Tag Archives: thursday crossword

NYT Crossword Puzzle 7-22-21 Complete (contains spoilers)

I thought I was going kinda slow with this one, as I did it while waking up, but that was wrong! I beat my old Thursday best by almost a minute! But this did feel like an overly friendly Thursday puzzle. And you see that the streak is at 46 now. Like I said in yesterday’s post: “Tomorrow’s puzzle will show that my streak really is still alive.”

I pulled out 22A Land of plenty?: ASIA because I don’t understand this answer. I had been under the impression that Australia is the land of plenty. That’s why it’s easy for them to reject temptation.

The theme for this puzzle was far out.

17A Ones sporting man buns and ironic T-shirts, say: HIPSTERS. Did covid bring back the manbun or did it never leave. And can it please go away for forever? I mean ironichaircut.com aside, meh.
20A Closest living relatives of whales: HIPPOPOTAMUSES. How do you stop a hippo from charging?
35A They enforce discipline among legislators: PARTYWHIPS.
42A Locations of some dives: SHIPWRECKS.
63A Little dipper?: PITACHIP. Awful answer. Really dumb. Pita chips can be big.
57A Inseparable … or like three pairs of answers in this puzzle?: JOINEDATTHEHIP.

That caused doubling!

1D Get back into shape: REHHAB instead of REHAB.
2D Come up: ARIISE instead of ARISE.
3D Lukewarm: TEPPID instead of TEPID.

27D Exhibited relief, in a way: EXHHALED instead of EXHALED.
33D It can be heavier in the summer: AIIR instead of AIR.
21D Admits: ACCEPPTS instead of ACCEPTS.

51D Run-of-the-mill: HOHHUM instead of HOHUM.
52D Upper echelon: ELIITE instead of ELITE.
53D Took performance-enhancing drugs: DOPPED instead of DOPED. But in the world of stonks and hodl, DOPPED seems real.

With the bonus:
32A Pelvic joints: COXAE.

I realize now that I’m disappointed the the puzzle didn’t make giant HIPs. The formatting should have extended.


Finished this one in 12:12. A new personal best for a Thursday.

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NYT Crossword Puzzle 7-15-21 Complete (contains spoilers)

I was pretty certain I got the theme very quickly. It even helped me solve the puzzle. But I was not entirely correct!

I pulled out 27A Sport with Native American origins: LACROSSE because that’s news to me.

As can best be determined, the distribution of lacrosse shows it to have been played throughout the eastern half of North America, mostly by tribes in the southeast, around the western Great Lakes, and in the St. Lawrence Valley area. Its presence today in Oklahoma and other states west of the Mississippi reflects tribal removals to those areas in the nineteenth century. Although isolated reports exist of some form of lacrosse among northern California and British Columbia tribes, their late date brings into question any widespread diffusion of the sport on the west coast.

The History of Lacrosse by the late Thomas Vennum Jr. (from brooklynlacrosse.org)

Is that why lacrosse is still such an east coast thing? I mean, UCSB does have intercollegiate lacrosse with a dedicated field for intercollegiate lacrosse and did when I graduated in 2011, which is more than I can say for the men’s volleyball team that got rained out at Rob Gym and had to use a court at Rec Cen because it was easier to do that than to clear out the Thunderdome during intramural basketball or something. BTW that was the men’s volleyball team that (inexplicably) lost to Ohio State in the NCAA championship game that season. Amazing that the arguably best men’s volleyball team in college sports that year was willing to put up with a dusty room with a leaky roof and not demand that the school move intramural hoops out of the arena where both basketball teams played and where women’s volleyball played. I don’t understand it.

But lacrosse–a club sport at UCSB–had a dedicated field with a permanent scoreboard.

Theme time!

I just thought there were no U’s in the answers. It’s not wrong, but it’s also entirely wrong because there were U’s where they were needed. The puzzle filled them in for me when I’d finished.

