LA Times Crossword 30 Dec 20, Wednesday

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Constructed by: Hoang-Kim Vu
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Posthaste

Themed answers each end with a synonym of “HASTE”:

  • 56A With immediacy, or a hint to the four other longest puzzle answers : POSTHASTE
  • 18A Academy attended by James T. Kirk : STARFLEET
  • 24A Artist with a record 32 American Music Awards : TAYLOR SWIFT
  • 34A Deeply hurt : CUT TO THE QUICK
  • 49A Inviolable, as a rule : HARD AND FAST

Read on, or jump to …
… a complete list of answers

Bill’s time: 7m 20s

Bill’s errors: 3

  • NIEKRO (Tiegro)
  • QUINN (Quint)
  • MAKEBA (Mageba)

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Invents, as a word : COINS

To coin a phrase is to invent a new phrase or expression. The greatest “coiner” of them all has to be William Shakespeare. Here are a few everyday expressions that were created by the Bard:

  • The game is afoot (Henry IV, Part I)
  • Brave new world (The Tempest)
  • Break the ice (The Taming of the Shrew)
  • Dead as a doornail (Henry VI, Part II)
  • Eaten me out of house and home (Henry IV, Part II)
  • Forever and a day (As You Like It)
  • For goodness’ sake (Henry VIII)
  • Knock knock! Who’s there? (Macbeth)
  • Set my teeth on edge (Henry IV, Part I)
  • Wild-goose chase (Romeo and Juliet)

10 Lucas of “Raising Hope” : NEFF

Lucas Neff is an actor from Chicago who is best known perhaps for playing Jimmy Chance, the lead role in the sitcom “Raising Hope”. Neff married Australian actress Caitlin Stasey in 2016.

“Raising Hope” is a sitcom that aired for four seasons starting in 2010. It’s about a young man who is left to raise alone an illegitimate daughter after her serial killer mother is sentenced to death. Quite the storyline …

15 Egyptian life symbol : ANKH

The ankh was the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic character for “eternal life”. The ankh wasn’t just used in inscriptions but was often fashioned into amulets and as surrounds for mirrors (perhaps symbolizing a view into another world). The ankh is also known as “the key of the Nile” and “crux ansata” (Latin for “cross with a handle”).

16 Pest on a pooch : FLEA

Fleas are flightless insects, but they sure can jump. Their very specialized hind legs allow them to jump up to 50 times the length of their bodies.

17 Red-tide contents : ALGAE

An algal bloom that takes on a red or brown color is commonly referred to as “red tide”. The algae causing the bloom are phytoplankton containing photosynthetic pigments that give the red/brown color. Some red tides are extremely harmful to marine life as there can be a depletion of oxygen dissolved in the seawater. The algae can also contain natural toxins that can kill those creatures that eat it.

18 Academy attended by James T. Kirk : STARFLEET

In the “Star Trek” universe, Starfleet is a military service maintained by the United Federation of Planets. Famously, Starfleet is also tasked with deep-space exploration, “to boldly go where no man has gone before …”

According to the storyline in “Star Trek”, Captain James Tiberius Kirk was born in Riverside, Iowa. The town of Riverside displays a plaque, noting Riverside as the “future birthplace of James T. Kirk.”

22 Mayberry lad : OPIE

Mayberry is the fictional North Carolina town in which the “The Andy Griffith Show” is set. Mayberry is said to be based on Griffith’s own hometown of Mount Airy, North Carolina.

23 Org. in much recent news : CDC

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is based in Atlanta, Georgia. The CDC started out life during WWII as the Office of National Defense Malaria Control Activities. The CDC worries about much more than malaria these days …

24 Artist with a record 32 American Music Awards : TAYLOR SWIFT

The record for the most American Music Awards by a male artist (26) belongs to Michael Jackson. As of 2020, the record by a female artist (32) is held by Taylor Swift.

26 “We’ll let you know,” on skeds : TBA

Something not yet on the schedule (“sked” or “sched.”) is to be advised/announced (TBA).

