LA Times Crossword 8 Jan 21, Friday

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Constructed by: Dylan Schiff & Mark McClain
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Over/Under

Themed answers each include a letter hidden by a black square. A circled letter OVER the square gives one answer that fits the clue, and a circled letter UNDER the square gives a second answer:

  • 38A Sports bet based on total points scored … or a hint to answering four puzzle clues : OVER-UNDER
  • 20A Source of some TV content : MINISERIES (E over) or MINISTRIES (T under)
  • 22A — : RIES
  • 26A Genetic connection : LINKAGE (K over) or LINEAGE (E under)
  • 28A — : AGE
  • 52A Impediment to walking down a hallway : CLUTTER (T over) or CLUSTER (S under)
  • 53A — : TER
  • 58A Recommendation for better health : MEDICATION (C over) or MEDITATION (T under)
  • 61A — : ATION

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

Bill’s time: 9m 48s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Architectural recess : APSE

The apse of a church or cathedral is a semicircular recess in an outer wall, usually with a half-dome as a roof and often where there resides an altar. Originally, apses were used as burial places for the clergy and also for storage of important relics.

9 Grad : ALUM

An alumnus (plural “alumni”) is a graduate or former student of a school or college. The female form is “alumna” (plural “alumnae”). The term comes into English from Latin, in which an alumnus is a foster-son or pupil. “Alum” is an informal term used for either an alumna or alumnus.

13 “A New Day Has Come” 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.

14 Like Erté’s art : DECO

“Erté” was the pseudonym of French (Russian-born) artist and designer Romain de Tirtoff. “Erté” is the French pronunciation of his initials “R.T.” Erté’s diverse portfolio of work included costumes and sets for the “Ziegfeld Follies” of 1923, productions of the Parisian cabaret show “Folies Bergère”, as well as the 1925 epic movie “Ben-Hur”. Erté’s most famous work by far is an image titled “Symphony in Black”. It depicts a tall and slender woman dressed in black, holding a black dog on a leash.

23 Kardashian matriarch : KRIS

Kris Kardashian is the matriarch of the Kardashian clan. She was married to the lawyer Robert Kardashian who was one of O. J. Simpson’s lawyers in his 1995 murder trial. The couple divorced in 1990 and Kris then married the celebrated decathlete from the 1976 Olympic Games, Bruce Jenner. That marriage ended in divorce as well, in 2015.

34 Explosive initials : TNT

“TNT” is an abbreviation for “trinitrotoluene”. Trinitrotoluene was first produced in 1863 by the German chemist Joseph Wilbrand, who developed it for use as a yellow dye. TNT is relatively difficult to detonate so it was on the market as a dye for some years before its more explosive properties were discovered.

35 “Bob’s Burgers” sibling : TINA

“Bob’s Burgers” is a cartoon sitcom that airs on Fox. Not for me …

38 Sports bet based on total points scored … or a hint to answering four puzzle clues : OVER-UNDER

An over-under bet is a wager that a number will be over or under a particular value. A common over-under bet is made on the combined points scored by two teams in a game.

41 Chamonix peak : ALPE

Chamonix-Mont-Blanc is on the eastern border of France, in the Alps. Famously it was the site of the 1924 Winter Olympics, the first ever Winter Games.

43 Retro ski resort sight : T-BAR

A T-bar is a ski lift on which the skiers are pulled up the hill in pairs, with each pair standing (not sitting!) either side of a T-shaped metal bar. The bar is placed behind the thighs, pulling along the skiers as they remain standing on their skis (hopefully!). There’s also a J-bar, which is a similar device but with each J-shaped bar used by one skier at a time.

44 Inexact no. : EST

Estimate (est.)

55 Bleeping editor : CENSOR

The original “censor” was an officer in ancient Rome who had responsibility for taking the “census”, as well as supervising public morality.

56 Hawkeye State campus town : AMES

The Iowa city of Ames was founded as a stop on the Cedar Rapids and Missouri Railroad in 1864. It was named for US Congressman Oakes Ames from the state of Massachusetts in honor of the role that Ames played in the building of the transcontinental railroad.

Iowa is nicknamed the Hawkeye State in honor of Chief Black Hawk, a leader of the Sauk people during the War of 1812 and the Black Hawk War.

62 Evil fairy played by Angelina Jolie : MALEFICENT

“Maleficent” is a 2014 movie starring Angelina Jolie in the title role, the evil queen from “Sleeping Beauty”. “Maleficent” is loosely based on the fairy tale, and is told from the perspective of the evil queen.

