LA Times Crossword 25 Feb 20, Tuesday

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Constructed by: Paul Coulter
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Hollywood Ending

Themed answers each END with a word that often follows HOLLYWOOD:

  • 57A 2002 Woody Allen film … or what each of the last words of 17-, 25- and 42-Across can be : HOLLYWOOD ENDING
  • 17A 1950 Gloria Swanson film : SUNSET BOULEVARD (giving “Hollywood Boulevard”)
  • 25A 1979 Jim Henson film : THE MUPPET MOVIE (giving “Hollywood movie”)
  • 42A 1988 Demi Moore film : THE SEVENTH SIGN (giving “Hollywood sign”)

Bill’s time: 5m 19s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Rene of “Ransom” (1996) : RUSSO

The talented actress Rene Russo is a native of Burbank, California. Russo went to high school (with actor/director Ron Howard), but dropped out in tenth grade. At seventeen, she was given the opportunity to train as a model and within a very short time appeared on the cover of “Vogue”. As her modelling jobs slowed down in her early thirties, Russo made a career change and studied theater and acting.

“Ransom” is a 1996 movie starring Mel Gibson as the father of a young boy who is kidnapped. The film has an interesting pedigree. It is a remake of the 1956 film titled “Ransom!”, starring Glenn Ford, which in turn was inspired by a 1954 episode of “The United STates Steel Hour” television anthology series. All three productions focus on the father’s public offer to pay the ransom amount as a bounty on the heads of the kidnappers.

14 Part of “the works” on a burger : ONION

The dish we know today as a hamburger was known as a hamburger sandwich prior to 1939. “Hamburger” comes from “hamburg steak”, which was named for the German city starting in 1880.

16 Needle case : ETUI

An etui is an ornamental case used to hold small items, in particular sewing needles. We imported both the case design and the word “etui” from France. The French also have a modern usage of “etui”, using the term to depict a case for carrying CDs.

17 1950 Gloria Swanson film : SUNSET BOULEVARD (giving “Hollywood Boulevard”)

“Sunset Boulevard” is a classic film noir co-written and directed by the great Billy Wilder, and released in 1950. It’s a story about a faded film star (played by Gloria Swanson) who dreams about making a return to the screen. Andrew Lloyd Webber made a reasonably successful musical adaptation of the film using the same title, which opened in London in 1993.

Gloria Swanson was the highest-paid movie actor of the Silent Era. Famously, Swanson made a comeback in movies when she played a reclusive silent film star in the 1950 film “Sunset Boulevard”. Off the screen, the actress was notorious for her affair with Joe Kennedy, Sr., father of President John F. Kennedy.

Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles is home to the famous Hollywood Walk of Fame, comprising over 2,500 stars embedded in the sidewalk. The thoroughfare was named Prospect Boulevard until 1920, when the town of Hollywood was annexed by the city of Los Angeles.

22 Note from one who’s shy? : IOU

I owe you (IOU)

25 1979 Jim Henson film : THE MUPPET MOVIE (giving “Hollywood movie”)

1979’s “The Muppet Movie” was the first in a series of theatrical films featuring the Muppets. Charles Durning plays the lead non-puppet role, and there are numerous cameos from a virtual cavalcade of Hollywood stars, including Dom Deluise, James Coburn, Madeline Kahn, Telly Savalas, Milton Berle, Elliott Gould, Richard Pryor, Steve Martin, Bob Hope and Orson Welles.

34 Jazz instruments : SAXES

The saxophone was invented by Belgian musician Adolphe Sax. Sax developed lip cancer at one point in his life, and one has to wonder if his affliction was related to his saxophone playing (I am sure not!). I had the privilege of visiting Sax’s grave in the Cemetery of Montmartre in Paris a few years ago.

35 Peruvian singer Sumac : YMA

Yma Sumac was a Peruvian soprano. Sumac had a notable vocal range of five octaves.

39 24-hr. cash source : ATM

Automatic Teller Machine (ATM)

42 1988 Demi Moore film : THE SEVENTH SIGN (giving “Hollywood sign”)

“The Seventh Sign” is a horror movie released in 1988. The “Seventh” reference is to the seven symbolic seals securing a scroll described in the Bible’s Book of Revelation. I probably won’t be seeing this one …

Demi Moore was born Demetria Guynes and took the name Demi Moore when she married her first husband, Freddy Moore. Moore’s second husband was Bruce Willis. She changed her name to Demi Guynes Kutcher a few years after marrying her third husband, Ashton Kutcher. However, Kutcher and Moore split in 2013.

