Tag Archives: sunday crossword

NYT Crossword Puzzle 7-18-21 Complete (contains spoilers)

Finished this one in 38:37, which is a good 20 seconds under yesterday’s Saturday. But my Sunday average is almost an hour.

I pulled out 6A Viva _ (aloud): VOCE because the first time I’d heard anything like this was in the book about The Room and inspiration for the feature film of the same name, The Disaster Artist, written by Greg Sestero. But the audiobook read by the author really is the way to take in the story. In it, he uses the term sottovoce, literally under or low voice, which we call a whisper. So that helped me get the answer to this clue.

The title of this puzzle is Dig In.

31A “With enough butter, “With enough butter, _“: ANYTHINGISGOOD.
38A “A party without cake is _“: REALLYJUSTAMEETING.
65A “If you’re alone in the kitchen and you drop the lamb, you can always just pick it up. _?”: WHOSGOINGTOKNOW.
92A “I enjoy cooking with wine. Sometimes I _“: EVENPUTITINTHEFOOD.
101A “The only time to eat diet food is while you’re waiting for _“: THESTEAKTOCOOK.

119A Chef quoted in this puzzle’s italicized clues: JULIACHILD.

From the Julia Child Foundation

This is tough to watch because today is Tisha B’Av, which is a fast day. So I’m hungry. A little less than seven and a half hours to go.

Finished this one in 38:37.

DayThis WkBestAverage
Monday6:213:499:29
Tuesday10:235:2213:42
Wednesday16:037:3817:30
Thursday21:0913:0929:46
Friday29:0116:2334:55
Saturday38:5727:4336:25
Sunday38:3715:1157:44

NYT Crossword Puzzle 7-11-21 Complete (contains spoilers)

It’s July 11. Usually that means 7-Eleven has free slurpees from 11am to 7pm. It didn’t happen last year, and this year you have to do stuff through the app? I heard the free slurpee offer can be redeemed at any point this month, but they’re making me get an app? Forget that! Too much work for a free slurpee.

I pulled out 35D She might take care of a kid on a sick day: DRMOM and 1D What the doctor ordered: DRUG because it’s super sloppy to have the answer to one clue in the question of another. Is it time for Will Shortz to hit the showers?

The tile of this puzzle is No Ruse. But really it’s No R Use. Check it:

24A Onus for a magician’s disappearing act?: BURDENOFPOOF. Because burden of proof.
26A Study of how gels gel?: GOOPDYNAMICS. Because group dynamics.
56A Angry Wisconsin sports fans?: MILWAUKEEBOOERS. Because current first place in the NL Central aby four games Milwaukee Brewers. 14 games over .500 is good, sure, but the Dodgers are 20 games over .500 and are still two games back of the Giants. And I have my own feelings about those three games dropped to the Marlins.
80A Getting “Amscray!” under control?: TAMINGOFTHESHOO. Because The Taming of the Shrew. Though I’d expected it to have to do with Pig Latin. Disappointed that it didn’t.
110A Power of a cowboy’s shoe? BOOTSTRENGTH. Because brute strength.
116A Odysseus’ wife whispers sweet nothings? PENELOPECOOS. Because Penelope Cruz.

Finished this one in 51:20.

DayThis WkBestAverage
Monday6:003:499:30
Tuesday5:225:2213:43
Wednesday10:407:3817:31
Thursday33:3113:0930:00
Friday25:0916:2335:12
Saturday35:1327:4335:55
Sunday51:2115:1158:36

NYT Crossword Puzzle 7-4-21 Complete (contains spoilers)

Happy Independence Day! And see? I told you yesterday that the streak was alive. Now it’s up to 28 days.

I pulled out 120A Result of a snow day: NOCLASS for more than one reason. As a SoCal native and resident, I have never experienced a snow day. I went to college in Santa Barbara, and the rainy day footwear choice was easy because flip-flops take the least time to dry.

Greetings from Santa Barbara, CA back in like 2010.

Also I heard that Covid killed the snow day. Now that classes have been conducted remotely for so long, they don’t have to stop everything just because it’s snowing outside.

A pun-themed puzzle is a good way to celebrate America’s independence.

22A Upbeat sentry’s emotion?: GAURDEDOPTIMISM. I’d thought cautious over guarded, but it didn’t fit.
37A Bacteriologist’s emotion upon a new discovery?: CULTURESHOCK.
55A Novice window-washer’s emotion?: HIGHANXIETY.
76A Jester’s emotion after the king’s laughter?: COMICRELIEF.
90A Wild horse’s emotion?: UNBRIDLEDJOY.
110A Cat’s emotion while sitting in its human’s lap?: CREATURECOMFORT.

Finished this one in 32:16 and brought my Sunday average down below an hour.

DayThis WkBestAverage
Monday13:263:499:30
Tuesday22:305:5213:46
Wednesday14:457:3817:36
Thursday16:2913:0929:54
Friday30:3916:2335:42
Saturday32:2127:4336:06
Sunday32:1615:1158:57

NYT Crossword Puzzle 6-27-21 Complete (contains spoilers)

Like I said yesterday, the streak is alive. And now it’s up to three full weeks. Which is bananas.

