LA Times Crossword 7 Dec 20, Monday

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Constructed by: Matt McKinley
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Woody Allen Films

Themed answers are each the title of a WOODY ALLEN FILM:

  • 37A What the answers to starred clues are (their creator turned 85 this month) : WOODY ALLEN FILMS
  • 17A *The City, to New Yorkers (1979) : MANHATTAN
  • 21A *Surprise hit (1973) : SLEEPER
  • 50A *Cream pie fruit (1971) : BANANAS
  • 58A *Concerns of some decorators (1978) : INTERIORS

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

Bill’s time: 5m 44s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

5 Hop-jump connection : SKIP

The track and field sport sometimes called the “hop, skip and jump” is more correctly termed “triple jump”. The triple jump dates back as an event to the ancient Olympic Games. When the modern Olympics were introduced in 1896, the triple jump consisted of two hops on the same foot followed by a jump. Today’s triple jump consists of a hop, a bound and then a jump.

9 Crossing the keel : ABEAM

The beam is the widest part of a nautical vessel. Something pointed out as lying “abeam” is something that is 90 degrees from a line through the bow and the stern, in other words directly off to the right or the left.

16 Full of sediment : SILTY

Today, we mostly think of silt as a deposit of sediment in a river. Back in the mid-1400s, silt was sediment deposited by seawater. It is thought that the word “silt” is related to “salt”, as found in seawater.

17 *The City, to New Yorkers (1979) : MANHATTAN

The island we know as Manhattan was inhabited by the Lenape Indians when the first Europeans explorers arrived in the area. According to the logbook of one of the officers on explorer Henry Hudson’s yacht, the island was called “Manna-hata” in the local language, from which the modern name derives.

The Woody Allen movie “Manhattan” was released in 1979. The music of George Gershwin features prominently, which isn’t surprising as Woody Allen got the inspiration for the film from Gershwin’s compositions. The movie opens with a montage of images of Manhattan shown above Gershwin’s beautiful “Rhapsody in Blue”.

19 Unisex designer fragrance : CK ONE

CK One is a fragrance that was developed for Calvin Klein and launched in 1994. It was to become the first really successful unisex fragrance.

21 *Surprise hit (1973) : SLEEPER

Woody Allen’s 1973 movie “Sleeper” is a sci-fi piece in which Allen plays an average man cryogenically frozen and defrosted 200 years into the future. This is one of those vehicles for Woody Allen playing opposite Diane Keaton. I tried watching it a couple of times, but failed miserably to sit through it. The film’s storyline plays on several works of science-fiction, including “The Sleeper Awakes” by H. G. Wells and “Nineteen Eighty-Four” by George Orwell.

33 Bridal party’s platform : DAIS

A dais is a raised platform for a speaker. The term “dais” comes from the Latin “discus” meaning a “disk-shaped object”. I guess that the original daises had such a shape.

37 What the answers to starred clues are (their creator turned 85 this month) : WOODY ALLEN FILMS

Allan Stewart Konigsberg changed his legal name to “Heywood Allen” when he was 17 years old, and soon after started to call himself “Woody Allen”, the name with which he achieved celebrity. Allen won four Academy Awards, three for Best Original Screenplay and one for Best Director. He has more Oscar nominations as a screenwriter than any other writer, but he spurns the Awards ceremony and only attended it once in all his years in the movie business. He broke tradition by turning up at the 2002 ceremony, unannounced, to beg producers to continue filming in his beloved New York City despite the fears created by the 9/11 attacks.

41 Los Angeles NFLers : RAMS

The Los Angeles Rams are the only franchise to have won NFL championships in three different cities, i.e. Cleveland (1945), Los Angeles (1951) and St. Louis (1999). The Rams were based in Cleveland from 1936 to 1945, in Los Angeles from 1946 to 1994, in St. Louis from 1995 to 2015, and returned to Los Angeles in 2016.

44 T-bones, e.g. : STEAKS

The T-bone and porterhouse are related cuts of meat, with the latter being a larger version of the former, and both being cut from the short loin.

