Category Archives: Completed

NYT Crossword 6-19-21 Complete (contains spoilers)

Wow! Two Saturdays in a row! And this Saturday puzzle was substantially faster than yesterday’s Friday was. And it’s a new PR for a Saturday.

I pulled out 16A “You caught me”: I LIED because it took me a long time to get there. It’s not what I had expected that answer to be. It’s kinda lame? I think that a better clue would be Busted!

The theme of this puzzle was not-as-hard-as-Friday?

There were a lot of long answers.

1A Take pregame shots?: TRASHTALK.

WARNING: NSFW. Strong language.

15A Person who will do anything for you, in modern slang: RIDEORDIE. Calah got this one immediately.

17A Cold, caramel-colored concoction: ICEDLATTE.
61A Firewall target: ADULTSITE.
65A Leave space for someone running late, say: SAVEASEAT. Saving seats soon will be a thing again. And then immediately outlawed again.
67A 2004 comedy written by Tina Fey: MEANGIRLS. I hadn’t realized that was her thing!
12D It goes for a short run: MINISERIES. Or the show Pitch. I hate Joe Buck. And the show was terrible.
13D “Can’t argue that”: SEEMSLEGIT. Checks out.
14D Something released while skydiving: ADRENALINE. This one was difficult for me. EXTRALINE? PARACHUTE?
26D Nintendo offering with more than 10 installments: MARIOPARTY. I am terrible at Smash Bros. Always have been. Mario Party has a lot of different games.
27D “Lemme see!”: IWANNALOOK.
28D Del Monte or Green Giant product: CANNEDCORN. I had CANNEDPEAS for a while.

Finished this one in a record-setting 27:43.

DayThis WkBestAverage

NYT Crossword 6-18-21 Complete (contains spoilers)

When I looked at the grid of this puzzle, I thought I’d never finish it. I showed it to Calah, and she just laughed and laughed. Well, I showed her! I finished the thing. And it’s only 10pm now. This pushes me to a 12-day streak.

I pulled out 41D Trump is named in it: EUCHRE because I was racking my brain to figure out what Donald Trump wasn’t named in. But then I realized it was a card game. You know, rather than a house of cards. AMIRITE?!

I think the theme of this puzzle is long.

1A Bill Bryson book subtitled “Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail”: AWALKINTHEWOODS.
16A Give a scolding: CALLONTHECARPET. I had never heard about calling someone on the carpet before.
17A Show whose logo replaces an “o” with a diamond ring: THEBACHELORETTE. The Bachelor didn’t fit. Bachelor in Paradise didn’t fit. Ninety Day Fiancé did fit, but it was wrong. Calah recommended The Bachelorette both to watch and to put in as an answer.
32A High-risk game: RUSSIANROULETTE. I realize that if you call anything Russian, it makes it sounds super sinister.
51A Products of Under Armour and Nike: ATHLETICAPPAREL. I’d been convinced the answer ended in PANTS. But it was never pants.
55A “Could you give more detail?”: CARETOELABORATE. One of those seems like it would get an answer. The other seems like it could yield a right hook. I’m not going to say which is which, but definitely the passive-aggressive on is care to elaborate.
57A Certain summer attire: SLEEVELESSDRESS.

Finished this one in 56:13. Super slow for me for a Friday.

I’ve decided to add this grid of my times.

DayThis WeekBestAverage
Almost twice average for today.

NYT Crossword 6-17-21 Complete (contains spoilers)

This did not feel like a Thursday puzzle to me, and I find myself on an 11-day streak. This seemed like a frustratingly hard Tuesday rather than a Thursday, but this has been me kinda rediscovering the crossword.

I pulled out 13A Twine material: SISAL because I am unfamiliar with that. And while looking it up, I came across an interesting question! “Sisal vs. Jute: What’s the difference?”

If you’d asked me at any point before 7:45pm on Wednesday (when I’m writing this) if I knew the differences, I’d say that they’re the same because they’re both words that aren’t real.