27 18-Across jr. officer : ENS
(18A Academy attended by James T. Kirk : STARFLEET)

Ensign is (usually) the most junior rank of commissioned officer in the armed forces. The name comes from the tradition that the junior officer would be given the task of carrying the ensign flag.

31 Fire truck alert : SIREN

33 Tourette syndrome symptoms : TICS

Tourette syndrome is an inherited disorder characterized by physical and vocal tics. A small minority of sufferers are also prone to spontaneously making socially inappropriate remarks. The syndrome is named for French physician Georges Gilles de la Tourette.

39 Brooklyn Coll. is part of it : CUNY

New York City’s public university system is called the City University of New York (CUNY). CUNY is made of 24 institutions and is the largest urban university in the whole country. It is also the third largest university system in the US, after the State University of New York and California State University.

Brooklyn College in New York was founded in 1930 as a tuition-free school. Students started to pay fees in 1976, following New York City’s financial crisis that came to a head in 1975. Known as the “poor man’s Harvard” the list of Brooklyn College’s alumni includes US presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, California Senator Barbara Boxer, Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm, as well as the multi-talented Mel Brooks.

41 Convent leader : ABBESS

Convents have been religious houses since the 1200s, but it wasn’t until the 1700s that convents became purely female institutions.

45 NBA’s Heat, on scoreboards : MIA

The Miami Heat basketball team debuted in the NBA in the 1988-89 season. The franchise name was chosen in a competitive survey, with “Miami Heat” beating out “Miami Vice”.

48 Inouye Airport arrival gift : LEI

Senator Daniel Inouye was a US Senator for the state of Hawaii and was the President pro tem of the Senate (the US Vice President is the President of the Senate). Given this role, he was the highest-ranking Japanese-American in the country’s history as he was third in the line of succession to the office of US President. Senator Inouye passed away in 2012. Honolulu’s airport was renamed to Daniel K. Inouye International Airport in 2017 in his honor.

49 Inviolable, as a rule : HARD AND FAST

Something “inviolable” is secure from “violation”, is sacred.

53 Investment inits. : IRA

Individual retirement account (IRA)

55 Hall of Fame knuckleballer Phil : NIEKRO

Phil Niekro was a baseball pitcher. He was famous for the knuckleballs that he threw, and so earned the nickname “Knucksie”.

A knuckleball is a baseball pitch that has minimal spin, and as such has a relatively erratic path towards the plate.

56 With immediacy, or a hint to the four other longest puzzle answers : POSTHASTE

We use the adverb “posthaste” to mean “speedily”. Back as far as the mid-1500s, the phrase “post haste” was written on letters (post) that were to be delivered without delay. The suggestion is that our modern term comes from this original usage.

61 “Because You Loved Me” singer : DION

French-Canadian singer Céline Dion first came to international attention when she won the 1988 Eurovision Song Contest, in which she represented Switzerland in the competition that was hosted in Dublin, Ireland. She is now the best-selling Canadian artist of all time.

“Because You Loved Me” is a 1996 song recorded by Celine Dion. It served as the theme song for the film “Up Close and Personal” that was released the same year starring Robert Redford and Michelle Pfeiffer.

62 Battle zone journalist : EMBED

Although journalists have been directly reporting from the front lines in military conflicts for some time, the term “embedded journalism” only came into fashion during the 2003 Invasion of Iraq. A formal arrangement was made between the US Military and hundreds of reporters allowing journalists to travel with military units and, under pre-ordained conditions, report directly from those units. Some say that the arrangement was mutually beneficial. On the one hand the journalists had relatively little to worry about in terms of transportation and travel through combat zones. On the other hand, the military had better control over what did and did not get reported.

64 Racy message : SEXT

Sexting (a portmanteau of “sex” and “texting”) is the sending of explicit dialog and images between cell phones. The term “sexting” was coined by the UK’s “Sunday Telegraph Magazine” in a 2005 article.