45 Mental sharpness : ACUMEN

“Acumen” is such a lovely word, I think, one meaning “keenness of judgment or insight”. “Acumen” is Latin for “point, sting”, the idea being that someone with acumen has mental sharpness.

50 *Cream pie fruit (1971) : BANANAS

The banana is actually a berry, botanically speaking. And, bananas don’t really grow on trees. The “trunk” of the banana plant is in fact a pseudostem. The pseudostem is a false stem comprising rolled bases of leaves, and it can grow to 2 or 3 meters tall.

Woody Allen’s 1971 comedy “Bananas” features Allen in the lead role. It’s about an American blue-collar guy who heads to a Cuba-style republic in the midst of a revolution, all to impress a girl (played by Louise Lasser). The “Bananas” is meant to denote the craziness of the Allen character, but it’s also a pun on the term “Banana Republic”.

58 *Concerns of some decorators (1978) : INTERIORS

Woody Allen’s film “Interiors” is a drama released in 1978. It tells the story of three sisters, played by Diane Keaton, Kristin Griffith and Mary Beth Hurt, who have to deal with the separation of their parents.

61 Costa __ : RICA

Costa Rica is a country in Central America that is bordered by Nicaragua to the north and Panama to the South. Costa Rica is remarkable in my opinion, a leader on the world stage in many areas. It has been referred to as the “greenest” country in the world, the “happiest” country in the world, and has a highly educated populace. In 1949, the country unilaterally abolished its own army … permanently!

63 “Family Ties” mother : ELYSE

Actress Meredith Baxter is best known for playing Elyse, the mother in the eighties sitcom “Family Ties”. Baxter’s big break on television came with a title role on a short-lived sitcom called “Bridget Loves Bernie”. She ended up marrying David Birney, her co-star on “Bridget Loves Bernie”, and so was known for many years as Meredith Baxter-Birney. She changed her name back to Meredith Baxter when the pair divorced in 1989.

“Family Ties” was one of the first TV shows that I enjoyed when I arrived in the US back in 1983. I found the situation very appealing, with two ex-hippie parents facing off against an ultra-conservative son. The main characters in the show were Michael J. Fox as Alex, Meredith Baxter-Birney as Alex’s mom Elyse, and Michael Gross as Alex’s dad Steven. Some future stars had recurring roles as well, including Courteney Cox as one of Alex’s girlfriends and Tom Hanks as Elyse’s young brother.

65 Editor’s “Leave it in” : 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.

Down

4 Workplace standards org. : OSHA

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

5 “Fiddler on the Roof” village : SHTETL

The Yiddish word for “town” is “shtot”, and so “shtetl” is the diminutive form meaning “small town”. The fictional shtetl featured in the musical in “Fiddler on the Roof” is called Anatevka, which is also the title of my favorite song from the show.

7 Nest egg letters : IRA

Individual retirement account (IRA)

12 Where many tennis winners are hit : AT NET

Our modern sport of tennis evolved from the much older racquet sport known as “real tennis”. Originally just called “tennis”, the older game was labeled “real tennis” when the modern version began to hold sway. Real tennis is played in a closed court, with the ball frequently bounced off the walls.

13 Austin Powers portrayer Mike : MYERS

The Austin Powers character was created by the actor who plays him, namely Mike Myers. Apparently Myers came up with the idea for Powers while listening to the Burt Bacharach song “The Look of Love”.

18 Collection of beehives : APIARY

An apiary is an area where bees are kept, apiculture is beekeeping, and an apiphobe has a fear of bees. The Latin word for “bee” is “apis”.

26 “The Time Machine” post-humans : ELOI

In the 1895 novella by H. G. Wells called “The Time Machine”, there are two races that the hero encounters 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.

32 Airline with an all-kosher menu : EL AL

El Al Israel Airlines is the flag carrier of Israel. The term “el al” translates from Hebrew as “to the skies”. The company started operations in 1948, with a flight from Geneva to Tel Aviv. Famously, El Al only operates six days a week, not flying on the Sabbath.

