Category Archives: Completed

NYT Crossword Puzzle 9-27-21 Complete (contains spoilers)

I pulled out 15A One of 10 on a ten-speed: GEAR because it’s not true. This is about combinations of gears. A 10sp bike normally has two chainrings (gears near the pedals) and five cogs in the back. Gear 1 in the front can connect to gears 1-5 in the back, and gear 2 in the front can connect to gears 1-5 in the back, so that’s 10 speeds. Another way to do 10 speeds is to have a single gear in the front and then 10 gears in the back. But if you do that, it’s 11 gears total. Now, there are bikes that have fewer than the number of combinations possible. Like a 30sp mountain bike may have a 22-tooth chainring, a 33-tooth chainring, and a 44-tooth chainring. In the back, it could have an 12-tooth cog and a 24-tooth cog, among others. The 44, 24 combination is the same speed as the 22, 12 combination. This may not necessarily matter in practice, but it still means that the clue is garbanzo beans.

A theme for Monday!

17A Olympic event for which the world record stands at a little over 20 feet: POLEVAULT. This is a very impressive sport to watch live. The craziest moments are when the pole snaps.


23A Magic duo with a 20+ year act in Las Vegas: PENNANDTELLER. Amazing magicians. I saw them in London years ago.
37A “Spring forward” and “fall back” plan: DAYLIGHTSAVINGS. Years ago we voted to allow the state legislature to make it always daylight savings for California. I don’t know what’s become of that other than it not happening yet.
50A Added cost of buying soda: BOTTLEDEPOSIT. In California, CRV isn’t a deposit. Normally, you give a deposit with a recyclable container and get it back if you turn it in. In California, it isn’t that way. If you pay 10c, you might get 5c back. Maybe. But you have to go to a recycling center, and those are generally mad sketch. Adnd then they do it by weight instead of by quantity.

61A Guaranteed … or where you can find the ends of 17-, 23-, 37- and 50-Across: INTHEBANK. Vault, teller, savings, deposit. All bank terms.

Finished this one in 6:08.

DayThis WkBestAverage4-Wk AvgStreak
Monday6:083:499:256:3576
Tuesday5:2213:179:090
Wednesday7:3817:0411:3216
Thursday12:1228:4329:352
Friday16:2332:1521:0116
Saturday20:1234:2234:2516
Sunday15:1153:5646:413

NYT Crossword Puzzle 9-26-21 Complete (contains spoilers)

I pulled out 82A “What in the …!”: SONOFA because I figured this answer out with only the first letter filled out. I thought it an absurd answer, but based on how the NYTXW goes, it was worth keeping in.

The title of this puzzle is Study Breaks.

21A Function whose output is 45° when applied to 1: ARCTANGENT. Shown as AR(C)TANGENT.
26A Premium membership designation: ELITESTATUS. Shown as ELITESTAT(U)S.
42A It lets you see the sites: INTERNETCONNECTION. Shown as INTERNE(T)CONNECTION.
60A Holders of multiple passports: DUALCITIZENS. Shown as DUAL(C)ITIZENS.
74A First openly lesbian anchor to host a major prime-time news program: RACHELMADDOW. Shown as RACHE(L)MADDOW.
92A Ones fighting for change: POLITICALACTIVISTS. Shown as POLITICAL(A)CTIVISTS.
108A Hempseed product: CANNABISOIL. Shown as CANNABI(S)OIL.
119A Bringing up the rear: LASTINLINE. Shown as LA(S)TINLINE.

Metasolution 1: Classes

21A AR(C)TANGENT -> ART.
26A ELITESTAT(U)S -> STATS.
42A INTERNE(T)CONNECTION -> ECON.
60A DUAL(C)ITIZENS -> LIT.
74A RACHE(L)MADDOW -> CHEM.
92A POLITICAL(A)CTIVISTS -> CALC.
108A CANNABI(S)OIL -> BIO.
119A LA(S)TINLINE -> LATIN.

Metasolution 2: Circled letters!

CUTCLASS. Because these letters cut the classes.

Finished this one in 44:08.

DayThis WkBestAverage4-Wk AvgStreak
Monday6:043:499:256:3575
Tuesday5:2213:179:090
Wednesday8:517:3817:0411:3216
Thursday42:4612:1228:4329:352
Friday18:3016:2332:1521:0116
Saturday54:3720:1233:0234:2516
Sunday44:0815:1153:5646:413

NYT Crossword Puzzle 9-25-21 Complete (contains spoilers)

I pulled out 40A Shipping option for books: MEDIAMAIL because I used to sell books on half.com back in the day and shipped lots and lots of books media mail. Sure, the speed was slow, but (a) if the buyers wanted it faster, they’d have opted for expedited shipping, and (2) sometimes I wrapped the books in thick cardboard kinda like a present but in a Postal Service-acceptable way.

