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

May 20, 2020

Wednesday, May 20, 2020 Jesse Goldberg

Theme: Vivisection.  Various body parts are unpleasantly severed, figuratively speaking.  Have a look, if you're not too squeamish.

17. Give 110% effort: WORK ONE'S BUTT OFF.  No matter how hard I've worked, my BUTT has always still been there.  I cry foul!

27. Be excessively verbose: TALK ONE'S EAR OFF.  Do your ears ever get tired?  Have they fallen off?

49. Mourn at length: CRY ONE'S EYES OUT. When the tears flow, to no end, taking the eyeballs with them.

63. Worry to an extreme degree: PULL ONE'S HAIR OUT.  To look at me, one might think I've been doing this. But, no - it's just old age.

Hi gang, it's the tattered remains of JazzBumpa here.  Let's see if we can get through this puzzle without further abuse. 

Looks like this is Jesse Goldberg's premier appearance in the L.A. Times.  Nice job, Jesse, and congrats.  Hope to see more of your work in the future.

Across:

1. __ Springs: PALM.  Palm Springs, a city in the Sonoran Desert of southern California, is known for its hot springs, stylish hotels, golf courses and spas.

5. Word with base or boot: CAMP.  A base CAMP is a main encampment providing supplies, shelter, and communications for persons engaged in wide-ranging activities, as exploring, reconnaissance, hunting, or mountain climbing.  A boot CAMP is a military training camp for new recruits, with strict discipline.

9. National Poetry Month: APRIL.  Also the cruelest month, according to a poem.



14. Six-time MLB All-Star Moisés: ALOU.   Moisés Rojas Alou Beltre [b1966] is an outfielder who played for several teams in the major leagues over 17 years with a .303 batting average.

15. Curved molding: OGEE.

16. Water under the Pont de Normandie: SEINE.  French river.

20. Publicity photos from movies: STILLS.  Stationary shots extracted from a movie scene.

21. Swedish pop quartet: ABBA.  I can't get away from them.



22. Day care charge: TOT.  Young child

23. Illegal freeway maneuvers, for short: UIES.  A 180 degree arc to reverse course.  Sadly, the spelling is nonstandard and arbitrary, so perps are always needed.

25. Meat cut: LOIN.  The part of the body on either side of the vertebrae adjacent to the hip bones.

33. Santa __ winds: ANA. These are strong, extremely dry downslope winds that originate inland and affect coastal Southern California and northern Baja California. They originate from cool, dry high-pressure air masses in the Great Basin.  One theory is that they are named for the Santa ANA canyon.

34. Brood: STEW.  Worry, not necessarily with hair tearing.

35. Wild child: TERROR. Little trouble maker.

37. Syndrome after a life-threatening experience, briefly: PTSDPost Traumatic Stress Disorder.

39. Title for tennis great Andy Murray: SIR. [b 1987] He is a British professional tennis player from Scotland. Murray represents Great Britain in his sporting activities and is a three-time Grand Slam tournament winner, two-time Olympic champion, Davis Cup champion, winner of the 2016 ATP World Tour Finals, and former world No. 1.

41. Selfish shout: MINE.



42. __ Club: conservation group: SIERRA.  An environmental organization founded in 1892 by John Muir.

45. Carpet type: SHAG.  Carpet with a deep pile, giving it a shaggy appearance.

48. QB stats: TDSTouchDowns.

52. Unlikely, as a chance: SLIM.  Curiously, FAT chance means the same thing.

53. Carrie-__ Moss of "Jessica Jones": ANNE.  She [b1967] is a Canadian actress who has also appeared in several movies.

54. Dedicated poem: ODE.

57. "Livin' la Vida __": LOCA. The crazy life.



59. Herbal cough drop brand: RICOLA.  From Switzerland.




66. Falcon's claw: TALON. Raptors are TALONted.

67. Boris Johnson's alma mater: ETON.  British School, 4 letters - you know what to do.

68. "The Snowy Day" Caldecott winner __ Jack Keats: EZRA.


69. Tons: SLEWS.  A whole bunch. Cf 2D

70. Ran out of juice: DIED.  As a battery, or battery powered device.

71. Ready to drive: TEED. Ready to play a hole of golf, or a whole bunch of golf.


Down:

1. Cats play with them: PAWS.  They don't have hands.

2. Loads: A LOT.  Tons.  A bunch.  Mucho.  Cf 69 A.

3. Greiner of "Shark Tank": LORI.  [b 1969] An American entrepreneur, television personality, and inventor.

4. Arctic footwear: MUKLUK.  A high, soft boot that is worn in the American Arctic and is traditionally made from sealskin.

5. Agree: CONSENT.  Go along with.

6. It's just a number, so they say: AGE.  Don't let your age be a boundary or a limitation.

7. Elevated landform: MESA.  Table-land: an isolated flat topped hill with steep sides.

8. Little rock: PEBBLE.  A small, rounded stone, especially one worn smooth by water action.

9. Rogers' partner: ASTAIRE.  Ginger and Fred. They were pretty good.



10. Favorite: PET.

11. Hilarious one: RIOT.

12. The 411: INFO.  From the telephone number for directory assistance n the U.S. and Canada.

13. Took off: LEFT.  That's right.

18. Hodgepodges: OLIOS.  Confused mixtures.

19. WWII sea threat: U-BOAT.  Undersea boat: submarine.

24. Views: SEES.  Observes.

26. Typical behavior: NORM.  The usual.

27. Brewpub array: TAPS.  Devices for controlling the flow of liquids.

28. Bit of foolishness: ANTIC.  A grotesque, fantastic, or ludicrous gesture, act, or posture.

29. Surgical tool: LASER. A high energy light beam that vaporizes soft tissue with high water content.

30. Havarti alternative: SWISS.  Types of cheese.  Havarti is Danish.  My favorite Swiss cheese comes from Norway.

31. Corn chip: FRITO.  Brand name

32. Ballet bend that sounds like a cheese dish: FONDU.  After this demonstration, you can have fun doing it.



36. Enjoy an easy chair: REST.

38. Prohibitionists: DRYS.  Those opposed to the consumption of alcohol.

40. Ostrich relative: RHEA. Distant cousins from distant continents.

43. Deodorant choices: ROLL ONS.

44. Negative particle: ANION.  An atom or molecule with an extra electron.

46. "Atlas Shrugged" novelist: AYN RAND.

47. Bottled spirits: GENII.  Spirits of Arabian folklore, as traditionally depicted imprisoned within a bottle or oil lamp, and capable of granting wishes when summoned.

Would the drys object?

50. Hosted: EMCEED.  To have been the Master of Ceremonies.

51. Like passwords, ideally: SECRET.  Not known or seen by others.

54. Declines, with "out": OPTS.  To OPT is to make a choice.

55. Twofold: DUAL. Having two parts or aspects.

56. Fashion magazine since 1945: ELLE.  Founded n Paris.  The name is a French female pronoun.

58. Italian wine region: ASTI.  A provence in Piedmont, northern Italy.

60. Move like a blob: OOZE.  Slowly seep.

61. Bait: LURE.  Enticement.

62. Somewhat: A TAD.

64. Close to the ground: LOW.

65. Manual weed whacker: HOE.  A long-handled gardening tool with a thin metal blade, used mainly for weeding and breaking up soil.

