Look: I am eager to learn stuff I don't know--which requires actively courting and posting smart disagreement.

But as you will understand, I don't like to post things that mischaracterize and are aimed to mislead.

-- Brad Delong

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Everything that appears on this blog is the copyrighted property of somebody. Often, but not always, that somebody is me. For things that are not mine, I either have obtained permission, or claim fair use. Feel free to quote me, but attribute, please. My photos and poetry are dear to my heart, and may not be used without permission. Ditto, my other intellectual property, such as charts and graphs. I'm probably willing to share. Let's talk. Violators will be damned for all eternity to the circle of hell populated by Rosanne Barr, Mrs Miller [look her up], and trombonists who are unable play in tune. You cannot possibly imagine the agony. If you have a question, email me: jazzbumpa@gmail.com. I'll answer when I feel like it. Cheers!

Friday, April 30, 2010

L.A. Times Crossword Puzzle Blogging

Friday, April  30, 2010  Gareth Bain

Theme NEWBIE, or New B-ginnings.  Familiar phrases are prefixed with the letter "B" to give a whole new, rather humerous meaning.

17 A . Daring track official? BOLD TIMER. "Old timer." No comment.

63 A . Online journalist's retreat?: BLOG CABIN. "Log Cabin." But as a blogger, I love this one.

10 D . Clinton enjoying some R and R?:  BILL AT EASE.  "Ill at ease" - uncomfortable.  I seem to recall Bill having some uncomfortable moments.  Might have been that Tiger in his tank.

31. Immortal comedian's donkey imitation?:  BRAY OF HOPE.  "Ray of Hope."  The light at the end of the tunnel.  Also, the second play on Bob Hope's name this week.

49. Tyro, and a hint to this puzzle's theme:  NEWBIE, or a new "B," if you will.

Hi gang, it's JazzBumpa, reporting from the quiet security of my BLOG CABIN.  This is a top-notch puzzle with a clever theme, and lots of wit.  Let's explore it together.


1. Four-time Olympic gold-medal runner Zatopek:  EMIL.  Czek runner of many distances.  Three of his medals came in the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki.

5.  Park way:  PATH.  A parkway is road, a thoroughfare; a scenic freeway; a surface road with a landscaped median.  A path can be made by meandering cows.  Not a great correspondence. 

9. Shame:  ABASH.  But I would not go so far as to abash Gareth Bain.

14. Hacking knife:  BOLO.   Looks nasty.  I'd guess, even better than a baritone saxophone in a brawl.

15. Rebel:  RISE.  Here it is the verb reBEL, not the noun REBel.  I'll mention that the South has always had thoughts about rising again.  But let's just let it go at that.  History - OK.  Politics - don't go there.

16. Petulant mood:  PIQUE.   Often discernible by the presence of a moue.  Hmmmm . . . reminds me of a certain granddaughter

19. Zaftig:  PLUMP.  Some writer called Maragret Cho ZAFTIG a while back, and she played it into one of her very funny routines.  She who laughs at herself laughs best.

20. Trouser measurement:  INSEAM.  The length of the seam down the inside of a pant leg.  Here is one way to go AT IT  There might be others.

21. "Twilight" heroine:  BELLA.   Here she is.  I was expecting fangs, I guess.

23. Introduction to a former self?:  NEE.   Nee means "born," and is used to refer to the maiden name of a married woman.  Clear enough, I guess, but for all it's cleverness, clue and answer don't seem to mesh.  Maybe I'm just disoriented by the time travel.

24. "The Mikado" baritone:  KOKO.  From Gilbert and Sullivan's "The Mikado."  I'm not a G and S fan in any context.  Here is KOKO, with some friends, but be warned, it's a seven minute clip.

27. Give a hand to:  DEAL IN.   OK.  He got me.  Deal me into the card game.  Usually poker.  Here, Gareth is being literal.  Just when you think you know a guy . . .

30. Dabchick, for one:  GREEBE   I think we had DABHAND the last time I blogged a puzzle.  I doubt that there's any connection to this bird, though.  I was expecting something ZOFTIG, not the smallest member of the GREBE family.

32. Cost an arm and __:  A LEG.  Well, that's a lot.  Origin of the expression is obscure.  But, to keep my customers happy, here are an ARM and a LEG.

34. Do a garage job:  TUNE.   Get that engine running PRIMO.  Unless you're intrigued with vintage cars, it's probably a job best left to the pros.

