swine.

50. Haggling focus: PRICE.  Negotiating a deal.

51. Indiana NBA player: PACER.  At 45-29, they are currently third in the Eastern Conference, behind the Raptors and 76ers.

54. Show parts: ACTS.  Acts are further divided into scenes.

55. Handed-down stories: LORE.  Historical knowledge, traditions and stories, generally passed from person to person by word of mouth.

56. Crab's grabber: CLAW.

57. "America's Got Talent" judge Heidi: KLUM.

58. Miss. neighbor: ALAbama.  A southern state located mostly between Georgia and Mississippi.  From my observation, it's mostly forest.

Thus endeth another Wednesday.  Having left my Marx, I will now bid you adieu.

Cool regards!

Mar 13, 2019

Wednesday, March 13, 2019 Ed Sessa

Theme: Well, there was this guy  .  .  . and this other guy  .  .  .   Or - What's in a name? Famous men's names are linked across and within theme entries, from the generic to the specific.

First the generic:

18 D. Generic guy: TOM.
34 D. Generic guy: DICK.
50 D.  Generic guy: HARRY.
These are generally considered as a collective, referring to any guy you're likely to run into.  So to encounter every TOM, DICK and HARRY separately here made it a little hard to suss.  Of course, these given names could have been clued in a variety of other ways.  But with this theme, it's important to clue them this way, leaving them, in a sense, open ended.

67 A. 18-, 34- __ 50-Down: AND.  To bring them all together

As an aside, the most common names for boys born in 2018 were Jackson,  Liam, Noah, Aiden, Caden, Grayson, Lucas, Mason, Oliver and Elijah.  The old expression might need to be reconsidered, because nowadays, every Tom Dick and Harry is named Jackson, Liam or Noah.

Then the specific:

20 A. After 18-Down, actor/golfer combo: ARNOLD PALMER.  So we get the actor TOM ARNOLD [b 1959] and the golfer ARNOLD PALMER [1929-2016].  Tom's first wife was the now increasingly unhinged Roseanne Barr.  He is currently getting divorced from his fourth wife.  At some point you might just as well quit.  ARNOLD PALMER was, and remains, an icon in the world of golf.  Once, at his Bay Hill golf club, I had lunch with him.  Granted, we were at different tables, at opposite ends of the room, but we were eating together.  Or at least at the same time. His name could also have been clued as a soft drink made by mixing lemonade and iced tea.

37 A. After 34-Down, crime writer/poet combo: FRANCIS SCOTT KEY.  Here we have DICK FRANCIS [1920-2010], a former steeplechase jockey whose novels focus on crime in the world of British horse racing, along with FRANCIS SCOTT KEY [1779-1843] who composed the poem Defense of Fort M'Henry in September, 1814, after witnessing the battle there.  It was soon set to music, and became our unofficial national anthem.  This was made official by an executive order from President Wilson in 1916. There are good reasons why the third verse is never sung.

55. After 50-Down, president/novelist combo: TRUMAN CAPOTE.  This gives us the 33rd President [1945-1933] of the U. S., HARRY TRUMAN [1884-1972] and author TRUMAN CAPOTE [1924-1984.] President Truman implemented the Marshall Plan, benefiting Western Europe after WW II and was involved in establishing NATO.  TRUMAN CAPOTE was a novelist, playwright and actor.  At least 20 of his works have been made into movies.  The best known are probably Breakfast a Tiffany's and the non-fiction murder story In Cold Blood.

Hi Gang.  JazzBumpa here.  As you can probably tell, I had a hard time figuring out how to characterize and deal with this clever and unusual theme.  Proper names, in general, are not top notch fill.  But when they become the theme, it's a whole new ball game.  And Ed has given the idea - quite literally - a new dimension.  So - kudos for that.  Let's see what else we have.


1. Cascades peak: SHASTA.  A currently inactive [but who knows?] volcano at the southern end of the Cascade Range in Northern CA,  with a max. elevation of 14, 179 ft.

