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, September 10, 2010

L.A. Times Crossword Puzzle Blogging

Friday September 10, 2010   John McInturff

Theme:  EY DROPS.   The letters EY are dropped from the end of the first word of easily recognizable phrases, to yield a new phrase with a comical twist.

A 20. Faultfinding brother? : MONK ON ONE'S BACK. Monkey on one's back. This expression goes back to ancient Egypt, originally meaning a guiding spirit or source of inspiration. More recently, it's some sort of burden, affliction, or addiction. I wanted a sibling brother, but a MONK will do just fine.

A 29. Debris in the hayloft? : BARN RUBBLE. Barney Rubble, Fred Flintstone's pal.

A 38. Impervious to chutzpah? : GALLPROOF. This one's my favorite.  Galley proof: the final proof copy of a page being typeset for printing, before it is set as a page of a book or booklet. 

A 50. What Michelle Kwan might do in a financial emergency? : HOCK SKATES. Hockey skates: essential hardware for the Buffalo Sabres.  Somehow, I don't think Michelle will ever be in that position.

A 59. Haystack-hiding Ottoman? : TURK IN THE STRAW. Turkey In The Straw.  Musical Americana.

No unifier, but five brilliant theme entries, two of them almost grid-spanning, along with ten 7-letter answers.  Wow!

Hi gang, Jazzbumpa here, aka JzB, more formally, Mr. Bumpa, or just plain Bumpa to my 11 favorite youngsters. But you can call me Ron.

This is a hard puzzle, and I never got on John McInturff's wave length. Even after I sussed the theme, I couldn't get TURK IN THE STRAW, due to errors in the perps. So, I was reduced to technical assistance for many requested answers.


1. Spread __ : EAGLE.  An unincorporated community in Wisconsin.  Or this pose.  You can search Google images for many interesting variations.

6. Rises to great heights : SOARS.  Like an EAGLE.

11. Short nightwear? : PJS.  "Short" indicating an abbreviation. Here is one of the more demurre images.

14. Series : ARRAY.   Each is a systematic arrangement of things.

15. Speedpass brand : EXXON.   I don't use a gas station Speedpass, so the scrabbly answer had to slowly reveal itself.

16. Space in time : LAG.   Clever, and it left me behind.   Here is my favorite example.

17. "Big Girl in the Middle" co-author Gabrielle : REECEAmerican professional volleyball player, sports announcer, fashion model and actress.
18. Longtime DieHard rival : DELCO.  Car batteries.  Any reference to yesterday's reversals?

19. Fake it : ACT. and
54. Pretense : POSE.  Which do you think is pretending?

23. Spat end : ULA.  You all know how I love this kind of clue for an affix.  It's my affixiation.

24. Carmelite, e.g. : NUN.  Very easy for a simple Catholic boy from Toledo.  Clearly, a fun-loving bunch.

25. Daughter of Laban : LEAH.  Jacob loved Rachel, but on the wedding day, sneaky Laban substituted her older sister, LEAH.  Jacob coped as best he could, and LEAH bore him six sons.

27. Lighten up : FADE.  Nice misdirection here.  I was expecting frivolity, and instead got bleach.

34. Shivering causes : FEARS.  Aha - this is what made the Shakers shake!  But what were they afraid of?

36. Each : A POP.  I never care much for this equivalence.  But the free disctionary includes it waaaaayyy down the page..

37. WWII intelligence gp. : OSS.  Office of Strategic Services - precursor of the CIA.  Abrv in cl & ans.

42. Jordan was part of it: Abbr. : NBA.   Aha! Michael Jordan, former star in the National Basketball Association.

45. Dreamcast maker : SEGA.   Now, John is just playing with us.

46. Dona __ pacem: grant us peace : NOBIS.   (Lord) grant us peace, in Latin.  Very easy for a simple boomer Catholic boy from Toledo.  But, alas, this often-uttered prayer seldom yields the requested answers.

55. First daughter of the '60s : LUCI.  Lucy (later LUCI) Baines Johnson, one of several LBJ's in the late 60's first family.  Born after me with a LAG of about 28 weeks and raised Episcopalian, she converted to Catholicism at age 18.  Since I had not yet given it up, we had something in common for awhile.

56. Boomer's kid : XER.  For us, X = 4.

58. Basso Berberian : ARA.  An opera singer born in Detroit in 1930.   Way too early to be a boomer.

65. MGM motto word : ARS.  The MGM motto is "Ars Gratia Artis," meaning "Art for Art's sake."   They lifted it from France's 19th-century bohemians, who inexplicably spoke Latin.

66. D-Day beach : OMAHA.  From WWII, and a puzzle echo from earlier in the week.  "Pzzecho" anyone?

67. Wedding memento : VIDEO.  Like anyone is EVER going to watch it again.

68. Blow without distinction? : JOE.  This baffled me completely.  Has John McInturff ever heard me play?  But JOE Blow is just an ordinary guy.

69. Not fresh : BANAL.  Not much that's BANAL in this fresh puzzle.

70. Green shampoo : PRELL.  It's been around for a long time.  Anybody remember White Rain?

71. Balaam's beast : ASS.  Balaam and his ass didn't get along very well.  This was one of the rare (at the time) talking asses.

