Tag Archives: monday crossword

WSJ Crossword 12-14-20 Complete

A surprisingly long Monday for me. Sometimes WSJ Mondays are surprisingly short. Sometimes the opposite. At least there weren’t clashes with the NYT puzzle today.

I pulled out 69 Online arts and crafts marketplace: ETSY for two personal reasons. The first reason is that my Etsy shop has been up and running and has some pretty cool stuff that includes origami dinosaurs that I’ve folded and #raabidfun T-shirts. The second reason is that Calah soon will be opening up her own Etsy shop where she’ll sell her handmade crocheted and knitted items. She will have her own post about that when she launches her store.

Today’s puzzle’s title is Nothing Left.

I just now understand this.

17A Cause for Harvey Milk and Larry Kramer: GAYRIGHTS.
30A Composes a celebrity memoir, say: GHOSTWRITES.
46A They may be responsible for some long lines: PLAYWRITES.
61A Priest’s duty, and a fitting final answer after 17-, 30- and 46-Across: LASTRITES.

RIGHTS, WRITES, WRITES (again), and RITES. Nothing LEFT.

Sloppy to have a duplication of WRITE, but this comes from the same publication that allowed the seemingly stream-of-consciousness rant condemning the incoming First Lady for using her doctorate degree to call herself Dr. Jill Biden to make it to press. That it didn’t get spiked is absurd. Like the next thing that guy is going to write will be about how Trump was right on when he told Joe Biden not to use the word “smart,” because this piece has just proved that Jill Biden isn’t smart. And comparing her earned doctorate to honorary doctorates? Huh? It’s so weird. The wisest part of the whole thing was that he insulted Stephen Colbert and Seth Meyers. Each has an extremely talented writing staff, and both are very watchable. I’m looking forward to seeing if they tee off on him or opt not give him any additional attention. Had he mentioned John Oliver, he’d certainly have been the subject of thorough research to provide for a 10-minute, profanity-laced takedown.

I finished this puzzle in a slow 18:31. The timer continues to run even after the puzzle is solved.

NYT Crossword 12-14-20 Complete

The week starts off with a not-so-challenging puzzle. However, it’s got plenty of room for tripping up. Take it from someone who knows.

I pulled out 34D Typical John le Carré work: SPYNOVEL because how the hell did they get him in a puzzle right after he died? Did they have this one ready to go? Was it happenstance?

Now, I didn’t know the name John le Carré until I got the notifications that he’d passed away. But it turned out I wasn’t entirely unfamiliar with his work. That is to say that I’d heard of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.

As usual, I didn’t know the theme until the end.

19A Model/TV host on a record five Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue covers: ELLEMACPHERSON. In another sign of how uncultured I am, I had been unaware that she is/was a TV host. But as a former SI subscriber, I found the clue overall to be helpful.
28A “Grey’s Anatomy” actress: SANDRAOH. I tried watching this show but couldn’t get into it. Then I happened upon spinoff series Private Practice on Netflix. I got partway through the first episode and could not bear to continue. Good for them for getting paid and for so long, but I have proved unhelpful when it comes to them collecting residuals.
34A “Full Frontal” host: SAMANTHABEE. I haven’t watched this show, but I liked her on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart. I was in DC in 2017 when signs were promoting the then-upcoming Not the White House Correspondents’ Dinner located at Constitutional Hall, a venue operated by the Daughters of the American Revolution. To be honest, I’m a little creeped out by this organization. It’s not that I’m against celebrating our history and those who fought for our country’s independence but that DAR is a sorority of almost exclusively white women. That they recently let a Black woman join their national board is a good sign for the future(?), but long traditions of exclusion can make joining any organization a deterrent, and that can be a never-ending cycle. I’m not saying that my opinion reflects the feelings of DAR, and I am fully in favor of expanding outreach and making the organization more inclusive.
42A North Carolina senator who unseated Elizabeth Dole: KAYHAGAN. Whenever I hear that name, I just think of The Godfather. I know that it’s Kay who marries Michael Corleone and not Tom Hagen, but it’s like when I see the name Trey Stone, I think of South Park.

53A Female scholars … or a hint to 19-, 28-, 34- and 42-Across: WOMENOFLETTERS. The theme because ELLE (L) MACPHERSON, SANDRA (O) OH, SAMANTHA (B) BEE, and KAY (K) HAGEN.

Finished this one in 6:58.

NYT Crossword 12-7-20 Complete

Make that 34 Mondays in a row. That’s the better part of a year. It all started Monday, April 13. I remember April 13. I had been engaged for almost a month, and it was the first Passover I’d spent away from my parents since college. What more is there to say about that date?

I pulled out 51D Hot après-ski beverage: COCOA for numerous reasons.

First reason is that I like hot cocoa better than I like hot chocolate. There is a huge difference. I make hot cocoa with cocoa powder (I like Scharffen Berger), sugar, and milk. Pretty simple. Either marshmallows or whipped cream are good toppers. Both is overkill. Irish cream can be a good addition.

