LA Times Crossword 4 Jan 19, Friday

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Constructed by: Brian Herrick
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: The Best Is Yet to Come

In our themed clues, THE BEST IS YET TO COME, the word “BEST” is missing from the end of the answer:

  • 40D. With 51-Across, Sinatra classic, and a hint to completing three puzzle answers : THE BEST …
  • 51A. See 40-Down : … IS YET TO COME
  • 17A. Give it the old college try : DO ONE’S LEVEL (BEST)
  • 27A. Benchmarks on the way to mastery : GOOD, BETTER, (BEST)
  • 41A. “Please don’t expect any more from me” : I’M TRYING MY (BEST)

Bill’s time: 11m 39s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Logician Turing : ALAN

Alan Turing was an English mathematician. He was well-respected for his code-breaking work during WWII at Bletchley Park in England. However, despite his contributions to cracking the German Enigma code and other crucial work, Turing was prosecuted for homosexuality in 1952. He agreed to chemical castration, treatment with female hormones, and then two years later he committed suicide by taking cyanide. Turing’s life story is told in the 2014 film “The Imitation Game” with Benedict Cumberbatch playing the lead. I thoroughly enjoyed that film …

5. 15-Across protagonist : RIPLEY
(15. 1986 sci-fi sequel : ALIENS)

Ellen Ripley is the protagonist in the “Alien” movie franchise, and is played by actress Sigourney Weaver. Weaver’s casting as Ripley for 1979’s “Alien” marked her first lead role in a film, and indeed her career breakthrough. English actress Veronica Cartwright was initially cast as Ripley, but she was recast as navigator Joan Lambert when Weaver was brought on board.

11. HMO group : MDS

Health Maintenance Organization (HMO)

15. 1986 sci-fi sequel : ALIENS

“Aliens” is a 1986 sequel to the very successful science-fiction movie “Alien” released in 1979. “Aliens” was filmed at Pinewood Studios in England, and at the decommissioned Acton Lane Power Station in London. The film was directed by James Cameron, and starred Sigourney Weaver reprising her role as Ellen Ripley from “Alien”.

21. Start of a cheer : SIS …

“Sis boom bah” is apparently a popular cheer in American high schools and colleges (I didn’t know that!). The term was also used by Johnny Carson when he was playing the character Carnac the Magnificent.

23. Woman in the Book of Ruth : NAOMI

According to the Bible, Naomi was the mother-in-law of Ruth. Naomi’s husband and two sons died, making her very bitter. Because of this, Naomi changed her name to “Mara”, which translates as “bitter”.

25. “Much appreciated,” in Munich : DANKE

“Thank you” translates to “merci” in French, “gracias” in Spanish, and “danke” in German.

Munich is the capital of the German state of Bavaria, and is the third largest city in the country (after Berlin and Hamburg). The city is called “München” in German, a term that derives from the Old German word for “by the monks’ place”, which is a reference to the monks of the Benedictine order who founded the city in 1158.

29. Pigs out (on) : ODS

Overdose (OD)

30. One may be rolled out in a stadium : TARP

Originally, tarpaulins were made from canvas covered in tar that rendered the material waterproof. The word “tarpaulin” comes from “tar” and “palling”, with “pall” meaning “heavy cloth covering”.

33. N.Y.C. part : YORK

The city of New Amsterdam was taken over by the English from the Dutch in 1664. the city was promptly renamed to “New York” in honor of the Duke of York, who was destined to become King James II of England.

37. N.W.A rapper __-E : EAZY

“Eazy-E” was the stage name of rapper Eric Lynn Wright. Eazy-E had a pretty liberal lifestyle, fathering seven children with six different women. In 1995, he died due to complications from AIDS when he was only 32 years old.

43. Comedian Daniel : TOSH

Daniel Tosh is a stand-up comedian and host of “Tosh.0”, a video clip show on Comedy Central.

44. Start of an old late-night intro : HERE’S …

… Johnny!

Ed McMahon was Johnny Carson’s sidekick on “The Tonight Show” (Here’s Johnny!). McMahon was trained as a fighter pilot in WWII, but did not see action. However he saw a lot of action in the following conflict as he did fly 85 combat missions in Korea.

45. Daybreak deity : EOS

In Greek mythology, Eos was the goddess of the dawn who lived at the edge of the ocean. Eos would wake each morning to welcome her brother Helios the sun. The Roman equivalent of Eos was Aurora. Rather delightfully, Homer referred to Eos as “rosy-fingered dawn” in both “Iliad” and “Odyssey”.

