LA Times Crossword 14 Jan 22, Friday

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Constructed by: Gary Larson
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): It Could Be a Movie!

Themed answers are common phrases reinterpreted as references to movies cited in the clue:

  • 17A “Back to the Future”? : TIME RELEASE
  • 29A “March of the Penguins”? : WALKIE-TALKIE
  • 46A “Titanic”? : WATER FEATURE
  • 60A “Star Wars”? : SHOW OF FORCE

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

Bill’s time: 7m 28s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Name in Cold War news : TASS

“TASS” is the abbreviation used for the former news agency that had the full name Telegraph Association of the Soviet Union (Telegrafnoe Agentstvo Sovetskogo Soyuza). When the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991, the Moscow-based agency’s scope changed along with its name. It is now known as the Information Telegraph Agency of Russia (ITAR-TASS).

The term “Cold War” was coined by novelist George Orwell in a 1945 essay about the atomic bomb. Orwell described a world under threat of nuclear war as having a “peace that is no peace”, in a permanent state of “cold war”. The specific use of “cold war” to describe the tension between the Eastern bloc and the Western allies is attributed to a 1947 speech by Bernard Baruch, adviser to Presidents Woodrow Wilson and Franklin D. Roosevelt.

5 Lampoon : SATIRE

A lampoon is a parody, a spoof or send-up.

11 Ones presenting acts : MCS

The term “emcee” comes from “MC”, an initialism used for a Master or Mistress of Ceremonies.

14 “Hard __!”: captain’s order : ALEE

Alee is the direction away from the wind. If a sailor points into the wind, he or she is pointing aweather. The sheltered side of an island, for example, might be referred to as the “lee” side.

16 Larter of “Resident Evil” films : ALI

Ali Larter is an actress and model. She played a key role in a hoax carried out on “Esquire” magazine in 1996. Larter portrayed an imaginary model named Allegra Coleman in a bogus article written for the magazine by Martha Sherrill. The article claimed that Coleman/Larter had a role in an upcoming Woody Allen movie, was a good friend of author Deepak Chopra, and was in a torrid relationship with actor David Schwimmer. The hoax caused some uproar at the time, but it certainly did give some impetus to Larter’s acting career.

“Resident Evil” is a whole media franchise spawned from a video game that was launched in 1996. Now there are films, comic books, novels and more games. The series originated in Japan under the title “Biohazard”.

17 “Back to the Future”? : TIME RELEASE

In the fun 1985 movie “Back to the Future”, Marty McFly finds himself back in 1955, and is trying to get back to HIS future, 1985. But on the other hand, 1985 is really Marty’s present, before he went back in time. Why does time travel have to be so complicated …?

21 Bhopal locale : INDIA

Bhopal is a city in India that garnered international attention in 1984 as the site of the perhaps the worst industrial disaster the world has ever witnessed. A Union Carbide pesticide plant leaked deadly methyl isocyanate gas into the air resulting in the deaths of thousands of local residents.

23 Tablelands : MESAS

“What’s the difference between a butte and a mesa?” Both are hills with flat tops, but a mesa has a top that is wider than it is tall. A butte is a much narrower formation, and taller than it is wide.

27 The last Mrs. Chaplin : OONA

Oona O’Neill dated J. D. Salinger and Orson Welles in her teens, but ended up marrying Charlie Chaplin in 1943. Oona was still quite young when she married Chaplin, much to the dismay of her famous father, playwright Eugene O’Neill. Eugene went as far as disowning 18-year-old Oona because of the marriage to 54-year-old Chaplin.

29 “March of the Penguins”? : WALKIE-TALKIE

The more formal name for a walkie-talkie is “handheld transceiver”. A walkie-talkie is a handheld, two-way radio, and a device first developed for military use during WWII by Motorola (although others developed similar designs soon after). The first walkie-talkie was portable, but large. It was back-mounted and was carried around the battlefield by a radio officer.

The Silent Era of filmmaking is generally said to have started in 1894 with the shooting of a very simple film by Auguste and Louis Lumière called “La Sortie de l’Usine Lumière à Lyon” (Workers Leaving the Lumière Factory in Lyon). The famous talkie “The Jazz Singer” was released in 1927, and it was a commercial success. However, the end of the Silent Era is often cited as 1929, when “talkies” really began to dominate in movie theaters.

