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

Sep 13, 2017

Wednesday, September 13, 2017 - Adam T. Cobb

Theme -- Hey, what's in this drink?  Here we have a complex theme: circled letters [and good luck if you didn't get the circles, since the letters are scattered] within the theme entries are anagrams of hidden words.  And better yet, the hidden words are liquid assets [so to speak] of the things in which they are hidden. 

17. Name on a two-liter bottle (and what's inside) : ROYAL CROWN.   ROYAL CROWN, is, of course, a brand name and COLA is the generic name for the product variety.

23. Independently owned suds producer (and the suds in question) : MICROBREWERY.  MICROBREWERIES are independently owned and operated purveyors of craft BEERs and ales.  The quaffs that they offer typically have more flavor and character that what you find in mass produced products from the big, international BREWing companies.  I'm a fan of Bell's Two-Hearted Ale.

38. Where Starbucks began (and a product it popularized) : SEATTLE.  LATTE's are not unique to Starbucks, but you certainly can get one there.  Our wildly over-achieving oldest granddaughter is, among other things, a certified barista and trainer at Starbucks.  A LATTE is a coffee drink made with espresso and steamed milk.

49. Pepperidge Farm treat (and its ideal companion) : MILANO COOKIE.  This is a sandwich COOKIE with a dark chocolate inner layer between two flat biscuits.  It's marketed to adults, but even they can enjoy a nice cold glass of MILK with it.

And the unifier -- 59. What's clued in parentheses for each of four answers, and found in corresponding sets of puzzle circles : MIXED DRINK.  This is an in-the-language phrase indicating a libation made with alcoholic spirits and some sort of mixer, such as some flavor of soda.   Here, the word MIXED is a hint that the letters of the respective DRINKS have been scrambled.

Hi gang, JazzBumpa here, your host for today's adventure in a glass.   Let's pop a few lids and see how this tastes.


1. Green Angry Birds animals : PIGS.  I dunno.  Never played the game.

5. Salon style : PERM.   Short for PERManent wave.

9. "Jabberwocky" opener : 'TWAS.  This poem by Lewis Carroll is included in Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There, from 1871,

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
      Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
      And the mome raths outgrabe.

13. Les __-Unis : ETATS.  United States in French.

15. Eye layer : UVEA.  This includes the iris, which displays eye color.  Brown-eyed people like me have irises pigmented with melanin.  Blue eyed people have no little or no pigment in their irises.  They appear blue due to Rayleigh scattering - the same optical phenomenon that makes the sky appear blue.  Other colors are due to combination effects from various levels of melanin and collagen, which causes Mie scattering

16. "For __ jolly ... " : HE'S A. Good fellow, and I can't deny it.

19. Double-crossers : RATS. Figuratively speaking

20. Like microwavable meals : PRE-MADE.  

21. Valued caches : TROVES.  Have you ever seen the word TROVE not associated with some sort of treasure?

26. Parthenon goddess : ATHENA.  From Greek mythology, the goddess of wisdom, craft and war..

29. "How cool!" : NEATO.

30. Length of most TV dramas : HOUR.

31. WWI battleship Graf __ : SPEE.  Read about it here.

33. Kin by marriage : IN-LAW.  

37. CIO partner : AFL.  The American Federation of Labor merged with the Congress of Industrial Organizations in 1955.  The organization is made up of 56 national and international labor unions.

40. __ snail's pace : A TA.   Moving slowly.

41. Note above A : B FLAT.  It's enharmonic equivalent, A Sharp is rare, but I have encountered it already this week.

43. Snoop (around) : NOSE.  Because that is what gets poked into a place, whether it belongs there or not.

44. Blockage : CLOG.

45. Slangy "It's cool" : NO BIG.  I guess the "DEAL" is implied.  Anyway it's not a problem.

47. Currently combusting : ABLAZE.  On fire, right now.

53. Novelist Waugh : EVELYN.  Arthur Evelyn St. John Waugh [1903 - 1966] was a prolific English journalist, and author of novels, biographies and travelogues.

54. Scolds harshly : BERATES.  You could be BERATED if your behavior were less than A-rated.

58. Jones with a locker : DAVY.  The origins of the phrase are unclear.  DAVY Jones' locker is the bottom of the sea, where the remains of drowned sailors and sunken ships find their final resting place.

62. Don Juan's mother : INEZ.  I only know this from crosswords.

63. Just : ONLY.  Only this article can do it JUSTice,

64. __ protector : SURGE.  A device to shield your electronic items from potentially damaging power fluctuations.

65. Give a darn : CARE.  Be concerned. There is a lot to CARE about these days.

66. Horseshoes turn : TOSS.  Having your turn at the game of tossing horse shoes.

67. Dijon dad : PERE.  More French.


1. Cop's quarry : PERP.  The PERPetrator of a crime.   Or, in Corner lingo, a word in a puzzle that is PERPendicular to a given word.

2. "Like __ lump ... " : IT OR.  Take it or leave it.

3. Marvin of Motown : GAYE. [1939-1984] He was a singer, song writer and producer who helped create the Mo-Town sound.  Sadly, he was killed by his own father who shot him when he tried to intervene in an argument between his parents.

4. Speech therapist's challenge : STAMMER.  Speech with involuntary pauses and repeated initial consonant sounds.

5. More virtuous : PURER.  Like even whiter snow.

6. President Morales of Bolivia : EVO.  Juan Evo Morales Ayma [b 1959] has been president since 2006.

7. DVR "back up" button : REWind.

8. Chanted word : MANTRA. A word or sound repeated as an aid in achieving a meditative state.

9. Add, as a shrimp to the barbie : THROW ON.  Aim carefully when adding a shrimp to the grill.

10. Go this way and that : WEAVE.   Zig-zag.

11. Autumn bloom : ASTER.  The name is derived from the Greek word for star, due to the shape of the bloom.

12. Flip : SASSY.  Said of disrespectful back-talk.

14. "'And hast thou __ the Jabberwock?'" : SLAIN.  A bonus mini-theme.