I pulled out 21A Homemade headgear for pretend pirates: PAPERHATS because I didn’t think about paper hats in a long time, but as the wedding draws nearer, I feel like pretending to be pirates will be part of my life in the foreseeable future.

This isn’t even pandering to a specific dedicated reader of this blog.

The title of this puzzle is Gravity’s Rainbow, and the theme had to do with rainbows. Falling.

95A Mars and 96D ___ River, part of the Texas/Oklahoma border: THE(RED)PLANET.
56A Fruit with crimson-colored flesh and 58D Southern California county: BLOOD(ORANGE).
39A 1966 Donovan hit and 42D Chicken: MELLOW(YELLOW).
6A Spruce or fir and 10D Fresh, in a sense: EVER(GREEN)TREE.
43A Sinatra, to fans and 45D Racy: OL(BLUE)EYES.
60A Popular folk rock duo and “Mood _” (Duke Ellington classic): (INDIGO)GIRLS.
100A Harmful bits of sunlight and State flower of Illinois or New Jersey: ULTRA(VIOLET)RAYS.

Finished this one in 51:05

DayThis WkBestAverage
Monday6:443:499:30
Tuesday10:175:5213:43
Wednesday10:287:3817:38
Thursday50:0913:0930:17
Friday28:1116:2335:58
Saturday46:3827:4337:21
Sunday51:0515:111:00:17

NYT Crossword 6-20-21 Complete (contains spoilers)

Sundays are so tough because you can get something wrong and hunt for it for forever. And ever. This one was crazy-long for me, though most of it was not dedicated to the crossword.

I pulled out 47A “O mio babbino caro,” e.g.: ARIA and 107D Daughter of Ned Stark on “Game of Thrones”: ARYA because I’m irritated at ARIA and ARYA happening in the same place.

The title of the puzzle is Familiar Surroundings, and the theme clues were enjoyable to me.

23A Prisoner accidentally causes a power outage?: CONCONFUSESFUSES.
37A Southern university beefs up campus security?: ELONELONGATESGATES.
54A Fellow imposes a strict palm fruit regimen?: MANMANDATESDATES.
78A Actress de Armas writes “Mr. Gas” and “Ms. Rag”?: ANAANANAGRAMSGRAMS.
94A Smartphone advises on poker bets? APPAPPRAISESRAISES.
112A Doctor acquires antibiotics?: PROPROCURESCURES.

It’s like a before and after.

I’d write more, but I have to get the Spelling Bee post done, and this has taken me a while.

DayThis WkBestAverage
Monday4:063:499:30
Tuesday7:365:5213:44
Wednesday18:327:3817:43
Thursday16:4113:0929:42
Friday56:1316:2336:24
Saturday27:4327:4332:43
Sunday2:17:2915:111:00:46


NYT Crossword Puzzle 6-13-21 Complete (contains spoilers)

Seven days in a row whattup! Since I hadn’t been doing Saturdays, this is the longest streak of actual days for the NYT Crossword. Meanwhile I’ll be on a 250-day streak for overall posting when I hit publish on this blog post. I’m happy I didn’t forget to grab the congrats screen this time.

Also it’s important to note that this is a terrible attempt at a maple leaf in a grid. Children see this puzzle, for crying out loud!

I pulled out 18A Lex Luthor, to Superman: ARCHFOE because what a weird answer. I had been jammed up because I was fairly certain it was NEMESIS. It wasn’t. And knowing is half the battle.

This puzzle was about Canada. Why now? I don’t know. Canada Day is July 1. It’s June 13 today. Maybe it’s the exchange rate?

Let’s see.

July 1 is the 182nd day of the year. June 13 is the 164th day.

182 x .82 = 149, which is May 29. So no. The exchange rate would have to be at 0.9. I don’t even want to think of that possibility.

104A Six-time winner of the N.H.L.’s Art Ross Trophy, born in Saskatchewan: GORDI(EH)OWE.
108A “24” and “Suits” actress, born in Halifax: LESLI(EH)OPE.
4D Alberta city named for an eagle-feather headdress: MEDICIN(EH)AT.
10D Two-player game invented in Toronto: TABL(EH)OCKEY. I am a huge fan of table hockey. I used to play on New Year’s Eves with Nick Wenger who had (maybe still has) the game at home. I was stoked to score a goal, and I considered two a major coup. The last time I played against him, he blocked so many shots that I recreated part of Wayne Gretzky’s 3D Hockey IRL.


16D Seasonal destination near Quebec City: WINTERIC(EH)OTEL. Check out the snow cannons in the video below!

19D Program introduced by the Trudeau government in 1984, colloquially: FRE(EH)EALTHCARE. Yeah, but how are they doing at covid vaccine rollout? Only 4.6% of the population is fully vaccinated? Get it together, Canada! But don’t fault them for not being generous. They will donate 13 million spare doses to developing countries! Oh, wait, 7 million of those donated doses are reported Novavax that haven’t been approved in Canada. Welp! That seems like a good way to build confidence in Canada and trust in the vaccine process around the globe!

76A Like all the answers with pairs of circled letters, punnily: M(EH)DEINCANADA. But also meh-ed in America.

Finished this one in 55:57, mostly on my phone.

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.