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, October 29, 2010

L.A. Times Crossword Puzzle Blogging

 Friday October 29, 2010 Jonathan Porat

Theme: EXTRA MAYO.  The letters M, A, Y, and O, respectively, are added at the beginnings of common phrases to yield new, uncommon phrases, of variable wackiness. 

19A. Designed for ancient sorcerers? : MAGE SPECIFIC.  M plus age specific - for discriminating mature audiences, perhaps.   Mages had exact size and weight specs for eye of newt.

27A. Pranks at the Bohr Institute? : ATOM FOOLERYA plus Tom foolery.  Why Tom and not, oh -- say, Ron, for instance?   The Bohr Institute is a center for research in astronomy, geophysics, and nanotechnology at the University of Copenhagen, named for physicist Neils Bohr, a developer of quantum theory.

46A. Genesis baking ingredient? : YEAST OF EDENY plus East of Eden, a 1955 movie I never saw, directed by Elia Kazan, and based on the second half of a John Steinbeck novel I never read.  Am I missing anything?  Also the only three-word theme answer, and my favorite, for it's general silliness.  In those days, unleavened bread had not yet been invented.

54A. Banning CFC production, e.g.? : OZONE DEFENSE.  O plus zone defense - defensive strategies in football and other sports, where the defenders are responsible for covering regions of the playing field, rather than specific offensive opponents, as in man-to-man defense.  CFC's are chlorofluorocarbon compounds, such as Freon 12, that deplete the earth's protective ozone layer.  This one is serious.

And, of course the unifier:   35A. Sandwich request, and a literal hint to how the answers at 19-, 27-, 46- and 54-Across are formed : EXTRA M-A-Y-O.  I don't recall ever seeing a unifier like this one, getting parsed out and allotted to the theme answers - highly clever and original.  I like Miracle Whip,BTW,  but can't stand MAYO. 

Hi gang, JazzBumpa here after a strange and rather busy day.  This is a terrific puzzle that defeated me pretty badly.  Let's survey the damages.


1. Type of pigment used in artists' paints : AZO.  AZO dies are brightly colored organic compounds with the grouping -N=N- in the molecule.  AZO pigments are made by binding these dyes with an inorganic filler, such as clay.

4. Cul-__ : DE SAC.  A blind ally dead end - the wrong way to go if you are being chased.   

9. Panic button : EJECT.   I push the EJECT button to change CD's.  Don't Panic!

14. 1989 Peace Prize winner : DALAI LAMA.  Back then, I had kids in high school and thought I was still young. 

16. Blanket-toting toon : LINUS.  Dented a V-8 can on this one.

17. Met notable : OPERA STAR.  I was looking for someone specific.

18. One often working on Sun. : NFLER. A professional in the National (American) Football League, and crosswordese nouveau.

21. Digs : CRIB.  Digs. Per the Urban Dictionary, "house, crib, home, joint, dive, blazin dinks, digger, punches, apartment . . . " Crib?!? News to me.

23. Sonoma prefix : OEN.  This is the vintner's prefix, and crossword stalwart, used in any wine growing region, such as Sonoma.

24. Batman after Michael : VAL.  Val Kilmer had the title role in the 1995 movie Batman Forever, which I never saw.  Am I missing anything? 

 26. Western treaty gp. : OAS.  The Organization of American States "is the world’s oldest regional organization, dating back to the First International Conference of American States, which was held in Washington, D.C. from October 1889 to April 1890." (from their web site)

32. Late party attire : PJS.  Slumber party.  Could be fun.

33. Dealing with : IN RE.  Short for "in regard to."  Or is it something in Latin?

34. "The Neverending Story" author : ENDE.   Another book I never read.  Is it as ironic as the author's name suggests?

39. USN officers : CDRS.   Commanders?  Commodores?  Aye, aye, sir, either way.

42. "C'mon, man!" : DUDE.  Who exhibits that aura of duditude at the "C'mon, man!" Ranch?

43. Do a little math : SUM.  Or, do some math: ADD.

50. Soda bottle meas. : OZS.  I never have understood why the abbrv. for OUNCE is OZ.

51. Former Vietnam area mostly S. of the 17th parallel : DMZ.  The Demilitarized Zone.  Today's college freshmen were born about 17 years after the Viet Nam war ended in 1975.

52. Co-producer of U2's "Achtung Baby" : ENO.  From his Wikipedia page:  "Brian Peter George St. John le Baptiste de la Salle Eno (born 15 May 1948), commonly shortened to Brian Eno and previously as simply Eno (pronounced /ˈiːnoʊ/), is an English musician, composer, record producer, music theorist, singer and visual artist, best known as one of the principal innovators of ambient music."  He produced six more U2 albums.
53. Exile of 1979 : AMIN.  The Butcher of Uganda.  One bad DUDE!

60. Stadium entrance : STILE.  As in Turnstile.  This word is showing up rather often now.

61. Like some windows : DRIVE THRU.  These are common at banks and fast food joints.  

64. George of "Cheers" : WENDT.   Norm!

65. Foresees : ENVISIONS.

66. Beats 1-0, say : EDGES

67. Film holders : REELS.  Fishing line, too.

68. Mess of dough : WAD.  My lovely wife made three kinds of cookies, so there were wads of DOUGH, but no mess.  She is so neat.  The pumpkin cookies, BTW, are AMAZING.  But this clue is referring to small pieces of green paper.


1. Trouble : ADO.  Without further of, things are often done.

2. Cook with waves : ZAP.   In a microwave oven, aka "nuking."  I  really wanted Captain Cook, but couldn't get there in only three letters. 