34 __ mater : ALMA

The literal translation for the Latin term “alma mater” is “nourishing mother”. The phrase was used in ancient Rome to refer to mother goddesses, and in Medieval Christianity the term was used to refer to the Virgin Mary. Nowadays, one’s alma mater is the school one attended, either high school or college, usually one’s last place of education.

36 Old pol. divisions : SSRS

The former Soviet Union (officially “Union of Soviet Socialist Republics” or “USSR”) was created in 1922, not long after the Russian Revolution of 1917 that overthrew the tsar. Geographically, the new Soviet Union was roughly equivalent to the old Russian Empire, and comprised fifteen Soviet Socialist Republics (SSRs).

43 Go back (on) : RENEGE

To renege on something is to back out of it. It’s a verb commonly used in card games like bridge and whist. A renege is when a player doesn’t follow suit, even though there may be a card of the suit led in his/her hand.

46 Song sung house-to-house : CAROL

The word “carol” came into English via the Old French word “carole”, which was a “dance in a ring”. When “carol” made it into English, about 1300 AD, the term was used to describe a dance as well as a joyful song. Around 1500 AD, carols that were sung came to be associated with Christmas.

48 Crow’s nest holders : MASTS

A crow’s nest is a structure atop the mainmast of a ship that is used as a lookout point. The first crow’s nest was erected in 1807, and was simply a barrel that was lashed to the tallest mast. Supposedly, the structure is named for the crows or ravens that Vikings carried with them on their voyages. The birds were released and used as navigation aids as invariably, the crow or raven headed straight for the nearest land.

51 Rival of Alexa? : SIRI

Siri is a software application that works with Apple’s iOS operating system. “Siri” is an acronym standing for Speech Interpretation and Recognition Interface. Voice-over artist Susan Bennett revealed herself as the female American voice of Siri a few years ago. The British version of Siri is called Daniel, and the Australian version is called Karen. Also, “Siri” is a Norwegian name meaning “beautiful woman who leads you to victory”, and was the name the developer had chosen for his first child.

Alexa is a personal assistant application that is most associated with the Amazon Echo smart speaker. Apparently, one reason the name “Alexa” was chosen is because it might remind one of the Library of Alexandria, the “keeper of all knowledge”.

54 Castle trench : MOAT

A moat is a protective trench that surrounds a castle, say, or an exhibit in a zoo. A moat may or may not be filled with water.

55 Works in un museo : ARTE

In Spanish, one sees works of “arte” (art) in “un museo” (a museum).

56 10th-grader’s exam, for short : PSAT

Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT)

59 Diarist Anaïs : NIN

Anaïs Nin was a French author who was famous for the journals that she wrote for over sixty years from the age of 11 right up to her death. Nin also wrote highly regarded erotica and cited D. H. Lawrence as someone from whom she drew inspiration. Nin was married to banker and artist Hugh Parker Guiler in 1923. Decades later in 1955, Nin married former actor Rupert Pole, even though she was still married to Guiler. Nin and Pole had their marriage annulled in 1966, but just for legal reasons, and they continued to live together as husband and wife until Nin passed away in 1977.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 __-ran: loser : ALSO
5 Hop-jump connection : SKIP
9 Crossing the keel : ABEAM
14 Casual greetings : HEYS
15 Give the job to : HIRE
16 Full of sediment : SILTY
17 *The City, to New Yorkers (1979) : MANHATTAN
19 Unisex designer fragrance : CK ONE
20 Fugitive : ESCAPEE
21 *Surprise hit (1973) : SLEEPER
23 On __ way: sent : ITS
24 52-Acrosses, often : INSETS
25 “Help me out, buddy” : BE A PAL
29 Like paper clips : BENT
31 Wedding site : ALTAR
32 Roof edge : EAVE
33 Bridal party’s platform : DAIS
37 What the answers to starred clues are (their creator turned 85 this month) : WOODY ALLEN FILMS
40 Gloss targets : LIPS
41 Los Angeles NFLers : RAMS
42 Knight’s “shining” protection : ARMOR
43 Depend (on) : RELY
44 T-bones, e.g. : STEAKS
45 Mental sharpness : ACUMEN
49 Speedometer abbr. : MPH
50 *Cream pie fruit (1971) : BANANAS
52 Local traveler’s aid : AREA MAP
57 Come up : ARISE
58 *Concerns of some decorators (1978) : INTERIORS
60 One of two in “George” : SOFT G
61 Costa __ : RICA
62 Spreadsheet contents : DATA
63 “Family Ties” mother : ELYSE
64 How many TV shows air : IN HD
65 Editor’s “Leave it in” : STET