1A “Delish!”: yuMyyM. I’d put YMYM.
1D Southwest desert plant: yuCCA. YCCA.
21A Southern newspaper that William Faulkner once contributed to, with “The”: TIMESPICAyuNE. TIMESPICAYNE.
10D Neaten: TIDyuP. TIDYP.
39A Cultivars known for their yellow flesh: yuKONGOLDPOTATOES. YKNGOLDPOTATOES.
27D Easy two-pointer: LAyuP. LAYP.
48A Quantity that’s tied to one’s carbon footprint: ENERGyuSE. ENERGYSE.
36D Popular hot-and-sour Thai dish: TOMyuMSOUP. TOMYMSOUP. Strange because there’s a U there? I’d fix it later.

57A What a solver might growl after catching on to this puzzle’s theme?: WHYYOULITTLE. That made no sense to me because there were no U’s before. And then 68A “_ is easily deceived, because it is quick to hope”: Aristotle: YOUTH has a U, too, that it has in common with SOUP. It’s when Y and U are next to each other that they share a room.

I give the theme a C-.

Finished this one in 21:09.

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NYT Crossword Puzzle 7-8-21 Complete (contains spoilers)

I started this one last night and figured out the theme before solving all the theme clues!

I pulled out 29A Jules who lent his name to an article of attire: LEOTARD because I had gotten _____RD and was certain it was JACQUARD. But that wasn’t the answer. Instead, it was this man:

Circuses and Sideshows and legends: Jules Leotard.

And JACQUARD wouldn’t even fit. Not that that really mattered in this puzzle.

(How about that for a transition to the theme?)

17A Fashionable: AL(AM/FM)ODE. ALAMODE! I thought this meant it comes with ice cream.
3D Not amplified, in a way: OFF(AM/FM)IKE. OFFMIKE.
21A Coffee liqueur originally from Jamaica: TIAMARIA.

This is all new to me!

10D Rich, but not born that way: SEL(AM/FM)ADE. SELFMADE.
56A 2001 Broadway hit with an exclamation mark in its name: MAMM(AM/FM)IA. MAMMAMIA!
43D Certain flag position: HAL(AM/FM)AST. HALFMAST?????? NO. NONONONONONNO. A sail can be at half-mast. A flag can be a half-staff. Idiot Will Shortz. I was gonna let the exclamation mark thing go, but now I can’t.

62A Something to meditate on: YOG(AM/FM)AT. YOGAMAT.
49D Figure in a horror film: WOL(AM/FM)AN. WOLFMAN!

39A It can be two-way … with a hint to four squares in this puzzle: RADIO.

Finished this one in 33:31.

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NYT Crossword Puzzle 7-1-21 Complete (contains spoilers)

Every day so far this week has been faster than Tuesday’s time.

I pulled out 13A A little snowy, perhaps?: OWLET because just look at this video!

Figuring out the theme helped me in a big way.

20A “I can’t believe I said that”: MEANDMY[MOUTH]-> ME AND MY BIG MOUTH.
30A “Hold it, buster!”: WHATSTHE[IDEA]-> WHAT’S THE BIG IDEA.
39A “This favor doesn’t come cheap!”: YOUOWEME[TIME]->YOU OWE ME BIGTIME.
51A “Really can’t count on it, I’m afraid”: THATSAVERY[IF]->THAT’S A VERY BIG IF.

Finished this one in 16:29.

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NYT Crossword 6-24-21 Complete (contains spoilers)

This one took a long time, especially considering that last Thursday was 16:41. When I finally figured out the theme, things started to fall into place. And I kept up the streak that’s now up to 18 days.

I pulled out 37A Aster relative: TANSY because I’d never heard of TANSY. I’d tried PANSY, but that would make 25D Moved up the corporate ladder, say: GOTAHEAD incorrectly be GOPAHEAD, and even that wouldn’t get by Will Shortz.

Tansy from the The Spruce.
Asters from The Spruce.
Pansies from The Spruce.

Yeah, pansies and tansies don’t look remotely close. But asters and tansies look similar.

This is one of those puzzles with a multi-letter word in a square.

1D Fool: PIN(HEAD).
25D Moved up the corporate ladder, say: GOTA(HEAD).
32D Embark on the Oregon Trail, say: (HEAD)WEST.
59D Piece of equipment for a telemarketer: (HEAD)SET.
19A In-flight call?: (HEAD)SORTAILS. Because you call it in the air.
28A “That’s ridonculous”: SHAKINGMY(HEAD).
45A “Someone’s going to pay for this!”: (HEAD)SWILLROLL.
55A Lucy van Pelt’s frequent outburst to Charlie Brown … or how to fill some squares in this puzzle?: YOUBLOCK(HEAD).