48. Screech __ : OWL

There are over twenty species of screech owls, all of which are native to the Americas. Named for their eerie trill heard mainly during the night, screech owls are about the size of a pint glass.

49. Garden of Eden protector : CHERUB

A cherub (plural “cherubim”) is an angel. The term “cherub” ultimately comes from the Hebrew “kerubh” (plural “kerubhim”) meaning “winged angel”.

53. Phillies’ div. : NLE

Philadelphia’s baseball team was founded in 1883 as the Quakers, with the name changing to “Philadelphias” and “Phillies” not long into the team’s history. The Phillies have been based in the same city using the same team name longer than any other team in US professional sports.

Down

2. Conductor Bernstein : LEONARD

Composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein was a man who made great strides in bringing classical music to the masses. He gave numerous lectures on the subject on television. Indeed, one of my favorite recordings of the instructive “Peter and the Wolf” by Prokofiev is conducted and narrated by Bernstein.

7. Mrs. Lovett’s business in Broadway’s “Sweeney Todd” : PIE SHOP

“Sweeney Todd” was originally a 1936 film, and later in 1973 a play, then a 1979 musical and a movie adaptation of the musical in 2007. After Sweeney Todd has killed his victims, his partner in crime Mrs. Lovett helped him dispose of the bodies by taking the flesh and baking it into meat pies that she sold in her pie shop. Ugh!

8. Imposed : LEVIED

A levy is a tax. The term “levy” comes from Old French in which “levée” means “raising”. So a levy is a tax that has been “raised” (in the sense of “collected”, not “increased”).

9. NBA center __ Kanter : ENES

Enes Kanter is a professional basketball player who was born in Switzerland, although he is a Turkish national raised in Turkey. Kanter moved to the US in 2009 and has played basketball here since attending high school in Simi Valley, California.

10. Fashion initials : YSL

Yves Saint Laurent (YSL)

11. Purple shade : MAGENTA

The colors fuchsia and magenta are identical when used on the Web. The name “magenta” comes from an aniline dye that was patented in 1859 in France and called “fuchsine”. The dye was renamed in honor of a victory against the Austrians in the Battle of Magenta of 1859, which was fought near the northern Italian town of Magenta.

18. Old U.K. record label : EMI

EMI was a British music company, with the initialism standing for Electric and Musical Industries.

22. Luxury watch brand __ Philippe : PATEK

Patek Philippe is a manufacturer of luxury watches in Switzerland. The company was founded in Geneva in 1851, by Polish watchmaker Antoni Patek and French watchmaker Adrien Philippe. Patek Philippe watches routinely sell at auction at prices in excess of a million dollars.

27. Catalonian architect Antoni __ : GAUDI

Antoni Gaudí was a Catalan architect who is best known for his works in Barcelona. His most famous building the city’s Sagrada Família, which is a large Roman Catholic church. Gaudí took over the project in 1883. Only a quarter of the building was finished in 1926, when Gaudí died in a streetcar accident. Construction continues to this day, with plans for completion by 2026, the centenary of Gaudí’s death.

30. “Hamilton” got 11 : TONYS

The Tony Awards are more completely referred to as the Antoinette Perry Award for Excellence in Broadway Theatre. The awards are named for Mary Antoinette “Tony” Perry, who was a co-founder of the American Theatre Wing.

“Hamilton” is a 2015 musical based on the life of US Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, as described in the 2004 biography by Ron Chernow. The show opened off-Broadway in February 2015, and transferred to Broadway in August of the same year. Advance ticket sales for the Broadway production were unprecedented, and reportedly amounted to $30 million. The representations of the main characters is decidedly ground-breaking. The show is rooted in hip-hop and the main roles such as Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson and George Washington are all played by African-American and Hispanic actors.

33. Orange tubers : YAMS

Although in the US we sometimes refer to sweet potatoes as “yams”, the yam is actually a completely different family of plants. True yams are more common in other parts of the the world than they are in this country, and are especially common in Africa.

34. “Rude Boy” singer : RIHANNA

The singer Rihanna was born and grew up on the island of Barbados and moved to the US when she was 16-years-old to pursue a singing career. “Rihanna” is her stage name, as she was born Robyn Rihanna Fenty. The name “Rihanna” is derived from the Welsh name “Rhiannon”.

