Tag Archives: sunday crossword

NYT Crossword 1-24-21 Complete

It’s so cold today in LA! It rained and hailed yesterday. It’s sunny out now, but it’s 54 degrees outside. Bananas. But the rain has made me realize I can make progress on the chairs with the chisel set that my college roommate Darren got me as a gift recently. But more on that in the woodworking chair project series. Woodworking series posts every Tuesday at 10am PT.

I pulled out 37A Singer Watson, a.k.a. Tones and I, with the 2019 hit “Dance Monkey”: TONI because I think the clue is bad. The song itself is catchy. As much as I don’t care for it, it’s not the worst every so often. But the clue has the answer in it. There are down clues to get you there if you don’t know that her name is TONI (which I didn’t), but you might as well have clues like Musician Adams, a.k.a. will.i.am, with the 2009 instant classic “I Gotta Feeling,” or State of origin of Tramar Dillard, a.k.a. Flo Rida, with the 2007 breakout single “Low.”

I remembered to look at the title of the puzzle this time, and that helped me solve a lot of it.

Sugar, Sugar is even more helpful now that I look at it again. I got that it is candy from the Sugar, but I now I realize that the two Sugars is indicative of that already.

22A Bookworms call dad?: NERDSRINGPOP. This was one of the last ones I got in the entire puzzle. Some friends of mine proposed to their now-wives with ring pops and then went ring shopping later. I proposed to Calah with a costume jewelry ring. I’m not talking a ring that looks nice but isn’t expensive. This ring probably came in a big pack that had a choking hazard warning on it. I had gotten it for free years earlier in a creative wedding invitation. Despite earlier statements she’d made that the type of ring didn’t matter, Calah looked at it and said no repeatedly and emphatically. So there we were at the park at night near a lamppost. I was on one knee on the damp ground with a ring out, and I got denied. But I’m good at quick thinking. In an attempt to make the situation less awkward, I pulled out from my pocket a ring box and revealed an honest engagement ring with a stone that caught what little light there was. My second attempt got a more favorable result. Of course she’d tell the story a little differently. But now I get to look forward to her reading this and expressing horror at me telling the world a story with too little context and arguably major, relevant omissions.
31A A young Justice Ginsburg chuckles?: BABYRUTHSNICKERS. Aw, I miss RBG. Especially now that ACB is sitting in her chair.
47A Do core exercises all day, every day?: CRUNCHNOWANDLATER. This could not be a more applicable clue and answer. Whenever I’ve had Now and Later, it’s been hard, and I eat a little bit of the wax paper wrapper that I cannot separate from the petrified candy. Even though CRUNCH in this context refers to the Nestle chocolate-and-rice bar, I’ve yet to find a Now and Later that’s not made a loud sound when I chew it.
67A Burger King bingefest?: WHOPPERSSPREE. OK I had never heard of Spree until this morning.

It’s this thing.

But I can talk about Whoppers for eternity. My favorite one in the box or carton–wait a second, does it come in a carton because it’s malted milk? Whoa!–is the one that’s a little soft and chewy. It’s a wonderful surprise whenever it happens. Also Whoppers are better than Maltesers. Maltesers is reportedly the choice of terrorists. Whoppers is the choice of me.
84A Supernova in our galaxy?: MILKYWAYSTARBURST. Pretty good.
103A When E.M.T.s bring home the bacon?: LIFESAVERSPAYDAY. Pineapple is the best lifesaver.

115A Some astronomy Ph.D.s?: MARSSMARTIES. Probably the weakest of all the theme ones.

Finished in 38:35. The blog post took me way longer to write.

NYT Crossword 1-17-21 Complete

On this day in 1994, LA woke up to a magnitude 6.7 earthquake. With an epicenter near Northridge, it’s one of the worst things to come out of the Valley, and that’s saying something. (I know I’m going to be paying for that statement later, but it’s totally worth it.) I don’t remember the shaking itself, but I remember my dad driving us around to look at the rubble. It was pretty bad. Freeway overpasses had collapsed. Lots of stuff was broken. Generally bad times.

