Category Archives: WSJ Crossword

WSJ Crossword 10-22-20 Complete

I haven’t yet finished the NYT puzzle today, so I’ll post that later. Likely, that puzzle will be incomplete. But this one is finished, so hooray for that.

I don’t know what it is about the Wall Street Journal puzzle that perpetually disappoints me. When I complete it, it’s like I’m relieved that it’s over. I know nobody is forcing me to do it, and maybe I just haven’t found the fun in it yet.

Today’s puzzle title is Letter Carriers. This played out as the answers to the long clues were like the BEFORE AND AFTER category on Jeopardy.

16A Crew given to cursing?: FBOMBSQUAD. Look at the Wall Street Journal being all risqué using F-BOMB in the answer to a clue.
22A Musical rock?: EFLATEARTH. Clever again! The flat earther contingent doing the WSJ puzzle must be bigger than I imagine.
36A Arizona cowboy?: DBACKONTHEHORSE. Talk about shoehorning one in! I don’t really think “back on the horse” when I hear cowboy. Maybe a better clue is recovering cowboy. Regular cowboy is just on the horse.
47A Hog market?: EBAYOFPIGS. Nothing’s more fun than conjuring the Cold War and the Russians messing with us, right?
58A Gaming workplace?: XBOXOFFICE. Because we all work in box offices? Another clue that is written poorly.

And here’s the best-worst part of the whole puzzle and by that I mean the part of the puzzle that is just wrong.

66A Letter carrier that literally distributed letters to 16-, 22-, 36, 47- and 58-Across: FEDEX

FEDEX! Right, when I send a letter, I choose FedEx. Because the thing I want to do most when I send correspondence is to go to Kinko’s and deal with something so bad there’s a game about it instead of putting a stamp on an envelope and dropping it in a blue collection box.

Now, I don’t like Will Shortz less than anyone else, but I doubt even he’d let this by. Outrageous.

WSJ Crossword 10-21-20 Complete

The title of this puzzle is Bar Hopping. Remember bar hopping? Those were the days. St. Paddy’s Day, Halloween, Independence Day, Arbor Day. Good times.

44D “Dancing With the Stars” judge Goodman: LEN. I hadn’t known Len Goodman existed. Turns out he did and that he still does. Clearly I do not watch DWTS. I recently heard that Chrishell from Selling Sunset is on it? What a show that is/was.

But in the last 15 or so minutes, I’ve found out so much about DWTS! I learned that Len Goodman will not be returning this fall because he’s stuck in the UK due to covid travel restrictions. More than that, Tom Bergeron (another name I’m unfamiliar with) and Erin Andrews (finally someone I recognize!) are gone. Further, Tyra Banks is joining/has joined as a judge this season.

So back to the Bar Hopping theme.

20A Some runners’ supports: JOG(BRAS
22A It’s just one thing after another: SIRIE)S
BRASSIRIE
26A Composer Hoist: GUS(TAV
29A Orange character of kiddie TV: ERN)IE
TAVERN
43A Model plane material: BAL(SA
44A Canadian dollar, familiarly: LOON)IE
SALOON
49A Depth charge, in military slang: ASH(CAN
50A Three-time Golden Globes co-host: TINA)FEY <–Good for her!
CANTINA

Finished in 18:12.

WSJ Crossword Puzzle 10-20-20 Complete

Start Trading is the theme of today’s puzzle. Trading. Like stocks. Because Wall Street. It’s the Wall Street Journal. I get it. GG, Mr. Bhat.

58A 9:30 a.m. event at the NYTSE, and a hint to the starts of the starred answers: OPENINGBELL.
18A *It may temporarily blind you: (bell)PEPPER SPRAY
23A *Be far superior to: (bell)TOWER OVER
36A *Friendly toast: (bell)BOTTOMS UP
51A *Precocious lad: (bell)BOY WONDER

This puzzle was just OK.

Finished in 19:33

WSJ Crossword 8-10-20 Complete

Pretty simple puzzle. Finished in 5:27. Remember when I used to finish in about twice that time?

The puzzle’s title is Huge Crowd, with the emphasis on the former. They follow the clue 34A Concert crescendo, and what 16-, 24-, 49- and 59-Across all have: BIGFINISH

16A Gibberish: MUMBO(JUMBO)
24A Generally: BYAND(LARGE)
49A “Fantastic!”: THATS(GREAT)

Nothing really standout about this one. No new words learned. I still haven’t gotten that pangram from today’s NYT Spelling Bee. I don’t know how I’m missing it, but I am. I got one more word, but it wasn’t the pangram. Update on Spelling Bee later.

WSJ Crossword 8-3-20 Complete

Wall Street Journal’s puzzle was all about travel. You know, the thing we can’t really do right now because coronavirus has changed what we can do in our lives.

