LA Times Crossword 4 Dec 20, Friday

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Constructed by: Yoni Glatt
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Scary Movie Two

Themed answers each comprise the titles of TWO SCARY MOVIES side-by-side:

  • 36A 2001 Wayans Brothers sequel, and a hint to the four other longest puzzle answers : SCARY MOVIE TWO
  • 17A Checked out ’70s AMC cars? (2004, 1984) : SAW GREMLINS
  • 23A Genetic indicators? (2018, 2002) : HEREDITARY SIGNS
  • 51A Getting no goodies from trick-or-treating? (1978, 1990) : HALLOWEEN MISERY
  • 58A Possible sequel to “Despicable Me”? (2010, 2019) : INSIDIOUS US

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

Bill’s time: 8m 36s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Brosnan and Craig, most recently : BONDS

Pierce Brosnan is an Irish actor from Drogheda, a town north of Dublin. Brosnan’s big break in the US came when he was given the title role in the eighties television show “Remington Steele”. Famously, he also played James Bond on the big screen. Brosnan’s first appearance as Bond was in 1995’s “Golden Eye”. He was asked to take the role much earlier, in 1987, but Brosnan couldn’t get out of his contract for “Remington Steele”. Brosnan was the fifth actor to play Bond, after Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore and Timothy Dalton.

English actor Daniel Craig rocketed to fame in 2005 when he was chosen to replace Pierce Brosnan as James Bond in the series of films based on Ian Fleming’s character. One of Craig’s most famous appearances as Bond was alongside Queen Elizabeth II in the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics. Craig married actress Rachel Weisz in 2011.

6 “You __ at hello” : HAD ME

“Jerry Maguire” is a 1996 film starring Tom Cruise, Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Renée Zellweger. The title character is played by Cruise, and is a sports agent. There are several lines oft quoted from “Jerry Maguire” including:

  • “Show me the money!”
  • “You complete me”
  • “You had me at ‘hello’”

14 Mosque-goer’s deity : ALLAH

The name “Allah” comes from the Arabic “al-” and “ilah”, meaning “the” and “deity”. So, “Allah” can be translated as “God”.

16 “Do Ya” rock gp. : ELO

“Do Ya” is a song written by Jeff Lynne. Lynne first recorded “Do Ya” in 1972 with his band the Move. The Move gradually “moved” in a new artistic direction and rebranded themselves as the Electric Light Orchestra (ELO). ELO recorded a hit version of “Do Ya” in 1976.

17 Checked out ’70s AMC cars? (2004, 1984) : SAW GREMLINS

The Gremlin is a subcompact car that was made by AMC in the 1970s. The Gremlin was positioned to compete with the Chevy Vega and Ford Pinto from the US, and with imports like the VW Beetle and Toyota Corona. On the list of ex-Gremlin drivers are Presidents Bill Clinton and George H. W. Bush.

The “Saw” franchise of movies is gruesome in the extreme. I’ve only seen a few minutes of “Saw” footage (accidentally). The storylines center on imprisoned victims who are faced with having to mutilate themselves in order to escape. Ugh …

“Gremlins” is a 1984 horror-comedy film about cuddly little creatures that turn into evil little monsters. Creepy …

19 Uruguay uncle : TIO

The official name of Uruguay is the Oriental Republic of Uruguay, which reflects the nation’s location on the eastern coast of South America. It is a relatively small country, the second-smallest on the continent, after Suriname. In 2009, Uruguay became the first country in the world to provide a free laptop and Internet access to every child. Now there’s a thought …

23 Genetic indicators? (2018, 2002) : HEREDITARY SIGNS

“Hereditary” is a 2018 horror film. The plot features a woman who is accidentally decapitated by a telegraph pole when she leans her head out of a car window. That scene is based on a real-life incident that took place in Marietta, Georgia in 2004.

“Signs” is a very entertaining 2002 sci-fi thriller written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan. The film stars Mel Gibson as a former priest who finds crop circles in his cornfield, and becomes convinced that the circles are the work of extraterrestrials.

