Tag Archives: tuesday crossword

NYT Crossword 12-1-20 Complete

I went straight to the Congratulations! screen with this Tuesday puzzle. I took it slow and steady, since I did it right while I was waking up. It’s fun to complete something so early in the morning.

I highlighted 32A Sweet’s counterpart: SOUR because it raises a question that I’ve discussed every so often. If you have an opinion on the topic or a reaction, please comment on this post.

What is the opposite of sweet? Is it sour? Is it salty? Is it savory? Is it foul? Is it bitter?

I don’t think the opposite of sweet is sour. While they are nice to contrast in areas like sweet and sour meatballs, sweet and sour chicken, and Mega Warheads candy, my feeling is that they are individually fun tastes. I set the child standard here. If I liked this as a child, they’re not opposites.

So, too, with salty. I like salty potato chips. I like mixed nuts. And as for things that are sweet and salty? Salted caramel. Kettle corn. Not opposites.

I disagree that it’s savory because the definition is that it is more than one kind of taste. It does not qualify on that count. Also from lexico, the definition is” “(of food) belonging to the category that is salty or spicy rather than sweet.” Sweet is omitted and used as a contrast. Also salty is part of savory, and I’ve established that salty isn’t the opposite, so savory fails there.

As for foul, my feeling is that it’s the opposite of flavorful. Foul is bad overall. My point is opposite of sweet specifically.

That leaves us with bitter. You know, because the list I put together is all encompassing.

I posit that bitter is the opposite of sweet. As a child, I did not like bitter flavors. In the Passover seder, bitter herbs are incorporated because they’re unpleasant. But Passover aside, how many people like IPAs? I do, but I didn’t like IPAs as a child. And I probably would not have liked them if I had had access to them as a child.

A huffpo thing I found interesting to read is Hate IPAs? It’s Because Your Genetics Programmed You To Dislike Bitter Beers. Hipster Courtney Iseman writes that while the human brain has a long history of using the bitter flavor to indicate that a thing should not be eaten (and cites another huffpo piece), we can train ourselves to like bitter stuff.

I can’t vouch for the research up until the training yourself to like bitter things part. I now enjoy IPAs.

I didn’t have to train myself to like the other types of flavor.

In an unusual move for this puzzle’s, I got the answer to the theme clue and used that to help me get theme answers.

17A *Many a Silicon Valley business: SOFTWARECOMPANY
Note: I have started picking up on learning Python again, and I may start a weekly progress blog about Python. I’m thinking Thursdays for that, but we’ll see.
39A *Devastating event in a real estate bust: HOMEFORECLOSURE
61A *Question suggesting “That just about sums things up”: WHATMORECANISAY
7D *Highly stressful situations, metaphorically: PRESSURECOOKER
10A *Like a guesstimate, by nature: IMPRECISE

33D Community sports facility … or a hint to the answers to the five starred clues: RECCENTER.

You know, because REC is in the center for the answers.

Finished this one in 7:40. Very flawed NYT Crossword statistics page has my average Tuesday at 13:56. My Tuesday record is from August of this year at 5:52.

NYT Crossword 11-24-20 Complete

Kind of a slow Tuesday for me. Certainly it’s harder to do the puzzle on my phone, so it was a good call to my computer partway through.

I pulled the clue 41A Resentful and hostile manner, informally: TUDE mainly because what year is this? Does anyone shorten attitude to tude anymore? I realize that this a a real question. I haven’t been out in the world since early this year. Will there be all kinds of divergent slang due to lack of exposure to one another?

I figured out the theme with the middle clue, and it was right up my alley. So good job, Caitlin Reid. And thanks for not totally ruining it, Will Shortz.

19A “An orca is actually a dolphin?!”: WHALEILLBEDARNED (well I’ll be darned)
37A “Wow, that’s a giant sea cow!”: OHTHEHUGEMANATEE


The meme couldn’t have been the first time someone said this.

55A “This is the best fish I’ve ever had!”: GREATCODALMIGHTY

Good puns. I like it.

Final time for this slow Tuesday 16:40.

NYT Crossword 11-17-20 Complete

Kind of a slow puzzle today. I don’t know if I was distracted or tired or if it just was a weird Tuesday, but answers weren’t coming to me as quickly as I had expected them to.

Why would I be tired today more than usual? I thought you’d never ask!

Over the last few days, six of the eight planets were visible with the naked eye. After sunset, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn were visible. But at about 5:15am, Mars and Venus were visible. For those keeping score at home, that only makes five. I just had to look past my shoes to see the sixth.

I chose the highlighted clue 26A “Man, just my luck!”: OHGREAT as appropriate clue and answer for all of 2020.

I didn’t understand the theme until writing this blog post.

16A Cousin of Simon Says: MOTHERMAYI
Which brings up that Mike Pence calls his wife Mother. It doesn’t matter what the National Review says. Calling her Mother is weird.
24A 2012 Ang Lee film set largely at sea: LIFEOFPI
38A Support for an updo: HAIRPIN
49A What a chop shot imparts: BACKSPIN
61A “Show some courage!” … as this puzzle’s theme can do?: GROWASPINE

Because each answer has one more letter of the word spine. I think that it’s kind of lame that you have both BACK and SPINE-E in the same answer and then spine. I don’t know that it’s bad, but I just don’t like it.

Finished this Tuesday in 17:07.

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!

WSJ Crossword Puzzle 10-20-20 Complete

Start Trading is the theme of today’s puzzle. Trading. Like stocks. Because Wall Street. It’s the Wall Street Journal. I get it. GG, Mr. Bhat.