65 Rotary phone features : DIALS

The first patent for a rotary dial mechanism for a phone was granted in 1898, and the familiar rotary dial phones (with holes for the finger) were introduced by the Bell System in 1919. This form of dialing was called “pulse dialing”. When you dialed the number 5 say, the dial would rotate back to the start position, opening and closing electrical contacts five times and sending five pulses over the telephone line. I used to love rotary dial phones when I was a kid. My grandfather was a telephone engineer and he showed me how to “tap out” the pulses on the “hook” at the top of a pay phone. I was able to make free calls that way. He definitely contributed to the delinquency of a minor …

Down

1 Unsullied : CHASTE

To sully is to stain, tarnish. The term is often used in the context of sullying or tarnishing a reputation.

2 Prop for the Tin Man : OILCAN

Actor Buddy Ebsen was best known for playing Jed Clampett in television’s “The Beverly Hillbillies”. Ebsen had been cast in the role of the Tin Man in the 1939 movie “The Wizard of Oz”, but he developed an allergy to the aluminium dust that was used in the makeup. He ended up in hospital and had to walk away from the part. Ebsen blamed “The Wizard of Oz” on persistent problems that he had with his lungs in subsequent years. But Ebsen lived 16 years longers that any of the other major cast members of the film, so maybe he got the last laugh!

3 Men working on a network, informally : IT GUYS

Information technology (IT)

4 One Direction’s “cute one” __ Horan : NIALL

Niall Horan is an Irish singer and former member of the British boy band One Direction. Horan is from Mullinger, a town in the middle of the country from where my own ancestors hail. That’s really all that I know about him …

One Direction is a UK-based boy band. Each member of the band competed in the reality show “The X Factor”, and didn’t do very well. The five were then combined in a boy band at a later stage of the competition. They only finished in third place, but I don’t think they care. They’re doing very, very well for “losers” …

6 Late-summer orientation mtg. holders : RAS

A resident assistant/adviser (RA) is a peer leader found in a residence hall, particularly on a college campus.

8 Giraffe relative : OKAPI

The okapi is closely related to the giraffe, although it does have markings on its legs and haunches that resemble those of a zebra. The okapi’s tongue is long enough to reach back and wash its eyeballs, and can go back even further to clean its ears inside and out.

The giraffe is the tallest terrestrial animal on the planet. The giraffe’s main source of food is acacia leaves that they eat from high, high up in trees, where other herbivores cannot reach.

10 Patriots’ org. : NFL

The New England Patriots football team was founded in 1959 as the Boston Patriots. The “Patriots” name was selected from suggestions made by football fans in Boston. The team played at several different stadiums in the Boston area for just over ten years, before moving to their current home base in Foxborough, Massachusetts. At the time of the move, the “Boston” name was dropped and changed to “New England”.

21 Town near Provincetown : TRURO

Truro is a town in the Outer Cape, close to the northern tip of Cape Cod in Massachusetts. The area was settled in the late 1600s by English colonists who named it for the city of Truro in Cornwall, England. Truro is home to the Highland Light (also called “the Cape Cod Light”), which was the first lighthouse to be built on Cape Cod. The first Highland Lighthouse was built in 1797, and the current structure was erected in 1857. The whole structure had to be moved a tenth of a mile inland in 1996, as it had become endangered by coastal erosion.

Provincetown is located at the very tip of Cape Cod. As a major vacation destination, Provincetown has a summer population of up to 60,000 people, dropping to under 3,000 off season. The land now called Provincetown was the original “Cape Cod” back in the early 1600s. It wasn’t until much later that the Cape Cod name was applied to the entire region.

25 Editorial “let it stand” : STET

“Stet” is a Latin word meaning “let it stand”. In editorial work, the typesetter is instructed to disregard any change previously marked by writing the word “stet” and then underscoring that change with a line of dots or dashes.