“And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
      Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!”
      He chortled in his joy.

18. Music box? : CD CASE.  Protective box for music medium storage.

22. Deal with, as loose laces : RETIE.  Which is why I prefer slip-ons.

24. "Almost there!" : ONE TO GO.  I associate this phrase with American football, in a situation when one one yard is needed for a first down.

25. Borscht veggies : BEETS.  I think it was on a long-ago Rocky and Bullwinkle episode when one of the characters said, "When it comes to borscht, you can't beat soup!"

26. Quaker captain of literature : AHAB. Pursuer of the great white whale, Moby Dick.  I didn't recall him being a Quaker.

27. Fashionable Brit : TOFF.  A derogatory stereotype for an aristocratic Brit is what I found.  Perhaps Steve can explain.

28. Ship frame : HULL.

32. Freak out : PANIC.

34. 2016 Best Picture nominee "__ Land" : LA LA.  2016 movie, 2017 Oscar nominee.

35. All-inclusive : A TO Z.  Everything from A cups to Zebras.

36. Salary : WAGE.  Not exactly.  Wages are based on actual hours worked, while a salary is a fixed amount per week or month, irrespective of actual time on the job.

38. Like a path that's cobbled together? : STONY.    My favorite way of thinking about a cobblestone path.

39. Allowed to get out : LEAKED.  As information, not caged animals.

42. Examine in detail : ANALYZE.

44. Go from cloudy to fair : CLEAR UP.  Better weather.

46. Wisecrack : BON MOT.

48. Tweeters : BIRDS.  Not stereo speakers.

49. Physician at the front : MEDIC.  In the military.

50. The first Mrs. Trump : IVANA.

51. Prying tool : LEVER.  A beam or rod pivoted on a fulcrum.

52. Acts like a good dog : OBEYS.  Sits, begs, and rolls over.

55. Lose steam : TIRE.  Get used up.

56. Elec. or mech. expert : ENGR.  Engineers.

57. __-Ball: arcade game : SKEE.   The game is played by rolling balls up an incline and scoring points by having the balls fall into holes with different values.

60. Suffix with concert : -INO.  A concertino is either a composition that is a smaller version of a concerto, or a subsection of an orchestra that is featured in a composition.

61. Big tee sizes : XLS.  Extra Larges.

That wraps another Wednesday.  With the libation of your choice, a toast to all.  It's always 5:00 somewhere.

Cool regards!

Aug 23, 2017

Wednesday, August 23, 2017 C. C. Burnikel

Theme - We interrupt regular programming to bring you this hot news item - AKA: STORY. The word STORY is devided into bookends in the 3 theme entries, and revealed in the unifier. Them's the BREAKS, I guess.

20. Come out on top : SCORE A VICTORY.  Win an athletic contest.

34. Retail showcase : STORE DISPLAY.  Where merchandise in on view, to make you want it. Here's a famous one.

41. Particle physics concept : STRING THEORY.  This is a theoretical framework which posits dimensional objects called strings, and describes their interactions.  It is a theory of quantum gravity.

56. Reporter's delivery ... and what 20-, 34- and 41-Across are literally doing? : BREAKING STORY.   Fresh from the news room to the on-screen anchors desk.  Mostly these things are political, so no more than that I will not say.

Hi Gang - JazzBumpa here to BREAK down the STORY of this puzzle, and report on what our investigations can uncover.  Hope it's not too shocking.

Item 1 - the constructor is our own hostess, C. C.  Perhaps she will become the most prolific constructor ever.

Item 2 - STORY is broken at the first letter, the last letter, and then as close as you can get to the middle in a 5-letter word.  Nice, elegant touch.


1. Sporty British cars, for short : JAGS.  Jaguars.

5. Omelet option : HAM.  I usually get the veggie omelet with feta cheese.

8. Reef material : CORAL.  Bad news.  Sadly, they are under attack from star fish and the increasing acidity of the oceans. Some day there may be none left atoll.

13. Power co. output : ELECtricity.  Zap!

14. Shaped like an avocado : OVAL.  This is mandatory.

Found somewhere on the internet.

16. Dig deeply? : ADORE.  Love, respect, worship, venerate.  Clever misdirection with the clue.  You are digging with your emotions, not a shovel, and the depth is into your soul, not the ground.

17. Fey with many Emmys : TINA.  Known for her political satire - not gonna do it.

18. Baltic port : RIGA.  The capital of Latvia, on the Baltic sea at the mouth of the river Daugava.

19. "Unbroken" director Angelina : JOLIE.  A 2014 movie about Louis Zamparini, a U.S. olympic athlete and bombardier in WW II, who survived on a raft in the ocean for 47 days, and then was in PoW camps.  In addition to her fame appearing on the silver screen, she has also directed several films.

23. Intends to hit : AIMS AT.   Use your good eye.

24. Sushi roll fish : EEL.  Any of 800 species of elongated fish lacking pelvic fins.  Many also lack pectoral fins.  It has a single fin ribbon running down the back for most of its length.  They swim by generating body waves, and can swim backwards by reversing the wave.

25. "NewsHour" channel : PBS.  Public Broadcasting System.

28. Novelist Rita __ Brown : MAE.  [b 1944] Prolific author of novels, mysteries and screen plays, including the Mrs. Murphy mystery novel series.

29. [I give up!] : SIGH.  AKA: SMH.

32. Vacation location : RESORT.  Would you resort to staying in such a place?

36. Per item : EACH.  Unit pricing.

39. Area for critical patients, briefly : Intensive Care Unit.

40. Diamond great Sandberg : RYNE.  Played 2nd base for the Phillies, briefly in 1981, and then with the Cubs from 1982 until he retired mid-season in 1994.  He came back and played for the Cubs again in 1996-7.  He won 9 gold gloves and made 10 consecutive all star appearances.  He was inducted into the MLB Hall of Fame in 2005.

46. Pub quiz fodder : TRIVIA.  Unimportant bits of information.

47. Red Muppet who refers to himself in the third person : ELMO.

48. Bit of toy "ammo" : CAP.  A paper or plastic disk containing a small amount of a shock-sensitive explosive compound.  In a toy gun this simulates the noise and smoke of a real fire arm.

