Category Archives: Crosswords

NYT Crossword 1-12-21 Complete

Wow! The hearing this mor

ning was ridiculous. Jim Jordan is how he’s been for a while. He just focuses on the irrelevant parts of events, and he won’t say that the election wasn’t rigged.

I pulled out 47D Expeditions by knights: QUESTS because I play Avalon with friends most Tuesday nights, and I’m writing this as we’re playing right now. If they read this post, they’ll know why I’ve been a little distracted.


Today’s long clues are clearly in reference to getting Trump out of the Oval.

18A Hard deposit in a bladder: KIDNEYSTONE.
29A Legislation often resulting from compromise: BIPARTISANBILL. Come on, Mitch McConnell, let’s get an early trial going after impeachment breezes through the House.
46A N.F.L. signal caller: PROQUARTERBACK.
61A Jiffy: BRIEFMOMENT.

37A Adage on the impermanence of suffering … or a hint to 18-, 29-, 46- and 61-Across: THISTOOSHALLPASS.

They all pass stuff, but we need these articles of impeachment to go through and for us to make Mike Pence. Also NYT just reported that the Trump administration executed Lisa Montgomery while Trump happily pardoned all kinds of criminals. What a time to be alive!

Finished this one in 11:30.

Gotta start paying attention to Avalon again.

NYT Crossword Puzzle 1-11-21 Complete

Lots of ones today! 01, 11, 21. Forget the prefix of 20 on the last one. I watched the House of Representatives meet this morning, and I must have missed something because HR 21 seemed only to ask Pence to invoke the 25th, and then there was no introduction of articles of impeachment. Then there were news reports that impeachment was introduced. Is it that they’re introducing them at the committee level? I’d appreciate any clarification.

I pulled out 18A Cast celebration at the end of filming: WRAPPARTY for two reasons. One is that I am from LA and have known that term for as long as I can remember. The other is that I started watching the K-Drama Because This Is My First Life, and in the first episode even they use that term. I haven’t gotten far enough to determine if Calah and I should watch it together, but it looks way more promising than Do Do Sol Sol La La Sol did at this stage, so I have some hope. I know it’s rare for me to pull out a theme clue, but I felt strongly about this one.


Theme clues

18A Cast celebration at the end of filming: WRAPPARTY.
26A Souvenirs from Havana: CUBANCIGARS. Obama lifted the ban on Cuban cigars back in 2016. If I cared at all for the smell of cigars, I’d be happy about it, I’m sure. But the thing I really care about is the 25% scotch tariff enacted by the Trump in 2019. Joe Biden, you know what to do. If you don’t, the thing to do is to get rid of the tariff.
44A Going from nightspot to nightspot: CLUBHOPPING. I remember when a few friends and I barhopped in Santa Monica one Halloween. Lots of lines. Worth doing once, though.
59A Certain online board for discussion of a topic: SUBREDDIT. If only going to a subreddit didn’t trigger incessant notifications from ones you only looked at and didn’t join. HALP!!!!

58D Where you might find the starts of 18-, 26-, 44- and 59-Across: DELI.

WRAP, CUBAN sandwich, CLUB sandwich, SUBmarine sandwich.

Finished this one in 5:53. The Monday streak is actually at 39. My phone thinks otherwise.

WSJ Contest 1-8-21 Answer

It’s all but guaranteed that my answer is wrong, but damned if I didn’t put effort into it.

The answer I was going to submit is ESSAY. I decided against that while writing this.

This can’t possibly be the answer because there’s nothing supporting it, but it’s the only thing that I can come up with that has to do with English class.

The AP part of AP English was–and still is–bothering me.

I had gone down that route.

Any AP together might have indicated something I could use. Perhaps letters in between A and P could tell me something. It did not.

I looked to see if SA could get me anywhere for ESSAY.

No dice there, either.

Maybe the longest answers would help?

Didn’t seem like it.

Then I realized something that was sure to break this wide open!

The A and the P were right there! That just had to be something. It couldn’t not be!