35. Cannes's region:  RIVIERA.   The vacation region along southern coast of France.  You Canne go there, if you chose.   No oil slicks that I know of, unlike the Redneck Riviera, which is having a bit of unpleasantness.  Alternatively, you could TUNE a RIVIERA.

37. __'acte:  ENTR.  French for Intermezzo, meaning between the acts, introductory music to signal the end of intermission in the theater.  Take your seats please.  (But beware of one offering his, as we shall see.)

38. They're usually in the 80s and 90s:  OCTANES.  Not quite.  This should be OCTANE RATINGS.  The octane rating is a measure of the resistance of petrol and other fuels to autoignition in spark-ignition internal combustion engines.

41. Toon who played Scrooge:  MR MAGOO.  The cartoon character with the voice of Jim Backus.  I didn't know he was Scrooge, as well.

43. Maker of Definity skin care products:  OLAY.  I only know Oil of Olay, which can slick up your skin.  Take some when you visit the Riviera.

44. Works on, as a novel:  REVISES.   To revise is to rework and improve your prose.  Writing is rewriting.  It's true.

46. Sport with riders:  POLO.  Guys ride on horses and try to hit a ball into a goal with a stick.  This is some version of equestrian soccer (futbol with hooves.)  Polo also has other  meanings.

47. Matriarchal nickname:  GRAN.  One of many possible more-or-less affections nicknames for grandmother.    This is not used in our clan.   The LW is called Gramma, MeeMaw, or Grand-mom.

48. Core belief:  TENET.    My core belief has nine tenets.  I believe Johnny Appleseed  and William Tell had core beiefs.

52. Put the kibosh on:  STIFLE  Remember when Archie always told Edith to STIFLE herself?  Those were the days.

54. Suggestive look:  LEER.   Ladies, I suggest you look at this.

56. Two-legged meat source:  EMU.    My daughter went to Eastern Michigan University.  This is not their mascot.  Nor is the Dromaius novaehollandiae, a large, flightless bird.

57. First name in puppetry:  SHARI.   Of course, this is Shari Lewis, shown here with her most famous creation.  I don't know if she was ever on the lam, but the lamb was often on her.

59. Battles with bombers:  AIR WAR.   There was a lot of this in WW II, with the Germans trying to bomb the British, and the British trying to shoot down their bombers.  A bad time was had by all.

61. Stars travel in them:  LIMOS.  Short for Limousine, a fancy car with a bar in the back, and a driver in the front. He'll take you anywhere you want to go.

66. Get used (to):  ADAPT.    Often we see INURE.  This is a bit simpler.

67. __ Grey tea:  EARL.  Earl Grey Tea, flavored with bergamot extract, is my favorite.  No lemon, no sugar, no milk (shudder.)  Twinings is the best.

68. Dam buildup:  SILT.  Silt is loose sedimentary material that gets deposited by moving water.  It forms deltas, and is dam clogging.

69. X-ray targets:  BONES.    Flesh is transparent to X-rays, which were discovered by William Reontgen, who refrained from  naming them Roentgen waves.  But bones are opaque to X-rays, and they can be X-ray photographed while they are still inside the body.  This is convenient for both the DR. and the patient.

70. Whitehall whitewall:  TYRE.  I guess Whitehall must be in England somewhere.  TYRE is the British spelling of tire, four of which could be found on the typical Riviera.  Nice echo clue.

71. Tijuana tender:  PESO.  The PESO in Los Estados Unitos de Mexico is legal tender for all debts public and private, even if they are illegal.


1. Flowing back:  EBBING.  Tide flows in and flows out.  Ebbing, the outflow, is used generally to indicate something receding, like my hair line.

2. One offering his seat?:  MOONER.    Back in the day, young people would stick their bare buttocks out of a car window. This can resemble the moon under certain lighting conditions that I was never able to duplicate.  Why they did this is anybody's guess.  

3. "Let me check":  I'LL SEE.  Pretty straight forward.

4. Bonanza:  LODE.   The rich vein of ore that can make a prospector rich.

5. A-one:  PRIMO.  Superlative.  The best.  Top notch.  First class.  Like this puzzle.

6. End:  AIM.  Not the most common meaning of "end" (or moon) but here "end" and "aim" refer to a goal - something to strive toward.

7. Jennyanydots's creator, initially: TSE.   I am assuming that this is a character from CATS, the musical based on some of the writings of T. S. Eliot.   We're seeing CATS next month, then I'll know for sure.

8. Mint, say:  HERB.  Herbs are edible plant parts using in flavoring other edible stuff.  Traditionally, herbs were somewhat delicately flavored leafy plant parts, while spices were more aromatic and pugnet, and often came from bark or seeds.  The old distinctions are being blurred.

