0305-24 NY Times Crossword 5 Mar 24, Tuesday

Constructed by: Christina Iverson
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Three-Hole Punch

Collectively, the four themed answers are THREE HOLES and a PUNCH. Inventive …

  • 54A Spring-loaded office device … or a collective hint to 16-, 26-, 34- and 41-Across : THREE-HOLE PUNCH
  • 16A Flaw in an argument : LOGICAL FALLACY (HOLE)
  • 26A Void : EMPTY SPACE (HOLE)
  • 34A Messy living area : PIG STY (HOLE)
  • 41A Many a beverage ending in “-ade” : FRUIT DRINK (PUNCH)
  • Bill’s time: 5m 45s

    Bill’s errors: 0

    Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

    Across

    1 Tea with tapioca pearls : BOBA

    Bubble tea, sometimes called “boba tea”, is a tea-based drink from Taiwan. The “bubbles” are chewy tapioca balls that are usually added to the drink.

    10 Syringe amts. : CCS

    “Caged Heat” is a 1974 women-in-prison exploitation film that has gained a cult following over the years. It was the first feature film directed by Jonathan Demme, who would later go on to win an Academy Award for directing The Silence of the Lambs.

    13 Anthony Hopkins’s role in “Thor” : ODIN

    The 2011 movie “Thor” is yet another film based on a comic book hero. Even though I won’t be seeing it (I don’t do comics), I must admit it does have an impressive cast. Chris Hemsworth plays Thor, supported by Natalie Portman, Rene Russo, Idris Elba and Anthony Hopkins. And to crown it all, Kenneth Branagh is the director.

    14 France’s longest river : LOIRE

    The Loire is the longest river in France. It is so long that it drains one-fifth of the nation’s land mass. The Loire rises in the southeast, in the Cevennes mountain range, then heads north then due west, emptying into the Bay of Biscay at the city of Nantes. The Loire Valley is home to some of France’s most famous wine production, and includes the wine regions of Sancerre, Pouilly-Fumé and Muscadet. It is also home to some of the nation’s most spectacular châteaux. There are over 300 castles along the river, built by French kings and their courtiers.

    21 ___ Sea, body of water between Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan : ARAL

    The Aral Sea is a great example of how humankind can have a devastating effect on the environment. In the early sixties the Aral Sea covered 68,000 square miles of Central Asia. Soviet irrigation projects drained the lake to such an extent that today the total area is less than 7,000 square miles, with 90% of the lake now completely dry. Sad …

    22 “August: ___ County” (Pulitzer-winning play) : OSAGE

    “August: Osage County” is a dark comedy play by Tracy Letts that won a 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. I saw the 2013 movie adaptation that has a great cast including Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Ewan McGregor, and Benedict Cumberbatch. I really enjoyed it …

    28 On the briny : ASEA

    The briny is the sea, with “brine” meaning “salty water”. The term “briny” was originally used for “tears”.

    29 Weightlifting item for a biceps routine : CURL BAR

    The biceps muscle is made up of two bundles of muscle, both of which terminate at the same point near the elbow. The heads of the bundles terminate at different points on the scapula or shoulder blade. “Biceps” is Latin for “two-headed”.

    40 Toad’s kid-lit pal : FROG

    The “Frog and Toad” series of books for young children was written and illustrated by Arnold Lobel. The books were the basis of a 2002 Broadway musical called “A Year with Frog and Toad”.

    59 Meat skewer : KABOB

    The term “kebab” (also “kabob”) covers a wide variety of meat dishes that originated in Persia. In the West, we usually use “kebab” when talking about shish kebab, which is meat (often lamb) served on a skewer. “Shish” comes from the Turkish word for “skewer”.

    61 Simon & Garfunkel’s “___ Robinson” : MRS

    When Mike Nichols was making the 1967 film “The Graduate” he apparently became obsessed with the music of Simon and Garfunkel, who were just coming into the limelight. Nichols made a deal with Paul Simon to write three songs that he could use on the soundtrack of his new movie. Simon and Garfunkel were touring constantly around that time, so Nichols had to badger Simon to hold up his end of the bargain. When Nichols was ready to lay down the film’s soundtrack there was only one commissioned song available, so Nichols had to basically beg Paul Simon for anything. Simon mentioned that he was finishing up one new song, but it wasn’t written for the film. It was more a celebration of former times, with lyrics about baseball great Joe DiMaggio and former First Lady, Mrs. Roosevelt. Nichols informed Simon that the song was no longer about Mrs. Roosevelt, and instead was about Mrs. Robinson …

    62 Georgia school said to be one of the “Southern Ivies” : EMORY

    Emory is a private school in Atlanta, Georgia with a focus on graduate research. The school was named after a Methodist Episcopal bishop called John Emory, who was very popular at the time of the school’s founding in 1836.