After staring at it longer, I decided that I’d go with ADJECTIVE.

All the letters are there! Who knows!

NYT Crossword 1-10-21 Complete

It would have been my zeidie’s birthday today. He’d have been 98 years old. He survived more than half a dozen concentration camps, was liberated from Ebensee in Austria, and later had a sheet metal shop in Los Angeles. He passed away during Obama’s second term.

I pulled out 2D ___ shield: RIOT because I felt like it was an inappropriate clue and answer along with 123A Makes Don nod?: REVERSES in light of the storming of the Capitol this past week. Maybe stay away from that stuff for the moment, Will Shortz.


The title of today’s puzzle is Oh, Fourpeat’s Sake!

22A Classic saying originated by John Donne: NOM[ANISANIS]LAND.
31A Aid for making a tiki bar cocktail: BAH[AMAMAMAM]IX.
48A “Glad to have you back, dear!”: WELC[OMEHOMEH]ON.
62A Most expensive block: PR[IMETIMET]V.
72A Post-interruption question: WH[EREWEREW]E.
87A First ruler of a united Hawaii: KINGK[AMEHAMEH]A.
103A Relatively light foundry product: AL[UMINUMIN]GUT.
118A Potful in some Italian kitchens: RO[MATOMATO]SAUCE.

The fourpeat is the repeat of the four letters in the shaded boxes.

I didn’t care much for this puzzle. Kind of a disappointing Sunday. My feelings may be colored by what’s happened and is going on in DC, but I’m happy to be done with the puzzle till tomorrow.

I finished this one in 47:28.

NYT Crossword 1-8-21 Complete

Ben Carson is trending this morning as the only member of the cabinet left. This may reflect more on me than on him or the reverse, but I didn’t know he was still in government. Why is he still there? Isn’t he a doctor? It can’t possibly the government pay.

I pulled out 1D Home to the so-called “Silicon Docks,” a European equivalent to Silicon Valley: DUBLIN for two reasons. One is that I learned that Silicon Docks is a thing. Mainly, though, it’s that using quotation marks is not necessary after using so-called. Good job, Will Shortz for editing properly.


The theme of this puzzle is hard? But not too hard.

14A Simply not done: UNHEARDOF. You know, like storming the Capitol.
17A Welcome abroad: BIENVENUE. It’s like welcome aboard but abroad so it’s in another language. I get it.
37A “See, someone understands what I’m saying!”: THISGUYGETSIT.

Oh, The Room.

61A Token reprimand: WRISTSLAP. Like being censured or impeached without conviction.
64A Resolve: DETERMINE. Resolve/determine he’s gotta go.

Finished this one in 33:42.

Have a great and safe weekend, everyone!

WSJ Crossword 1-7-21 Complete

So much confusion today. Trump has been MIA and blocked on Twitter for most of the day and on Facebook, and Instagram for the two weeks. Information is coming out at a trickle, and I’d rather they just get rid of him so we can move on. He released a video on Twitter a little bit ago, and it sounds good if you’re optimistic and like a call to action if you’re not. It’s way too vague to be anything that brings me comfort.

I pulled out 39A Cinematic scorer Morricone: ENNIO because I am a big fan of his work. Calah and I have watched My Name is Nobody; Duck, You Sucker!; Once Upon a Time in the West; and maybe another one. Calah prefers John Williams, but I prefer Ennio Morricone.


The title of this puzzle is Upper Bounds.

20A Skillful…: SMOOTH [
22A …manipulative people: ]PERATORS

29A Noted squire…: SANCH[
32A …of fiction: ]PANZA

Sancho Panza (right) is no Don Quixote (left).

42A Wide-legged…: GAUCHO[
43A …fashion: ]PANTS

Those just look cumbersome!

53A Beyond…: TOTALLYH[
55A …repair: ]PELESS

So there is no O in team?

NYT Crossword 1-7-21 Complete

OK so I’m still reeling from yesterday’s storming of the US Capitol, and I hope today starts our recovery as a country. There still were contests to counting the electoral votes last night AFTER all this went down. Absolutely absurd.

