Tag Archives: monday crossword

NYT Crossword 2-1-21 Complete

A NEW PERSONAL RECORD!!!! It’s not even a February Fools’ Day joke. Also happy 2121. Although the twos have abounded, we haven’t yet seen the full-on silver squeeze. Two because silver medal is second place. I want the silver squeeze to happen because if silver goes to $1000/ozt, this half dollar in my hand is worth more than $350. But just try to get that kind of cash for it, right? I know from my time in rare coins and collectibles that if you go to a place that sells precious metals, they’ll tell you that they can’t sell it to you at spot because they’re a business and have to make a profit on it. If you try to sell them precious metals, they’ll tell you that they can’t buy it for spot because they’re a business and have to make a profit on it. They make a profit on both ends of the transaction. Unless the price falls dramatically after they buy it and before they sell it.

I pulled out 14D Dull photo finish: MATTE because my name is Matt, and I’m allowed to be vain. Also months and months ago Calah and I bought our wedding bands with the expectation that we’d be long married by now. I made sure to get one with a matte finish. Why? Because my name is Matt, and I’m allowed to be vain.

This puzzle was the bees’ knees! And not just in the sense that I have a new Monday PR.

19A One on the front lines during a crisis: ESSENTIALWORKER.
35A Crown wearer at a fall football game: HOMECOMINGQUEEN.
52A Unmanned Dept. of Defense aircraft: USMILITARYDRONE.



Finished this one in 3:49, ABSOLUTELY OBLITERATING my old Monday PR of 4:21.

NYT Crossword 1-18-21 Complete

Today there was kind of muted craziness. The Trump administration said the travel ban from Europe is ending or something. That’s silly because COVID obvz. Then Biden was like, “Hang on, buddy!” Also Kayleigh McEnany reportedly has moved back home to Florida already. Does she not know that that’s where the Trumps are moving, too??????

I pulled out 3D “Here comes Poindexter!”: NERDALERT because of what this is. Might as well have been “Look! Someone doing the crossword!”

Today’s theme was something like why travel the world when you can travel the whole world in this country?

17A City where you won’t find the Eiffel Tower: PARISTEXAS.
24A City where you won’t find the Parthenon: ATHENSGEORGIA. Republic of Georgia should look into naming one of their towns after the city in Greece, too.
46A City where you won’t find Virgil’s Tomb: NAPLESFLORIDA.
56A City where you won’t find the El Greco Museum: TOLEDOOHIO.

Finished this one in 7:48.

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.


Finished this one in 8:44.

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 Crossword 1-4-21 Complete

What a Monday so far! The press conferences in Georgia before tomorrow’s runoffs, people lining up for tonight’s Trump rally tonight for I don’t know what, and the deployment of the National Guard to Washington, DC, in preparation for the certification of the Electoral College vote that’s a couple days away. What’s not to love about 2021!

I pulled out 44A Rolling golf stroke: PUTT because I had initially written BUMP, and that only turned out to be 25% correct. Although I haven’t played golf in like a year, I remember some strategy. There are two main types of golf course types. The first type is what we normally think of golf. It’s called parkland. Trees line the fairways, and the grass is planted on dirt that can get muddy quickly in wet conditions. The other type is links. It’s like playing on an open field with grass planted on sand that helps the playing surface dry even after heavy downpours. This is the kind of surface in St Andrews, Scotland, where it rains all the time. Check out those threatening clouds on the Jubilee Course.

I had so much more hair back in 2014. Also those shoes were later stolen from my car, and they don’t make them anymore!

Since the grass is planted on sand, the ground is a lot harder. The grass also is cut shorter. While on a parkland course, the approach I usually take from 90 yards out is with a wedge and a lot of backspin for the ball to land on the green and not roll very far, as demonstrated in picture below from a time at Penmar in Los Angeles.

Big bite taken out of the green, which I repaired before sinking the birdie putt.

While this approach allows for clearing things like bunkers, patches of grass, and ground under repair, this is not the way to go about things in links golf. The shorter grass and harder surface not only make it more difficult to get a clean shot with a high loft iron, they make it easy to get the ball to go hundreds of feet with a lower loft club and chip that lets the ball just rollllll along with little encumbrance. In parkland golf, this usually is reserved for bumping the ball that’s just off the green onto the green, and since greens can be very, very big, you can use the swing you’d use with a putter and use the weight of a long iron to get the ball close to the cup.


The title of this puzzle is The Jocular Vein.

17A *Craft by which quotations are put on pillows: NEEDLEPOINT. Home sweet home.
26A *Nick Jonas, to Joe Jonas: KIDBROTHER.
39A *Weather a period of chaos: RIDEOUTTHESTORM. Feels like what we’re doing right now. Can’t the storm just end, please?
50A *He plays Thanos in “Avengers: Endgame”: JOSHBROLIN. I don’t feel so good.
62A *Marbled cut of beef: RIBEYESTEAK. I have some steaks in the freezer. I really should make them. At 60 degrees right now, it’s just too cold to start up the charcoals.

