0421-24 NY Times Crossword 21 Apr 24, Sunday

Constructed by: Michael Schlossberg
Edited by: Joel Fagliano

Today’s Theme: Get Cracking

We have a note with today’s puzzle:

Standing between you and the score of a lifetime are the seven locks of this safe. After completing this puzzle, rotate each dial 90°, 180° or 270° to the only other position that forms four valid crossword answers. The new letters in the 12 o’clock (circled) positions will spell out an appropriate exclamation.

After we make the required rotations, the letters JACKPOT move into the circled squares.

Bill’s time: 28m 25s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Staff symbol : C-CLEF

“Clef” is the French word for “key”. In music, a clef is used to indicate the pitch of the notes written on a stave. The bass clef is also known as the F-clef, the alto clef is the C-clef, and the treble clef is the G-clef.

6 Items on the backs of some Jeeps : GAS CANS

The Jeep is the original off-road vehicle. It was developed by the American Bantam Car Company in 1940 at the request of the US government who recognized the upcoming need for the armed forces as American involvement in WWII loomed. The Bantam Company was too small to cope with demand, so the government gave the designs to competing car companies. The design and brand eventually ended up with AMC in the seventies and eighties.

13 Test pilot’s attire : G SUIT

A G suit is needed when astronauts and aviators are subject to high accelerations. Such acceleration can cause blood to pool in the lower part of the body, reducing the supply to the brain and possibly leading to a blackout. A G suit is basically a special pair of tight-fitting pants that are fitted with inflatable bladders. The bladders inflate during high accelerations, tightening around the legs and abdomen, reducing the amount of blood pooling. So, a “G suit” is more correctly referred to as an “anti-G suit”.

23 Like Mary Shelley when she wrote “Frankenstein” : TEENAGE

Not only did Mary Shelley pen the famous novel “Frankenstein”, she also edited the works of the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, who was her husband.

Mary Shelley’s Gothic novel has the full title of “Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus”. The subtitle underscores one of the themes of the book, i.e. a warning about the expansion into the Industrial Revolution.

26 Natural source of rubber : TREE SAP

Latex is a naturally occurring polymer made by some plants that can also be made synthetically. About one in ten of the flowering plants in the world make the milky fluid called latex. It serves as a defense against insects and is exuded when a plant is injured or attacked by insects. Latex is collected commercially and is the source of natural rubber, which can be used to make things such as gloves, condoms and balloons.

27 County that’s home to the White Cliffs of Dover : KENT

Kent is a county in the southeast of England. Kent is a little unusual in that it shares a “land” border with France. That border nominally exists halfway through the Channel Tunnel, one end of which comes to the surface in the Kent port of Folkestone.

Dover is a town and port in the county of Kent on the south coast of England. Dover lies just 25 miles from the coast of France, and is a terminus on the much-used Dover-Calais ferry service. The town is also famous for its magnificent chalk cliffs that are known as the White Cliffs of Dover.

28 Unimpressed : BLASE

“Blasé”, meaning “nonchalant, bored from overindulgence” comes from French, in which language it can mean “satiated”.

29 Sheet under a tent : 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”.

31 Major vessel : AORTA

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

32 Chinese ___ (bonsai choice) : ELM

The term “bonsai” is used more correctly to describe the Japanese art of growing carefully shaped trees in containers, although it has come to be used as the name for all miniature trees in pots. “Bonsai” translates literally as “tray planting”.

35 Agent Deirdre Beaubeirdre’s org. in “Everything Everywhere All at Once” : IRS

“Everything Everywhere All at Once” is a 2022 comedy-drama movie starring Michelle Yeoh as a woman undergoing an IRS audit. That mundane storyline gets lost completely in a film full of science-fiction, fantasy, animation and martial arts. The screenplay was originally written for Jackie Chan, but it was reworked intentionally so that a female lead carried the plot.

37 No. on a résumé : TEL

A résumé is a summary of a person’s job experience and education and is used as a tool by a job seeker. In many countries, a résumé is equivalent to a curriculum vitae. “Résumé” is the French word for “summary”.