65 Kurylenko of “Quantum of Solace” : OLGA

Olga Kurylenko is a Ukrainian actress and model. Kurylenko played the Bond girl Camille Montes in the James Bond movie “Quantum of Solace”.

67 Bravo preceder : ALFA

The NATO phonetic alphabet is also called the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) phonetic alphabet. It goes Alfa, Bravo, Charlie … X-ray, Yankee, Zulu.

69 Tibetan honorific : LAMA

“Lama” is a Tibetan word meaning “chief, high priest”.

70 Alka-Seltzer jingle word : PLOP

The antacid known as Alka-Seltzer used an animated character called Speedy in its adverts from 1951 to 1964. Speedy had an Alka-Seltzer tablet as a body and another as a hat, and sang a jingle with the words “Plop, plop, fizz, fizz”. Speedy’s job was to get out the message that Alka-Seltzer provided speedy relief.

71 International gas brand : ESSO

The Esso brand has its roots in the old Standard Oil company as it uses the initial letters of “Standard” and “Oil” (ESS-O). The Esso brand was replaced by Exxon in the US, but ESSO is still used in many other countries.

Down

2 Blast furnace output : PIG IRON

“Pig iron” is crude iron that has been cast in blocks. The traditional molds produce ingots attached to a central runner. The configuration resembles a sow (the runner) with piglets (the ingots) suckling. This similarity gave rise to the name “pig iron”.

5 Many a poem by Sharon Olds : ODE

Poet Sharon Olds won a Pulitzer Prize in Poetry in 2013. She was also the first American woman to win the T. S. Eliot Prize for Poetry.

6 NBA coach Steve : KERR

Steve Kerr is a retired NBA basketball player who moved into team management. Kerr was born in Beirut, Lebanon, the son of an American academic who specialized in Middle East studies. Kerr’s father was assassinated by militant nationalists in Beirut when Steve was 19 years old.

7 Amazon berry : ACAI

Açaí (pronounced “ass-aye-ee”) is a palm tree native to Central and South America. The fruit has become very popular in recent years and its juice is a very fashionable addition to juice mixes and smoothies.

9 Continuing story line : ARC

A story arc is a continuing storyline in say a television show that runs through a number of episodes. Story arcs are also found in comics, books, video games, and other forms of media.

11 Criticize severely : UPBRAID

To upbraid is to reproach, find fault with. “Upbraid” is of Swedish origin.

25 Thames gallery : TATE

The museum known as “the Tate” is actually made up of four separate galleries in England. The original Tate gallery was founded by Sir Henry Tate as the National Gallery of British Art. It is located on Millbank in London, on the site of the old Millbank Prison, and is now called Tate Britain. There is also the Tate Liverpool in the north of England that is located in an old warehouse, and the Tate St. Ives in the west country located in an old gas works. My favorite of the Tate galleries is the Tate Modern which lies on the banks of the Thames in London. It’s a beautiful building, a converted power station that you have to see to believe. As of 2018, the Tate Modern was the most visited art museum in the UK.

27 African river to the Mediterranean : NILE

Depending on definition, the Nile is regarded generally as the longest river on the planet. The Nile forms from two major tributaries, the White Nile and the Blue Nile, which join together near Khartoum, the capital of Sudan. From Khartoum the Nile flows north, traveling almost entirely through desert making it central to life for those living along its length.

33 Hammer home? : EAR

The middle ear is the portion of the ear immediately behind the eardrum. The middle ear contains three small bones called the ossicles, the three smallest bones in the human body. The ossicles’ job is to transmit sound from the outer ear to the inner ear. The shape of the bones gives rise to their names: the hammer (malleus), anvil (incus) and stirrup (stapes).

36 Uptight : ANAL

The use of the word “anal” to mean “stiffly conventional” is an abbreviated form of “anal-retentive”, a term derived from Freudian psychology. Regardless, I’m not a big fan of the term …

39 Nair rival that originally had “N” as its first letter : VEET

The hair removal product “Neet” was launched in Canada in 1901, and was also sold as “Immac”. Today, it is sold under the name “Veet”.

