Jean & Mike Do The New York Times Crossword

40 Episodes
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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.

Tuesday, December 6, 2022 - Was this a great crossword? WELLDUH!
#77
Yesterday at 3:00 AM

Today's crossword almost pegged the pop-culture-reference-meter, but, as you will discover in today's episode, it was for a very good cause (which we will refrain from expounding upon here in the interests of generating just a frisson of suspense). We will also refrain from defining frisson, because a) we always thought it involved a poor lifestyle choice in the shampoo aisle, and b) Wiktionary has already done so, and done so well.

So, to hear all of the above, plus how Mike fared during Triplet Tuesday, subscribe, download, listen up and enjoy!

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Monday, December 5, 2022 - CHAPPAQUA, as fun to say as it is to spell!
#76
Last Tuesday at 2:00 AM

A slightly crunchier than usual Monday crossword, owing, perhaps, to the delightfully understated theme in honor of which we shall just say ...

hey, what happened to the rest of the paragraph??

To fully comprehend that last jest, all you need do is subscribe, download and listen up, and then the scales will fall, comprehension will dawn, etc., etc.

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Also, we're on FaceBook, so feel free to drop by there and strike up a conversation!


Sunday, December 4, 2022 - Pass the IDLI!
#75
Last Monday at 2:00 AM

A punny Sunday crossword, revolving around all the myriad  phrases that people use to describe gossip. We'd talk about those people, but we hate to, well, gossip, so we'll just point out that beyond the theme that were some great clues, including Jean's favorite - 111A, Sneeze guard?, ELBOW, and Mike's decidedly lengthier one - 82A, ___________ Questionnaire, character assessment that might ask "What is your idea of perfect happiness?", PROUST.

In other news, if you're wondering about yesterday's content-free episode, that was an editorial glitch - the new version's up and brimming with our usual sparkling wit, s...


Saturday, December 3, 2022 - No APOLOGYTOUR needed for this bundle of JOLLITY
#74
Last Sunday at 3:00 AM

A good crossword educates, entertains, and intrigues, and Kate Hawkins' Saturday opus does all 3 perfectly and in equal measure. Educates - 25A, Brain-tingly feeling that may come from hearing whispering or crinkling, in brief, ASMR (huh!); entertains - 14A, Guilt trip?, APOLOGYTOUR (hah!); and intrigues, 41D, Cheesed off, INAPET (hmmm...). We liked this crossword enough to give it a full 5 squares on the JAMCR scale, bravo! Encore, encore!

Update: No APOLOGYTOUR was needed for the crossword, but ironically one is needed for this episode, as someone -- no names -- uploaded...


Friday, December 2, 2022 - We liked today's crossword best, a clear case of RECENCYBIAS
#73
Last Saturday at 2:00 AM

Another crossword in which our co-hosts' experiences differed vastly: in a return to form, Jean sped through the puzzle, whereas Mike ... staggered, reeled, and ultimately clawed his way across the finish line. For deets on the epic struggle, as well as a fascinating fact for Fun Fact Friday, do have a listen -- and then let us know what you think, crosswordpodcast@icloud.com

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Thursday, December 1, 2022 - Have you finished writing the podcast title? NOTQUITEYET ...
#72
Last Friday at 3:00 AM

For those of you who reveled in last Thursday's crossword, with the "DOT THE I'S" revealer, and giddy with ANTICIPATION of their return, well, your time has come -- the dots are back!, rounder than ever, and form the basis for today's theme. We have all the dots, er, we mean deets, inside, so download, listen up and enjoy (and don't forget to subscribe!!).

A few fun links based on today's grid:

Mr. MACGOONEODADAHOUSTON, the Eagle has landed

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Wednesday, November 30, 2022 - This crosswords not just 'K, it's SWELL!
#71
12/01/2022

Who knew that the letter K could be lurking in so many words and phrases? Addison Snell, apparently, and he lets us in on the secret in today's fine Wednesday crossword. The grid managed to harbor one of Mike's favorite words, TWANGY, as well as one of Jean's, LUSTY -- and they both yearn for the day when the portmanteau TWUSTY someone slips past Will's keen eye and gets into the puzzle, but since that portmanteau has just been invented in these very show notes, we are not holding our breath!

