Tag Archives: NYT Crossword

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 11-26-20 complete

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today was a real Thursday. You know, unlike yesterday’s Wednesday that I had thought was Thursday. But that I thought it was Sunday, so I don’t even know what’s going on.

I chose 26A More than calls: RAISES because it didn’t make sense to me until I tried to find where I’d gone wrong. It’s just poker. That’s it.

The theme of this puzzle made the electronic version of the grid look all weird.

18A Oboe or flute sound: VVOOWWEELL
29A Home to around eight million Americans: IISSLLAANNDD
47A Circumlocutory: WWIINNDDEEDD
61A Some winter wear: JJOOHHNNSS

71A Word interpreted literally in completing four of this puzzle’s answers: LONG

See? The answers are all stretched out. Elongated.

18A Oboe or flute sound: LONG VOWEL
29A Home to around eight million Americans: LONG ISLAND
47A Circumlocutory: LONGWINDED
61A Some winter wear: LONGJOHNS

This is a puzzle that I really think [Long] Calah (@ccaallaahh) could identify with.

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 11-22-20 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
NINE+ONE=TEN
so
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
ONE+ONE=TWO
so
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
TWO+TWO=FOUR

TWO PLUS TWO IS FOUR. MINUS ONE, THAT’S THREE. QUICK MATHS.

so
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)
FOUR+FOUR=EIGHT
so
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)
SEVEN+ZERO=SEVEN
so
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 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.

NYT Crossword 11-18-20 Complete

A surprisingly easy Wednesday puzzle! Way easier than yesterday’s.

I selected 4A ____ Coeur, Mo.: CREVE (pronounced KREEV core) as the highlighted one because I had not heard of this city until this puzzle. And I started learning about it. You know, by watching YouTube videos. It started with trying to figure out how to pronounce the city’s name and turned into finding out flattering and unflattering things about it.

And then I found this charming bit of news coverage!

Once again I didn’t fully appreciate the theme of this puzzle until writing the blog post. Writing these has given me reason to review what I’ve done rather than moving on once I’ve gotten everything right.

As I was going through the puzzle, I realized very quickly that the circles would be filled with a letter that would be counted twice.

17A Betting game in which you could lose your shirt: STRI(P)OKER->STRIP POKER
24A Film cast and crew celebration: WRA(P)ARTY->WRAP PARTY
49A Tickets for shorter lines, good seats, backstage access, etc.: VI(P)ASSES->VIP PASSES
57A Some old mobile devices: FLI(P)HONES->FLIP PHONES
4D Signature feature of a Duracell battery: CO(P)ERTOP->COPPER TOP
9D “OK by me”: IMHA(P)Y->I’M HAPPY
35D Burger King offering: WHO(P)ERJR->WHOPPER JR.
This was a surprisingly difficult answer for me to get. Had to solve like the entire lower left corner to get it.
54D First company to be valued at $1 trillion: A(P)LE->APPLE

34A Almost twins … as suggested by this puzzle’s circled squares?: TWOPEASINAPOD.

I got the answer for 34A well before solving most of the puzzle. At that point I just figured it was a doubled letter in the circle. It hadn’t dawned on me that it was the letter P twice. So two P’s in a pod.

When I completed the puzzle, the crossword filled in the second P. I was not so insightful to actually put that in on my own.

Completing this puzzle in 9:59 isn’t my 7:55 Wednesday PR, but it’s well below my 17:54 Wednesday average.

NYT Crossword Puzzle 10-29-20 Complete

I know what you’re thinking: Matt! Yesterday you were congratulated for a one-day streak that actually was a three-day streak. How did you get congratulated again for a one-day streak when now it’s most certainly a four-day streak?

The answer is easy: I am so capable.

As if you needed proof!

But as someone who likes to understand things, I feel like I should be embarrassed that I don’t get this puzzle. I finished, sure, but I don’t get it.

I hope this makes sense in retrospect. I mean much later retrospect.

71A “I’m busy!” … or, if read in four pieces, an aid in solving several clues here: NOTNOW.

Really, no idea. I know the answer’s correct because I’m on a one-day streak, but I do not understand where this comes into play.

Most of the answers don’t even seem to match up with the clues. Enough did for me to make words out of the remaining ones, but

oh noes.

I just got it.