31 Eyelid ailment : STYE

A stye is a bacterial infection of the sebaceous glands at the base of the eyelashes, and is also known as a hordeolum.

32 Smart students’ org. : NHS

The National Honor Society (NHS) is a recognition program open to students who have demonstrated excellence in grades 10-12.

36 Sundance’s sweetie : ETTA

Etta Place is the schoolteacher character played by Katharine Ross in the superb 1969 movie “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid”.

When the great movie “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” was in development, Paul Newman was always the first choice to play one of the leads, although the initial casting had him in the role of Sundance. Steve McQueen actually accepted the co-starring role, but left over a dispute about the billing (the film was entitled “The Sundance Kid and Butch Cassidy” at that point). The role of Sundance was then offered to Jack Lemmon, but he turned it down. Warren Beatty and Marlon Brando were considered next, before opting for the relatively unknown Robert Redford. What a great choice …

37 “Glee” cheerleader : QUINN

Actress Dianna Agron played cheerleading captain Quinn Fabray on the musical-comedy TV show “Glee”. Agron married Winston Marshall, lead guitarist for the band Mumford & Sons, in 2016.

39 Islamic leaders : CALIPHS

“Caliph” is an Arabic word meaning “successor”. In the Islamic tradition, a caliph is a leader who is deemed to be a successor of Muhammad.

42 1979 exile : SHAH

The last Shah of Iran was Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, who was overthrown in the revolution led by the Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979. The post-revolution government sought the extradition of the Shah back to Iran while he was in the United States seeking medical care (he had cancer). His prolonged stay in the United States, recovering from surgery, caused some unrest back in Iran and resentment towards the United States. Some say that this resentment precipitated the storming of the US Embassy in Tehran and the resulting hostage crisis.

43 Soup followers : SALADS

Soup and salad.

45 Folk singer Miriam known as “Mama Africa” : MAKEBA

Miriam Makeba was a singer and civil rights activist from Johnannesburg who was nicknamed “Mama Africa”. She moved to the US in the late fifties, and found herself unable to return to her homeland after she became increasingly vocal about the policy of apartheid imposed by the South African government. Makeba eventually did return to South Africa in 1990, just a few months after Nelson Mandela was released from prison by the government of F. W. de Klerk.

46 Gal Gadot’s birthplace : ISRAEL

Gal Gadot is an actress and former Miss Israel. She played Gisele Yashar in the “Fast & Furious” film franchise, and then began portraying Wonder Woman in superhero movies.

50 Riveting icon : ROSIE

Rosie the Riveter is a cultural icon that represented women working in factories across the country during WWII as part of the war effort. The term “Rosie the Riveter” first appeared as the title of a 1942 song that was a national hit. The image that we bring to mind today that supposedly depicts “Rosie” is a wartime poster with the words “We Can Do It!”, which shows a woman in blue overalls and a red and white polka-dot headscarf. However, this image was used by Westinghouse as an internal motivation tool only for a two-week period in 1943, and was never associated with the Rosie the Riveter persona. The “Rosie” association to that image came decades later, in the 1980s. The best-known WWII representation of Rosie the Riveter was a “Saturday Evening Post” cover drawn by Norman Rockwell in 1943. This image shows a female worker with a rivet gun, and a lunch box bearing the name “Rosie”.

51 Rehab program : DETOX

One might go into rehab (rehabilitation) for detox (detoxification).

52 1938 Physics Nobelist : FERMI

Enrico Fermi was born in Rome, Italy. He moved to the US just before WWII, largely to escape the anti-Semitic feelings that were developing in Italy under Mussolini. Fermi traveled from Rome to Stockholm in 1938 to receive that year’s Nobel Prize in Physics. Instead of returning to Italy, Fermi and his family traveled on to New York City, where they applied for permanent residency. It was Fermi’s work at the University of Chicago that led to the construction of the world’s first nuclear reactor. Fermi died at 53 years of age from stomach cancer . Cancer was a prevalent cause of death among the team working on that first nuclear pile.

