Tag Archives: Alex Eaton-Salners

NYT Crossword Puzzle 10-31-21 Complete (contains spoilers)

I pulled out 14D Uttered a sound: SAIDBOO because it’s Halloween. There’s very little in this puzzle that acknowledges that, even though it’s the obvious theme for today. Yes, I’m aware that there was a Halloween-themed puzzle the other day, but why not make it a Sunday crossword, since Halloween is on Sunday this year?

Given the opportunity to have a Halloween-themed puzzle for a Sunday Halloween, the actual theme was kinda garbage.

The title of the puzzle is Choice Words. That ultimately meant that the words on either side of OR next to each theme answer were also crammed into the multi-letter box. I’m glad I didn’t do this one on paper because seriously what the hell.

23A Haphazard: HITORMISS.
21A Noted Apple release of 1968, to fans: THEWHITEALBUM -> THEW[HITmiss]EALBUM.
4D Negligent: REMISS -> RE[hitMISS].

43A Desperate: DOORDIE.
45A Traditional British entree: LIVERANDONIONS -> LIVERAN[DOdie]NIONS.
35D Least messy: TIDIEST -> TI[doDIE]ST.

70A Approximately: MOREORLESS.
68A Noted U.S. rock group?: MOUNTRUSHMORE -> MOUNTRUSH[MOREless].
64D Consecrates: BLESSES -> B[moreLESS]ES.

96A “You game?”: INOROUT.
90A Military dismissal: MARCHINGORDGERS -> MARCH[INout]GORDERS.
79D Berate blisteringly: SHOUTAT -> SH[inOUT]AT.

116A Regardless of the outcome: WINORLOSE.
118A Hectic trip abroad: WHIRLWINDTOUR -> WHIRL[WINlose]DTOUR.
114D Places hangers hang: CLOSETS -> C[winLOSE]TS.

Finished this one in 38:25.

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NYT Crossword Puzzle 9-29-21 Complete (contains spoilers)

I pulled out 34A Helpfully pushy person: NUDGER because I had put in NUDNIK, even though it didn’t really make sense that a nudnik would be helpful. Ultimately, that nagging feeling that a nudnik wasn’t helpful turned out to be accurate, and nudger–a word that apparently merits a red squiggly–was the word that does fit. So there you have it: Red squiggly words are well incorporated in the New York Times Crossword Puzzle. Yay.

There was (no) theme today.

13A *Stay in power: RESIGN -> RE(S)IGN -> REIGN + S.
23A *Hold on to: HEAVE -> H(E)AVE -> HAVE + E.
26A *Done openly: COVERT -> (C)OVERT -> OVERT + C.
50A *Doesn’t eat: FEASTS -> F(E)ASTS -> FASTS + E.
54A *On this spot: THERE -> (T)HERE -> HERE + T.

66A When revealed in this puzzle, it reverses the meanings of the answers to the starred clues: SECRET. The letters that make the answers opposite make them secret? It’s weird, but fine.

Finished this one in 15:36.

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NYT Crossword Puzzle 8-9-21 Complete (contains spoilers)

I pulled out 23A Tattoos, informally: INK not because I’ve gotten any tattoos or because of TatYou but because I recently learned a game called Railroad Ink. It’s a game that takes all the drawing fun of Telestrations and mixes it with the mechanical excitement of 1-4-24. If Nick Pedersen ever reads this blog post, he will learn that 1-4-24 is still my favorite dice game. Overall, I give Railroad Ink a solid B.

The theme of this puzzle is NOT what you’re thinking it was.

17A Gets past, as an obstacle: OVERCOMES.
56A Opposite of 17-Across?: UNDERGOES.

25A Where pirates roam: HIGHSEAS.
45A Opposite of 25-Across?: LOWLANDS.

35A Omitted: LEFTOFF.
37A Opposite of 35-Across?: RIGHTON.

Oof! With the wedding on Sunday, I’ll soon have more time to write deeper thoughts.

Finished this one in 11:44.

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A poor showing today.

NYT Crossword 12-16-20 Complete

It’s pretty calm outside right now, but they say the wind will pick up again tomorrow. Still freezing here, though. Right now it’s 47 outside. Crazy.

Counterintuitively, this was not only the fastest puzzle so far this week. Probably using the theme and making no errors helped, though.