29 Hand-off recipients: Abbr. : RBS

Running back (RB)

34 “Dexter” airer, briefly : SHO

“Dexter” is a crime show that airs on Showtime. The title character works for the Miami Police Department as an expert in blood spatter patterns by day, but is a serial killer by night. The original series was based on the “Dexter” novels written by Jeff Lindsay. I haven’t seen this show myself, but my eldest son really enjoys it …

36 2001 Wayans Brothers sequel, and a hint to the four other longest puzzle answers : SCARY MOVIE TWO

“Scary Movie” is one of those parody movies, and is a film released in 2000 that pokes fun at famous horror films. It was advertised with the tagline “No mercy. No shame. No sequel”. The “no sequel” reference was a parody in itself, making fun of the fact that slasher movies in particular were made into strings of sequels. But there was in fact to be a sequel to “Scary Movie”, in fact three of them with one more on the way. “Scary Movie 2” came out in 2001, with the tagline “We lied”.

The Wayans family is known as the First Family of Entertainment as it is replete with actors, directors, screenwriters and comedians.

41 Ltr. addenda : PSS

One adds a PS (post scriptum, or simply “postscript”) at the end of a letter (ltr.). A second postscript is a post post scriptum, a PPS.

42 King played by Glenda Jackson : LEAR

Shakespeare was inspired to write his famous drama “King Lear” by the legend of “Leir of Britain”, the story of a mythological Celtic king.

Glenda Jackson is an outstanding retired actress from England. Jackson won two Oscars for performances in two wonderful films: “Women in Love” (1970) and “A Touch of Class” (1973). Jackson left her acting career behind in 1992 when she became a Member of Parliament, a job she has been doing ever since then. She was a junior minister for a while in Prime Minister Tony Blair’s government, and also ran an energetic but unsuccessful campaign to be elected Mayor of London. More recently, Jackson gave award-winning performances playing the title role in a stage version of “King Lear” in 2016, when she was 80 years of age.

43 Actress Gardner : AVA

Ava Gardner is noted for her association with some big movies, but also for her association with some big names when it came to the men in her life. In the world of film, she appeared in the likes of “Mogambo” (1953), “On the Beach” (1959), “The Night of the Iguana” (1964) and “Earthquake” (1974). The men in her life included husbands Mickey Rooney, Artie Shaw and Frank Sinatra.

48 TV watcher’s device : DVR

Digital video recorder (DVR)

49 Long-time Delaware senator : BIDEN

Vice President Joe Biden was a US Senator representing the state of Delaware from 1973 until he joined the Obama administration. While he was a senator, Vice President Biden commuted to Washington from Wilmington, Delaware almost every working day. He was such an active customer and supporter of Amtrak that the Wilmington Station was renamed as the Joseph R. Biden Railroad Station in 2011. Biden has made over 7,000 trips from that station, and the Amtrak crews were known to even hold the last train for a few minutes so that he could catch it. Biden earned himself the nickname “Amtrak Joe”.

51 Getting no goodies from trick-or-treating? (1978, 1990) : HALLOWEEN MISERY

I really, really don’t do horror films. The one exception is the original “Halloween” movie, starring Jamie Lee Curtis and Donald Pleasance. To me, this first movie in the “Halloween” series is more in the style of Hitchcock’s “Psycho”, whereas the sequels were chock full of gore and graphic violence.

The 1990 film “Misery” is an adaptation of the Stephen King novel of the same name. I think it’s the only movie of a King book that I’ve watched and enjoyed. I can’t stomach his books, not because of the writing, but because of the gruesome scenes that are part of the plots. The screen version of “Misery” is toned down a little from the original storyline. In the novel, the Kathy Bates character amputates the James Caan character’s foot to incapacitate him. In the movie she just smashes his ankles. Big difference …

56 Colorado NHL club, to fans : AVS

The Colorado Avalanche is a professional ice hockey team based in Denver, Colorado. The Avalanche were founded in Quebec in 1972 as the Quebec Nordiques, and moved to Denver in 1995.

57 66, e.g.: Abbr. : RTE

The famous old highway called Route 66 has largely been replaced by modern interstates. It ran from Chicago to Los Angeles, right through the heart of America, and so it was often called the “Main Street of America”. The road gained notoriety because of Nat King Cole’s song “(Get Your Kicks On) Route 66”, and also because of the sixties TV show called “Route 66”.

58 Possible sequel to “Despicable Me”? (2010, 2019) : INSIDIOUS US

“Insidious” is a series of horror movies that dates back to 2010. Horror? Horrible …

“Us” is a 2019 horror film. I don’t do horror …

“Despicable Me” is a 2010 animated comedy film. The main voice actor in the movie is the very funny Steve Carell. “Despicable Me” is a Universal Pictures production, although all of the animation was done in France. The 2010 film was followed by a sequel “Despicable Me 2” released in 2013, with a prequel/spin-off film called “Minions” released in 2015.

