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!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

L. A. Times Crossword puzzle Blogging

Wednesday, May 26, 2010  Dan Naddor

Theme:  WORLD LEADERS or TAKE ME TO YOUR LEADER, since the world leader is always who the little green man wants to meet.   The first part of each  theme entry can also precede "WORLD" to give a different slice of a real or imagined universe.

17A. *Happy-go-lucky:  FREE AND EASY - not a care in the world - any of the worlds.  FREE WORLD - a cold war era term for every place outside the iron and bamboo curtains, i.e. non-communist countries.   

26A. *Scandal involving plumbers:  WATERGATE - I had forgotten that the Watergate crew was called the plumbers.  Their original asssignment was to stop leaks to the media during the Nixon administration, but they branched into illegal activities. WATER WORLD - a Kevin Costner movie I never bothered to see.  I think it had bad revues.

45A. *Something to touch before getting home?:  THIRD BASE - this home is home plate, in baseball.  Or is this totally DF?  THIRD WORLD - Here's a learning moment.  I always thought this was a label generally applied to developing (read poor) nations.  Actually, it is a cold war term for those nations who did not align with either the First World of NATO, etc. (aka the FREE WORLD) or the Second World of the SOVIET BLOCK. 
5D. *Genuine article:  REAL McCOY - does anybody know where this comes from?  Could it be the Hatfields and the McCoys?  REAL WORLD - what can you say about the real world?  It is what it is.  Nice pairing with -

11D. *Baseball fan's dream come true:  FANTASY CAMP - an opportunity to go through training and play a game with the big leaguers.  It's not limited to baseball.  One of my friends went to the Red Wings fantasy camp a few years ago.   FANTASY WORLD - a place where delights are only limited by your imagination.

25D. *Letter writer, formally:  UNDERSIGNED - Formal, indeed:  I, the undersigned, do solemnly attest that this is one fine puzzle.  UNDERWORLD - this can mean several things: the mythological land of the dead; the criminal sphere of activity from gangster film noir; an actual place, like the London Underground; or a FANTASY WORLD, like the imagined London Underground of Neil Gaiman's novel NEVERWHERE.

35D. *Veterans:  OLD TIMERS - they've been there and done that.  Maybe even a long time ago.  OLD WORLD - regions of the globe known to European and Asian civilizations of the 15 Century, as distinct from the New World revealed by the next century's (give or take a decade) voyages of discovery.  

And the unifier:

54A. Summit attendee, and what the first word can be in each answer to a starred clue:  WORLD LEADERS.  And each theme "leader" can also a world "leader."  Pretty tidy.

 Hi, gang.  It's Jazzbumpa, and I'm delight to participate in a stellar week of puzzling: wonderful entries by Johnathon and Jerome, and now one from our gone, but not forgotten friend Dan.  With
Dan's puzzles you can count on an outstanding theme, clever clues, lots of long fill, and more names than some of us like.  I count 13 entries of 6 or more letters, but you might want to double check me.  Also, several fives.  Quite a few threes, as well - but that's geometry for you.

 Let's embark on a voyage of Dan's WORLDS.


1. Hook-and-loop fastener:  VELCRO.  Velcro is made up of tiny fiber hooks and loops that give you something to latch onto.

7. Masterpieces: GEMS.  Top notch stuff, like this week's puzzles, or Pictures at an Exhibition.

11. Lucrative:  FAT.  A highly profitable venture - not including Ponzi schemes, I assume.  Yesterday we had FATTEST and OVEREAT.

14. Marvin of boxing:  HAGLER.  Not a boxing fan, but I came up with his name, eventually.  What is he famous for?

15. Carbon compound:  ENOL.  If it's carbon compound, 4 letters, enter ENOL and move on.

16. Priest's robe:  ALB. As an erstwhile Catholic, I knew this one.

19. Sgt., for one: NCO.  A non-commissioned officer in the military.  Any veterans care to elaborate?

20. Natural emollient:  ALOE.  The plant based lotion frequently used to smooth out difficult puzzle sections.

21. Use a crib for:  CHEAT ON.  Ah, back to school days.  A "crib" sheet was a piece of paper with the answers to anticipated test question, that could be used for cheating.  Alternatively, you could write the answers on your hand.  Tatooing on the inside of the eyelids is quite impractical.  No DF thoughts, please.