Finished this one in 50:09.

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NYT Crossword 6-17-21 Complete (contains spoilers)

This did not feel like a Thursday puzzle to me, and I find myself on an 11-day streak. This seemed like a frustratingly hard Tuesday rather than a Thursday, but this has been me kinda rediscovering the crossword.

I pulled out 13A Twine material: SISAL because I am unfamiliar with that. And while looking it up, I came across an interesting question! “Sisal vs. Jute: What’s the difference?”

If you’d asked me at any point before 7:45pm on Wednesday (when I’m writing this) if I knew the differences, I’d say that they’re the same because they’re both words that aren’t real.

But I’d be wrong on both counts.

They’re not the same, and they’re both real things.

According to SisalRugs.com, sisal comes from agave, and jute comes from jute plants of India and Bangladesh.

So they’re two plants that look the same, right?

Wrong! So, so wrong!

Jute from Bangladesh Post.

This looks nothing like agave!

Way, way different. Thanks, The American Southwest!

The theme of this puzzle was a boatload of fun.

4D Xbox or PlayStation: GAMECON(S)(O)+(L)+(E).


From the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife

Sole are born with eyes on either side, but one eye migrates, and they swim parallel to the ocean floor. Halibut do the same!

8D Finishing touch on the first transcontinental railroad: GOLDENS(P)(I)+(K)+(E).


How does someone get to be featured on the Alaska Department of Fish and Game site?

37D Drink that might be served with a metal cup: MILKS(H)(A)+(K)+(E).


Brian Gay of Del. landed a hake and a spot in the Maryland Department of Natural Resources record books!

38D Vedic religious text: UPANI(S)(H)+(A)+(D).


“Perhaps nothing lights up online message boards and email inboxes of Old Dominion river anglers more than the much-anticipated arrival of spring shad from the Atlantic Ocean to Virginia’s rivers for their annual spawning run.”

1D With 11-Down, what each of this puzzle’s groups of circles represents: FISH.
11D See 1-Down: HOOK.

It makes a fish hook! And fish are on the hook!

Finished this one in 16:41. I’d thought it might be a record for me, but my best Thursday was 13:09 back in October of 2018.

NYT Crossword 6-10-21 Complete (contains spoilers)

Not only is this a four-day streak but a 247-day streak for posting. I guess I can safely say I’ve been blogging twenty-four seven. You know 24 tens and seven ones. I did that math in my head. This Thursday puzzle took way longer than it should have. I had it all filled out in about 12 minutes but couldn’t find what was wrong. It turned out that it was 6A “Go” follower was not MART (or Mediterranean Avenue), and 6D X in XXX, maybe was no MISS but rather KART and KISS, respectively.

I pulled out 51A Roll-on alternative: SPRAY because I got the answer from Big Shaq’s Man’s Not Hot.

“Use roll-on or spray. Either way, ABCD (alphabet ting).”

Today’s theme was o-ful.

17A Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello and Raphael?: RENIASSANCEFOUR. Rather than TMNT, it’s four guys from the Renaissance. But Renaissance Fair is a thing, so there you go.
25A Polishing the chandelier in “The Phantom of the Opera” and laundering uniforms in “Hamilton”?: MUSICALCHORES. I get it. Because it’s upkeep labor for a musical, and musical chairs is a thing the rest of us know.
44A Result of a poorly planned invasion of the Body Snatchers?: NOTIMETOSPORE. Only having heard of the film but not having seen it, I didn’t know that the aliens spread through spores. Now I know.
58A “I’m tired of all this negative media coverage”?: THEBADNEWSBORES. It really does. Like the bad news that there aren’t watermelons on Mars after all. Also Bad News Bears.

Finished this one in 25:34.

WSJ Crossword 1-14-21 Complete

It’s Thursday and the first full day of the Biden presidency. A reminder that I’m writing this on Sunday, January 17. It’s the end of my first week of doing last week’s puzzles on Sunday and timing them to post throughout the week.

I pulled out 57A Is for two: ARE because I got a chuckle out of it. Is is for one. Are is for two. What a world!