40 Horror icon, for short : DRAC

“Dracula” is a novel written by the Irish author Bram Stoker and first published in 1897. Dracula wasn’t the first vampire of literature, but he certainly was the one who spawned the popularity of vampires in theater, film and television, and indeed more novels. Personally, I can’t stand vampire fiction …

41 Web service since 1993 : AOL MAIL

Back in 1997, AOL Mail was the largest email provider in the world.

42 Parsons of old Hollywood gossip : LOUELLA

Louella Parsons was a gossip and movie columnist who worked for Hearst Communications, and who was a personal favorite of publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst. Parsons was known as the Queen of Hollywood Gossip, at least until her competitor Hedda Hopper stole the limelight.

44 Stores on a farm : ENSILES

“To ensile” is to store in a silo.

“Silo” is a Spanish word that we absorbed into English. The term ultimately derives from the Greek “siros”, which described a pit in which one kept corn.

45 Trio in funny shorts : STOOGES

If you’ve seen a few of the films starring “The Three Stooges” you might have noticed that the line-up changed over the years. The original trio was made up of Moe and Shemp Howard (two brothers) and Larry Fine (a good friend of the Howards). This line up was usually known as “Moe, Larry and Shemp”. Then Curly Howard replaced his brother when Shemp quit the act, creating the most famous trio, “Moe, Larry And Curly”. Shemp returned when Curly had a debilitating stroke in 1946. Shemp stayed with the troupe until he himself died in 1955. Shemp was replaced by Joe Besser, and then “Curly-Joe” DeRita. When Larry Fine suffered a stroke in 1970, it effectively marked the end of the act.

48 “Sorry Not Sorry” singer Lovato : DEMI

Pop and R&B singer Demi Lovato started her performing career as a child actress, playing Angela on the kids TV show “Barney & Friends” from 2002 to 2004. When she was all grown up, Levato served as a judge on “The X Factor” from 2012 to 2013, and soon after had the recurring role of Dani on “Glee”.

59 Inspiron maker : DELL

Computer manufacturer Dell is named for the company’s founder Michael Dell. Michael Dell started his company in his dorm room at college, shipping personal computers that were customized to the specific needs of his customers. He dropped out of school in order to focus on his growing business, a decision that I doubt he regrets. Michael Dell is now one of the richest people in the world.

63 HHS agency : FDA

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has its roots in the Division of Chemistry (later “Bureau of Chemistry”) that was part of the US Department of Agriculture. President Theodore Roosevelt gave responsibility for examination of food and drugs to the Bureau of Chemistry with the signing of the Pure Food and Drug Act. The Bureau’s name was changed to the Food, Drug and Insecticide Organization in 1927, and to the Food and Drug Administration in 1930.

The Department of Health, Education and Welfare (HEW) was split in 1979, into the Department of Education (ED) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Architectural recess : APSE
5 Good enough : OKAY
9 Grad : ALUM
13 “A New Day Has Come” singer : DION
14 Like Erté’s art : DECO
15 Compensate : REPAY
17 Full of anticipation : AGOG
18 Subject to being wiped out : ERADICABLE
20 Source of some TV content : MINISERIES (S over) or MINISTRIES (T under)
22 — : RIES
23 Kardashian matriarch : KRIS
24 “We __ alone” : ARE NOT
26 Genetic connection : LINKAGE (K over) or LINEAGE (E under)
28 — : AGE
29 Bridge protectors : NOSE PADS
32 Promotional giveaways : TIE-INS
34 Explosive initials : TNT
35 “Bob’s Burgers” sibling : TINA
37 Fellows : LADS
38 Sports bet based on total points scored … or a hint to answering four puzzle clues : OVER-UNDER
41 Chamonix peak : ALPE
43 Retro ski resort sight : T-BAR
44 Inexact no. : EST
47 Like a busy chimney sweep’s clothes : SOOTED
49 Collide with : SLAM INTO
52 Impediment to walking down a hallway : CLUTTER (T over) or CLUSTER (S under)
53 — : TER
55 Bleeping editor : CENSOR
56 Hawkeye State campus town : AMES
58 Recommendation for better health : MEDICATION (C over) or MEDITATION (T under)
61 — : ATION
62 Evil fairy played by Angelina Jolie : MALEFICENT
65 Kurylenko of “Quantum of Solace” : OLGA
66 In a heap : PILED
67 Bravo preceder : ALFA
68 It’s not optional : NEED
69 Tibetan honorific : LAMA
70 Alka-Seltzer jingle word : PLOP
71 International gas brand : ESSO