OK.  We had some fun and survived with our remaining body parts intact.  Hope the rest of your Wednesday is enjoyable and harmless.  Stay home.  Stay safe.  Wash your hands.

Cool regards!
JzB



May 6, 2020

Wednesday, May 6 Kevin Christian & Mangesh Mumbaikar Ghogre

Theme: All Your Secret Are Belong To Us.  Various Codes get broken.

I have to present the theme answers in pairs to make sense of this.  Let's look at the unifier first.

64 A. Intelligence agency employee, and what a black square acts as in rows 3, 5, 8 and 11: CODE BREAKER.  A person who solves an encryption code and thus is able to translate and understand messages sent using that code.  In the puzzle the names of various types of codes are split, or "broken" by a black square in the grid.

On to the theme fill --

17 A. World's oldest golf tournament: BRITISH OPEN. Founded in 1860, this tournament now rotates among a select group of courses in the U.K.

19 A. __-purpose flour: ALL.  There are specific flours for bread, pastry, cakes, and several even more specialized types, like gluten free.  ALL purpose flour is a compromise blend made from hard and soft wheat that is good for most purposes.

Spanning the black square we have PENAL.  A PENAL code is the collection of laws dealing with crimes and their punishments.

23 A. Course standard: PAR. In golf, the expected number of strokes for a first-class golfer to complete a hole or course.

24 A. Like a big grin: EAR TO EAR. Descriptor for a broad grin on a happy face.

Together they give us AREA.  An AREA code is a three digit number that identifies your telephone service region.

39 A. "Name another person": WHO ELSE Self explanatory

41 A. Some Greek islanders: CRETANS.  Inhabitants of CRETE,  the largest and most populous of the Greek Islands.  It is the 5th largest island n the Mediterranean and 88th largest in the world.  Who measures these things?

A SECRET code is a method of encrypting messages to maintain security and confidentiality.  This is the sense I was thinking of in the theme title.

52 A. Starbucks amenity: FREE WIFI.  A no-fee function granting internet access.

55 A. Short agent?: REP.  Abbrv for REPresentative: one who acts on your behalf.  Short in the clue suggests an abbreviation in the fill.

A FIRE code is a set of building and property regulations designed to establish a mandatory standard for a building's ability to resist the start and spread of a fire, as well as facilitating the prompt and safe evacuation of the occupants.

Hi gang.  JazzBumpa here.  Looks like this is the first L.A.T. puzzle by the team of Kevin Christian & Mangesh Mumbaikar Ghogre.  Congrats, Guys!  Clever and original theme approach and an all-round top-notch puzzle.  Now let's break in and see if we can decode it

Across:

1. Out of whack: AMISS.  Something isn't right.  How come things running smoothly are never in whack?

6. Sounding shocked: AGASP.  One of those dreaded A-words you are unlikely to find outside of an X-word.

11. Kissing on a crowded sidewalk, for short: PDAPublic Display of Affection.  Regardless of your attitude towards these things, please avoid crowded sidewalks.

14. Dyed fabric: BATIK.  An Indonesian technique of wax-resistance dying applied to whole cloth.

15. __ Mesa, Calif.: COSTA. A city in orange Co.

16. Acted as guide: LED.  Only if you followed.

20. In itself: AS SUCH.   Per se.

21. Short-term sculpture material: ICE.  Alas, they melt.

22. Country's Lovett: LYLE. [b 1957] He is an American singer, song writer, actor and producer with 13 albums who has won four grammies.  In the early 90s he was briefly married to Julia Roberts.  In 2017 he married April Kimble after a 14 year engagement.

26. McKellen of "Vicious": IAN.  What - no love for Gandolf?!?  He [b 1939] is a versatile British actor.

29. Stout servers: PUBS.  Where portly proprietors might also serve you porters.

31. Peddled: SOLD.

32. Febreze target: ODOR.

34. App's early version: BETA.  A version made available to a limited group of users for testing.

36. Talus neighbor: TIBIA.  The innermost and longer of the two bones between the knee and ankle [talus.]

43. Augment: ADD TO.

44. Vivacity: BRIO.

46. Letter before bravo: ALFA.  First letter of the NATO phonetic alphabet, used to spell parts of a message where confusion might occur.

47. Untruths: LIES.  Mendacity

49. "Marriage Story" Oscar nominee Driver: ADAM. [b 1983] He has received a Volpi Cup [Venice Film festival] and has been nominated for 3 Academy awards, 2 Emmys and a Tony.

51. Prune: LOP.  As, frex. a tree branch.

57. Bonny gal: LASS.  A lovely lady from Lanarkshire.

58. Spa bath choice: MUD.

59. Digital brokerage pioneer: E-TRADE.  Founded in 1991

63. Angsty music genre: EMO. A variety of pop music similar to punk, but with more complexity and emotion.

66. Monkey in "Aladdin": ABU.  Star of the show?



67. Seething: ANGRY.  The original meaning of seethe is to boil.  This is one of those "hot" words used to indicate anger.

68. Having too much: OD-ING.  Figuratively Over-Dosing.   

69. Soak (up), as sauce: SOP.  As defined - from Old English.

70. See 12-Down: REESE.   Delloreese Patricia Early [1931-2017] known professionally as Della Reese, was an American jazz and gospel singer, actress, and ordained minister whose career spanned seven decades.



71. Wound up costing: RAN TO.  Added up to a total cost.

Down:

1. "Fernando" band: ABBA.



2. Singer Bruno who won six 2017 Grammy Awards: MARS.  Don't believe me?  Just watch.



3. Words before and after "what": IT IS.  A tautology that developed into an idiomatic phrase indicating the immutable nature of an object or circumstance.

4. Suddenly pay attention: SIT UP.  Mental attention reflected in physical posture.

5. Slopes headgear: SKI CAP.  Googling gets me knit beanies.  Who knew.


6. Berlin cry: ACH.  An expression of surprise, impatience, disgust, etc.

7. Most like s'mores: GOOIEST.  It's from the toasted marshmallows.

8. Shelter org.: ASPCA.  The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, established in 1866.

9. Heads (toward): STEERS. Directs one's direction to.

10. Rave's opposite: PAN.  Extremes of the rating spectrum for stage performance. PAN is harshly critical.

11. Cooperated: PLAYED BALL.  Worked willingly with others.

12. With 70-Across, "Touched by an Angel" star: DELLA.  Vide Supra.



13. Stella __ Studio of Acting: ADLER. [1901- 1992] She was an American actress and acting teacher.[2] She founded the Stella Adler Studio of Acting in New York City in 1949.

18. Bushes: SHRUBS. Woody plants smaller than trees, with several main stems arising at or near the ground.

22. Title girl whose given name is Dolores: LOLITA.  Sue Lyon played her in the movie, but could not attend the premier because she was too young


25. Subscriber's bonus: TOTE.  Bag for carrying parcels, and frequent promotional gift.

26. Hawkeye State: IOWA.  This popular nickname for the state of Iowa is said to have come from the scout, Hawkeye, in James Fenimore Cooper's The Last of the Mohicans published in 1826. According to the Iowa State web site, "Two Iowa promoters from Burlington are believed to have popularized the name." The nickname was given approval by "territorial officials" in 1838, twelve years after the book was published and eight years before Iowa became a state. [Reference]

27. Ritalin target, briefly: ADHD. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.   A person with ADHD has differences in brain development and brain activity that affect attention, the ability to sit still, and self-control.

