Category Archives: Completed

NYT Crossword 11-30-20 Complete

This was yet another Monday puzzle I got through quickly but got something wrong. I spent more than equal time finding that one square as completing the rest of the grid. And when I found it, I was not only annoyed but educated.

The clue I decided to pull out today is 14A Suffix with switch: EROO.

This is the one that turned out to have given me so much trouble. I went through the entire puzzle over and over to try to find anything wrong at all. I started to feel like the puzzle was broken and just didn’t recognize my accurate completion. There couldn’t be an issue with AROO.

But there was. 1D ___ and haw: HEM makes way more sense than does HAM. So that’s that.

I figured out the theme on the second related clue.

I skipped 8A Capital of 71-Across because I hadn’t gotten to 71A.

18A *Restaurant chain known for its coffee and doughnuts had the right number of spaces for TIMHORTONS, so I quickly jumped back to 8A.

8A Capital of 71-Across: OTTAWA–whose hockey team is appropriately named the Senators.
18A *Restaurant chain known for its coffee and doughnuts: TIMHORTONS
62A *Pancake topping: MAPLESYRUP
4D *Leafs-watching time, maybe: HOCKEYNIGHT, though I had thought and then rejected HOCKEYFIGHT for the Toronto Maple Leafs clue.
27D *Important step after erring: SAYINGSORRY, even though I would have expected it to be SAYINGSOREY.

71A Place associated with the answers to the starred clues: CANADA, of course!

Completion time was an appalling 12:41, but at least now I know it’s SWITCHEROO and not SWITCHAROO. And knowing is half the battle.

NYT Crossword Puzzle 11-29-20 Complete

Well this puzzle was crazy for me. Slow and tough.

For a lot of it, I didn’t even think I’d finish. But there was one clue that I couldn’t figure out, but when Calah looked at it, she got it immediately.

1A Its logo has a blue, red, orange, yellow and green “M”: GMAIL.

I had thought that it was a logo that had many M’s. When Calah right away figured out what it is, I looked at the favicon of another tab in Chrome and saw the multicolored M they were talking about. If not for Calah, no chance I finish this puzzle.

The title of the puzzle is Six-Pack, and I still am not certain why that title is applicable to this one.

I figured out the formula of the theme about halfway through the grid’s completion. Not halfway through the time because I was stuck awhile.

23A Very short-lived gemstones: EPHEMERALDS.
EPHEMERAL: Short-lived
EMERALDS: Gemstones
34A TV quiz program about an epic poem: GILGAMESHOW
GILGAMESH: Epic poem
GAME SHOW: TV quiz program
93A Magnificent plan of action: FIRSTRATEGY
FIRST RATE: Magnificent
STRATEGY: Plan of action
107A Dance celebrating 2010 legislation: OBAMACARENA
OBAMACARE: 2010 legislation
MACARENA: Dance at many celebrations I’ve been to
3D Emergency situation caused by a terrier: AIREDALERT

AIREDALE TERRIER

RED ALERT: Emergency situation
11D Salon job named after a comic book hero: SUPERMANENT
SUPERMAN: Comic book hero
PERMANENT: Curly hair!
63D Pounding on a pie topping: HAMMERINGUE
HAMMER: Pounding!
MERINGUE: Pie topping and a dessert unto itself!
74D Entertainment host Ryan, that smart aleck!: WISEACREST
WISEACRE: Smart aleck
SEACREST: Ryan

This one took me an absurd amount of time and brought my average up big. But I finished. Works for me!

NYT Crossword 11-27-20 Complete! And a new Friday PR!

I finished the puzzle and set a new Friday personal record. This one felt way easier than a Friday normally would, and I made my way through without being told I was close but that I was completely done.

First PR I’ve set in a long while!

Unfortunately, this puzzle was marred by two related clues.

39A Heavenly halo: CORONA
59A Famed Miami golf resort: DORAL

As it stands right now, we can put the ownership of both on Trump. We have a spike in Coronavirus cases right now, and I still haven’t given my family a hug since mid-March. That’s coming up on nine months without a hug from my family.

Now, it’s possible that Doral will be repossessed if Trump can’t pay back loans, right? Hot take: There will never be justice for the intentional mishandling of Coronavirus.

I don’t have a theme for this puzzle other than fast (for me), but there’s another clue I figured I’d pull out of this.

53A “Bloom County” character whose vocabulary consists mostly of “Thbbft!” and “Ack!”: BILLTHECAT. I had never heard of this before. I had filled out CATHY_ _ _ _ _, but that didn’t go. Cathy is the only comic strip I know of with ACK!

I just found out that the creator of Cathy is… Cathy.

Cathy Guisewite has been posting new stuff on her Instagram.

The new Friday PR is 16:23, which beat my old Friday PR of 16:59 from more than two years ago. Pretty happy with this result.

NYT Crossword 11-26-20 complete

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today was a real Thursday. You know, unlike yesterday’s Wednesday that I had thought was Thursday. But that I thought it was Sunday, so I don’t even know what’s going on.

I chose 26A More than calls: RAISES because it didn’t make sense to me until I tried to find where I’d gone wrong. It’s just poker. That’s it.