3. Oxford campus : OLE' MISS.  I gather that the University is in Oxford, Miss.  Tricky!

4. TV screen meas. : DIAG.  For some reason, TV screens are measured corner to corner, diagonally.

5. Ultimatum end : ELSE.   Such as: " Look at that stack of laundry.  Iron or else!"

6. Concerns for jrs. and srs. : SATS  The SAT is the most widely used college entrance exam.  It is also a huge scam, since it's ability to predict college success is poor.  High School GPA and class rank are better predictors.  They must have a fabulous marketing department.

7. "... draw you __?" : A MAP.  I'm better at drawing flies.

8. Package directive : CARE OF.  Please take CARE OF this CARE package.

9. Sea change with far-reaching effects : EL NINO.  Read all about it.

10. Two shakes, with "a" : JIFF.  I thought "DASH," but I'm not the one who makes the cookies.  Don't care for this one, at all.  Actually I prefer the JIF with one F, crunchy variety.

11. Pep up : ENLIVEN

12. It helps prevent stumbling : CUE CARD.  Or, you can write on your hand.

13. Original Dungeons & Dragons co. : TSR.  Tactical Studies Rules, purchased by Wizards of the Coast in 1997.

15. Kaffiyeh wearer : ARAB.  Again, I wanted something more specific.

20. Corp. boss : CEO.  The Chief Executive Officer, a denizen of board rooms and crosswords.  Do they have cross words in boardrooms?  Nah - too many yes-men.

21. One on a beat : COP.  Lo, these many years past, my lovely wife's late father was a COP on the beat.

22. "The Big Bang Theory" character from India : RAJ.  Just took a guess, as I have never seen this show.  Am I . . . never mind.

25. Soap component : LYE.  Not exactly.  Animal fat (glycerol esters of long chain organic acids) is reacted with lye in a process called saponification.  The reaction products are salts of these acids, aka soap, and glycerine.  Then you have to separate them.  And clean up.  It's all quite tedious.

27. __-en-Provence : AIX.  This is a city in Southern France.  It's inhabitants are called Aixois or, less commonly, Aquisextains, from an old Roman name.

28. Rubble creator : TNT. Trinitrotoluene, a powerful explosive.   I guess you have to believe in the power of creative destruction.  I wanted a cartoonist.  

29. First NHL defenseman to score 40 goals in a season : ORR.  Three letters for a hockey player - enter ORR and move on.  OTOH, my similar ALOU baseball theory got REFUTED by A-ROD.  There are no certainties in life.

30. Maryland's Fort __ : MEADE.  Named for General George Gordon Meade, a Union Army general in the American Civil War.

31. Sign of summer : LEO.  Moderately tricky.  LEO is a Zodiac sign including most of August.  My lovely wife is a LEO and I'm not lion.

35. What can turn one into many? : ESS.   Or, a straight road into a curvy one.  The letter "S" is the most common English language pural, my children.

36. Campaign weaponry? : MUD.   Let's just not even go there.

37. Product at a stand : ADE.  Something to make from 714 lemons.

38. Nikkei 225 unit : YEN.  the N225 is the broad-based Japanese stock index most comparable to our S&P 500, denominated in YEN.  You'll need to know this if you ever have the YEN to buy Japanese stocks.

39. Actress Charisse : CYD.   You don't meet a lot of ladies named CYD.  This one could sing and dance.

40. Taken down a notch : DEMOTED.  I guess.  I got promoted in Feb. '08, then retired in Nov. '08.  That's a whole bunch of notches.

41. Rookie's initiation : RAZZING.  Or Hazing, I suppose.

43. By doing whatever it takes : SOMEHOW.  I wanted ANYHOW, which SOMEHOW seeems to be a letter short.

44. Scary magazine holder : UZI.  This one fooled me. UZI are a related family of Israeli-made, open bolt, blowback-operated (whatever that means) submachine guns. A magazine is an ammunition storage and feeding device within or attached to a repeating firearm. Scary enough, I'd say.

45. Explorer initials : MSN.  So, I'm thinking Columbus, Lewis and Clark, Franklin, etc.  But it's Microsoft Network's Internet explorer.  Got me.

47. Beliefs : TENETS.  Is it my imagination, or do I get this word every time?  My religion has nine TENETS.

48. Single : ONE.  But I actually only believe ONE of them.   This, however, refers to small green pieces of paper.

49. Raw material : FODDER. This doesn't seem quite right, does it? 

53. Piedmont product : ASTI.   ASTI is a city in the Piedmont region of Italy, and the eponym for Asti Spumante, the bubblicious product

55. Merrie __ England : OLDE. 
 In days of OLDE, when knights were bolde, the maidens hale and hardy,
They'd drink a flagon of ale, or two, and have a PJ party.

56. Atlantic flier : ERNE.  A sea eagle.  Old crosswordese.

57. What musicians take between sets? : FIVE.  Can't pass this up.

58. Austin Powers' nemesis Dr. __ : EVIL.   From a movie I never saw. Did I miss anything?

59. It's a loch : NESS.   It's a lock!  Really - other than this Scottish lake, what else could it be?

60. Northern Eur. land : SWE.  Sweden

62. Cellular messenger : RNA.   Ribonuclaic acid.  From the free dictionary:  "The form of RNA that mediates the transfer of genetic information from the cell nucleus to ribosomes in the cytoplasm, where it serves as a template for protein synthesis. It is synthesized from a DNA template during the process of transcription."   There will be a quiz.

63. Amer. capital : USD.  U.S. Dollars.  Small green pieces of paper.  They must be rather important.

A fine challenging puzzle.  Now, for my PJS . . .


Cross-posted at The Corner

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