28. Ramen restaurant offering: NOODLE SOUP.  Ramen are quick cooking egg noodles.

30. U.K. network, with "the": BEEB. The British Broadcasting Corporation.

33. Laces again: RETIES. As shoes.

35. Part of DNA: ACID.  The rest is deoxyribonucleic.

37. Recon details: INFO.  Information.

38. PDQ: ASAP.  Stat. Hurry. Rush.  Be hasty.

40. Big name in movie theaters: LOEW.  Marcus LOEW [1870 - 1927] was an American business magnate and pioneer in the motion picture industry.  He formed the MGM movie studio.

42. Lion, at times: ROARER.  Relevant



45. Las Vegas NFL team: RAIDERS.  The keep moving.

48. Four-time Olympic gold medal winner Biles: SIMONE. [b 1977] She has a combined total 0f 30 Olympic and World Championship medals, and is considered by many to be the greatest gymnast ever.

Believe it or not I can't do this.



50. Celestial body: METEOR.A small body of matter from outer space that enters the earths atmosphere where heats to incandescence from friction, and appears as a streak of light.

52. Causes of scratching: FLEAS. Small wingless jumping insects that feed on the blood of mammals and birds.  They sometimes transmit disease.

53. Recurring Stallone role: RAMBO.  Is there always blood?



54. Sundae topping: FUDGE.


56. Popular red-carpet fashion: PRADA.  An Italian luxury fashion house founded in 1913.

60. Like, with "to": AKIN. Similar

61. 64-Down blemish: DENT.  Ouch!

62. Cogito __ sum: ERGO.  "I think, therefor I am." Rene Descartes.

64. Garage occupant: CAR.  Without blemish, I hope.

65. "Sayonara": BYE.  Adios!

Perfect note to end on.  Speaking of notes we were also able to get quite a bit of music today.

Happy Wednesday, all.  Stay home.  Stay safe.  Don't break any codes.

Cool regards!
JzB



Apr 29, 2020

Wednesday, April 29, 2020 Bruce Haight

Theme: Behind in the Movies. Each theme answer has a movie title in it's last four letters

18. Hot cereal brand since 1893: CREAM OF WHEAT.  I haven't had this since not liking it as a kid.  I have developed a fondness for oatmeal, though.  HEAT is a 1995 taut psychological drama about an obsessive detective and a brilliant thief whose fates are linked in the aftermath of a high-stakes securities heist.



26. Hard-won struggle reminders: BATTLE SCARS.  Marks left on the body from healed wounds.  CARS is a 2006 Disney-Pixar animation whose characters are anthropomorphic vehicles with very humanoid personalities.  This is the original.  There are two sequals.



38. Page on a novelist's website: ABOUT THE AUTHOR.  Where the author introduces him/her self, work and persona.  Here are some tips.  THOR is a Marvel super-hero fantasy movie from 2011.




52. Military sanction: ARMS EMBARGO.  A restriction or a set of sanctions that applies solely to weaponry, and may also apply to "dual-use technology".  ARGO  Is a Warner Bros. Pictures' and GK Films' dramatic thriller.  Based on true events, "Argo" chronicles the life-or-death covert operation to rescue six Americans, which unfolded behind the scenes of the Iran hostage crisis--the truth of which was unknown by the public for decades.



61. Preview ... and what the ending letters of the four other longest answers comprise?: MOVIE TRAILER.  This clue could have been more specific and that would have helped  - a lot.  Don't feel bad if you didn't suss it.  I had to call for help. [Thanks C. C.]  Specifically, the last FOUR letters of each theme clue is a movie title at the end of - and therefore trailing - the theme fill.  That's rather a lot to unpack.

Hi gang - JazzBumpa here to unpack the rest of the puzzle.  Let's get to work

Across:

1. Top banana: MR. BIG.  Somebody in a position of power - especially in the criminal world.

6. Egg size: JUMBO. Bigger than large eggs weighing 2.5 each.

11. Wrap with feathers: BOA. A long, thin, decorative scarf.

14. Like some close ball games: ONE RUN.  A baseball game [I vaguely remember such things] won by a single run.

16. Ancient market: AGORA.  In ancient Greece, an open public place for gatherings or markets.

17. Objective: AIM.  Desired outcome.

20. "Baby Cobra" stand-up comedian Wong: ALI.


21. Fish that may attach itself to a 68-Across: REMORA. Also called sharksucker or suckerfish, any of eight species of marine fishes of the family Echeneidae (order Perciformes) noted for attaching themselves to, and riding about on, sharks, other large marine animals, and oceangoing ships. Remoras adhere by means of a flat, oval sucking disk on top of the head.

22. Implant: EMBED.  Attach to the inside of something, Frex: into a blog post, like a picture or MOVIE TRAILOR.  Are these terms really equivalant?

24. Sit-up targets: ABS.  The ABdomnal muscles.

30. Got another opinion from: RAN PAST. I RAN my symptoms PAST another doctor.

33. Subway critter: RAT.  Underground rodent.

34. Sail support: MAST.  On an appropriately equipped ship.

35. Scandinavian coastal feature: FJORD.  A long, narrow, deep inlet of the sea between high cliffs, as in Norway and Iceland, typically formed by submergence of a glaciated valley.  Which, I suppose explains why they aren't found in the tropics.

36. Patio-brewed drink: SUN TEA.  A beverage made by steeping the leaves in water under direct sunlight instead of boiling water.

43. Took a curious look: PEERED.  To look keenly or with difficulty at somebody or some thing.  I'm peering at the word "curious" in the clue.

44. Birthstone after opal: TOPAZ.  A gemstone that is an orthorhombic crystalline form of aluminum silicate, found in a variety of colors.

46. Most-traded Latin American currency: PESO.

49. Part of a cage: RIB. In human or animal torsos.

50. Venezuelan herder: LLANERO.  A South American herder. The name is taken from the Llanos grasslands occupying western-central Venezuela and eastern Colombia. The Llanero were originally part Spanish and Indian and have a strong culture including a distinctive form of music.

55. Word between surnames: NEE.  In marriage announcements.

56. Mean: CRUEL. Willfully causing pain or suffering.

57. Motor-assisted rides: E-BIKES. Electric powered bicycles.

60. Women's History Mo.: MAR.  In late April, it is now history.

67. DOJ bureau: ATFAlcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

68. 21-Across carrier: SHARK.  Vide supra.

69. Dress like a judge: ENROBE.

70. Rapper Lil __ X: NAS.  Any "iRapper" who came to prominence during the "iGeneration" of Gen Z that lack traditional musical talent. Typically these people gained fame on SoundCloud thru younger Gen Z'ers and are considered entertainment clowns by those born before 1986.

Yeah - I had to look it up.

Evidently also a specific person.  This is getting confusing.

71. Handy bags: TOTES.

72. Manage: GET BY.  Do OK, under the circumstances.  Relatable.

Down:

1. Soft shoe: MOC.  Short for moccasin: a soft leather slipper or shoe, strictly one without a separate heel, having the sole turned up on all sides and sewn to the upper in a simple gathered seam, in a style originating among North American Indians.

2. Mil. time off: RNR. Rest and Relaxation.

3. Smug brew "expert": BEER SNOB.  Someone who considers themselves to be superior to non-craft and quite a few craft drinker due to the beers he chooses consume. He or she also loves to flaunt his or her knowledge of the beverage despite evidence otherwise.