“March of the Penguins” is a truly moving, and humorous, nature documentary film by co-writer and director Luc Jacquet. It is a remarkable production, often filmed in temperatures between -58 and -76 degrees Fahrenheit.

32 Brazil map word : SAO

In Portuguese, the word “são” can mean “saint”, as in São Paulo (Saint Paul) and São José (Saint Joseph). If the saint’s name starts with a letter H or with a vowel, then the word “santo” is used instead, as in Santo Agostinho (Saint Augustine) and Santo Antônio (Saint Anthony).

35 Butler’s last word : DAMN

The famous line “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.” from 1939’s “Gone With the Wind” was ranked no. 1 in a list of top movie quotes compiled by “The Hollywood Reporter”. The top of the list makes interesting reading, with the following comprising the top five:

  1. “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.” from “Gone With the Wind” (1939)
  2. “Here’s looking at you, kid.” from “Casablanca” (1942)
  3. “You’re gonna need a bigger boat.” from “Jaws” (1975)
  4. “May the Force be with you.” from “Star Wars” (1977)
  5. “Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.” from “The Wizard of Oz” (1939)

36 “Groovy!” : NEATO!

The term “groovy” meaning “neat, cool” comes from the jazz slang phrase “in the groove”.

42 Limo destination : PROM

A prom is a formal dance held upon graduation from high school (we call them “formals” over in Ireland). The term “prom” is short for “promenade”, the name given to a type of dance or ball.

45 Performs a Halloween prank, briefly : TPS

TP’ing (toilet papering) is a prank involving the covering of some object or location with rolls and rolls of toilet paper. If you live in Texas or Minnesota, that little “prank” is legal, but if you live here in California it is classed as mischief or vandalism.

46 “Titanic”? : WATER FEATURE

When James Cameron made his epic movie “Titanic”, released in 1997, it was the most expensive film ever made and cost about $200 million. It was a good investment for the studio as it became the highest-grossing film of all time, bringing in over $1.8 billion. “Titanic” remained the highest-grossing film until 2010, when Cameron eclipsed the prior record with “Avatar”.

51 Sleep and Comfort : INNS

Sleep Inn and Comfort Inn are brands owned by Choice Hotels International. Choice Hotels was founded back in 1939 as Quality Courts United as an alliance of seven motels in Florida.

52 Spiral-horned antelope : ELAND

The eland (plural “eland, elands”) is a large African antelope, in fact the largest antelope on the planet. Both male and female eland have horns, and those horns have a steady spiral ridge along their length.

56 Bear genus : URSUS

Something described as ursine is related to a bear. The term “ursine” comes from “ursus” (plural “ursi”), Latin for “bear”.

58 “Out of Africa,” for one : MEMOIR

“Out of Africa” is a Sydney Pollack film released in 1985, starring Robert Redford and Meryl Streep. The storyline is based on the autobiographical book of the same name by Karen Blixen (written under the pen name Isak Dinesen). Streep plays the author in the movie, and Redford plays big game hunter Denys Finch Hatton, Blixen’s lover.

59 Vince’s agent in “Entourage” : ARI

Ari Gold is a fictional character in the HBO series “Entourage”. “Entourage” tells the story of a rising film star, Vincent Chase (played by Adrian Grenier), a native of New York but now learning to handle himself in Hollywood. Vincent’s Hollywood agent is Ari Gold, played by Jeremy Piven.

60 “Star Wars”? : SHOW OF FORCE

The Force is a metaphysical power much cited in all of the “Star Wars” movies. We may even hear someone in real life say “May the Force be with you”. Fans of the movie franchise even celebrate May 4th every year as Star Wars Day, using the pun “May the 4th be with you”!

64 Prepare to drive, with “up” : TEE …

A tee is a small device on which, say, a golf ball is placed before striking it. The term “tee” comes from the Scottish “teaz”, which described little heaps of sand used to elevate a golf ball for the purpose of getting a clean hit with a club.

65 “Gracias” reply : DE NADA

In Spanish, one can respond to “gracias” (thank you) with “de nada” (it’s nothing).

66 66 and others: Abbr. : RTES

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”.

67 Pair of gallons? : ELS

There is a pair of letters L (els) in the word “gallons”.

Down

1 Stride pianist Art : TATUM

Art Tatum was a jazz pianist who overcame the disability of being nearly blind from birth. Many laud Tatum as the greatest jazz pianist of all time.

Stride is a jazz piano style that features an “oom-pah” action with the left hand, alternating between a bass note and a chord.