57 Six-pt. scores : TDS

Touchdown (TD)

58 Tolkien’s Treebeard, e.g. : ENT

Treebeard is the elder of the tree-like people called Ents in J. R. R. Tolkien’s series of novels set in Middle-earth.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Invents, as a word : COINS
6 Laugh-a-minute sort : RIOT
10 Lucas of “Raising Hope” : NEFF
14 Bandleader’s exhortation : HIT IT!
15 Egyptian life symbol : ANKH
16 Pest on a pooch : FLEA
17 Red-tide contents : ALGAE
18 Academy attended by James T. Kirk : STARFLEET
20 Shape, as clay : SCULPT
22 Mayberry lad : OPIE
23 Org. in much recent news : CDC
24 Artist with a record 32 American Music Awards : TAYLOR SWIFT
26 “We’ll let you know,” on skeds : TBA
27 18-Across jr. officer : ENS
28 Threaded fastener : NUT
29 Claw into : TEAR AT
31 Fire truck alert : SIREN
33 Tourette syndrome symptoms : TICS
34 Deeply hurt : CUT TO THE QUICK
39 Brooklyn Coll. is part of it : CUNY
40 Double duty? : STUNT
41 Convent leader : ABBESS
44 Shoelace, e.g. : TIE
45 NBA’s Heat, on scoreboards : MIA
48 Inouye Airport arrival gift : LEI
49 Inviolable, as a rule : HARD AND FAST
53 Investment inits. : IRA
54 Common ointment ingredient : ALOE
55 Hall of Fame knuckleballer Phil : NIEKRO
56 With immediacy, or a hint to the four other longest puzzle answers : POSTHASTE
59 Step : TREAD
60 Worked in a garden : HOED
61 “Because You Loved Me” singer : DION
62 Battle zone journalist : EMBED
63 Criteria: Abbr. : STDS
64 Racy message : SEXT
65 Rotary phone features : DIALS

Down

1 Unsullied : CHASTE
2 Prop for the Tin Man : OILCAN
3 Men working on a network, informally : IT GUYS
4 One Direction’s “cute one” __ Horan : NIALL
5 “C’mon, we’re in a hurry!” : STEP ON IT!
6 Late-summer orientation mtg. holders : RAS
7 Like many trailers : IN TOW
8 Giraffe relative : OKAPI
9 Frugality : THRIFT
10 Patriots’ org. : NFL
11 Exciting, as an atmosphere : ELECTRIC
12 Survey info : FEEDBACK
13 Big shots with big balances : FAT CATS
19 Honor in a big way : FETE
21 Town near Provincetown : TRURO
25 Editorial “let it stand” : STET
30 Feuding : AT IT
31 Eyelid ailment : STYE
32 Smart students’ org. : NHS
34 Two, to eight, e.g. : CUBE ROOT
35 Impartial : UNBIASED
36 Sundance’s sweetie : ETTA
37 “Glee” cheerleader : QUINN
38 Not yet corrected for publication : UNEDITED
39 Islamic leaders : CALIPHS
42 1979 exile : SHAH
43 Soup followers : SALADS
45 Folk singer Miriam known as “Mama Africa” : MAKEBA
46 Gal Gadot’s birthplace : ISRAEL
47 Disagreeing : AT ODDS
50 Riveting icon : ROSIE
51 Rehab program : DETOX
52 1938 Physics Nobelist : FERMI
57 Six-pt. scores : TDS
58 Tolkien’s Treebeard, e.g. : ENT

25 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 30 Dec 20, Wednesday”

  1. No errors.. more than 10 minutes.. off beat clue/answers at critical crosses and not a lot of 3-4 letter answers. TRURO, MAKEBA, NIEKRO, NEFF..
    Never heard the phrase CUT TO THE QUICK as a reference to being hurt??

      1. Just the opposite for an animal!!! As a dog and cat owner, we’ve had a number of unfortunate experiences with cutting nails too close to the quick!

