We get the puzzle a week after the New Yorkers do. The one I just finished had a clue “numbers at times '. I finally just put in the word " dentists”. Then it occurred to me they make you numb. Crap I couldn’t get that mind set. I hate clues like that.
What’s to pit? You got it, didn’t you?
If you can’t take the heat…
Also: clues like ‘1: rhino’ where the answer is ‘rhino’. Dear crossword puzzle makers, could you seriously not think of anything else that fit in that clue space that would yield the same answer? They’re not supposed to be the same!
I like clues like that. Better than “Secretary of State under Coolidge”.
However, what’s with all the rapper names clues lately? And also, there is an annoying preponderance of Bible stuff, Jewish months and holidays, etc. Every puzzle has one or two or three of those.
When they cross ,you have a real problem.
I did a New Yorker diacrostic a few years ago that had a cue “would figuratively be next to a church” The answer was laundromat. Cleanliness is next to godliness thing.
What crosswords are you doing where you see clues like that?
As to the OP, clues like that are pretty much the reason I do New York Times crosswords exclusively. NYT crosswords are fun, the clues are well-written and well-edited, they often force you to think around possible multiple meanings of words, and I very rarely, if ever, see any crosswordese.
Also, the Crossword Writer’s Guild bylaw that says the word “aped” must be used in at least 30% of all crosswords published is kind of annoying.
My senior year, my school got dozens of free copies of the Washington Post. I did the crossword whenever I could. I saw that kind of clue more than once, though not by much.
You mean where the answer and the clue were exactly the same? I’m surprised.
Just last week I was doing a New York Times crossword (from a collection), and the clue was “Assign too high a rating to” and I had “OV_RRA__” in my puzzle. Naturally, I pen in “OVERRATE,” while quietly mumbling to myself my displeasure and surprise the puzzle answer would contain a word part included in the clue. Only later did I realize that I should have known something was amiss and that Will Shortz would not have left a clue like that in, as the correct answer for that clue was “OVERRANK.”
I don’t see that one often, but I do see “aped,” “apse,” and “nave” appear fairly frequently. Those are only borderline crosswordese to me, as all three I’ve heard in normal conversation. I can’t think of the last time I’ve heard “adze,” though.
Then you should go soak flax or make lace.
Well, Og bless Will Shortz for that! Those sorts of clues have been greatly diminished during his reign. (Not to say that there isn’t still some really obscure stuff in the puzzles…)
Totally! I really should memorize the Hebrew months. I guess a lot of them are 4-letter words with common letters. Sort of like the bible ones–Seth and Enos and their more famous compadre, Noah.
The rapper thing? It’s an attempt to be “up-to-date,” I guess. And hey, a lot of 'em have 4 letter names. So there you go.
ntucker–You lie! “Aped” is in only 25% of puzzles. “Aper” is in another 15%, however.
DRDRE is getting a lot of play lately. It is a nice combination of consonants. Problem is how many NYT puzzlers are rap fans. The Wall Street Journal gives a good puzzle on Fridays.
If you thought that was unfair or sneaky, don’t ever, ever try to do an English-style cryptic crossword. I thought I was doing great on those when I figured out three or four of the clues.
Example that stuck in my head for some reason: “Cat plus meat alternatively (4)”. Answer on request.
At least with stuff like that, you can look them up on Wiki, then use those to figure out the ones around them.
(Oh, and btw, it was Charles Evans Hughes and Frank B. Kellogg)
I was recently caught by something like that too! That’s one great thing about the Will Shortz puzzles–he sticks to his “rules” consistently. And once you know the rules, then the rules themselves are a clue.
If you want to learn the rules, this book is great. It contains 75 daily puzzles ranging from easy to hard, and each one has a couple of asterisked clues. Then in the back, there’s a section that explains the rule behind why the clue is the way it is.
My favorite NYT clue ever was “Famous tower” for a 3 letter word. I was so consternated! Pisa? Eiffel? Sears? The answer?
On preview: Well, I’ll bet a lot more NYT puzzlers are rap fans than you might think. (I am.) But for the rest of 'em…well, they can learn ICET and JAYZ and CUBE and DRDRE the same way I learned those damned “poetic” contractions–practice.
I don’t get it. How is AAA a famous tower?
ETA: N/M, “toe-er”, got it.
Got that one right off the bat, but you did flag it as a trick. I don’t know whether I would have sussed it out right away in an actual crossword, but Lord knows Shortz has trained me to be on the constant lookout for homographs.
As for DRDRE, you really have to be living under a rock of some sort not to have heard of him. I bet the vast majority of NYT crossword solvers are hip to Dr. Dre. Who do you think does these puzzles? Hermits with no access to pop culture?