The iconic HOLLYWOOD sign located in the hills overlooking the Los Angeles district of Hollywood was erected in 1923. The sign originally read “HOLLYWOODLAND” and was placed as an advertisement for a new housing development with that name. The plan was for the sign to stay in place for 18 months, but as it became associated with the growing film industry, it was left in place. The sign was refurbished in 1949 by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, with the stipulation that the “LAND” be dropped. A new version of the sign using more permanent materials was unveiled in 1978.

45 News initials : UPI

Founded in 1958, United Press International (UPI) used to be one of the biggest news agencies in the world, sending out news by wire to the major newspapers. UPI ran into trouble with the change in media formats at the end of the twentieth century and lost many of its clients as the afternoon newspapers shut down due to the advent of television news. UPI, which once employed thousands, still exists today but with just a fraction of that workforce.

46 __ bunt: productive MLB out : SAC

That would be baseball.

52 “John Wick” star Keanu : REEVES

Keanu Reeves is a Canadian actor whose most celebrated roles were a metalhead in “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure” (1989), a cop in “Speed” (1994) and the protagonist Neo in “The Matrix” series of films. Although Reeves is a Canadian national, he was born in Beirut, Lebanon. Reeves has some Hawaiian descent, and the name “Keanu” is Hawaiian for “the coolness” or “cool breeze”.

“John Wick” is a 2014 action movie starring Keanu Reeves in the title role. Reeves plays a retired hitman who goes on a killing spree to avenge the murder of his dog. There’s quite the body count …

57 2002 Woody Allen film … or what each of the last words of 17-, 25- and 42-Across can be : HOLLYWOOD ENDING

“Hollywood Ending” is a 2002 film written and directed by Woody Allen. Allen also plays the lead character, a fading movie director who suffers a psychosomatic form of blindness due to the pressure of work.

59 “Garfield” dog : ODIE

Odie is Garfield’s best friend, and is a slobbery beagle. Both are characters in Jim Davis’ comic strip named “Garfield”.

60 Baseball family name : ALOU

Moisés Alou played Major League Baseball, as did his father Felipe and his uncles Matty and Jesús.

61 Dalai Lama’s land : TIBET

Tibet is a plateau region that is part of China, and is located northeast of the Himalayas. Tibet declared its independence from China in 1913, but fell back under Chinese control after the Invasion of Tibet in 1951. The Tibetan leader, the 14th Dalai Lama, fled the country during the 1959 Tibetan Rebellion. Since then, he has led the Tibetan government-in-exile in Dharamsala, India.

The Dalai Lama is a religious leader in the Gelug branch of Tibetan Buddhism. The current Dalai Lama is the 14th to hold the office. He has indicated that the next Dalai Lama might be found outside of Tibet for the first time, and may even be female.

64 Clairvoyants : SEERS

We’ve been using the term “clairvoyant” to describe a psychic since the nineteenth century. Prior to that, a clairvoyant was a clear-sighted person. The term comes from French, with “clair” meaning “clear” and “voyant” meaning “seeing”.

Down

1 PBS painter Bob : ROSS

Bob Ross was an artist and art instructor. Ross created and appeared in the long-running PBS show “The Joy of Painting”, a show which provided instructions for budding artists.

2 E pluribus __ : UNUM

From 1776, “E pluribus unum” was the unofficial motto of the United States. The phrase translates from Latin as “Out of many, one”. It was pushed aside in 1956 when an Act of Congress designated “In God We Trust” as the country’s official motto. “In God We Trust” had appeared on US coins since 1864, but was only introduced on paper currency in 1957.

3 Chinese: Pref. : SINO-

The prefix “Sino-” is used to refer to things Chinese. It comes from the Latin word “Sinae” meaning … “Chinese”!

7 Fair-haired Wells race : ELOI

In the 1895 novella by H. G. Wells called “The Time Machine”, there are two races that the hero encounter in his travels into the future. The Eloi are the “beautiful people” who live on the planet’s surface. The Morlocks are a domineering race living underground who use the Eloi as food.