The circled answers all were types of streets:
16A 1992 movie based on an “SNL” sketch: (WAY)NESWORLD
26A Perk for an exec: PRIVATEP(LANE) <-really the only reasonable way to fly during a pandemic
46A It might entitle you to a discount: (COURT)ESYCARD<-a thing I’ve never heard of
61A Spend a semester at the Sorbonne, say: STUDYAB(ROAD)

There were other travel- or trip-based clues/answers:
10A Bag checkers at the airport: Abbr.: TSA
15A Georgia airport code: ATL
9D Potent hallucinogen: LSD
12D Chain for yodelers: ALPS
27D “Let’s go!” in La Paz: VAMOS
56D Currency in Cyprus: EURO

WSJ Crossword 3-23-20 (8-1-20) Complete

Here’s the second of the two puzzles from today–another from the WSJ archive. This one is older by a week, so nobody was wearing a mask.

A simpler time.

This puzzle is Treasure Hunt, which I finished in a semi-distracted 8:11. The theme was from 55A Cracker Jack extra, and what the answers with circles have PRIZEINSIDE. Sidenote: My dad proposed with a ring inside a Cracker Jack box. They had better toys in those days. Now it’s just that paper with a sticker or something. I like Cracker Jack as much as the next guy, but I’ve been eating air-popped popcorn to keep me from gaining all the pounds while the gyms are closed and the bicycle tires haven’t yet arrived.
18A Finely chopped ingredient in some pasta sauces: DIC(EDGAR)LIC. I had been thinking it was DICEDMANGO, but nope. Also I had never heard of the Edgar Awards. They were a mystery to me until today http://www.theedgars.com/
24A Admission of fear: IMS(OSCAR)ED

Obviously I think of this in relation to that clue

35A Classic German racing car: PORSCH(ESPY)DER. Doesn’t really matter which Porsche it is, it’s guaranteed to be ugly. My dad and I went to the LA Auto Show almost a decade ago. Porsche had a 911 convertible on display, and we watched as a toddler was raised out of the back by his father, but the rear seat had such little legroom that the kid lost his shoe.
48A Crocheting need: COT(TONY)ARN. Apparently it’s extremely difficult to find any in dark gray. If anyone has advice about where to secure dark gray cotton yarn for crocheting, please let me know.

I hope you’re enjoying your weekend!

WSJ Crossword 3-30-20 (8-1-20) Complete

Wow! It’s August! But since it’s a Saturday, I’m doing puzzles from the archive. This one is from the end of March. Remember March? Remember how Coronavirus was just becoming a thing people were taking seriously? California shut down on March 17, stopping what otherwise would be fun drinking for St. Paddy’s Day.

So this March puzzle Abstract Attacks. Lots of A’s all around. Starts with 1A Pre-GPS travel aid: AAAMAP. It’s important to note that AAA still makes and prints maps, and the AAA maps are still cool to look at. I argue that they’re nice to have for planning because you get to see where things are relative to each other and not just exactly where you’re going.

But the clue that I like the most is 38A Amazonian biter PIRANHA. Like the majority of Americans, I always believed that the pronunciation is pih-RAWN-uh, and that was that. But piranhas are in Brazil. Where they speak Portuguese. Where hn is like the French gn which is like the Spanish ñ. So rather than pih-RAWN-uh, it’s pronounced pee-RAH-nya. Here it’s still the normal way, but there it’s the way that’s new to me.

WSJ Crossword 7-30-20 Complete

As easy as the NYT puzzle was today, the WSJ one was not only much harder but just as unsatisfying.

The answer to the clue for 60A Backwards, and a hint to four of this puzzle’s answers was INREVERSE. Now, that made me think that the entire first word of those answers was in reverse, but no. Take a look:
16A Performance in a Bollywood film? RANIDANCE
First off, Rani Dance? Like rain dance? The Wall Street Journal decides during a time of good choices to make an Indian-Native American joke clue? This goes beyond the 3D Full-groan wordplay PUN. But we’ll keep going.
19A Huddles on a San Francisco football field? NINERCIRCLES
I had been thinking it would be something to do with Levi’s, but nope!
36A A visit to the nail salon? MANIVENT
Remember nail salons? You know, the places that more frequently than not almost have all-caps signs? Somehow they seem to come out NAiLS.
56A Recesses in a Bauhaus-inspired cathedral? SQUARENICHES
I didn’t know what Bauhaus is. It’s square modern stuff. From Germany. Nazis kicked them out, so they probably were pretty good. I’m intrigued. https://art.art/blog/10-bauhaus-principles-that-still-apply-today

So you see that it’s just a couple letters reversed, and they’re not even all in the first word of the pair.