51. Gentle touch : DAB.  As in blotting with a napkin.

52. Okay mark : CEE.  I never felt they were OK.

54. Knuckleheads : IDIOTS.  In slang, a generic term for stupid people - or perhaps those you don't agree with.

60. Humdinger : BEAUT.  A particularly fine example of something, or sarcastically, the opposite.

62. Kitchenware brand : EKCO.  They make all sort of kitchen gadgets: basters, peelers, knives, cutting boards, measuring spoons and cups, etc.

63. Blueprint detail : SPECification.

64. Subject of a certain management class : ANGER.  There's a movie about it that I'm pretty glad I didn't see.

65. They may be choppy : SEAS. In high winds or stormy weather.

66. Fit together nicely : MESH.  Hand in glove.

67. High-maintenance : NEEDY.  Said of a person who requires an excess of emotional or monetary investment in a relationship.

68. "That's the spot" : AAH.  You scratch my back  .  .  .

69. Art Deco luminary : ERTE.  Romain de Tirtoff [1892-1990] a Russian-born French artist known as ERTE from the French pronunciation of his initials*, was a pioneer in art deco.

* Hey, I could be ERTE, too!


1. Goods thrown overboard : JETSAM.  Things that have been jettisoned from a ship at sea, frequently to lighten the ship's load.  Not to be confused with flotsam - things lost from a vessel due to shipwreck or accident.  The difference is significant in maritime law.  Flotsam may be claimed by the original ship, JETSAM is the property of whoever finds it.

2. "Girl on Fire" singer Keys : ALICIA.

3. Biological mapping subject : GENOME.  The complete set of genes present in an organism.

4. Permanent marks : SCARS.

5. Fictional captain Hornblower : HORATIO.  A fictional officer in Royal Navy during the Napoleonic Wars in the novels of C. S. Forester.

6. Tel __, Israel : AVIV.  Major city on the Mediterranean coast.

7. Christmas trio : MAGI.  The three wise guys --- er  .  .  . men.

8. Persuades with flattery : CAJOLES.

9. Air Wick target : ODOR.

10. Short and chubby : ROLY POLY. Obese - but we are not into fat shaming here.  Also, a terrestrial crustacean of the order isopoda, also known as a pill bug or doodle bug, with the ability to roll into a ball.

11. D-backs, on scoreboards : ARIzona.

12. Jack Reacher creator __ Child : LEE.  Pen name of British author James D. Grant [b 1954.]  Reacher is a fictional character who is a former army officer who drifts around the country getting into dangerous situations.

15. Doily fabric : LACE.  A small ornamental mat of embroidery, lace, or paper that is placed under an item.

21. __ Los Angeles : EAST.  An unincorporated area in Los Angeles County.  At 96.7% Latino, it is the least diverse community in the county.

22. Actress Polo : TERI.  Theresa Elizabeth Polo [b 1969] is an American TV and movie actress.

26. Dietary fiber : BRAN.  Edible broken seed coats from cereal grains.

27. Eye problem : STYE.  Inflammation at the eyelid caused by a bacterial infection of the gland at the base of an eyelash.

30. Determination : GRIT.  It's true.

31. Anne of "Wag the Dog" : HECHE. Anne Celeste HECHE [b 1969] is an American actress, director and screenwriter.

33. Nimble : SPRY. Usually spoken of older people - maybe it's unexpected.

34. Improvised blade : SHIV.

35. Fight that may involve drawing : DUEL.  Using drawn swords or pistols.

36. Started, as a co. : EST'D.   Established.

37. Gillette brand : ATRA.  Introduced in 1977, the first razor to feature a pivoting head.

38. Pegboard game : CRIBBAGE.  A game played with cards in which a peg board is used to keep score.  You can read about it here.

42. "So close, yet so far" : NICE TRY.  A good, but unsuccessful effort, or, ironically, an attempt that was either not good or not a good thing to do.

43. Mother Earth, in Greek mythology : GAEA.  The earth goddess who gave birth to both the Titans and the first humans.

44. "Holy cow!" : OMIGOSH.  Oh my gosh - nice try!

45. Curtain supports : RODS.  Devices used to support curtains, above windows or along showers.

48. Writer for whose father the National Baseball Hall of Fame city was named : COOPER.  Cooperstown, New York is the municipality in question.  Dad from the clue was William Cooper, who founded a village on Otsego Lake in the 1780's.  His son, James Fenimore Cooper wrote many novels, including The Deerslayer and The Last of the Mohicans.

49. Idle : AT REST.

50. Freudian analyst's concern : PSYCHE.  The soul, mind or spirit that inhabits a human body.  To Freud, the the structural model of the mind, or "psychic apparatus" comprises the id, ego, and super ego.

53. __ out: barely makes : EKES.

55. "Who's there?" answer : IT'S ME.

57. Was sorry about : RUED.

58. Furniture chain popular in dorms : IKEA.  Purveyor of furniture you can assemble, miselaneous household items, and lingonberry jam.  Our oldest granddaughter is a fan.

59. Sweet Sixteen org. : NCAA.  The National Collegiate Athletic Association sponsors and organizes a single-elimination basketball tournament each spring, involving the 32 champions of division I conferences and 36 at-large teams chosen by a selection committee.  The "Sweet Sixteen" are the teams winning early rounds that winnow the field down to 16 contenders.

60. Prohibit : BAN.

61. Suffix with ethyl : -ENE.  This chemistry suffix indicates a double bond between the 2 carbon atoms in the molecule.  Since your eyes are already glazing over, I'll leave it at that.

OK, folks - that's the end of this STORY.  Hope you found it news worthy.

Cool regards!


Note from C.C.:

Happy Birthday to Tinbeni, who joined our blog in 2009. We'll all be toasting you at sundown!

