Category Archives: WSJ Crossword

WSJ Crossword Puzzle Obviously 11-3-21 Complete (contains spoilers)

I pulled out 24A Good place to get vegan food?: PLANT because that’s a terrible clue for that answer. The plant? Maybe! A plant? Sure! Just plant? Get outta here. Really garbage.

The title of this puzzle is Obviously.

17A Like fish refusing to bite?: NOTUPFORTHEBAIT. It’s like not up for debate but more of a pun. And it’s a real pun! Something the NYTXW should be able to do but somehow can’t.
26A Podiatrist’s concern: AGONYOFTHEFEET. It’s like agony of defeat. On that topic, there’s a book I once got as a birthday present. The Ecstasy of Defeat is a book from The Onion. Hilarious.
42A What many an African crocodile does?: LIVESINTHENILE. I don’t know how crocs live in denial generally, so this is just half-assed.
54A What a good book publisher must have?: ANEYEFORTHETALE. I don’t know what this is. An eye for the tail? An eye for retail? Oh, dammit. It’s an eye for detail. My bad there. That one was pretty good once I got it.

Finished this one in 19:48.

DayThis WkBestAverage4-Wk AvgStreak
Monday7:097:097:097:091
Tuesday9:129:129:129:121
Wednesday19:4819:4819:4819:481
Thursday0
Friday0
Saturday0

WSJ Crossword Puzzle Monday Tradition 11-1-21 Complete (contains spoilers)

I pulled out 26D Turned to liquid: MELTED because it reminds me of a day when I was driving to the Magic Castle and was eating some kind of snack that had bits of chocolate in it. I wasn’t too far away when I turned the bag or wrapper and all kinds of chocolate dust fell on my suit and on my car seat. This was bad because I was wearing the only suit that kinda fit me, and I was never going to really get melted chocolate out. So I changed course a little and went to a self-operated car wash on Santa Monica and vacuumed out my car and got rid of all the chocolate debris. I was lucky to have been able to do that in time, or it would have been sad times for me for a while. Now, of course, I have many suits from Indochino, and they fit me way better than this off-the-rack one ever did.

The title of this puzzle is Monday Tradition.

I don’t know why this title is applicable. I’m trying to figure it out but can’t at the moment.

20A Be carried away by the tide: WASHOUTTOSEA.
31A “Hold your horses”: HANGONASEC.
48A Drink that may be shaken: DRYMARTINI.
56A Where a guest may sleep: FOLDOUTCOUCH.

Ah just got it. It’s about laundry: WASH, HANG, DRY, FOLD.

But why Monday Tradition? Do people tend to do laundry on Monday?

Finished this one in 7:09.

DayThis WkBestAverage4-Wk AvgStreak
Monday7:097:097:097:091
Tuesday0
Wednesday0
Thursday0
Friday0
Saturday0

WSJ Crossword Contest 2-12-21 Answer

I definitely made tons of assumptions on this one but can’t imagine I’m wrong.

Always fun to do the printed crossword in pen!
It’s unlikely that the it’s actually the reason that that’s how you get FIRE, but I don’t know!

I took the long answers and reverse-engineered the 39A FIRE. I haven’t figured out how it’s supposed to work.

I thought there was a chance that there was a Double R concept somehow.

Then I reconsidered and saw that there was Harry Belafonte and Sally Struthers.

Additionally Harry “Rabbit” Angstrom.

I couldn’t find a second Sally.

I submitted When Harry Met Sally.

WSJ Crossword 1-14-21 Complete

It’s Thursday and the first full day of the Biden presidency. A reminder that I’m writing this on Sunday, January 17. It’s the end of my first week of doing last week’s puzzles on Sunday and timing them to post throughout the week.

I pulled out 57A Is for two: ARE because I got a chuckle out of it. Is is for one. Are is for two. What a world!


The title of this puzzle is Victory Parade. Biden won, the inauguration was yesterday, and even Rupert Murdoch-owned Wall Street Journal has long turned to dunking on Trump.