40 “Invisible hand” subj. : ECON

Adam Smith was a pioneer in the field of “political economy”, an original term used for the study of production and trade and their relationship with law, government and the distribution of wealth. Adam Smith’s great work is called “The Wealth of Nations” that was published in 1776. The book was a big hit within his own lifetime and went a long way to earning him the reputation as the father of modern economics and capitalism. Smith coined the phrase “the invisible hand of the market”, describing his assertion that a marketplace tends to self-regulate.

44 President during the Mexican-American War : POLK

James Knox Polk was the 11th US President. Polk is known as a president who delivered on promises that he made during his election campaign. He left office after serving only one term, as he had promised the voters, and then contracted cholera on a goodwill tour of the South. Polk died at only 53 years of age, the youngest age for any president to die in retirement. He also enjoyed the shortest retirement of any president, at only 103 days.

47 Shakespearean misanthrope : TIMON

Timon of Athens was noted for renouncing society, for being someone who despised mankind. Timon started out life as a wealthy man, but he lost all his money by pandering to the needs of his friends. Without money, Timon’s friends deserted him. Timon became rich again when he found a pot of gold, and so his friends sought him out once more. Timon was very embittered and so drove everyone away and lived the rest of his life as a hermit. Centuries after he died, Timon of Athens was to become the title character in “Timon of Athens”, a play by William Shakespeare

Misanthropy is a dislike of humans in general. The term comes from the Greek “misos” meaning “hatred” and “anthropos” meaning “man, human being”.

53 “The Harlequin’s Carnival” painter : MIRO

“The Harlequin’s Carnival” is one the most famous paintings by Catalan artist Joan Miró. You can go see it at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, New York.

55 Brouhahas : ADOS

“Brouhaha”, meaning “ado, stir”, was a French word that back in the 1550s meant “the cry of the devil disguised as clergy” . Wow!

59 Ben who starred in Broadway’s “Dear Evan Hansen” : PLATT

“Dear Evan Hansen” is a 2015 stage musical about a young man with awkward social skills and his efforts to make friends. The show was inspired by real-life events: The show’s writer, Steven Levenson, was inspired to write the musical after the suicide of a high school student in his hometown.

61 Role for Michelle Williams in “The Fabelmans” : MITZI

“The Fabelmans” is a 2022 coming-of-age drama film directed by Steven Spielberg, who co-wrote the screenplay with Tony Kushner. The movie is a semi-autobiographical story loosely based on Spielberg’s adolescence and first years as a filmmaker. The plot is told through an original story of the fictional Sammy Fabelman, a young aspiring filmmaker who explores how the power of films can help him see the truth about his dysfunctional family and those around him.

65 Wordle player’s pride : STREAK

Wordle is a web-based word game that a Welsh software engineer developed to play with his partner during the COVID pandemic. The name “Wordle” is a play on the engineer’s own name: Josh Wardle. Wardle published the game on its own website in 2021, primarily for the use of Wardle’s family. One month later, the game had 90 players, and a month later 300,000 players. A week later, the number of daily players had grown to two million! The New York Times purchased Wordle in 2022 “for an undisclosed price in the low-seven figures”.

67 Partner ship? : ARK

Genesis 6:19-20 states that Noah was instructed to take two animals of every kind into the ark. Later, in Genesis 7:2-3 Noah was instructed to take on board “every clean animal by sevens … male and female, to keep offspring alive on the face of all the earth”. Apparently, “extras” (7 rather than 2) were needed for ritual sacrifice.

71 Title pig of kids’ TV : PEPPA

“Peppa Pig” is a children’s animated show that is produced in the UK and airs all over the world. There’s even a Peppa Pig World theme park located in Hampshire, England.

74 Schmear topper : LOX

Lox is a brine-cured salmon filet that is finely sliced. The term “lox” comes into English via Yiddish, and derives from the German word for salmon, namely “Lachs”.

The word “schmear” comes from the Yiddish word “shmir” meaning “spread”. The phrase “the whole schmear” is a relatively recent one, dating back to around 1969 and coming from the world of business.

75 Annoying bot : SPAMMER

A bot is a computer program designed to imitate human behavior. It might crawl around the Web doing searches for example, or it might participate in discussions in chat rooms by giving pre-programmed responses. It might also act as a competitor in a computer game.