But I’d be wrong on both counts.

They’re not the same, and they’re both real things.

According to, sisal comes from agave, and jute comes from jute plants of India and Bangladesh.

So they’re two plants that look the same, right?

Wrong! So, so wrong!

Jute from Bangladesh Post.

This looks nothing like agave!

Way, way different. Thanks, The American Southwest!

The theme of this puzzle was a boatload of fun.

4D Xbox or PlayStation: GAMECON(S)(O)+(L)+(E).


From the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife

Sole are born with eyes on either side, but one eye migrates, and they swim parallel to the ocean floor. Halibut do the same!

8D Finishing touch on the first transcontinental railroad: GOLDENS(P)(I)+(K)+(E).


How does someone get to be featured on the Alaska Department of Fish and Game site?

37D Drink that might be served with a metal cup: MILKS(H)(A)+(K)+(E).


Brian Gay of Del. landed a hake and a spot in the Maryland Department of Natural Resources record books!

38D Vedic religious text: UPANI(S)(H)+(A)+(D).


“Perhaps nothing lights up online message boards and email inboxes of Old Dominion river anglers more than the much-anticipated arrival of spring shad from the Atlantic Ocean to Virginia’s rivers for their annual spawning run.”

1D With 11-Down, what each of this puzzle’s groups of circles represents: FISH.
11D See 1-Down: HOOK.

It makes a fish hook! And fish are on the hook!

Finished this one in 16:41. I’d thought it might be a record for me, but my best Thursday was 13:09 back in October of 2018.

NYT Crossword 6-16-21 Complete (contains spoilers)

Last night we did the NYT Saturday crossword together again. But this time, Gerry hadn’t yet done it, and I had. So I had to watch rather than participate, and I did so while doing today’s puzzle on my phone. But now I have a 10-day streak going, so I don’t know whether to try to extend it as far as possible or go back to solving it Tuesday nights.

I have captions back!!!! Wow! It’s been so long since I’ve had captions. So glad they fixed it.

I pulled out 1D Item needed for burning, once: BLANKCD because this has been both a personal dilemma and some conversations I’ve had with Calah. Do we still need blank CDs? The answer is no. We do not. Can we part with blank CDs? Probably! But also somehow no? I doubt we’re the only ones who feel that there should be some use for them. But they’re not even good for coasters. You’d have to have a stack of them, and then they’re too cumbersome.

Today had a pun-based theme with movie references. Pretty much my jam.

65A Led astray … or like the films at 19-, 25-, 40- and 57-Across?: MISDIRECTED.

19A Jim Sheridan gives Daniel Day-Lewis nothing to work with in this Irish dramedy (1989): MYRIGHTFOOT. Right is wrong. Left is right. My Left Foot.
25A Rian Johnson helms this snoozer of a whodunit starring Daniel Craig (2019): KNIVESIN. In is wrong. Out is right. Knives Out.
40A Elia Kazan bungles this John Steinbeck novel adaptation (1955): WESTOFEDEN. West is wrong. East is right. East of Eden.
57A Anne Fletcher misses the mark with this first film in a dance franchise (2006): STEPDOWN. Down is wrong. Up is right. Step Up.

I finished this one in a phone-and-computer combo 18:32.

NYT Crossword 6-15-21 Complete (contains spoilers)

Today is supposed to be very, very hot. I still have extra water bottles in the freezer in preparation for a loss of power. I hope it doesn’t come. Instead, Spectrum has decided to be unreliable since last night, so that’s been a blast.

With the wind and dryness, it will be like living in a convection oven. We’ll live with fans as long as makes sense, but then the air conditioner is going on for absolute certain.

I pulled out 9D Tex-Mex offering that lacks a crunch: SOFTTACO because Calah makes these amazing soft tacos. Sometimes she uses ground beef. Sometimes she uses brisket. Slow cooked with onions and other stuff. Then fresh, homemade guac. I’m salivating right now thinking of them.

The theme of this puzzle is something near and dear to many millennials.