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Tuesday, November 29, 2022 - A crossword most definitely *not* for the birds!
#70
11/30/2022

A crossword with a theme guaranteed to make you feel all atwitter, hatched from the fertile mind of David Rockow and not poached from anyone else.  We'd say more, but that would be talon 🙄, so for all the deets (and almost no other puns, we promise!), download and enjoy!

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Also, we're on FaceBook, so feel free to drop by there and strike up a conversation!


Monday, November 28, 2022 - Beware the GHOSTCHILI! 👻
#69
11/29/2022

A scary Monday crossword, partially because of 17A, Pepper measuring over 1 million on the Scoville scale, GHOSTCHILI, and partially because - at least for Mike - the top left corner was bristling with natticks leaving him HOPPINGMAD, and only after a few WELLAIMED guesses was he able to get to the solve. Jean, of course, was able to keep her SANITY well in check, and got to that AHA! moment serenely and speedily. All the GORY deets are inside, just waiting for you to enjoy!

Today's musical references:

Staying ALIVESTAN

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Sunday, November 27, 2022 - Today's puzzle? CESTSIBON (translation inside 😀)
#68
11/28/2022

After an easier than usual Saturday, along comes today's WHIZBANG of a  puzzle to balance things out, and it does so quite nicely: it took real GRIT to solve, but when (or if!) you did, you could BASK in the glory of it all. Deets are inside, as well as an invite to visit our FaceBook page to vote on your favorite song by one of the artist's mentioned in today's episode. 

Oh, that phrase, CESTSIBON? It means "it's so good".

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Saturday, November 26, 2022 - Edited by Will Shortz, aka the Wizard of AHS
#67
11/27/2022

A gentler-than-usual Saturday crossword, possibly a sop to those still wandering about in a tryptophan fog. That's not to say it wasn't a fun experience - you are estopped from saying that about a  grid that manages to work in 4D, Classical orator, RHETOR, 42A, Unfailingly loyal, RIDEORDIE, and 1A, Influential book sellers, BLURBS (nice one!).

It's also Saturday, which means it's time to award our weekly JAMCOTWA (Jean And Mike Crossword of the Week Award). Who won? Was it Monday? Tuesday? EtcDay? To find out, download, listen up (and don't forget to subscribe!)

C...


Friday, November 25, 2022 - Any idea how to title this episode? IGOTNOTHIN 😀
#66
11/26/2022

A highly amusing Friday crossword by Simon Marotte - no theme, just funny clues and answers, all covered in depth in today's episode. Besides that, we have another in our recurrent segment, Oh, That's How You Pronounce It!, this time featuring the Earl, er, we mean Ural, mountains, as well as a fun fact for Fun Fact Friday™️. And if that's not enough, we are also inviting listeners to check out our FaceBook page and vote for their favorite song by one of the musicians in today's puzzle. Deets within, so download, listen up and ... prepare to chortle!


Thursday, November 23, 2022 - Rejoice, a Pao Roy crossword to drive you dotty!
#65
11/25/2022

Pao Roy has created some epic crosswords, and he is at the top of his form in today's puzzler, with a remarkable, grin-inducing theme, and great clues all around. All the deets are inside, but for you overachievers who want even more details, here are a few pertinent links ... 

A Pale Blue DotiMacsThe Australian Parliament

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Wednesday, November 23, 2022 - The skinny on the skinny grid
#64
11/24/2022

A slightly crunchier than usual Wednesday crossword, aided and abetted by a colorful, circular theme. There were not a lot of cultural references in today's grid, although Mike found much to admire in 59A, ______ mountains, formation made by the collision of the continents Laurasia and Kazakhstania, URAL, and Jean relished 49D, Test taken in a tube, MRI.

For our American listeners, tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and we wish all of you the very best; for our Canadian listeners, the same, with apologies for being approximately a month late; and for everyone else, we hope you have an awesome...