I pulled out 14D Fading process for jeans: ACIDWASH because I joked(?) a couple months ago that anyone in LA who wanted acid wash jeans should leave them outside because it was going to rain that night/day. The next day was beautiful because all the smog was gone.

The title of this puzzle is Double-Crossed, and the grid looks slightly different in the print edition.

23A Way into a garage, typically: OVERHEA(DD/OO)R. That’s true about half the time for me. If I go in through the overhead door, I go out through the pedestrian door. If I go in through the pedestrian door, I go out through the overhead door.
7D Subject of a Sleeves Up campaign: BL(OO/DD)RIVE. There are lots of reports of blood shortages in more places than just Transylvania. COVID has made it almost impossible to get people to donate blood. There’s less coverage of how the chocolate chip cookie industry is affected. Maybe Nutter Butter can shed some light on this type of blow.
34A Nickelodeon competitor: CART(OO/NN)ETWORK.
13D Classic dorm room meal: RAME(NN/OO)DLES. I still have not yet had ramen. And I see a lot of it in the K-Dramas.
61A Prominent women’s rights lawyer: GLORI(AA/LL)RED. And she’s not letting Harvey Weinstein get away with it.
45D Beer in a green bottle: STE(LL/AA)RTOIS. Green bottle made me think Heineken then Beck’s. I think of Stella Artois as being in a brown bottle. It’s not.

Just try to get one of these in America.

76A Visual phenomenon created by short flashes of light: STROB(EE/FF)ECT. Long exposure with a strobe makes for amazing photos.
66D Nestlé creamer: CO(FF/EE)MATE. The perfect amount of coffeemate is just get better coffee and use milk and sugar.
104A Some entertainers at children’s birthday parties: BA(LL/OO)NARTISTS.

Dennis Forel is not just an amazing balloon sculptor but a really nice guy!

85D Sallie Mae products: SCH(OO/LL)OANS. What will happen when there’s free college for everyone?
119A Awards show that airs at night, ironically: DAYTIM(EE/MM)YS. It seems like everyone in the industry has at least one Emmy. I don’t, but I’m also not in the industry.
101D Pool competitions: SWI(MM/EE)TS. Can anyone forget Ryan Lochte’s American Flag grill? Does anybody even want to?

It’s perfect.

I thought this puzzle was pretty good.

Finished in 1:11:55.

NYT Crossword 1-10-21 Complete

It would have been my zeidie’s birthday today. He’d have been 98 years old. He survived more than half a dozen concentration camps, was liberated from Ebensee in Austria, and later had a sheet metal shop in Los Angeles. He passed away during Obama’s second term.

I pulled out 2D ___ shield: RIOT because I felt like it was an inappropriate clue and answer along with 123A Makes Don nod?: REVERSES in light of the storming of the Capitol this past week. Maybe stay away from that stuff for the moment, Will Shortz.

The title of today’s puzzle is Oh, Fourpeat’s Sake!

22A Classic saying originated by John Donne: NOM[ANISANIS]LAND.
31A Aid for making a tiki bar cocktail: BAH[AMAMAMAM]IX.
48A “Glad to have you back, dear!”: WELC[OMEHOMEH]ON.
62A Most expensive block: PR[IMETIMET]V.
72A Post-interruption question: WH[EREWEREW]E.
87A First ruler of a united Hawaii: KINGK[AMEHAMEH]A.
103A Relatively light foundry product: AL[UMINUMIN]GUT.
118A Potful in some Italian kitchens: RO[MATOMATO]SAUCE.

The fourpeat is the repeat of the four letters in the shaded boxes.

I didn’t care much for this puzzle. Kind of a disappointing Sunday. My feelings may be colored by what’s happened and is going on in DC, but I’m happy to be done with the puzzle till tomorrow.

I finished this one in 47:28.

WSJ Crossword 12-31-20 Complete

An hour ago I published my answer to the Crossword Contest. This is the blog about the puzzle.

I pulled out 40D Prime minister before Rabin: MEIR because the other night when I was playing board games with friends, and some dude with that as a username slid into our game as a spectator and started chatting with us. I don’t know if we’ll ever see him or hear from him again, but now we know he exists.