I pulled out 9A Outfit rarely worn out, for short: PJS for two reasons. The first reason is that it makes me miss college. I know I wasn’t the only one in the world to wake up right in time to bike to 8am Accounting Information Systems as long as I didn’t have to shower or change clothes. The challenge was, of course, staying awake for that hour and wondering why they decided every quarter to schedule the class about databases and flowcharts for that early in the morning. Ultimately it proved useful, and I’m happy I took it, but come on. The second reason is that in the COVID world, we’re not going out, so who even knew there were clothes other than pajamas?


The theme of this puzzle is crossing stuff out. It feels so topical.

16A Cocktail specification: WIXXXXWIST.
20A “Get your negative energy outta here”: DONXXXXE.
36A 2007 black comedy directed by Frank Oz: DEAXXXXAFUNERAL.
54A Fedoras, e.g.: FELXXXXS.

59A Words of correction … or a hint to 16-, 20-, 36- and 54-Across: STRIKETHAT.

16A WI[THAT]WIST. Some people find drinks to be more apeeling that way.
20A DON[THAT]E. Appreciate. Congratulate.
36A DEA[THAT]AFUNERAL. Never saw it. Probably should?
54A FEL[THAT]S: Hats are good for when you’re losing your hair. I’ve gotten really good at that in the last few years. Thanks, Obama!

Finished this one in 21:50 because it took me long to find that 28A Rare blood type, for short: BNEG was not ONEG, as a 23D Animal also called a steinbock: IBEX is not called an IOEX. Good to know.

WSJ Crossword 1-6-21 Complete

The joint session of congress is about to start to count the electoral college vote. I expect all kinds of madness to ensue. But I finished the WSJ puzzle, so here it is.

I pulled out 4D Pound parts: PENCE because even though it’s talking about money, it seems like Mike Pence is the most recent part of the Republican party Donald Trump wants to pound. Like in the pummel sense. It’s weird and sad and bad.

The title of this puzzle is Doing Without. It’s like what the GOP has to get used to as related to senatorial victory in Georgia, according to Jon Ossoff. But then again, Trump immediately said that he had won reelection, and we can never forget how Thomas Dewey triumphed over Harry S. Truman.

20A Unrivaled lighter?: MATCHELSSMATCH. I had initially filled out _ _ _ _ _ LESSZIPPO, but that didn’t make the final.
34A Cruel Babe?: RUTHLESSRUTH. The Curse of the Bambino has been broken too many times this century, but at least the Dodgers finally won the World Series again last year.
42A Energetic spare? TIRELESSTIRE. Not only do a lot of cars now come with runflat tires that continue to work like a spare would but are way more costly to replace, but on a slightly different subject, back when I was racing (i.e. in college) I had considered switching my mountain bike tire system from tubed to tubeless. Flats are easy to fix when you have inner tubes in the tires because you just pop the tire off, find what punctured the tire, and then either patch the tube or swap it out. Flats are easier to fix with a tubeless system, because sealant like Stan’s NoTubes repairs the tube from the inside, but the tires are glues to the wheels, so if something bad happens, it’s catastrophic.

I’d ride over beds of nails on purpose if I had these.

56A Quiet waterway?: SOUNDLESSSOUND. No rush here.

I finished this one in 15:42.

NYT Crossword 1-6-21 Complete

This was a fun one! I didn’t look at the puzzle until this morning but got the printed one prepared for my mom last night. I like to save toner and print out at 70% darkness for the blacked out squares, but this puzzle didn’t let me do that. It’s happened in the past, and I figured it was someone lazy early in 2021. But no! The version in today’s NYT is necessary if you’re going to do the puzzle by hand.

I pulled out 27A City near Leeds with historic walls: YORK because I originally had CORK in there, which I knew didn’t make sense. Cork is a city in Ireland, but I knew that Leeds is on the west coast of England, except for the actual being-on-the-west-coast-of-England part, and Cork is like this 🤏 close to Leeds on a map whose scale is small enough. CORK not only bothered me as an answer but also prevented me from successfully completing the puzzle. York is like a 40-minute drive from Leeds. And parts of the York Walls date back about two millennia.