23. __ und Drang:  STURM.  STURM UND DRANG is German for Storm and Stress (or impulse) - a descriptor for a period of German literature, about 1760 through the 1780's, when subjectivity and emotionalism played a prominent role.  This was a reaction (or over-reaction) to rationalism and the enlightenment

28. Part of BYOB:  OWN.  Included in an invitation to the kind of party where you Bring Your OWN Booze.  More on this later.  Yesterday, we needed a deed to OWN something.  With booze, I think possesion is adequate.  Though you may be asked to pass the bottle.

29. Controversial 2000 election issue:  CHAD.  These were those little hanging paper thingies on ballots in Florida that prevented the tabulating machines from getting an accurate vote count.  Or not.  Let us leave this one be.

31. WWII transport:  LST.  Landing Ship Tank.  An amphibious vehicle for depositing GI's, vehicles and supplies onto the shore duirng WWII.  Again, our veterans can fill in the blanks.

32. Brandy cocktails:  SIDE CARS.  As the story goes, it was developed for a patron of Harry's bar in Paris, who would arrive in a motorcycle side car.  A bit inconvenient for a BYOB event, don't you think?

The Original from Harry's Bar - Paris
1 1/2 oz. VS or VSOP cognac
3/4 oz. Cointreau
3/4 oz. fresh lemon juice
Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass with a sugared rim.
Garnish with an orange peel.
34. Koala kid:  JOEY.  Really?  Kangaroo kid, sure.  Koala kid, too?

36. Oppressive:  ONEROUS.  For some reason, I really like this word. It feels so heavy on the tongue.  or, if someone asks you about a deed held in common you can say:" The owner?  Us!"

37. Tightened, as shoes:  RELACED.  It took me a long time to figure this one out.  And I have to do it all the time.

40. Actor John __-Davies:  RHYS.  Gimli, my favorite non-tossable dwarf.

41. It's undeliverable and unreturnable:  DEAD MAIL.  I've heard of dead letter.  Dead mail is a reasonable extension, but it it in the language?

42. Civil War letters:  CSA.  Confederate States of America.  More about this I shall not say.

43. "I __ born yesterday!":  WASN'T.  In fact, my half birthday is two Tuesdays hence.  I think that's TerraJo's BD. Hi TJ - you out there?

44. Radiology staple, for short:  MRI.  Magnetic resonance imaging.   The LW had an echocardiogram today, which revealed what I always knew - she has a good heart!

48. Louvre Pyramid architect:  I.M. PEI.  He did a lot in glass besides the Pyramid.  I actually walked around on the roof of a structure of his, much like this one.  I was not a happy camper.

50. #1 hit for the 4 Seasons:  RAG DOLL.  Big Girls Don't Cry was more famous.  Vivaldi was totally uinvolved

51. Appoint:  NAME.  Some appointments have to be confirmed.  More than that I shall not say.

53. Bed-and-breakfast:  INN.  Frequent stop-over for puzzlers, too.

59. Some people lie about theirs:  AGE.  Not this OLD TIMER

60. Theater souvenir:  STUB.  This search for pix came up with "drive in" and "the violent femmes."  Make of it what you will.

61. Directions from the brass:  ORDERS.  Military brass, I'm sure. Orders TO the brass are to not play so damned loud.

62. Directed:  LED.  The conductor led us with orders to not play so damned loud.

63. Exxon, once:  ESSO.  Many mergers ago, there was a bee flying around the gas pump . . .

64. Home to online newsgroups:  USE NET.  Does anyone use USE NET anymore?


1. TV channels 2-13:  VHF.  Very high frequencies, the only channels we had when I was a JOEY.  UHF is ultra-high frequency.  BYOB, and you can get even higher.

2. Pencil holder?:  EAR.  This got a grin

3. Bigger than med.:  LGE.  Abbr fr. large. Nt: Abbrv in Cl and ans.  Small, Medium, Large.  Who says size doesn't matter?

4. Exonerate:  CLEAR.  A legality, I presume.  Let our legal eagles speak.

6. "Yes __?": OR NO.  It that right?  I can't decide . . .

7. "How about that!":  GEE.  Or something to say to THE WIZ.