“Rude Boy” is a 2010 hit song that was co-written and recorded by Barbadian singer Rihanna. From what I’ve read, the lyrics are quite “rude”, just like the boy in the title.

35. May birthstone : EMERALD

The mineral beryl is a source of a number of different semi-precious stones, depending on the nature of the impurities present. Pure beryl is colorless; blue beryl is called aquamarine, and green beryl is emerald. Traces of iron cause the blue color, and traces of chromium give the green hue.

Here is the “official” list of birthstones by month, that we tend to use today:

  • January: Garnet
  • February: Amethyst
  • March: Bloodstone or Aquamarine
  • April: Diamond
  • May: Emerald
  • June: Pearl or Moonstone
  • July: Ruby
  • August: Sardonyx or Peridot
  • September: Sapphire or Lapis Lazuli
  • October: Opal or Pink Tourmaline
  • November: Topaz or Citrine
  • December: Turquoise or Zircon (also now, Tanzanite)

36. 1981 Bill Murray military comedy : STRIPES

“Stripes” is a very funny 1981 comedy film about a group of misfits going through basic training for the US Army. The excellent cast is led by Bill Murray and Harold Ramis. There are also a lot of actors making appearances relatively early in their careers, including Sean Young, John Larroquette, Judge Reinhold and Bill Paxton.

Actor and comedian Bill Murray got his big break on “Saturday Night Live” when he replaced the departing Chevy Chase in the show’s second season. Murray then launched an hugely successful film career, starring in a host of hit movies such as “Caddyshack”, “Stripes”, “Tootsie”, “Ghostbusters”, “What About Bob?” and “Groundhog Day”. His film career took off again with a lead role in 2003’s “Lost in Translation”. A favorite Bill Murray movie of mine is 2012’s “Hyde Park on the Hudson”, in which Murray plays President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

40. With 51-Across, Sinatra classic, and a hint to completing three puzzle answers : THE BEST …
(51A. See 40-Down : … IS YET TO COME)

“The Best Is Yet to Come” is a 1959 song that was written and initially recorded by Tony Bennett. It was Frank Sinatra who made the song really famous, starting with his recording for a 1964 album. It was also the last song that Sinatra performed in public, doing so in 1995, three years before he passed away.

48. Nobel Peace Prize city : OSLO

The Peace Prize is the most famous of the five prizes bequeathed by Alfred Nobel. The others are for Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, and Literature. There is also a Nobel Prize in Economics that is awarded along with the original five, but it is funded separately and is awarded “in memory of Alfred Nobel”. Four of the prizes are awarded by Swedish organizations (Alfred Nobel was a Swede) and so the award ceremonies take place in Stockholm. The Peace Prize is awarded by the Norwegian Nobel Committee, and that award is presented in Oslo.

49. Hubs: Abbr. : CTRS

Center (ctr.)

51. German I : ICH

“Ich” is the German for “I”, as in “Ich bin ein Berliner” (I am a Berliner), the famous words of support uttered by President John F. Kennedy in 1963 in a speech in West Berlin. The supposed translation of “Ich bin ein Berliner” as “I am a jelly doughnut” … that’s just an urban myth. President Kennedy’s use of German was perfectly correct.

52. Fore site? : TEE

In the game of golf, a “tee” is the wooden or plastic peg on which one can place a ball when “teeing off”. Also, the “teeing ground” (sometimes “tee” or “tee box”) is the area at the beginning of the hole from which the first stroke is taken, from where one tees off.

No one seems to know for sure where the golfing term “fore!” comes from. It has been used at least as far back as 1881, and since then has been called out to warn other golfers that a wayward ball might be heading their way. My favorite possibility for its origin is that it is a contraction of the Gaelic warning cry “Faugh a Ballagh!” (clear the way!) which is still called out in the sport of road bowling. Road bowling is an Irish game where players bowl balls along roads between villages, trying to reach the end of the course in as few bowls as possible, just like in golf!