I'll note that I scored a 6 pack of Smithwick's Red ale at Trader Joe's last week.  It's complex - hoppy but not too much so with a rich malt finish.

4. "Dies __": hymn: IRAE.  The Day of Wrath, a 13th century [possibly much older] liturgical chant of uncertain origin, based on a latin poem about the last judgement.



5. Garland, at birth: GUMM.  Frances Ethel Gumm; June 10, 1922 – June 22, 1969) was an American actress, singer, and dancer known as Judy Garland. During a career that spanned 45 years, she attained international stardom as an actress in both musical and dramatic roles, as a recording artist, and on the concert stage.

6. Talk endlessly to: JAW AT.  Blah, blah, blah.

7. "I hate it": UGH.  Expression of disgust.

8. One of the Pep Boys: MOE.  The others are Manny and Jack.

9. Half a bikini: BRA. A garment worn to conceal and/or support the bosom.


10. Hall partner: OATES.  Music duo I never liked very much.  IIRC, Sting, of the Police, did, though, so YMMV.

11. "__, black sheep ... ": BAA BAA.  Have you any wool?

12. Mideast fleet: OILERS.  Ships loaded with a product whose value has declined rather disastrously.

13. In the center of: AMIDST.

15. Gaming rookies: NOOBS.  Derived from Newbie - a greenhorn or tyro.

19. __ party: FRAT.  College fraternity shindig.

23. Carson's sidekick: MCMAHON. Ed [1923-2009] was an announcer, game show host, comedian, actor and singer.

24. Yelp alternative: ARF. Canine commentary.

25. Westernmost Mexican state, familiarly: BAJA. California, to make it complete.

27. Made level, with "up": TRUED.  As in carpentry or construction.

28. "Big Eyes" singer Del Rey: LANA.



29. Dramatic final question: ET TU?  And you? Julius Caesar to his assassin, Brutus.

31. Request a hand?: PROPOSE.  Ask for one's hand in marriage.  Other body parts come at no extra charge.

32. For two, in music: A DUE.  French, maybe?

36. Biblical queendom: SHEBA.   The history is not clear.

37. Bluesy James: ETTA.  I had her last time, too.



39. Stretch in office: TERM.

40. Salt Lake daily, familiarly: TRIB. Tribune more formally.

41. Available schedule hour: OPEN SLOT.

42. Burger order: RARE.  True - I don't order one very often.

45. Kravitz of "Big Little Lies": ZOE. [b 1988] She is the daughter of Lenny Kravitz and Lisa Bonet.

46. Video game with a maze: PACMAN.

47. List of slips: ERRATA. Mistake catalog.

48. Gargamel foes: SMURFS. Small blue humanoids.

50. Rainbow flag letters: LGBT.  Lesbian, Gay, Bi-, Trans-  . . .   There are some more symbols now, to be more inclusive, but I don't remember what they are

51. Tours can be found on it: LOIRE.  French city on a river.

53. Horror film loc.: ELM ST.  Nightmares there.

54. Gives a strong impression (of): REEKS.  Not in a pleasant way.

58. __ the Conqueror, Marvel supervillain: KANG.  A mysterious time-traveling villain with alternate versions in various story lines.

59. Celt's land: EIRE. The Emerald Isle.

62. "Now I get it!": OHO. Eye opening exclamation.

63. Chocolate factory fixture: VAT.  A big, open container.  Caution is advised.



64. Anger: IRE.  The island of anger is Ire Land.

65. Recede: EBB.  As tides or hair lines.

66. King of Spain: REY. Literal.

That wraps up another Wednesday in the year of the great plague.  Stay home, stay safe, stay healthy.

Cool regards!
JzB




Notes from C.C.:


Hahtoolah (Susan) and I made today's USA Today puzzle, edited by the genius Erik Agard. You can solve it here.  Congrats, Susan! Thank you for the idea. Thanks for making it happen.

Apr 15, 2020

Wednesday, April 15, 2020 Craig Stowe

This is the WAY.  The second word of two-word theme entries can follow "WAY" to make in-the-language words or phrases

17. *Necessary road trip stop: GAS STATION.  You have to fill 'er up if you plan on going very far. But, for now, stay home, please.  A WAY STATION is an intermediate stopping point on a travel route.

26. *Place for a sleeper hit, maybe: FLIP SIDE.  Refers to old 45 phonograph records.  Remember them? The WAYSIDE is the land adjacent to a roadway.  To fall "by the WAYSIDE" is to fall into a condition of neglect or misuse.

36. *Wild West impresario: BUFFALO BILL.  William Frederick Cody [1846-1917] was an American soldier, bison hunter and showman, most famous for the Wild West Show he toured through the United States and Europe.  A WAY BILL is a document prepared by the carrier of a shipment of goods that contains details of the shipment, route, and charges.

49. *"Once and Again" actress: SELA WARD.  This TV show ran from 1999-2002.  I never watched it.  Sela [b 1956] is an American actor and producer.


To be WAYWARD is to be unpredictable or difficult to control due to unusual or perverse behavior.



59. Crossroads concern, and where you might find the answers to starred clues' ending words: RIGHT OF WAY.  This can refer to a variety of things: a legal passage over another person's property; the land occupied by a public road, railroad, or utility; or the right to take precedence in traffic.  Here, the word WAY can be placed to the left of the second theme words, placing them to the RIGHT OF WAY.

Hi gang, it's JazzBumpa, here to show you the WAY.  Let's go.

Across:

1. Novelist __ Carol Oates: JOYCE.  [b 1938]  She has written 58 novels and several plays and novellas, and had won numerous awards.

6. Frittata ingredients: EGGS.  Is it am omelet or a quiche?

10. "__ baby!": ATTA.  Congrats!

14. They might be common: AREAS.  These are AREAS that may legally be used by more than one person.

15. Christmas purchase: TREE.  For decorating

16. El Misti's land: PERU.  El Misti is a 19,000 ft. high volcano in southern Peru.

19. Thrice dos: SEIS.  Three times two is six in Spanish.

20. Part of CPU: UNIT.   Central Processing UNIT - the brain module of a computer.

21. Honey, in slang: BAE. Before All Else.  You're no. 1 for me.

22. Where to see sites: THE NET.  The interwebs - it's a series of tubes.

24. Court great Andre: AGASSI.  Andre [b 1980,] a retired American professional tennis player, is an 8 time grand slam champion, and 1996 olympic gold medalist

28. "Losing My Religion" band: REM.  An American rock band formed in Atlanta, GA in 1980.

29. And so on: Abbr.: ETC.



31. Young __: kids, in dialect: -UNS.  The kiddos.

32. Palme __: Cannes award: D'OR.  Palm leaf of Gold, the highest award at the festival.

33. Frat house greeting: BRO-HUG.  Brotherly love.

35. Top-notch: A-ONE.  The best.

39. Bog buildup: PEAT.  A deposit of partly decomposed vegetation formed under wet conditions.

41. Bagel choice: SESAME.  Adorned with flavorful seeds.

42. Olive __: OYL. Popeye's love.



43. Tramcar filler: ORE.  Mining product.

45. "How Easy Is That?" cookbook writer Garten: INA. [b 1948] The Barefoot Contessa.