64 1994 Olympics host: Abbr. : NOR

Lillehammer, Norway hosted the Winter Olympic Games in 1994. The ‘94 Winter Games were the first to be held two years after the Summer Olympics, and so took place only two years after the ‘92 Games, held in Albertville, France.

69 Vedder of Pearl Jam : EDDIE

Eddie Vedder is the lead singer of the alternative rock band named Pearl Jam. As a songwriter, Vedder released a solo album in 2007, which is also used as the soundtrack of the interesting film “Into the Wild”.

Down

1 English lit degrees : BAS

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

2 Pay add-on? : -OLA

Payola is the illegal practice of paying radio stations or disk jockeys to repeatedly play a particular piece of music. The impetus behind the crime is that the more often a song is played, the more likely it is to sell. The term “payola” comes from the words “pay” and “Victrola”, an RCA brand name for an early phonograph.

3 Dodgers’ div. : NLW

National League West (NLW)

The Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team were known as the Brooklyn Dodgers before the franchise moved to California. Before being called the Dodgers, the team was known in Brooklyn as the Robins, the Superbas, the Trolley Dodgers, the Bridegrooms/Grooms, the Grays and the Atlantics.

4 Prop for a Macbeth soliloquy : DAGGER

In William Shakespeare’s “Macbeth”, one of the more famous soliloquies starts with, “Is this a dagger which I see before me …?” There isn’t an actual dagger in front of Macbeth, but instead he sees the vision of a dagger pointing at King Duncan’s bedchamber, perhaps suggesting that he should go ahead with his plan to murder the King.

Is this a dagger which I see before me,
The handle toward my hand? Come, let me clutch thee.
I have thee not, and yet I see thee still.
Art thou not, fatal vision, sensible
To feeling as to sight? or art thou but
A dagger of the mind, a false creation,
Proceeding from the heat-oppressed brain?

7 Web pioneer : AOL

Founded as Quantum Computer Services in 1983, the company changed its name in 1989 to America Online. As America Online went international, the acronym AOL was used in order to shake off the “America-centric” sound to the name. During the heady days of AOL’s success the company could not keep up with the growing number of subscribers, so people trying to connect often encountered busy signals. That’s when users referred to AOL as “Always Off-Line”.

9 Virile : MANLY

“Vir” is the Latin word for “man”. It is the root of our word “virile”, for example, meaning “manly”.

10 __ ice palace: Disney movie setting : ELSA’S

“Frozen” is a 2013 animated feature from Walt Disney Studios that is based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale “The Snow Queen”. The film is all about the exploits of Princess Anna, the younger sister of Elsa, Snow Queen of Arendelle. Spoiler alert: Prince Hans of the Southern Isles seems to be a good guy for most of the film, but turns out to be a baddie in the end. And, a snowman named Olaf provides some comic relief.

18 Manning with two Super Bowl victories : ELI

Eli Manning is a retired footballer who played quarterback for the New York Giants. Eli’s brother Peyton Manning retired from football as the quarterback for the Denver Broncos in 2015. Eli and Peyton’s father is Archie Manning, who was also a successful NFL quarterback. Eli, Peyton and Archie co-authored a book for children titled “Family Huddle” in 2009. It describes the Mannings playing football together as young boys.

22 Wine option : PINOT

The Pinot noir wine grape variety takes its name from the French for “pine” and “black”. The grapes grow in tight clusters shaped like pine cones, and are very dark in color. The Pinot noir grape is most closely associated with Burgundy wines in France, although in recent years the popularity (and price) of California Pinot noir wine has soared after it featured so prominently in the wonderful, wonderful 2004 movie “Sideways”. Grab a bottle of Pinot, and go rent the movie …

23 Montreal NHLer, to fans : HAB

The Montreal Canadiens hockey team is known by the nickname “Habs”, which is short for “Les Habitants”. “Les habitants” were the original French settlers in Quebec.

25 Campus mil. group : ROTC

The Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) is a training program for officers based in colleges all around the US. The ROTC program was established in 1862 when as a condition of receiving a land-grant to create colleges, the federal government required that military tactics be part of a new school’s curriculum.

33 TV’s Burrell and Pennington : TYS

Actor and comedian Ty Burrell is perhaps best known for playing Phil Dunphy on the great sitcom “Modern Family”. Off the screen, Burrell is the co-owner of two bar/restaurants in Salt Lake City. Named Bar-X and Beer Bar, Burrell’s establishments are actually located side-by-side, with connecting doors.