Down

1 Sighed words : AH ME
2 Pastures : LEAS
3 Match, as sound and video : SYNC
4 Workplace standards org. : OSHA
5 “Fiddler on the Roof” village : SHTETL
6 Windy day toys : KITES
7 Nest egg letters : IRA
8 Ink holders : PENS
9 Journey up the mountain : ASCENT
10 Workout equipment with pedals : BIKES
11 Wed in Vegas, perhaps : ELOPE
12 Where many tennis winners are hit : AT NET
13 Austin Powers portrayer Mike : MYERS
18 Collection of beehives : APIARY
22 Tablecloth material : LINEN
25 Chastise, with “out” : BAWL …
26 “The Time Machine” post-humans : ELOI
27 Perched on : ATOP
28 Knee protectors : PADS
29 Mild, as weather : BALMY
30 Days before holidays : EVES
32 Airline with an all-kosher menu : EL AL
33 Desperate : DIRE
34 __ mater : ALMA
35 Assurance from one who’s not hurt : I’M OK
36 Old pol. divisions : SSRS
38 Big sports venue : ARENA
39 Sire : FATHER
43 Go back (on) : RENEGE
44 Butter or jam : SPREAD
45 Put down nastily : ABASE
46 Song sung house-to-house : CAROL
47 Bring together : UNIFY
48 Crow’s nest holders : MASTS
49 Fire starter : MATCH
51 Rival of Alexa? : SIRI
53 Lends a hand : AIDS
54 Castle trench : MOAT
55 Works in un museo : ARTE
56 10th-grader’s exam, for short : PSAT
59 Diarist Anaïs : NIN

14 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 7 Dec 20, Monday”

  1. Quick fill.. missed 12D. Don’t understand the clue.. also didn’t know 19A so a couple of misses…
    Saw many of the Woody Allen movies but not a real fan.

  2. No errors, but this was a tricky one! As I don’t do fragrances, unisex or
    otherwise I sure didn’t know CK One but had the right letters because of
    the down clues. That “soft G” had me going for awhile…but all’s well
    that ends well I guess.

  3. Two omissions for 99% solved, letter basis.

    Tricky, with several whiteovers and then rewrites.

    Still not seeing my postings. Somebody help, please.

  4. 17:57 no errors…a little dicey for a Monday but doable…no mention of Pearl Harbor in my paper today…how soon we forget.
    Stay safe😀
    Go Ravens

  5. Had UNIte before UNIFY. Didn’t know CK ONE. My favorite perfume is Chanel Russia Leather, which you can’t get anymore. I don’t do new.

    SLEEPER is one of my favorite movies, as is Love and Death. Sure wish he hadn’t got into all that trouble.

  6. 8 minutes, 10 seconds, no errors.

    Hate to see crappy fills like CKONE… they just look like errors.

    Oh well, it could be worse for a Monday, right?

  7. Greetings y’all!! 🥂

    Easy Monday, thanks to the theme! I’m a big fan of Woody’s early films so I got those right away. 🙃 I recognized CK ONE once it was filled in by crosses but couldn’t have come up with the name on my own.

    John! Your posts do appear – it seems to take about 2 hours for that to happen. Hope it changes back some time. 🤔

    Jane! That parfum is available on the Chanel website; it goes by the French name, as you may know.

    Be well ~~🥃

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