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Old 02-06-2020, 02:43 PM
dalej42 is offline
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Do you think the Monday New York Times crossword is easy l?


Iíve often heard people scoff at the Monday NYT puzzle as too easy and not even worthy of the ink to compete it. I know they usually get progressively difficult as the week goes on, but Iíve never thought of the Monday one as a joke. Sometimes I can finish it, sometimes Iím a couple of words short. I do particularly enjoy it after the massive Sunday puzzles.

As a bonus question, how would you rate the difficulty level of the Sunday puzzle? Iíd place it usually around Wednesday level, the challenge is that itís so big and itís easy to get stuck if theyíre asking for full names of pop culture stars or 1940ís Oscar winning actresses or something like that.
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Old 02-06-2020, 03:03 PM
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I'm not an NYT subscriber, but I do plenty of crosswords from various sources, and yeah, I find Monday-level crosswords to be too easy to be worth doing.
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Old 02-06-2020, 03:05 PM
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Yes it is easy. I fill it in in Across order. I could look at the Down clues when the
Across one is ambiguous, but I seldom have to. I usually finish it in 3 - 4 minutes.
The Monday ken ken is equally as easy. I can finish the 4 x 4 one as fast as I can write usually, and the larger one is not much harder.
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Old 02-06-2020, 03:09 PM
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I'm not a big crossword doer but the Monday New York Times ones are really easy. I generally start to have trouble with them on Thursday. I think the Sunday ones are supposed to be equivalent to Thursday puzzles, and I tend to have trouble with the Sunday ones too. I think the Saturday ones are supposed to be the toughest.
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Old 02-06-2020, 03:17 PM
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Mondays are always easy, but some weeks the Tuesday one is easier than the Monday. I use the NYT crossword app on the iPad. My average solve times run around 5 minutes Monday and Tuesday (usually limited by dumb typos I make) to 25-30 minutes for Saturdays.

I agree that Sundays are like great big Wednesday/Thursday puzzles. On weekday puzzles I always do all the across clues once then all the down clues once, then go back to fill in gaps (Fridays and Saturdays are mostly gap with a few clues filled in). Sunday I get impatient and will do sections of across and down clues at a time.
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Old 02-06-2020, 03:20 PM
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Yes it is easy. I fill it in in Across order. I could look at the Down clues when the
Across one is ambiguous, but I seldom have to. I usually finish it in 3 - 4 minutes.
The Monday ken ken is equally as easy. I can finish the 4 x 4 one as fast as I can write usually, and the larger one is not much harder.
My approach is to do the Monday puzzle in Scrabble fashion, meaning I only answer a clue crossing an existing solved one. That makes it slightly more difficult. But, yes, it's easy. (I solve the puzzles from Sunday through Friday, skipping only the Saturday puzzle.)
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Old 02-06-2020, 05:37 PM
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Monday through Wednesday are all pretty easy for me. Thursday starts to get interesting. Friday and Saturday are hard, but I can usually solve them if I have an hour or two of free time. Sunday is like Thursday, but bigger.
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Old 02-06-2020, 07:13 PM
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Monday is too easy to be interesting for me, and Tuesday is borderline (occasionally they're interesting but usually not). Thursday/Sunday are my sweet spot. They are fun and sometimes stump me for a while, but I can almost always get them given enough time and work. Friday and Saturday are often too hard for me to completely finish by my personal rules (no looking up of anything, but you're allowed to pester people who are in the room with you for whatever's in their heads).

But when I started doing crosswords, Mondays were interesting, and Tuesdays were a challenge. Wednesdays were pretty impossible. So, it's good that Mondays are out there so that beginners can get a toehold.
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Old 02-06-2020, 07:45 PM
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My approach is to do the Monday puzzle in Scrabble fashion, meaning I only answer a clue crossing an existing solved one. That makes it slightly more difficult. But, yes, it's easy. (I solve the puzzles from Sunday through Friday, skipping only the Saturday puzzle.)
Interesting.
I do it my way because when I was in the Merriam-Webster competition at NYU in 1986, I saw one of the champion solvers do her puzzles that way.
I'm going for speed, and I assume that this is fastest.
If I want hard I open my London Times or Daily Telegraph crossword books.
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Old 02-06-2020, 10:19 PM
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I used to Xerox Fri-Sat-Sun at the library, Could'nt be bothered with the others.

I loved the ones in Harpers and Atlantic Monthly.

Ive heard that Jumble is hardest on Thursday, but I haven't compared.
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Old 02-07-2020, 08:12 AM
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M->Th are a breeze. Friday and Saturday sometimes take some effort but often aren't.