I pulled out 55A How Russia ranks first among all countries: INAREA because that certainly wasn’t my first thought. I knew it couldn’t have been anything rude because it’s unlikely that even Will Shortz wants to become a target of the FSB. On the other hand, there’s no reason to think he’s not currently an operative.

After all, this puzzle’s theme is about the United States executive branch.

17A Place to land that’s not on land: AIRCRA(FTC)ARRIER.
23A 2002 musical that won eight Tonys: HA(IRS)PRAY.
37A Very picture of idleness?: SCREE(NSA)VER.
52A Felix of “The Odd Couple,” for one: NE(ATF)REAK.

59A Treasury notes … or what the two sides of 17-, 23-, 37- and 52-Across are joined with?: GOVERNMENTBONDS.

This really seems like useful code for all these organizations in what appears to be normal conversation:

You can call the Federal Trade Commission the aircraft carrier. “Hey, how do you think the aircraft carrier will deal with facebook?”

You can call the Internal Revenue Service hairspray. “Donald Trump says he has too much hairspray involvement in auditing his tax returns to release them to us.”

You can call the National Security Agency the screensaver. “Did you hear that the tongue-in-cheek name for screensaver was no such agency?”

You can call the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives the neatfreak. “How are we going to smuggle all these crates of guns and booze over the border without the neatfreak getting in the way?”

You’d never suspect with any of these that anything nefarious is going on.

Finished this one in a cool 7:38.

NYT Crossword 11-22-20 Complete

I had early success with today’s puzzle, but that slowed down considerably as I struggled with the theme. After some thought, I figured the theme out, and the rest of the puzzle got a lot easier.

The clue I decided to pull out was 100A Emotive brass sound: WAHWAH. It’s sad trombone.

I’ve used this before, and it seems to come in handy a lot these days. I look forward to that changing.

It All Adds Up is the theme because the way to solve it is through addition. It probably would have helped to read the title of the puzzle earlier than as I was scanning this completed post for any glaring errors before clicking the publish button.

The circled clues add up to make useful and appropriate words.

23A Bygone office group: S(ONE)OPOOL
3D Made the rounds?: (NINE)DEDBAR
23A Bygone office group: STENO POOL
3D Made the rounds?: TENDED BAR

25A Final remark in an argument: THELAS(ONE)RD
15D Doctor’s reassurance before a shot: I(ONE)NTHURT
25A Final remark in an argument: THE LAST WORD
15D Doctor’s reassurance before a shot: IT WON’T HURT

66A Long-running show whose iconic hourglass is in the Smithsonian collection: DAYSO(TWO)LIVES
35D 1943 Pulitzer-winning Thornton Wilder play, with “The”: SKINO(TWO)TEETH


66A Long-running show whose iconic hourglass is in the Smithsonian collection: DAYS OF OUR LIVES
35D 1943 Pulitzer-winning Thornton Wilder play, with “The”: SKIN OF OUR TEETH

113A Union Pacific vehicle: FR(FOUR)TRAIN
72D Qualifies to fight in a certain class: MAKESW(FOUR)
113A Union Pacific vehicle: FREIGHT TRAIN
72D Qualifies to fight in a certain class: MAKES WEIGHT

116A Neither gains nor loses: BREAK(ZERO)
77D Journalists might be invited to it: PRES(SEVENT)
116A Neither gains nor loses: BREAKS EVEN
77D Journalists might be invited to it: PRESS EVENT

Definitely a lot to get through today. It’s my first completed Sunday in a long while. It took me less than an hour, which I think isn’t so bad.

NYT Crossword 7-20-20 Complete

So this is the first NYT Monday of this blog. I raced through it with almost no skips as I was going through. I was excited by the time I was going to finish, but it turned out I had to finish it properly. I found the error semi-quickly. I had put EDIE when the answer was EVIE. IT was clear that HANDDAC is not a dustbuster while HANDVAC is.

I haven’t yet done today’s Wall Street Journal puzzle, but NYT Monday solved in 6:26 against the average of like 9:20 for my WSJ Mondays has me wondering if the NYT Monday is just substantially easier than the WSJ Monday.

Another thing: Yesterday’s puzzle had STRIPTT (STRIPTEASE because strip+T’s), and today’s had UNDRESS. It’s sounding like the editor’s middle name should be Drop. You know, because then he’d be Will Drop Shortz. Ugh. He makes me so mad. I still have the unused ticket from when he showed up at UCSB. Was it a waste of money to have purchased the ticket? I didn’t know when I bought it that he was about to use my submission without crediting me.