55D Verb for which synonyms can be found at the beginnings of the starred answers: TEASE. Playful NEEDLING, KIDDING, RIDING, JOSHING, RIBBING.

Finished this one in 9:20.

NYT Crossword 1-4-21 Complete

Another freezing morning in Los Angeles! My hands are kind of locked in place, so I keep blowing on them so they thaw. It’s supposed to climb from the current 48 to the low 60s. So much for global warming.

I pulled out 48D Trucker who relays “bear traps”: CBER because it reminds me of a road trip Calah and I took last year. It was going to be a long enough road trip that I thought it would be beneficial to be able to listen to truck drivers as we went in case we could learn something. I have a Yaesu VX-5R handheld transceiver. I can pick up all kinds of analog bands on it. I hadn’t thought about the citizens band radio capabilities. Turns out that it has none. So rather than listening to truckers while driving through the night, it was Infected Mushroom. It’s great music for driving, but there was no advice about bear traps — police with radar.

Today’s theme was likely in reference to the new and unfortunately panned Wonder Woman 1984 film. But that was released last year. Is this just a delayed post?

61A Co-founder of the Justice League: WONDERWOMAN.
17A Identity of 61-Across: DIANAPRINCE. This is the clue that got me the theme. And I hadn’t even solved any other on-theme clue yet.
30A Originator of 61-Across: DCCOMICS. The name is like ATM Machine or The La Brea Tar Pits. DC originally stood for Detective Comics. So it’s Detective Comics Comics.
36A Television portrayer of 61-Across: LYNDACARTER.
44A Film portrayer of 61-Across: GALGADOT.

I finished this one in 12:25 due to errors like 1A Has a long shelf life: LASTS had to replace KEEPS. and 64A Humdingers: LULUS had to replace LUAUS.

WSJ Crossword 12-28-20 Complete

It is coming down in LA. Wow! I haven’t seen rain like this since last year, I think. And it’s almost next year already.

I pulled out 32A How a baseball game starts: TIED because it reminds me of a story from when I was a sportscaster in college. UCSB women’s basketball was playing a game against I think Cal State Monterey Bay, but I’m not entirely certain right now if that was the opponent this story relates to. The game was to be played at the Events Center or ECen, but what we all knew as the Thunderdome. I’ll have to fact check this part, too, but I believe that Mitchell Clements was my broadcast partner for that game, and he and I did our pregame show leading up to tipoff. But there was a problem: The scoreboard was not functioning. They tried to fix it before the game was set to start, but that didn’t happen. So the refs assessed a technical foul to the team, and Cal State Monterey Bay(?) was allowed two free throws. They made one of the the two. The game started with UCSB down 1-0. I hadn’t seen that before or since. But not all game start tied.

The title of this puzzle is Are Too! Unfortunately, there is nothing Star Wars about this one.

Sorry, fella. Jeremy R. Capp says there’s no place for you here. https://www.digitalspy.com/movies/a32343238/star-wars-r2-d2-name-george-lucas-thx-1138/

16A Luxury SUV from England: RANGEROVER. I’ve been in some. They are luxurious.
28A “The Princess Bride” director: ROBREINER. That was a good movie. “The Jerk” was directed by his father, Carl Reiner, who passed away in June of this year.
44A Wear out: RUNRAGGED.
27D Pan’s opposite: RAVEREVIEW. Speaking of panning compared to raving, I’m halfway through the final season of Breaking Bad, and it’s been tough for me to want to watch it. No average episode rating on IMDb dips below 8.9/10, but I find it to be almost unwatchable. To me, the characters have lost all relatability. I’m not rooting for anything other than for the end of the series. But it’s a long goodbye.
10D Tournament style: ROUNDROBIN. Yum!

58A Quaint vacay, and a hint to five long answers in this puzzle: ALITTLERNR.

Yeah, not you, either. https://www.twinpeaksblog.com/2020/06/27/twin-peaks-x-society6-double-r/

Finished this one in 19:39.

NYT Crossword 12-28-20 Complete

It’s a wet one today in Los Angeles. There was lightning last night and this morning! More in the forecast. I saw a truck loaded up with mattresses a couple days ago and mentioned to Calah that it’s good that randos are removing mattresses so they don’t get stuck in the storm drains when the big rain comes. It was funny because it doesn’t rain heavily here. Except when it does. I expect to hear stories of mudslides.

I pulled out 33D The devout do it on Yom Kippur: ATONE because I disagree so, so much with it. Now, I know that they wanted a break from the regular clue to the effect of “When lunch often ends,” but Yom Kippur is a holiday when the synagogues usually are filled to capacity at minimum. The Day of Atonement is absolutely not just a holiday that is observed by the devout, a word which means “Having or showing deep religious feeling or commitment.”