Sunday NYT used to be real nasty. Get an old collection of them and you'll see. For a while now (since Will Shortz?) they've been much easier. Somewhere around Wed-Thurs equivalent for the most part. But much larger so there may be a few slightly harder places. I can fill in at least 2/3 of one as fast as I can read a clue and write most of the time.
  #12  
Old 02-07-2020, 08:16 AM
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Yes, Mondays are easy. I'm not at 3-4 minute solve time; my average is about 7 minutes, according to my app, and my fastest is 4:07.

Sunday is around Thursday level. I actually don't like Sundays and rarely do them -- I just don't have the patience for the oversized grid.
  #13  
Old 02-07-2020, 10:15 AM
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I complete the Monday puzzles 100% of the time. They are easy but I see them as a weekly warm-up so I do them. I start to falter around Thursday, and I rarely finish a Saturday puzzle. (I attempt the puzzle almost every day.)

I find the difficulty of Sunday puzzles to be inconsistent, usually around Wednesday difficulty, but sometimes harder. I usually finish them. Sometimes when they bend over backwards to set up the theme answers, and theme answers are longer, they are pretty easy once you unlock the theme. However, for more obscure themes with shorter fill, I find them difficult. I could not finish this past Sunday's puzzle.
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Old 02-07-2020, 02:29 PM
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Not to hijack my own thread, but what do you think of the app? I normally use crossword time as a way to relax in the morning or late at night without my phone, but I’m curious. I did try a crossword app a few years ago and it was awful. Don’t think it was NYT.
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Old 02-07-2020, 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by dalej42 View Post
Not to hijack my own thread, but what do you think of the app? I normally use crossword time as a way to relax in the morning or late at night without my phone, but I’m curious. I did try a crossword app a few years ago and it was awful. Don’t think it was NYT.
I haven't used the NYT app yet and am also curious about it. It has mixed reviews at the App Store.

I use Shortyz crossword app. The LATimes puzzles on it are similar to the NYT. There are other crossword puzzles on it to choose from. And it's free.

Last edited by needscoffee; 02-07-2020 at 02:35 PM.
  #16  
Old 02-07-2020, 02:51 PM
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I haven't used the NYT app yet and am also curious about it. It has mixed reviews at the App Store.

I use Shortyz crossword app. The LATimes puzzles on it are similar to the NYT. There are other crossword puzzles on it to choose from. And it's free.
I do like the LA Times puzzles as well. For some weird reason they made it past the filter at my last job so they gave me plenty of entertainment on that boring night shift.
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Old 02-07-2020, 02:59 PM
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[...]I only answer a clue crossing an existing solved one.
How do you get started?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dalej42 View Post
Not to hijack my own thread, but what do you think of the app? I normally use crossword time as a way to relax in the morning or late at night without my phone, but Iím curious. I did try a crossword app a few years ago and it was awful. Donít think it was NYT.
I have the app on an older iPad and a new Android tablet, and they are rather different. The puzzle play is similar but there is no button on the Android version to toggle from down fill to across, so I have to reach up and touch the square to do that. The Android version doesn't show my statistics (average time for each day of the week, etc.). My android tablet has a physical keyboard but the app will not take input from the keyboard, only from its own screen keyboard (which is not the Android screen keyboard).

Other than that, there aren't really any bells & whistles to a crossword app. No major complaints. Except that if you get an online subscription to the New York Times, it does not include the crossword puzzle. I have two separate subscriptions.
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Old 02-07-2020, 03:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dewey Finn View Post
[...]I only answer a clue crossing an existing solved one.
How do you get started?
Usually with one across.
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Old 02-07-2020, 03:17 PM
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Yeah, Monday is very easy. Like Voyager, I try to solve it without using any down clues.

Tuesday and Wednesday are easy, but Thursday sometimes presents a problem with the tricksy-wicksy stuff.
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Old 02-07-2020, 03:52 PM
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Monday is very easy. I don't have to look at the grid for context (word length or existing letters). Most of the answers are obvious. I'm done as fast as I can write. But I'm a really good solver. If Monday is fun for you enjoy it. I agree with Will Shortz - it's supposed to be fun. If you find it fun it's doing it's job. If you have to look up an answer, who cares? Are you having fun? Did you learn something? It's all good.

