Thursday, August 18, 2022

Thursday, August 18, 2022, Adam Wagner

Nothing to this one, eh? 

It's Thursday, and we get a rebus! At home I've got over 7,000 messages in my inbox, but INBOXZERO is something I aspire to at work, where I like to keep it under 20. Every so often I get it down to five or so, and maybe once it's been empty, but that doesn't last. 

Today, we turn the phrase around and put "zero" "inbox." Three rebuses that mean "zero," and one that used to mean "anything," or even "all," but now is used to mean zero (as when calling the years from 2000 to 2009 "the aughts") are put into a single square. 

CAT (Litter maker)

RE[NONE]VADA (Home of more than 16,000 slot machines) gave it away for me. (Are there even more in Las Vegas?) The cross HEAVE[NONE]ARTH (Paradise) always makes me think of the Tower Hill Botanic Garden in Massachusetts, where one building bears an inscription reading "si caelum in terra sit, haec id est" (if there be a heaven on earth, this is it).

I laughed at N[AUGHT]IER, but is L[AUGHT]EST (Proverbial assessment for whether or not an idea can be taken seriously) really a thing? A proverbial thing? And is it weird to have ABCTV and TVTRAY (Accessory for dinner and a show?) (nice clue) in the same puzzle? And what's the deal with "Common creature in rebus puzzles" for BEE. Is this a strange cryptic clue that wants us to take the letter b in "rebus" as the animal? Or am I beeing obtuse? What am I missing?

I liked "Bounce of the walls" (ECHO), "It's on the hook" (BAIT), "Attempts to be a team player?" (TRIESOUT), "Take the wrong way?" (ROB), "Game face?" (AVATAR), and "What a cellist may take onstage, in two senses" (BOW). That's a lot of good clues, right? 

- Horace


  1. I knew there was a rebus lurking around it somewhere, but boy, did I find it hard to find them. The clues are fantastic. I can't imagine an IN BOX ZERO, especially my work email...every time I attempt to clean it up, some client will write "per my email of last month," sheesh. :-) PAN PIZZA was a delight for this former Motown girl!

  2. The BEE in the rebus clue doesn't refer to a crossword puzzle rebus but to the kind that, oh gosh I tried to find some of these online or some terminology to distinguish them from other puzzles or wordplay, and found it was all a bit confusing but I will tell you that these puzzles exist and they are chock full of bees (for the letter B), eyes (for the letter I), and the like.

    As for the L[AUGHT]EST I have heard the phrase but I was trying pretty hard to figure out how to put "smell test" in there which just didn't fit, rebus or no rebus.