46. National econ. stat: GDPGross Domestic Product -- or G National P.  Always requires a perp.

52. Key with one flat: D MINOR. The relative MINOR of F major.

54. Robin's family: THRUSH The family, Turdidae, of passerine birds with a worldwide distribution. [Wikipedia]

55. Here, on MÈtro maps: ICI.  Literal, in French.

57. Grandkid spoiler, often: NANA.  Grandmother.

58. Word before ring or swing: MOOD.  A temporary state of mind.

62. H.G. Wells race: ELOI.  Far future people from The Time Machine.

63. The Bosporus borders it: ASIA.   Europe too, I would imagine.

64. Infuriated: IRATE.  Very angry.

65. Pixar clownfish: NEMO.   From that movie where they were looking for him.

66. Hagar the Horrible's daughter: HONI.


67. "Ciao!": LATER.  See ya'.

Down:

1. Automaker with a feline logo: JAGUAR.


2. Marmalade fruit: ORANGE.  Are there any others?

3. Positive reply: YES I AM.  Affirmative.

4. Finds players for: CASTS.  Selects the actors for a play or movie.

5. Toronto winter hrs.: ESTEastern Standard Time.

6. 1993 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee James: ETTA.  Jamesetta Hawkins [1938-2012] was an American singer who performed in many genres:blues, R&B, soul, rock and roll, jazz and gospel.




7. "Good __!": GRIEF. Charlie Brown's exclamation of disappointment.

8. 1990s Chevrolet subdivision: GEO.  It marketed models made in joint ventures with three Japanese companies: the Prizm with Toyota, the Metro and Tracker with Suzuki, and Spectrum and Storm made for GM by Isuzu n Japan.

9. Submitted: SENT IN.  As, frex., your tax return.

10. Areas for religious statues: APSES.  Semi-circular recesses covered with hemispherical vaults or domes.

11. Young star: TEEN IDOL.  A young celebrity popular with an adolescent audience.

12. Tested for size: TRIED ON.  Refers to article of clothing.

13. Forbidding: AUSTERE. Severe, ascetic, of unadorned style.  This does not strike me as a particularly apt match.

18. Minimal: A BIT OF.  Not much.  Perhaps somewhat AUSTERE.

23. Officejet Pro printers: HPSHewlett Packard.

25. Feudal drudge: SERF.  A medieval peasant living in a condition of debt bondage and indentured servitude.  A SERF was bound to the land owned by the lord of the manor.

27. Horror legend Bela: LUGOSI.  Béla Ferenc Dezső Blaskó [1882-1956] known professionally as Bela Lugosi, was a Hungarian-American actor best remembered for portraying Count Dracula in the 1931 film and for his roles in other horror films.  His acting scope in the U.S. was severely limited by his thick Hungarian accent.

30. Beer after bourbon, say: CHASER. A weaker drink taken after a stronger one.

33. Save: BUT.  Except for.

34. Suffix meaning "little": ULE.  As in globule.

35. Smithwick's product: ALE. Founded n Kilkenny in 1710, it's red ale product is the most consumed ale in Ireland

36. Dance venue: BALLROOM.  A large room in a building that is intended for large gatherings.

37. Western baddie: BANDIT.  Typical black hat gunslinging villain.

38. Mosque holy man: IMAM.  Prayer and worship leader.

39. Male carriers?: POSTMEN.  I suppose female [letter] carriers would be postwomen.

40. Hotel door feature: EYEHOLE.  A small hole in a door, typically equipped with a lens to observe potential visitors.

43. Pained sounds: OWS.  Occasionally accompanied by colorful vocabulary.

44. Gung-ho: RAH-RAH.  Focussed enthusiasm.

46. Bother incessantly: GNAW AT.

47. Campaign website button: DONATE.

48. Grace, e.g.: PRAYER.  Grace is the name given to a prayer recited before a meal.

50. Transcriber's source material: AUDIO.  In this context, a spoken broadcast.

51. "Let's eat!": DIG IN!

53. Red head?: INFRA.  A prefix for red, referring to light with wavelengths longer than visible light - and thus lower frequencies.

56. Cardamom-infused tea: CHAI. From the Chinese word for tea.

60. Classified ad shorthand for "seeking": ISO.  In search of, perhaps?

61. Olive __: OIL. The OIL produced by pressing whole olives.  Also a clecho with homophonic answers.

That wraps it up.  Make sure you go the RIGHT WAY - which for now means to stay home and stay safe.

Cool regards!
JzB





Mar 4, 2020

Wednesday March 4, 2020 Kevin Salat

Theme - SCRATCH THAT.  The theme answers start with an anagram of the word SCRATCH, kinda, sorta, almost.

18 A. Collision simulation aids: CRASH TEST DUMMIES.  Full scale anthropomorphic structures that approximate the size, shape and modes of motion of humans.

33 A. Extraordinary little one, in folklore: STAR CHILD.  News to me, but here you go.

50 A. Place with drawing rooms: ART SCHOOL.  A studio with art supplies, not a room in a house where guests are entertained.

43 A. Junk collector: TRASH CAN.  It only collects trash if you put it in there.  Not to be confused with Oscar.

And the unifier:  66 A. Begin all over again ... and what 18-, 33-, 43- and 50-Across all do (almost), as indicated by the circled letters: START FROM SCRATCH.

Here is a theme that by it's own admission does not quite work. The theme fill entries all lack the second letter C that would be necessary to complete the word SCRATCH.  Unless I'm missing something, this is a pretty serious flaw.  High marks for honesty, though.  Let's move on.

Across:

1. Foreboding: OMINOUS.  Giving a feeling that something bad is about to happen.

8. Optimistic: ROSY.  Having a feeling that something good is about to happen.

12. Pump product: GAS.  Fuel for your auto.

15. "Give me an example": NAME  ONE.  Any one will do

16. "The real story is ... ": ACTUALLY.  In fact  .  .  .

20. Scapula neighbor, for short: DELT.  Shoulder blade bone and DELTOID, a triangular shaped muscle to the outside of the shoulder

21. Big name in nail polish: OPI.   Pick your color.

22. "Yeah, sure": I BET.  Sarcastic expression of disbelief.

23. Partnership letters: LLC. Limited Liability Company.

25. Cleaning conveniences: SPONGES.  Soft, porous material, either natural or synthetic.

30. "Scary Movie" reaction: SCREAM.  As in last weeks Psycho.

37. Poke tuna: AHI.  Poke [pronounced poh-kay] is a salad of raw fish marinated in sesame or soy.

38. Chocolate dog: LAB.


40. Nabisco cookie: OREO.  Also chocolate on the outside.

41. Neither's partner: NOR.  Negating both one thing and the other.

42. Part of a relay: LEG.

45. Overly: TOO.  As in TOO much.

46. "So-so": MEH.  As per Homer.



47. Mark for good: ETCH.  Make a permanent mark.

48. Spanish bear: OSO.  Literal

49. Hong Kong lang.: ENGlish.

53. Womb occupant: EMBRYO. In humans, the pre-fetal stage between the 2nd and 8th week after conception.

55. Apparition: PHANTOM. Ghost or figment of the imagination.

57. Kobe cash: YEN.  Japanese money.

58. About: AS TO.  Referring to something

61. Duracell size: AAA.  Small battery.

63. Salty waters: SEAS.  Oceans

72. Ready for sleep: TUCKED IN.  Secure in the bed.

73. Lady Gaga's debut album: THE FAME.

74. Squid's defense: INK.  Obscures its location.

75. Therefore: ERGO. Literal

76. Left formally: SECEDED.  Formally withdrew from a federal union, alliance or organization.

Down:

1. How music can be stored: ON CD.  Is it obsolete yet?

2. Farm female: MARE.  Lady horse.

3. "Don't worry about me": IM ALL RIGHT.  Whatever it was, I survived.