The title of this puzzle is The Party Starts at 10.

3D Google co-founder: SERGEYBRIN.
18D A candidate might win by it: WIDEMARGIN. You know, as long as people abide by that result.
22D Machinist’s tool: METALLATHE. Based on the cost of turned legs, I looked to see how much a wood lathe costs. It’s too much and takes too much space. Something I’ll look at for the future, though.
30D Governor of Maryland in 1968: SPIROAGNEW. Dude didn’t last even a full term as VP. And he’d have been president when Nixon resigned if he hadn’t been silly and done all that corruption nonsense. But I guess we wouldn’t want to have one of those in the Oval office.

The really fast completion time is because WSJ cleared out my grid for an unknown reason. Luckily I had my grid where I was trying to figure out the crossword contest answer.

NYT Crossword 1-3-21 Complete

I woke up late this morning and clearly took a while to get with it. Or this was just super tough for me, especially because I started last night and got a bunch wrong. But it alllllll worked out.

I pulled out 26D Liquid in a first-aid kit: IODINE because I do not think of iodine in relation to first aid. I know that’s my own shortcoming, but I think more of hydrogen peroxide and alcohol. The skull and crossbones on the label is objectively scary.

GoodSense… to stay away from this deadly liquid

Once again I had forgotten to look at the title of the Sunday crossword because I’m used to it for the WSJ daily and not the NYT. Same as every week.

The title is Busting Moves. From that title, it’s about dancing obviously.

23A Title for Iran’s Ali Khamenei: SUP(R)(E)M(E)(L)EADER. The reel is a dance. I had thought it was the one where you pretend to go fishing and catch your partner. I had put in AYATOLLAH in the grid at the beginning and tried to find another word to complement it. Both thought were incorrect. The reel is like Riverdance stuff.

Informative and educational!

25A Tailored blouse style: SHIR(T)(W)A(I)(S)(T). Everyone knows The Twist. But a shirtwaist blouse? New to me.

Strange fashion of the past. FiveMinuteHistory.com

43A Subject of some teen gossip sessions: (B)(O)Y(P)ROBLEMS. The Bop! I had proudly filled this out early as KISSANDTELL. Not a single letter of this was correct.
47A Sure-footed alpine climber: MOUN(T)(A)I(N)(G)(O)AT. It takes two to tango. I’ve never tried, so when it comes to the dancing application of this expression, those two always have been other people. I kept going back and forth between LION and GOAT. Ultimately, GOAT was correct.
68A Bakery item that’s often messy: C(R)(U)(M)(B)C(A)KE. The Rumba! Calah will confirm that every cake for me is a crumb cake.
88A Caribbean capital: POR(T)(A)U(P)RINCE. Tap! With most letters missing, I had guessed GROSSEPOINTE. But no matter how Michigan tries, how much can we reasonably Haiti on it?
91A Kind of test question: S(H)(O)(R)T(A)NSWER. The Hora! Who’s looking to dance the hora with me at my wedding that is still yet unscheduled? Psych! COVID is making dancing exceedingly unlikely until the big party in the distant future.
114A Proceeds breezily: (S)(A)I(L)(S)(A)LONG. Salsa! Still waters lift all boats?
117A What a spike goes over: VOLLEY(B)(A)(L)(L)N(E)(T). Ballet! This is the one that helped me understand that the theme is dancing.

The gray boxes make up MAY I CUT IN? It appropriate because those letters split up the dances. Also you may not.

Finished this one in 74:09.

NYT Crossword 12-27-20 Complete

This one was a doozie. But I finally finished. I have a fun one to pull out because it was hard for me to be convinced away from it.

7D Snapchatter’s request: ADDME. I was certain–CERTAIN–it was NUDIE. Of course, it wasn’t. The answer does not make sense. My answer does. That’s been what people have said about the company since its inception, and Random wrote about it in TechJunkie this summer.

The title of this puzzle is Partnerships, and this was a source of credibility for the conclusion that NUDIE was the correct answer.

