Category Archives: NYT Crossword

NYT Crossword 6-8-21 Complete (contains spoilers)

Hey! Crossword puzzle posts on consecutive days? Whatttttt. Crazy. I guess it helps when you start the puzzle on a Monday night. I had thought this one would be easier than it was. It wasn’t. It was exactly as hard as it is.

I pulled out 23A Ixnay: VETO because I have always hoped that there’s an “I VETOED” sticker for when POTUS decides to say no to a bill.

Today’s theme:

I don’t know if the clue that links them is 56D Greek H’s: ETAS, but I don’t think it is.

20A Checkout devices at Dublin supermarkets?: IRISHSCANNERS.
34A Urban area around a church district?: PARISHMETRO.
40A Claim that a language in “The Lord of the Rings” is not extinct?: ELVISHLIVES.
52A Suggestion to friends on when to meet for lunch?: TENNISHANYONE.

So they all have an H in the middle of known things.
20A IRIS SCANNERS.
34A PARIS METRO.
40A ELVIS LIVES.
52A TENNIS ANYONE?

The one that bothers me is 52A. Tennis anyone? But also: WHO HAS LUNCH AROUND 10? I can’t eat lunch before noon. I can et before noon, but it’s not lunch. Then again, I guess if the service is slow enough or friends are always delayed, 10 sounds like a way ultimately to have lunch at a reasonable time.

And on the topic of unreasonable times, I finished this one in 16:15.

NYT Crossword 6-7-21 Complete (contains spoilers)

Here’s a crossword blog again! Yay! I tried to do it for time, and I got a little tangled up. I have been slacking on the crossword (as you know because there have been few crossword posts), so it was extra exciting for me to try to do this one fast. My Monday record of 3:49 from February of this year stands, but I was surprised to have gotten this one done in under five minutes. Also I have solved 60 Mondays in a row, which I find to be a cool thing. My friend Gerry has like a million days in a row, but it’s not a competition. You know, because he’d win handily if it were. And good on him for that.

I pulled out 61A Skating leap: AXEL because I never can remember if it’s AXLE or AXEL. So I’ve decided to look it up. The name of the jump comes from the name of a human. And that human was Axel Paulsen.

A picture of an Axel Paulsen trading card from 1887. An image of Axel Paulsen is the majority of the upper part of the card while an image of a skating Axel Paulsen is at the bottom of the card. In the background of the lower portion are a couple skating, an individual skating, and an individual who has fallen on the ice. We cannot all be good skaters. The caption of the trading card reads: AXEL PAULSEN Champion Skater of World.

I like that this trading card whose photo I got from The Met includes someone who has fallen on the ice. Adorable stuff happening in 1887.

So now it will be easier for me to remember the spelling. It’s not about spinning as though on an axle; rather, it’s named after the dude Axel Paulsen.

I got the theme of this puzzle only after reviewing it.

17A Sleuth for hire: PRIVATEEYE.
23A Perform an act of kindness, in a way: PAYITFORWARD.
36A 1977 #1 Eagles hit: HOTELCALIFORNIA.
46A It might catch a thief or a speeder: HIDDENCAMERA.

57A Be willing to accept whatever … or a hint to the ends of 17-, 23-, 36- and 46-Across: ROLLWITHIT.

Right. Eyeroll, forward roll, California roll, and camera roll. Checks out.

Finished this one in 4:32.

NYT Crossword 5-17-21 Complete

There will be no Spelling Bee post today due to the holiday of Shavuot. However, the NYT Crossword comes out on weekends in the afternoon, and the holiday started Sunday in the evening, so I get to post about that. I haven’t posted a New York Times Crossword blog in a while, though I’ve been doing the Monday one consistently. My streak now stands at 57.

I pulled out 36A Break into with intent to steal: BURGLE because a long time ago, my dad got me a book called A Burglar’s Guide to the City. It’s an interesting read that goes into some history as well as some law. I haven’t yet finished it.

The long answers were pretty simple today.

16A Alternative to Zumba: (JA)ZZERCISE. I guessed on this, and it turned out to be right.
29A Where to order a Blizzard: (DA)IRYQUEEN. I remember seeing DQ at the mall, but I haven’t gone to a food court in years
44A Supposed means of communication with the dead: (OUI)JABOARD.


60A Biggest city in South Dakota: (SI)OUXFALLS. I had a history teacher in high school who used to use as an example of things nobody cared about: “That’s like saying, ‘I have the tallest building in Sioux Falls, Iowa.'” But Sioux Falls is in South Dakota. Sioux City is in Iowa. This seemed not to matter.

Finished this one in 6:19.