The theme of this puzzle made the electronic version of the grid look all weird.

18A Oboe or flute sound: VVOOWWEELL
29A Home to around eight million Americans: IISSLLAANNDD
47A Circumlocutory: WWIINNDDEEDD
61A Some winter wear: JJOOHHNNSS

71A Word interpreted literally in completing four of this puzzle’s answers: LONG

See? The answers are all stretched out. Elongated.

18A Oboe or flute sound: LONG VOWEL
29A Home to around eight million Americans: LONG ISLAND
47A Circumlocutory: LONGWINDED
61A Some winter wear: LONGJOHNS

This is a puzzle that I really think [Long] Calah (@ccaallaahh) could identify with.

NYT Crossword 11-25-20 Complete

A moment ago I was excited to have done a Thursday puzzle so quickly. Then I realized that today is only Wednesday. And I can be fine at Wednesdays, so it turns out that this was no real surprise.

I pulled out 32D Signed, sealed or delivered: PASTTENSE because of how sad the song would have been. I mean could you imagine?

There I was / Signed, sealed, delivered / I was yours back then.

Depressing!

I don’t know how I feel about today’s theme other than that it exists.

16A Prince, e.g.: MALEHEIR
25A Stamp on an envelope [and 16-Across flipped]: AIRMAIL
31A It takes a glider up to launch altitude: TOWPLANE
44A It takes a glider up to launch altitude: PLAINTOE
50A Golf reservation: TEETIME
63A Herbal drink full of antioxidants [and 50-Across flipped]: THYMETEA

Thyme tea? This is the first I’ve ever heard of thyme tea. So I looked it up and came across these questions:

That second one really got my mind going. What does happen to your body when you drink thyme tea?

A little more searching got me to the unassailable medical publication Stylecraze’s 3 Side Effects That Tell You Why Thyme May Not Always Be Good. Those side effects are headaches, asthma, and skin allergies.

It even offered that it could lead to “hypotension: Allergic response to thyme may cause hypotension, as observed in a 45-year old man. Some sources even hint cardiac arrest upon the intake of thyme oil.”

When you talk about a single uncited case and then offer the vague “some sources,” it’s just gotta be true.

I finished this one in 12:19. We’ll see tomorrow what a real Thursday puzzle will do to me.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

NYT Crossword 11-24-20 Complete

Kind of a slow Tuesday for me. Certainly it’s harder to do the puzzle on my phone, so it was a good call to my computer partway through.

I pulled the clue 41A Resentful and hostile manner, informally: TUDE mainly because what year is this? Does anyone shorten attitude to tude anymore? I realize that this a a real question. I haven’t been out in the world since early this year. Will there be all kinds of divergent slang due to lack of exposure to one another?

I figured out the theme with the middle clue, and it was right up my alley. So good job, Caitlin Reid. And thanks for not totally ruining it, Will Shortz.

19A “An orca is actually a dolphin?!”: WHALEILLBEDARNED (well I’ll be darned)
37A “Wow, that’s a giant sea cow!”: OHTHEHUGEMANATEE

https://knowyourmeme.com/memes/oh-the-huge-manatee

The meme couldn’t have been the first time someone said this.

55A “This is the best fish I’ve ever had!”: GREATCODALMIGHTY

Good puns. I like it.

Final time for this slow Tuesday 16:40.

NYT Crossword 11-23-20 Complete

I filled out the grid in 4:29! But I didn’t do it correctly. It’s a common theme for me when I race through it.

Like the Moody Blues say: “Run like a fire / Don’t you run in / In the lanes / RUN FOR TIME.”

It took almost as long to find my errors as it did to do the puzzle!

I pulled out 47D Unleavened bread for Passover: MATZOH as today’s clue I have something to say about. Transliterated words are the really the worst. I have seen MATZAH and MATZO in the wild and in use, but MATZOH? I don’t think so. It’s like when the Spelling Bee had MAZAL and MAZEL as words that existed in the grid but not in the word list. But they’re fine with MOOLA AND MOOLAH. These inconsistencies are quite a headache.

And as for the theme: 62D Two forms of them are found in 18-, 38- and 60-Across: IDS.
18A Australian wind instrument: D(ID)GER(ID)OO
38A System of underwater mountains: M(ID)OCEANR(ID)GE
60A Wedding attendant: BR(ID)ESMA(ID)

Though I prefer my own theme and the one I started with: RIDE MY SEE-SAW!

18A Australian wind instrument: DIDGERIDOO
38A System of underwater mountains: MIDOCEANRIDGE
60A Wedding attendant: BRIDESMAID

NYT Crossword 11-22-20 Complete

I had early success with today’s puzzle, but that slowed down considerably as I struggled with the theme. After some thought, I figured the theme out, and the rest of the puzzle got a lot easier.

The clue I decided to pull out was 100A Emotive brass sound: WAHWAH. It’s sad trombone.

I’ve used this before, and it seems to come in handy a lot these days. I look forward to that changing.

It All Adds Up is the theme because the way to solve it is through addition. It probably would have helped to read the title of the puzzle earlier than as I was scanning this completed post for any glaring errors before clicking the publish button.

