Tag Archives: wednesday crossword

NYT Crossword 11-25-20 Complete

A moment ago I was excited to have done a Thursday puzzle so quickly. Then I realized that today is only Wednesday. And I can be fine at Wednesdays, so it turns out that this was no real surprise.

I pulled out 32D Signed, sealed or delivered: PASTTENSE because of how sad the song would have been. I mean could you imagine?

There I was / Signed, sealed, delivered / I was yours back then.

Depressing!

I don’t know how I feel about today’s theme other than that it exists.

16A Prince, e.g.: MALEHEIR
25A Stamp on an envelope [and 16-Across flipped]: AIRMAIL
31A It takes a glider up to launch altitude: TOWPLANE
44A It takes a glider up to launch altitude: PLAINTOE
50A Golf reservation: TEETIME
63A Herbal drink full of antioxidants [and 50-Across flipped]: THYMETEA

Thyme tea? This is the first I’ve ever heard of thyme tea. So I looked it up and came across these questions:

That second one really got my mind going. What does happen to your body when you drink thyme tea?

A little more searching got me to the unassailable medical publication Stylecraze’s 3 Side Effects That Tell You Why Thyme May Not Always Be Good. Those side effects are headaches, asthma, and skin allergies.

It even offered that it could lead to “hypotension: Allergic response to thyme may cause hypotension, as observed in a 45-year old man. Some sources even hint cardiac arrest upon the intake of thyme oil.”

When you talk about a single uncited case and then offer the vague “some sources,” it’s just gotta be true.

I finished this one in 12:19. We’ll see tomorrow what a real Thursday puzzle will do to me.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

NYT Crossword 11-18-20 Complete

A surprisingly easy Wednesday puzzle! Way easier than yesterday’s.

I selected 4A ____ Coeur, Mo.: CREVE (pronounced KREEV core) as the highlighted one because I had not heard of this city until this puzzle. And I started learning about it. You know, by watching YouTube videos. It started with trying to figure out how to pronounce the city’s name and turned into finding out flattering and unflattering things about it.

And then I found this charming bit of news coverage!

Once again I didn’t fully appreciate the theme of this puzzle until writing the blog post. Writing these has given me reason to review what I’ve done rather than moving on once I’ve gotten everything right.

As I was going through the puzzle, I realized very quickly that the circles would be filled with a letter that would be counted twice.

17A Betting game in which you could lose your shirt: STRI(P)OKER->STRIP POKER
24A Film cast and crew celebration: WRA(P)ARTY->WRAP PARTY
49A Tickets for shorter lines, good seats, backstage access, etc.: VI(P)ASSES->VIP PASSES
57A Some old mobile devices: FLI(P)HONES->FLIP PHONES
4D Signature feature of a Duracell battery: CO(P)ERTOP->COPPER TOP
9D “OK by me”: IMHA(P)Y->I’M HAPPY
35D Burger King offering: WHO(P)ERJR->WHOPPER JR.
This was a surprisingly difficult answer for me to get. Had to solve like the entire lower left corner to get it.
54D First company to be valued at $1 trillion: A(P)LE->APPLE

34A Almost twins … as suggested by this puzzle’s circled squares?: TWOPEASINAPOD.

I got the answer for 34A well before solving most of the puzzle. At that point I just figured it was a doubled letter in the circle. It hadn’t dawned on me that it was the letter P twice. So two P’s in a pod.

When I completed the puzzle, the crossword filled in the second P. I was not so insightful to actually put that in on my own.

Completing this puzzle in 9:59 isn’t my 7:55 Wednesday PR, but it’s well below my 17:54 Wednesday average.

NYT Crossword 10-28-20 Complete

OK. What. In. The. World! I know I’m a little out of practice, but when did Wednesday get to be so difficult? I’m used to taking a beating on Thursdays, not Wednesdays. And I completed this partially by brute force until the it finally told me that I had finished and am on a one-day streak despite clearly being on a three-day streak. Way to cut it unnecessarily Shortz, NYTXW.