This puzzle was bananas. Really, bananas. I though things were all crazy until I saw the link at the bottom of the page:

18A Greek goddess of memory: MNEMOSYNE.
33A Site of the impact of the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs 66 million years ago: CHICXULUBCRATER.

Finished this one in 54:37.

DayThis WkBestAverage4-Wk AvgStreak
Monday6:043:499:256:3575
Tuesday5:2213:179:090
Wednesday8:517:3817:0411:3216
Thursday42:4612:1228:4329:352
Friday18:3016:2332:1521:0116
Saturday54:3720:1233:0234:2516
Sunday15:1154:1547:432

NYT Crossword Puzzle 9-24-21 Complete (contains spoilers)

I pulled out 35A Quadrennial bonus: LEAPDAY because it reminded me of the party I went to on Leap Day 2020. The world was different then. We had heard of COVID, but we’d all been reassured that it was just like a bad flu. (As long as we’re careful, nothing can go too wrong.) That was a little more than two weeks before I proposed to Calah, my wife of 40 days.

No theme for a Friday.

Finished this one in 18:30–mostly on my phone!

DayThis WkBestAverage4-Wk AvgStreak
Monday6:043:499:256:3575
Tuesday5:2213:179:090
Wednesday8:517:3817:0411:3216
Thursday42:4612:1228:4329:352
Friday18:3016:2332:1521:0116
Saturday20:1233:0228:3515
Sunday15:1154:1547:432

NYT Crossword Puzzle 9-23-21 Complete (contains spoilers)

I pulled out 36A Blue Angels, e.g.: AEROBATS because first I had partially filled out the answer with AIR because planes and then I realized it was ACROBATS because acrobatic plane stuff. AEROBATS slowed me down. A lot. I had no idea was RYC was for 24D Alternative to white until I realized it was RYE.

I think this is the first theme I’ve really liked in a while.

67A Redacts, as sensitive information (suggested by three of this puzzle’s answers): BLACKSOUT. I figured this out pretty quickly, and that helped me finish the puzzle in about 19 minutes. Then came the error checking.

19A Insomniacs have them: SLEEPLESSNIGHTS. With SSN (social security number) blacked out.
38A Failing spectacularly: GOINGUPINFLAMES. With PIN (personal identification number) blacked out.
59A Members of a wartime skywatching corps: GROUNDOBSERVERS. With DOB (date of birth) blacked out. This one was by far the toughest for me. I mainly struggled to try to figure out what was left to hide beyond SSN and PIN.

Ultimately finished this one in 42:46.

DayThis WkBestAverage4-Wk AvgStreak
Monday6:043:499:256:3575
Tuesday5:2213:179:090
Wednesday8:517:3817:0411:3216
Thursday42:4612:1228:4329:352
Friday16:2332:4221:0215
Saturday20:1233:0228:3515
Sunday15:1154:1547:432

NYT Crossword Puzzle 9-22-21 Complete (contains spoilers)

I pulled out 1A Indian wedding garb: SARI because I don’t know that that’s specifically just for weddings. I feel like it’s not. I mean how could I contest Grant Boroughs and infallible editor Will Shortz with such a fashion question, right?

Theme!

17A Much of Roy Lichtenstein’s work?: DOTCOMICS. You know, because Roy Lichtenstein spent much of his time on the internet with his quasi-pointillism(?) art.

From American Suburb X

28A Euclid’s “Elements,” Descartes’s “La Géométrie,” etc.?: MATHCLASSICS. Because they’re classics, and it’s math. And MATH CLASS.
38A Wacky shenanigans of a woodworker?: CAPENTERANTICS. First of all, woodworking and carpentry are different. Those who read my weekly woodworking blog know that I’m not writing about putting up frames for houses; rather, I’m writing about finer projects. I don’t know why the NYT is insistent on exposing how unsophisticated the crossword writers are. Just help them out, you know? Or maybe Will Shortz is just slipping and can’t edit a puzzle worth a damn anymore. But, yeah, carpenter ants. Antics. Whatevz.
46A Frights upon waking up from sunbathing naps?: FRYINGPANICS. Ugh. I mean I get that it’s a panic because did I get sunburned? But also it’s not a panic because you did. Grab the aloe. Drink water. And frying pan. Meh.
64A Things that dad likes to discuss?: POPTOPICS. Lazy.

Finished this one in 8:51.

DayThis WkBestAverage4-Wk AvgStreak
Monday6:043:499:256:3575
Tuesday5:2213:179:090
Wednesday8:517:3817:0411:3216
Thursday12:1228:2625:501
Friday16:2332:4221:0215
Saturday20:1233:0228:3515
Sunday15:1154:1547:432

NYT Crossword Puzzle 9-20-21 Complete (contains spoilers)

I pulled out 6A The “S” of L.S.U.: STATE because I found it interesting that LSU specifically was used. So I looked up Pao Roy, and it turns out that they went to LSU. Makes sense. Good tip of the hat to your alma mater, Pao Roy!