I abhor the conflation of the terms religious and observant because you can follow the letter of the law (observance) but miss the point, and you can follow the spirit of the law (religiousness) and not even be informed of the particular rules.

There’s a story in the Talmud (Shabbat 31a) where someone goes to one heralded scholar, Shammai, and asks him to explain the Torah while standing on one foot. Shammai, a scholar who is learned but with comparatively little real-world experience, finds the request to be ridiculous and tells the guy to scram. Then the guy goes to another heralded scholar, Hillel, and asks him for the same thing. Hillel is also learned but has much real-world experience. Hillel tells the guy that the whole Torah is that you shouldn’t do to your neighbor what you don’t want done to you and that the rest of it is details about how to do this. He then advises study of the Torah to learn those details.

Throughout the Talmud, Hillel and Shammai go head-to-head more than 300 times, and Hillel–the one with real-world experience–wins these arguments more than 90% of the time.

This is not to say that the Talmud creates a precedent for anti-intellectual, anti-academic bias. Rather, this is an inclusive approach and a rebuke to those who limit acceptance to the so-called devout.

There is an altitudinal theme to this puzzle.

3D Wile E. Coyote’s supplier: ACMECORPORATION.
5D Athlete’s goal in competition: PEAKPERFORMANCE.
9D Absolute chicness: HEIGHTOFFASHION.
11D Quaint greeting: TOPOFTHEMORNING.

In addition to the on-theme ACME, PEAK, HEIGHT, and TOP, the theme answers are vertical in the grid. Nice touch.

Finished this one in 7:07 last night, but I didn’t refresh the tab with the puzzle before grabbing the screenshot just now, so it shows almost 12 hours. I don’t feel like doing a new screen grab, so I won’t.

Be safe out there, and enjoy your Monday!

WSJ Crossword 12-21-20 Complete

An update on Friday’s contest: My answer was incorrect. Surprise. But there were good signs! I accurately identified that the Z’s had something to do with it.

It turns out that the Z’s were a pattern that highlights the letters of CATNAP when shifted to the other side of the puzzle. Cool.

I pulled out 58A Carrier to Israel: ELAL because, according to sources familiar with the situation, Israel is closing its skies within the next 48 hours due to dangers related to the new strain of the coronavirus. Good times.

The puzzle title is Cold Cuts. I grew up calling cold cuts by their real name. But there are people I know who refer to the meats simply as “deli.” Those people tend to be from the midwest and east coast, so I don’t know if it’s the WSJ folks are using a term they don’t normally use for this to make the theme apply or if they prefer that term. Also I figured out the theme after the fourth circle.

16A Sleight of hand, maybe: SW(I)T(C)H(E)ROO. Got me with the ol’ switcheroo!
20A “All I Want for Christmas Is You” singer: MAR(I)AH(C)AR(E)Y. If I listened to the radio, I’d be hearing this a lot now.
35A One might make a B-9 announcement: B(I)NGO(C)ALL(E)R. I miss regular bingo. But we can make our 2021 bingo cards soon. Who has “PRO GAMES CANCELED/DELAYED DUE TO ILLNESS CONCERNS” on next year’s card?
50A Group of close associates: (I)NNER(C)IRCL(E). If I didn’t have Fave Five from T-Mobile, I’d be out of minutes on the second day of the billing month.

56A Get-to-know-you game, and a description of this puzzle’s theme: ICEBREAKER. Because the letters of ICE keep drifting away.

Finished this one on my phone in 9:39.

NYT Crossword 12-21-20 Complete

Happy winter! Covid cases are rising around the world, and we have a new strain in Europe. But as long as we have the crossword, being boxed in isn’t so out of the ordinary.

I pulled out 4D Where spiders get their information?: THEWEB because I got a chuckle out of it. It’s not just the image of spiders sitting at the computer looking things up, though anthropomorphism is evergreen comedy. But it’s also that spiders learn a lot through their webs. Spiders know when flies hit their webs and where the flies hit their webs because each piece has a different tone, according to National Geographic.

Today’s theme was nonsense.

1A Prattle: BLATHER.
19A Prattle: MUMBOJUMBO. This was the last one of the theme clues I solved. I was trying to catch up on time, so I had initially put GUMBOGUMBO, but that clearly wasn’t right.
25A Worthless talk: JIBBERJABBER. Back when I had AIM, I got an animated icon of Mr. T that had him say, “Got no time for jibba jabba.” Pretty cool.
48A Unintelligible jargon: GOBBLEDYGOOK.
57A Twaddle: BALDERDASH.
71A “Huh?” … or a possible response to 1-, 19-, 25-, 48- and 57-Across: SAYWHAT.

Finished this one in 8:47.