Tuesday, November 22, 2022 - LUCIAN, Mark Twain's great, great, ... , great ancestor 😀
#63
11/23/2022

A GEM of a Tuesday crossword, and we're not LYIN about that! The theme was, ahem, cutting edge (an in-joke that you will be in on as soon as you listen to the podcast), and the cultural references not too obscure: in short, a perfect Tuesday. All the deets are as close as your play button, so click / tap it now and enjoy!

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Also, we're on FaceBook, so feel free to drop by there and strike up a conversation!<...


Monday, November, 21, 2022 - An EPICWIN for the NYTimes Crossword!
#62
11/22/2022

It is - as almost everyone knows - the start of the World Cup, and the NYTimes Crossword is as eager to celebrate as anyone. As proof, we need go no further than  today's grid, which has a number of quite amusing World Cup references to put you in the mood. All THEDEETS are inside, so check it out, and let us know what you think!

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Sunday, November 20, 2022 - We have our doots about SNOOTS 😀
#61
11/21/2022

A GRAND Sunday crossword by Joe Deeney, who seems to be able to crank these out LIKECLOCKWORK (this is his 14th since 2017!) -- while he may like to slip a SLOTH into the grid, he clearly is not one! 

He was able to GETOFFONTHERIGHTFOOT with 1A, Tot's rocker, HORSY, and kept it going all the way to 116A, Schnozzes (what a great clue!), SNOOTS (an even greater answer!).

We have more to say about this TNT, er dynamite, of a puzzle, as well as listener mail, so as always we invite you to subscribe, download, l...


Saturday, November 19, 2022 - A MAGICAL Saturday!
#60
11/20/2022

A super Saturday crossword by Benji Goldsmith. Jean was on fire (figuratively: the fire brigade was not required), tearing through the grid in near record time, whereas Mike, well, let's just say that he coulda been a contender (which works better if you can imagine Marlon Brando saying that, or, if you're imagination's on the fritz, you can hear Marlon Brando saying that). For all the deets -- as well as the winner of this week's JAMCOTWA (Jean And Mike Crossword Of The Week Award), you are cordially invited to subscribe, download, listen up and enjoy!

C...


Friday, November 18, 2022 - THANKSALOT, Robyn Weintraub, for a crossword that deserves a TROPHY
#59
11/19/2022

A great Friday crossword by that great crossword constructor Robyn Weintraub, known for creating joyous puzzles - the kind that when you finish (whether successfully or not) leave a smile on your face and a song in your heart, and that's exactly what she's produced today. For all the deets, as well as today's fun fact for Fun Fact Friday™️, we cordially invite you to subscribe, download, listen and enjoy!

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Thursday, November 17, 2022 - 🎵ME, ME, ME 🎶
#58
11/18/2022

A tiMEly Thursday crossword, with a dozen (!) of theMEd clues which, if you haven't already sussed it, revolved around ME -- or, to be precise, what happens when ME is excised. If that seemed a little cryptic, fear not, as all will be revealed in today's exciting episode!

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Wednesday, November 16, 2022 - A puzzle for those suffering from logophilia!
#57
11/17/2022

Logophilia, as you may be able to deduce if your Greek is up to snuff, is the love of words, and if you are reading these, you probably "suffer" from it. The author of today's crossword, John Hawksley, clearly has got a bad case of it, which is good for us -- and for all the deets, subscribe, download, listen to and enjoy today's episode.

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Tuesday, November 15, 2022 - Snicker, it's a SNEE!
#56
11/16/2022

A fabulous Tuesday crossword by Sandy Ganzell - the theme a delight, the rest of the clues nothing to SNEEze about! We have all the deets inside, so a) subscribe, b) download, c) enjoy, d) tell all your friends!

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Also, we're on FaceBook, so feel free to drop by there and strike up a conversation!


Monday, November 14, 2022 - No WEAKSAUCE in this puzzle!
#55
11/15/2022

A delicious Monday crossword, and that's not just because of the theme. The inclusion of a Star Trek reference (3D, Warp drive power source on "Star Trek", ANTIMATTER (not DILITHIUMCRYSTALS!)),  two of our favorite authors (31D, Bronte and Dickinson, for two (EMILYS), and, finally, our favorite OS (33D, Image captured with Shift+Command+3 on a Mac), SCREENSHOT, also contributed to us awarding the highly sought after 5 square rating on the JAMCR scale. 

