Category Archives: Completed

NYT Crossword Puzzle 10-29-20 Complete

I know what you’re thinking: Matt! Yesterday you were congratulated for a one-day streak that actually was a three-day streak. How did you get congratulated again for a one-day streak when now it’s most certainly a four-day streak?

The answer is easy: I am so capable.

As if you needed proof!

But as someone who likes to understand things, I feel like I should be embarrassed that I don’t get this puzzle. I finished, sure, but I don’t get it.

I hope this makes sense in retrospect. I mean much later retrospect.

71A “I’m busy!” … or, if read in four pieces, an aid in solving several clues here: NOTNOW.

Really, no idea. I know the answer’s correct because I’m on a one-day streak, but I do not understand where this comes into play.

Most of the answers don’t even seem to match up with the clues. Enough did for me to make words out of the remaining ones, but

oh noes.

I just got it.

The clues are too long.

NOTNOW isn’t not now, it’s No T, No W. Wow! I mean o!

1A Twice over – TW = ice over: FREEZE
17A Tallowy – TW = alloy: AMALGAMATE
62A Twin bed, perhaps – TW = in bed, perhaps: FASTASLEEP

OK that wasn’t SO bad. I wish I’d gotten it earlier, but at least I got there on my own.

My favorite clue for the entire puzzle isn’t what you’re expecting. It’s not 15A Biblical companion of Moses: HUR, a certainly important character in my sister‘s bat mitzvah production entitled “Sinai: The Movie.”

That absolutely pulled ahead early, but it was bested by another one.

36A Like all prime numbers besides one: ODD.

This clue is fun for me because all prime number are odd except for one, and that’s two. Because all prime numbers are odd except for one, and one isn’t prime. But two is prime, and two is even. So there you go.

NYT Crossword 10-28-20 Complete

OK. What. In. The. World! I know I”m a little out of practice, but when did Wednesday get to be so difficult? I’m used to taking a beating on Thursdays, not Wednesdays. And I completed this partially by brute force until the it finally told me that I had finished and am on a one-day streak despite clearly being on a three-day streak. Way to cut it unnecessarily Shortz, NYTXW.

That’s clearly three days.

This puzzle was absurd, but before the madness, there’s some fun.

68A U.S. Navy builder: SEABEE
This reminds me of riding bikes on at the beach with my family. I think that was the first time I had heard of the Seabees. My dad told me about how they build stuff like bees do and on the sea because the US Navy. But also that it was CB for Construction Brigade. It was among the easy clues for me to get in this puzzle.

But this puzzle was ?????????????

1A With 21-, 30-, 49-, 61- and 74-Across, end of a Carrie Bradshaw quote that starts “Men in their 40s are like the New York Times Sunday crossword puzzle …”: TRICKY. From the word go. Holy smokes!
21A Part 2 of the quote: COMPLICATED AND
30A Part 3: YOU’RE NEVER
49A Part 4: REALLY SURE
61A Part 5: YOU GOT THE RIGHT
66A Casual ristorante: TRATTORIA. You know, just to see if you’re paying attention.
74A End of the quote: ANSWER

So Men in their 40s are like the New York Times Sunday crossword puzzle Tricky, shamelessly self-promoting, complicated, and you’re never really sure you got the right answer.

I had been able to work a bunch of these parts from letters that were in there and the reference to the Sunday puzzle, and you’ll notice above that I did not complete Sunday’s.

Now, this puzzle took me just under half an hour to complete. In contrast, my best Wednesday was 7:55 on August 5, and my average is 18:01. So for this to be what it is and for me to have struggled with it like I had is head-shaking times.


NYT Crossword 10-27-20 Complete

To start off, Dodgers won! Woohoo! Second time in my life but first time I can remember it. Now, I wish I could have celebrated with friends or at a bar, but no hugging happened after the final out was recorded.

Oh! I get it now!

So 14A was a weird answer based on the clue. Hip to, as the latest news: UPON. No, not upon but up on. It’s a weird way of putting it up, but oh well.

This puzzle had a Spelling Bee theme, and nobody likes a crossover more than I do.