7. Cap'n's aide: BOS'N.   A contraction of boatswain, also known as the chief petty officer.

11. Classic British sports cars: MGs.  The Initials of Morris Garages.  MG is the marque for vehicles marketed as such by its parent company, Shanghai based SAIC Motors.

14. Character builder?: AUTHOR. A writer, in this case of fiction stories, where each character ought to be built of relatable human characteristics. Unless that character is Ramsey Bolton.

15. __ Domini: ANNO.  Latin for "in the year of our Lord," designating the most recent 2019 years of human history.  This idea has its own complicated history which the interested reader may perhaps pursue at one's leisure.

16. Vein contents: ORE.  Mining for minerals

17. Not yet proven: THEORETICAL.  Sometimes the theoretical can yet be proven.  All it takes are extraordinary capability and decades of single-minded devotion.

19. __ drop: MIC.  I have a mental block about pronouncing mic as Mike.  Anyway, the expression refers to a literal or figurative gesture at the end of a speech or performance indicating triumph.

22. Wrestling duo: TAG TEAM.  A two person wrestling team, only one of which is in the ring at any given time.  A replacement can only be made if the one in the ring can physically touch, or TAG, his partner.

25. Innocent: NAIVE.  Due to lack of experience with all the pitfalls, travails and villains one encounters in the real world.

26. Charlottesville sch.: UVA. University of Virginia.

27. Like a cool cat: HEP.  From Wikipedia: Hipster or hepcat, as used in the 1940s, referred to aficionados of jazz, in particular bebop, which became popular in the early 1940s. The hipster adopted the lifestyle of the jazz musician, including some or all of the following: dress, slang, use of cannabis and other drugs, relaxed attitude, sarcastic humor, self-imposed poverty, and relaxed sexual codes.

30. Edible root: BEET.  When it comes to borscht, you can't beet soup!

31. Depended (on): RELIED.

35. Sunlit lobbies: ATRIA.  Entrance areas or central courts of buildings or complexes that are either open roofed or glass covered.  I once had the opportunity to crawl around on one with a glass roof.  And, yes, I am acrophobic.  Good times.

42. Worthy of a standing O: SOCKO.  Stunningly effective or successful.

43. Pay for one's crime: DO TIME.  Go to prison.

44. Suisse peak: ALPE.  Une montagne en Français.

47. Sisters, say: KIN.  It's all relative.

48. Spam holder: TIN.  A metal can containing [presumably] food stuffs.

49. "American Horror Story" actress Paulson: SARAH. Never watched it.

51. Contents of a teacher's key: ANSWERS.

59. TV buying channel: HSNHome Shopping Network

60. Host of a Friars Club event: ROASTMASTER.  Portmanteau of ROAST and MASTER, modeled after "toastmaster, " to designate an MC at a comedy roast, in which a person is honored by being the butt of pointed jokes.

64. One of a comic trio: MOE.  Along with Larry, Curly, and Shemp.  I know - that makes 4.  Sometimes life ain't easy.

65. Invite feedback?: RSVP.  Formal request to respond to an invitation.

66. Nissan sedan: ALTIMA.  A mid-size sedan.

68. Votes for: YEAS.  All opposed say Nay.

69. Oppressive ruler: DESPOT.  A ruler with absolute power.  Power corrupts.


1. Minded the kids: SAT.  As in baby sat.

2. "What the?!": HUH.  Eh?

3. Pigged out, say: ATE.  Too much.

4. Little pig: SHOAT.  Especially one who was newly weaned.

5. Yankee manager before Girardi: TORRE.  Joe [b 1940] ranks 5th in MLB history with 2326 wins as a manger.  He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2015.

6. __ rock: Queen genre: ARENA.  I did not know this was actually considered a genre of pop music.  Music designed to be played in large spaces before large audiences.