23A Law partners: JUDGEANDJURY. No executioner, though.
39A Silent partners: PEACEANDQUIET. The dream.
45A Writing partners: PENANDPAPER. I interviewed at a place once that wanted to get an understanding of my accounting acumen and gave me a test that was pencil and paper. It’s so slow compared to using computers, and the pace of the office seemed to match. Employment there was not to be.
64A Partners in crime: BREAKINGANDENTERING. My dad got me a book called A Burglar’s Guide to the City, and in it, there is discussion of what breaking actually is. That leads to a point that if it’s crossing a doorway, what happens if the doorway doesn’t have a top? Crossing through a garden gate is breaking, sure, but how tall does the fence have to be? Three feet? A foot and a half? An inch? Less? It continues down that path. Interesting food for thought.
82A Business partners: BOOMANDBUST.
89A Romantic partners: HUGSANDKISSES.
110A Domestic partners: ROOMANDBOARD. Reminds of the Mitch Hedberg segment about the Chair Lunch Dinner

Finished this one in 53:30.

NYT Crossword 12-20-20 Complete

Finally a puzzle that took me more than an hour. I got tripped up a bunch on this one, and some of my errors were goofy.

I pulled out 54D “That was Zen, this is ___” (philosophy pun): TAO because of a domain name I purchased a while ago: ThatWasThemThisIsNow.com. It’s exactly that complicated and interesting.

46A Mild, light-colored cigar: CLARO led to a recurring confusion as I solved other clues. I had initially put in CLARA. That made 40D Open hostilities: HATWAR. I didn’t know what a hat war is, but I figured it was like the Buckets against the Beanies or the Fedoras against the Fezzes or the Deerstalkers against the Derbies or the Pillboxes against the Panamas or the Cowboys against the Cloches.

So I made that contest, and through best-of-three coin tosses, the tournament played out like this:

Buckets ultimately prevailed in a nail-biter.

I decided do a random assignment of the hats and flip the coins again.

Fedoras won?! And undefeated?!

So there you have it. Hat war. But Randolph Ross’s answer was HOTWAR. Go figure.

Today’s title was Toy Story. Everything has to do with toys and board games. Do board games qualify as toys? I say they do not. Will Shortz apparently says they do. But they’re in the Toys & Games category on amazon and elsewhere. Games are separate from toys.

22A She debuted on March 9, 1959, in a black-and-white striped swimsuit: BARBIEDOLL. Toy.
24A Virtual pet simulation game that won an Ig Nobel prize for its Japanese creators: TAMAGOTCHI. I had this correct initially. Then I changed it to TAMAGOTSHI because I thought 14D Curve: ARC was ESS. When I realized that was way off, I went back to the original spelling. Toy.
39A Toy that was originally called “L’Écran Magique” (“The Magic Screen”): ETCHASKETCH. There’s no winning. Toy.
57A Game that got a big boost when Johnny Carson demonstrated it with Eva Gabor on “The Tonight Show”: TWISTER. Why am I not surprised that that increased sales? Everybody wins. Game.
65A Day to play with new toys: CHRISTMAS. It’s so topical!
78A Toy that was derived from a wallpaper cleaner: PLAYDOH. Everyone knows that! Toy.
95A Toy with 18 spoken phrases, including “I love you” and “May I have a cookie?”: CHATTYCATHY. Until this puzzle, I had no awareness of this as a real toy. It just seemed to me like alliteration when describing someone. Toy.

103A Politician parodied by Dana Carvey on 1990s “S.N.L.”: ROSSPEROT. While not classified at the store as a toy, at 5’5″ in shoes, he fits on the shelf.
111A Puzzle toy solved in a record 3.47 seconds in 2018: RUBIKSCUBE. Toy.
114A Toy that astronauts brought to space to secure tools in zero gravity: SILLYPUTTY. Of course those eggheads at NASA would use this. Toy.
46D Its box once read “A sweet little game for sweet little folks”: CANDYLAND. Game.
48D Toy that sold more cars in America in 1991 than the Honda Accord or Ford Taurus: COZYCOUPE. Toy.


Finished this one in 1:09:04.