72. Radiate : EXUDE.  Only sort of.  More of an oozing kind of radiation.

73. Finishing stroke : SERIF.  A short line at the end of a main stroke of a character.


1. Canal protector : EARMUFF.  I see.  Ear canal.  If anyone tries to put a bug in your ear, use protection.  Or ear drops.

2. Colorful rings : AREOLAE.  A Crossword Corner Classic.

3. Caribbean island nation : GRENADA.   In the Caribbean - wow.  I had not idea atoll.

4. Dearth : LACK.  No lack of EY drops today.

5. "__ America Tour": 2006 CBS News event : EYE ON.   EYE ON America.  I've never eyed it.  But in keeping with the theme, it should be aired for an EON.

6. Arizona's "Red Rocks Country" : SEDONA.  I'll let one of our travelers fill us in.

7. Team members : OXEN.  Not the smart team.

8. Wheelset component : AXLE

9. Mythical birds : ROCSBig and powerful.

10. Arty type, maybe : SNOB.   We have art SNOBs, wine SNOBs, and just plain SNOBs.

11. Controversial testing component : PLACEBO.   A fake pill POSing as medication, either to fool the patient into feeling better or to ACT as a control in an experimental trial.  I guess the controversy comes from not giving the control group anything that will actually help them.

12. Nocturnal scavengers : JACKALS.  Wild African canines. Not to be confused with these.

13. Friday was one: Abbr. : SGT.  Police Sgt. Friday from the old Dragnet TV show, or the 1987 movie.

21. Heart : NUB.  Besides heart, NUB can also mean a protuberance, small lump, or remnant.  My favorite William Gass Story is "In the Nub of the Nub of the Country."

22. Tirana is its cap. : ALB.  Tirana, ALBANIA.  N.B. use of Abbrv. And --
39. Coin in Tirana : LEK. The other Albanian Capital,  Legal tender for all debts public and private, I assume, and a clecho.

26. Stars of "Two and a Half Men," e.g. : HES.   Just a couple of Joe Blows, I guess.

28. Work unit : ERG.  This is the work done by a force of one dyne acting over a distance of one centimeter, roughly equivalent to one fly doing one push-up.. 

30. Knock on : RAP AT.  Knock knock.  Who's there?  Friend of Pooh.   Friend of Pooh who?  Hey - don't poo-hoo me!

31. "Fresh Air" airer : NPR.  National Public Radio.

32. Friend of Pooh : ROOROO, that's who!  (And Tigger, too.)

33. Knowledgeable about : UP ON

35. Reason for grounding, perhaps : SASS.  But, maybe children who are well grounded are less likely to SASS.   Or as Shreck said, "SASS, my ASS!"

40. Airport near Citi Field, briefly : LGA.  Laguardia, airport near the home of the N.Y. Mets.  I can't keep track of the commercial names for stadia.  "Briefly" again indicates an Abbrv.

41. Dandy : FOP.  Overdressed, not an ordinary guy.  Also not like the ones in the previous link.

42. Sabres' org. : NHL.  Buffalo Sabres of the National Hockey League.  'Nother Abrv.

43. Former U.N. secretary-general __-Ghali : BOUTROS.  Golly - I knew his name, but had to guess at how it was spelt.

44. Charges : ACCUSES.  In a legal sense.  Otherwise, I'd run up too many ACCUSES on my credit card.

47. One taken in : BOARDER.  I was not taken in by this tricky clue.  Were you?

48. Sharon, notably : ISRAELI.  Ariel Sharon was in the Israeli army from 1948 on, served in various government positions in the 70's and 90's and served as Prime Minister from 2001 to 2006.  Not a BANAL life, by any means.

49. London classic, with "The" : SEAWOLF.  A Jack London story, about which I know notihng.

51. Cassis apéritif : KIR.  Creme de Cassis is a  blackcurrant liqueur.  For a KIR, take a measure of C de C, and top it off with white wine.

52. Yoga command : EXHALE.  Don't forget to breath!

53. Date : SEE.  This evidently does not apply to blind dates.

57. Requested answers : RSVPSRépondez s'il vous plaît, French for "Please respond."   We should add this to "Dona NOBIS Pacem!"

60. Eastern beef city : KOBE.  Far East.  KOBE is a city in Japan, noted for its beef.

61. It gives you the big picture : IMAX.  A motion picture and projection format using a big, big screen, from the Canadian Company IMAX Corp..

62. Half a sitcom signoff : NANU.  From the TV show Mork and Mindy, featuring Robin Williams and the ever-cute Pam Dawber.  Shazbots!  My love for "Half a" clues is right up there with affixes.  The perfect one would be "Half a' affix."

63. Ohio State basketball coach Matta : THAD.  Ohio State plays basketball?  Who knew?  Not me.  I tried CHAD.

64. Flag : TIRE.  This is one of the less common meanings of flag.  It is now 1:20 a.m. EST, and I am flagging.  Do you think TIRE football will ever catch on?

65. Grammy-winning Steely Dan album : AJA.  Aha!  It's pronounced "Asia!"   Sophisticated pop from Becker and Fagan.  I'd play it for you, but Ricky lost that number.


Crossposted at the Crossword Corner.

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