Jean & Mike Do The New York Times Crossword

10 Episodes

By: MP

A short, fun and occasionally not unintentionally educational podcast in which two fans of the New York Times crossword describe their puzzle-solving travails.

Sunday, June 2, 2024 - Look out, here comes a SQUIB! 🦵🏈

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Today's crossword was a real deal - two puzzles for the price of one, and each was a delight. We have all the deets inside, so do have a listen.

This is our last podcast for two weeks-- we are taking our yearly Summer sabbatical -- so expect to hear from us starting ... in about two weeks! 

Show note imagery: Behold, a BEERAMID

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Saturday, June 1, 2024 - The POSHEST crossword this week!

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A splendid Saturday crossword wraps up our crossword-solving week. Saturdays are by tradition the hardest crossword of the week, with the trickiest clues, and this one was definitely in that league. This was Eric Warren's second crossword in the NYTimes, and the first time he has won a JAMCOTWA (Jean And Mike Crossword Of The Week Award), so kudos for both!

Show note imagery: Some delicious strawberry STRUDELS

Show note video: MAXIMILIAN, the bionic dog 😀 🦮

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Friday, May 31, 2024 - We have a FIENDING for more Aidan Deshong crosswords!

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This is a beaut of a debut by Aidan Deshong, a high school senior just about to graduate, and head off to Harvey Mudd. Perhaps he'll major in Engimatology like legendary NYTimes crossword editor Will Shortz. 

The clues and answers in today's grid were, simply put, brilliant, as seen in 47A, Pricey oils, e.g., ART; 48A, Wet blanket?, DEW; and many, many others. To hear more, including a fascinating fact for Fun Fact Friday™️ -- you are cordially invited to download and listen up to today's podcast.


Thursday, May 30, 2024 - This crossword, like the answer to 22A, is WELLDONE

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A very nice crossword by Royce Ferguson - his 4th for the NYTimes, and a Thursday debut. The theme was ingenious but not too difficult to suss out, and the number of pop-culture references was on the low side, which affected Jean not at all but did benefit Mike (for whom anything newer than 1800 that does not involve science fiction is problematic). 

Show note imagery: Some tasty looking crépes SUZETTE

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Wednesday, May 29, 2024 - Bottoms Up!

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While drinks played an essential part in today's grid, it seems unlikely that they were involved in its construction, based on the elegance of the puzzle - not surprising considering that the constructors in question were Jeanne Breen (for her, a debut), and  Jeff Chen, LC ( LC being short for, of course, Legendary Cruciverbalist).

Jean made short work of today's puzzle. Mike could make neither head nor tail of the north central region of the grid for a considerable length of time, before finally acknowledging that NEWEURO is not a t...

Tuesday, May 28, 2024 - EVIE Sands, in the grid and (hopefully) on your playlist!

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A nice Tuesday crossword, and, as detailed in today's episode, one eight years in the making!! So, even though PERSEVERANCE is not in the grid, it truly is in the heart of Chris Leatherberry, the constructor of today's fine work.

We appreciated all the longer wavelength color references in today's grid, namely 54D, Famed fireman Red, ADAIR, in close proximity to 55D, Reddish application to cheeks, ROUGE, and kitty corner to 12D, More pink, RARER. We also, enjoyed 69A, Prefix with brow, UNI, as we are big fans of Ernie...

Monday, May 27, 2024 - All rise, ELENA Kagan is in the grid!

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It's hard not to GIVEPROPS to a crossword that has GIVEPROPS in the grid, so we're not even going to try: PROPS to Christopher Youngs for this, his 4th NYTimes crossword!

Show note imagery: Yaroslava Shvedova, celebrating her GOLDENSET win at Wimbledon in 2012

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Sunday, May 26, 2024 - Look, up there in the sky ... it's a dude, it's a bro, no, it's a ... BRAH??

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A straightforward Sunday puzzle by John Kugelman, this his 4th for the NYTimes, with a theme for which the word "cute" was invented. The quality of the clues was exceptional, with some real gems noted in today's podcast. But we'd also like to highlight some others, such as 64A, The i's have it, DOT (😀); 22A, Morse code click, DIT (to keep the DOT company 😉); 94A, Someone who hopes to keep out of the spotlight?, ESCAPEE (🙄).

Show note imagery: The  Eight Lancashire Lads, clog dancers, including one Charlie Chaplin 

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Saturday, May 25, 2024 - A splendid Saturday solve

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This is David P. Williams' fourth NYTimes crossword, and interestingly all four have used the same grid, so apparently DPW has taken the phrase "why mess with success?" to heart. There are some magnificent clues in today's grid, including 47D, Time to take stock?, IPO; 34A, Lover of literature, ROMEO (ha!); and we loved the juxtaposition of 29A, Architects, so to speak, MASTERMINDS, immediately above 31A, Wield influence, PULLSTRINGS, because that's what MASTERMINDS do, and David P.Williams definitely belongs in that category. Definitely 5 squares on the JAMCR scale!


Friday, May 24, 2024 - This crossword is TWICEASNICE

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For your edification, we present our analysis of a  nice -- in fact, twice as nice! -- crossword by Carolyn Davies Lynch that really has a lot to commend it, most notably some really, really difficult clues! Fortunately there were not too many pop-culture references: we did have 16A, Many Eras Tour attendees, SWIFTIES, but Taylor Swift may be the most famous woman on the planet, and so even Mike was able to suss that one out.

Beyond the crossword, we have a fine Fun Fact Friday™️ segment for your enjoym...