Tag Archives: friday crossword

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!

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!

NYT Crossword 1-1-21 Complete

Happy new year, everyone! A surprising and unsurprising puzzle at the same time. Either way, not such a bad start to the 2021 crossword season. But I definitely don’t mind that the weekend is here.

I pulled out 54A Work on software: DEBUG because the origins of that word are pretty cool. Whether or not apocryphal, the story goes that there was a problem with the Harvard Mark II calculator. It turned out that the issue was a moth that was stuck in Relay 70 that Admiral Grace Hopper recorded as “First actual case of bug being found.” Now, the word “actual” may mean that the term was used metaphorically and then a literal case was found. Either way, go Admiral Hopper!

Admiral Grace Hopper in front of the Harvard Mark II Calculator https://thehistoryproject.co.uk/posts.php?id=260

The theme of this puzzle was the new year.

11D 12/31: NYE. Not an inappropriate change from referencing Bill.
51A Passé: SOLASTYEAR. Unfortunately, COVID-19 is so last-last year, and we’re still fighting it.

And then the the answers with the numbers.

37A A fifth: 20PERCENT.
39A Fast-fashion retailer: FOREVER21. I didn’t know this store still existed, but the internet says that they have a new owner as of almost a year ago that has kept the stores open.
19D Inescapable bind: CATCH22. An oft-referenced book that few have read. I’m in the majority.
38D First graduates of the new millennium, informally: 01ALUMS. The new millennium started in 2001, just like how this decade started today.

The center of the puzzle is 2021.

Finished this one in 41:23.

NYT Crossword 12-25-20 Complete

This wasn’t bad for a Friday at all! I was surprised at how I made it through. That’s not to say that I didn’t screw up in places, but I’m happy with how this went.

I pulled out 23A _ Bay (place mentioned in “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay”): FRISCO because people I know who are from San Francisco and those who live there do not accept that word as an abbreviation for their city. It’s like how USC hates being called Southern Cal–a lot. I remember reading in the media fliers before broadcasting UCSB-USC in baseball games that we were not to refer to the school that way. But back to FRISCO! SFGate wrote about the FRISCO origins and how out-of-towners call it that.

I have my own experience with the FRISCO name and why Bay Area friends of mine have said, “Frisco is a city in Texas.”

I’ve mentioned the game Rail Baron before. I’ll dig up where I wrote about it so you can click through if you’d like to. OK here it is. It’s a Spelling Bee post.

In Rail Baron, there’s a railroad abbreviated SLSF on the board. It’s the St. Louis-San Francisco Railway. It was known as the Frisco Line, and the town of Emerson, TX renamed itself Frisco, TX after the railroad, since Emerson was built around the railway station there. Now more than 100 years old, Frisco is now a city of about 200,000.

The St. Louis-San Francisco Railway never extended west of Texas and was absorbed into the Burlington Northern Railroad in 1980. The Burlington Northern Railroad merged with the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway in 1995 to make the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway. That’s the BNSF we see on railcars.

As for the theme of this puzzle, I didn’t see any, so I’ll end this here.

Finished this puzzle in 25:54.

Have a great weekend!

WSJ Crossword 12-18-20 including contest guess

I didn’t realize until this week that I hadn’t attempted the WSJ Friday puzzle. The extra step of the contest was brought to my attention by Kate, so thanks for that! I feel like my contest submission was pretty solid, and I’ve scheduled this post to publish at 9pm on Sunday, which is right after the submission window closes.

I’d finished this puzzle in less time than the 25:35 shown in the screenshot. But I don’t even know if my puzzle answer is correct, as WSJ doesn’t congratulate for Fridays.

I pulled out 66A Divided Peninsula: KOREA because I’ve gotten on the K-Drama train. I’ve watched Crash Landing on You in its entirety. I’m now through 11 of the 16 episodes of Start-Up. I tried Do Do Sol Sol La La Sol, and I got through two episodes and change, but I couldn’t do more than that. The gateway show to the K-Dramas was Canadian sitcom Kim’s Convenience. Then it was on to the aforementioned shows my mom had recommended.

The puzzle’s title was In Bed by 9.

This seems like taking yarn to link newspaper clippings on a bulletin board.

Now for the likely incorrect contest answer: ZEROES.

Just as conspiracy theory-ey!

I saw that there were an unlikely number of Z’s in the grid. There seem to be a lot of O’s and a lot of letters of ZERO (as if there are so many words with Z’s), so with a six-letter word as the answer to the contest, I went with ZEROES.

What’s better than being wrong? Being wrong in public!

NYT Crossword 12-18-20 Complete

I started this one last night and hit a wall. I though that if I had any chance at all to finish it, it’d have to happen this morning. And it did!

I pulled out 44A Things typically found in dens: ARMCHAIRS. Boy, did I struggle with this one. My answers went from thinking of den like a mancave. So I had AREA_____. Then I changed my mind and thought of lions. So it was AR__LAIRS. Then I went back to the room concept, so the L was gone. Finally, I was left with AR__HAIRS, and then it all came together.

An honorable mention to 14A Line outside the entrance?: OPENSESAME. For those lucky enough to have gone to the Magic Castle, the way to get the bookshelf to slide back to get in past the lobby is to say that phrase to the owl on one of the shelves.

I had good luck and bad luck with the long answers.