NYT Crossword 2-1-21 Complete

A NEW PERSONAL RECORD!!!! It’s not even a February Fools’ Day joke. Also happy 2121. Although the twos have abounded, we haven’t yet seen the full-on silver squeeze. Two because silver medal is second place. I want the silver squeeze to happen because if silver goes to $1000/ozt, this half dollar in my hand is worth more than $350. But just try to get that kind of cash for it, right? I know from my time in rare coins and collectibles that if you go to a place that sells precious metals, they’ll tell you that they can’t sell it to you at spot because they’re a business and have to make a profit on it. If you try to sell them precious metals, they’ll tell you that they can’t buy it for spot because they’re a business and have to make a profit on it. They make a profit on both ends of the transaction. Unless the price falls dramatically after they buy it and before they sell it.

I pulled out 14D Dull photo finish: MATTE because my name is Matt, and I’m allowed to be vain. Also months and months ago Calah and I bought our wedding bands with the expectation that we’d be long married by now. I made sure to get one with a matte finish. Why? Because my name is Matt, and I’m allowed to be vain.


This puzzle was the bees’ knees! And not just in the sense that I have a new Monday PR.

19A One on the front lines during a crisis: ESSENTIALWORKER.
35A Crown wearer at a fall football game: HOMECOMINGQUEEN.
52A Unmanned Dept. of Defense aircraft: USMILITARYDRONE.

So: BEE

19A WORKER BEE.
35A QUEEN BEE.
52A DRONE BEE.


Finished this one in 3:49, ABSOLUTELY OBLITERATING my old Monday PR of 4:21.

NYT Crossword 1-24-21 Complete

It’s so cold today in LA! It rained and hailed yesterday. It’s sunny out now, but it’s 54 degrees outside. Bananas. But the rain has made me realize I can make progress on the chairs with the chisel set that my college roommate Darren got me as a gift recently. But more on that in the woodworking chair project series. Woodworking series posts every Tuesday at 10am PT.

I pulled out 37A Singer Watson, a.k.a. Tones and I, with the 2019 hit “Dance Monkey”: TONI because I think the clue is bad. The song itself is catchy. As much as I don’t care for it, it’s not the worst every so often. But the clue has the answer in it. There are down clues to get you there if you don’t know that her name is TONI (which I didn’t), but you might as well have clues like Musician Adams, a.k.a. will.i.am, with the 2009 instant classic “I Gotta Feeling,” or State of origin of Tramar Dillard, a.k.a. Flo Rida, with the 2007 breakout single “Low.”


I remembered to look at the title of the puzzle this time, and that helped me solve a lot of it.

Sugar, Sugar is even more helpful now that I look at it again. I got that it is candy from the Sugar, but I now I realize that the two Sugars is indicative of that already.

22A Bookworms call dad?: NERDSRINGPOP. This was one of the last ones I got in the entire puzzle. Some friends of mine proposed to their now-wives with ring pops and then went ring shopping later. I proposed to Calah with a costume jewelry ring. I’m not talking a ring that looks nice but isn’t expensive. This ring probably came in a big pack that had a choking hazard warning on it. I had gotten it for free years earlier in a creative wedding invitation. Despite earlier statements she’d made that the type of ring didn’t matter, Calah looked at it and said no repeatedly and emphatically. So there we were at the park at night near a lamppost. I was on one knee on the damp ground with a ring out, and I got denied. But I’m good at quick thinking. In an attempt to make the situation less awkward, I pulled out from my pocket a ring box and revealed an honest engagement ring with a stone that caught what little light there was. My second attempt got a more favorable result. Of course she’d tell the story a little differently. But now I get to look forward to her reading this and expressing horror at me telling the world a story with too little context and arguably major, relevant omissions.
31A A young Justice Ginsburg chuckles?: BABYRUTHSNICKERS. Aw, I miss RBG. Especially now that ACB is sitting in her chair.
47A Do core exercises all day, every day?: CRUNCHNOWANDLATER. This could not be a more applicable clue and answer. Whenever I’ve had Now and Later, it’s been hard, and I eat a little bit of the wax paper wrapper that I cannot separate from the petrified candy. Even though CRUNCH in this context refers to the Nestle chocolate-and-rice bar, I’ve yet to find a Now and Later that’s not made a loud sound when I chew it.
67A Burger King bingefest?: WHOPPERSSPREE. OK I had never heard of Spree until this morning.

It’s this thing.

But I can talk about Whoppers for eternity. My favorite one in the box or carton–wait a second, does it come in a carton because it’s malted milk? Whoa!–is the one that’s a little soft and chewy. It’s a wonderful surprise whenever it happens. Also Whoppers are better than Maltesers. Maltesers is reportedly the choice of terrorists. Whoppers is the choice of me.
84A Supernova in our galaxy?: MILKYWAYSTARBURST. Pretty good.
103A When E.M.T.s bring home the bacon?: LIFESAVERSPAYDAY. Pineapple is the best lifesaver.