7. Attend to a leaking boat: BAIL.  Scoop water out of the boat with buckets.  Might be a losing battle.

8. How some data is stored: ON CD.  Increasingly less likely these days.

9. Sound made using two fingers: SNAP.  There's more than one way to do it.

10. "The Dark Knight Trilogy" director Christopher: NOLAN. [b 1970]  An English film director, screen writer and producer who holds duel British and American citizenship.

11. Family nickname: MOMMIE.

12. Mourn: GRIEVE.  Emotional distress.

13. It's not for everyone: SECRET.  Keep it under your hat.

21. Canadian brewery: LABATT.  Founded in 1847 by John Kinder Labatt in London, Ont.  Now part of international conglomerate Inbev.

22. Steak metaphor seen on menus: TURF.  Along with SURF.  What wine goes with that?

23. State with conviction: AVER.  Or AVOW.  Always need perps.

24. Charity event: GALA.  A social event with entrtainmnet.

27. Wears: HAS ON.  Is clothed with.

28. "There's more" letters: ETC.  List shortener.

29. Jab to keep them dogies rollin': PROD.  For cattle.

32. Slacks measure: INSEAM.  The seam from the crotch to the bottom of a pant leg, or its length.

33. Prefix with car: ECO.  ECoCAR is a competitive event in which engineering students design and build advanced vehicles with leading edge technologies.

36. "How was __ know?": I TO.  Somebody tell me.

38. Maneuver through moguls: SKI.  This short video shows how to do it.

39. Flier on a string: KITE.

40. Mideast mogul: EMIR. A clecho, and a different sense of the word mogul, here meaning an important or powerful person.

41. Strong desires: YENS.  Urges.  I thought about going to Japan, but didn't have he YEN to travel.

44. Bronchial disorder: ASTHMA. A chronic lung disease that inflames and narrows the airways.

45. "The Far Side" cartoonist Gary: LARSON.  [b.1950]  Seeking to avoid what he termed "the graveyard of mediocre cartoons, he retired at the beginning of 1995 at age 44.

46. Tended to topiary: PRUNED.  Selected trimming away of branches from trees or shrubs.

51. Germane: APT. Appropriate or suitable to the situation.

52. Desert wanderer: NOMAD.  One with no permanent home, traveling from place to place to find fresh areas for livestock grazing.

53. Like many bad jokes: STALE.  Old and used up.

54. Bridge positions: WESTS.  Positions at the bridge table are named for the four main cardinal directions.

56. Bridge position: NOSE.  Another clecho, and another sense of the word bridge.

57. Vena __: major blood line: CAVA.  Either of two veins returning deoxygenated blood to the heart.

58. Sacred symbols on pyramid walls: ASPS.  The depiction of an Egyptian cobra.

61. Reward for waiting: TIP.  Not for Godot, unless he has arrived and is at the table where you are serving.

62. Confessional music genre: EMO.  Similar to punk, but having more complex arrangements, typically dealing with angst and other deep emotions.

63. Maze scurrier: RAT.  In a laboratory.

That wraps it up for another Wednesday. Good puzzle.  I didn't have any nits.  Hope you enjoyed it.

Cool regards!

Feb 20, 2019

Wednesday, February 20, 2019 George Jasper

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

21. Named, briefly: IDEDIdentified.

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

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

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

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

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

29. Dramatic opening?: ACT I.

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

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

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

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

43. Does impressions of: APES.  Mimics.

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

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

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

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

56. Korean automaker: KIA.

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

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

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

66. "Freeze!": STOP.  Halt!


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

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

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

4. "Told you": SEE.  Rubbing it in.

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

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

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

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

11. Barely enjoy the pool?: SKINNY DIP.

Look before you leap

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

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

18. Place: SITE.  A specific location.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

35. Anonymous Jane: DOE.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

53. Thoroughly enjoy: EAT UP.

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

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

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

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

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

Cool regards,
JzB signing out.