LA Times Crossword 28 Nov 19, Thursday

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Constructed by: Joseph Ashear
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Studio Budget Cuts

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. Themed answers are movie titles that include a number, but that number has been reduced by 1:

  • 20A 2015 Marvel feature, after budget cuts : FANTASTIC THREE (from “Fantastic Four”)
  • 29A 1995 romantic comedy, after budget cuts : EIGHT MONTHS (from “Nine Months”)
  • 39A 2018 heist thriller, after budget cuts : OCEAN’S SEVEN (from “Ocean’s Eight”)
  • 50A 1957 courtroom drama, after budget cuts : ELEVEN ANGRY MEN (from “Twelve Angry Men”)

Bill’s time: 6m 33s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

10 More, in Madrid : MAS

Madrid is the largest city in Spain, and is the nation’s capital. Madrid is located very close to the geographical center of the country. It is the third-largest city in the European Union (after London and Paris). People from Madrid called themselves Madrileños.

13 Peter of Herman’s Hermits : NOONE

Peter Noone is a great personality in the entertainment world, most famous as the “Herman” in the sixties group Herman’s Hermits. Noone was only 15-years-old when he started as lead singer with the band.

14 Winds in a pit : OBOES

When the members of a full orchestra tune their instruments, they almost always tune to an “A” played by an oboe. A wind ensemble usually tunes to a B-flat, as this is an “open” note on many instruments, one in which all valves are open on trumpet for example, or the slider on a trombone is in home position.

18 “Counting Sheep” company : SERTA

Serta was founded in 1931 when a group of 13 mattress manufacturers came together, essentially forming a cooperative. Today, the Serta company is owned by eight independent licensees in a similar arrangement. Serta advertisements feature the Serta Counting Sheep. Each numbered sheep has a different personality, such as:

  • #1 The Leader of the Flock
  • #½ The Tweener
  • #13 Mr. Bad Luck
  • #53 The Pessimist
  • #86 Benedict Arnold

20 2015 Marvel feature, after budget cuts : FANTASTIC THREE (from “Fantastic Four”)

“Fantastic Four” (also “FANT4STIC”) is a 2015 reboot of the “Fantastic Four” franchise of films. This one failed miserably at the box office, and was a big winner at the that season’s Golden Raspberry Awards.

23 Wee bits : IOTAS

Iota is the ninth letter in the Greek alphabet, and one that gave rise to our letters I and J. We use the word “iota” to portray something very small, as it is the smallest of all Greek letters.

25 Historical capital of Bohemia : PRAGUE

The beautiful city of Prague is today the capital of the Czech Republic. Prague’s prominence in Europe has come and gone over the centuries. For many years, it was the capital city of the Holy Roman Empire.

The region known as Bohemia covers most of the Czech Republic. Centuries ago, it was wrongly believed that gypsies came from Bohemia, giving rise to the term “Bohemian” meaning a “gypsy of society”.

28 Federal IDs : SSNS

Social Security number (SSN)

29 1995 romantic comedy, after budget cuts : EIGHT MONTHS (from “Nine Months”)

I’d describe “Nine Months” as a pretty average romantic comedy, despite a great cast led by Hugh Grant and Julianne Moore. Also appearing are Tom Arnold, Joan Cusack, Jeff Goldblum and Robin Williams. 1995’s “Nine Months” is a remake of 1994’s French film “Neuf mois” (“Nine Months” in English).

32 “The Shawshank Redemption” actor Robbins : TIM

Tim Robbins is a Hollywood actor, director and producer. I’d say that Robbins’ best-known roles are the leads in “The Shawshank Redemption” and “The Player”. Robbins also wrote, produced and directed the 1995 movie “Dead Man Walking” starring Susan Sarandon and Sean Penn. Robbins was married for almost thirty years to Susan Sarandon, although they split up in 2009.

Stephen King’s novella “Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption” was adapted into a 2009 stage play and a 1994 film, both of which were titled “The Shawshank Redemption”. The Ohio State Reformatory was used for exterior shots of the fictional Shawshank Prison. That same facility was used for the prison scenes in the 1997 film “Air Force One”.

36 Arthur with Emmys : BEA

Actress Bea Arthur’s most famous roles were on television, as the lead in the “All in the Family” spin-off “Maude” and as Dorothy Zbornak in “The Golden Girls”. Arthur also won a Tony for playing Vera Charles on stage in the original cast of “Mame” in 1966, two years after she played Yente the matchmaker in the original cast of “Fiddler on the Roof”.