Aug 9, 2017

Wednesday, August 9, 2017 Richard Monsaythe and C. C. Burnikel

Theme: CATCH of the day.  The last word of 2 or 3-word theme entries is something that can be CAUGHT.  There are a couple of sports references in the grid, but inexplicably, nothing about baseball.  What's up with that?  But, fortunately, that deficiency is correctable.  Here's an outstanding CATCH from last Friday's excellent game between the Tigers and the Orioles.

All Jonathon Schoop [pronounced "Scope"] could do is smile.  Maybe you'll get a smile or two as we proceed.

17 A. *One may follow the wedding dress : BRIDAL TRAIN.  This is the long back portion of a dress that trails behind the wearer.  One can also CATCH a TRAIN, but that is a different matter, so don't get off track

39 A. *Avant-garde : NEW WAVE.  Referring to a new movement or trend in literature music or the visual arts.  I remember the NEW WAVE science fiction of the 1960's, which is now old hat.  To CATCH a WAVE is to latch onto an opportunity.  The source of the phrase should be obvious.

10 D. *Westminster's top canine : BEST IN SHOW.   An award bestowed upon the top dog [so to speak] at the annual competitions presented by the Westminster Kennel Club.  I've already said more than I know about it.  To CATCH a SHOW is to attend a performance, or perhaps watch one on TV. There is an implication of preference, suggesting that you'd rather do this than some other pass time.

29 D. *Harsh and wintry : BITTER COLD.  This is weather that is so COLD that exposure would be unpleasant, or even painful.  But if you bundle up properly, you can revel in it.   Careful, though, so you don't CATCH a COLD; or if you do, keep the tissues handy, drink plenty of fluids and take vitamin C.

63 A. Familiar slogan ... or, based on its last word, what each answer to a starred clue is? : CATCH PHRASE.   A well known phrase, often associated with a particular famous person. Hope you were able to CATCH on to this theme.

Hi Gang, JzB here.  Today we have a puzzle co-constructed by a lady we all know and our Corner companion, Splynter, making his LAT debut.  Congrats to both, and a hat tip to C. C. for her continuing enormous care and generosity. Nice word association theme, and a pinwheel theme entry arrangement, with a central horizontal entry.  Its vertical cross, DRAWS ON, might also have been a theme entry, if you CATCH ON, but it lacked the necessary *.  Also, though CATCH ON is an in-the-language phrase, it doesn't quite fit the pattern, since the other entries are verb - object, and CATCH ON is a verb phrase.  Still, a nice touch.  What other smiles can we CATCH ON to?


1. Heckler's array : JEERS.  Boo and hiss companions.

6. Slender woodwind : OBOE.   It goes like this.

10. Crony : BUD.  Pal.  Homey. Bro.

13. Taxpayer's dread : AUDIT.  An examination of one's tax return by the IRS to assure completeness and accuracy.

14. With 24-Across, Chilean poet with a Nobel Prize : PABLO.

And 24. See 14-Across : NERUDA.  Nobel prize in literature, awarded in 1971 for "for a poetry that with the action of an elemental force brings alive a continent's destiny and dreams".

16. Suffix with Vietnam : -ESE.  Usable with many, though not all nationalities.

19. Total : SUM.  It all adds up.

20. Drunk : SOT. Toper.

21. Pontiac that was Motor Trend's 1968 Car of the Year : GTO.  Gran Turismo Omologato - Grand Touring Homologated.

22. Orchestra overseer : MAESTRO.  The conductor.

26. Places for holsters : HIPS.  On a gun belt.

27. Swedish pop quartet : ABBA.

30. Arnold's crime : TREASON.   Benedict.  He was not a good egg.

33. Stand for a photo? : TRIPOD.  Three-legged camera support.

36. Evaluation for a would-be painter : ART TEST.  Like this.

38. Got together : MET.

41. "The guy over there" : HIM.

43. Makes harmonious : ATTUNES.

45. Frightens : SPOOKS.

47. "Whoa, bro!" : EASY NOW.  Take a deep breath.  Cool your jets.

49. Tiny branch : TWIG.

50. Feudal drudge : SERF.

52. Low-risk govt. securities : T-NOTES are fixed income securities having maturities of 1 to 10 years, backed by the full faith and credit of the U. S Treasury.  Could also have been its companions T-BONDS [20 year] or T-BILLS [52 weeks or less.]  Needed perp help.

55. Strategy : TACTICS.  Well, here is my nit.  These are not equivalent.  A strategy is a large-scale plan, which may involve complex organizational patterns; while a tactic is a short-term, focused measure that might aim to achieve one of a strategy's operational goals.

58. Granola morsel : OAT.

59. 27-Down user's need : PIN. Personal Identification Number.

62. Master : PRO. Ace.

66. Every one : ALL.

67. Poetry Muse : ERATO.  Who is the muse of erotic poetry?

68. __ Hebrides : INNER. An archipelago of 35 inhabited and 44 uninhabited islands off the west coast of Scotland, south of the Outer Hebrides.

69. Knight who played a newsman : TED.  Ted Baxter on the Mary Tyler Moore show, played by Tadeusz Wladyslaw Konopka.

70. Food-growing prefix : AGRO-.  Sometimes with culture.

71. Checked out before a heist : CASED.


1. Quick punches : JABS.

2. Currency since 1999 : EURO.  In Europe, believe it or not.

3. Cut and paste, e.g. : EDIT.  Word processing activities.

4. Freed (of) : RID.  B-Bye.

5. Put on, as a play : STAGE.

6. Decide not to join : OPT OUT.

7. Trivia night locale : BAR.  Locale for drinking games.

8. The Affordable Care Act became law during it : OBAMA ERA.  Barak OBAMA's presidential term.

9. "On the Waterfront" director Kazan : ELIA.

11. Take by force : USURP.  Or to take without legal right.

12. Floor models : DEMOS.

15. __ of a kind : ONE.  I'm unique - just like everybody else.