The circled clues add up to make useful and appropriate words.

23A Bygone office group: S(ONE)OPOOL
3D Made the rounds?: (NINE)DEDBAR
NINE+ONE=TEN
so
23A Bygone office group: STENO POOL
3D Made the rounds?: TENDED BAR

25A Final remark in an argument: THELAS(ONE)RD
15D Doctor’s reassurance before a shot: I(ONE)NTHURT
ONE+ONE=TWO
so
25A Final remark in an argument: THE LAST WORD
15D Doctor’s reassurance before a shot: IT WON’T HURT

66A Long-running show whose iconic hourglass is in the Smithsonian collection: DAYSO(TWO)LIVES
35D 1943 Pulitzer-winning Thornton Wilder play, with “The”: SKINO(TWO)TEETH
TWO+TWO=FOUR

TWO PLUS TWO IS FOUR. MINUS ONE, THAT’S THREE. QUICK MATHS.

so
66A Long-running show whose iconic hourglass is in the Smithsonian collection: DAYS OF OUR LIVES
35D 1943 Pulitzer-winning Thornton Wilder play, with “The”: SKIN OF OUR TEETH

113A Union Pacific vehicle: FR(FOUR)TRAIN
72D Qualifies to fight in a certain class: MAKESW(FOUR)
FOUR+FOUR=EIGHT
so
113A Union Pacific vehicle: FREIGHT TRAIN
72D Qualifies to fight in a certain class: MAKES WEIGHT

116A Neither gains nor loses: BREAK(ZERO)
77D Journalists might be invited to it: PRES(SEVENT)
SEVEN+ZERO=SEVEN
so
116A Neither gains nor loses: BREAKS EVEN
77D Journalists might be invited to it: PRESS EVENT

Definitely a lot to get through today. It’s my first completed Sunday in a long while. It took me less than an hour, which I think isn’t so bad.

NYT Crossword 11-20-20 Complete

First Friday I’ve finished in a long time. That brings the streak to five days in a row. It’s almost too bad that I solve the Saturday crossword with friends on Tuesday nights so the streak ends tomorrow. But I don’t really mind. It’s fun to solve it with them. And often well under 10 minutes.

I’ve stated in the past that I cut it off at half an hour. Clearly this took more than half an hour. I had the grid filled out completed in the 29th minute. Of course it has to be filled out and be completely right. That meant going through the entire puzzle clue by clue, changing AYCARAMBA to AYCARUMBA followed by NETTLES to NESTLES and finally AYCARUMBA back to AYCARAMBA.

I opted for 19A Place name in Manhattan: ASTOR to be my highlighted clue of the day because it reminds me of the first time I went to New York City. It was pre-9/11. I was 12 years old. Somehow we got upgraded to business class for the flight there. It’s still the only time I’ve flown business class.

My dad came across times for Blue Man Group. I recognized them from the Pentium III commercials.

My dad waited for I don’t know how many hours to buy house seats as the show had long been sold out.

The show then was at the Astor Place Theatre. And now the Astor Place Theatre is owned by Blue Man Group.

I think I know this puzzle’s theme: HARD.

The NYT Crossword stats section is kinda screwy. The only puzzles tracked are those that were completed. So today’s completion time of 37:50 is well above my average Friday solve time of 31:03. My PR is 16:59 back in October of 2018. What was going on then? I have so many personal records attributable to October 2018.

NYT Crossword 11-19-20 Complete

An easy Thursday? Could it be? This just shows the unpredictability of Tuesdays and Thursdays. And credit to Geoffrey Bishop for giving me confidence to approach this one with optimism rather than with regular Thursday dread.

I chose 45D as the highlighted clue/answer today because I don’t like it.
45D Little waves, in Spain: TILDES.

Tildes aren’t water waves and aren’t hand waves. That’s not the Spanish word for wave. Rather, the answer is the little wavy line above n in ñ. Dumb.

It was clear to me from very, very early on that this puzzle’s theme answers contained no vowels and was for a specific gameshow.

18A *Creator of 55-Across: MRVGRFFN->MERV GRIFFIN, creator of all kind of gameshows who lent his name to a street in Beverly Hills that goes into the Beverly Hilton Hotel.
20A *Co-host of 55-Across: VNNWHT->VANNA WHITE who never seems to age.
30A *Group of six given for free on 55-Across: RSTLN->RSTLNE, but there are no vowels, so no E.
41A *Co-host of 55-Across: PTSJK->PAT SAJAK who seems to age slowly.
52A *Bad place to land on 55-Across: BNKRPT->BANKRUPT. Always painful to see someone who has the trip and the $5000 and other prizes and who has just one consonant missing decide to spin instead of solve the puzzle, land on bankrupt, and the contestant who has $300 solves the puzzle for the win.
55A *It debuted on 1/6/1975: WHLFFRTN: WHEEL! OF! FORTUNE!
13D What you might cry when trying to answer the six starred clues? CANIBUYAVOWEL.

I’m disappointed that there was no clue Encouraging words repeated by contestants: BGMNY.

Time: 17:47. Not close to my Thursday PR of 13:09 back in October of 2018 but better than my Thursday average of 29:55.