Down

1 Hardheaded : ADAMANT
2 Blast furnace output : PIG IRON
3 With the least delay : SOONEST
4 Word with steam or fire : … ENGINE
5 Many a poem by Sharon Olds : ODE
6 NBA coach Steve : KERR
7 Amazon berry : ACAI
8 Alpine song : YODEL
9 Continuing story line : ARC
10 Source of inside info, perhaps : LEAK
11 Criticize severely : UPBRAID
12 Casts in a bad light : MALIGNS
16 Green lights : YESES
19 “You sure of that?” : IS IT?
21 Soak (up) : SOP
25 Thames gallery : TATE
27 African river to the Mediterranean : NILE
30 Topsoil : DIRT
31 Treats with disdain : SNUBS
33 Hammer home? : EAR
36 Uptight : ANAL
38 Go (for) : OPT
39 Nair rival that originally had “N” as its first letter : VEET
40 Horror icon, for short : DRAC
41 Web service since 1993 : AOL MAIL
42 Parsons of old Hollywood gossip : LOUELLA
44 Stores on a farm : ENSILES
45 Trio in funny shorts : STOOGES
46 Storm often chased : TORNADO
47 Mischief-maker : SCAMP
48 “Sorry Not Sorry” singer Lovato : DEMI
50 “Give __ break!” : ME A
51 Chant : INTONE
54 Summarize : RECAP
57 Come across as : SEEM
59 Inspiron maker : DELL
60 Lowdown : INFO
63 HHS agency : FDA
64 Touchscreen touch : TAP

59 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 8 Jan 21, Friday”

  1. No errors .. got the theme early but that odd crisscross with ERADICABLE , UPBRAID , MALIGNS and TIEINS Gave me a pause. Not sure I still get TIEINS as promotional giveaways but if its what I think it is, wow, what a stretch.. TIEINS.. Anything that ties to the gimmick? Like a squeeze stress ball with a company logo???

    1. Hey, Mike. I’m thinking movie tie-ins that are giveaways when/as a movie debuts, at stores, restaurants, etc.
      I didn’t like that corner much, either, especially REPAY for COMPENSATE. And I pay no attention to the Kardashians or their ilk. Who’s Kris? Who cares?

      1. Puzzle is correct, some answer sheet numbers were missing. “ation” had no number, “Olga” had 61; “ries”, “age” , etc.

        1. Yes – very annoying to have so many numbering errors in this puzzle. The answer key listed above has #27 answer ‘age’ but in print, # 27 was tied to a different clue (bridge protectors). There were a few un-numbered answers without a clue (ries, age, ation).

        2. See the theme explanation above. The absent numbers are purposeful. They stumped me too. I didn’t much care for the theme and thought it a stretch, but to each his own.

  2. No errors at the end but didn’t catch on to the theme until
    it was all done and I could see the double answers. I did have
    to look up the “tieins”…..still don’t know what that really means.

  3. 50+ minutes. Took forever to figure out what was going on. Never heard of Tina or Veet. Also never heard of over/under except some kind of poker playing or something. Oh, never heard of Bob’s Burgers either.

    1. It’s actually a pretty common crossword clue. One of the bones inside the ear is called the hammer. The others are called the anvil and the stirrup.

  4. Anyone else’s squares and clues mis-numbered and/or missing?? Bad proofing on this one. Able to get most of it, but with missing clues how could I win?? 😂
    Stay safe!

  5. Mine was flawed, misnumbered, missing clues. Impossible the way it was presented. Apparently no one else got this version. Ugh.

  6. 15:24, no errors. Only realmproblem: I’m not familiar with the concept of an over/under bet and I’ve never heard of “VEET”, so I didn’t fill in the “V” of the “revealer” until after I had figured out the gimmick it was meant to reveal. Oh, well … 😜.

    (And, as for the “ear answer”: there are three little bones in a human ear, called the “hammer”, the “anvil”, and the “stirrup”.)

    1. Hmm. I tried to type “real problem”, not “realmproblem” … 😳.

      (Maybe my subconscious is trying to tell me something about our mad king’s imaginary realm? … 🤪)

  7. 52:38 no errors…my version in the newspaper was correct as is…I got all the”over under” clues but I was sure I had an errors somewhere trying to figure out what MINISTRIES was…Can someone clarify that one?
    Stay 😀
    Go Ravens 🙏

    1. MINISTRIES – church programming. In my area you can get live broadcasts of local services on Sunday mornings (and this was true before Covid). There are also programs like The 700 Club which would fit the bill.