18. P.O. box item : LTR.  Letter - a communication on paper, composed of words, which are composed of letters.

23. Horse's hoof protection : SHOE.  I have SHOES to protect my feet, even when I'm not horsing around..

24. Afternoon rest : NAP.

25. Makes use of, as experience : DRAWS ON.

27. Bread box? : ATM. Automatic Teller Machine - a cash dispensing device.

28. La __ Tar Pits : BREA.  Located within metropolitan Los Angeles.

31. Off-rd. transports : ATVS.  All-Terrain Vehicles.

32. Pedometer unit : STEP.  Keeps track of your motion, but not your emotions.

34. Taxing task : ONUS. A daunting chore.

35. Reject as false : DENY.  

37. Luau torch type : TIKI.

40. Attended without a partner : WENT STAG.  Attending an event without a companion of the opposite gender, and can be used by or with regard to either gender.

42. Chinese menu abbr. : MSG.  Monosodium glutamate, a flavor enhancer.

44. Heaviest U.S. president : TAFT.  William Howard, the 27th president of the U. S., serving from 1909 to 1913.   His weight peaked at 335 to 340 pounds during this term.  He was also the 10th Chief Justice of the U. S. Supreme Court, serving from 1921 to 1930.   His health was failing as he joined the court, and he undertook a physical fitness campaign that reduced his weight to 244 lbs. in 1929.

46. Extra NBA periods : OTS. Overtimes.  

48. Joyful shout : WOO-HOO.  Yippee!

50. Mar. 17 figure : ST. PAT.  Bring on the shamrocks and Guinness!

51. "Guitar Town" rocker Steve : EARLE.

53. Strike gently : TAP.  Or PAT, depending on which way you are facing.

54. Guiding principle : ETHIC.

56. Zamboni's milieu : ICE.  It's a vehicle used to smooth and freshen the surface in a ice arena.  But riding on one can also be a romantic adventure.

57. "Fame"-ous Irene : CARA.

59. Harsh reviews : PANS.

60. "That makes sense" : I SEE.

61. Stereotypical Geek Squad employee : NERD.

64. WNBA position : CTR.  Center.

65. Genetics lab subject : RNA.  RiboNucleic Acid, a polymeric molecule vital in several intracellular genetic processes.

There you have it.  Hope you were able to catch a grin or two.

Cool regards!


Note from C.C.: 

As Jazzbumpa mentioned earlier, Richard is our own Splynter, who has been our Saturday Sherpa since March 2011. Congratulations on your debut, Splynter!

Jun 21, 2017

Wednesday, June 21, 2017 C.C. Burnikel

Theme:  The RAT's nest.  Each theme answer has the word RAT comfortably snuggled deep inside.

18 A. Swimmer who medaled at five Olympic Games : DARA TORRES.  She competed in 1984, 1988, 1992, 2000 and 2008.  In 2008, at age 41, she became the oldest American olympic swimmer.  She won silvers medals in her three events that year.

24 A. Subjected to harsh criticism : UNDER ATTACK.  Verbal attack. Topical, but let's not go there.

36 A. Soccer deadlock breaker : EXTRA TIME. Overtime in American Football and basketball.

51 A. Many a Sports Illustrated cover figure : STAR ATHLETE.  Well sure, sports magazine, star athletes - a perfect fit.  Not always how it works out, though.  I was unable to locate an SI cover of DARA TORRES.  So this will have to suffice.

And the unifier -- 58 A. Suspicious comment ... and a hint to what's hidden in 18-, 24-, 36- and 51-Across : I SMELL A RAT.    This is the comment of a suspicious person - perhaps in a noirish movie - rather than a comment one should be suspicious of.  The expression goes back to at least 1851, and might be based on a cat's ability to detect a RAT by scent, even if it is out of sight.

Note that the letters R, A and T are broken across two words in each answer, and, as a nice touch, the break point alternates between after and before the A.

Hi, gang, it's JzB, who actually has been a lab RAT, of a sort, in the distant past.  Let's put on our lab jackets and see if we can find any other RATS in the labyrinth that C. C. has set out for us today.


1. "MasterChef" tools : PANS.  Cooking tools used on the TV show.

5. Street shader : ELM.  The once great shade source on many American streets, long since devastated by Dutch Elm Disease.   Resistant varieties are now available.

8. Very dangerous : TOXIC.   Poisonous - as related to certain substances or persons in relationships.

13. Maker of Anew skin care products : AVON.  

14. Have to have : NEED.  In my marketing class many years ago, I learned that advertisers do not distinguish between wants and needs.  My protest that I need transportation, but want a Porsche Carrera went unheeded.

16. Cuban dance : RUMBA.  The term has long since lost whatever specificity it may once have had, and is applied to many styles of dance and music with a latin flair.  Here is a modern example from Mexico.

17. Fancy wheels : LIMO.  Usually stretch versions of vehicles for transporting partiers, prom goers, bride's maids, et. cet.

20. Apparel : GARB.  Clothes.

22. Exodus peak : SINAI.  The mountain where Moses received the 10 Commandments.  It took no time at all for them to get broken.

23. Actor's rep. : AGT.  Agent.

26. Turn a different color : DYE.  Did you see that red head Harry was with?  Yeah, that's his wife.  I thought he was married to a brunet!?!   He was, but she DYED.

27. Belgian detective played by Ustinov, Welles, Finney and others : POIROT.   Hercule, an Agatha Christie character who appeared in 33 novels, over 50 short stories and one play between 1920 and 1975.

28. Knight in shining armor : SAVIOR.  If being saved from a fire-breathing dragon counts as salvation.

30. Fast Company magazine competitor : INC.   Titles of business oriented magazines.

31. Nobelist Bohr : NIELS.  He received his prize in 1922 for contribution to the understanding of quantum theory.  Some of Einstein's friends thought that Albert was interesting, but NIELS was a Bohr.

35. Pot promise : IOU.  Promise to pay in a poker pot.

39. "Bad" cholesterol, initially : LDL. Low Density Lipoproteins are the culprits; cholesterol gets the bad rap.

41. Battery-free calculators : ABACI.  Not only that, they're also digital!  A competent operator is also lightning quick.