4. Settle snugly: NESTLE.  Tucked in, frex.

5. Awed reaction: OOH.  Impressive!

6. Golden rule preposition: UNTO.  Others. It's always about the others.

7. Trickles (through): SEEPS.  Description of a very slow leek, usually of a liquid through what ought to be a solid surface.

8. Tell (on): RAT.  Tattle.

9. Med. condition with repetitive behavior: OCDObsessive-Compulsive Behavior.  Characterized by uncontrollable thoughts and behaviors that a person needs to repeat, repeatedly.

10. Man's name that sounds like a slow-cooked dish: STU.

11. "Delicious!": YUM.  Please sir, may I have some more?

12. Smooth-talking: GLIB.  Fluent, bu insincere.

13. Out of the wind: ALEE.  Protected by some barrier or structure.

14. Part of CBS: Abbr.: SYSTem.

17. Barn-raising sect: AMISH.  A group of traditionalist Christians known for simple living, plain dress and resistance to modern technology.

19. Drinks a bit at a time: SIPS.

24. Pasadena institute: CAL TECH.  California Institute of Technology.

26. Texter's "Then again ... ": OTOH. On The Other Hand.

27. Bust maker: NARCO.  Drug bust, not a sculpted statue.

28. "Summer Nights" musical: GREASE.

29. Political bragging point, when it's thriving: ECONOMY.  And when it's not  .  .  .

30. Actress Hayek: SALMA.  Salma Valgarma Hayek Jiménez ( b1966) is a Mexican and American film actress and producer.

31. Joyful shout: CHEER.  Yay, hooray!

32. First first lady: MARTHA.  Mr, Washington, nee Dandridge.

34. Online promo: INTERNET AD.  Pop-ups and other annoying features.

35. Senseless: LOONY.  Inane

36. Khal __, Daenerys' husband in HBO's "Game of Thrones": DROGO.


39. Strips for breakfast: BACON.  You can eat these strips for breakfast or you can strip for breakfast, but frying them in the nude is not recommended.

44. Opportunity: SHOT.  Take a SHOT at something.

51. Hybrid picnic utensil: SPORK.  Portmanteau of spoon and fork, not functioning very well as either.

52. Fertile soil: LOAM.  Composed of sand, silt and clay.

54. "Take care of yourself": BE SAFE.  Yes, all - please do this.

56. Mariner's supports: MASTS.  For sails.

58. Sparkling Italian wine: ASTI.  Named for it's region of origin.

59. Knock for a loop: STUN.

60. Wall map marker: TACK.  Push pin used to mark a spot or attach papers.

62. Feel sore: ACHE.  No pain, no gain.

64. Apex: ACME.  High point.

65. Spot for a mower: SHED.  Small out-building used for storage.

67. Begin a hole, with "up": TEE.  Golfing.

68. Four-term prez: FDR. Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

69. Oil field sight: RIG.  A drilling setup or operating well.

70. Musician Yoko: ONO. [b 1933] In addition to being a Japanese multimedia artist, singer, songwriter and peace activist, she is also the widow of he late John Lennon.

71. __ center: REC.  A community building used for meetings, sports and other activities.

Thus ends another Wednesday's recreation.  Hope you got through it UNSCRATCHED.

Cool regards!
JzB



Feb 26, 2020

February 26, 2020 Blake Slonecker

Theme - Alas, poor Marion Crane, we hardly knew ye.  The theme answers all begin with elements of an iconic event in a classic noire movie.  First the unifier.

59A . Classic "Psycho" segment where one might see the starts of the answers to starred clues: SHOWER SCENE. Here it is, in all its screaming intensity.



17 A. *Top brass: HEAD HONCHOS.  The people in charge.   In the movie scene, there is some controversy over whether a body double was used.  But clearly, the HEAD belongs to Janet Leigh, who portrayed the unfortunate Marion Crane.

25. *Response to wild applause: CURTAIN CALL.  When the actors get another chance to bow after a great performance.  But that is after a stage play, and we're at a movie. The CURTAIN is prominent in the scene, and afterwards Norman Bates, played by Tony Perkins wraps Marion's corpse in it, and sticks it in the trunk of her car.

37. *Political metaphor about dealing with bureaucracy: DRAIN THE SWAMP.  Nope. No politics. The stage blood circling the DRAIN is a bit of cinematic brilliance.

50. *Market-based pollution-control policy: CAP AND TRADE.  The junction of politics and economics is still of limits.  Moving right along  .  .  .   One might have expected Marion's shower CAP to keep her hair neat - but all to no avail, since her corps ends up in an UNDRAINED SWAMP.   But wait - she doesn't wear one!  Am I missing something here?!?

Hi gang, a somewhat confused JazzBumpa here to direct today's excursion.  Hope we don't get too bogged down.

Across:

1. Commerce pact to be replaced by USMCA when it's ratified: NAFTA.  Trade deals, new and old.  More politics, where we dare not venture.

6. __ circus: MEDIA. A news event with hyped-up or out of proportion coverage.

11. Cook quickly: ZAP.  Use a microwave.

14. Fluffed-up dos: AFROS.  Most popular X-word hair style.

15. Apple music players: IPODS. Portable player of digital audio and video.

16. Actress Longoria: EVA. Eva Jacqueline Bastón (née Longoria; born March 15, 1975) is an American actress, producer, director, activist, and businesswoman. [Wikipedia]



19. Outlaw: BAN.  Officially or legally prohibit.

20. Iraq War concern: Abbr.: WMDWeapons of Mass Destruction.  There weren't any.

21. New beginning?: NEO-.  A prefix denoting a new or [more likely] revived form of something.

22. Spine-tingling: EERIE.  Like a scene depicting a murder in a shower.

24. Farm female: EWE.  This answer makes me feel sheepish.

28. Almost on "E": LOW.  Fuel gauge reference

29. Biblical mount: ASSHere are 76 references.

30. Attend: GO TO.

31. "The Art of Loving" author Erich: FROMM.

33. Cubs' home: DEN.  Animal offspring, not a sports team

34. Fort Collins sch.: CSU. Colorado State University.  Home of the Rams.  Our second ovine of the day.

41. Wild blue yonder: SKY.

42. Unagi, e.g.: EEL. Japanese fresh water eel.

43. Beyond angry: IRATE.  Feeling great anger.

45. Membership fees: DUES. An obligatory payment

47. "Help!" at sea: SOS.  A Morse code distress signal transmitted as an unbroken sequence of 3 dots, three dashes and three dots.

49. P-like letter: RHO.  Rho (/roʊ/; uppercase Ρ, lowercase ρ or ϱ; Greek: ῥῶ) is the 17th letter of the Greek alphabet. [Wikipedia]

54. "__ Explain Things to Me": 2014 Rebecca Solnit essay anthology: MEN.  Man-'splainin' is politically incorrect.

55. Yellow-and-white daisy: OX EYE.


56. "Otoh, what will you pay?": OBOOr Best Offer.  Price haggling phrase.