The full name of the English author known as H. G. Wells was Herbert George Wells. Wells is particularly well known for his works of science fiction, including “The War of the Worlds”, “The Time Machine”, “The Invisible Man” and “The Island of Doctor Moreau”. He was a prolific author, and a prolific lover as well. While married to one of his former students with whom he had two sons, he also had a child with writer Amber Reeves, and another child with author Rebecca West.

10 Actor Danny who appears in M&M’s commercials : DEVITO

Danny DeVito’s big break as an actor came with the role of Louie De Palma on the sitcom “Taxi”. After parlaying his success on television into some major comic roles on the big screen, DeVito turned to producing. He co-founded the production company Jersey Films which made hit movies such as “Pulp Fiction” and “Garden State”. DeVito has been married to actress Rhea Perlman for well over 30 years.

Forrest Mars, Sr. was the founder of the Mars Company. Forrest invented the Mars Bar while living over in England and then developed M&M’s when he returned to the US. Mars came up with the idea for M&M’s when he saw soldiers in the Spanish Civil War eating chocolate pellets. Those pellets had a hard shell of tempered chocolate on the outside to prevent them from melting. Mars got some of the funding to develop the M&M from William Murrie, the son of the president of Hershey’s Chocolate. It is the “M” and “M” from “Mars” and “Murrie” that gives the name to the candy.

11 Run __: drink on credit : A TAB

When we run a “tab” at a bar, we are running a “tabulation”, a listing of what we owe. Such a use of “tab” is American slang that originated in the 1880s.

13 Laundry soap brand : TIDE

Tide is a laundry detergent that has been made by Procter & Gamble since 1946. Back then, Tide was marketed as “America’s Washday Favorite”.

18 Commandment pronoun : THOU

According to the Book of Exodus, God inscribed the Ten Commandments on two stone tablets and gave them to Moses on Mount Sinai.

19 Red-wrapped cheeses : EDAMS

Edam cheese takes its name from the Dutch town of Edam in North Holland. The cheese is famous for its coating of red paraffin wax, a layer of protection that helps Edam travel well and prevents spoiling. You might occasionally come across an Edam cheese that is coated in black wax. The black color indicates that the underlying cheese has been aged for a minimum of 17 weeks.

25 “The __ is out there”: “The X-Files” catchphrase : TRUTH

“The X-Files” is a very successful science fiction show that originally aired on the Fox network from 1993 to 2002. The stars of the show are David Duchovny (playing Fox Mulder) and the very talented Gillian Anderson (playing Dana Scully). By the time the series ended, “The X-Files” was the longest running sci-fi show in US broadcast history. An “X-Files” reboot started airing in 2016 with Duchovny and Anderson reprising their starring roles.

26 Blackjack request : HIT ME

“Stand” and “hit me” are instructions to the dealer in the card game Blackjack. The instruction “stand” means “I don’t want any more cards, I’ll use these”. The instruction “hit me” means “please deal me another card”.

27 Handy Scrabble tile : ESS

The game of Scrabble has been produced in many international versions, and each of these editions has its own tile distribution to suit the local language. For example, in English we have two tiles worth ten points: one “Q” and one “Z”. If you play the game in French then there are five tiles worth ten points: one “K”, one “W”, one “X”, one “Y” and one “Z”.

28 Eucharistic plate : PATEN

The paten and chalice hold a special place in many Christian services. The paten is the plate that holds the bread and the chalice the wine, used to represent the body and blood of Christ.

In the Christian, the Eucharist is a rite celebrating Christ’s sacrifice, as called out by Jesus at the Last Supper.

32 Wyatt of the Old West : EARP

The legendary Western gunfighter and lawman Wyatt Earp has been portrayed on the big and small screen many, many times. Kevin Costner played the title role in 1994’s “Wyatt Earp”, and Val Kilmer played Earp in 2012’s “The First Ride of Wyatt Earp”. Joel McCrea had the part in 1955’s “Wichita”, and Kurt Russell was Earp in 1993’s “Tombstone”. James Garner played Earp twice, in 1967’s “Hour of the Gun” and 1988’s “Sunset”.

33 Future MD’s class : ANAT

Anatomy (anat.)