8. Passes:  ENACTS.  A law is enacted when it is passed and signed by the Prez.

9. Israel's Dayan:  MOSHE.  Famous military leader, Foreign Minister and eye-patch wearer.

10. More devious:  SLYER.  Does sly imply devious?  Hmmmm . . .

12. "Little Women" author:  ALCOTT.  Louisa May Alcott's famous novel was more or less autobiographical.

13. Steakhouse order:  T-BONE.  Alternatives are Porterhouse, Sirloin, and Rib Eye.   Or this.

18. J&B alternative:  DEWARS.  A couple of rather pedestrian blended Scotches.  It's J&B for JzB, if those are the choices.  I have a snifter of Lagavulin at my elbow as I write this.

22. Shining:  AGLEAM.  Like my eyes after a large snifter of Lagavulin.  I heard about a guy who was a careless tooth brusher and had that Gleam in his eye.  You can't make bad jokes like that about Ipana.  Right, Bucky?

23. Ho-hum:  SOSO.  Bland, second rate.  Not like this week's puzzles.

24. Bed in old sitcoms:  TWIN.  Married couples had to sleep in separate beds in the old days of TV - even if nobody snored.  Not exactly REAL WORLD.

27. Much spam:  ADS.  Yeah.  Or notices that I've won a million pounds.  Don't open a message that looks like spam.  Just delete - it's a lot safer.

30. Freulein's residence:  HAUS.  A Freuline is an unmarried German woman or girl.  In German, "house" is HAUS, and "mouse" is MAUSE.  I don't know about "grouse" and "louse."

33. Est founder Werner __ :  ERHARD.  I guess this stood for Erhard Standard Training, a method of empowerment and personal transformation.  Or a scam.  Not a verteran, so I couldn't say.

34. Composer Sibelius:  JEAN.  He is most famous for Finlandia, which I have performed a few times.  His symphonies are GEMS.

37. React to an e-mail error message, maybe:  RESEND.  Send it again, please.  If you do not resend, I will rescind.

38. The Auld Sod:  EIRE.  Ireland, briefely.  Will it be EIRE or ERIN?  Perp help is always required.

39. XCII x VI:  DLII.  I refuse to do Roman numeral math, and hit the "reveal word" key, which still works, even when the answer isn't a word.

41. Perp prosecutors:  DA'S.  District Attorneys are prosecutors.  If they get their way, I'm stuck with EIRE - ERIN.  Very inconvenient.

42. Adapt:  CHANGE.  Just this morning I adapted my socks.

43. Critter in a John Lennon title:  WALRUS.  You all know the Beatles.

45. Dry run:  TRIAL.  Checking something out to see if it will work, before putting it to serious use.  Why is it called a dry run?  Is the real thing a WET RUN?  Why doesn't this TRIAL involve any DA'S?  I'm getting confused.

46. Look for water:  DOWSE.  This involves antics with a forked stick, that presumably leads an adept to UNDERGROUND water.  But a Google search gave me this.

47. Dries gently:  BLOTS.  to pat gently with a towel.  Was 45D to 47D a dry run?

49. Gettysburg general:  MEADE.  Two coordinated Civil War entries are just a coincidence, not a sub-theme.

52. Baseball's Moises:  ALOU.  A baseball great, along with his brothers.  I linked them the last time, I think.  Is there a baseball subtheme?  I haven't kept count.

55. Wall St. deal:  LBO. Leveraged Buy Out.  Sombody borrows a bunch of money, buys a company on credit, raids the companies cash reserves, bankrupts the company, and relocates to the tax-free Cayman Islands.  Not to be confused with a Ponzi Scheme.

56. Barcalounger site:  DEN.  Barcalounger is  a chair that looks like a La-Z-Boy, but isn't.   Remember the story of Goldilocks?  Papa Bear's Barcalounger was too hard . .. .

57. Prepositional palindrome:  ERE.  This is good.  "ERE" is the central palindrome of the greater palindrome, "Able was I ere I saw Elba."  Elba is the den where Napoleon sat on his Barcalounger.

58. Queue after Q:  RST.  A letter string.  A SO-SO finish to an otherwise GEM of a puzzle.

Hope you had as much fun  as I did - and in a lot less time.  Puzzle - 18 minutes; blog - a little over three hours.


Cross-posted at The Corner

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