Wednesday, September 9, 2020 Susan Gelfand

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 Theme: I can't do better than the unifier: HORSEPLAY.  Playing with this HORSE is complicated.  It combines with the theme entries like this: It can follow the first part of the entries and precede the second part, in each case yielding an in the language phrase.

The unifier: 60. Roughhousing, or a hint to both parts of the answers to starred clues: HORSEPLAY.  Boisterous physical play that can easily go too far, especially indoors. 

17 A. *Feature of Santa Claus' beard: WHITE HAIR.  Of course.  This gives us a WHITE HORSE, which can have a variety of meanings in mythology, associated with the sun chariot, warriors and fertility. Figuratively, this can also refer to white capped waves.  Then we have HORSE HAIR, the long, coarse hair from their mains and tails.  This has many uses, including in upholstery, brushes and the bows of musical instruments.

39 A. *Out-of-control guy: WILDMAN.  He is a mythological creature from medieval Europe, or in modern times, as defined in the clue.  A WILD HORSE is a free ranging animal in various parts of the world, probably descended from domestic HORSES rather than originally wild stock. A HORSEMAN is, variously, one who practices equestrianism for recreational, practical or sporting purposes.

11 D. *Bobbysoxer's footwear: SADDLE SHOES.  These are casual, low heeled shoes characterized by a plain toe and saddle-shaped decorative panel placed mid foot.

Do what she says.

A SADDLE HORSE is one that is trained for riding.  A HORSE SHOE is a U-shaped band of iron fitted and nailed to the rim of a horse's hoof to protect it.

25. *Football field director: QUARTERBACK.  This is the guy who throws the ball and hopes that somebody on his team catches it.  A QUARTER HORSE is a horse of a small stocky breed noted for agility and speed over short distances. It is reputed to be the fastest breed of horse over distances of a quarter of a mile.  HORSEBACK, generally with "on" is an indication that something is done while riding a horse.

Hi, Gang, JazzBumpa here to rein this puzzle in.  So, enough horsing around - let's get to it.


1. "The Grapes of Wrath" family name: JOAD.  It's one tragedy after another for them in this classic novel by John Steinbeck.

5. Pay attention to: MIND.  As a verb, MIND has several different meanings, here it means to regard something as important.

9. Havana houses: CASAS.  Literal, in Spanish

14. Court legend Arthur: ASHE.  Arthur [1943-1993] was an American tennis player who won three grand slam singles titles, and was the first African-American selected to the U.S. Davis Cup team.

15. On the ocean: ASEA. Afloat in a boat.

16. Pixel pattern: IMAGE. A visual representation of something or someone on the screen of your electronic device.

19. Kind of wave: TIDAL.  A Tidal wave is a regularly reoccurring shallow water wave caused by effects of the gravitational interactions between the Sun, Moon, and Earth on the ocean. The term "tidal wave" is often used to refer to tsunamis; however, this reference is incorrect as tsunamis have nothing to do with tides.

20. Colorful birds: ORIOLES.  New World orioles are a group of birds in the genus Icterus of the blackbird family. Males are typically black and vibrant yellow or orange with white markings, females and immature birds are duller.

22. Woodworking tool: ADZE.  An ancient and versatile cutting tool similar to an axe but with the cutting edge perpendicular to the handle rather than parallel. They have been used since the Stone Age.

23. Arouse: PIQUE. Stimulate interest, curiosity or resentment.

26. Enjoys now and then, with "in": DABBLES.  Takes part in an activity in a casual or superficial way.

28. __ hand: HOUR.  A clock has it's hands on it's face to give you the time.  The HOUR hand, unsurprisingly, points to the nearest HOUR of the day.  

29. Skater's surface: ICE.  Hockey playoffs are in full swing.

32. Auditioner's aim: ROLE.  A part in a play or as a character in other activities.

33. Santa __: dry winds: ANAS.  Strong, extremely dry downslope winds that originate inland and affect coastal Southern California and northern Baja California. They originate from cool, dry high-pressure air masses in the Great Basin.

34. Chess pieces: MEN.  Figures or tokens used in a variety of board games.

35. Peaks: CRESTS.  Tops of hills, mountains, waves, stock chart graphs, or anything similarly shaped.

38. Polite address: SIR.  MA'AM doesn't fit.

41. Primitive dwelling: HUT.  A hut is a primitive dwelling, which may be constructed of various local materials. Huts are a type of vernacular architecture because they are built of readily available materials such as wood, snow, ice, stone, grass, palm leaves, branches, hides, fabric, or mud using techniques passed down through the generations.

42. Bothers quite a bit: EATS AT.  Consuming one, emotionally.

44. Tiny ammo: BBS. Round 4.5 mm plated steel projectiles shot from an air pistol.

45. Rocky Road holder: CONE.  An edible container for ice cream, named for its shape.

46. Italian peak: ETNA.  An active stratovolcano on the east coast of Sicily,

47. Holiday veggie: YAM.  Actually, a sweet potato.  It's complicated.

48. Bridle strap: REIN.  One of a pair of long straps typically connected to the bridle or headpiece and used to control the HORSE.  Or a cross word puzzle.

