Tag Archives: WSJ

WSJ Crossword 10-22-20 Complete

I haven’t yet finished the NYT puzzle today, so I’ll post that later. Likely, that puzzle will be incomplete. But this one is finished, so hooray for that.

I don’t know what it is about the Wall Street Journal puzzle that perpetually disappoints me. When I complete it, it’s like I’m relieved that it’s over. I know nobody is forcing me to do it, and maybe I just haven’t found the fun in it yet.

Today’s puzzle title is Letter Carriers. This played out as the answers to the long clues were like the BEFORE AND AFTER category on Jeopardy.

16A Crew given to cursing?: FBOMBSQUAD. Look at the Wall Street Journal being all risqué using F-BOMB in the answer to a clue.
22A Musical rock?: EFLATEARTH. Clever again! The flat earther contingent doing the WSJ puzzle must be bigger than I imagine.
36A Arizona cowboy?: DBACKONTHEHORSE. Talk about shoehorning one in! I don’t really think “back on the horse” when I hear cowboy. Maybe a better clue is recovering cowboy. Regular cowboy is just on the horse.
47A Hog market?: EBAYOFPIGS. Nothing’s more fun than conjuring the Cold War and the Russians messing with us, right?
58A Gaming workplace?: XBOXOFFICE. Because we all work in box offices? Another clue that is written poorly.

And here’s the best-worst part of the whole puzzle and by that I mean the part of the puzzle that is just wrong.

66A Letter carrier that literally distributed letters to 16-, 22-, 36, 47- and 58-Across: FEDEX

FEDEX! Right, when I send a letter, I choose FedEx. Because the thing I want to do most when I send correspondence is to go to Kinko’s and deal with something so bad there’s a game about it instead of putting a stamp on an envelope and dropping it in a blue collection box.

Now, I don’t like Will Shortz less than anyone else, but I doubt even he’d let this by. Outrageous.

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.

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

WSJ Crossword 10-19-20 Complete

You’ll notice that I am no longer posting the solution as the main image of the crossword blog posts. That’s going to continue from here on out. Shoutout to Lynn for setting me straight when I was only one post in.

I now remember how different the WSJ logic is. It’s most certainly less fun.

11A Chocolate substitute: CAROB

This one stands out to me because when I was a child, my mom would pack some like soy-based drink flavored with carob when I was a child. It came in a pouch, I think. If anyone knows of this drink and what it’s called, please let me know!

The title of this crossword is One for the Money
52A Sport to stash your cash, and a feature of 15-, 20-, 33- and 45-Across: HIDDENSAFE.
15A Feels warm to the touch, say: RUN(SAFE)VER
20A Fights with someone: GOE(SAFE)WROUNDS
33A Weighing almost nothing: LIGHTA(SAFE)ATHER
45A Homicide and kidnapping, often: CLAS(SAFE)LONIES

I finished this puzzle in 10:02. I think that’s above my average time, but I’m going to start keeping track of my WSJ stats on my own because that feature is not provided.

WSJ Crossword 3-23-20 (8-1-20) Complete

Here’s the second of the two puzzles from today–another from the WSJ archive. This one is older by a week, so nobody was wearing a mask.

A simpler time.

This puzzle is Treasure Hunt, which I finished in a semi-distracted 8:11. The theme was from 55A Cracker Jack extra, and what the answers with circles have PRIZEINSIDE. Sidenote: My dad proposed with a ring inside a Cracker Jack box. They had better toys in those days. Now it’s just that paper with a sticker or something. I like Cracker Jack as much as the next guy, but I’ve been eating air-popped popcorn to keep me from gaining all the pounds while the gyms are closed and the bicycle tires haven’t yet arrived.
18A Finely chopped ingredient in some pasta sauces: DIC(EDGAR)LIC. I had been thinking it was DICEDMANGO, but nope. Also I had never heard of the Edgar Awards. They were a mystery to me until today http://www.theedgars.com/
24A Admission of fear: IMS(OSCAR)ED