That’s clearly three days.

This puzzle was absurd, but before the madness, there’s some fun.

68A U.S. Navy builder: SEABEE
This reminds me of riding bikes on at the beach with my family. I think that was the first time I had heard of the Seabees. My dad told me about how they build stuff like bees do and on the sea because the US Navy. But also that it was CB for Construction Brigade. It was among the easy clues for me to get in this puzzle.

But this puzzle was ?????????????

1A With 21-, 30-, 49-, 61- and 74-Across, end of a Carrie Bradshaw quote that starts “Men in their 40s are like the New York Times Sunday crossword puzzle …”: TRICKY. From the word go. Holy smokes!
21A Part 2 of the quote: COMPLICATED AND
30A Part 3: YOU’RE NEVER
49A Part 4: REALLY SURE
61A Part 5: YOU GOT THE RIGHT
66A Casual ristorante: TRATTORIA. You know, just to see if you’re paying attention.
74A End of the quote: ANSWER

So Men in their 40s are like the New York Times Sunday crossword puzzle Tricky, shamelessly self-promoting, complicated, and you’re never really sure you got the right answer.

I had been able to work a bunch of these parts from letters that were in there and the reference to the Sunday puzzle, and you’ll notice above that I did not complete Sunday’s.

Now, this puzzle took me just under half an hour to complete. In contrast, my best Wednesday was 7:55 on August 5, and my average is 18:01. So for this to be what it is and for me to have struggled with it like I had is head-shaking times.


WSJ Crossword 10-21-20 Complete

The title of this puzzle is Bar Hopping. Remember bar hopping? Those were the days. St. Paddy’s Day, Halloween, Independence Day, Arbor Day. Good times.

44D “Dancing With the Stars” judge Goodman: LEN. I hadn’t known Len Goodman existed. Turns out he did and that he still does. Clearly I do not watch DWTS. I recently heard that Chrishell from Selling Sunset is on it? What a show that is/was.

But in the last 15 or so minutes, I’ve found out so much about DWTS! I learned that Len Goodman will not be returning this fall because he’s stuck in the UK due to covid travel restrictions. More than that, Tom Bergeron (another name I’m unfamiliar with) and Erin Andrews (finally someone I recognize!) are gone. Further, Tyra Banks is joining/has joined as a judge this season.

So back to the Bar Hopping theme.

20A Some runners’ supports: JOG(BRAS
22A It’s just one thing after another: SIRIE)S
BRASSIRIE
26A Composer Hoist: GUS(TAV
29A Orange character of kiddie TV: ERN)IE
TAVERN
43A Model plane material: BAL(SA
44A Canadian dollar, familiarly: LOON)IE
SALOON
49A Depth charge, in military slang: ASH(CAN
50A Three-time Golden Globes co-host: TINA)FEY <–Good for her!
CANTINA

Finished in 18:12.

NYT Crossword 10-21-20 Complete

A moment of silence for quibi.

That’s over, so here’s today’s crossword.

Now that the election is less than two weeks away, I do find the humor in
48A Like Barack Obama’s presidency: TWOTERM. With Trump trailing by nearly 10 points (archived here for the future), it certainly seems like a dig.

Today’s long answers were puns based on place names.
17A Ways to cross a river in Switzerland?: BERNBRIDGES. Bern is arguably but not officially the capital of Switzerland, another clear demonstration of how evasive the country really is.
28A First showing at a film festival in France?: CANNESOPENER. Because Cannes’s second claim to fame is its film festival. For sure its proudest thing to boast is that it’s a sister city of Beverly Hills.
44A Census taker in India?: DELHICOUNTER. Nobody ever gets tired of a Delhi/deli joke.
58A Police dragnet in South Korea?: SEOULSEARCH. Same goes to Seoul/soul. Who hasn’t seen the South Korea’s Got Seoul T-shirt?

I had a typo in this one that I finally resolved. Finished in 19:04. Average Wednesday 17:50.