42. Mama bear, in Chihuahua : OSA. Spanish. 

45. Home to about 740 million : EUROPE.  includes Spain.

48. Christmas cupful : EGG NOG.

50. Fort Myers-to-Orlando dir. : NNE.

55. Grazing spot : LEA.  An open field.

56. Oohed and __ : AAHED.  As at babies - human and otherwise.

57. Bottom : TUSH.  The posterior of a person.

61. Connected (to) : TIED.

63. Cook, as dumplings : STEAM.  Or vegetables.

64. "Game of Thrones," for one : SAGA.  A long story of heroic achievement.  GoT is certainly long.  Whether anyone lives long enough to actually achieve heroically is very much up in the air [as are the dragons.]

65. Architect Saarinen : EERO.  [1910-1961] Born in Finland, he grew up in Bloomfield Hills, MI.

66. Fruity desserts : TARTS.  An open pastry, often filled with fruit and/or custard.

67. Butterfly catcher : NET.   At the end of the day, a butterfly catcher records his NET gain.

68. "Got it" : I SEE.  Comprendo!


1. Best bud : PAL.  Amigos, not flowers.  These days: bestie.

2. French city on the Rhone : AVIGNON.

3. Inclined to wander : NOMADIC.

4. Noisy sleeper : SNORER.  Guilty

5. Go "pfft" : END.  Disappear in a puff of smoke?

6. Bare minimum : LEAST.  It's the bare minimum I could do.

7. __ badge : MERIT.  Boy scout's symbol of achievement.

8. Three-horse vehicle : TROIKA.

9. "__ Song": Taylor Swift hit : OUR.   On YouTube for anyone who is interested.

10. Satellite service for road trips : XM RADIO.  They might also play it there.

11. "Pretty please?" : I BEG YOU.   Can I - huh, huh?

12. Furniture wheel : CASTER.  Mounted in such a way that it can roll in any direction.

15. Fox's "X-Files" partner : DANA.  Scully, played by Gillian Anderson, partner of Fox Mulder, played by David Duchovney.

19. Tic __: mints : TACS.  Candy or breath mint?  You decide.

21. Borough bordering Yonkers : BRONX.  The northernmost of New York City's 5 boroughs.

24. Wire service co. : UPI.  United Press International.

25. Butting heads : AT IT.  Vying, perhaps.

29. Go toe-to-toe : VIE.  At it again, maybe.

32. Stretch in history books : ERA. A time period notable for some characteristic.

33. Research site : LAB.  Also home to some RATS.

34. Metro stop: Abbr. : STAtion.

36. Symphonic rock gp. : ELO.  Electric Light Orchestra.

37. "Law & Order: SVU" actor : ICE-T.  Tracey Lauren Morrow.

38. Power : MIGHT.

39. Ambien alternative : LUNESTA.   Sleep aid drugs.

40. Starry-eyed sort : DREAMER.  LUNESTA user?

42. Baby's bodysuits : ONESIES.  Or adults'.

43. "As I predicted!" : SO THERE.  Told ya'!

44. What candles may signify : AGE.  Well - that takes the cake!

45. Volunteer, in a way : ENLIST.  In the armed forces or other organization.

46. Bible book with 150 poems : PSALMS.  I recently had a chance to play this beautiful Russian Hymn based on psalm 74.

47. Footnote shorthand : ET AL.  And others - a list shortener.

49. Muscles strengthened by lunges : GLUTEI.  Is this a mini-theme, or am I getting a little behind?

52. Cries of discovery : AHAS.  Or Eurekas.

53. Showed once more : RERAN.  As a TV show.

54. Maxim : ADAGE.  An old saw.

59. Fast no more : EAT.  Slowly. Eat slowly.  Chew every bite.

60. Parlor art, for short : TAT.  Body art, applied at a tattoo parlor

62. Girl in a forest : DOE.  A deer, a female deer.

That wraps another Wednesday.  C. C. gave a fine puzzle to while away a few well-spent moments. Hope you made it through OK.  Now - who moved my cheese?

Cool Regards!


May 31, 2017

Wednesday, May 31, 2017 Samuel A. Donaldson

Theme: here is it is in full.

Amendment I. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

20. 2010 Best Picture Oscar winner : THE KING'S SPEECH.

27. Become born-again, perhaps : GET RELIGION.

37. United Nations gathering : GENERAL ASSEMBLY.

44. Self-publishing option : VANITY PRESS.

The theme fill contain some of the key words of the specified rights, and the unifier seals the deal.

52. Source of the freedoms found at the ends of this puzzle's four other longest answers : FIRST AMENDMENT.  Of the Constitution of the United States of America.

Well, here we have the two things that we do not discuss here - politics and religion. We do need to report on and discuss the content of the puzzle - and most particularly the theme - but let's all please respect the spirit of the ground rules.  The theme is well timed, coming during the week of Memorial Day.

So, let us ASSEMBLE our wits, PRESS on, and SPEAK FREELY about the rest of this puzzle.


1. Resorts with body wraps : SPAS.  Saunas, towels and robes.

5. Hook-shaped ski lift : J-BAR.  

9. Canon setting : F STOP.  The ratio of a camera's focal length to the diameter of its aperture, hence a dimensionless number relating to lens speed.

14. Formal agreement : PACT.  Treaty, deal, settlement.

15. Deep sea predator : ORCA.  AKA killer whale

16. PEN/Faulkner, for one : AWARD.   Recognition for achievement.

17. Wastes away : ATROPHIES.  Withers, shrives, shrinks.

19. Beantown team : CELTS.  Pro basketball.

22. Env. insert : ENClosure.

23. Former Mississippi senator Trent : LOTT.  Was in the House of Representatives from 1972 to 1988, then in the Senate from 1989 to 2007.  In 2008, opened a lobbying firm with former Senator John Breaux.  Careful, now.  More politics.

24. Post-J.D. degree : LLM.  Legum Magister, Latin for Master of Laws.  [In Latin the plural of a word is abbreviated by repeating the initial.]

33. Ready for a kick, with "up" : TEED.  In football, a kick off is generally executed with the ball placed on a kicking tee.