Obviously I think of this in relation to that clue

35A Classic German racing car: PORSCH(ESPY)DER. Doesn’t really matter which Porsche it is, it’s guaranteed to be ugly. My dad and I went to the LA Auto Show almost a decade ago. Porsche had a 911 convertible on display, and we watched as a toddler was raised out of the back by his father, but the rear seat had such little legroom that the kid lost his shoe.
48A Crocheting need: COT(TONY)ARN. Apparently it’s extremely difficult to find any in dark gray. If anyone has advice about where to secure dark gray cotton yarn for crocheting, please let me know.

I hope you’re enjoying your weekend!

WSJ Crossword 3-30-20 (8-1-20) Complete

Wow! It’s August! But since it’s a Saturday, I’m doing puzzles from the archive. This one is from the end of March. Remember March? Remember how Coronavirus was just becoming a thing people were taking seriously? California shut down on March 17, stopping what otherwise would be fun drinking for St. Paddy’s Day.

So this March puzzle Abstract Attacks. Lots of A’s all around. Starts with 1A Pre-GPS travel aid: AAAMAP. It’s important to note that AAA still makes and prints maps, and the AAA maps are still cool to look at. I argue that they’re nice to have for planning because you get to see where things are relative to each other and not just exactly where you’re going.

But the clue that I like the most is 38A Amazonian biter PIRANHA. Like the majority of Americans, I always believed that the pronunciation is pih-RAWN-uh, and that was that. But piranhas are in Brazil. Where they speak Portuguese. Where hn is like the French gn which is like the Spanish ñ. So rather than pih-RAWN-uh, it’s pronounced pee-RAH-nya. Here it’s still the normal way, but there it’s the way that’s new to me.

WSJ Crossword 7-27-20 Complete

There’s too much TMI. Seriously. Today’s crosswords had TMI answers. It was 51D Texter’s “I didn’t need to know that” in the NYT and 7D “You’re oversharing!” in the WSJ puzzle. I don’t know what that says about the New York Times that they need to clarify texting is involved while the Wall Street Journal felt it unnecessary.

Either way, they need to get some original ideas. No overlap between papers in the same city. Where are my OREOs and AARPs and NEONs?

This puzzle took me 8:38. A little up from last week, but it’s still below the 9+ I’d done for WSJ before.

Pardon me for failing to talk about this in the NYT one, but they put PORN as an answer. Leave it to Will Shortz to step it up from what was in the prior week. And shame on the Wall Street Journal for trying to one-up him with SEXAPPEAL as an answer in today’s puzzle. Don’t encourage Will Shortz. You’re better than that.

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.

WSJ Crossword 7-20-20 Complete

Manic Monday to the max! NYT Crossword 6:26, but WSJ Crossword in just 5:57. That’s way faster than my earlier normal of a little more than 9 minutes for a Wall Street Journal Monday. Did it take telling my finacee that I was on a roll and would be with her shortly? The better question is: Was it worth it?

YES!

Now, the downside of finishing the crossword so quickly is that now I’m done with my two crosswords a day. It’s like being good at golf or bowling. If you are good at golf, you hit the ball fewer times and walk a much shorter distance. If you are good at bowling, you get fewer rolls in during a game. Of course, I took bowling and golf (twice!) as classes in college, so it’s very easy to conclude that I have shoes for each sport. Unfortunately, the shoes I got for bowling are resting in the dark because covid’s not over. Even less fortunately, my first pair of golf shoes–the Adidas Samba Golf shoes in royal blue–were stolen from my car a couple years ago.

I loved those shoes so much I brought them with me when I went to St Andrews, Scotland in 2014. (Side note: I had so much hair then!)

The weirder thing for me in this puzzle is the number of places that I can find RAAB, including my sister’s name LAUREN RAAB (twitter.com/raablauren).