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Logician Turing : ALAN
5. 15-Across protagonist : RIPLEY
11. HMO group : MDS
14. Try out, briefly : DEMO
15. 1986 sci-fi sequel : ALIENS
16. Exist : ARE
17. Give it the old college try : DO ONE’S LEVEL (BEST)
19. Spray __ : GUN
20. It’s no exit : ON-RAMP
21. Start of a cheer : SIS
22. Await judgment : PEND
23. Woman in the Book of Ruth : NAOMI
24. Sailing pronoun : SHE
25. “Much appreciated,” in Munich : DANKE
26. Aligned : TRUE
27. Benchmarks on the way to mastery : GOOD, BETTER, (BEST)
29. Pigs out (on) : ODS
30. One may be rolled out in a stadium : TARP
31. Plenty : OCEANS
32. Lip-thrusting look : POUT
33. N.Y.C. part : YORK
34. Make even smoother : RESAND
37. N.W.A rapper __-E : EAZY
38. Posed : SAT
41. “Please don’t expect any more from me” : I’M TRYING MY (BEST)
43. Comedian Daniel : TOSH
44. Start of an old late-night intro : HERE’S …
45. Daybreak deity : EOS
46. “It’s __ than I thought” : WORSE
47. Nothing like wetlands : ARID
48. Screech __ : OWL
49. Garden of Eden protector : CHERUB
50. Carpet feature : NAP
51. See 40-Down : … IS YET TO COME
53. Phillies’ div. : NLE
54. Effective deal maker : CLOSER
55. Amazes : AWES
56. Eight minutes of the average sitcom : ADS
57. Puts up : HOUSES
58. “Hey, you!” : PSST!

Down

1. Expand, as a residence : ADD ONTO
2. Conductor Bernstein : LEONARD
3. Lovey-dovey : AMOROUS
4. Generic : NO-NAME
5. Filing aid : RASP
6. Down with something : ILL
7. Mrs. Lovett’s business in Broadway’s “Sweeney Todd” : PIE SHOP
8. Imposed : LEVIED
9. NBA center __ Kanter : ENES
10. Fashion initials : YSL
11. Purple shade : MAGENTA
12. Like a bar free-for-all : DRUNKEN
13. Emailers : SENDERS
18. Old U.K. record label : EMI
22. Luxury watch brand __ Philippe : PATEK
24. Database function : SORT
25. Rail against : DECRY
27. Catalonian architect Antoni __ : GAUDI
28. See 12-Down : BOOZY
30. “Hamilton” got 11 : TONYS
32. Trimmed : PARED
33. Orange tubers : YAMS
34. “Rude Boy” singer : RIHANNA
35. May birthstone : EMERALD
36. 1981 Bill Murray military comedy : STRIPES
37. Small-headed? : EGOLESS
38. Sad subjects : SORROWS
39. Takes over the duties of : ASSUMES
40. With 51-Across, Sinatra classic, and a hint to completing three puzzle answers : THE BEST …
42. What diets and beauticians may promise, with “a” : NEW YOU
43. It covers the end of the foot : TOE CAP
46. “__ cares!” : WHO
48. Nobel Peace Prize city : OSLO
49. Hubs: Abbr. : CTRS
51. German I : ICH
52. Fore site? : TEE

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22 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 4 Jan 19, Friday”

  1. LAT: 18:50, no errors. WSJ: 20:20, 2 (dumb) errors. I see what I’m supposed to see for the meta, but can’t figure out what to do with it. Newsday: 18:10, no errors.

  2. @ Steve, to answer your ? on how long I have been doing puzzles, everyday. About 27 yrs. I get up in the morning, do the puzzle and then my day begins. If the paper is late I’m going to check for it constantly. It’s crazy. Thx for asking.
    Now for today, Friday, this was a fun puzzle to work on. Sometimes Fridays are tough. Good puzzle /Good theme and fun. Now I can start working , rather be doing another puzzle. Oh well,

  3. Taking a WAG on “tan” for the answer to 19 Across “Spray ___” was my usual crossword equivalent of shooting myself in the foot. D’oh! Finally got that idiocy straightened out and the grid was complete.

  4. LAT: 12:33, no errors. Newsday: 10:16, no errors. WSJ: 15:22, no errors; and I’m in the same boat as Glenn with the meta. Croce later.

    @Jennifer Hunt … I will ask my (9 years) older brother and my (7 years) younger sister if your mother’s name rings a bell. They both spent a lot more time in Mason City than I did. In any case, as Carrie said, welcome to the blog!

    1. Tim Croce: 1:14:10, with a one-square error. I struggled through all the utterly impossible parts of this puzzle, only to make an idiotic error on something obvious. All I needed to do was go through six letters of the alphabet! Grrr! … I am so tempted to cheat, but that’s a very slippery slope … 😳 … and I’m just glad to have finished the thing … 🤪.

