0321-24 NY Times Crossword 21 Mar 24, Thursday

Constructed by: Joe Marquez
Edited by: Joel Fagliano

Today’s Reveal Answer: Escape Room

Today’s rebus puzzle includes several squares (ROOMS) with an abbreviated “ESCAPE” (ESC):

  • 54A Puzzling activity, as seen four times in this puzzle? : ESCAPE ROOM
  • 17A Awkward period, for many : MIDDLE SCHOOL
  • 28A Action movie highlight : CHASE SCENE
  • 38A “It’s so over for us!” : WE’RE SCREWED!
  • 44A Allow to take, perhaps : PRESCRIBE
  • 6D “Ooh-la-la!” : TRES CHIC!
  • 10D Longtime Los Angeles sports venue : STAPLES CENTER
  • 25D 1970s-’80s sitcom about a trio of zany roommates : THREE’S COMPANY
  • 40D Iconic painting housed at Oslo’s Nasjonalmuseet : THE SCREAM

Bill’s time: 13m 53s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

16 Something that can be spun : TALE

The phrase “to spin a yarn”, meaning “to tell a tall tale”, originated in the early 1800s with seamen. The idea was that sailors would tell stories to each other while engaged in mindless work such as twisting yarn.

19 “Laugh-In” comedian Johnson : ARTE

Arte Johnson, as well as being a frequent judge on “The Gong Show”, played the German soldier on “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In”. Johnson’s character’s famous catchphrase was, “Very interesting, but …”

“Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In” was originally recorded as a one-off special for NBC in 1967, but it was so successful that it was brought back as a series to replace the waning spy show “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” Personally, I loved both shows!

24 Part of your body that smells the most? : NOSTRIL

The nostrils are also known as the nares (singular “naris”).

27 Repeated sound that can be “cured” : HIC

Hiccups is a series of forced intakes of breath, the result of spasms in the muscles of the chest and throat. The most common cause of hiccups is some sort of irritation to the stomach or esophagus, usually taking place while eating. Apparently, we don’t really understand the reason why we hiccup, but a favored suggestion is that it may be something that we inherited from our ancestors of long ago who didn’t stand up quite as straight as we do. Gravity helps us swallow our food, but animals who walk on all fours don’t have that advantage as the food moves horizontally down the throat and into the stomach. Such beasts are in greater need of an involuntary hiccup should some food get stuck. Just a theory …

32 Galley gear : OARS

Galleys were large medieval ships found mainly in the Mediterranean. They were propelled by a combination of sails and oars.

35 Detroit River’s terminus : ERIE

The Detroit River runs just under 30 miles from Lake St. Clair to Lake Erie, and so technically might be referred to as a strait. In fact, the waterway’s original name in French was “Rivière du Détroit”, which translates as “River of the Strait”.

40 Classic sports car feature : T-TOP

A T-top is a car roof that has removable panels on either side of a rigid bar that runs down the center of the vehicle above the driver.

43 Front of the bus? : OMNI-

We use the term “bus” for a mode of transportation as it is an abbreviated form of the original “omnibus”. We imported “omnibus” via French from Latin, in which language it means “for all”. The idea is that an omnibus is a carriage “for all”.

48 Genesis antagonist : SERPENT

In the Christian tradition, the “fall of man” took place in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve succumbed to the temptation of eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. This went against the bidding of God, and was at the urging of the serpent. As a result, Adam and Eve were banished from Eden to prevent them from becoming immortal by eating from the tree of life. The first humans had transitioned from a state of innocent obedience to a state of guilty disobedience.

51 Norse war god : TYR

Týr was the Norse god of single combat, victory and heroic glory. According to legend, Týr showed great courage when he and his fellow gods were attempting to shackle the wolf monster called Fenrir. The wolf was tricked into accepting bindings that were actually magical ribbons of great strength. Fenrir submitted to the bonds because Týr agreed to place his hand in the wolf’s mouth, as a gesture of assurance that the ribbon was harmless. When Fenrir recognized the deceit, he bit off Týr’s hand. As a result, the god Týr is almost always depicted with only one hand.