The title of this puzzle is Victory Parade. Biden won, the inauguration was yesterday, and even Rupert Murdoch-owned Wall Street Journal has long turned to dunking on Trump.

17A Like an active surfer?: INMANYWAVES.
24A Message left for each of Henry VIII’s spouses?: AWORDTOTHEWIVES.
36A Suffers from a fear of icicles? FEELSILLATEAVES.
49A Motivations for midnight snacking?: THELATESTCRAVES.
58A Cat’s nine-pat allotment?: PACKOFLIVES.

It was all gratuitous these:

Dean Windass.


NYT Crossword 1-14-21 Complete

What a day today may be! People are calling for Liz Cheney’s head, and that’s a real shame. We need unity now, and the way to do it is to excise the things that continue to tear us apart. My take is that if Trump has won reelection and done this, they wouldn’t have minded getting him out right now, installing Pence, and then have an easy Pence inauguration on January 20. But that’s not the world right now.

I pulled out 53A “90 Day Fiancé” network: TLC because Calah and I binge watched that show together around the time we got engaged. There are so many things wrong with that show, and that’s, of course, why we had to watch all of it. Then we watched the spinoff, The Family Chantel. More trainwreck. So good.

I didn’t realize what the circles were until the end. It had seemed like they were all T’s, but that turned out to be incorrect. In this case, it was good that NYT automatically filled in the circles with the letter choices.

18A Relative of a croc: GA(T/B)OR. I took the clue to mean crocodile, so it was GATOR for alligator. But it can be taken like the shoe. Now I know that GABOR is a shoe brand.
7D Garage jobs: LU(T/B)ES. I took the clue to refer to cars, so it was LUBES. As for LUTES, I have zero idea how this applies.
24A Desires: WAN(T/E)S. I figured it was WANTS. That makes sense. I guess desires can wane. Like the desire to understand this puzzle because now I’m feeling that there’s a chance that the first letter is for the across and the second letter is for the down, and each word exists with the other letter.
4D What a letter needs: LEAS(T/E). I just don’t get this one. Oh, wait, letter like tenant. Contract to live or work somewhere. Now I understand.
27A Awesome time: B(L/O)AST. Having a blast is a good thing. You can later boast about it.
10D Brief appearance: CAME(L/O). A brief appearance is a cameo. As the Australians know, camels tend to stick around.
51A Have a Pavlovian response: DRO(O/L). Ring the bell = getting fed. Can’t wait. Droll means “Curious or unusual in a way that provokes dry amusement.” Could work! Feeling like it’s more and more likely that it’s just across/down.
55A Moves like molasses: S(E/T)EPS. Molasses seeps. Oozes might be better. I don’t think of molasses as stepping.
56D Spud: (E/T)ATER. This can only be the TATER for potato.
62A Ancient unit of length: CU(B/T)IT. Cubit is a thing. I don’t think that there was any CUTIT measurement.
54D Petrol unit: LI(B/T)RE. Only can be LITRE.

38A Classic party game … or a hint to solving the answers that intersect circles: SPINTHEBOTTLE. Oh, now I get it! Clockwise, it’s

Good times.

Finished this one in 28:21.

WSJ Crossword 1-7-21 Complete

So much confusion today. Trump has been MIA and blocked on Twitter for most of the day and on Facebook, and Instagram for the two weeks. Information is coming out at a trickle, and I’d rather they just get rid of him so we can move on. He released a video on Twitter a little bit ago, and it sounds good if you’re optimistic and like a call to action if you’re not. It’s way too vague to be anything that brings me comfort.

I pulled out 39A Cinematic scorer Morricone: ENNIO because I am a big fan of his work. Calah and I have watched My Name is Nobody; Duck, You Sucker!; Once Upon a Time in the West; and maybe another one. Calah prefers John Williams, but I prefer Ennio Morricone.

The title of this puzzle is Upper Bounds.

20A Skillful…: SMOOTH [
22A …manipulative people: ]PERATORS

29A Noted squire…: SANCH[
32A …of fiction: ]PANZA

Sancho Panza (right) is no Don Quixote (left).

42A Wide-legged…: GAUCHO[
43A …fashion: ]PANTS

Those just look cumbersome!

53A Beyond…: TOTALLYH[
55A …repair: ]PELESS

So there is no O in team?