Hot chocolate can have ingredients like condensed milk, chocolate chips, heavy whipping cream, sugar, and more along those lines. Hot chocolate can glisten. It’s good news-bad news. You know it’s going to taste amazing. It also might kill you.

Hot chocolate is not heated chocolate milk.

I have gone to Starbucks and asked for iced hot chocolate. I have done this in more than one state and in more than one country. When my drink is ready, I have often gotten iced chocolate milk.

In London, I asked for iced hot chocolate. The French barista was not having it. He asked me why I didn’t just get chocolate milk. He makes drinks and doesn’t know that they’re entirely different beverages? I told him that I was certain of my order and that I enjoy the combination. He told me, “Uwhen yu don’t like eet, I will not mek anozer!” He seemed even more unhappy when I said that the drink he made for me was perfect.

A friend of mine told me a way around this drink-ordering game: Just order a hot chocolate and a cup of ice. Doing it that way means more beverage and guaranteed success.

Now to today’s theme!

17A Traveled by subway?: WENTDOWNTHETUBE
27A “Would you call the elevator for me?”: CANIGETALIFT
48A “Hand me a flashlight”?: PASSTHETORCH
63A Use French fries as legal tender?: CASHINONESCHIPS

Pretty solid idiom answers.

Finished this one in 8:29.

WSJ Crossword 12-7-20 Complete

And we’re back to doing the Wall Street Journal puzzle! I’d forgotten how fast the WSJ Monday is. It’s pretty fast.

I decided to pull out 15A Piano practice piece: ETUDE. Initially I had put in CHOPS. Then SCALE. I had taken piano lessons as a child, but it didn’t take. I hadn’t gotten far enough to get to know the word etude. It would have come in handy today.

The title of this puzzle is Shake It Up, and it became evident what that meant.

17A Laundry room fastener: CLOTHE(SPIN)
25A City and its surrounding region: MET(ROAR)EA
51A Bombers and fighters: (WARP)LANES
61A PERR(YELL)IS

35A 1964 Beatles hit, and a hint to the circled letters in this puzzle: TWISTANDSHOUT

SPIN and WARP go with TWIST.
ROAR and YELL go with SHOUT.

Not so bad, but it was kinda lame.

Finished this one in 5:10.

NYT Crossword 11-30-20 Complete

This was yet another Monday puzzle I got through quickly but got something wrong. I spent more than equal time finding that one square as completing the rest of the grid. And when I found it, I was not only annoyed but educated.

The clue I decided to pull out today is 14A Suffix with switch: EROO.

This is the one that turned out to have given me so much trouble. I went through the entire puzzle over and over to try to find anything wrong at all. I started to feel like the puzzle was broken and just didn’t recognize my accurate completion. There couldn’t be an issue with AROO.

But there was. 1D ___ and haw: HEM makes way more sense than does HAM. So that’s that.

I figured out the theme on the second related clue.

I skipped 8A Capital of 71-Across because I hadn’t gotten to 71A.

18A *Restaurant chain known for its coffee and doughnuts had the right number of spaces for TIMHORTONS, so I quickly jumped back to 8A.

8A Capital of 71-Across: OTTAWA–whose hockey team is appropriately named the Senators.
18A *Restaurant chain known for its coffee and doughnuts: TIMHORTONS
62A *Pancake topping: MAPLESYRUP
4D *Leafs-watching time, maybe: HOCKEYNIGHT, though I had thought and then rejected HOCKEYFIGHT for the Toronto Maple Leafs clue.
27D *Important step after erring: SAYINGSORRY, even though I would have expected it to be SAYINGSOREY.

71A Place associated with the answers to the starred clues: CANADA, of course!

Completion time was an appalling 12:41, but at least now I know it’s SWITCHEROO and not SWITCHAROO. And knowing is half the battle.

NYT Crossword 11-23-20 Complete

I filled out the grid in 4:29! But I didn’t do it correctly. It’s a common theme for me when I race through it.

Like the Moody Blues say: “Run like a fire / Don’t you run in / In the lanes / RUN FOR TIME.”

It took almost as long to find my errors as it did to do the puzzle!

I pulled out 47D Unleavened bread for Passover: MATZOH as today’s clue I have something to say about. Transliterated words are the really the worst. I have seen MATZAH and MATZO in the wild and in use, but MATZOH? I don’t think so. It’s like when the Spelling Bee had MAZAL and MAZEL as words that existed in the grid but not in the word list. But they’re fine with MOOLA AND MOOLAH. These inconsistencies are quite a headache.

And as for the theme: 62D Two forms of them are found in 18-, 38- and 60-Across: IDS.
18A Australian wind instrument: D(ID)GER(ID)OO
38A System of underwater mountains: M(ID)OCEANR(ID)GE
60A Wedding attendant: BR(ID)ESMA(ID)

Though I prefer my own theme and the one I started with: RIDE MY SEE-SAW!