15A Apt phrase that uses just the letters of U.S. CAPITOL: POLITICSASUSUAL
25A Apt phrase that uses just the letters of UNEARTHS: TREASUREHUNTER
42A Apt phrase that uses just the letters of GRAND TIME: GETTINGMARRIED
56A Apt phrase that uses just the letters of MASTERING: TRAININGSEMINAR

Again, Dodgers win! Hooray!

NYT Crossword 10-26-20 Complete

Not a PR but not so bad, either. Finished in 5:06. But well below my 9:41 Monday average, which includes the ones on my phone. I don’t even remember when I did a 4:21. But my Monday streak is more than half a year long, so it’s the small wins.

67A Home made of hides: TEPEE. This is the spelling I missed in the Spelling Bee the other day, and it still smarts.

And on the topic of give me a break…

18A One reading secret messages: CODEBREAKER
28A Professional joke teller: STANDUPCOMIC
47A Health professional who has your back?: CHIROPRACTOR
62A Apt command to an 18-, 28- or 47-Across: GETCRACKING

WSJ Crossword 10-22-20 Complete

I haven’t yet finished the NYT puzzle today, so I’ll post that later. Likely, that puzzle will be incomplete. But this one is finished, so hooray for that.

I don’t know what it is about the Wall Street Journal puzzle that perpetually disappoints me. When I complete it, it’s like I’m relieved that it’s over. I know nobody is forcing me to do it, and maybe I just haven’t found the fun in it yet.

Today’s puzzle title is Letter Carriers. This played out as the answers to the long clues were like the BEFORE AND AFTER category on Jeopardy.

16A Crew given to cursing?: FBOMBSQUAD. Look at the Wall Street Journal being all risqué using F-BOMB in the answer to a clue.
22A Musical rock?: EFLATEARTH. Clever again! The flat earther contingent doing the WSJ puzzle must be bigger than I imagine.
36A Arizona cowboy?: DBACKONTHEHORSE. Talk about shoehorning one in! I don’t really think “back on the horse” when I hear cowboy. Maybe a better clue is recovering cowboy. Regular cowboy is just on the horse.
47A Hog market?: EBAYOFPIGS. Nothing’s more fun than conjuring the Cold War and the Russians messing with us, right?
58A Gaming workplace?: XBOXOFFICE. Because we all work in box offices? Another clue that is written poorly.

And here’s the best-worst part of the whole puzzle and by that I mean the part of the puzzle that is just wrong.

66A Letter carrier that literally distributed letters to 16-, 22-, 36, 47- and 58-Across: FEDEX

FEDEX! Right, when I send a letter, I choose FedEx. Because the thing I want to do most when I send correspondence is to go to Kinko’s and deal with something so bad there’s a game about it instead of putting a stamp on an envelope and dropping it in a blue collection box.

Now, I don’t like Will Shortz less than anyone else, but I doubt even he’d let this by. Outrageous.

WSJ Crossword 10-21-20 Complete

The title of this puzzle is Bar Hopping. Remember bar hopping? Those were the days. St. Paddy’s Day, Halloween, Independence Day, Arbor Day. Good times.

44D “Dancing With the Stars” judge Goodman: LEN. I hadn’t known Len Goodman existed. Turns out he did and that he still does. Clearly I do not watch DWTS. I recently heard that Chrishell from Selling Sunset is on it? What a show that is/was.

But in the last 15 or so minutes, I’ve found out so much about DWTS! I learned that Len Goodman will not be returning this fall because he’s stuck in the UK due to covid travel restrictions. More than that, Tom Bergeron (another name I’m unfamiliar with) and Erin Andrews (finally someone I recognize!) are gone. Further, Tyra Banks is joining/has joined as a judge this season.

So back to the Bar Hopping theme.

20A Some runners’ supports: JOG(BRAS
22A It’s just one thing after another: SIRIE)S
BRASSIRIE
26A Composer Hoist: GUS(TAV
29A Orange character of kiddie TV: ERN)IE
TAVERN
43A Model plane material: BAL(SA
44A Canadian dollar, familiarly: LOON)IE
SALOON
49A Depth charge, in military slang: ASH(CAN
50A Three-time Golden Globes co-host: TINA)FEY <–Good for her!
CANTINA

Finished in 18:12.