17A Like an active surfer?: INMANYWAVES.
24A Message left for each of Henry VIII’s spouses?: AWORDTOTHEWIVES.
36A Suffers from a fear of icicles? FEELSILLATEAVES.
49A Motivations for midnight snacking?: THELATESTCRAVES.
58A Cat’s nine-pat allotment?: PACKOFLIVES.

It was all gratuitous these:

Dean Windass.

17A INMANYWAVES – V = IN MANY WAYS.
24A AWORDTOTHEWIVES – V = A WORD TO THE WISE.
36A FEELSTILLATEAVES – V = FEEL STILL AT EASE.
49A THELATESTCRAVES – V = THE LATEST CRAZE.
58A PACKOFLIVES – V = PACK OF LIES.

WSJ Crossword 1-13-21 Complete

Happy Inauguration Day! Hooray for Biden.

This is the ides of January puzzle. Too many people don’t know that the ides of a month is more infrequently than not on the 15th. It’s on the 13th day of every month that isn’t one of March, May, July, and October. Also I’m writing this on Sunday, January 17, and the deeper into the week I get, the more I don’t know what has happened. If the tone of this blog post is incongruous with how the world looks, my bad. But hi from the past!

I pulled out 23A Plymouth Reliant, e.g.: KCAR because I had only heard of the K-Car in the Barenaked Ladies song If I Had $1,000,000:

If I had $1,000,000 I would buy you a K-Car (a nice reliant automobile).

It makes more sense now that I know that a Reliant is a K-Car, so it’s a good play on words as both a reliant automobile and a Reliant automobile. Nice job, BNL. Also in the news is that Chrysler has merged with PSA, the company that made Peugeot and Citröen. The joint company is called Stellantis. Is it a dumb name? Yes. But is it a good name? No.


The title of this puzzle is You’re All Wet.

17A Unofficial means of communication: BACKCHANNEL. We no longer have to worry about the current president advising that a foreign government “talk to Rudy.” Hooray!
25A Floor routine component: HANDSPRING. This is an interesting clue to me because 10D Bestselling PDAs: PALMPILOTS while Handspring did not and does not get that title.

It WAS palm-powered, but it was no Pilot.
This newer palm model is so much sleeker than the older Handspring above.

36A Penny Lane Locale: LIVERPOOL. Also in my ears and in my eyes.
50A Seneca, e.g.: FINGERLAKE. I hadn’t heard of the Finger Lakes until recently when one of the late-night hosts mentioned them, I think. I don’t remember which one it was, and it’s all a blur.

58A Geographic feature, and a hint to four answers in this puzzle: BODYOFWATER.

CHANNEL, SPRING, POOL, LAKE.

Finished this one in 13:50. Not bad for a Wednesday.

WSJ Crossword 1-12-21 Complete and a story about baseball!

This blog post ended up mostly being about the clue and answer I pulled out, so it may be more entertaining to read than most of the WSJXW blog posts are. I did struggle with this one a little, but I made my way through. This doing-them-all-on-Sunday thing is fine so far. We’ll see how it continues.

I pulled out 8A Ballpark official: SCORER because it reminds me of when I was a baseball broadcaster in college. I read the entire NCAA rulebook for baseball and always brought the book with me to games because I had no one around me to let me know what had just happened when there was a crazy event in the game. There was one game I called with my often-broadcast partner Mitchell Clements where this rulebook came in handy. A guy got to first base, and the next batter was power hitter. I saw that the third baseman was playing almost on the outfield grass, and although this batter had the speed to turn a close triple into a long single, he decided to drop down a bunt down the third baseline. To the casual baseball fan, it seems like a standard sacrifice bunt play: He was thrown out easily, and the runner moved over from first to second. However, it didn’t look to me like that’s what he had wanted to do. I saw that the third baseman was playing deep. I figured he saw the same thing. Rather than give himself up, it sure seemed like he had gone rogue and decided to drop down a bunt into no-man’s land in an attempt to make it to first safely.

Per the rules:

Sacrifice
SECTION 8. A sacrifice bunt is credited to the batter when, with fewer than
two outs, his bunt enables a runner to advance, provided no other runner is put
out attempting to advance. A sacrifice fly is credited when, with fewer than two
outs, his fly, fair or foul, enables a runner to score. In either case, the sacrifice
ruling applies when the batter is put out before he reaches first base or would
have been put out if the ball had been fielded without error.
This is is what everyone knows.