The theme of this puzzle is initially Clued[AND]Confused.

1 Rubberneck: STOP[AND]STARE.
5 Stiffly formal: PRIM[AND]PROPER.
9 Old Glory: STARS[AND]STRIPES.
33 Kind of sauce in Chinese cuisine: SWEET[AND]SOUR. Sweet and sour chicken is at the top of the Chinese food list for me. It’s followed by broccoli beef, and then broccoli chicken is a distant third.
41 Fully from, as a place: BORN[AND]BRED.
43 Footwear fashion faux pas: SOCKS[AND]SANDALS. But who hasn’t gone outside in socks and sliders to grab the mail during this pandemic?
45 Risk losing one’s license, say: DRINK[AND]DRIVE. I remember the days of walking home from the bar. Also walking to the bar. Good place to watch sports. I haven’t been to a bar in almost a year. Wow.
56 Proven to be reliable: TRIED[AND]TRUE.

I hadn’t seen a puzzle with this type of cluing, and I really don’t mind it. I thought I’d be stuck awhile, but I wasn’t.

Good job, Eric Bornstein.

Finished this one in 15:43.

WSJ Crossword 1-5-21 Complete

Is this the fastest Tuesday ever for me for a Wall Street Journal crossword puzzle? I don’t know because there are no stats, and I haven’t kept track because they’re pretty much meaningless, but this was a quick one for me.

I pulled out 31D Chain with a Funny Face combo for kids: IHOP because it reminds me of when I proposed to Calah on March 16 of last year, which was the day before the first California COVID shutdown. The ring I got had to be sized because that’s how that works, and the place where we got the ring sized is near an IHOP. We dropped off the ring on March 17, we went for a short walk before picking it up like half an hour later. IHOP advertises that it is open 24 hours a day, but we knew it would be closed. I had never seen a closed IHOP. Did they even have a Sorry! We’re closed! sign? Unlikely, right?

The sign on the locked door read:

TO OUR GUESTS,
IHOP IS TAKING EXTRA PRECAUTIONARY
MEASURES AND THEREFORE WILL ONLY BE
TAKING TO-GO ORDRES AT THIS TIME
UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE

WE ARE DEEPLY SORRY FOR THE
INCONVENIENCE AND WILL BE READY TO
SERVE YOU AS SOON AS WE CAN

WE WILL BE TAKING WALKUP TO-GOS
AND ALSO VISIT US ON IHOP.COM,
GRUBHUB, DOORDASH, UBER EATS AND
POSTMATES. THANK YOU.


The title of this puzzle is All The Right Angles.

18A Site whose mission is “to help bring creative projects to life”: KICKSTARTER. Not a bad mission.
24A Place to buy staples that isn’t Staples: OFFICEMAX. I think this is a dumb clue. Staples are important parts of things, right? Like how pizza was a staple of my diet before COVID. (My wallet and figure are thankful that I’m cooking food at home instead of getting takeout, but my mouth is sad whenever I see people eating pizza on TV, which is always.) For them to call out Staples specifically is a little on the nose when it comes to the OFFICEMAX answer. Side note: There’s an Office Depot not far away from me that from time to time has no ICE illuminated. So the sign reads “Off De pot,” which can be welcome words in a 1br/1ba.
39A Stereotypically nerdy accessory: POCKETPROTECTOR. Nobody needs one of these in the COVID era. Pens in easy reach wherever you want them to be. T-shirts in the summer. Hoodies in the winter.
51A Utterly: STONECOLD. Could this have been a Steve Austin clue instead? Yes. Was it? Only the biggest missed opportunity.

62A Landmark in the Southwest, and collective description of the beginnings of 18-, 24-, 39- and 51-Across: FOURCORNERS.
CORNER KICK, CORNER OFFICE, CORNER POCKET, CORNERSTONE.

Completed in possibly my personal best for a WSJ Tuesday of 7:08.