20A Unchangeable: WRITTENINSTONE.
34A Dressy floor-length garment: OPERACLOAK.
41A Something a kid might blow right through: BUBBLEWAND.

51A Set of legendary objects from the Harry Potter series found at the ends of 20-, 34- and 41-Across: DEATHLYHALLOWS.


Now, I have read through the fourth book in the series, but I got through the Goblet of Fire right after it was released. I haven’t read past it, I haven’t seen the movies, and I didn’t get past the first few pages of The Sorcerer’s Stone in the early days of COVID.

I finished this one in 7:36 while watching The Amazing Race with Calah Monday night.

NYT Crossword 6-14-21 Complete (contains spoilers)

Crossword streak to eight days! It used to show the Monday streak, but oh well. I like this one more.

The weather forecast for today is not so pleasant. High of 91 that feels like 96 but 88 in the shade. And breezy but not the cooling breeze. Convection oven breeze. But it’s going to be even hotter the next day. Pardon me while I fill the freezer with water bottles for when the power goes out.

OK I’m back.

I pulled out 2D 1960s dance craze: WATUSI because I’d not heard of it before. So I looked it up. And I found this video:

It’s amazing that it exists at all. The viewing experience is enhanced by its inconsistent video quality and color settings. Also dancing is fun. So go, them! Pre-TikTok dancing for all to see.

Homophonic theme today!

20A Food for Little Miss Muffet: CURDSANDWHEY.
31A Chinese dissident artist: AIWEIWEI.
36A U.S. Naval Academy anthem: ANCHORSAWEIGH.
43A Neighbor of Botswana: ZIIMBABWE
54A Breakup song by Fleetwood Mac: GOYOUROWNWAY.

Finished this one in 4:06. Happy Flag Day!

NYT Crossword Puzzle 6-13-21 Complete (contains spoilers)

Seven days in a row whattup! Since I hadn’t been doing Saturdays, this is the longest streak of actual days for the NYT Crossword. Meanwhile I’ll be on a 250-day streak for overall posting when I hit publish on this blog post. I’m happy I didn’t forget to grab the congrats screen this time.

Also it’s important to note that this is a terrible attempt at a maple leaf in a grid. Children see this puzzle, for crying out loud!

I pulled out 18A Lex Luthor, to Superman: ARCHFOE because what a weird answer. I had been jammed up because I was fairly certain it was NEMESIS. It wasn’t. And knowing is half the battle.

This puzzle was about Canada. Why now? I don’t know. Canada Day is July 1. It’s June 13 today. Maybe it’s the exchange rate?

Let’s see.

July 1 is the 182nd day of the year. June 13 is the 164th day.

182 x .82 = 149, which is May 29. So no. The exchange rate would have to be at 0.9. I don’t even want to think of that possibility.

104A Six-time winner of the N.H.L.’s Art Ross Trophy, born in Saskatchewan: GORDI(EH)OWE.
108A “24” and “Suits” actress, born in Halifax: LESLI(EH)OPE.
4D Alberta city named for an eagle-feather headdress: MEDICIN(EH)AT.
10D Two-player game invented in Toronto: TABL(EH)OCKEY. I am a huge fan of table hockey. I used to play on New Year’s Eves with Nick Wenger who had (maybe still has) the game at home. I was stoked to score a goal, and I considered two a major coup. The last time I played against him, he blocked so many shots that I recreated part of Wayne Gretzky’s 3D Hockey IRL.

16D Seasonal destination near Quebec City: WINTERIC(EH)OTEL. Check out the snow cannons in the video below!

19D Program introduced by the Trudeau government in 1984, colloquially: FRE(EH)EALTHCARE. Yeah, but how are they doing at covid vaccine rollout? Only 4.6% of the population is fully vaccinated? Get it together, Canada! But don’t fault them for not being generous. They will donate 13 million spare doses to developing countries! Oh, wait, 7 million of those donated doses are reported Novavax that haven’t been approved in Canada. Welp! That seems like a good way to build confidence in Canada and trust in the vaccine process around the globe!