NYT Crossword 8-19-20 Complete

OK someone tell me what’s going on here. I’ve never seen this in my LIFE.

1A. With 5-Across, means of survival
1D. With 41-Across, generational sequence

The answers to 5A is BOAT, and the answer to 41A is CYCLE. The answer to both 1A and 1D is LIFE.

I haven’t discussed Will Shortz in a while, but dude! Come on! If it’s not sloppiness, it’s totally WayLame.com. Real sad, bro.

Is he slipping? Did he forget to edit this one? I’m still at a loss for words on this one, and that’s a surprise because I had to come up with one fewer than I thought I’d have to.

NYT Crossword 8-5-20 Complete

Holy smokes! I wanted to get the crossword post out before I watch Twin Peaks through Netflix Party with some friends. I start it at 7, so I don’t have a lot of time. I looked at the clues and just went for it. I started at the top left and ended at the bottom right.

I know there is a theme in this one because some answers had to do with a theme, but I figured out the answers as I went through without ever considering the theme. I’ll look back on it later to see what that was, but this post goes out first.

This is the first time I’ve done a Wednesday this fast. I did the whole thin in 7:55 with no errors. For me, that’s amazing. I’m still stunned. I have more than 10 minutes until Twin Peaks.

NYT Crossword 7-29-20 Complete

I’m still watching the hearing, and it’s driving me crazy. Why should these guys even show up if they’re not going to tell the truth?

I was going to write a long thing about how Jim Jordan is hurting America (Matt Gaetz just said pundint instead of pundit. Ugh. How easy must the Florida Bar Exam be?!) and how his opponent Shannon Freshour https://twitter.com/ShannonFreshour should be able to capitalize on Jim Jordan’s lunacy to make up the war chest gap, but that’s an off-topic post for another time.

This crossword has a tech safety theme. 49A It may require letters, a number, and a special character — as seen in 20-, 33- and 39-Across: STRONGPASSWORD.
20A Reduced-fat option: TWOPERCENTMILK
33A Mobile device that debuted in 2016: IPHONESEVENPLUS
39A Highly sought-after restaurant rating: ONEMICHELINSTAR

I like the story about how the Michelin rating system started. Michelin, yes, the same Michelin as the tire manufacturer, is the Michelin that started the restaurant ratings. They did in 1926 what people have been relying on AAA for for our entire lives: helping people figure out where they should go and therefore creating a need for the company to be needed. See, if you hear about an amazing restaurant, don’t you want to go there–to drive there? You wear down your tires whenever you drive, and then you need more tires! AAA cares about you needing roadside assistance, and I never would have gotten a flat if I never drove. (Interestingly enough, the AAA tow truck that came to my aid was hanging out around the corner and was was very familiar with the pothole that sliced through the sidewall of my Michelin Primacy. I now have a set of Michelin Pilot tires on my car. I am very happy with them.)

WSJ Crossword 7-29-20 Complete

Another day, another hearing. I’m watching the testimony of Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, Sundar Pichai, and Tim Cook in front of the House Judiciary Committee, so I’m not going for time today. Also if prosecution for perjury is on the table, these guys are only going to avoid jail time due to covid concerns.

Hang on, I gotta write something about what I’m hearing right now in this hearing.

Congresswoman Jayapal asked Jeff Bezos about an Amazon employee’s prior testimony that Amazon does not “use any specific seller data when creating its own private brand product.” To me, that sounds like they’re seeing what sellers are doing in aggregate, so what does it matter if it’s not specific to a seller? Like if Lou Bega’s wife asked him if he’s faithful to her and he said, “I am not seeing one girl outside this relationship.” But he’s seeing many girls, so that would make Lou Bega still unfaithful, right?