2 Classic Dior style : A-LINE

An A-line skirt is one that fits snugly at the hips and flares towards the hem. The term “A-line” was first used in fashion by French designer Christian Dior in his 1955 spring collection.

3 Weigh station line-up : SEMIS

A “semi” is a “semi-trailer truck”. The vehicle is so called because it consists of a tractor and a half-trailer. The half-trailer is so called because it only has wheels on the back end, with the front supported by the tractor.

4 Vacillate : SEESAW

To vacillate is to be indecisive, to waver. The verb “to vacillate” comes from the Latin “vacillare” meaning “to sway to and fro”.

6 “__ in”: “Jeopardy James” bet : ALL

James Holzhauer is a professional gambler who is best known for his 32-games winning streak on the quiz show “Jeopardy!” Such was Holzhauer’s success on the show, that he has the nickname “Jeopardy James”.

7 Pirouette pivot point : TOE

We took our word “pirouette” directly from French, in which language it has the same meaning, i.e. a rotation in dancing. “Pirouette” is also the French word for “spinning top”.

8 Draft choice : IPA

India pale ale (IPA) is a style of beer that originated in England. The beer was originally intended for transportation from England to India, hence the name.

10 Prime real estate? : EDEN

According to the Book of Genesis, Adam and Eve lived in a garden “in” Eden, with Eden being geographically located by reference to four rivers, including the Tigris and the Euphrates. Some scholars hypothesize that Eden was located in Mesopotamia, which encompasses much of modern-day Iraq.

11 Racing game with Yoshi and Bowser : MARIO KART

“Mario Kart” is a go-kart racing video game series from Nintendo.

18 Actress Salazar of “Maze Runner” movies : ROSA

Rosa Salazar is an actress best known on the small screen for her roles in the shows “Parenthood” and “American Horror Story: Murder House”. On the big screen, she played Lynn in “The Divergent Series” movies and Brenda in the “Maze Runner” films.’

The “Maze Runner” film series is based on “The Maze Runner” novels by James Dashner. There are three title in the movie series:

  1. “The Maze Runner” (2014)
  2. “Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials” (2015)
  3. “Maze Runner: The Death Cure” (2018)

24 Abbr. between names, perhaps : AKA

Also known as (aka)

26 Pride’s place : DEN

Here are some colorful collective nouns:

  • A pride of lions
  • A shrewdness of apes
  • A cloud of bats
  • A bench of bishops
  • A clowder of cats
  • A waddling of ducks
  • An army of frogs
  • A knot of toads

28 Very long time : AEONS

Geological time is divided into a number of units of varying lengths. These are, starting from the largest:

  • supereon
  • eon (also “aeon”)
  • era
  • period
  • epoch
  • age

30 Mormon letters : LDS

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) is known colloquially as the Mormon Church.

31 Gothic fiction pioneer Radcliffe : ANN

Ann Radcliffe was an English author famous for her Gothic novels, a genre that she helped to pioneer in the late 18th century. I’m not a huge fan of Gothic novels, Gothic horror in particular …

32 Barges and such : SCOWS

A scow is a flat-bottomed boat with squared-off ends that’s often used for transportation, usually pushed or pulled by a barge. Often, a scow can be seen carrying junk or garbage.

33 In the buff : AU NATUREL

“Au naturel” is a French phrase, one simply meaning “in a natural state”. We use the term in English in the same sense, and also to mean “nude”.

Buffe leather was commonly used in the 1500s, leather taken from the original buffalo, a type of ox. This concept of “buffe” as a hide or skin led to the phrase “in the buff”, meaning “in the nude”.

34 Private chapels : ORATORIES

An oratory is a location set aside for divine worship, particularly a private chapel. The term “oratory” comes from the Latin verb “orare” meaning “to pray”.

40 Ostrich relative : EMU

Even though emu meat is classified as a red meat because of its color, it has a fat content that is comparable to other poultry.

The ostrich is a flightless bird that is native to Africa. It is extensively farmed, mainly for its feathers but also for its skin/leather and meat. Famously, the ostrich is the fastest moving of any flightless bird, capable of achieving speeds of over 40 mph. It is also the largest living species of bird, and lays the largest eggs.

44 NHL tiebreakers : OTS

In some sports, a tied game or match is decided in overtime, with the winner being the first team or player to score a point or a goal. That game-winning score might be referred to as the “golden goal”.