    Down

    1 Cattle-catching weapon : BOLA

    Bolas are heavy balls connected by cords that constitute a throwing weapon. Bolas are often used to capture animals by tripping them as they run. The weapon is usually associated with gauchos, South American cowboys, although there is evidence that the Inca army used them in battle.

    5 Like “b-boy” or “my b” : SLANGY

    A b-boy is a male devotee of rap-music and breakdancing. Apparently the term “b-boy” comes from either “Bronx boy” or “break boy”.

    6 “A Study in Scarlet” detective : HOLMES

    Sherlock Holmes made his first appearance in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s 1887 novel, “A Study in Scarlet“. Amazingly, Conan Doyle wrote the novel in under three weeks, while working as a 27-year-old doctor. Mind you, he only got paid 25 pounds for all the rights to the story. I suppose it’s a good job that he only devoted a few weeks to it.

    9 Director Guillermo ___ Toro : DEL

    Guillermo del Toro is a film director from Guadalajara in Mexico who has had success directing and producing American films. His best-known works are probably action movies like “Blade II” (2002) and “Hellboy” (2004). Del Toro won an Oscar for Best Director for the 2017 movie “The Shape of Water”.

    11 Chocolate source : CACAO

    Chocolate is made from the seeds of the Theobroma cacao tree. The seeds are very bitter and the traditional drink made with the seed was called “xocolatl” by the Aztecs, meaning “bitter water”. Our word “chocolate” comes from “xocolatl”.

    25 Flo Rida hit with the lyric “Champagne buckets still got two tears in it” : I CRY

    Tramar Dillard is better known as rapper Flo Rida. As you might have guessed, Flo Rida was born in the state of Florida.

    26 Standard Oil offshoot : 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.

    28 Comedian Sedaris : AMY

    The actress, author and comedian Amy Sedaris plays a character called Jerri Blank on the television series “Strangers with Candy”. Amy is the younger sister of the humorist and author David Sedaris.

    31 Bad way to run : AMOK

    The phrase “to run amok” (sometimes “to run amuck”) has been around since the 1670s and is derived from the Malay word for “attacking furiously”, “amuk”. The word “amok” was also used as a noun to describe Malay natives who were “frenzied”. Given Malaya’s troubled history, the natives probably had a good reason for that frenzy …

    34 Eggplant ___ (Italian dish, familiarly) : PARM

    Parmigiana (familiarly “parm”) is a dish from southern Italy. The original parmigiana was made with an eggplant filling, with cheese and tomato layers and then baked. Versions originating outside of Italy have replaced the eggplant with breaded cutlets of chicken or veal.

    39 Use TurboTax, e.g. : E-FILE

    TurboTax is a software- and online-based income tax preparation service. It’s what I’ve used since I retired, and I have no complaints …

    42 Swift to fill a concert hall? : TAYLOR

    Singer Taylor Swift had one of her first gigs at the US Open tennis tournament when she was in her early teens. There she sang the national anthem and received a lot of favorable attention for the performance.

    43 Dorky : DWEEBY

    “Dweeb” is relatively recent American slang that came out of college life in the late sixties. Dweeb, squarepants, nerd; they’re all not-nice terms that mean the same thing, i.e. someone excessively studious and socially inept.

    47 Birds that sing extravagant melodies : LARKS

    Larks are small songbirds that are found all over the world, although only the horned lark species is found here in North America. Despite their size, larks are sometimes considered game birds, and can be served up as food. It’s not uncommon to find a dish containing lark meat in southern Europe.

    52 Final Four org. : NCAA

    In the NCAA Division I Basketball Championship, the teams remaining at various stages of the tournament are known as:

    • The “Sweet Sixteen” (the regional semi-finalists)
    • The “Elite Eight” (the regional finalists)
    • The “Final Four” (the national semi-finalists)

    56 Theatrical sort : HAM

    The word “ham”, describing a performer who overacts, is a shortened form of “hamfatter” and dates back to the late 1800s. “Hamfatter” comes from a song in old minstrel shows called “The Ham-Fat Man”. It seems that a poorly performing actor was deemed to have the “acting” qualities of a minstrel made up in blackface.

    57 Kind of port seen at airport kiosks : USB

    Universal Serial Bus (USB) is an industry standard dealing with how computers and electronic devices connect and communicate, and dealing with electrical power through those connections.