  2. Before or after his recent death, Phil Niekro was the easiest answer for me in the whole crossword puzzle. Yet, “Bill” missed it. RIP Knucksy.

    1. Sad to hear about anyone’s passing, especially these days. Thanks for helping me out with the latest sports news. Sports, definitely not my strong suit.

    2. Particularly interesting was that the Niekros were as much one of the baseball “families” as the Alous or anyone else (there’s enough of them to make a good Jeopardy category). It was actually a lot more common than crosswords would let on. Phil’s younger brother Joe was a pitcher in MLB as well. Sadly, for some baseball families, such as the Ripkens, the brother (Billy) is almost a footnote compared to Cal.

      There’s definitely a number of stories out there in relationship to all sports but baseball seems especially rich in this kind of way.

  3. 22:57 no errors…I don’t recall ever seeing 3 errors by Bill…must have been just one of those days.
    4 & 21D are, IMO very obscure clues.
    Stay safe.😀
    Go Ravens 🙏

  4. 10:59 2 errors

    Did not enjoy being stuck on a cross between two names: NIEKRO and MAKEBA. When I put the K in, Phil Niekro was vaguely familiar, but I wish I had known more about Marie Makeba.

  5. As to 62A, either the clue is a poor one or the answer cannot be correct. And, 37D should have included the last name. The lazy editor(s) must be out celebrating the coming demise of this horrible year.

  6. Had to Google for NEFF and NIALL. Young people trivia.
    Had “funnel” before OILCAN (I have a huge collection of funnels. You’d be surprised how hard to find they are.)
    Didn’t actually know what MIA, ETTA, and RAS are.
    @Steve PDX – thanx for the explanation.
    @Anon Mike – QUICK means alive, as in The Quick and the Dead, or living flesh. TRURO was the location of a nasty murder in 2002 that some might remember. And I still have my Miriam MAKEBA vinyl. (Hate it when they call singers, “artists.”) I’m 76 today, which explains a lot.

    1. Happy Birthday, Jane!

      My times are always longer than anyone’s so I haven’t post previously but I did want to thank you all for posting your own comments this year. I recently started doing these puzzles daily and look forward to reading all your interesting comments. It is always a bright spot in my day!
      Special thanks to Bill for adding to my education!

      Best of health to all in the New Year!

  7. No errors; but came in late because our morning paper wasn’t
    delivered until late afternoon because we were sort of snowed in today.
    Didn’t know some proper names but got them through the crossing
    letters. Fun puzzle….but we’re tired from shoveling out!

  8. 10 minutes, 5 seconds, no errors.
    Loved seeing Miriam Makeba in one of the fills. Hearing her hit song, “Pata Pata” is one of my favorite childhood memories. What I didn’t know at the time, but learned many years later, was that her famous “Click Song / Qongqothwane “, sung in her native Xhosa language, featured the distinctive tongue click for the letters Q and X. On the recording, I always thought they had used a wooden block to accent the beat… but it was all VOCALS!!! Igqirha lendlela nguqongqothwane!

  9. Yes, I will freely sympathize with those who were stuck on the cross of Makeba and Niekro (both of whom I was VERY familiar). Names are a sore point with me, as they often can be *anything*, or spelled any which way; crossing them is really dirty pool.

  10. Greetings!!🤗

    Jane, I hope your birthday was lovely and I wish you many more!! 🎂🤗

    Pretty easy Wednesday. Nice to learn about Miriam MAKEBA.

    RIP Phil NIEKRO 🙁

    Be well ~~🤗

  11. Slightly tricky Wednesday for me; took 16:15 on-line with no peeks or errors. I didn’t know quite a few names but the crosses came to the rescue each time. Didn’t know Miriam Makeba, but I’ve definitely heard “Pata Pata.”

    RIP Phil Neikro – I just love watching knuckle-ball pitchers pitch. The batters get all antsy and even the catchers and umps don’t really know where it’s going to go…. 🙂

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