79 They have the Guinness distinction of Longest Running Fan Club for a Group : QUEEN

Queen is an English rock band that formed back in 1970. With the help of lead singer Freddie Mercury (now deceased), Queen has a long list of great hits, including “Bohemian Rhapsody”, “We Will Rock You” and “We Are the Champions”. “Bohemian Rhapsody” spent a total of nine weeks at number one in the UK. “Bohemian Rhapsody” is also the title of an outstanding 2018 biographical film about the band.

86 Pixy Stix containers : STRAWS

Pixy Stix is powdered candy that’s packaged in what looks like a straw. The “candy” was sold back in the thirties as a drink mix, but when kids were found to be eating the sweet & sour-tasting mix directly from packets, the producers began packaging it as candy.

92 Percival of legend, for one : SIR

King Arthur (and his Round Table) probably never really existed, but his legend is very persistent. Arthur was supposedly a leader of the Romano-British as they tried to resist the invasion of the Anglo-Saxons in the late 5th and early 6th centuries.

93 Mystical Buddhist text : TANTRA

Tantrism (sometimes “Tantra”) is a relatively recent class of religious ritual and meditation that has its roots in 5th century India. The tantras are sometimes considered as advanced teachings that extend the basic tenets of several Indian religions including Buddhism and Hinduism.

97 Minecraft material : ORE

Minecraft is a video game that was released in 2011. It is the most popular video game of all time, with well over 200 million units sold.

98 Cooper’s tool : ADZ

An adze (also “adz”) is similar to an ax, but is different in that the blade of an adze is set at right angles to the tool’s shaft. An ax blade is set in line with the shaft.

A cooper is a craftsman who makes wooden vessels, such as barrels. The term “cooper” ultimately derives from the Latin “cupa” meaning “barrel”.

116 Bitter-tasting salad ingredient : ENDIVE

Endive is a leaf vegetable belonging to the chicory genus, and so is in the daisy family. Endive is also known as “escarole”.

120 Sophisticated : URBANE

We use “urbane” today to describe something courteous or refined. Back in the 1500s, the term was used in the same way that we now use “urban”. Those townsfolk thought they were more sophisticated than the country folk, and so the usage evolved.

124 Area 51 sighting : SAUCER

The famed Area 51 is a remote base in the USAF Nevada Test and Training Range. There’s no question that Area 51 is an unusual base in that frontline operational units are not deployed there. It seems that it is used for developing and testing new and classified weapons facilities for the US Military and other US agencies like the CIA. The government did not even acknowledge that Area 51 existed until 1995, and this official position fueled a theory that the base is home to UFOs that landed on Earth.

127 Celebration in late January or early February : TET

The full name for the New Year holiday in Vietnam is “Tet Nguyen Dan” meaning “Feast of the First Morning”, with the reference being to the arrival of the season of spring. Tet usually falls on the same day as Chinese New Year.

Down

2 Escalade, e.g. : CADILLAC

The Escalade is a full-size SUV that Cadillac introduced in 1999. The word “escalade” describes the act of scaling defensive walls with ladders during a siege.

4 Shangri-las : EDENS

Shangri-La is the earthly paradise in the mountains of Tibet described by James Hilton in his novel “Lost Horizon”. Shangri-La is “edenic” (perfect, like the Garden of Eden from the Book of Genesis). Frank Capra directed a wonderful screen adaptation of “Lost Horizon” in 1937 starring Ronald Colman.

9 Cannes subject : CINE

“Cinéma” is French for “cinema”, and is often shortened to “ciné”.

Cannes is a city on the French Riviera that is noted as host of the Cannes Film Festival. The decision to host an annual film festival was adopted by the city just before WWII. However, the festival had to wait for the end of the war for its launch in 1946.

10 Tennis great known as “The Punisher” : AGASSI

Retired tennis professional Andre Agassi has been married to fellow player Steffi Graf since 2001. Agassi wrote an autobiography called “Open”, published in 2009. An amazing revelation in the book is that Agassi’s famous head of hair was actually a wig for much of his playing career. Can you imagine how hard it must have been to play tennis at his level with a rug stuck on?