NYT Crossword 10-21-20 Complete

A moment of silence for quibi.

That’s over, so here’s today’s crossword.

Now that the election is less than two weeks away, I do find the humor in
48A Like Barack Obama’s presidency: TWOTERM. With Trump trailing by nearly 10 points (archived here for the future), it certainly seems like a dig.

Today’s long answers were puns based on place names.
17A Ways to cross a river in Switzerland?: BERNBRIDGES. Bern is arguably but not officially the capital of Switzerland, another clear demonstration of how evasive the country really is.
28A First showing at a film festival in France?: CANNESOPENER. Because Cannes’s second claim to fame is its film festival. For sure its proudest thing to boast is that it’s a sister city of Beverly Hills.
44A Census taker in India?: DELHICOUNTER. Nobody ever gets tired of a Delhi/deli joke.
58A Police dragnet in South Korea?: SEOULSEARCH. Same goes to Seoul/soul. Who hasn’t seen the South Korea’s Got Seoul T-shirt?

I had a typo in this one that I finally resolved. Finished in 19:04. Average Wednesday 17:50.

WSJ Crossword Puzzle 10-20-20 Complete

Start Trading is the theme of today’s puzzle. Trading. Like stocks. Because Wall Street. It’s the Wall Street Journal. I get it. GG, Mr. Bhat.

58A 9:30 a.m. event at the NYTSE, and a hint to the starts of the starred answers: OPENINGBELL.
18A *It may temporarily blind you: (bell)PEPPER SPRAY
23A *Be far superior to: (bell)TOWER OVER
36A *Friendly toast: (bell)BOTTOMS UP
51A *Precocious lad: (bell)BOY WONDER

This puzzle was just OK.

Finished in 19:33

NYT Crossword Puzzle 10-20-20 Complete

I did this puzzle on my phone (while watching Love Is Blind–I really like Kenny-Kelly and Cameron-Lauren), but I’m writing this post on my computer.

First off, either I’ve been out of the game for too long or SPLIFF is a new addition to the crossword. I’m just imagining a generation of people who are introduced to the term through the crossword.

The theme of this puzzle is the answer to
38A Like goods that are temporarily out of stock … or a hint, alphabetically, to the answers to the starred clues: BACKORDERED. Took me a moment, but I realized that the answers to the starred clues are in reverse-alphabetical order. And why isn’t that omegapsiacal order?
17A *Followed warnings: TOOKHEED (DEHKOT)
18A *Materialistic sort, stereotypically: YUPPIE (EIPUY) Also the etymology of yuppie is from the acronym of Young Urban Professional and dates back to the Reagan era.
23A *Marijuana cigarette, informally: SPLIFF (FILPS)
24A *Posted inflammatory blog comments, e.g.: TROLLED (DELORT)
50A *Chewbacca, e.g.: WOOKIEE (EIKOW)
52A *Autonomous cleaner: ROOMBA (ABMOR)
59A *”L’chaim!”: TOLIFE (EFILOT)
62A *Like toddlers in high chairs, often: SPOONFED (DEFNOPS)

I did this one on my phone, so it was a little slower than if I’d done it on the computer. The time was 12:49. Average for Tuesday is 14:02, so go figure.

NYT Crossword 10-19-20 Complete

I’m trying to start up the crossword portion of my blog again, and here’s today’s. I finished slower than my average for a Monday because I got stuck trying to resolve a single answer.

39A Make catty remarks from the side. I had put SNIDE, even though I hadn’t heard that used as a verb. It sounds right, right? And 30D Big name in dog food? I don’t have a dog, so I don’t have too good a knowledge of that aisle at the supermarket. Turns out the dog food isn’t ALDO but ALPO. And ALPO is a Purina brand. SNIPE makes more sense anyway.

Today’s theme was emotions/senses in drawn comics, and they weren’t all across answers!

16A Anger, in the comics: STORMCLOUD
59A Nervousness, in the comics: SWEATDROPS
15D Odor, in the comics: WAVYLINES
26D Idea, in the comics: LIGHTBULB

Not my best effort on time at 13:16. My lifetime average for Mondays is 9:42.