53 Opera that premiered in Cairo : AIDA

“Aida” is a celebrated opera by Giuseppe Verdi that is based on a scenario written by French Egyptologist Auguste Mariette. Mariette also designed the costumes and stages for the opening performance. The opera was first staged in 1871 in an opera house in Cairo. In the storyline, Aida is an Ethiopian princess brought into Egypt as a slave. Radamès is an Egyptian commander who falls in love with her, and then complications arise!

58 Genre for the Mighty Mighty Bosstones : SKA

The Mighty Mighty Bosstones is a ska punk band that formed in 1983 in Boston. The band hosts an annual music festival in Boston around Christmas that is known as the Hometown Throwdown. The band’s frontman, Dicky Barrett, was the announcer for the late-night talk show “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” from 2004 until 2022.

59 Roman slate : TABULA

Tabula rasa (plural “tabulae rasae”) is the idea that people are born with a “blank, clean slate”, and that knowledge comes from experience and perception. “Tabula rasa” translates literally from Latin as “scraped tablet”.

62 Deals a mighty blow : SMITES

To smite is to strike with a firm blow. The term “smite” can also mean “strike down and slay”.

Down

1 Martin Sheen’s real first name : RAMON

“Martin Sheen” is the stage name of actor Ramón Estévez. Despite all of his great performances, Sheen has never even been nominated for an Academy Award. Isn’t that something? I thought he was outstanding in his starring role in television’s “The West Wing”.

2 Kind of organic acid : AMINO

There are 20 different types of amino acids that make up proteins. However, only 11 of them can be synthesized by the human body, while the remaining nine essential amino acids must be obtained from food sources.

5 2002 George Clooney film set in a space station : SOLARIS

“Solaris” is a 2002 film adaptation of a 1961 novel of the same name by Polish author Stanislaw Lem. The movie stars George Clooney as a clinical psychologist on a solo mission from Earth to a space station orbiting the planet Solaris.

Actor George Clooney’s breakthrough role was playing Dr. Doug Ross on TV’s “ER”, although before that he had a fairly regular role on the sitcom “Roseanne”. George’s aunt was the singer and actress Rosemary Clooney.

6 “Ooh-la-la!” : TRES CHIC!

“Très chic” is a French term meaning “very stylish”.

9 Group on Louisiana’s state flag : PELICANS

The official nickname of Louisiana is the Pelican State, but it is also known as the Bayou State, the Child of Mississippi, the Creole State, the Sportsman’s Paradise and the Sugar State.

10 Longtime Los Angeles sports venue : STAPLES CENTER

The Crypto.com Arena (formerly “Staples Center”) is a sports arena in Los Angeles that opened in 1999. It is home to several sporting franchises, including the LA Lakers and LA Clippers NBA teams, the LA Sparks WNBA team and the LA Kings hockey team.

12 Second-highest of four : ALTO

The voice types soprano, alto, tenor and bass can be abbreviated to the initialism “SATB”.

18 Malcolm’s dad on 2000s TV : HAL

Actor Bryan Cranston is best known today for playing Walter White in the crime drama “Breaking Bad”. Prior to joining that incredibly successful show, Cranston played Hal in the sitcom “Malcolm in the Middle”. He also had a recurring role on “Seinfeld” from 1994 to 1997, as Jerry’s dentist Dr. Tim Whatley.

25 1970s-’80s sitcom about a trio of zany roommates : THREE’S COMPANY

The tremendously successful US sitcom “Three’s Company” ran from 1977 to 1984. The show was actually a remake of an equally successful British sitcom called “Man About the House”. I must, I was a fan of both shows. The American show started its run with three roommates, played by Joyce DeWitt, Suzanne Somers and John Ritter. The trio lived in an apartment building owned by characters Stanley and Helen Roper. The Ropers were eventually replaced by landlord Ralph Furley, played by the marvelous Don Knotts.

28 Paleontology : fossils :: speleology : ___ : CAVES

“Speleology” is the scientific study of caves, coming from “spelaeum”, the Latin for “cave”.

