New York Times Crossword Puzzle–My Daily Addiction

For several years now I have done the New York Times crossword puzzle every single morning. The puzzle gets progressively harder during the week–I can complete Monday and Tuesday’s puzzles in 3-4 minutes. Wednesday usually takes around 10. By Thursday though, it’s game on. I’ve occasionally done it in less than 30 mintues (with no Googling), but that is rare. Fridays are even harder and usually Saturday is downright impossible unless you know every obscure fact known to man.

Recent Saturday clues included:

  • Hiiumaa Island belongs to it (Estonia)
  • Unstable leptons (taus)
  • Humans as opposed to an animal, notably (reasoner)

For the record, I did get the above answers, but only after piecing them together from intersecting letters. I can spend an hour on a Saturday puzzle and usually have to resort to Google for the answers.

Not being gifted athletically, I have always enjoyed word games. And the NYT puzzle is, for me, the ultimate. It took me a few months, but I finally realized that you often have to read the clues in a couple of different ways. Once you “get” it, solving becomes lots easier.

Everyday after I finish the puzzle, I also visit a blog called Rex Parker Does the NYT Crossword Puzzle. Here I see commentary on that day’s puzzle and an explanation of the words I missed. Last week, Rex included a link to this article at the online magazine, Slate. For some reason, the author has a real bone to pick with us crossword puzzle people. You can get a flavor of the article from the following:

Need I suggest that those who spend time doing crossword puzzles, uselessly filling empty boxes (a metaphor for some emptiness in their lives?)–could be doing something else that involves words and letters? It’s called reading.

Truly one of the silliest things I’ve ever read.

So I can only deduce that the author of the online article is just another jealous solver who can’t finish the Monday NYT puzzle in under 15 minutes. His article will be forgotten in a week or so. But the NYT crossword will go on.

And I will go on solving it, every morning.


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8 responses to “New York Times Crossword Puzzle–My Daily Addiction

  1. sherwoodisland

    Cindy, those Saturday puzzles are HARD. I try them occasionally.

    I almost never get the big clues on Sundays, either, until I have filled in a lot around them.

    Our library has a crossword puzzle tournament every year. You should come up for it!

  2. Holy crap! That’s amazing!

    I can usually get one or two answers. In pencil.


  3. I enjoy crossword puzzles, but I can only do the easy-peasy ones. Did you ever see the documentary Wordplay? Those people are really impressive.

    I also read that Slate article and was truly annoyed. As if most people who do things like crossword puzzles don’t read?

  4. Julie Fisher

    Well, the author of the Slate article was wasting his time writing that article, wasn’t he. After all, the people who do crossword puzzles will never read the article that would suggest that they read.
    Hey, Cindy, there’s an article in Slate that says you should read instead of doing those puzzles. Thought you should know.

  5. hereinfranklin

    Julie–thanks for the heads up. I’ll check it out.

  6. Thanks for stopping by my blog. 🙂

    You are very brave to witness to the heathens (Vandy) in the way you do…LOL

    Big Orange Michael

  7. Wow, I just read the article. Was it supposed to be funny? What is he so angry about? Did his puzzle-extraordinaire partner just dump him? What’s wrong with getting a little brain stimulation from a puzzle everyday? Why is it wrong to actually enjoy the one thing in the paper that does NOT want to make you jump off a building? Perhaps people in Starbucks are trying to look busy doing puzzles so that they can avoid “social interaction” with losers like him. Doing puzzles is supposed to help prevent dementia later in life. I love how he had to work in that he graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Yale. To me, that’s three Greek letters different from accomplishing the same education as our idiot president.

    So anyway Franklin, I just found your blog via Rex’s site. Yeah, I’m a puzzle nut, but Friday and Saturday kick my butt. All week long I look forward to Sunday’s NYTimes puzzle! I’m very sorry to hear about your Vols seats, that is tragic.

  8. Wow. Impressive! I attended the Boston Crossword Puzzle Tournament this weekend and could have used you on my team! Also, thank you, thank you, thank you for alerting me to Rex Parker’s blog. It’s already been a lifesaver.

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