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

Copyright Notice

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!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

L.A. Times Crossword Puzzle Blogging

Cross-posted at the L.A. Times Crossword Corner.

Wednesday June 16, 2010 Pancho Harrison

Theme: MUSIC, MAN! - Three long theme answers, two of them grid-spanning, employ puns to transform mundane phrases into humorous musical references.

17 A. Songs by German wolves? LIEDER OF THE PACK.  Play on "leader of the pack.  LIED (pl LIEDER) is the German word for song.  So - songs of the pack.  This got a chuckle and a groan.

36 A. Obvious melody?: AIR APPARENT.  Play on "heir apparent," the most likely successor.  An AIR is a melody, obviously.

58 A. Intonations from the monastery locker room?: CHANTS OF SHOWERS.  Oh my.  "Chance of showers," meaning it's probably going to rain.  Or, here, some very clean Gregorian chant.

Each play is on the first word in the phrase, substituting a near-homophone. Nice and tight. YMMV on puns and their quality. I thought these were rather long stretches; but that doesn't make me like them any less.  And I do like them, quite a lot.

Plus, these musical encores:

57 A. Haggard of country music: MERLE
39 D. Roxy Music alum Brian: ENO.
53 D. Jerry or Jerry Lee: LEWIS

Not being a country music maven (I'm more of a city boy) I'll leave it someone in the know to find the best links for Merle and Jerry Lee. And, yes, comedian Jerry Lewis did also sing, occasionally.  I actually know nothing about Brian ENO, except he's in puzzles a lot.

Hi gang, it's JazzBumpa, your humble resident trombonist and music appreciator.  I was pretty much in tune with this one, and able to wood-shed it in 15:27. Pancho Harrison has composed a verbal symphony for us today with only a few sour notes. Let's get inside the score.


1 A. Glass in a frame: PANE. Why is a piece of glass called a pane? I worked in the industry for 17 long, miserable years, and never gave it a thought. We called a piece of glass a "light" which is even ODDER.

5 A. Motivation target, often: SELF. In my 20+ years as a supervisor, I learned that if you won't motivate yourself, nobody can.

9 A. Hold forth: OPINE. I do this rather a lot. Opinions are cheep, or even free.

14 A. Site of a Biblical plot: EDEN.  Nice double meaning: plot of land, and site of the Eve-Serpent cabal.

15 A. Flash in the brainpan: IDEA. Another clever clue, playing on "flash in the pan." I first heard this in the context of baseball, meaning a promising rookie who turns out to be a bust. The phrase comes from panning for gold, where sometimes things that glitter are worthless.

16 A. Like some ancient characters: RUNIC. Another great clue. "Characters" here mean letters or other types of symbols. RUNES were characters used in Old Norse. They are composed of straight lines so they can be easily sliced into wood or scratched onto stone.

20 A. Farther out?: ODDER. Farther out, man.

21 A. Like some highways: TWO LANE.  Though not necessarily.

22 A. Huaraches, e.g.: SANDALS.  Hecho en Mexico.  Es verdad!

25 A. Stubborn one: ASS.  Yup!

26 A. Blunderer's cry: DOH!

28 A. Final conclusion?: IST. Referring to a finalIST, one of the last standing in a contest.   I offer this to the Navajo gods.

29 A. Rational: SANE.  Good thinking!

31 A. Motion support: SECOND.  From Robert's rules of order.  May I have a motion?  Second?  All in favor, say "DOH!"

33 A. Overhaul: REVAMP. Is something ever VAMPED? If not, how can it be REVAMPED? English is ODDER, sometimes.

35 A. "The Clan of the Cave Bear" author: Jean AUEL.

39 A. Exile isle: ELBA. Napoleon was exiled here, and given the job of cleaning the place.   It took a lot of ELBA GREECE.  That's when he said, "I may not be Abel, but I do the best I Cain," which is no kind of palindrome.

41 A. Accent: STRESS.

42 A. Loch legend nickname: NESSIE. The Loch Ness Monster, not to be confused with her brother Elliot Ness.

45 A. Reb's opponent: YANK. Short for Yankee. Not necessarily from New York, but we can't rule it out.

46 A. Hoo-ha: ADO.  Possibly a reference to Willie Shiverjavelin's play, "Much Hoo-ha About Nothing."  What else could it mean?