Congresswoman Jayapal asked if Amazon ever accesses third-party seller data when making decisions. Jeff Bezos just said, “Uh… I can’t answer that question yes or no. What I can tell you is: We have a policy against using seller-specific data… but I can’t say that’s never been violated.” Jayapal cited a Wall Street Journal (Hey! that’s the paper whose puzzle I’m supposed to be writing about! I’ll get to it soon. Don’t worry.) that says that they do look at popular sellers and then aggregate the data to figure out what Amazon should do on their own. Bezos says that they’re looking into it, which Jayapal said that clearly he’s not denying it.

She continues. A former employee testified to the committee: “There’s a rule, but there’s nobody enforcing or spot-checking. They just say, ‘Don’t help yourself to the data.’ It’s a candy shop. Anybody can have access to anything they want.” She asks if category managers have access to nonpublic data about third-party sellers and their stuff.

Bezos’s reply is what follows:

“Uh, I–here’s what I can tell you: I–uh, we do have certain safeguards in place… it’s a voluntary policy [not to look at third-party seller data].” Congresswoman Jayapal clarified that observance of their safeguard policy voluntary and there’s no enforcement of the policy? Bezos, still stammering: “Sorry! I, uh, may have mispoke (sic). I was trying to say that Amazon’s–the fact that we have a policy is voluntary.”

Jayapal concludes that whatever policy they have isn’t working, so shenanigans.

Also they’re using aggregate data even if there’s only seller of a thing, so aggregate=specific in those cases, and Amazon is screwing the seller. Hooray.

OK back to what you likely came here to read.

Oh, Steube just said pundint several times when he meant pundit. Good times.

Now back for real (unless something else is notable).

What’s cool about this hearing (don’t worry, this is about the crossword) is that everyone in this committee is mad at these fellows, and the theme of this puzzle the answer to 37A The start of a Lincoln line, and a hint to the circled letters: AHOUSEDIVIDED. This committee is united in its ire, though not necessarily in its arguments. The clues related to the theme:
17A Cry from Michelangelo & 19A Humble: COWA(BUNGA■LOW)LY
23A “Jabberwocky” word for four o’clock in the afternoon & 26A Purchasable grab bag in a video game: BRILL(IG■LOO)TBOX
49A Land agent Charles who was collectively shunned for not reducing rents 52A Lists for chairs: BOY(COTT■AGE)NDAS
57A Barista’s creation & 60A Sluggish: MO(CHA■LET)HARGIC

I didn’t know that boycott was named after “Capt.” Chuck, who seemingly was as much a captain as Dr. Phil is allowed to practice medicine. Fun reading https://www.historyireland.com/18th-19th-century-history/captain-boycott-man-and-myth/

NYT Crossword 7-22-20 Complete

Longest puzzle of the week so far, but I finished! Total time was 20:37, partially because I couldn’t figure out what B+ was. Every answer I thought of (NOTGOODENOUGH, JUSTMISSED, NEVERGETTINGINTOCOLLEGE) didn’t fit. Which brings up a weird dream I had last night that I was taking Spanish class in college and aced the first exam and then got the second exam back and got like 45%. I was confused because I did the same processes of studying and prep as I had done for the first exam, and I thought I’d nailed the second one, but I was deficient. I can take that dream in several ways: (1) I’m still having nightmares about taking tests in college; (2) my proficiency in Spanish is severely lacking, and that isn’t great for someone who lives in Los Angeles; (3) it’s a dream, so whatever; (4) I need to remember that even when I think I’ve nailed it, there’s more to do.

So pretty much this.

Remember the WSJ puzzle where they agreed it was hard to keep up with THE TIMES? Well NYT took the high road in 25D WSJ Competitor (NYTIMES). But I’m not a fan of putting NYTIMES as the answer to a clue in a puzzle published in the NY Times. It’s possible that nobody tells Will Shortz when an idea is bad or isn’t even his because he lives in the world of 57A People are protected when they’re in it: SAFEENVIRONMENT.

I did like the theme of the symbol and element name. I don’t think that should have tipped me off that B+ was a Boron ion, but that wasn’t the worst answer for B+. Also for 61A Man of the cloth? I was thinking DYER, but evidently it was DIOR. Even though it was Christian, it wasn’t religious.