37 1860s North-South conflict : CIVIL WAR

The American Civil War lasted just over four years, from 1861 to 1865. Hostilities began with an attack by Confederate forces on Fort Sumter in South Carolina, which was held by Union troops. In essence, the war ended with the defeat of Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia by Union forces led by Ulysses S. Grant at the Battle of Appomattox Court House. Over 750,000 soldiers died in the conflict, making the Civil War the deadliest war in American history. About 30% of all Southern white males aged 18-40 were lost in the fighting.

38 Letter before omega : PSI

Psi is the 23rd and penultimate letter of the Greek alphabet, and the one that looks a bit like a trident or a pitchfork.

44 Tortoise racer : HARE

“The Tortoise and the Hare” is perhaps the most famous fable attributed to Aesop. The cocky hare takes a nap during a race against the tortoise, and the tortoise sneaks past the finish line for the win while his speedier friend is sleeping.

47 Website with step-by-step instructions : EHOW

eHow is a how-to website that was founded in 1999. eHow has an awful lot of content but doesn’t do a great job of assessing the value of that content. I wouldn’t recommend it …

48 “Star Wars” sentence inverter : YODA

Yoda is one of the most beloved characters of the “Star Wars” series of films. Yoda’s voice is provided by the great modern-day puppeteer Frank Oz of “Muppets” fame.

49 Tiger Woods’ ex : ELIN

Elin Nordegren is the ex-wife of Tiger Woods. Nordegren is a native of Sweden, and it was back in Sweden that she was hired as a nanny by the wife of golfer Jesper Parnevik. The job brought her to the US, where she met Tiger Woods. The pair were married in 2004, and have two children together: Sam Alexis born in 2007, and Charlie Axel born in 2009. The marriage fell apart after Woods admitted to infidelity and the couple divorced in 2010.

50 1970 Kinks hit : LOLA

“Lola” is a fabulous song that was written by Ray Davies and released by the Kinks back in 1970. Inspired by a real life incident, the lyrics tell of young man who met a young “lady” in a club, danced with her, and then discovered “she” was actually a transvestite. The storyline isn’t very traditional, but the music is superb.

The Kinks were an English band who participated in the British Invasion of America in the sixties, although only briefly. After touring the US in the middle of 1965, the American Federation of Musicians refused permits for the Kinks to book concerts for four years, apparently in response to some rowdy on-stage behavior by the band.

53 Actress Falco : EDIE

Actress Edie Falco won three Emmy Awards for playing Carmela Soprano on HBO’s outstanding drama series called “The Sopranos”. Falco also won an Emmy in 2010 for playing the title role in “Nurse Jackie”, an excellent black comedy.

55 The “E” in DOE: Abbr. : ENER

The US Department of Energy (DOE) came into being largely as a result of the 1973 oil crisis. The DOE was founded in 1977 by the Carter administration. The DOE is responsible for regulating the production of nuclear power, and it is also responsible for the nation’s nuclear weapons. The official DOE seal features a lightning bolt and symbols denoting five sources of energy: the sun, an atom, an oil derrick, a windmill and a dynamo.

56 Some NCOs : SGTS

A non-commissioned officer (NCO) might be a sergeant (sgt.) or a corporal (cpl.).

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Rene of “Ransom” (1996) : RUSSO
6 Not as expensive : LESS
10 A bit loopy : DAFT
14 Part of “the works” on a burger : ONION
15 Old man, in German : ALTE
16 Needle case : ETUI
17 1950 Gloria Swanson film : SUNSET BOULEVARD (giving “Hollywood Boulevard”)
20 Peanut butter choice : SMOOTH
21 Like wax fruit : INEDIBLE
22 Note from one who’s shy? : IOU
24 Laser pointer chaser : CAT
25 1979 Jim Henson film : THE MUPPET MOVIE (giving “Hollywood movie”)
33 Get out of bed : ARISE
34 Jazz instruments : SAXES
35 Peruvian singer Sumac : YMA
36 Squirrel’s hoard : NUTS
37 Credited in an endnote : CITED
38 Place to tie up a boat : PIER
39 24-hr. cash source : ATM
40 Equestrian : RIDER
41 “That’s __!”: “Piece of cake!” : A SNAP
42 1988 Demi Moore film : THE SEVENTH SIGN (giving “Hollywood sign”)
45 News initials : UPI
46 __ bunt: productive MLB out : SAC
47 Looks at closely : EYEBALLS
52 “John Wick” star Keanu : REEVES
57 2002 Woody Allen film … or what each of the last words of 17-, 25- and 42-Across can be : HOLLYWOOD ENDING
59 “Garfield” dog : ODIE
60 Baseball family name : ALOU
61 Dalai Lama’s land : TIBET
62 Have a craving for : WANT
63 Appraise : RATE
64 Clairvoyants : SEERS