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Sunday, November 13, 2022 -Gale force winds? NOPROB, pass the AQUANET!
#54
11/14/2022

If you feel a bit peckish after working on this crossword, that's perfectly normal - a natural reaction to a grid that's just full of (colliding) foods. Besides the very interesting theme, valiantly explained by Jean, the puzzle is chock-full of great clues, and we cover the best of them right here.

Speaking of foods, here at Jean And Mike Do The New York Times Crossword HQ we are always working hard to keep our show, ahem, fresh, and so we are officially announcing a new, periodic segment -- "Oh, So That's How You Pronounce it!", which...


Saturday, November 12, 2022 - KIWI, a friendly people and a fuzzy berry!
#53
11/13/2022

A KINDASORTA easy Saturday crossword, although we will never complain about a crossword that manages to fit 18D, One growing up in a cave?, STALAGMITE, into the grid (after all, those STALAGMITES are huge 😀), as well as slip in a trio of delicious snacks - 10D, Certain cookie spinoff, OREOTHIN; 21D, Ice cream of the future, DIPPINDOTS 😁, and one of the great inventions of the last century,  31A, Dessert served in a boat, BANANASPLIT😍😍. Yum!

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Friday, November 11, 2022 - WHOO, another Husic & Agard classic!
#52
11/12/2022

A Brooke Husic and Erik Agard crossword is always cause for celebration, and this particular puzzle just sizzles. Both cohosts were able to get through it, although Mike got hung up in the northwest and then again in the southeast, fortunately running out of corners to get hung up in before running out of answers. Choosing the best clues in this grid is like picking one's favorite Marvel heroes, but we do have to give a shoutout to 1A, Launch party?, NASA, which dovetailed nicely with 6D, Wild ride?, PARTYBUS; the awesome 31D, Pass words?, NOTHANKYOU 😀, and a distinctly non...


Thursday, November 10, 2022 - Ophicleide, Finsteraarhorn and Giedroyc -- crossword clues and a spelling bee contestant's worst nightmare!
#51
11/11/2022

A very distinctive Thursday crossword -- the first row and column are all black squares, with respectively letters A-N and numbers 1-15. Has the author gone 1A, Out of one's gourd, LOCO? Or has he had one 30A, Brunch beverage, MIMOSA, too many? No, it's all part of a 62A, What's spelled out, appropriately, after mapping the coordinates indicated by this puzzle's circled letters, PLOT, to keep us entertained and mystified - which he does in spades!

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Wednesday, November 9, 2022 - A crossword with PLENTY, almost a TON, to like!
#50
11/10/2022

A nice middle-of-the-week, middle-of-the-road crossword by David Tuffs, who does an amazing job of tying together seemingly disparate movies and television shows. We tie together how he tied things together in today's episode, so for all the deets, download, contemplate, and enjoy!

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Tuesday, November 8, 2022 - NONA Hendryx sings Lady Marmalade 😍
#49
11/09/2022

Enrique Henestroza Anguiano has crafted a fine Tuesday crossword, with a mixture of the old - 26A, Hit BBC series of 1976, ICLAUDIUS, the very old, 56D, Magna _______, CARTA, and the brand new, 70A , ________ Hendryx, Lady Marmalade singer, NONA (who, unfortunately, did not sing it in 16A, City famous for its French Quarter, familiarly, NOLA). 

Beyond our usual cogent analysis of today's grid, it's also Triplet Tuesday, and Jean's on the hot seat! Find out how she did by subscribing, downloading, listening, and hopefully chortling. 

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Monday, November 7, 2022 - SOBA - fun to say, fun to eat!
#48
11/08/2022

The SOBA and PITABREAD notwithstanding, today's crossword was a tad crunchier than usual, thanks in part to some particularly toothsome clues such as, well, SOBA and PITABREAD. A few other rarities also popped up - MASTODON rarely makes it into the grid, and ANTSINMYPANTS is a debut for the creator of today's fine puzzle, Jill Singer. Definitely 5 well-earned squares on the JAMCR scale!

