July 23 NY Times Puzzle was a bear! (spoilers possible, after the first post)

I had a heck of a time with the puzzle today. I thought it was really tough for a Thursday, much tougher than last Friday or Saturday.

I finally got the theme, and then I misinterpreted it! Then, once I got it right, I still had trouble in the lower left corner.

Whew! Almost broke my streak.

I agree; that was nasty. They should have given hints, like starring the relevant clues, that didn’t require solving the damn puzzle to get the hint.

Way harder than today (the 300th in my steak!), which I thought was a piece of cake for a Friday.

Huh. I found Thursday’s to be on the rather easy side (3 minutes faster than my Thursday average, which is around 20 minutes.) Though I did finish Friday’s in almost the exact same time, but my Friday average is 21 minutes. I figured out the trick at the Actor Hawn clue. Then it was pretty easy.

300 streak? Not bad. I’m still too lazy and give up on puzzles rather quick, so my biggest streak is probably around 6 (I just don’t have patience for the Sunday puzzles, so I pretty much never finish them.)

ETA: Looking at Rex Parker’s blog, he called it an “Easy-Medium” puzzle, finishing it in 5:23. I’ll never understand his times, but I’ve seen even faster. There was some guy I saw solve Monday through Saturday in 20 minutes.

ETA 2: Oh, I’m sorry, that 20 minutes included the Sunday puzzle, too.

Oh, surprisingly, it looks like I hit 14 games for my longest streak, so, woo hoo – better than I thought.

Thursday was within a few seconds of my average of 17:33, seemed like the usual Thursday unpleasantry. Friday & Saturday though were way easier than usual for me.

Sometimes, I feel I’m the only one who loves Thursdays! It’s the puzzle I look forward to the most week after week.

I like it too, but it makes me nervous – it’s not always clear how they want you to put in the tricky clues and I’ve had a previous streak broken because I put the trick in a way they didn’t want.

There was a puzzle this year where I think you had to put in the number eight, rather than the letters ATE, I don’t remember exactly what, but something like that… That broke my streak of around 108, & I have stopped trying to streak since then, mostly skipping Mondays and Tuesdays. Honestly it’s been more relaxing that way. :slight_smile:

Once I break my streak, I’m going to do the same – do Monday and Tuesday puzzles later in the week. Until then, my anxiety will go up each day after Wednesday, and then come back down again.

I once did puzzle which had numbers in the squares – this surprised me, but I adjusted.
The down clue was something like “bicentennial” answer “200”, The across clue may have bean water answer “H2O”.
OK, fair enough. But what really bothered me was the other across clues used the zeros as the letter O. I felt (and still feel, perhaps more strongly than I should) that this was WRONG.
The across symbol should be the same as the across symbol, goshdarnit! :angry:


In today’s puzzle, why is 90 down in green? Do you think it just describes the state of mind of the constructor?

Mine is normal. At least I don’t see green on The NY Times Xword app.

I thought today’s puzzle was weak. There was a theme but it wasn’t a strong one.

Huh. I didn’t notice it when I was solving it, but I went back just now and clicked the clue, and indeed when I did the column was filled in green instead of blue.

I didn’t enjoy the theme much…“scramble the first word of a common idiom to create an abecedarian word and a different phrase” feels more like I should appreciate his hard work than anything. As always though there were some fun cluings scattered around.

Here I was waiting to see my copy of the paper to take a look at this bear of a puzzle… except that I’d apparently forgotten that the Plain Dealer uses the LA Times puzzles in the dailies, not the NYT.

That’s too bad! Are the LA Times puzzles any good?

What about this weeks Thursday? I enjoyed it, but a bit on the easy side, with a new best Thursday time for me (9:17). I liked the conceit.

I’ll look at it in the AM. No spoilers yet!