Down

1 PBS painter Bob : ROSS
2 E pluribus __ : UNUM
3 Chinese: Pref. : SINO-
4 Fair-to-middling : SO-SO
5 Previous : ONE-TIME
6 Chem class : LAB
7 Fair-haired Wells race : ELOI
8 Flabbergast : STUN
9 Chose : SELECTED
10 Actor Danny who appears in M&M’s commercials : DEVITO
11 Run __: drink on credit : A TAB
12 Roll and bind, as a sail : FURL
13 Laundry soap brand : TIDE
18 Commandment pronoun : THOU
19 Red-wrapped cheeses : EDAMS
23 Positive aspect : UPSIDE
25 “The __ is out there”: “The X-Files” catchphrase : TRUTH
26 Blackjack request : HIT ME
27 Handy Scrabble tile : ESS
28 Eucharistic plate : PATEN
29 Applies, as pressure : EXERTS
30 Competing (for) : VYING
31 “Know what __?” : I MEAN
32 Wyatt of the Old West : EARP
33 Future MD’s class : ANAT
37 1860s North-South conflict : CIVIL WAR
38 Letter before omega : PSI
40 Settle, as a debt : REPAY
41 Climbs : ASCENTS
43 Rental from a renter : SUBLET
44 Tortoise racer : HARE
47 Website with step-by-step instructions : EHOW
48 “Star Wars” sentence inverter : YODA
49 Tiger Woods’ ex : ELIN
50 1970 Kinks hit : LOLA
51 Chimney residue : SOOT
53 Actress Falco : EDIE
54 Vague feeling : VIBE
55 The “E” in DOE: Abbr. : ENER
56 Some NCOs : SGTS
58 Deserving : DUE

15 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 25 Feb 20, Tuesday”

  1. No errors, no Googles. This one should have been Monday.
    I was unfamiliar with 2 of the movies.
    Didn’t know SAC bunt, but did know ALOU, as it is used frequently. I think there are 3 of them in the family. I have an illustrated list of frequently occuring words and names. Crossword creators do like words with lots of vowels, and short: Espo, Bruin, Orr, Ott.
    I didn’t know YODA’s qualities. As cute as he looks, I don’t care for Star Wars. I did like The Time Machine, both book and movie.

  2. I don’t understand 48D clue “sentence inverter. ” Since I’m the only one asking this, I suspect I’m either missing something obvious or the only one who doesnt know this. Can someone clue me in? Confused in Huntington Beach.

    1. Yoda was the little wrinkled critter with the big ears in Star Wars who said things like “Happy I am”.

      I thought this puzzle felt more like a Monday also.

    2. One of Yoda’s quotes is: “Named must be your fear before banish it you can.” So understanding sentence inversion you must, before understanding Yoda you can.

      1. Thank you and Catherine. Haven’t seen a Star Wars pic since original or second. Soooo forgot this Yoda trait. Now I get it, it got me yesterday!

  3. Took me 45 minutes, but that is reasonably fast for me. No errors or omissions.
    Enjoyable and I found more doable than Monday’s. No tricks or puns and that
    works for me.

    Kudos to all you guys and gals.

  4. I agree, this felt more like a Monday. My time was 5:37 and probably would have been a little faster if I hadn’t been fighting the arrow keys on my keyboard for some reason.

    Ironically, I knew all the movies except the theme revealer, HOLLYWOOD ENDING, which I’ve never heard of, apparently. Not a big Woody Allen fan.

  5. Hello every buddy!!!🦆

    Yes; a kinder puzzle than Monday’s was!🤗 No errors. Maybe too many abbreviations here but a clever theme. I actually put THE SEVENTH SEAL at first and wondered what the heck a “Hollywood Seal” was!! All this despite the fact that I know both movies AND i have a view of the Hollywood Sign from my front yard! Oh well….

    I love the movie Sunset Boulevard!! William Holden is fab. A middle-aged Buster Keaton is one of Swanson’s guests on game nights. Still handsome.😊

    Be well ~~🍻

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