13 Application fig. : GPA

Grade point average (GPA)

14 Casio rival : SEIKO

Watch manufacturer Seiko was founded as a watch and jewelry shop in Tokyo in 1881. The store was opened by one Kintaro Hattori, who started to produce clocks under the name Seikosha, which can be translated as “House of Exquisite Workmanship”. The first Seiko watches went on sale in 1924, and today the company suggests that the name “Seiko” is Japanese for “exquisite” and “success”.

15 Shore hazard : UNDERTOW

Undertows are coastal under-currents that flow away from the land, in the opposite direction to encroaching waves. The presence of undertows is practically inevitable, as the water brought in by waves has to recede.

17 Speeches with an 18-minute limit : TED TALKS

The acronym “TED” stands for “Technology, Entertainment and Design”. TED is a set of conferences held around the world by a non-profit group called the Sapling Foundation. The conference subjects are varied, and the meetings are often led by big names such as Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Bill Gates and Jane Goodall. The Sapling Foundation then makes recordings of the conferences available for free online with the intent of disseminating the ideas globally. These conferences are known as “TED Talks”. There are also TEDx events, which are locally-run talks presented under license from TED.

39 1916 battle site, with “the” : … SOMME

WWI’s Battle of the Somme took place between July and November 1916, and was fought in the upper reaches of the River Somme in France. The first day of the Somme offensive marked the worst day in the history of the British Army, suffering 57,470 casualties. The Somme was also the first battle in which tanks were used.

46 City on the Arno : PISA

The Italian city of Pisa is home to the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa, which is actually the bell tower of the city’s cathedral. Pisa is also a university town, and is home to one of the oldest universities in Europe, the University of Pisa, which was founded in 1343. The university has produced many notable alumni, including the physicist Galileo Galilei.

49 “Here’s looking at you, kid”? : MAA!

“Maa” is the call of a goat.

52 Why some app users check their notifications constantly, for short : FOMO

Fear of missing out (FOMO)

56 Several CBS dramas : CSIS

The “CSI” franchise of TV shows has been tremendously successful, and seems to really have legs. “CSI: Miami” (the “worst” of the franchise, I think) was canceled in 2012 after ten seasons. “CSI: NY” (the “best” of the franchise) was canceled in 2013 after nine seasons. The original “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” was set in Las Vegas, and hung in there until 2015 when it ended with a two-hour TV movie. Then there was “CSI: Cyber”. It lasted for two seasons, before being canceled in 2016. “CSI: Vegas”, a sequel to the original “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation”, launched in 2021.

57 Link letters : HTTP

“http” are the first letters in many Internet links. “http” stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol. More secure and “safer” websites (like this one!) use links starting with “https”, which stands for “http secure”).

58 ___ Major : URSA

The constellation Ursa Major (Latin for “Larger Bear”) is often just called “the Big Dipper” because of the resemblance of its main stars to a ladle or dipper. Those stars also resemble a plow, and that’s what we usually call the same constellation back in Ireland the “Plough”.

64 “Need You Tonight” band, 1987 : INXS

“Need You Tonight” is a 1987 song released by the Australian rock band INXS that made it to the top of the charts here in the US. The song’s music video was also a hit, and it won that season’s MTV Video of the Year Award.

76 One-named singer on 1998’s “Ghetto Supastar” : MYA

Mya is an R&B singer-songwriter. I don’t know her music, but I did see her get to the runner-up spot on the ninth series of “Dancing with the Stars”. On the show, Mya was beaten out of first place by Donny Osmond (don’t ask!).

77 Distracted Boyfriend, e.g. : MEME

“Distracted boyfriend” is an Internet meme featuring a staged photograph taken in 2015 by Spanish photographer Antonio Guillem. The picture was uploaded to stock photography website Shutterstock with the caption “Disloyal man walking with his girlfriend and looking amazed at another seductive girl”, which perfectly describes the image. The meme uses the image as a metaphor for many different situations involving disloyalty and distractions.

78 One of Eleven’s powers on “Stranger Things” : ESP

“Stranger Things” is a sci-fi horror TV show made for Netflix that aired its first season in 2016. I don’t do horror, and so haven’t seen it …

82 Gift on the seventh day of Christmas : SWAN

Those would be “seven swans a-swimming”.