30 Semimonthly tide : NEAP

Tides are caused by the gravitational pull of the moon on the oceans. At neap tide, the smaller gravitational effect of the sun cancels out some of the moon’s effect. At spring tide, the sun and the moon’s gravitational forces act in concert causing more extreme movement of the oceans.

33 Line from Nike : AIR JORDAN

Air Jordan is a Nike brand of shoe (and other apparel) endorsed by NBA great Michael Jordan. The silhouette of a basketball player that features on Air Jordans is known as the “Jumpman” logo.

36 Quality of many episodes of “The Twilight Zone” : EERINESS

The iconic television series “The Twilight Zone” first aired in 1959 and then ran for 156 episodes before being pulled in 1964. “The Twilight Zone” was revived for four years in the late eighties, and was also spun-off into a movie by Steven Spielberg in 1983.

39 Fantasy character? : RUNE

A rune is a character in an alphabet that is believed to have mysterious powers. In Norse mythology, the runic alphabet was said to have a divine origin.

40 Iconic painting housed at Oslo’s Nasjonalmuseet : THE SCREAM

Edvard Munch was a Norwegian expressionist, and most famous for his painting “The Scream”, painted in 1893. What a wonderful work that is, a true representation of expressionism. The Munch Museum in Oslo is dedicated to his work and life. In 2004, two of Munch’s paintings, “The Scream” and “Madonna”, were stolen from the Munch Museum by armed robbers who subdued the museum guards. The paintings were missing for two years, but recovered in 2006.

42 Dead spots? : CRYPTS

A crypt is a chamber that is located partially or totally underground. The term “crypt” comes from the Greek “kryptos” meaning “hidden”.

46 Mathematician George known for his work on logic gates : BOOLE

Boolean logic is a logic system used in computers. The system takes its name from the man who devised it in 1854, George Boole. Boolean logic is used by many Internet search engines. Using Boolean logic in a search you can combine words into one search term “like this” by using quotation marks. You can also search for pages that contain “term one” but not “term two” by searching for “term one” – “term two”.

47 Stone and others : EMMAS

Actress Emma Stone is from Scottsdale, Arizona. Shereally came to prominence with her performance in the 2010 high school movie called “Easy A”, and won the Best Actress Oscar for her performance in the 2016 movie “La La Land”. Now one of the most sought-after actresses in Hollywood, Stone values her privacy and works hard to maintain a low profile. Good for her, I say …

48 Herb in saltimbocca : SAGE

Saltimbocca is a dish from southern Europe made of veal topped with prosciutto and sage, and then marinated in perhaps wine. The name “saltimbocca” is Italian for “jump in the mouth”.

49 St. Patrick’s land : EIRE

There is a fair amount known about Saint Patrick, some of which comes from two letters written in his own hand. St. Patrick lived in the fifth century, but was not born in Ireland. He was first brought to Ireland at about 16 years of age from his native Britain, by Irish raiders who made him a slave for six years. Patrick managed to escape and returned to his homeland where he studied and entered the Church. He went back to Ireland as a bishop and a missionary and there lived out the rest of his life. There seems to be good evidence that he died on March 17th (now celebrated annually as Saint Patrick’s Day), although the year is less clear. The stories about shamrock and snakes, I am afraid they are the stuff of legend.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Closest to raw : RAREST
7 Jolt of electricity : ZAP
10 Evidence of an injury : SCAB
14 Apt key for a musical prodigy? : A MINOR
15 Celebratory work : ODE
16 Something that can be spun : TALE
17 Awkward period, for many : MIDDLE SCHOOL
19 “Laugh-In” comedian Johnson : ARTE
20 Radius of a unit circle : ONE
21 “Of course!” : AHA!
22 TV surname at 742 Evergreen Terrace : SIMPSON
24 Part of your body that smells the most? : NOSTRIL
26 ___ film : CULT
27 Repeated sound that can be “cured” : HIC
28 Action movie highlight : CHASE SCENE
32 Galley gear : OARS
34 Took a leisurely walk : SAUNTERED
35 Detroit River’s terminus : ERIE
36 Housing projects? : EAVES
37 Ordered : NEAT
38 “It’s so over for us!” : WE’RE SCREWED!
40 Classic sports car feature : T-TOP
41 Temporary stays : SOJOURNS
42 “___ cosa fai?” (Italian for “What are you doing?”) : CHE
43 Front of the bus? : OMNI-
44 Allow to take, perhaps : PRESCRIBE
48 Genesis antagonist : SERPENT
51 Norse war god : TYR
52 Cry from an upset sibling : MOM!
53 Opera that premiered in Cairo : AIDA
54 Puzzling activity, as seen four times in this puzzle? : ESCAPE ROOM
57 ___ Turismo (racing video game series) : GRAN
58 Genre for the Mighty Mighty Bosstones : SKA
59 Roman slate : TABULA
60 Li’l : EENY
61 Fig. sought by an identity thief : SSN
62 Deals a mighty blow : SMITES