17A Using any means necessary: CATCHASCATCHCAN. I’ve always understood this phrase to mean that the amount of business exceeds capacity, so something may not work despite best efforts. Did I misunderstand this my whole life?
37A Setting for forensic investigations: SCENEOFTHECRIME. This was an early answer. And it helped get a lot resolved.
60A Stereotypical cry from a sailor: SHIVERMETIMBERS! Now I’m thinking that a broadcaster with a quaver could say, “Shiver me timbres!”
3D “Let’s go!”: BETTERGETMOVING. It’s 11:43, and I gotta get this post out.
7D People who might tell you to stop, but probably shouldn’t: BACKSEATDRIVER. I know where I’m going, OK?!
11D George Mallory’s famous response to “Why did you want to climb Mount Everest?”: BECAUSEITSTHERE. I’d been waiting almost the whole puzzle to know what he said. Pretty good.

Finished this one in 41:22.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

NYT Crossword 12-11-20 Complete

This one started out hard, but as I went along, I learned new things. There’s nothing like learning by doing, even if that doing is the crossword and learning is inferring from the clues what must be reality.

I learned that moonquakes exist.

I learned that HEATH means an area of open uncultivated land, typically on acid sandy soil, with characteristic vegetation of heather, gorse, and coarse grasses.

I pulled out 46D What two X’s make: SCORE because I thought this was pretty good. So X in Roman numerals is 10. Two X’s is 20. A score is 20. So two X’s is a score. If you can’t remember that a score is 20, just think about the Gettysburg Address. “Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.” which is a now-fancy way of saying: “Let me set the scene for this speech: It’s 1863 right now, and 1776 was 87 (4×20+7) years ago. Remember 1776? No? That’s when those guys signed the Declaration of Independence and made us a country and wrote: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.’ Caught up now? Great! I’ve got like a couple more sentences, so don’t go anywhere just yet.”

I don’t think there was a theme to this puzzle. I can’t miss pointing out 56A Crack jokes, perhaps?: POTTYHUMOR. Because butt crack. Classic.

Finished this one in 41:05.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

NYT Crossword 12-4-20 Complete

It took two people to write this puzzle, and it took two people to complete it. Man, this one was really rough. But I didn’t give up!

I pulled out 37A 6-9 months?: SUMMER because that answer fit, and I didn’t understand. If it were the LA Times crossword puzzle, it would make sense. We have almost exclusively summer here. But New York?

I realized that it wasn’t talking about the duration of the season but that it will be summer during the three-month period that starts in six months.

I would not have been able to finish today’s puzzle if Calah had not filled in some of 17A Tending (to): MINISTERING. She said the answer without hesitation, and I asked her why that would be the answer. “Because that’s what it means. You minister to someone. You tend to them.” Can’t argue with that.

For 19A Makes a splash, I had written FLOPS. Because belly flops make the loudest splashes, especially when you include the “OOH!” from everyone and the “AAAAAIIIIIEEEEEE!!!!!!!” from the newly red would-be diver. But it turned out to be PLOPS.

Final time: 1:14:19. Better than a DNF.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

NYT Crossword 11-27-20 Complete! And a new Friday PR!

I finished the puzzle and set a new Friday personal record. This one felt way easier than a Friday normally would, and I made my way through without being told I was close but that I was completely done.

First PR I’ve set in a long while!

Unfortunately, this puzzle was marred by two related clues.

39A Heavenly halo: CORONA
59A Famed Miami golf resort: DORAL

As it stands right now, we can put the ownership of both on Trump. We have a spike in Coronavirus cases right now, and I still haven’t given my family a hug since mid-March. That’s coming up on nine months without a hug from my family.

Now, it’s possible that Doral will be repossessed if Trump can’t pay back loans, right? Hot take: There will never be justice for the intentional mishandling of Coronavirus.

I don’t have a theme for this puzzle other than fast (for me), but there’s another clue I figured I’d pull out of this.

53A “Bloom County” character whose vocabulary consists mostly of “Thbbft!” and “Ack!”: BILLTHECAT. I had never heard of this before. I had filled out CATHY_ _ _ _ _, but that didn’t go. Cathy is the only comic strip I know of with ACK!

I just found out that the creator of Cathy is… Cathy.

Cathy Guisewite has been posting new stuff on her Instagram.

The new Friday PR is 16:23, which beat my old Friday PR of 16:59 from more than two years ago. Pretty happy with this result.

NYT Crossword 11-20-20 Complete

First Friday I’ve finished in a long time. That brings the streak to five days in a row. It’s almost too bad that I solve the Saturday crossword with friends on Tuesday nights so the streak ends tomorrow. But I don’t really mind. It’s fun to solve it with them. And often well under 10 minutes.

I’ve stated in the past that I cut it off at half an hour. Clearly this took more than half an hour. I had the grid filled out completed in the 29th minute. Of course it has to be filled out and be completely right. That meant going through the entire puzzle clue by clue, changing AYCARAMBA to AYCARUMBA followed by NETTLES to NESTLES and finally AYCARUMBA back to AYCARAMBA.

I opted for 19A Place name in Manhattan: ASTOR to be my highlighted clue of the day because it reminds me of the first time I went to New York City. It was pre-9/11. I was 12 years old. Somehow we got upgraded to business class for the flight there. It’s still the only time I’ve flown business class.

My dad came across times for Blue Man Group. I recognized them from the Pentium III commercials.

My dad waited for I don’t know how many hours to buy house seats as the show had long been sold out.

The show then was at the Astor Place Theatre. And now the Astor Place Theatre is owned by Blue Man Group.

I think I know this puzzle’s theme: HARD.

The NYT Crossword stats section is kinda screwy. The only puzzles tracked are those that were completed. So today’s completion time of 37:50 is well above my average Friday solve time of 31:03. My PR is 16:59 back in October of 2018. What was going on then? I have so many personal records attributable to October 2018.