85 What Tom and Daisy embody in “The Great Gatsby” : OLD MONEY

“The Great Gatsby” is a 1925 novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald that tells of the prosperous life of Jay Gatsby during the Roaring 20s. Gatsby develops an obsessive love for Daisy Fay Buchanan, a girl he met while serving during WWI, and meets again some years later after he has improved his social standing.

88 Last name in late-night : COLBERT

Stephen Colbert is a political satirist who hosted his own show on Comedy Central, “The Colbert Report”, before taking over the “Late Show” when David Letterman retired. Colbert’s first love was theater, and so he studied to become an actor. Fans of the “Lord of the Rings” films might know that Colbert makes a cameo appearance in “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug”. Don’t blink though, or you’ll miss it …

89 Ol’ Blue Eyes, e.g. : CROONER

In 1973, Frank Sinatra came out of retirement with a TV special and an album called “Ol’ Blue Eyes is Back“. The nickname “Ol’ Blue Eyes” stuck …

90 Quadrennial occurrence : LEAP DAY

Leap day is February 29th in a leap year, which is usually a year that is divisible by 4. My baby brother was born on February 29th, in 1968. A woman in Utah gave birth on February 29th in 2004, on February 29th in 2008, and once more on February 29th, 2012. That’s in the Guinness Book of World Records …

94 District attorney-turned-Batman foe : TWO-FACE

In the Batman storyline, Harvey Dent was the squeaky-clean District Attorney of Gotham City. Dent worked alongside Batman to fight the city’s crime. However, during a trial of a mob boss, the defendant throws acid at him and scars the left side of Dent’s face. Dent loses his mind and becomes a criminal, calling himself “Two-Face” because of his unfortunate facial features. Two-Face decides whether to do good or evil deeds by flipping a coin.

95 Ethylene gas, to tomatoes : RIPENER

Ethylene (also called “ethene”) has a gazillion uses, including as an anesthetic and an aid to hastening the ripening of fruit. Ethylene’s most common use is as a major raw material in the manufacture of plastics (like polyethylene).

101 ___ choy : BOK

Bok choy is a variety of Chinese cabbage. “Bok choy” translates as “white vegetable”.

105 Throw in the towel : BAG IT

The expression “to throw in the towel” means “to give up”, and comes from the world of boxing. In boxing, when someone in the corner feels that a fight needs to be stopped, he or she throws a towel into the ring and accepts the loss. Back in the 1700s, it wasn’t a towel that was thrown into the ring, but rather a sponge.

112 Renaissance instrument : LUTE

The lute is a stringed instrument with a long neck and usually a pear-shaped body. It is held and played like a guitar, and was popular from the Middle Ages right through to the late Baroque era. A person who plays the lute can be referred to as a “lutenist”.