37 The Velvet Underground singer : NICO

Nico was the stage name of a German singer born Christa Päffgen. Nico was one of Andy Warhol’s superstars, a group of personalities that gathered around him and whom he promoted in the sixties and seventies. It was Warhol who introduced Nico to the Velvet Underground, the New York City band that Warhol was managing at the time.

The Velvet Underground was an influential New York City rock band active in the late sixties and early seventies. The group was formed by Lou Reed and John Cale, and was managed by pop artist Andy Warhol.

39 2018 heist thriller, after budget cuts : OCEAN’S SEVEN (from “Ocean’s Eight”)

2018’s “Ocean’s 8” is the fourth in the “Ocean’s” series of films made by Steven Soderbergh. The lead character in the original trilogy is Danny Ocean, played by George Clooney. The lead character in “Ocean’s 8” is Danny’s sister Debbie Ocean, played by Sandra Bullock. The gang of “8” thieves is an all-female troupe played by the likes of Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Rihanna and Helena Bonham Carter.

43 Rap fan : B-BOY

A “b-boy” is a male fan of rap-music and breakdancing. Apparently the term comes from either “Bronx boy” or “break boy”.

45 Lucille Ball’s son : DESI, JR

Desi Arnaz, Jr. is the youngest child of Hollywood celebrity couple Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball. Lucille’s pregnancy was very public, and became part of the storyline of her show “I Love Lucy”. When Desi junior was born, he appeared on the cover of the very first issue of “TV Guide”.

50 1957 courtroom drama, after budget cuts : ELEVEN ANGRY MEN (from “Twelve Angry Men”)

The powerful 1957 movie “12 Angry Men” was directed by Sidney Lumet, and has a stellar cast of “jury members” including Henry Fonda, Lee J. Cobb, Jack Klugman and Ed Begley. If ever there is a movie that clearly was based on a play, it’s this one. Practically the whole film takes place on one set, the jury room.

56 Bit of climbing gear : PITON

A piton is a piece of mountaineering equipment, an anchor designed to protect a climber if he or she falls. It is a metal spike driven into a crack in the rock face with a hammer. Pitons have eye holes through which a rope is attached using carabiners. “Piton” is a French word for a “hook”.

58 Submachine gun in action films : UZI

The first Uzi submachine gun was designed in the late 1940s by Major Uziel “Uzi” Gal of the Israel Defense Forces, who gave his name to the gun.

59 Léopard relative : TIGRE

In French, one needs to be wary of a “léopard” (leopard) or a “tigre” (tiger).

60 Radii neighbors : ULNAE

The humerus is the long bone in the upper arm. The bones in the forearm are the radius and ulna. “Ulna” is the Latin word for “elbow”, and “radius” is Latin for “ray”.

62 They’re worked with pull-ups and pull-downs : LATS

The muscles known as the “lats” are the latissimi dorsi, and are the broadest muscles in the back. “Latissimus” is the Latin for “broadest” and “dorsum” is Latin for “back”.

63 Lynx and Mercury : TEAMS

Both Minnesota professional basketball teams are owned by billionaire businessman Glen Taylor. The Timberwolves play in the NBA, and the Lynx in the WNBA.

The Phoenix Mercury plays in the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA). The team was founded in 1997 and is owned by businessman Robert Sarver, who also owns the Phoenix Suns of the NBA.

Down

1 Wile E. Coyote supply : TNT

Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner are two much-loved cartoon characters from Warner Bros. Wile E. Coyote was created first, and Road Runner was invented as someone for Wile E. to play off. I love this cartoon; definitely one of the best …

2 Reindeer foot : HOOF

The reindeer species of deer is also known as the caribou in North America.

3 Parks of Alabama : ROSA

Rosa Parks was one of a few brave women in days gone by who refused to give up their seats on a bus to white women. It was the stand taken by Rosa Parks on December 1, 1955 that sparked the Montgomery, Alabama Bus Boycott. President Clinton presented Ms. Parks with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1996. When she died in 2005, Rosa Parks became the first ever woman to have her body lie in honor in the US Capitol Rotunda.

6 __ nova : BOSSA

Bossa nova is a style of music from Brazil that evolved from samba. The most famous piece of bossa nova is the song “The Girl from Ipanema”.

7 Helps in a heist : ABETS

The word “abet” comes into English from the Old French “abeter” meaning “to bait” or “to harass with dogs” (it literally means “to make bite”). This sense of encouraging something bad to happen morphed into our modern usage of “abet” meaning to aid or encourage someone in a crime.

8 Sushi seaweed : NORI

Nori is an edible seaweed that we used to know as “laver” when I was living in Wales. Nori is usually dried into thin sheets. Here in the US, we are most familiar with nori as the seaweed used as a wrap for sushi.