      1. My uncle is Richard (Dick) James who is a few years older than my mother. Both attended Mason City High School. Small world indeed and thanks for the welcome!

  5. Here’s a few off the wall comments I can’t resist adding to the mix. First, the idea that Norway now offers a “peace prize” would have struck English people living a thousand years ago as preposterous. At the time Norwegians — along with assorted Swedes, Finns, and Danes — were the the scourge of Europe and would go to war like we go on vacation. It was on one of their outings in 1066 that they severely weakened the army of England’s King Harold which led to its defeat by William the Conqueror, which in turn led to the influx of French words and so to the modern English we now speak. Were it not for warring Norwegians we’d be doing very different crossword puzzles!

    1. My Norwegian half cries out, “Oh, halcyon days of yesteryear!” (Of course, my other half is muttering something quite different … 😜.)

      1. @Dave Kennison
        Yes, for healthy young males with an urge to see faraway places and slaughter the inhabitants those were the good old days . . . .

          1. @Dave Kennison
            I’m sure you’re right but it’s always the bad apples that seem to get all the attention.

  6. Interesting comment on Norway. I always thought of them as peaceful.
    Did better than yesterday, about 80% and enjoyed it more. If Bill takes
    11 minutes, it is too hard for us to get it all. I was pleased to get the ones
    we got and we didn’t really miss any that we knew. Just didn’t know enough
    of them to do better. Waiting for Monday.

  7. OMG I actually finished this one. It was tough but worth the battle! Had the song way ahead of the other long answers, but hadn’t put the theme to use until the very end. NE was the hardest section. But hey, I finished it!!!

  8. 20:35. Fun theme. Sort of NYT…ish. I have a friend whose sister’s name is Mara. I can’t wait to tell her what her name means….

    I climbed to the top of one of those peaks (spikes?) of Sagrada Familia when I was in Barcelona. You have to go up about a thousand swirling stairs as is the case in a lot of places in Europe. Once you’re up there you get claustrophobia (it’s very thin at the top) and acrophobia all at the same time you’re dizzy from winding up all those stairs. I took a few pix, and then I was ready to climb down.

    I hired a lawyer to sue for plagiarism – i.e. use of my sign-off as the theme….

    BEST –

  9. Because I got the theme quickly, I Googled for RIPLEY, ALIENS and ENES only, which for me is a good Friday.

    Had temP before RASP, “net” before caN before GUN.

    Gaudi’ is one of my favorites. I own several books about him. He’s up there with Tesla. (Now that I think about it, maybe virgin men are especially creative, having saved themselves.)

    @Robert – William the Conquerer himself was partly Viking, as the Normans and Normandy were the result of a Norseman attack on France. When the conquerers eliminate the conquered men, the conquerers lose one war – the “mother tongue.” The offspring were raised to speak French, and this was the language William the Conquerer brought to Britain. When his brother attacked Sicily, it didn’t work out as well since being conquered was pretty much a constant affair (Yawn, here comes another one.).

    1. @Jane
      True about Sicily and we’re still seeing the repercussions of that to this day: the mafiosi whose only allegiance is to family since any central government in Sicily was a revolving door of ever-shifting overlords.

  10. Carrie, I’m with you on the ECRU stockings. Every ECRU I’ve ever seen was a yellowish-brownish color, and would look hideous.

    As usual on a Friday, I started out thinking I’d never be able to finish, but eventually, coming back to it now and then, I get the job done. Today’s was faster than usual, so of course I enjoyed it.

  11. Pretty tough Friday for me; took at least an hour, probably more, with one error. I went through the alphabet twice for ENEx/SIx and “S” wasn’t even on my list of likely! of course neither was “X” if I’m being honest. Oh well.

    On the rest I just had to change edgED to PARED. A lot of weird stuff in this one that threw me for a few loops…still with one mistake…that isn’t too bad.

    Welcome Jennifer.

  12. Greetings from the Night Watch!! 🔦

    No errors on a challenging Friday! I started out slowly– problems from the jump. Like Tony, I had TAN instead of GUN, and I kept it there too long. Initially, I had HASP instead of RASP, which makes sense, as I learned both words from doing puzzles! 😍

    I love that Sinatra song. From his late classic era, I think. Shoulda gone straight to that reveal answer — even if I didn’t grok the theme I’d have felt more confident in proceeding.

    Jeff, keep us posted on the progress of your lawsuit…

    On to Saturday!!🙂

    Be well~~🐎

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