113 ___ Reader : UTNE

The “Utne Reader” is known for aggregation and republishing of articles on politics, culture and the environment from other sources in the media. It was founded in 1984 by Eric Utne, with management taken over by Eric’s wife Nina Rothschild Utne in 1990.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Staff symbol : C-CLEF
6 Items on the backs of some Jeeps : GAS CANS
13 Test pilot’s attire : GSUIT
18 Bedridden : LAID UP
20 Creditor, in legalese : OBLIGEE
21 Champion boxer Errol ___ Jr. : SPENCE
22 Once or twice : ADVERB
23 Like Mary Shelley when she wrote “Frankenstein” : TEENAGE
24 Marketing expenditure : PAID AD
25 Bearing : MIEN
26 Natural source of rubber : TREE SAP
27 County that’s home to the White Cliffs of Dover : KENT
28 Unimpressed : BLASE
29 Sheet under a tent : TARP
30 Sharp pain : STAB
31 Major vessel : AORTA
32 Chinese ___ (bonsai choice) : ELM
34 Rhyme for “away” in “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” : GAY
35 Agent Deirdre Beaubeirdre’s org. in “Everything Everywhere All at Once” : IRS
37 No. on a résumé : TEL
38 Ewes’ guys : RAMS
40 “Invisible hand” subj. : ECON
42 Quattro e quattro : OTTO
44 President during the Mexican-American War : POLK
45 Ice cream shop employee, e.g. : SCOOPER
47 Shakespearean misanthrope : TIMON
51 Small Southwestern birds of prey : ELF OWLS
53 “The Harlequin’s Carnival” painter : MIRO
54 Nickname for a British relative : NAN
55 Brouhahas : ADOS
56 Buds : CHUMS
59 Ben who starred in Broadway’s “Dear Evan Hansen” : PLATT
61 Role for Michelle Williams in “The Fabelmans” : MITZI
65 Wordle player’s pride : STREAK
66 “Who, me?” : MOI?
67 Partner ship? : ARK
68 Belief : NOTION
69 “___ magic!” : IT’S
71 Title pig of kids’ TV : PEPPA
74 Schmear topper : LOX
75 Annoying bot : SPAMMER
79 They have the Guinness distinction of Longest Running Fan Club for a Group : QUEEN
80 Work like the devil? : POSSESS
84 “Who, me?” response : YES, YOU!
86 Pixy Stix containers : STRAWS
88 Carpentry vise : C-CLAMP
91 ___ service : LIP
92 Percival of legend, for one : SIR
93 Mystical Buddhist text : TANTRA
97 Minecraft material : ORE
98 Cooper’s tool : ADZ
100 Folder flap : TAB
102 End of a sports movie, often : WIN
103 Advance : LOAN
104 Block (up) : DAM
105 Some four-year degs. : BAS
107 Letters that sound out a sentence : IOU
108 First-rate : TOPS
109 Playful hit : BOP
111 Speculative fiction subgenre that envisions a sustainable energy future : SOLARPUNK
115 Limited number : FEW
116 Bitter-tasting salad ingredient : ENDIVE
119 Fun facts : NUGGETS
120 Sophisticated : URBANE
122 Farm machine : REAPER
123 French form of “Stephen” : ETIENNE
124 Area 51 sighting : SAUCER
125 “C’mon, you’ll love it!” : TRY ONE!
126 “And ___ …” : YET
127 Celebration in late January or early February : TET
128 Tweaks : ALTERS

Down

1 Ascends with one’s hands and feet : CLAMBERS
2 Escalade, e.g. : CADILLAC
3 Blanks’ opposite : LIVE AMMO
4 Shangri-las : EDENS
5 Hair of the dog : FUR
6 “See ya later” : GOTTA GO
7 Not normal : ABERRANT
8 Like beach towns in the winter : SLEEPY
9 Cannes subject : CINE
10 Tennis great known as “The Punisher” : AGASSI
11 Former name of the electron : NEGATRON
12 Ignore, as a shortcoming : SEE PAST
13 Application fig. : GPA
14 Casio rival : SEIKO
15 Shore hazard : UNDERTOW
16 “That much is obvious” : I CAN TELL
17 Speeches with an 18-minute limit : TED TALKS
19 Channel with on-air fund-raising : PBS
21 Mole, e.g. : SPY
33 Taunt : JEER
36 Shout at an auction : SOLD!
39 1916 battle site, with “the” : … SOMME
41 Boast : CROW
43 Blue-green : TEAL
44 Hypothesize : POSIT
46 City on the Arno : PISA
48 Taking the place (of) : IN LIEU
49 “Here’s looking at you, kid”? : MAA!
50 Like old audiobooks : ON TAPE
52 Why some app users check their notifications constantly, for short : FOMO
56 Several CBS dramas : CSIS
57 Link letters : HTTP
58 ___ Major : URSA
59 Classroom surprise : POP QUIZ
60 Passage of a planet across a star, e.g. : TRANSIT
62 Noted export of Portugal : TILE
63 Common field trip destinations : ZOOS
64 “Need You Tonight” band, 1987 : INXS
70 Blubber : CRY
72 Stew tidbit : PEA
73 E.M.T.’s technique : CPR
76 One-named singer on 1998’s “Ghetto Supastar” : MYA
77 Distracted Boyfriend, e.g. : MEME
78 One of Eleven’s powers on “Stranger Things” : ESP
81 ___ milk : OAT
82 Gift on the seventh day of Christmas : SWAN
83 Mr. Burns supposedly received the second one ever on “The Simpsons”: Abbr. : SSN
85 What Tom and Daisy embody in “The Great Gatsby” : OLD MONEY
87 Gift for an aspiring conductor : TRAIN SET
88 Last name in late-night : COLBERT
89 Ol’ Blue Eyes, e.g. : CROONER
90 Quadrennial occurrence : LEAP DAY
94 District attorney-turned-Batman foe : TWO-FACE
95 Ethylene gas, to tomatoes : RIPENER
96 Key components : ANSWERS
98 Some batteries : AAS
99 Ginormous : LARGE
101 ___ choy : BOK
105 Throw in the towel : BAG IT
106 Didn’t save : SPENT
110 Appliance that may self-clean : OVEN
112 Renaissance instrument : LUTE
113 ___ Reader : UTNE
114 Kind of tradition : ORAL
117 N.Y.S.E. debut : IPO
118 Afore : ERE
120 Letters on the Saturn V rocket : USA
121 Protester’s word : BUT