57. Long of "Empire": NIA. [b 1970] American actress


58. A-lister: VIP. Very Important Person.  I'm not sure who decides these things.

64. Canon SLR: EOS. Electro-Optical System. An autofocus single lens reflex mirrorless camera series.

65. Programmer: CODER.  Software engineer.

66. Certain Jamaican, religiously: RASTA.  A religious movement with distinctive and restrictive modes of diet, dress and behavior that honors people of African descent.

67. Brief reaction to oversharing: TMI. Too Much Information.



68. Newspaper essays: OP-EDS. Items placed opposite the editorial page.

69. Wild West movie: OATER.  An allusion to horse feed.

Down:

1. "Don't think so": NAH. Slangy negation

2. Brief thing to say: A FEW WORDS. Literal

3. Basic structure: FRAMEWORK. Or supporting structure.

4. Lincoln in-law: TODD. Relative of Mary Todd Lincoln.

5. Shade of gray: ASH.

6. Ones who dig hard rock?: MINERS. Literal, not musical.

7. Florida theme park: EPCOT. At the Walt Disney Resort in Orlando.

8. Play-__: kids' clay: DOH. Colorful modeling material mostly made from flour, water and salt.

9. Wedding promise: I DO.  But, alas, so many don't.

10. Agreement: ASSENT.

11. Striped equine: ZEBRA. Native to Africa.

12. To no __: useless: AVAIL.

13. Group of judges: PANEL.

18. Weight on one's shoulders: ONUS. From the Latin word for a load or burden.

23. Tesla Model X, for one: ECOCAR. An environmentally friendly vehicle.

24. "The Hobbit" being: ELF.  ORC is also three letters, as is ENT.

25. Sleeveless top, for short: CAMI.  Camisole, for long.


26. "A Death in the Family" author: AGEE.  James AGEE [1909 - 1955] started writing this autobiographical novel about his father's 1915 death in 1948.  Ironically, he died in 1955 with the novel not quite finished.  It was released posthumously in 1957.

27. + or - particles: IONS.  Atoms or molecules with an electron either added or missing.

32. "Help!" at sea: MAYDAY.  This is repeated three times at the beginning of a transmission, to avoid any misunderstanding.  The word was selected in 1921, and is derived from the French  venez m'aider ('come and help me.') I did not know that.

33. UPS rival: DHL.  Parcel delivery companies.

35. Most ingratiatingly earnest: SMARMIEST.  In a way that is extreme and/or insincere.

36. Get serious, gambler-style: UP THE ANTE.  Increase the stakes in a deliberation, conflict or dispute.

38. Can't live without: NEED.  Must have.

39. Push to the limit: TEST. Can you do it?

40. Sage: WISE.  I once met a sage named Herb.

44. Seemingly forever: EON.  A long time of indefinite duration.

46. World Heritage Site org.: UNESCO.  The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

47. Civil War swords: SABERS.  A SABER is a type of backsword [having a single-edged blade and a hilt with a single-handed grip] with a curved blade associated with the light cavalry.

48. Baking soda target: ODOR.  It absorbs the odor causing substance.

50. Tenth Commandment verb: COVET.  The desire to possess something.

51. Universal principle: AXIOM.  A statement regarded as established, accepted or self-evidently true.

52. One side in the "cola wars": PEPSI.  Preferred by some in my family. My lovely wife favors Coke.  I am indifferent.

53. Crewed in a shell: ROWED.  Shell is word with many meanings.  It was my nickname for my daughter when she was little, based on her middle name, Michelle.  Here it refers to a light racing boat used in the sport of crew.



57. College Football Playoff org.: NCAANational Collegiate Athletic Association.

60. Sock __: HOP.  An informal dance event, usually to popular recorded music, generally held in a high school gymnasium.  Hard soled shoes had to be removed to protect the floor - hence the name.

61. Lyrical tribute: ODE.  A lyric poem in the form of an address to a person or object.

62. "No seats" sign: SRO. Standing Room Only, indicating an at-capacity event.

63. Cup handle: EAR.


That wraps up another Wednesday.  Crazy week so far.  Nobody knows how dangerous the corona virus may be.  We are having a snow event that closed all the schools today.  Stay warm and safe.  Take your vitamins.  By low and sell high.  And please be careful in the shower.

Cool regards!
JzB



Note from C.C.:

Dear Irish Miss (Agnes) lost her beloved brother James (Bud) last Sunday. Here's the obit page. Please accept our condolences, Agnes! Thanks for the link, Spitzboov!

Feb 12, 2020

Wednesday, February 12, 2020 Kurt Krauss

Theme:  Throwing you a curve.  Here we have hidden words -- well, not so hidden if you got the circled letters.  And they all are completely different meanings of the word PITCH.  Each is split across two words of the theme fill, in each case with one separated letter. Lets have a look.

17 A. *Power outage standbys: GAS LANTERNS. Ours are battery powered, but to each his own.  Here,  PITCH means the SLANT, as of, frex, your roof.  This is also known as the SLOPE and is calculated as the rise divided by the run.

24 A. *"I don't care if you made plans, cancel them": GET OUT OF IT!  What? And give up a date with my lovely wife?  Not a chance!  Here we have an aggressive sales PITCH [which I am not buying] or, in verb form, to TOUT something, as an attempt to promote or convince

39 A. *Morally upright person: STRAIGHT ARROW.  One who lives according to rigidly proper or conventional standards.   The words PITCH and TAR are often used interchangeably, denoting a type of viscoelastic polymer extracted from petroleum, coal tar or by heating plant matter. It can be used as a marine caulk and for other types of water proofing.  PITCH is considered to be more solid, while TAR is more on the liquid side. The distinction seems a bit arbitrary.

53 A. *Stretch between two Bushes: CLINTON ERA.  You were probably thinking of a gap in the hedge row.  But, no.  This refers to the 41st, 42nd and 43rd presidents of the United Sates. The CLINTON era included most of the last decade of the most recent past century, and separated the terms of presidents Bush Sr. and Jr.  Here TONE describes a musical sound.  The clue relates it to the PITCH which is a vibrational frequency, relative to a standard reference, typically A = 442 Hz. This is close but not quite right. TONE refers to sound quality and timbral characteristics.  The TONE of a piano is different from the TONE of a trombone. And my TONE can vary daily based on any number of factors.  To complicate matters further, playing in tune, that is, at the proper PITCH, is called proper intonation.  Music terminology is not always rational.  Farther down that rabbit hole we shall not venture.

And, at last, the unifier -- 64 A. Ballpark brushback, perhaps ... and a hint to each set of circled letters: INSIDE PITCH.  This refers to a baseball thrown off the plate by the PITCHER, in or near the occupied batter's box, either accidentally or on purpose, possibly to make the batter uncomfortable.  MLB pitchers and catchers are reporting to their training camps this week, many of them today, so this theme is quite timely.  The other sense of the unifier is to describe the meaning of each target word HIDDEN in the theme fill entry.

Hi, Gang.  JazzBumpa here to umpire today's game.  I might not get all the calls right, but I promise to be fair.  And, yes, I do need glasses.

Across:

1. Home on the range: RANCH.  A plot of land and associated structures, typically devoted to raising and grazing live stock.