58A 9:30 a.m. event at the NYTSE, and a hint to the starts of the starred answers: OPENINGBELL.
18A *It may temporarily blind you: (bell)PEPPER SPRAY
23A *Be far superior to: (bell)TOWER OVER
36A *Friendly toast: (bell)BOTTOMS UP
51A *Precocious lad: (bell)BOY WONDER

This puzzle was just OK.

Finished in 19:33

NYT Crossword Puzzle 10-20-20 Complete

I did this puzzle on my phone (while watching Love Is Blind–I really like Kenny-Kelly and Cameron-Lauren), but I’m writing this post on my computer.

First off, either I’ve been out of the game for too long or SPLIFF is a new addition to the crossword. I’m just imagining a generation of people who are introduced to the term through the crossword.

The theme of this puzzle is the answer to
38A Like goods that are temporarily out of stock … or a hint, alphabetically, to the answers to the starred clues: BACKORDERED. Took me a moment, but I realized that the answers to the starred clues are in reverse-alphabetical order. And why isn’t that omegapsiacal order?
17A *Followed warnings: TOOKHEED (DEHKOT)
18A *Materialistic sort, stereotypically: YUPPIE (EIPUY) Also the etymology of yuppie is from the acronym of Young Urban Professional and dates back to the Reagan era.
23A *Marijuana cigarette, informally: SPLIFF (FILPS)
24A *Posted inflammatory blog comments, e.g.: TROLLED (DELORT)
50A *Chewbacca, e.g.: WOOKIEE (EIKOW)
52A *Autonomous cleaner: ROOMBA (ABMOR)
59A *”L’chaim!”: TOLIFE (EFILOT)
62A *Like toddlers in high chairs, often: SPOONFED (DEFNOPS)

I did this one on my phone, so it was a little slower than if I’d done it on the computer. The time was 12:49. Average for Tuesday is 14:02, so go figure.

NYT Crossword 9-29-20 complete

I can’t sleep, so I’m writing this post from bed. I know I haven’t done a crossword post in a while, but that doesn’t mean I’ve not been doing the puzzles. I’ve been doing the Monday puzzle for two dozen weeks in a row, and the Tuesday streak for half that. I ran out of time a few months ago because I’d forgotten about it until well into remote board games with my friends and couldn’t break away.

This puzzle had a typography theme:

18A No later than + 19A Tightly packed: UN(TIL|DE)NSE ~

24A Gray in the face + 25A Prodigies, informally: AS(HY|PHEN)OMS –

51A Homes with wheels + 53A “Toy Story” boy: C(AMPERS|AND)Y &

61A Something to make in an emergency? + 62A having low odds of success: H(ASTE|RISK)Y *

Two things I find interesting to point out in this puzzle.

The first is the history of ampersand. While this is a good detailed history from the OED, the summary is that the symbol is a combined et, the name ampersand is a screwed-up version of and [referring to &] per se and. So & is itself and. It also used to be the 27th letter, so there’s that, too.

To go one step further along these lines, I went to the Getty Villa with my family back in February, and I saw “&c.” in some old writings. That turned out to be an even shorter version of et cetera. It makes sense: etc.=et+c, and et=&, so et cetera=etc.=&c.

The other thing worth mentioning is 52D Sewing machine inventor Howe: ELIAS.

Our government explains Elias Howe’s invention in an adorable, dated site likely geared toward children. I know it’s not intended to educate Trump because his name doesn’t appear every so often.

Essentially, Elias Howe made a sewing machine, but it kinda sucked. Isaac Singer and Allen Wilson made it good. Nobody’s heard of Elias Howe, but everyone knows Singer sewing machines

NYT Crossword 8-4-20 Complete

I learned a bunch from this puzzle.

Like Brian McKnight would say, “Start it back at 1,” so here we go.

1D Mocking remark: JAPE. JAPE?! No idea.

jape (v.)late 14c., “to trick, beguile, jilt; to mock,” also “to act foolishly; to speak jokingly, jest pleasantly,” perhaps from Old French japer “to howl, bawl, scream” (Modern French japper), of echoic origin, or from Old French gaber “to mock, deride.” Phonetics suits the former, but sense the latter explanation. Chaucer has it in the full range of senses. Around mid-15c. the Middle English word took on a slang sense of “have sex with” and subsequently vanished from polite usage. It was revived in the benign sense of “say or do something in jest” by Scott, etc., and has limped along since in stilted prose. Related: Japedjaping.

So that’s a thing I now know.

53D Frozen dessert chain: TCBY. We all know that it’s the place to go for the country’s best yogurt, but I haven’t seen one of those since I was on the Santa Monica College campus.

Oh I just checked, and TCBY is still on that campus! That’s pretty cool. Too bad I have to miss out this summer because covid!

NYT Crossword 7-28-20 Complete

Ask and ye shall receive, right? Yesterday I said that I was surprised there wasn’t a lot of baseball stuff yet, and here we go!

38A So-called “twin killings” in baseball, for short: DPS (double plays)
41A One who brushes off a plate, informally: UMP (umpire)
44D Some building beams: IBARS (a stretch, but former Angels infielder Erick https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erick_Aybar and current Red Sox Minor Leaguer but included in the Major League 40-man roster Yoan http://www.milb.com/player/index.jsp?player_id=646243)
55D Meh Feeling: BLAH (attitude toward this baseball season and 2020 overall)

Of course Will Shortz decided to be racy with 63A Object of dirty looks? SMUT. Classic.

BTW so much sniping right now during the Bill Barr hearing. Aren’t these people adults? Whose decision was it to hire this group?

I wish I could reclaim my time.