35. Society page word : NEE.   From the French word for "born," generally referring to a married woman's maiden name.

36. City bonds, for short : MUNIS.  Municipal Bonds are securities issued by a local authority to finance a capital project.  The are frequently exempt from federal taxation.

41. Layer with a hole : OZONE.  An upper atmospheric layer. 

42. Pocatello sch. : ISU.  Idaho State University.  Their mascot is Benny the Bengal.

43. "The Da Vinci Code" priory : SION.  Well - this is confusing.

48. Health products chain : GNC.  General Nutrition Center.

49. One who may converse in Erse : GAEL. Gaelic person from Ireland or Scotland. 

50. Top bond rating : AAA.  Indicating the highest degree of credit worthiness.

59. Argue with : JAW AT.  

60. One selling wheels : CAR DEALER.   "Wheels" being vernacular for a vehicle.

61. Online party notice : E-VITE.  A portmanteau of electronic and invitation.

62. Pelee Island's lake : ERIE.  Located in Canadian waters, but for me, this hits close to home.

63. Zilch : ZERO.  Nada, nuthin'.

64. Decreases in strength : WANES.   Or any other measurable characteristic.

65. Phone-answering asst. : SEC'Y.  Administrative Assistant.

66. Social sci. major : ECONomics.  The flip side of the political coin.


1. Cross words : SPAT.  An argument.

2. Way to go : PATH.  A route from point A to point B.

3. Farm fraction : ACRE.  Land area measure.

4. Feed with fuel : STOKE.  Specifically, solid fuel, as coal.

5. WWE wrestler in the film "Trainwreck" : JOHN CENA.  No idea.

6. Naval lockup : BRIG.   Jail on a ship.

7. Pocket rockets, at the poker table : ACES.  A holding of pocket aces in the game of Hold 'em.

8. Fight, in the sticks : RASSLE.  Wrestle, in the city.

9. Video chat option : FACE TIME.  Proprietary Apple app.

10. Trees with fragrant sap : SWEET GUMS.

11. Gymnast's powder : TALC.   Used to absorb moisture and as a dry lubricant.

12. Straight: Pref. : ORTH.  From the Greek.

13. Troopers' gps. : PDs.  Police Departments.

18. Troubling engine sound : PING.

21. D.C. figure : POLitician.

24. No. 2 at the statehouse : LT. GOV.  Lieutenant Governor.

25. Talk show host who won "The Celebrity Apprentice" in 2015, familiarly : LEEZA.  Gibbons.

26. Runners occupying bases : MEN ON.  They want to go home, but often do not get there.

28. No. in a contacts list : TELephone.

29. Broadcast again : REAIR.

30. With a lot at stake : IN BIG.   As a wager or financed deal.

31. Rub __: lubricate : OIL ON.

32. "Bye Bye Bye" boy band : NSYNC.  Mainly popular in the late 90's

34. Bad-mouth : DENIGRATE.  Disparage, belittle, denigrate.

38. Samples again, during cooking : RETASTES.  This entry feels awfully strained, and not especially in the language.

39. Memphis-to-Mobile dir. : SSE.   Tennessee to Alabama.

40. "The Partridge Family" actress : SUSAN DEY.  [b 1952]

45. To date : YET.  Up to now.

46. Pre-curtain call : PLACES.  Everyone get into position.

47. "Smooth Operator" singer : SADE.

51. Floor : AMAZE.  Frex: I was floored by that revelation.

52. Broad bean : FAVA.  Pairs well with a nice Chianti.

53. Triumphant shout : I WIN.

54. Stable mother : MARE.  Just horsing around.

55. Old Norse explorer : ERIC.  When you get exiled for being too obnoxious even for the Vikings to put up with, you might as well go sight seeing.

56. Util. bill : ELECtricity.

57. Detective Wolfe : NERO.  Created by Rex Stout.

58. 1982 sci-fi film with a 2010 sequel : TRON.

59. Passover observer : JEW.  Start with politics, end with religion.  Passover commemorates the Israelites departure from ancient Egypt.

Well, folks, that wraps up another Wednesday.  Hope you were able to exercise your freedoms and still get through the puzzle without too many arguments.

Cool Regards!

May 17, 2017

Wednesday, May 17, 2017 Alex Eaton-Salners

Theme - LET"S ALL TAKE A BOUGH.  Vertical theme entries all start with, and are therefore TOPPED by letters that spell the name of a TREE.  Let's start with the unifier.

55 A. Canopy creators ... or what can literally be found in 6-, 10-, 24- and 34-Down : TREE TOPS.

Coming back down to earth we have the theme entries.

6 D. Brain part that produces melatonin : PINEAL GLAND.  It is tucked into the groove between the two halves of the thalmus, near the center of the brain.  It is so-named because its shape resembles that of a pine cone.  Topped by a PINE, an evergreen, and the first of our TREEs.

10 D. Cartographer's table : MAP LEGEND.  An inset that explains the meanings of symbols and other features used on the map.  The maple tree is prized for its lumber, used for furniture and decorative purposes.

24. Reason for a parking restriction : FIRE HYDRANT.  FIR trees are can be distinguished from other members of the pine family by their needle attachments and cone shapes.

34 D. "Wascally wabbit" hunter : ELMER FUDD.  Something we all knew.  But it gives me an excuse to post this --.

ELM TREES were used along streets all over America as decoration and to provide shade.  Most of these were lost to Dutch elm disease, caused by a microfungus carried by bark beetles.  Disease resistant varieties have since been developed.

Look for a clue gimmick when the theme arrangement is vertical.  This one is clever, with the tree names topping the theme fill entries.  Two of the four trees are hard woods, and two are conifers.   The conifers are adjacent to the vertical center line, and the hard woods farther toward the edges.

Hi, Gang, Jazzbumpa on duty, lumbering through this puzzle.  Let's see what we can saw.