76A Like all the answers with pairs of circled letters, punnily: M(EH)DEINCANADA. But also meh-ed in America.

Finished this one in 55:57, mostly on my phone.

NYT Crossword Puzzle 6-12-21 Complete

Argh! I excitedly hit the thing too early, and the finish screen went away! But I finished a Saturday, and it said I’m on a one-day streak, despite it actually being a six-day streak. See, it’s 10pm here in LA, so it’s tomorrow already in New York. For streak purposes, it’s still Saturday in LA, so tomorrow should show a seven-day streak if I solve the Sunday puzzle. I got a more generic image, but at least it shows that it’s a six-day streak.

I pulled out 32A Fragrant rice: BASMATI because it’s pretty much the only rice I buy. Do I sometimes want short grain rice? Maybe. Do I find Basmati rice to be fragrant? Not really. Do I wash Basmati rice three times like it says to? Oh absolutely not. I just know it’s fragrant rice because it says so on the bag.

I was really hoping for a theme in this one, but it doesn’t have one. I had thought that 6A Stick around on July 4?: SPARKLER would be FCRACKER or something fun like that so I’d know that letters were missing. IRE is a word. But no such luck.

Finished this one in 37:43. That’s actually my only Saturday score. I used to do the Saturday crossword with friends Tuesday nights. We just started doing board games in person again after more than a year online for covid safety, but we haven’t done the Saturday crossword together in a while. When we do it together it takes like six minutes. Alone is slower.

OK now off to the Spelling Bee!

NYT Crossword 6-11-21 Complete (contains spoilers)

Five days in a row? Can you even imagine? Well, you do not have to! Also NBD, but this post makes the overall posting streak run to 248 days.

I pulled out 35D Studio with “Chicago” and “Chocolat”: MIRAMAX only because I remember a while ago when people were angry at the LA Times for putting Woody Allen into their crossword puzzle. Then again, I think it may have been a puzzle about or praising Woody Allen. Still, Harvey Weinstein isn’t necessarily the darling of Hollywood. I don’t put it past Will Shortz to encourage putting unfavorables into the NYTXW because he’s a real meanie.

The theme of this puzzle is I don’t really know. Maybe there is no theme.

But there were some long answers.

14A Nirvana, e.g.: INNERPEACE.
17A Computer file arrangement: DATAFORMAT.
30A “Rabbits” in a race: PACESETTERS.
34A Sobriquet for international hip-hop star Pitbull: MRWORLDWIDE.
35A Scorsese film added to the National Film Registry in 1997: MEANSTREETS.
52A They may have lots of steps: STAIRWELLS.
55A News headlines: TOPSTORIES.

Finished this one in 24:17.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

NYT Crossword 6-9-21 Complete (contains spoilers)

Three days in a row of crosswords. Really feels like old times. As you can see from the featured image, I solved this one on my phone.

Now, I have a bone to pick with UPS. I got an email that a package I have to sign for will be delivered between noon and 2pm. I watched the live map as the truck spiraled around the area. It got close and then moved away. At about 2:30, the map updated to inform me that the package was downgraded to “In Your Area” status from “Almost There,” and delivery will be made before 7pm! Very frustrating.

I pulled out 3D Espressos “stained” with a bit of milk: MACCHIATOS because I made a joke the other day about the Ford Mustang Mach-E. While they currently only have a few colors, I decided I’d take way too long and make a Caramel Mach-E Auto. Totally worth the pun.

I’m not a Photoshop expert, and that’s fine because I don’t have Photoshop. I use GIMP for my image manipulation. It’s not exactly Photoshop, but it does what I need it to!

Very proud!

Today’s theme had to with something we’re very familiar with!

20A Kibitzing passenger: BACKSEATDRIVER.
41A Blabbing informant: STOOLPIGEON.
51A Dilettantish know-it-all: ARMCHAIREXPERT.

I finished this one in 14:17.