NYT Crossword 12-6-20 Complete

Three Sundays in a row! I used to stay away from Sunday puzzles because they were just too long. But how about this one? The long puzzle for today is the Spelling Bee, but that’s a post for later.

The title of this puzzle is Get Out of Here! In the past I’d forgotten to look at the Sunday title until after completing the puzzle, but it’s a new month and a new approach.

I pulled out 115A No-parking-zone fixture: HYDRANT because I was talking to Calah the other day about fire hydrants, and I couldn’t remember the word hydrant. It had been pushed out of my mind by the word plug because at least some part of the other side of the country refer to fire hydrants as fire plugs. I guess that serves me right for watching Parking Wars. I had filled out the answer as REDCURB, but that didn’t work with anything other than 85D Boxed a bit: SPARRED. So like a brazen parking-space-less driver, I tore the RED CURB out.

As for the theme, it was Get OF Out of Here, but the OF was removed(?)

23A Archaeologist’s assertion about a finding?: BONECONTENTION->BONE(of)CONTENTION, an idiom I just learned as the main point of disagreement.
40A Hire Phil Collins’s longtime band for a gig?: BOOKGENESIS->BOOK(of)GENESIS. This one was no land of confusion.
51A The Serengeti, e.g.?: PRIDEPLACE (where lions are)->PRIDE(of)PLACE, an idiom I just learned that I think means pole position or atop the field? Help me if I’m wrong here.
63A Knowing everything that’s available to view on Netflix?: STREAMCONSCIOUSNESS->STREAM(of)CONSCIOUSNESS
77A Amenity offered at an internet cafe?: FREECHARGE->FREE(of)CHARGE
84A Bit of reading at a bar mitzvah?: RITEPASSAGE (Torah pun!)->RITE(of)PASSAGE
90A Stand-up’s bombs?: COMEDYERRORS->COMEDY(of)ERRORS. Like Rudy getting COVID?
106A Art shop worker’s manual?: FRAMEREFERENCE->FRAME(of)REFERENCE

Finished this one in 41:19. It’s below my Sunday average of 58:29 but above my PR of 15:11(?????) in August 2018. I still don’t know how that happened. I feel like it’s an error. But it’s something to strive for.

NYT Crossword Puzzle 11-29-20 Complete

Well this puzzle was crazy for me. Slow and tough.

For a lot of it, I didn’t even think I’d finish. But there was one clue that I couldn’t figure out, but when Calah looked at it, she got it immediately.

1A Its logo has a blue, red, orange, yellow and green “M”: GMAIL.

I had thought that it was a logo that had many M’s. When Calah right away figured out what it is, I looked at the favicon of another tab in Chrome and saw the multicolored M they were talking about. If not for Calah, no chance I finish this puzzle.

The title of the puzzle is Six-Pack, and I still am not certain why that title is applicable to this one.

I figured out the formula of the theme about halfway through the grid’s completion. Not halfway through the time because I was stuck awhile.

23A Very short-lived gemstones: EPHEMERALDS.
EPHEMERAL: Short-lived
EMERALDS: Gemstones
34A TV quiz program about an epic poem: GILGAMESHOW
GILGAMESH: Epic poem
GAME SHOW: TV quiz program
93A Magnificent plan of action: FIRSTRATEGY
FIRST RATE: Magnificent
STRATEGY: Plan of action
107A Dance celebrating 2010 legislation: OBAMACARENA
OBAMACARE: 2010 legislation
MACARENA: Dance at many celebrations I’ve been to
3D Emergency situation caused by a terrier: AIREDALERT


RED ALERT: Emergency situation
11D Salon job named after a comic book hero: SUPERMANENT
SUPERMAN: Comic book hero
PERMANENT: Curly hair!
63D Pounding on a pie topping: HAMMERINGUE
HAMMER: Pounding!
MERINGUE: Pie topping and a dessert unto itself!
74D Entertainment host Ryan, that smart aleck!: WISEACREST
WISEACRE: Smart aleck

This one took me an absurd amount of time and brought my average up big. But I finished. Works for me!

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.