The only puzzles I can find which are hard enough for me are Saturdays. The NYT takes me 12-15 minutes on Saturday. My favorite is the Newsday Saturday Stumper. That takes me 25-30 minutes. Sometimes I read every clue and don't know a single answer right away. I love when that happens because I know it will be a challenge.
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Old 02-07-2020, 04:10 PM
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The only puzzles I can find which are hard enough for me are Saturdays. The NYT takes me 12-15 minutes on Saturday. My favorite is the Newsday Saturday Stumper. That takes me 25-30 minutes. Sometimes I read every clue and don't know a single answer right away. I love when that happens because I know it will be a challenge.
Have you tried the Club 72 crosswords by Tim Croce? They're at approximately the same difficulty level as the Saturday Stumper.
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Old 02-07-2020, 04:13 PM
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Originally Posted by dalej42 View Post
Not to hijack my own thread, but what do you think of the app? I normally use crossword time as a way to relax in the morning or late at night without my phone, but Iím curious. I did try a crossword app a few years ago and it was awful. Donít think it was NYT.
I like the app. Itís subscription based, but gives you access to I believe all the Will Shortz puzzles (just checked and archive goes back to 1993.) I have not had any issues with the app, and I can start a puzzle on my iPad, move to my desktop, and finish it on the phone if I wanted to seemlessly. I canít even imagine what the cremember moldings about it could be. I find it intuitive and stable.
  #23  
Old 02-07-2020, 04:15 PM
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I haven't used the NYT app yet and am also curious about it. It has mixed reviews at the App Store.

I use Shortyz crossword app. The LATimes puzzles on it are similar to the NYT. There are other crossword puzzles on it to choose from. And it's free.
I had to check this, as I was wondering what the mixed reviews could be about. On my iPad App Store, it has a 4.9/5 rating, with over 60K ratings, which is about as high as youíll ever see.

Last edited by pulykamell; 02-07-2020 at 04:17 PM.
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Old 02-07-2020, 04:21 PM
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I can’t even imagine what the cremember moldings about it could be.
OK, I have no idea what phrase meaning "mixed reviews" got auto-corrected into "cremember moldings," but that or a similar phrase is what is supposed to be in its place. (ETA: Ah, I believe the word I was trying to type was "complaints.")

Last edited by pulykamell; 02-07-2020 at 04:25 PM.
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Old 02-07-2020, 04:35 PM
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OK, I have no idea what phrase meaning "mixed reviews" got auto-corrected into "cremember moldings," but that or a similar phrase is what is supposed to be in its place. (ETA: Ah, I believe the word I was trying to type was "complaints.")
Thanks. I was wondering what the covfefe that was supposed to mean.
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Old 02-07-2020, 05:07 PM
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I started doing the NYT puzzle via the app almost a year ago. I find the Monday and Tuesday puzzles enjoyably easy. I sometimes get hung up on Thursday--I think those would be easier on paper, especially when there are multiple letters in the same cell.

My only complaint is that I have to wear reading glasses to do the Sunday puzzle on my phone.
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Old 02-07-2020, 06:24 PM
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I'm terrible at crossword puzzles. Partly it's that I am not much into popular culture so that when a question involves a rock group or TV show I am at a loss. My wife does the puzzle every day, after I do the Ken-kens. But I usually looked at the puzzle and filled in a few clues. Until maybe a year ago when on one Monday, I realized I got the whole thing. Now I do the Monday every week and usually the Tuesday as well. I often get pretty far on Wednesday, but Thursday is always a gimmick and I never get anywhere with that.

Yesterday's 6 x 6 Ken-ken was the hardest I have ever completed. Today's was trivial by comparison. The 4 x 4 is always easy.
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Old 02-07-2020, 09:58 PM
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I had to check this, as I was wondering what the mixed reviews could be about. On my iPad App Store, it has a 4.9/5 rating, with over 60K ratings, which is about as high as you’ll ever see.
At the Google play store, there were quite a few people who felt the interface was poor enough to ruin it for them. I have no idea if it's accurate. But I'm running out of Shortyz puzzles to do, so will probably bite the bullet soon.
  #29  
Old 02-08-2020, 12:53 AM
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At the Google play store, there were quite a few people who felt the interface was poor enough to ruin it for them. I have no idea if it's accurate. But I'm running out of Shortyz puzzles to do, so will probably bite the bullet soon.
Perhaps the Android app isnít as nicely designed. It does seem to be less highly rated at 4.2/5, with a more significant amount of one star reviews, whereas the iOS version is almost all four- and five-star reviews, with a tiny blip at one.
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Old 02-13-2020, 03:02 PM
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Have you tried the Club 72 crosswords by Tim Croce? They're at approximately the same difficulty level as the Saturday Stumper.
Thanks for pointing me to these. They're really challenging. Looks like I've got 500 or so new puzzles to do.
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