6. Hardly wimpy: MACHO.  Showing aggressive pride in one's masculinity.

11. Film watcher's channel: TMC. Turner Movie Classics.

14. Take the honey and run: ELOPE.  Run away to get married, typically secretly and without parental consent. Clever clue.  Did you hear about the heart broken melons who found out they cantaloupe?

15. "Encore!": AGAIN.  Request from an audience to have another song played after the scheduled program.

16. Évian water: EAU.  Water in French

19. Digital readout, for short: LCD. Liquid Crystal Display.

20. Up the creek: IN A SPOT.  Colloquially, in a bad situation.

21. "I, Claudius" star Jacobi: DEREK. [b 1938] British actor and stage director.

23. RSVP part: SIL. RSVP is short hand for Répondez s'il vous plaît, meaning "please respond." I can't parse the French, and Google translate renders s'il as "it."  So I'm not sure what the word [if it is a word and not a particle] actually means.

28. Airplane assignment: SEAT. Haven't been on a plane in years, but I will be next month.

31. Escape: LAM. In flight [not necessarily on a plane,] usually from law enforcement.  To be "on the lam" is late 19th century American slang of uncertain origin.

32. Man-to-man defense alternative: ZONE.  Ways of playing defensive schemes.  I'm thinking American football, but it probably applies to other sports as well.

33. Treat like a dog?: PET. Interesting and misdirecting word play.  To treat somebody like a dog means to be nasty to them.  But to give a dog a treat is to give the canine a nice reward.  This can be a food morsel or a show of physical affection.  Well played!

35. Place for a "ped" to cross: XING.  Abbreviated signage vocabulary indicating a pedestrian crossing at a roadway.

38. Bobbsey girl: NAN.  On of the famous twins from old time kiddie lit.

43. __-fi: SCI.  Abbrv. for science fiction, a genre of speculative literature.

44. Big rig: SEMI.  This is some blurry vocabulary.  The rig is the truck or tractor part of a tractor-trailer combination.   The SEMI is trailer without a front axle. Much of the trailers weight is supported by the tractor.  I doubt most people are this precise when speaking of these items.

45. Bandleader Lombardo: GUY. Of the Royal Canadiens, famous for playing Auld Lang Syne at the start of a new year.  His sugary saxophones played with vibrato about a minor third wide.  I hate that sound.  It was dated before I was born. /rant.

46. Beanery sign: EATS. Indicates an establishment unlikely to offer gourmet fare.

48. Ticker tape letters?: EKG.  The ticker being one's heart, and the tape being the paper graph readout of an electrocardiogram machine.  Clever!

50. Award adjective: BEST.  As in ___ Picture, ____ Actor, ____ In Show, etc.

57. "Huh!?": WHA?   Expressions of confusion or disbelief.

59. __ squash: ACORN.  A dark green winter squash that is roughly acorn shaped.

60. Language spoken by Jesus: ARAMAIC.

63. Bygone airline: TWATrans World Airlines, established in 1930 and acquired by American Airlines in 2001.

67. Rock's Fleetwood __: MAC.

68. Code name: MORSE.  Not a name in code, but the name of a code.

69. Driving instructor's urgent reminder: BRAKE.  The most important thing any vehicle can do is stop safely.

70. "Hometown Proud" supermarket chain: IGA.  Nope.  Not a chain.  The Independent Grocer's Alliance, founded in 1926, operates as a franchise with stores that are independently owned and operated, mostly as family businesses in small towns.

71. Weapon with a hilt: SWORD.  The hilt is the handle of a bladed weapon.

72. Fills completely: SATES.  Literal.

Down:

1. TV host Philbin: REGIS. Regis Francis Xavier Philbin [b 1931] is an American media personality who holds the Guinness world record for most time spent in front of a TV camera.

2. "Jagged Little Pill" co-songwriter Morissette: ALANIS.  [b1974] She is a Canadian singer, song writer, record producer and actress.

3. Old register key: NO SALE.  This opens the cash drawer in an instance when no transaction has occurred.

4. They report to sgts.: CPLS.  Sergeants and Corporals in the military.

5. Pile: HEAP.  Stuff thrown together in an unorganized way

6. Barbie's company: MATTEL.  True, but doesn't Ken keep her company? Barbie is a fashion doll introduced in 1959.  There have been many variants over the years since.

7. Get on in years: AGE.  This is what I do.

8. Aries or Taurus: CAR. A Plymouth and a Ford.  Any resemblance to signs of the zodiac is completely accidental.

9. Like many yoga practitioners: HINDU.  From the Indian subcontinent.

10. Beginning: ONSET.

11. Ringer in la casa: TELEFONO.  In a Spanish speaking home.

12. Wool coat that is often plaid: MACKINAW. Made of a heavy, water-resistant cloth.  They were originally made in the Straits of Mackinaw [or Mackinac, same pronunciation -it's a Michigan thing] region in the early 1800's, before Michigan was even a thing.

13. Something to chew: CUD.  If you are a cow.

18. Holiday quaff: NOG. A drink made from eggs, sugar and milk or cream, often alcoholic.

22. Cartoonist Chast: ROZ. [b 1954]  Staff cartoonist for the New Yorker, also publishes in Harvard Business Review and Scientific American.

25. Source of increased government revenue: TAX HIKE.  Yes - contrary to what you might have been told, this really is how it works.

26. Overlook: OMIT. Leave out.

27. Common base: TEN. Math?  Who said there would be math?

29. Auto financing abbr.: APRAnnual Percentage Rate.  And more math!

30. Afternoon affairs: TEAS.  Small meals where TEA is served with sandwiches some time in the afternoon, since dinner isn't until 8:00.  Wait --- what were you thinking?


Nope -- this is not ABBA

34. Even score: TIE.

36. Pester: NAG.

37. Pub __: casual fare: GRUB.  Ugly sounding word for simple food.

39. Rascal: SCALAWAG. Someone whose bad behavior is amusingly mischievous rather than evil. Or so I've been told. YMMV.

40. Bolivian border lake: TITICACA.  At an elevation of 12, 507 feet, it is the highest commercially navigable lake in the world.

41. Fed. agents: G-MEN. Government Men - federal law enforcement agents.

42. Deli choice: RYE. Bread for sandwiches.  Most delis don't serve whiskey.

43. Brief time: SEC.  An abbreviated second - so probably shorter than a normal second? 

47. __-Caps: candy: SNO.  Semi-sweet chocolate drops covered in white nonpareils.

49. Marked for the class: GRADED.  Did you get 100%?

51. Go after, as a fly: SWAT AT.  And usually miss.

52. "The Masked Singer" judge Robin: THICKE. [b 1977] An American singer, song writer and record producer.

54. Cuts back: TRIMS.

55. Currently airing: ON NOW.

56. "All bets __ off": ARE.

58. Flu symptoms: ACHES.

61. LAPD alerts: APBS. All Points Bulletins.  Broadcasts issued by a law enforcement agency to its personnel, or to other agencies, typically containing information about a wanted suspect.

62. Actress Sorvino: MIRA. [b1967] An American actress who has won Golden Globe and Academy awards.


63. Texter's "No more details!": Too Much Information.   Please -- tell me less.

65. Sellout letters: SRO. Standing Room Only

66. Leb. neighbor: ISRael.  Countries along the eastern edge of the Mediterranean Sea.

So - the game is now over.  Hope you didn't have to many swings and misses.  And remember - they're all judgment calls.

Cool regards!
JzB