    Complete List of Clues/Answers

    Across

    1 Tea with tapioca pearls : BOBA
    5 Tear to bits : SHRED
    10 Syringe amts. : CCS
    13 Anthony Hopkins’s role in “Thor” : ODIN
    14 France’s longest river : LOIRE
    15 Something to draw names out of : HAT
    16 Flaw in an argument : LOGICAL FALLACY (HOLE)
    19 Inventor David Aguilar built a fully functional prosthetic one from Legos : ARM
    20 “My treat!” : ON ME!
    21 ___ Sea, body of water between Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan : ARAL
    22 “August: ___ County” (Pulitzer-winning play) : OSAGE
    24 Walk quietly : TIPTOE
    26 Void : EMPTY SPACE (HOLE)
    28 On the briny : ASEA
    29 Weightlifting item for a biceps routine : CURL BAR
    33 AOL competitor : MSN
    34 Messy living area : PIG STY (HOLE)
    37 French friend : AMI
    38 “I love you,” in Spanish : YO TE AMO
    40 Toad’s kid-lit pal : FROG
    41 Many a beverage ending in “-ade” : FRUIT DRINK (PUNCH)
    45 Lose rigidity : GO LIMP
    48 Trophy or medal : AWARD
    49 Abbr. at the end of a list of authors : ET AL
    50 Marbled loaves : RYES
    51 Queen’s pawn? : ANT
    54 Spring-loaded office device … or a collective hint to 16-, 26-, 34- and 41-Across : THREE-HOLE PUNCH
    58 Cry that’s a homophone (and anagram) of 55-Down : EEK!
    59 Meat skewer : KABOB
    60 Sign of past stitches, perhaps : SCAR
    61 Simon & Garfunkel’s “___ Robinson” : MRS
    62 Georgia school said to be one of the “Southern Ivies” : EMORY
    63 Fellow bringing a dozen roses, maybe : BEAU

    Down

    1 Cattle-catching weapon : BOLA
    2 Strong smell : ODOR
    3 Eagerly awaited occasion : BIG MOMENT
    4 What “their” is spelled with, but not “there” or “they’re” : AN I
    5 Like “b-boy” or “my b” : SLANGY
    6 “A Study in Scarlet” detective : HOLMES
    7 Widespread : RIFE
    8 Notable time period : ERA
    9 Director Guillermo ___ Toro : DEL
    10 Reach the Billboard Hot 100, e.g. : CHART
    11 Chocolate source : CACAO
    12 Something that editors and clothing designers are concerned with : STYLE
    17 Cold weather wear : COAT
    18 Folded part of a 17-Down : LAPEL
    23 Place for a wax : SPA
    24 Like a tightrope, ideally : TAUT
    25 Flo Rida hit with the lyric “Champagne buckets still got two tears in it” : I CRY
    26 Standard Oil offshoot : ESSO
    27 Windows runners : PCS
    28 Comedian Sedaris : AMY
    30 Where to swing your partner ’round and ’round : BARN DANCE
    31 Bad way to run : AMOK
    32 Equip for sailing : RIG
    34 Eggplant ___ (Italian dish, familiarly) : PARM
    35 “It’s my turn!” : I’M UP!
    36 “There but for the grace of God ___” : GO I
    39 Use TurboTax, e.g. : E-FILE
    40 Silver ___ (tree of the Alps) : FIR
    42 Swift to fill a concert hall? : TAYLOR
    43 Dorky : DWEEBY
    44 Scratchy voice quality : RASP
    45 “Don’t let those people escape!” : GET ‘EM!
    46 Catchall survey option : OTHER
    47 Birds that sing extravagant melodies : LARKS
    50 Prefix meaning “automated” : ROBO-
    52 Final Four org. : NCAA
    53 No ___ Traffic : THRU
    55 Barely manage, with “out” : EKE …
    56 Theatrical sort : HAM
    57 Kind of port seen at airport kiosks : USB

    10 thoughts on “0305-24 NY Times Crossword 5 Mar 24, Tuesday”

    1. 11:24, no errors. My introduction to the word DWEEBY. Have seen dweebish before. Sometimes I think setters create words to make their puzzles work. (Ironically my spellchecker accepted the word DWEEBY but not dweebish).

    2. 9:33 to finish the HOLE thing…

      The write up under 10A regarding “Caged Heat” is interesting, but it really doesn’t pertain to Syringe amts or CCS. I think Bill had a cut and paste error there.

      I did not realize “A Study in Scarlett” was the very first Sherlock Holmes novel. I read those a lot as a kid and really liked them. But he’s been copied so much over the years, the original Sherlock Holmes type deductions seem cliche to me now, ironically and certainly unfairly.

      Best –

    3. 13:32, tried to figure out the gimmick from the reveal, but couldn’t come up with it until coming here…no surprise there…

    4. 11:05, no errors. I had one stoopid fat finger that cost over a minute. Once I found it, the last of the solve was easy. Just finished two scuba dives in rather “sporty” conditions. 25mph ESE winds, whitecaps, and wicked swells. Under the water was fine, above the water…not so much!

    5. No errors..

      In my head I started looking at the theme answers and said to myself ” well, that could be a hole,..” but never finished my thought down to “punch”

      @davek – thanks for posting video of ACP tournament.. yes. Wil looks weak but he is certainly pushing forward!

    6. I had PULLBAR for CURLBAR.
      A Tuesday puzzle with a theme I couldn’t get…rap clues and foreign clues…Good one👎👎
      Stay safe😀

    7. This is one of the sorriest themes I have ever seen. How did this make it past the editors? I hate to be so critical but c’mon!

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