9. User of the prefix "i-":  APPLE.  Apple computer makes i-Mac, i-Pod, i-Pad, i-yiyi!

11. Inspiring apparatus:  AQUALUNG.  "Inspire" here refers to the intake of air, aided by the tank you can take diving, trade named AQUALUNG.   Another fine GB misdirection.

12. Result of considering the pluses?:  SUM.  "Plus" here is the addition of  a collection of numbers, resulting in a SUM.  SUM more GB cleverness.

13. With it:  HEP.   "Hep" is very old school terminology for "up to date."  Decades ago it morphed into "hip."  Jazz fans back in the bebop days were hep cats.

18. Consume:  TAKE IN.  Ingest.  Pretty straight forward

22. Awards named for a writer:   EDGARS.   The Mystery Writers of America present EDGARS for excellence in mystery stories and movies.   If you don't know who it is named after, I'm giving you a homework assignment.

25. Kind of roll:  KAISER.   This little doughy delight was invented in Vienna in honor of the Emperor, or KAISER, Fanz Joseph.

26. Futbol game cheer:  OLE.  Bullfighting too.   I'll cheer for the OLAY - OLE echo.

28. Intrigued with:  IN TO.   Slang term for being interested in something.  But when I TAKE IN a KAISER roll, it gets IN TO me.  

29. Ruler from LIV to LXVIII:  NERO.   Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus (15 December AD 37 – 9 June AD 68),  born Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus, also called Nero Claudius Caesar Drusus Germanicus, was the fifth and last Roman emperor of the Julio-Claudian dynasty.   He is best known for allegedly fiddling around while Rome burned.  This is a misconception.  He was actually harping at a Lyre. 

33. Fur that's a symbol of royalty:  ERMINE.  Those royals were always putting on airs.  They could afford ERMINE.  You and I - not so much.

36. Church caretaker, in Chelsea:  VERGER.  Again we have alliteration to indicate a foreign language, when the foreign language is English.  I am 100% certain this is of French, not Anglo-Saxon derivation.  Having learned this new word, I shall now promptly forget it.

38. "__!...I Did It Again": Britney Spears album and hit song:  OOPS!   I guessed, "THERE." which doesn't even have the right number of letters.  That's how much I know about her "music."  One Britney link is all you get.

39. Blood __:  CLOT.  A clot is coagulated blood.  Clotting is useful to help close off wounds.  
Internal clotting, or thrombosis, can lead to hear attacks and strokes.

40. Juju or grigri:  TALISMAN.   A magic charm - a device to channel occult powers and get that Mojo Risin'

42. Like a tonne of bricks?:  METRIC.  Now this is clever.  That foreign language English again.  In England, they use the Metric System of weights and measures.  Here, we use the English System, because the Metric System went over like . . . well - you know.

45. Kilmer of "Top Gun":  VAL.  Actor Val Kilmer.  Hey - didn't he play Mr. Mojo Risin'?

50. Computer letters:  EMAIL.  Not the alphabet, silly.  Letters you receive on your computer, instead of by snail delivery.

51. Ask for help from:  TURN TO.  Interesting expression.  You turn to someone you trust when you're in a tough spot.

53. Keeps going:  LASTS.  Straight forward again.  So, let's have this.

55. Golfer's coup:  EAGLE.  In golf, an eagle means finishing the hole two under par: 3 on a par 5, for example.   Like a birdie, but better.

58. Cynical response:  I BET.  A snarky challenge indicating skepticism.  Or words heard after a hand is given.

60. Hoarse sound:  RASP.  The way your voice might sound with a sore throat, cough, and/or sniffles.
Why did the mare make her colt wear a scarf when he went outside?  He was a little horse.

61. Testing site:  LAB.  Short for laboratory, where science is done, and having nothing to do with golden retrievers.

62. Phrase said before taking the stand:  I DO.  A witness's answer to this question:   "Do you solemnly swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth . . ."  I've never been on the stand, but I used to watch Perry Mason on TV.

64. Not ordained:  LAY.  This word refers to ordinary folk who perform formal or informal functions around the congregation, such as the VERGER.  Which I had to scroll back up to find.  I really did forget it that fast.  I guess LAY might have other meanings as well.  Can anyone think of any?

65. Two-time Conn Smythe Trophy winner:  ORR.  Bobby Orr, star defenseman of the Boston Bruins, Hockey stalwart, and now cross-word puzzle stalwart.

That's all Folks.


Cross-posted, with follow-up commentary at the Corner.

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