49. Many map lines: STREETS.  So you can know where you're going.

52. Genre for the Village People: DISCO.


53. Lipstick container: TUBE.  A cylindrically shaped object.

54. Custard-filled pastries: ECLAIRS.  An éclair is an oblong pastry made with choux dough filled with a cream and topped with chocolate icing.

58. Challenging tests: ORALS. Examinations given by the spoken word, often administered to students pursuing advanced degrees

64. Permissible: LICIT.  Within the law.

65. Roused: WOKE.  Awake and/or aware

66. Roof overhang: EAVE.  The eaves are the edges of the roof which overhang the face of a wall and, normally, project beyond the side of a building. 

67. Signed: INKED.  Official signings are done in ink, not pencil, for durability.

68. Church recess: APSE.  A large semicircular or polygonal recess in a church, arched or with a domed roof, typically at the eastern end, and usually containing the altar.

69. Sometimes seedy loaves: RYES.  Sandwich bread


1. Word with bone or breaker: JAW.

2. __Kosh B'gosh: OSH.  Kids' clothes

3. Tuna type: AHI. Big eye tuna in Hawaii, or yellow fin tuna on the mainland.

4. Routes that contain the letters in "routes": DETOURS.  Alternate routes when the main routes are impassable.

5. Half a food fish: MAHI. The mahi-mahi or common dolphinfish is a surface-dwelling ray-finned fish found in off-shore temperate, tropical, and subtropical waters worldwide.  It's past time to forever ban all "half a" clues.

6. Golfer Aoki: ISAO. [b 1942] Isao Aoki is a Japanese professional golfer. He was elected to the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2004. 

7. Actor __ Patrick Harris: NEIL. [b 1973] Neil Patrick Harris is an American actor, singer, comedian, writer, producer, and magician. He is known primarily for his comedy roles on television and his dramatic and musical stage roles.  You probably know him as Doogie Howser.

8. Took a risk: DARED.

9. Op. __: footnote abbr.: CIT.  In a second reference to a work, meaning: "in the work already cited."

10. Friendly: AMIABLE.  Seems nice

12. Staring intently: AGAZE.  Peering intently at the dreaded A-word.

13. Monica of tennis: SELES.  [b 1973] A retired professional tennis player, who represented Yugoslavia and the United States. An ethnic Hungarian, she was born and raised in Novi Sad, Yugoslavia. She became a naturalized American citizen in 1994 and also received Hungarian citizenship in June 2007. 

18. Bard's "before": ERE.  

21. Cutting talk: SARCASM.  A sharp, bitter, or cutting expression or remark; a bitter gibe or taunt. Sarcasm may employ ambivalence, although sarcasm is not necessarily ironic. 

23. Temporary stage: PHASE.  A distinct period in a series of events or a process of change or development.

24. Ancient Greek region: IONIA.  An area in modern western Turkey directly across the Aegean Sea from the Greek peninsula.

It's Greek to me.

27. Partner of raised, in bios: BORN.  Said of a place where someone lived from birth through adolescence.

29. Copy: IMITATE. Ape

30. Cartoon frame: CEL.  A transparent sheet of celluloid or similar film material, which can be drawn on and used in the production of cartoons.  Now, a single frame collectable of a cartoon character.

31. Finish no later than: END BY.  Setting a due date.

36. Long, loose top: TUNIC.  A loose garment, typically sleeveless and reaching to the wearer's knees, as worn in ancient Greece and Rome.  

37. Courtroom staple, for short: STENO. A person whose occupation is to capture the live testimony in proceedings using a stenographic machine and transforming same into an official certified transcript 

39. Ebb: WANE.  Recede or decrease in vigor, power, or extent; become weaker.

40. Corp. VP's degree: MBA.  Master of Business Administration. 

43. Metal marble: STEELIE.

45. Lettuce keeper: CRISPER.

49. Grey Goose rival: STOLI.  Vodkas

50. Shroud city: TURIN.  Read about it here.

51. The "u" sound in "census": SCHWA.  The unstressed central vowel, represented by the symbol ə in the International Phonetic Alphabet.  Note that if the "u" of census were replaced with an "a," "e," "i," or "o," the sound would hardly change

52. "__ Day": 1993 rap hit: DRE.

55. Circuit: LOOP.  One time around a circle or oval.

56. Slow-moving boats: ARKS.

57. "Now it's clear": I SEE.

59. Normal: Abbr.: STD.  Standard.

61. Put down: LAY.  As tools or weapons.

62. Hail, to Hadrian: AVE.  Ave is a Latin word, used by the Romans as a salutation and greeting, meaning "hail". It is the singular imperative form of the verb avēre, which meant "to be well"; thus one could translate it literally as "be well" or "farewell".

63. Cry of success: YES!.  As when your team makes a good play or scores.

That wraps up another Wednesday.  Hope you enjoyed the ride. 

Cool regards!

#SusanGelfand #Wednesday #Jazzbumpa
SusanGelfand Wednesday Jazzbumpa

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