49 A. Feedbag morsel: OAT. We do eat a lot of these in puzzle land.

50 A. O'Neill's "The Hairy __": APE.  The Hairy Ape, a play by Eugene O'Neill, has a character in it called "Yank."

52 A. Wooden in manner: STILTED.

54 A. Tread roughly: TRAMPLE.  Don't trample on me!

61 A. Right-hand page: RECTO.  What is the left hand page called?

62 A. "An Essay on Man" poet Alexander: POPE.  He also translated The Odyssey.

63 A. Horned goddess: ISIS.  From ancient Egypt, horns and all.

64 A. Big name in lawn care: ORTHO.  They make Scott's Miracle-Gro.

65 A. Notable periods: ERAS.

66 A. Plato's promenade: STOA.  In ancient Greece, a public covered walkway or portico.  Where you been, Plato?  I had to go to the STOA.


1 D. First female Speaker of the House: PELOSI. Nancy from CA.

2 D. Reebok rival: ADIDAS. We run into these a lot, too.

3 D. "You __ bother": NEEDN'T.  I needn't, but I can't resist this link.

4 D. Ran out: ENDED.  BP's time ran out, but the oil flow didn't.  Also:
7 D. Ran out: LEFT.  This is the  "I've had enough" kind of ran out, as in exit, stage LEFT.

5 D. Anthony Hopkins, for one: SIR.  Aha - Anthony is a knight.  My oldest grandson made up this joke:    Why could they fight after dark in the middle ages?  They had knight lights!

6 D. Tokyo, before 1868: IDO

8 D. Islamic decree: FATWA

9 D. Threat words: OR ELSE

10 D. Insect stage after larva: PUPA.  It's when insect pups go through PUPATY .

11 D. Hard to reach at the office, say: IN AND OUT.  I used to be in the office every day.  Now I'm always out.

12 D. "Good shot!": NICE ONE.  A complement on the golf course.

13 D. Luther opponent Johann __: ECK.  He defended Catholicism.  Turns out, his real name was Maier.  What the ECK is that all about?

18 D. Corrective tool: ERASER.  Well, nobody's perfect.

19 D. Ben Cartwright's middle son: HOSS.  Plus Little Joe and . . . Luke?

23 D. Soap brand with pumice: LAVA.  I didn't know this was still around.   Lava los manos!

24 D. Goes nuts: SNAPS.  Loses it.  Goes around the bend.  Flips one's lid.

27 D. "Good" cholesterol, for short: HDL.  You want your High Density Lipids to be High, and your Low density lipids to be low.  Easy mnemonic.

30 D. Totally drained: EMPTY.  They way you felt after you RAN OUT.

33 D. Narrow inlets: RIAS.  Are they the same as estuaries?  I learned the word here at the Corner.

34 D. Legal aides: PARAS.  Evidently referring to PARAlegals.  Ugly partial.  Meh.

36 D. Like a Jackson Pollock painting: ABSTRACT.  Could be.  I thought this was a wiring diagram.

37 D. Temporary use fee: RENT.  I'll do the cookin' honey, I'll pay the rent, if I can use you temporarily.

38 D. Inuit, once: ESKIMO.  Not necessarily.  Could also be a Yupic or an Aleut.

40 D. Elbow patch material: LEATHER.  Especially on tweed jackets.

43 D. Words of agreement: I AM TOO.  Are you tired?

44 D. Omar of "House": EPPS.  Never watched it.

46 D. Not in motion: AT REST.  I had STATIC, which made my hair stand on end.

47 D. Texas border city: DEL RIO.

48 D. Texas oil city: ODESSA.  Evidently having been moved there from the Ukraine.

51 D. Run off to join a union?: ELOPE.  Very clever.

55 D. Lit. compilation: ANTH.  Short for anthology.  Abrev. in cl. & ans.

56 D. __ effort: E FOR.  I always got an A for effort.  Well, not really, but it IS in the language . . .

58 D. Vel attachment?: CRO.  Velcro.  I'm torn over this one.  There's my aversion to affixes, or - as in this case - psuedo-affixes, which are even worse.  But, OTOH, VelCRO is an attachment.  I'll give in to the cleverness here, and let it go, but not without reservation.

59 D. Relaxing retreat: SPA.  Or the kind of whirlpool tub found in my bathroom, and lots of puzzles.

60 D. Dudes: HES.  He and he are HES - he he!  The musician's first rule is to always end on a good note.  Didn't happen here, alas, as this puzzle runs out with a big, flat blat at the end.  Wie Shade.

Other than that, though, a fine, harmonious composition, and a fun romp.  Hope y'all enjoyed it.


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