      33:40, no errors, I’m not a fan of gimmicky crosswords but this one wasn’t too bad, probably because I knew the OVERUNDER clue.

    2. There were, at one time, lots of religious tv shows. PTL comes to mind.Joel Osteen’s megachurch is probably the major one now. Lots of money to buy tv time.

  8. I did not enjoy this puzzle at all – my brain wasn’t welcoming to any curveballs after the trauma of recent events. But then after I read Bill’s explanation, I thought it was pretty clever. So I think I should lighten up. Become less anal – haha.

    They’ve always been “Larry, Curly and Moe (and sometimes Shep)” to me.

    Veet? I’ve been TV-less long enough to miss some major developments. The advertisers are catching up with me on youtube now. Oh and sometimes I wonder if crossword puzzle words are paid product placements! Does anybody know about that? I have only suspicions.

  9. Let’s get back to “REAL CROSS WORDS” and “QUIT PLAYING GAMES” with circles, omitting crossword numbers, and the like … I am not sure of any educational output to your readers by playing games with anything but challenging crosswords !

  10. Numbers and clues (and correct answers) don’t match in the Washington Post. I have never seen this before! Impossible for me to complete beyond 21 across. Kind of quirky, tomorrow is another day!

  11. Took forever, but no Googles or errors. First I got the details of the four theme clues, but I had “OnE nUmbER” before I had OVER UNDER. I had no idea what that meant in gambling, since I don’t gamble (drink or smoke). I asked my husband, who has at least 2 “degenerate” (or inveterate) gambles in his family, to explain. The gambler picks a number to bet as the highest OR lowest possible, not both.
    Anyway, I did not know TINA, MALEFICENT, OLGA, KERR, DELL.

  12. Got all the answers, tried to use circled clues to make “Over and Under” bets (wagers) such as “points” “passes” “completions” “interceptions” “touchdowns” etc. etc. – couldn’t do it!! Didn’t get the theme until I read Bill’s reasoning — makes a lot of sense now… I’m guessing it’s the gambler in me (sigh).

  13. The puzzle was very clever. I don’t see how you can figure it out without getting the theme. There were four completion of words that could be what the letter over it and under it could link it to the previous beginning of the word. There was not supposed to be a clue under those words. As for over/under bet that is the over under for the final score. The over under for the college football final is 76. That means if you take the over you think 77 points or more will be scored. I looked on with amazement at the comments. The puzzle has a theme associated with it six times a week. Only Saturday has no theme. Unbelievable.

  14. 18:10 3 errors, then rechecked, then 1, then finally filled it in.

    Completed it on my brand new Inspiron, made by DELL!

    Getting into the second half of the split words was pretty wacky, which clued me in to what was going on with the theme. Very ingenious.

  15. In the on line WaPo version 3 clues were not numbered in the grid and there were no clues listed. For example there was no clue after 21 and what should have been 22 was blank on the grid answer was RIES. It skipped to a new 22 which was the clue where answer was Kris (Kardashian). Very dissatisfied with this experience.

  16. Tricky Friday for me; took 27:58 on-line with 2 “check-grids” and an alphabet run on one square – CL*. Silly really, I tried to ignore the theme and after yesterday’s WSJ, which was about the same thing, I should have had no trouble.

    Embarrassed to say I knew VEET and KRIS. Didn’t know TINA and LOUELLA.

    @All – those squares were deliberately left without a number and therefore no clue was necessary…adding to the deliberate frustration.

  17. Very tough. Got puzzle done and still couldn’t figure out “over under”. Had to go on this site to find out. Ah ha! Tricky

  18. 16 mins 23 sec before I gave up. This kind of nonsense can only be solved by filling out the non-tainted clues; such a convoluted gimmick is just not understandable. Even “understanding” over/under I couldn’t reconcile it with what I was able to fill in.

    I would’ve thought this kind of chicanery was only possible in NYT puzzles, but sadly, I’m wrong, and our asleep-at-the-wheel editor is going to permit it to permeate this puzzle series as well. Shame.

    1. Just not understandable? Others did not find it so.

      The problem is not with the setter, the editor, or the puzzle.

      You used to be fond of saying, “It’s all about being honest with yourself.”

      And I suppose it’s pointless to post this, but I can’t help myself … 😳.

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