47 Price partner : FISHER

The toy company Fisher-Price was founded in 1930 by Herman Fisher and Irving Price, along with Margaret Evans Price and Helen Schelle. The company’s first toy was introduced the following year. It was a pull-along duck named Dr. Doodle.

48 Coral __ : REEF

Polyps are tiny sea creatures that are found attached to underwater structures or to other polyps. Polyps have a mouth at one end of a cylindrical “body” that is surrounded by tentacles. Some polyps cluster into groups called stony corals, with stony corals being the building blocks of coral reefs. The structure of the reef comprises calcium carbonate exoskeletons secreted by the coral polyps.

49 “Get Shorty” novelist __ Leonard : ELMORE

Elmore Leonard used to write a lot of westerns in the fifties and moved onto crime and suspense novels later in his career. A lot of his books have made it to the big screen, including “Get Shorty” and “Mr Majestyk”.

“Get Shorty” is a 1995 crime-comedy with a great cast that includes John Travolta, Gene Hackman, Rene Russo and Danny DeVito. That said, the storyline is a little too zany for me so I didn’t really enjoy it …

53 Blood line : AORTA

The aorta originates in the heart and extends down into the abdomen. It is the largest artery in the body.

54 Like sunny weather, vis-à-vis rainy : NICER

We can use the French phrase “vis-à-vis” as a preposition meaning “compared with”. When used as an adverb or adjective, it means “face-to-face”, which is a more literal translation from French.

55 Toggery : DRESS

“Toggery” is another word for clothing that is sometimes shortened to “togs”. For example, back in Ireland we call a bathing suit “swimming togs”. The term “toggery” comes from the Latin “toga”.

57 Food stamp? : USDA

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) dates back to 1862, when it was established by then-president Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln referred to the USDA as the “people’s department” as our economy had such a vast agrarian base back then.

58 Degs. for playwrights : MFAS

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

63 “Ghost” psychic __ Mae Brown : ODA

Oda Mae Brown is the psychic medium in the movie “Ghost”, and is played by Whoopi Goldberg.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Name in Cold War news : TASS
5 Lampoon : SATIRE
11 Ones presenting acts : MCS
14 “Hard __!”: captain’s order : ALEE
15 Ended an engagement, in a way : ELOPED
16 Larter of “Resident Evil” films : ALI
17 “Back to the Future”? : TIME RELEASE
19 Gym unit : REP
20 What a choir may sing in : UNISON
21 Bhopal locale : INDIA
23 Tablelands : MESAS
24 Tacks on : ADDS
27 The last Mrs. Chaplin : OONA
29 “March of the Penguins”? : WALKIE-TALKIE
32 Brazil map word : SAO
35 Butler’s last word : DAMN
36 “Groovy!” : NEATO!
37 Some pitches : CURVES
40 Evasive tactic : END RUN
41 “We’re live!” studio sign : ON AIR
42 Limo destination : PROM
45 Performs a Halloween prank, briefly : TPS
46 “Titanic”? : WATER FEATURE
50 Warehouse : STOW
51 Sleep and Comfort : INNS
52 Spiral-horned antelope : ELAND
56 Bear genus : URSUS
58 “Out of Africa,” for one : MEMOIR
59 Vince’s agent in “Entourage” : ARI
60 “Star Wars”? : SHOW OF FORCE
64 Prepare to drive, with “up” : TEE …
65 “Gracias” reply : DE NADA
66 66 and others: Abbr. : RTES
67 Pair of gallons? : ELS
68 Play areas : ARENAS
69 Listening devices : EARS