16 thoughts on “0421-24 NY Times Crossword 21 Apr 24, Sunday”

  1. 35:30, no errors. I didn’t see the explanatory note until I was almost done with the puzzle and therefore had no clue what was going on with the seven mysterious dials. After I finally went in search of an explanation, found the note, and read it, I double-checked everything I had entered in the grid, figured out how a couple of the dials would need to be rotated, and filled the last square. I then tried to figure out how to rotate the dials, with no success, and it took me a minute or two to realize that the app was rotating them for me. All in all, a marvelous construction, but very confusing to deal with via the app.

  2. Not too hard I guess but rotating the dials seemed irrelevant to the rest of the puzzle — or maybe you could say that rotating the letters seemed utterly pointless?

  3. 45:52, no errors. I didn’t read the notes so I had no clue about the dials. I figured they would unlock something but as it turned out, I didn’t need them to solve the puzzle. I did enjoy that the app sequentially moved from lock to lock and rotated them after completion.

  4. But those of us working not with the app but on paper, it was really difficult. Actually, for me, impossible. And frustrating. Are there people who still do puzzles on paper?

    1. I still use pen and paper. Usually with success but not on this puzzle. DNF with numerous errors. Hitches instead of gas cans for example.

    2. I do puzzles on paper probably 60-70% of the time. I may lose my printer soon, so that might radically change. But I try to do well with it either way.

  5. And would it be possible to have the details explaining what the rotations are? Anyhow you arrive at the word “jackpot”?

  6. The Seattle Times version of this puzzle is messed up. There’s an extra CR in 35A which shifts the clues down one. Went ahead and just recorded it anyway to the tune of 43:35, 2 errors (admittedly dumb, but one of the letters wasn’t checked, so there’s that too), and will upload when I get it processed with a card added explaining the original intended gimmick. For me, fairly acceptable given the extra difficulty of figuring out the clue shift and the difficulty of the puzzle anyway (Xwstats: “Very Hard”, 38:57 average).

    But regardless, if you haven’t tried it yourself know the puzzle is messed up.

    1. I noticed it when I got to 35A.
      That takes a lot of patience.
      I know because I’ve done that with similarly flawed weekday 15×15 puzzles before. But not gonna attempt it for a Sunday puzzle. I find Sunday puzzles tedious enough without having to shift the clue numbers in your head as you go.

      1. That takes a lot of patience.

        It definitely does. You’ll see a lot of missteps and a lot of shifting about trying to see what the next clue is. Biggest part of it I guess is while I knew things got wonky after 35A, the problem is I didn’t necessarily know if the down clues were shifted as well. Especially since a lot of reasonable stuff wasn’t working on crosses. It’s not usual, but I went so long on that one I had to tend to something and pause it and step away to do that. Sometimes that’s a patience challenge too to get back into a grid after you step away, especially if you’re managing a recording of it.

  7. I was in the middle of this one (from the Seattle paper) and realized something was up. I know in the past @glen was good about sniffing this out. Now that i know where it starts, ill go back through it.

  8. Much easier after that. But I never took the time to figure out the rotation.

    An hour is long enough

  9. In the syndicated Seattle Times version 37A is clued as “Everything Everywhere All at Once”. Subsequent clues are shifted. (The answer for 37A goes with the clue for 38A, e.g.) The last across answer has no clue.

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