10 One of New Zealand’s official languages : MAORI

The Māori are the indigenous people of New Zealand. They are eastern Polynesian in origin and began arriving in New Zealand relatively recently, starting some time in the late 13th century. The word “māori” simply means “normal”, distinguishing mortal humans from spiritual entities. The Māori refer to New Zealand as “Aotearoa”.

15 Lustrous fabrics : SATINS

The material known as “satin” takes its name from “Zayton”, the medieval Arabic name for the Chinese port city of Quanzhou. Quanzhou was used for the export of large amounts of silk to Europe.

25 Two dry gallons : PECK

A peck is a dry measure equal to a quarter of a bushel. The term can be used figuratively to mean a considerable quantity in general, as in the phrase “a peck of trouble”.

28 Spider-Man co-creator Lee : STAN

Stan Lee did just about everything at Marvel Comics over the years, from writing to being president and chairman of the board. If you like superhero movies based on the characters from Marvel Comics, then you could spend a few hours trying to spot Stan Lee in those films as he had a penchant for making cameo appearances. Lee can be spotted in “X-Men” (2000), “Spider-Man” (2002), “Hulk” (2003), “Fantastic Four” (2005), “Iron Man” (2008) and many other films.

31 Cultural funding org. : NEA

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) is an agency funded by the federal government that offers support and financing for artistic projects. The NEA was created by an Act of Congress in 1965. Between 1965 and 2008, the NEA awarded over $4 billion to the arts, with Congress authorizing around $170 million annually through the eighties and much of the nineties. That funding was cut to less than $100 million in the late nineties due to pressure from conservatives concerned about the use of funds, but it is now back over the $150 million mark. I wonder how long that will last though …

32 Pioneering DVR : TIVO

TiVo was introduced in 1999 and was the world’s first commercially successful digital video recorder (DVR).

34 Coltrane collaborator : MONK

Thelonious Monk was a jazz pianist and composer, actually the second-most recorded jazz composer after the great Duke Ellington. That’s a pretty impressive statistic given that Ellington wrote more than 1,000 songs, whereas Monk only wrote about 70. Monk was a pioneer in the development of the jazz style called “bebop”, which gained popularity in the 1940s.

John Coltrane was a jazz saxophonist who also went by the nickname “Trane”. John’s son Ravi Coltrane is also a noted jazz saxophonist.

40 Mazola product : CORN OIL

Mazola is a brand of corn oil now owned by Associated British Foods.

41 __ City: Baghdad suburb : SADR

Sadr City is a suburb of Baghdad that has oft been in the news in recent years. Sadr City is named after the deceased Shia leader Mohammad Mohammad Sadeq al-Sadr.

43 End of the rainbow mnemonic : BIV

“Roy G. Biv” can be used as a mnemonic for the colors in a rainbow:

  • Red
  • Orange
  • Yellow
  • Green
  • Blue
  • Indigo
  • Violet

46 Dushku of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” : ELIZA

Faith Lehane is one of the Vampire slayers on the show “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”. She is played by actress Eliza Dushku. Dushku was a minor when she joined the show, and had to go through the legal process of emancipation in order to put in the long hours required in production. The 17-year-old went through that process in order to sidestep child labor laws.

49 Shrek and Fiona : OGRES

Princess Fiona is the title character’s love interest in the “Shrek” series of films.

51 Fish tank growth : ALGA

Algae are similar to terrestrial plants in that they use photosynthesis to create sugars from light and carbon dioxide, but they differ in that they have simpler anatomies, and for example lack roots.

52 One of Italy’s trio of active volcanoes : ETNA

Italy is home to three active volcanoes:

  • Stromboli (in the Tyrrhenian Sea, of the north coast of Sicily)
  • Vesuvius (overlooking Naples)
  • Etna (on the island of Sicily)

53 Linguist Chomsky : NOAM

Noam Chomsky is a professor of linguistics at MIT. Chomsky is known as one of the fathers of modern linguistics.