The week’s almost over. July is almost over. My birthday is coming up. Hooray?

WSJ Crossword 7-29-20 Complete

Another day, another hearing. I’m watching the testimony of Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, Sundar Pichai, and Tim Cook in front of the House Judiciary Committee, so I’m not going for time today. Also if prosecution for perjury is on the table, these guys are only going to avoid jail time due to covid concerns.

Hang on, I gotta write something about what I’m hearing right now in this hearing.

Congresswoman Jayapal asked Jeff Bezos about an Amazon employee’s prior testimony that Amazon does not “use any specific seller data when creating its own private brand product.” To me, that sounds like they’re seeing what sellers are doing in aggregate, so what does it matter if it’s not specific to a seller? Like if Lou Bega’s wife asked him if he’s faithful to her and he said, “I am not seeing one girl outside this relationship.” But he’s seeing many girls, so that would make Lou Bega still unfaithful, right?

Congresswoman Jayapal asked if Amazon ever accesses third-party seller data when making decisions. Jeff Bezos just said, “Uh… I can’t answer that question yes or no. What I can tell you is: We have a policy against using seller-specific data… but I can’t say that’s never been violated.” Jayapal cited a Wall Street Journal (Hey! that’s the paper whose puzzle I’m supposed to be writing about! I’ll get to it soon. Don’t worry.) that says that they do look at popular sellers and then aggregate the data to figure out what Amazon should do on their own. Bezos says that they’re looking into it, which Jayapal said that clearly he’s not denying it.

She continues. A former employee testified to the committee: “There’s a rule, but there’s nobody enforcing or spot-checking. They just say, ‘Don’t help yourself to the data.’ It’s a candy shop. Anybody can have access to anything they want.” She asks if category managers have access to nonpublic data about third-party sellers and their stuff.

Bezos’s reply is what follows:

“Uh, I–here’s what I can tell you: I–uh, we do have certain safeguards in place… it’s a voluntary policy [not to look at third-party seller data].” Congresswoman Jayapal clarified that observance of their safeguard policy voluntary and there’s no enforcement of the policy? Bezos, still stammering: “Sorry! I, uh, may have mispoke (sic). I was trying to say that Amazon’s–the fact that we have a policy is voluntary.”

Jayapal concludes that whatever policy they have isn’t working, so shenanigans.

Also they’re using aggregate data even if there’s only seller of a thing, so aggregate=specific in those cases, and Amazon is screwing the seller. Hooray.

OK back to what you likely came here to read.

Oh, Steube just said pundint several times when he meant pundit. Good times.

Now back for real (unless something else is notable).

What’s cool about this hearing (don’t worry, this is about the crossword) is that everyone in this committee is mad at these fellows, and the theme of this puzzle the answer to 37A The start of a Lincoln line, and a hint to the circled letters: AHOUSEDIVIDED. This committee is united in its ire, though not necessarily in its arguments. The clues related to the theme:
17A Cry from Michelangelo & 19A Humble: COWA(BUNGA■LOW)LY
23A “Jabberwocky” word for four o’clock in the afternoon & 26A Purchasable grab bag in a video game: BRILL(IG■LOO)TBOX
49A Land agent Charles who was collectively shunned for not reducing rents 52A Lists for chairs: BOY(COTT■AGE)NDAS
57A Barista’s creation & 60A Sluggish: MO(CHA■LET)HARGIC

I didn’t know that boycott was named after “Capt.” Chuck, who seemingly was as much a captain as Dr. Phil is allowed to practice medicine. Fun reading https://www.historyireland.com/18th-19th-century-history/captain-boycott-man-and-myth/

WSJ Crossword 7-28-20 Complete

I’m doing the crosswords while listening to Bill Barr’s testimony to the House Judiciary Committee, so I’m not counting times today. The audio keeps getting lower and lower in the transmission, and I don’t know what’s going on. It could be the Washington Post feed on YouTube, but I don’t want to go elsewhere because they’re really good at showing the raw footage without any overlays.

I got the theme of this puzzle kinda late. The clue: 59A Feature of Manhattan, and of this puzzle’s answers that contain circles. The answer: CENTRALPARK. Another NY-specific clue. I think of Central Park so little that it’s always a surprise to me when people on TV walk in front of skyscraper after skyscraper and then happen upon a endless greenery.

Now, the theme is related to the following clues:
16A Pelt by a fireplace: BEAR(SKI)NRUG [SKI PARK]
24A Public projects of questionable merit: BOON(DOG)GLES [DOG PARK]
35A Award show rollout: RED(CAR)PET [CAR PARK]
51A Bought some time, in a way: FEED(THEME)TER [THEME PARK]

THEY REALLY HAVE TO FIX THIS AUDIO SITUATION. Come on, Congress. Get it together.