Tag Archives: thursday crossword

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 11-19-20 Complete

An easy Thursday? Could it be? This just shows the unpredictability of Tuesdays and Thursdays. And credit to Geoffrey Bishop for giving me confidence to approach this one with optimism rather than with regular Thursday dread.

I chose 45D as the highlighted clue/answer today because I don’t like it.
45D Little waves, in Spain: TILDES.

Tildes aren’t water waves and aren’t hand waves. That’s not the Spanish word for wave. Rather, the answer is the little wavy line above n in ñ. Dumb.

It was clear to me from very, very early on that this puzzle’s theme answers contained no vowels and was for a specific gameshow.

18A *Creator of 55-Across: MRVGRFFN->MERV GRIFFIN, creator of all kind of gameshows who lent his name to a street in Beverly Hills that goes into the Beverly Hilton Hotel.
20A *Co-host of 55-Across: VNNWHT->VANNA WHITE who never seems to age.
30A *Group of six given for free on 55-Across: RSTLN->RSTLNE, but there are no vowels, so no E.
41A *Co-host of 55-Across: PTSJK->PAT SAJAK who seems to age slowly.
52A *Bad place to land on 55-Across: BNKRPT->BANKRUPT. Always painful to see someone who has the trip and the $5000 and other prizes and who has just one consonant missing decide to spin instead of solve the puzzle, land on bankrupt, and the contestant who has $300 solves the puzzle for the win.
55A *It debuted on 1/6/1975: WHLFFRTN: WHEEL! OF! FORTUNE!
13D What you might cry when trying to answer the six starred clues? CANIBUYAVOWEL.

I’m disappointed that there was no clue Encouraging words repeated by contestants: BGMNY.

Time: 17:47. Not close to my Thursday PR of 13:09 back in October of 2018 but better than my Thursday average of 29:55.


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 10-22-20 DNF

I’m calling it. I should have a long time ago, but now that’s it.

I couldn’t resolve everything, and my guesses didn’t get me anywhere. There are probably a lot of things wrong on this, but this is as far as I’ve gotten. I’ll revisit it another day, but that’s it for today.

I really wish I could have gotten the answer to 61A, and usually I figure the one out that brings them all together after figuring out the thread and the other answers, but none of that happened today. Better luck tomorrow, right?

WSJ Crossword 7-30-20 Complete

As easy as the NYT puzzle was today, the WSJ one was not only much harder but just as unsatisfying.

The answer to the clue for 60A Backwards, and a hint to four of this puzzle’s answers was INREVERSE. Now, that made me think that the entire first word of those answers was in reverse, but no. Take a look:
16A Performance in a Bollywood film? RANIDANCE
First off, Rani Dance? Like rain dance? The Wall Street Journal decides during a time of good choices to make an Indian-Native American joke clue? This goes beyond the 3D Full-groan wordplay PUN. But we’ll keep going.
19A Huddles on a San Francisco football field? NINERCIRCLES
I had been thinking it would be something to do with Levi’s, but nope!
36A A visit to the nail salon? MANIVENT
Remember nail salons? You know, the places that more frequently than not almost have all-caps signs? Somehow they seem to come out NAiLS.
56A Recesses in a Bauhaus-inspired cathedral? SQUARENICHES
I didn’t know what Bauhaus is. It’s square modern stuff. From Germany. Nazis kicked them out, so they probably were pretty good. I’m intrigued. https://art.art/blog/10-bauhaus-principles-that-still-apply-today

So you see that it’s just a couple letters reversed, and they’re not even all in the first word of the pair.

The week’s almost over. July is almost over. My birthday is coming up. Hooray?

NYT Crossword 7-30-20 Complete

Well that was way easier than I thought it was going to be. The clues were linked, so once I got the hang of it, it kinda filled itself out.

But that also means I was kind of disappointed! I looked forward to struggling with the Thursday puzzle. The Spelling Bee today also was underwhelming. It took very few words to get to the genius level.

The clue I have a story about is 5D Rental availability sign: TOLET.

I took a trip in the summer of 2014 (you know, when travel was a thing) that included some days in London. I saw a bunch of TO LET signs, and that was new to me because signs I’d seen around LA were SPACE AVAILABLE or FOR RENT. But no TO LET.

So I had a good time seeing the signs with lampposts in the space between the two words.

A London street with a lamppost that makes the TO LET sign look like TOILET
It looks like TOILET!

This has been a clue more than once so far in the last couple weeks, I think, but I figured it was worth sharing the story about it today.

WSJ Crossword 7-23-20 Complete

Yet another puzzle that took me longer than half an hour that I pushed through to completion. This was an annoying one, but I felt I’d be even more annoyed if I didn’t power through.

I’ve certainly felt more excited by figuring out the trick to the puzzle than I was with this. This single-for-double letters was kind of a letdown, though my favorite of all of them was 54A Being stubborn at nap time? RESISTINGAREST.

My favorite clue of all in this puzzle was 18D Obama Energy secretary Steven, but not for the reason you’re thinking.

Back in 1998, Steven Chu was the keynote speaker at the California State Science Fair, and I went to hear him speak there. I must clarify the previous statement: I was nine years old, so it wasn’t really my choice where I went, but I didn’t voice opposition. Steven Chu had won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1997, and it was the first time I’d been in the presence of a Nobel Prize winner. Almost a quarter of a century later, I think he’s the only Nobel Laureate whose presence I’ve been in. (When I went to office hours for an econ class in college, I’d only seen 2004 Nobel Prize in Economics recipient Finn E. Kydland’s door closed.) It made me happy when Steven Chu was Obama’s pick to run Energy because I long had respect for the guy. I hadn’t thought of him in a while, so I liked having this reminder.

It bears mentioning that I had remembered the fair in the LA Convention Center, but it was in the Sports Arena (RIP). It was exciting for me to find out that I’d been in that building after all. http://csef.usc.edu/History/1998/

So I went longer than half an hour for this puzzle and finished in 34:25. It’s better than my attempt at last week’s Thursday where I wasn’t even close to finishing when I called it at half an hour.

NYT Crossword 7-23 Complete

Usually I cut off the puzzle at half an hour because I can’t spend forever on this stuff, but every time I was about to call it, I thought of one more thing that opened up answers to whole sections. I made guesses in some areas, too, and that helped me out. The theme of the puzzle was driving me crazy, too, but I got that.

For the 20A Part 1 of an instruction for solving this puzzle, I kept thinking REPLACETHE, but REPLACE didn’t fit. It was around minute 22 that I realized it was REMOVETHE. I had long figured out that 40A Part 2 of the instruction was LETTER_, but I wasn’t sure which letter it was (W) until maybe minute 21 when I realized there were no answers with the letter W. But 61A End of the instruction was FROMCLUES, so I went back and reread the clues to remove the extraneous W’s and rolled my eyes each time. I remember a puzzle from a long time ago that had answers that were spelled backwards. That was maddening until we figured that one out.

Finishing in 34:25 I went almost twice as long as I did for last week’s NYT Thursday puzzle which I finished in under 18 minutes. But I figured out the theme way earlier, so that’s that, I guess. I’m happy to have finished this one at all.