115A Some astronomy Ph.D.s?: MARSSMARTIES. Probably the weakest of all the theme ones.

Finished in 38:35. The blog post took me way longer to write.

NYT Crossword 1-20-21 Complete

What an inauguration this morning. I’m feeling hopeful. I expect good things from this administration. Things are looking less divisive.

I pulled out 65A Isle of ___ : SKYE because it reminds me of when I went to Islay. I enjoyed going to the Laphroiag distillery back in 2019. They were really nice there, and I am looking forward to going back. When I was sitting at the bar at the distillery, some dude said that he was going to other places in Scotland, including the Isle of Skye. I said, “Oh! Are you going to go to Talisker?” When he asked me if he should, I recommended he talk to the people who work at Laphroaig. So the guy told a bartender that he was going to Skye. The reply: “Oh! Are you going to Talisker?”


The theme of this puzzle was our country being together.

15A Sharing thoughts like a Vulcan [Detroit, Fargo]: MINDMELDING. There’s been too much of that. Let’s get back to honest debate.
22A Classic of daytime TV first aired in 1962 [Atlanta, Bangor]: MATCHGAME. Betty White was on Match Game for years. She’s now in her 100th year. How cool is that?
45A Arthritis symptom [Altoona, South Bend]: JOINTPAIN.
57A Sommelier’s suggestion [Oshkosh, Omaha]: WINEPAIRING. How else would we know not to have white wine with steak?

36A Red, white and blue land … or what 15-, 22-, 45- and 57-Across feature?: THEUNITEDSTATES. United.

15A Detroit, MI; Fargo, ND. MIND.
22A Atlanta, GA; Bangor, ME. GAME.
45A Altoona, PA; South Bend, IN. PAIN.
57A Oshkosh, WI; Omaha, NE. WINE.

And in what was a clear shoutout to Bernie Sanders…

62A Kind of milk: ONEPERCENT.

Finished this one in 25:44.

NYT Crossword 1-19-21 Complete

The wind is supposed to pick up in the next couple hours. It’s going to be crazy, and I’ll have the police radio on in the background. I think it will be downed trees today. I hope there won’t be fires.

I pulled out 67A Actor Mickey of “The Wrestler”: ROURKE because for too much of the puzzle, I had ROONEY in there. It’s understandable, right?

Mickey Rooney in Killer McCoy (1947).
Mickey Rourke in The Wrestler (2008).

I figured out the theme about 1/3 of the way through this puzzle.

18A *Bygone Crayola color: LEMONYELLOW. It took me a while to realize that this wasn’t LEMONY ELBOW–the thing that happens when you’re not careful around these:

Reminds me of going to the ballpark.

41A *Sweet, healthful treat: FRUITCUP. Will Shortz is in Del Monte’s pocket.
62A *World’s largest terrestrial arthropod: COCONUTCRAB.

Giant crab or tiny human?

12D *Sign in a deli window, perhaps: HOTCOFFEE. Because HOTPASTRAMI was too long.
35D *Staple of Japanese cuisine: WHITERICE. Hard to argue when it’s the majority of the country’s flag.

60D Word that can follow either half of the answers to the starred clues: CAKE.

LEMON CAKE/YELLOW CAKE, FRUITCAKE/CUPCAKE, COCONUTCAKE/CRABCAKE, HOTCAKE/COFFEECAKE, WHITECAKE/RICECAKE.

Finished this one in 17:10 because IGUANODON is spelled two O’s and one A.

NYT Crossword 1-18-21 Complete

Today there was kind of muted craziness. The Trump administration said the travel ban from Europe is ending or something. That’s silly because COVID obvz. Then Biden was like, “Hang on, buddy!” Also Kayleigh McEnany reportedly has moved back home to Florida already. Does she not know that that’s where the Trumps are moving, too??????

I pulled out 3D “Here comes Poindexter!”: NERDALERT because of what this is. Might as well have been “Look! Someone doing the crossword!”


Today’s theme was something like why travel the world when you can travel the whole world in this country?

17A City where you won’t find the Eiffel Tower: PARISTEXAS.
24A City where you won’t find the Parthenon: ATHENSGEORGIA. Republic of Georgia should look into naming one of their towns after the city in Greece, too.
46A City where you won’t find Virgil’s Tomb: NAPLESFLORIDA.
56A City where you won’t find the El Greco Museum: TOLEDOOHIO.

Finished this one in 7:48.