Ty Pennington is a TV personality and carpenter, and host of the reality show “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition”. Pennington’s break came when he was cast as the carpenter on the earlier makeover show called “Trading Spaces”.

34 “Titanium” vocalist : SIA

“Sia” is the stage name of Australian singer Sia Furler from Adelaide. Sia is a cousin of Australian Christian Rock musician Peter Furler.

35 Stegosaurus, for one : HERBIVORE

The stegosaurus was a herbivorous dinosaur. They were large creatures, with distinctive plates sticking up along their backs and a spiked tail.

37 Jobs creation, in part : APPLE

Apple Computers was founded in 1976 by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne. The company incorporated the following year, but without Wayne. He sold his share of the company back to Jobs and Wozniak, for $800 …

38 Offscreen friend in “Ernest” films : VERN

The character Ernest P. Worrell was featured in a whole series of television commercials and eventually in a TV show and several feature films. Ernest was played by actor Jim Varney.

46 “Jurassic Park” enemy : RAPTOR

Velociraptors were relatively small, feathered dinosaurs that were known for their running speed. “Raptors” became quite infamous following the release of the “Jurassic Park” series of movies, in which they were portrayed as very effective pack hunters, and very keen on killing humans.

“Jurassic Park” is a 1990 novel by Michael Crichton that was adapted into a hugely successful movie by Steven Spielberg in 1993. One of the main premises of the novel is that dinosaur DNA could be harvested from mosquitoes trapped in amber (fossilized tree resin), the DNA coming from the dinosaur blood consumed by the mosquitoes. The dinosaur DNA is then sequenced and used to create clones of the original beasts. Apparently, that’s a clever idea, but not very practical …

52 Keats, for one : ODIST

English poet John Keats died in Rome in 1821, and is buried there in the Protestant Cemetery. His last wish was that his grave be marked with a tombstone bearing just the words “”Here lies One whose Name was writ in Water”, and no name nor a date. Keats’ friends honored his request to some extent, as the words were included on the stone and no name is given. The full epitaph reads:

This Grave
contains all that was Mortal
of a
Young English Poet
Who
on his Death Bed, in the Bitterness of his Heart
at the Malicious Power of his Enemies
Desired
these Words to be
engraven on his Tomb Stone:
Here lies One
Whose Name was writ in Water.
24 February 1821

54 Month in printemps : MAI

In French, the month of “mai” (May) is in the season of “printemps” (spring).

61 Funny Caesar : SID

Sid Caesar achieved fame in the fifties on TV’s “Your Show of Shows”. To be honest, I know Sid Caesar mainly from the very entertaining film version of the musical “Grease”, in which he played Coach Calhoun.

62 Aussie college : UNI

In Australia (Down Under), and in Britain and Ireland, the term “uni” is routinely used for “university”.

63 Chicago-to-Jacksonville dir. : SSE

Chicago, Illinois is the US’s third most populous city, after New York and Los Angeles. It is also home to O’Hare airport, the busiest airport in the whole world (in terms of takeoffs and landings). Chicago takes its name from the Chicago River, which in turn takes its name from the Native American word “shikaakwa” that translates as “wild onion” or “wild garlic”. Early French explorers chose this name as they found dense growths of wild garlic along the banks of the river.

The port city of Jacksonville, Florida is the largest city by area in the contiguous United States (four cities in Alaska cover more land). Jacksonville was named in honor of President Andrew Jackson.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Brosnan and Craig, most recently : BONDS
6 “You __ at hello” : HAD ME
11 Bench subject : LAW
14 Mosque-goer’s deity : ALLAH
15 Certain lesson : MORAL
16 “Do Ya” rock gp. : ELO
17 Checked out ’70s AMC cars? (2004, 1984) : SAW GREMLINS
19 Uruguay uncle : TIO
20 Coagulate : GEL
21 Went by : ELAPSED
23 Genetic indicators? (2018, 2002) : HEREDITARY SIGNS
28 “We need to chat” : A WORD
29 Hand-off recipients: Abbr. : RBS
30 Interested to a fault : NOSY
31 Gamble : BET
32 Flight sked info : ETAS
34 “Dexter” airer, briefly : SHO
36 2001 Wayans Brothers sequel, and a hint to the four other longest puzzle answers : SCARY MOVIE TWO
41 Ltr. addenda : PSS
42 King played by Glenda Jackson : LEAR
43 Actress Gardner : AVA
45 Sneaky stratagem : TRAP
48 TV watcher’s device : DVR
49 Long-time Delaware senator : BIDEN
51 Getting no goodies from trick-or-treating? (1978, 1990) : HALLOWEEN MISERY
55 Chose to take part : OPTED IN
56 Colorado NHL club, to fans : AVS
57 66, e.g.: Abbr. : RTE
58 Possible sequel to “Despicable Me”? (2010, 2019) : INSIDIOUS US
64 1994 Olympics host: Abbr. : NOR
65 Movie segment : SCENE
66 Curbs, with “in” : REINS …
67 Graduating gp. : SRS
68 Concise : TERSE
69 Vedder of Pearl Jam : EDDIE