Down

1 Martin Sheen’s real first name : RAMON
2 Kind of organic acid : AMINO
3 Fair fare : RIDES
4 Stub, say : END
5 2002 George Clooney film set in a space station : SOLARIS
6 “Ooh-la-la!” : TRES CHIC!
7 Frenzied situation : ZOO
8 Frenzied situations : ADOS
9 Group on Louisiana’s state flag : PELICANS
10 Longtime Los Angeles sports venue : STAPLES CENTER
11 It plays on the road : CAR STEREO
12 Second-highest of four : ALTO
13 “___ there” : BEEN
18 Malcolm’s dad on 2000s TV : HAL
23 Obligation : MUST
25 1970s-’80s sitcom about a trio of zany roommates : THREE’S COMPANY
28 Paleontology : fossils :: speleology : ___ : CAVES
29 Tinged : HUED
30 Semimonthly tide : NEAP
31 Summer setting in D.C., for short : EDT
32 Round sandwich : OREO
33 Line from Nike : AIR JORDAN
34 Like logs for a fireplace : SAWN
35 Reactions of disgust : EWS
36 Quality of many episodes of “The Twilight Zone” : EERINESS
39 Fantasy character? : RUNE
40 Iconic painting housed at Oslo’s Nasjonalmuseet : THE SCREAM
42 Dead spots? : CRYPTS
44 K-12 grp. : PTA
45 Quitter’s declaration : I’M OUT!
46 Mathematician George known for his work on logic gates : BOOLE
47 Stone and others : EMMAS
48 Herb in saltimbocca : SAGE
49 St. Patrick’s land : EIRE
50 Reactions of disapproval : TSKS
55 Tennis ball container : CAN
56 Hitter’s stat, for short : RBI

5 thoughts on “0321-24 NY Times Crossword 21 Mar 24, Thursday”

  1. 28:52, no errors. Immediately and confidently entered GRAVITY in 5D, and ARTY in 19A. Eventually found my way back.

  2. 22:53, no errors. Once again the app allowed me to skip entering ESC in the four rebus squares. I knew what was needed and was going to go back to add them…but I got the “jingle” instead. 🙂

  3. 30:02, I entered the “esc” just because it was Thursday. Figured out the gimmick between “Staples Center” and “Three’s Company”, I almost feel smart…almost🤣

  4. 26:32. Difficult until it wasn’t anymore. Once I got the gimmick, I just had to find them all.

    I remember ARTE Johnson from Laugh In as a kid. I even had a Laugh In lunch box (yes really) with ARTE Johnson saying “Verrrry Interesting” on it. Laugh In on Monday nights and Flip Wilson on Thursday nights were the tv highlights for the family when I was a little kid. I probably didn’t get half the jokes at the time, but I appreciated everyone laughing anyway.

    Best –

  5. 14:30, no errors. I got quite far into this one, doing all the crosses, before encountering the first rebus square, and thinking to myself, all the while, “Okay. It’s Thursday. Where are they?” So … it was kind of comforting when they finally showed up … 🙂.

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