NYT Crossword 1-17-21 Complete

On this day in 1994, LA woke up to a magnitude 6.7 earthquake. With an epicenter near Northridge, it’s one of the worst things to come out of the Valley, and that’s saying something. (I know I’m going to be paying for that statement later, but it’s totally worth it.) I don’t remember the shaking itself, but I remember my dad driving us around to look at the rubble. It was pretty bad. Freeway overpasses had collapsed. Lots of stuff was broken. Generally bad times.

I pulled out 14D Fading process for jeans: ACIDWASH because I joked(?) a couple months ago that anyone in LA who wanted acid wash jeans should leave them outside because it was going to rain that night/day. The next day was beautiful because all the smog was gone.


The title of this puzzle is Double-Crossed, and the grid looks slightly different in the print edition.

23A Way into a garage, typically: OVERHEA(DD/OO)R. That’s true about half the time for me. If I go in through the overhead door, I go out through the pedestrian door. If I go in through the pedestrian door, I go out through the overhead door.
7D Subject of a Sleeves Up campaign: BL(OO/DD)RIVE. There are lots of reports of blood shortages in more places than just Transylvania. COVID has made it almost impossible to get people to donate blood. There’s less coverage of how the chocolate chip cookie industry is affected. Maybe Nutter Butter can shed some light on this type of blow.
34A Nickelodeon competitor: CART(OO/NN)ETWORK.
13D Classic dorm room meal: RAME(NN/OO)DLES. I still have not yet had ramen. And I see a lot of it in the K-Dramas.
61A Prominent women’s rights lawyer: GLORI(AA/LL)RED. And she’s not letting Harvey Weinstein get away with it.
45D Beer in a green bottle: STE(LL/AA)RTOIS. Green bottle made me think Heineken then Beck’s. I think of Stella Artois as being in a brown bottle. It’s not.

Just try to get one of these in America.

76A Visual phenomenon created by short flashes of light: STROB(EE/FF)ECT. Long exposure with a strobe makes for amazing photos.
66D Nestlé creamer: CO(FF/EE)MATE. The perfect amount of coffeemate is just get better coffee and use milk and sugar.
104A Some entertainers at children’s birthday parties: BA(LL/OO)NARTISTS.

Dennis Forel is not just an amazing balloon sculptor but a really nice guy!

85D Sallie Mae products: SCH(OO/LL)OANS. What will happen when there’s free college for everyone?
119A Awards show that airs at night, ironically: DAYTIM(EE/MM)YS. It seems like everyone in the industry has at least one Emmy. I don’t, but I’m also not in the industry.
101D Pool competitions: SWI(MM/EE)TS. Can anyone forget Ryan Lochte’s American Flag grill? Does anybody even want to?

It’s perfect.

I thought this puzzle was pretty good.

Finished in 1:11:55.

NYT Crossword 1-15-21 Complete

None too bad for a Friday puzzle. The timer went on kinda long because I got up from the computer partway through and didn’t realize the timer was still going. Not that it matters, of course. I mean the WSJ Friday puzzle didn’t work on the website at all, so I had to print that one out to do it. You’ll see that post on Sunday because I also figured out the meta puzzle answer super fast.

I pulled out 41A Game that can be played on bicycles or elephants: POLO because it’s crazy to think about all the different types of unusual polo. Harvey Mudd notoriously has a unicycle hockey, which is kinda like polo.


The theme of this puzzle seems to be GET TRUMP OUTTA THERE.

29A Eclipsed everyone else: STOLETHESHOW. Trump has talked about having a rally at the same time as Biden’s inauguration. What a crazy guy.
32A One getting fired up for competition?: STARTERPISTOL. This one is kind of on the nose.
48A Complete loss of self-identity: EGODEATH. Reports are that Trump is all mopey after the second impeachment. I would be, too, but also I wouldn’t have done all those harrible harrible things like you wouldn’t believe.
51A Where one might hear a call for action: MOVIESET. If only Trump had stuck to that instead of using his office as bully pulpit to bring the worst out of people.
52A Metaphorical incentive: CARROT. Completely ineffective against Trump.
12D Honcho: LEADER + 33D Captured, in a way: ONCAMERA. Trump is a leader on camera, but he’s garbage in reality.
36D: Employs as a backup plan, with “to”: RESORTS. Reports are that Jared and Ivanka aren’t allowed to join the country club near their new $30M Indian Creek Island home. Whoops!
37D Blanked on: FORGOT. Person, man, woman, camera, TV.

and finally

7D Topic in property law, colloquially: SQUATTERSRIGHTS. That’s what these past few months have been about. Now scram!

Have a great, safe weekend, everyone!