Down

1 English lit degrees : BAS
2 Pay add-on? : -OLA
3 Dodgers’ div. : NLW
4 Prop for a Macbeth soliloquy : DAGGER
5 Machines that may cover tracks? : SHREDDERS
6 “Interesting” : HMM
7 Web pioneer : AOL
8 Moisture-absorbing substances : DRIERS
9 Virile : MANLY
10 __ ice palace: Disney movie setting : ELSA’S
11 Releases : LETS GO
12 Sci-fi film staples : ALIENS
13 Pine-scented, say : WOODSY
18 Manning with two Super Bowl victories : ELI
22 Wine option : PINOT
23 Montreal NHLer, to fans : HAB
24 Wool sources : EWES
25 Campus mil. group : ROTC
26 Airport transport : TRAM
27 Clear : ABSOLVE
33 TV’s Burrell and Pennington : TYS
34 “Titanium” vocalist : SIA
35 Stegosaurus, for one : HERBIVORE
37 Jobs creation, in part : APPLE
38 Offscreen friend in “Ernest” films : VERN
39 Get one’s feet wet : WADE
40 Finished : OVER
44 Whichever : ANY
45 Hiking hazards : THORNS
46 “Jurassic Park” enemy : RAPTOR
47 Edits, say : ALTERS
48 More concentrated : DENSER
50 Gave out : ISSUED
52 Keats, for one : ODIST
53 Show a bit of pain : WINCE
54 Month in printemps : MAI
59 They can get you a job : INS
60 Crummy grade : DEE
61 Funny Caesar : SID
62 Aussie college : UNI
63 Chicago-to-Jacksonville dir. : SSE

14 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 4 Dec 20, Friday”

  1. No errors but lots of googling; the only answer I knew for sure looking
    through the clues to start was “Ava”…. Lots of right guessing helped.
    Not my best way to start the day.

  2. 24 plus minutes and then I got lucky with some guesses. Here are some movies I never heard of: Saw, Hereditary, Signs, Insidious, Us. Guess I don’t get out much!

  3. Got the puzzle pretty easily without the theme as I’m not much of a horror movie fan. Putting in the year the movies were released was of no help. What did set me back a bit….. I had macho before manly.

  4. 14:12 no errors, one lookup

    I generally don’t care for horror movies either, so there was a lot of guessing going on. Fortunately, I’ve at least heard of most of them. I like the idea of “Insidious Us.”

  5. Fairly easy for Friday, loved the theme. I think there are seven or eight films in the “Saw” series, the last one I’ve heard of is “JigSaw.” I haven’t seen any of them…

  6. Relatively easy for Friday, no errors.
    I’m with Bill, I don’t do horror movies. The world is violent enough without the added fictional stuff.

  7. 9 minutes, 22 seconds, no errors. Really easy for a Friday.

    Girding my loins for the Saturday grid…!!!

  8. Still trying to get my replies posted. I would ask Bill for help.

    Pretty hard, contrary to popular belief. A lookup should be in a puzzle
    dictionary and not on Google. One may as well just look at a completed
    puzzle and write down the answers on the blank on the newspaper.
    Anyway, we got 83% today, finding some we just did not know and
    could get no help around them.

  9. Good to see John Daigle back again. I’m glad you and your wife were able to get past all your stormy weather.

    Slightly tough Friday for me; took me 31 minutes on paper with 2 errors. I had INSIDIOUSme instead of …US. Curiously, DESPICABLE ME and its sequel were the only movies listed that I’d seen. Of the singers/actors, I only heard of Ava, Eddie, Biden and Bonds. Managed the rest with crosses and guesses, except for the silly errors.

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