A themed Monday!

1A What lava becomes after an eruption: ROCKS.
60A What lava is before an eruption: MAGMA.
27D Volcanic emissions: ASHES.
43D Sweltering: HOT.

Finished this one in 6:04.

DayThis WkBestAverage4-Wk AvgStreak
Monday6:043:499:256:3575
Tuesday5:2213:179:091
Wednesday7:3817:0911:5115
Thursday12:1228:2625:501
Friday16:2332:4221:0215
Saturday20:1233:0228:3515
Sunday15:1154:1547:432

NYT Crossword Puzzle 9-19-21 Complete (contains spoilers)

I pulled out 63A Relative of cerulean: AZURE because I got it immediately, and I’m proud of that. Hooray for blues!

From National Colour Supplies.

Pantone named Cerulean the color of 2000/color of the millennium. They really cut it fine waiting until 2000 to choose it. But that’s smarter than calling the murder of Stanford White the Crime of the Century back in 1906.

The title of this puzzle is New Look.

23A Meticulous magical beings?: THOROUGHFAIRIES. Just because you’re winging it doesn’t mean you can’t do a good job.
32A Like some cross-Caribbean flights?: PANAMAHAITI. The first of two headwear clues. More on that a little later.
50A Journals of a certain stunt performer?: DOUBLEDIARIES. A better clue would have been Journals of certain game show contestants?
68A Possible reason for refusing to wear a tank top?: SHOULDERHAIRINESS. Nothing to be ashamed of. Be who you are.
85A Means of learning about Chiang Kai-shek?: BOOKSONTAIPEI. Checks out.
99A Inept dancers at Oktoberfest?: POLKAIDIOTS. So true!

116A New look provider … or a homophonic hint to this puzzle’s theme: FRESHPAIROFEYES. Because they’re other phrases when you remove the I’s.

THOROUGHFARES, DOUBLEDARES, SHOULDERHARNESS, BOOKSONTAPE, POLKADOTS.

Now, there’s 124A Felt on the head?: STETSON. And Stetson makes a Panama hat!

From Del Monico Hatter

Finished this one in 37:25.

DayThis WkBestAverage4-Wk AvgStreak
Monday4:313:499:266:5674
Tuesday12:225:2213:179:091
Wednesday11:207:3817:0911:5115
Thursday13:4512:1228:2625:501
Friday26:5516:2332:4221:0215
Saturday22:0420:1233:0228:3515
Sunday37:2515:1154:1547:432

NYT Crossword Puzzle 9-18-21 Complete (contains spoilers)

I pulled out 56A File type: RASP because rasps and files are not the same thing. Really disappointed here.

The terms file and rasp are often confused and many times interchanged.  However, a file is intended to be used on metal whereas a rasp is a tool specially meant for wood. Each of these comes in a variety of different grades that determine the degree of fineness or coarseness.

From WoodworkingTrade.com

Per usual with Saturdays, no theme.

Finished this one in 22:04.

DayThis WkBestAverage4-Wk AvgStreak
Monday4:313:499:266:5674
Tuesday12:225:2213:179:091
Wednesday11:207:3817:0911:5115
Thursday13:4512:1228:2625:501
Friday26:5516:2332:4221:0215
Saturday22:0420:1233:0228:3515
Sunday15:1154:4947:051


NYT Crossword Puzzle 9-17-21 Complete (contains spoilers)

I pulled out 55A Cheese whose name is a semordnilap: EDAM because I had no idea what a semordnilap is. I really, really didn’t want to solve around it and for sure not look it up because it seemed to be something I could try to figure out. So I stared at it and realized that it’s palindromes backwards. So then I tried to think of a cheese that’s a palindrome. Nonresultant. But EDAM is a crossword cheese. And EDAM backwards is MADE. So I figured a semordnilap must be a word that isn’t the same word backwards but a different, real word. Which, I guess, semordnilap now is, despite the red squiggly?

No theme, but some other tough clues from today’s puzzle:

18A Social protest lecture series: TEACHINS. Makes sense.
51A Monkey head mushroom, by another name: LIONSMANE. Now, I’ve never heard of either name.

From indiamart.com

Finished this one in 26:55.

DayThis WkBestAverage4-Wk AvgStreak
Monday4:313:499:266:5674
Tuesday12:225:2213:209:091
Wednesday11:207:3817:0911:5115
Thursday13:4512:1228:2625:501
Friday26:5516:2332:4221:0215
Saturday27:4333:4930:2514
Sunday15:1154:1247:051