57 Mario Bros. console : NES

Mario Bros. started out as an arcade game back in 1983, developed by Nintendo. The more famous of the two brothers, Mario, had already appeared in an earlier arcade game “Donkey Kong”. Mario was given a brother called Luigi, and the pair have been around ever since. In the game, Mario and Luigi are Italian American plumbers from New York City.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Headache feature : THROB
6 Report of a blowup? : BANG
10 More, in Madrid : MAS
13 Peter of Herman’s Hermits : NOONE
14 Winds in a pit : OBOES
16 In the past : AGO
17 Away from the coast : TO SEA
18 “Counting Sheep” company : SERTA
19 Celestial sphere : ORB
20 2015 Marvel feature, after budget cuts : FANTASTIC THREE (from “Fantastic Four”)
23 Wee bits : IOTAS
24 Less stuffy : AIRIER
25 Historical capital of Bohemia : PRAGUE
28 Federal IDs : SSNS
29 1995 romantic comedy, after budget cuts : EIGHT MONTHS (from “Nine Months”)
32 “The Shawshank Redemption” actor Robbins : TIM
35 Coagulate : CLOT
36 Arthur with Emmys : BEA
37 The Velvet Underground singer : NICO
38 Beer barrel : KEG
39 2018 heist thriller, after budget cuts : OCEAN’S SEVEN (from “Ocean’s Eight”)
43 Rap fan : B-BOY
44 On the job : AT WORK
45 Lucille Ball’s son : DESI, JR
48 Beverage aisle array : SODAS
50 1957 courtroom drama, after budget cuts : ELEVEN ANGRY MEN (from “Twelve Angry Men”)
54 Went for the worm : BIT
55 Avocado or plum : COLOR
56 Bit of climbing gear : PITON
58 Submachine gun in action films : UZI
59 Léopard relative : TIGRE
60 Radii neighbors : ULNAE
61 Shade at the beach : TAN
62 They’re worked with pull-ups and pull-downs : LATS
63 Lynx and Mercury : TEAMS

Down

1 Wile E. Coyote supply : TNT
2 Reindeer foot : HOOF
3 Parks of Alabama : ROSA
4 __ only: special performance alert : ONE NIGHT
5 Triumph over : BEAT OUT
6 __ nova : BOSSA
7 Helps in a heist : ABETS
8 Sushi seaweed : NORI
9 Use an ATM : GET CASH
10 One of New Zealand’s official languages : MAORI
11 Match : AGREE
12 Not lit : SOBER
15 Lustrous fabrics : SATINS
21 “Up and __!” : AT ‘EM
22 Appt. book blocks : HRS
25 Two dry gallons : PECK
26 Irk : RILE
27 All aflutter : AGOG
28 Spider-Man co-creator Lee : STAN
30 Follow : OBEY
31 Cultural funding org. : NEA
32 Pioneering DVR : TIVO
33 Pastry bag user : ICER
34 Coltrane collaborator : MONK
37 Phrase in cosmetic dentistry marketing : NEW SMILE
39 Take exception : OBJECT
40 Mazola product : CORN OIL
41 __ City: Baghdad suburb : SADR
42 Remain in place : STAY PUT
43 End of the rainbow mnemonic : BIV
45 Run for the first time : DEBUT
46 Dushku of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” : ELIZA
47 Take hold gradually : SET IN
48 Inelegant laugh : SNORT
49 Shrek and Fiona : OGRES
51 Fish tank growth : ALGA
52 One of Italy’s trio of active volcanoes : ETNA
53 Linguist Chomsky : NOAM
57 Mario Bros. console : NES

14 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 28 Nov 19, Thursday”

  1. No errors, but had to look up Velvet Underground singer; I’m just not
    up on music stars.
    Once again Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

  2. Normal time and no errors. Bill did it in his usual average time, so it must have
    been of average difficulty.

    We did not know all of the words, but got the needed help from the surrounding words.

    Pretty fun puzzle.

    Happy Thanksgiving to all.

  3. 11:48. Not one bit of Thanksgiving in this puzzle. Humph.

    Ocean’s Eleven was a great movie. Twelve and Thirteen weren’t so I never gave OCEANS EIGHT a try. I’d only be disappointed….again.

    Happy Thanksgiving to everyone.

    Best –

  4. Whiffed on ULNA(s)E and therefore NE(s)S. Who in the heck remembers Nintendo? Dude, that’s like so totally 80’s. Gag me with a spoon!

    Off to eat…again! 😀

  5. Doing this on-line after two long drives and a huge dinner…so a bit sleepy. Took me 25:59 with maybe 1 error – the letter was right but apparently got accidentally changed at some point. I didn’t feel like looking for it so used the red letters.

    Happy Thanksgiving again…now maybe off to bed early.

  6. Hi all!!🦆

    Dirk! Thanks for the link yesterday of the merengue dancers! I like the guy in the corner who catches her jacket…

    No errors. Always weird to see NICO in a puzzle — kinda obscure, tho the album she did with the Velvets is an all time fave of mine. She’s appeared once or twice on a Saturday grid.

    I only didn’t know PITON. 🤔 Theme was cool.

    Be well~~🍺

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