The clues are too long.

NOTNOW isn’t not now, it’s No T, No W. Wow! I mean o!

1A Twice over – TW = ice over: FREEZE
17A Tallowy – TW = alloy: AMALGAMATE
62A Twin bed, perhaps – TW = in bed, perhaps: FASTASLEEP

OK that wasn’t SO bad. I wish I’d gotten it earlier, but at least I got there on my own.

My favorite clue for the entire puzzle isn’t what you’re expecting. It’s not 15A Biblical companion of Moses: HUR, a certainly important character in my sister‘s bat mitzvah production entitled “Sinai: The Movie.”

That absolutely pulled ahead early, but it was bested by another one.

36A Like all prime numbers besides one: ODD.

This clue is fun for me because all prime number are odd except for one, and that’s two. Because all prime numbers are odd except for one, and one isn’t prime. But two is prime, and two is even. So there you go.

NYT Crossword 10-28-20 Complete

OK. What. In. The. World! I know I’m a little out of practice, but when did Wednesday get to be so difficult? I’m used to taking a beating on Thursdays, not Wednesdays. And I completed this partially by brute force until the it finally told me that I had finished and am on a one-day streak despite clearly being on a three-day streak. Way to cut it unnecessarily Shortz, NYTXW.

That’s clearly three days.

This puzzle was absurd, but before the madness, there’s some fun.

68A U.S. Navy builder: SEABEE
This reminds me of riding bikes on at the beach with my family. I think that was the first time I had heard of the Seabees. My dad told me about how they build stuff like bees do and on the sea because the US Navy. But also that it was CB for Construction Brigade. It was among the easy clues for me to get in this puzzle.

But this puzzle was ?????????????

1A With 21-, 30-, 49-, 61- and 74-Across, end of a Carrie Bradshaw quote that starts “Men in their 40s are like the New York Times Sunday crossword puzzle …”: TRICKY. From the word go. Holy smokes!
21A Part 2 of the quote: COMPLICATED AND
30A Part 3: YOU’RE NEVER
49A Part 4: REALLY SURE
61A Part 5: YOU GOT THE RIGHT
66A Casual ristorante: TRATTORIA. You know, just to see if you’re paying attention.
74A End of the quote: ANSWER

So Men in their 40s are like the New York Times Sunday crossword puzzle Tricky, shamelessly self-promoting, complicated, and you’re never really sure you got the right answer.

I had been able to work a bunch of these parts from letters that were in there and the reference to the Sunday puzzle, and you’ll notice above that I did not complete Sunday’s.

Now, this puzzle took me just under half an hour to complete. In contrast, my best Wednesday was 7:55 on August 5, and my average is 18:01. So for this to be what it is and for me to have struggled with it like I had is head-shaking times.


NYT Crossword 10-27-20 Complete

To start off, Dodgers won! Woohoo! Second time in my life but first time I can remember it. Now, I wish I could have celebrated with friends or at a bar, but no hugging happened after the final out was recorded.

Oh! I get it now!

So 14A was a weird answer based on the clue. Hip to, as the latest news: UPON. No, not upon but up on. It’s a weird way of putting it up, but oh well.

This puzzle had a Spelling Bee theme, and nobody likes a crossover more than I do.

15A Apt phrase that uses just the letters of U.S. CAPITOL: POLITICSASUSUAL
25A Apt phrase that uses just the letters of UNEARTHS: TREASUREHUNTER
42A Apt phrase that uses just the letters of GRAND TIME: GETTINGMARRIED
56A Apt phrase that uses just the letters of MASTERING: TRAININGSEMINAR

Again, Dodgers win! Hooray!

NYT Crossword 10-26-20 Complete

Not a PR but not so bad, either. Finished in 5:06. But well below my 9:41 Monday average, which includes the ones on my phone. I don’t even remember when I did a 4:21. But my Monday streak is more than half a year long, so it’s the small wins.

67A Home made of hides: TEPEE. This is the spelling I missed in the Spelling Bee the other day, and it still smarts.

And on the topic of give me a break…

18A One reading secret messages: CODEBREAKER
28A Professional joke teller: STANDUPCOMIC
47A Health professional who has your back?: CHIROPRACTOR
62A Apt command to an 18-, 28- or 47-Across: GETCRACKING