1. Produced, biblically speaking : BEGAT.  Was the father of.

6. Racetrack stops : PITS.  For fuel and quick tire changes.

10. Finance majors' degs. : MBAS.  Master of Business Administration.  I have one.

14. Kagan associate : ALITO.  Supreme Court Justices.

15. Not yet out of the running : IN IT.  To win it, no doubt.

16. Strong lobby for seniors : AARP.  America Association of Retired Persons.  I belong.

17. One who wants to come home? : BASE RUNNER.  Baseball reference.  Most do not make it, though.

19. Insanity, in court : PLEA.  A formal statement in response to a charge, not [necessarily] a description of behavior.

20. Makes eligible for, with "to" : ENTITLES.  Supplies a legal or just right to something.

21. Sign up : ENLIST.  Or enroll, which sadly has the same number of letters.

23. Albacore, e.g. : TUNA.  Something fishy here.

24. Price of a crosstown ride : FARE.  In a bus or cab.  

25. 19th Greek letter : TAU.  

28. Eight pts. : GAL.  Pints and gallons, guys and gals.

29. "Just think!" : IMAGINE.

33. In unfamiliar territory : AT SEA.  Without a paddle.

35. "An Officer and a Gentleman" star : GERE.

37. Black, in poetry : EBON.

38. Castro of Cuba : RAUL.  Fidel's brother.

39. Adjust to fit : ALTER.  As clothing.

40. Statistician Silver of ESPN's FiveThirtyEight : NATE.  

41. British baby buggy : PRAM.  Short for perambulator.

42. "The cow is of the bovine ilk / One end is moo, the other, milk" poet : NASH.  Ogden.

To keep your marriage brimming
With love in the loving cup,
Whenever you’re wrong, admit it;
Whenever you’re right, shut up.

-  Ogden Nash

43. Floppy disk successor : CD-ROM.  Data storage media.

44. Solemn ending? : SILENT N.  Holy N, Batmen.

46. Vote in favor : YEA.  parliamentary procedure.

48. What's up to you? : SKY.  Sometimes hidden by clouds.

49. Cheese coat : RIND.  More than you want to know.  

50. TiVo products : DVRS.  Digital Video Reordings.  Nobody tapes any more.

52. Confuse : BAFFLE.  Wait . . . what?!?

59. Free speech org. : ACLU.  American Civil Liberties Union.  We won't talk about it here.

60. Three, to nine : SQUARE ROOT.  A number that when multiplied by itself yields another specified number.  Round roots are things like carrots.

62. Get rid of : SHED. Discard, as leaves, skin, hair or clothing.

63. Change directions : TURN.  Don't get steered the wrong way

64. Box cutter insert : RAZOR.  Actually a blade.

65. Top dog : HEAD.  Of an organization.

66. Not hard : SOFT.  Pretty straight forward.

67. Prefix with foam : STYRO-.  Expanded polystyrene.  I worked with it on my first job.


1. Innocent one : BABE.  One who is at a severe disadvantage in the woods.

2. Panache : ELAN.  Confidence, flair, style, enthusiasm.

3. Heart of the matter : GIST.  Get the point?

4. Absorbed the loss : ATE IT.  Financial indigestion.

5. Haitian island whose name is Spanish for "turtle" : TORTUGA.  Located north of the north-west arm of the main island.

7. Overnight stops : INNS.

8. 50-50, e.g. : TIE.  Even score in a sport or game, usually settled by some sort of overtime play.

9. Party decoration : STREAMER.  Colorful ribbons used for ornamentation.

10. Cartographer's table : MAP LEGEND.  An inset that explains the meanings of symbols and other features used on the map.

11. Indonesian island : BALI.  Immediately to the east of Java, it is home to most of Indonesia's Hindu minority.

12. "Iliad" war god : ARES.  Greek.  Mars to the Romans.

13. Petty argument : SPAT. It caused a SPAT what he spat on my spats.

18. Forearm part : ULNA.  The longer of two forearm bones, extending from the elbow to the little finger.  The radius extends from the elbow to the thumb side of the hand.

22. New Deal prog. : NRA.  The National Recovery Administration was created in 1933, under the National Industrial Recovery Act.  It had a two year charter and expired in 1935.  At that time the Supreme Court also determined that it infringed on separation of powers and was therefore unconstitutional.  Many of its provisions reappeared under the National Labor Relations Act that same year.

25. Camping cover-ups : TARPS.  Baseball diamonds, too.

26. Centipede creator : ATARI.  Electronic game company.

27. Garden-variety : USUAL.  Typical

30. Bridge beams : I-BARS.  Structural elements named for their cross-sectional profile, which resemble the letter I.

31. Against the rules : NOT OK.  Let the OK - Okay battle begin.

32. Redcoat, to a Minuteman : ENEMY.  American revolutionary war.

36. Sci-fi visitors : ETS. Extra-Terrestrials - off world entities, who sometimes claim to be friendly.

39. Colonies crawling with critters : ANT NESTS.

43. Board game with an "Unemployment Office" corner : CAREERS.

45. Zip : NIL.  Zilch.  Nada

47. Penultimate word of many fairy tales : EVER.  Penultimate -- hmmmm.  I wonder what comes after?

51. Classic guitar, briefly : STRAT.  Fender Stratocaster.  Costing $600, and up.  Buddy Holly's were stolen twice in April, 1958.

52. Shindig : BASH.  Spree, blow out.  Have fun, but make good choices.

53. Bruise symptom : ACHE.  Owie!

54. One in the doghouse? : FLEA.  One hopes not

55. Gang land : TURF.  Claimed territory.

56. Like slime : OOZY.  Moving like this?

57. Substandard : POOR.  Like certain movies from 1958.

58. Houston athlete, for short : 'STRO.  ASTRO evidently has too many syllable to be spoken conveniently.  The STROs are currently atop the A. L. Western division.  Let's give them a bough.

61. Status __ : QUO.  The current state of things.

That wraps up another Woden's Tag.  Hope you got through it without feeling board.  But now I have a strange desire branch out - maybe even join a splinter group.  Perhaps I should just go with the phloem.  Now it's time to leaf.

Cool regards!