18A Australian wind instrument: DIDGERIDOO
38A System of underwater mountains: MIDOCEANRIDGE
60A Wedding attendant: BRIDESMAID

NYT Crossword 11-16-20 Complete–and tidepools story

No personal record today in terms of time, but my Monday streak is very much alive. I mean 31 Mondays in a row is a lot of Mondays.

The concept of Spring Tide is new to me.

As we all know, tides are extremely important to our lives. That’s mainly because without tides, we couldn’t have tidepools. And tidepools are fun! I know that some people don’t like sea creatures. Those people are so entitled because this is America.

In college, my roommate Darren asked me if I wanted to join him and two of his classmates to the tidepools a very short bike ride from our apartment at UCSB. Naturally, I jumped at the opportunity, and off we went.

Here’s Darren in a decade-old picture from that visit. I had forgotten how extensive the tidepools are!

I got to see things I probably wouldn’t have seen in the wild. Like an octopus. And then another octopus. And a third octopus that inked. But the octopi were very hard for me to see because they blend in so well.

There’s an octopus somewhere in this photo.

“Oh, look! Another octopus!”
“Where?”
“You’re looking at it!”

See it now? Once you do, you can’t un-see it.

Routinely, I’d be completely lost. I just saw rocks and various sea life. No octopi.

Here’s your last chance to look over the above photos again before you can never again completely miss this octopus.

See it now?
There it is!
See its eyes?
It’s becoming more aware of the situation.
Here it comes!
And now it doesn’t look like rocks.
Google photos turned some of the photos in a gif. NOW try to miss the octopus in the early photos.

And to think this story all came out of 29D Shore phenomenon around the time of the new and full moons: SPRINGTIDE. And I believe that’s about when we went to the tidepools.

As for the rest of the puzzle, there was a pretty moving theme.

17A Sweet item at a bakery: JELLY(ROLL)
Which brings about the joke of why did the jellyroll? Because it saw the apple turnover!
23A Keep watch while a homeowner’s away: HOUSE(SIT)
33A Bar-to-bar activity: PUB(CRAWL)
41A What a speaker or musician may adjust before starting: MIC(STAND)
48A Easy win: CAKE(WALK)
all for the theme
59A Small advances … or the progression suggested by the ends of 17-, 23-, 33-, 41- and 48-Across: BABY(STEPS)! Roll, sit, crawl, stand, walk.

I liked the tidepools part of this blog post better.

Completed in 7:04.

WSJ Crossword 10-19-20 Complete

You’ll notice that I am no longer posting the solution as the main image of the crossword blog posts. That’s going to continue from here on out. Shoutout to Lynn for setting me straight when I was only one post in.

I now remember how different the WSJ logic is. It’s most certainly less fun.

11A Chocolate substitute: CAROB

This one stands out to me because when I was a child, my mom would pack some like soy-based drink flavored with carob when I was a child. It came in a pouch, I think. If anyone knows of this drink and what it’s called, please let me know!

The title of this crossword is One for the Money
52A Sport to stash your cash, and a feature of 15-, 20-, 33- and 45-Across: HIDDENSAFE.
15A Feels warm to the touch, say: RUN(SAFE)VER
20A Fights with someone: GOE(SAFE)WROUNDS
33A Weighing almost nothing: LIGHTA(SAFE)ATHER
45A Homicide and kidnapping, often: CLAS(SAFE)LONIES

I finished this puzzle in 10:02. I think that’s above my average time, but I’m going to start keeping track of my WSJ stats on my own because that feature is not provided.

NYT Crossword 8-17-20 Complete

Back to some crosswords! I did this one on my phone. Computer is easier, but phone is more convenient from bed.

The highlighted clue here is 22A That is to say, in Latin: IDEST.

This brings up the discussion of two specific common misuses in writing: i.e. vs. e.g., and my fiancee knows all too well that I enjoy talking about this one.

These two are taken from Latin.

First, e.g.: This is short for the Latin exempli gratia, which means (for) example’s sake. Use this when you’re illustrating your point by providing a subset of all the examples that can be used in that way.

I own scores of domain names, and almost all of them redirect to this blog. When people ask me how to get to my blog, I don’t give the same answer every time. While there are many I repeat (e.g. MyBatteryDied.com, MyAlarmDidntGoOff.com, LochNessMobster.com), I rarely know which domain name I’ll provide in advance of the conversation.

I have more than those three that I repeat. I could have included raabidfun.com, IfAndWednesday.com, and OrCurrentResident.com, as I use those frequently, too. But I didn’t, so it’s e.g.

Second, i.e.: This is short for the Latin id est, which means that is. Direct translation. It signifies a specific item you are discussing/describing. Think of i.e. as the word namely.

Remember when this blog had a more generic domain name? I certainly do. When I started this blog, I was OK with the free name I got. But when I decided to register a domain name through WordPress, I dropped the free one (i.e. raabidfun.wordpress.com) in favor of using ThatShipHasSunk.com.

I’m not giving an example of free WordPress names, I’m talking about my free WordPress name. My free WordPress name only can refer to raabidfun.wordpress.com.

So there you have it.

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.