Down

1 Stride pianist Art : TATUM
2 Classic Dior style : A-LINE
3 Weigh station line-up : SEMIS
4 Vacillate : SEESAW
5 Gone out with : SEEN
6 “__ in”: “Jeopardy James” bet : ALL
7 Pirouette pivot point : TOE
8 Draft choice : IPA
9 Stand up to : RESIST
10 Prime real estate? : EDEN
11 Racing game with Yoshi and Bowser : MARIO KART
12 “Don’t leave a mess” : CLEAN IT UP
13 Modest intake : SIP
18 Actress Salazar of “Maze Runner” movies : ROSA
22 Allotted : DOLED
24 Abbr. between names, perhaps : AKA
25 Lower : DIM
26 Pride’s place : DEN
28 Very long time : AEONS
30 Mormon letters : LDS
31 Gothic fiction pioneer Radcliffe : ANN
32 Barges and such : SCOWS
33 In the buff : AU NATUREL
34 Private chapels : ORATORIES
38 Lookout offerings : VIEWS
39 Blunder : ERR
40 Ostrich relative : EMU
42 Write : PEN
43 Commanded : RAN
44 NHL tiebreakers : OTS
47 Price partner : FISHER
48 Coral __ : REEF
49 “Get Shorty” novelist __ Leonard : ELMORE
53 Blood line : AORTA
54 Like sunny weather, vis-à-vis rainy : NICER
55 Toggery : DRESS
57 Food stamp? : USDA
58 Degs. for playwrights : MFAS
59 Eroded, with “into” : ATE …
61 Low digit : ONE
62 Pallid : WAN
63 “Ghost” psychic __ Mae Brown : ODA

17 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 14 Jan 22, Friday”

  1. 6:05, no errors. No issues, no problems. Saying something as it’s the only one today that doesn’t have major those things.

    Re yesterday: I’ve seen the term “chunk light tuna” so that wasn’t an issue. Shaking the shampoo bottle is a thing if you use fancier stuff that purports to be more than just hair soap, as it’s an emulsion that separates out after a while and requires the shaking for it to unseparate.

  2. @glen and @nonny… thanks for the insight on that NEWSDAY clue. I got the crossword okay but didn’t understand the answer. @nonny, you mentioned a Q&A site? Is this for the newsday?

    As far as today.. really got stuck with SW corner. I almost guessed right. I left 67A as ELL and not ELS. should have known better. 34D should end in an S.

    Not sure I even understood the theme. Seemed like a reach.

    1. @Anon Mike …

      When I Googled “chunk light tuna”, I got a quote that came from a site for “Bumble Bee Seafoods”. That’s where the “Q&A” is.

  3. This one took some head-scratching. Ended up with no errors, but
    looked up the Elmore Leonard name. Things got a little easier when
    I caught onto the theme. Clever one.

  4. 24:09 no errors.
    I love Jeopardy but lately the champs have dominated for such long times as Bill referenced to in 6D that it is boring and also demeaning to the other contestants IMO. I still record it and go to the end and if it’s another runaway as it usually is then I just delete it👎
    Stay safe😀

  5. I thought the theme was a “bridge too far” grew up in a church environment never hear the word oratories learned something new today.Fun puzzle

  6. For a Friday crossword, I’m kinda proud of myself with only one error. I entered “sUp” for 13D as a modest intake. Because I didn’t know who Larter was, that resulted in “alU” for 16A. I should have realized that Ali is a more common name than a rare Alu.

  7. NW corner held me up a little because I
    penciled in USSR and of course one of the
    s’s fit but I eventually straightened it out.
    Fun theme, no look ups no errors.

    And yes “listening devices” was
    definitely a “groaner”!

  8. 24:40 – no cheats/errors.

    I think this is first for me with no cheats/errors on a Friday puzzle. Thought it a bit easy for a Friday …

    @Jack – kicked my butt again!

    Be Well.

  9. I had to Google for ORATORIES and ODA, but that was better than Wednesday and Thursday which I didn’t finish.
    Didn’t catch the theme.
    Strange changes for 3-letter answers: rEv before TEE, “ale” before IPA, riO before SAO, “hat” before ELS. For this last one, I think my answer is better than the real one.
    Did not actually know ROSA, ALI or MARIO KART.

  10. 12:27 is very quick for me on a Friday – no errors, lookups, or revisions.

    However, some wonky clues were: 1) “Warehouse” to get STOW. I STORE things in a warehouse, and stow them on a ship; 2) “Listening devices” to get EARS; 3) “Private chapels” to get ORATORIES. While it’s a legit definition, I surmise it’s a limited usage; 4) “Play areas” to get ARENAS is okay because sports are played in arenas, but STAGE or PARK would relate better to a “play” area.

  11. Tricky but finally doable Friday; took 22:17 with no peeks or errors. A lot of dancing around trying to make things fit and waiting for crosses all the way around. Theme helped a bit once I was sure of what was going on. I had iDA at first, since I never heard of ODA Mae Brown, but the theme seemed to call for ODA, and *poof* I got the banner!

    Never heard of ALI either, but boy, what a beauty!

    Wish my 1. FC Köln luck, they take on Bayern München in about 5 hours.

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