HOWEVER, then there’s this:

Exception—If, in the judgment of the official scorer, the batter is bunting primarily for a base hit, do not score a sacrifice. Instead, charge the batter with a time at bat.
http://www.ncaapublications.com/productdownloads/BA12.pdf

I knew it had to be the latter. I knew there was no chance he had been instructed to play smallball in that situation.

Announcement from the official scorer: “Sacrifice.”

After that game, the head coach was unfazed by my question about that play. He shrugged it off and said that sometimes they ask this batter to drop down a bunt to move a guy over and that the plan had worked. I was unconvinced and asked the guy later what had really happened. He seemed kind of excited to tell me that my analysis in real time had been entirely correct.

Since I wasn’t the official scorer, it went down as a sacrifice. But I knew the rule.

That was true a decade ago, and it remains in the most recently published rulebook.

Major League Baseball unsurprisingly has a similar rule:

http://www.mlb.com/mlb/downloads/y2007/10_the_official_scorer.pdf

But there’s an interpretation that the NCAA rulebook does not have:

http://www.mlb.com/mlb/downloads/y2007/10_the_official_scorer.pdf

So there you go.


The title of this puzzle is A Few Brief Words.

20A Secret compartments in some desks: HIDDENDRAWERS. Also what is often found under a pair of pants on the bedroom only after the rest of the laundry is done.
33A Some Pixar works: ANIMATEDSHORTS.
40A Long proboscises: ELEPHANTTRUNKS.
57A Golden Gloves competitors: AMATEURBOXERS.

All underpants: DRAWERS, SHORTS, TRUNKS, BOXERS.

Finished this one in 18:15.

WSJ Crossword 1-11-21 Complete

I’m trying something new here, and I’m hoping you’ll bear with me. Since the WSJ crossword takes up time during the week, I figured I’d try to do all of them each Sunday and time their posting to go out each day but a week late. EXCEPT for the Friday puzzle. That one will be posted on time on Sundays.

I pulled out 66A Lease signer: TENANT because I’ve been watching Because This is my First life, and it’s pretty good! It’s the fourth K-Drama I’ve started and the third I think I’ll make it through. Start-Up and Crash Landing on You were easy to watch. Do Do Sol Sol La La Sol wasn’t for me. Because This is My Frist Life has a lot of promise.


The title of this puzzle is Going to Pot.

17A Something with negligible value: HILLOFBEANS.
25A Scouting activity, quaintly: WEENIEROAST. Does KROQ still have the Weenie Roast concert?
39A Is motivated by self-interest: HASANAXETOGRIND. When did ax become axe? I remember ax growing up, but now it’s axe? It’s like how Australia is a continent but now Oceania is a continent?
48A “Double, double toil and trouble” concoction: WITCHESBREW.

61A Unremarkable sort, or what you’re left with after 17-, 25-, 39- and 48-Across: ORDINARYJOE.

Of course a Monday puzzle is the one about coffee. Though I guess that could also be a Friday puzzle. Or a Tuesday or Wednesday or Thursday.

COFFEE BEANS, ROAST COFFEE, GRIND COFFEE, BREW COFFEE.

Finished this one in 8:44.

WSJ Crossword Contest 1-17-21 Answer

This puzzle started off with a busted WSJ puzzles site. I couldn’t do the crossword puzzle on my screen no matter which computer or browser I used. So I printed it out. I did the puzzle in pen, and that got Calah to call me a lunatic or something to that effect.

As I went through, I did have some errors, so I had to overwrite some of my answers. It’s not the prettiest of grids, but it’s honest.

It was a lot of fun, but I knew I couldn’t get the meta puzzle answer from this nonsense.

So it was off to Excel!

Way easier to read and to highlight!

The clues fell into place, as did the highlighting.

And, of course, the missing word of the movie titles.

AMERICA
BLACK
ULTIMATUM
GAME
SUNDAY

A BUG’S with the missing LIFE because I WON’T SPOIL THE ENDING.

So the answer: A Bug’s Life.

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?

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.