Today's episode also includes a bit of crossword terminology, as well as listener messages/mail, so ... enjoy!

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Sunday, November 6, 2022 - We'll have the TAGINE and ROTI, please, with a side of TEAEGG
#47
11/07/2022

Depending on which of our two intrepid cohosts you ask, this was either a typical or terrifically difficult Sunday crossword. Both did agree that the puns were awful (i.e., good), but leavened with enough genuinely funny and educational clues to make it, all-in-all, a good solve.  All the deets are inside, waiting for you to download and enjoy.

A heads up: tomorrow we will be doing a segment on "crossword terminology", so that if you don't know your natick from your rebus you'll  definitely want to check that out!

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Saturday, November 5, 2022 - Pass the CRISPS and the KAVAKAVA
#46
11/06/2022

A challenging but fair Saturday crossword, with considerable bite (and we're not just talking about the CRISPS), and considerable payoff for the solver, with a bevy of fun and entertaining clues, including -- 36D, Ochlocracy, MOBRULE (woah!); 26A, _____ Cherry, singer with the 1998 hit "Buffalo Stance", NENEH (another today-we-learned moment); and 4D, Unsalted, perhaps, ICY (definitely we'll need to pull in Google for this one!). We liked today's crossword a lot, and gave it 5 squares on the JAMCR scale.

We also liked Sunday's crossword - an ALANTURING themed puzzle -- enough to give it our JAMCOTWA (Jean And...


Friday, November 4, 2022 - THAD jones, trumpeter extraordinaire!
#45
11/05/2022

An easy/ludicrously difficult Friday crossword, depending on which of our two cohosts you ask. One of us set what was almost surely a personal best, and the other ... did not. To find out which of the cohosts did which, as well as to savor some great listener mail and a Fun Fact for Fun Fact Friday ™️, we cordially invite you to subscribe / download / listen / enjoy.

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Thursday, November 3, 2022 - A good crossword? Possibly the BESTEVER!
#44
11/04/2022

Today's crossword featured a tricky theme and some sublime cluing - one would expect no less considering that the constructors were none other than Chase Dittrich and Jeff Chen (the latter responsible for the highly recommended xwordinfo.com). We give this a 5 squares on the JAMCR scale, and to find out why, all you need to do is download, listen up, and enjoy!

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Wednesday, November 2, 2022 - Was this a good crossword, ER, ER, ER ... OHHECKYEAH!
#43
11/03/2022

A somewhat crunchier than usual Wednesday crossword by Ethan Zou and Tomas Spiers, at least for one of our dynamic duo: both were dazzled by a variety of clues that spanned the 13th to the 21st centuries and a grid that was suffused with ERs -- for which we were grateful, not only because of the interesting theme, but also for the excuse to use the word suffuse in a sentence 😀 


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Tuesday, November 1, 2022 - Sweet ADELINE 🎶
#42
11/02/2022

An EPIC Tuesday crossword by Bruce Haight, guaranteed to neither SCARE nor BLANCH nor RILE, even though all 3 may be found in today's grid. For all the deets - as well as to discover how Mike did in the battle of wits that is Triplet Tuesday™️, download, listen, learn, and enjoy!

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Monday, October 31, 2022 - Boo!
#41
11/01/2022

A suitably scary Monday crossword - not because of the difficulty, necessarily, but because of the theme. So, to get in the mood for today's episode, grab your favorite Halloween treats, and then munch, download, learn, and enjoy -- not necessarily in that order!

On a related note, the NYTimes Crossword always loves new subscribers - head over to nytimes.com/crosswords for all the deets.

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Sunday, October 30, 2022 - ALANTURING, Computer Scientist Extraordinaire! 😀
#40
10/31/2022

One of the most celebrated computer scientists of all time - you can tell, because Benedict Cumberbatch starred in a movie about him -- shows up in today's grid, and not just as a minor character but really the star of the puzzle, which features an absolutely ingenious theme that the person in question, ALANTURING, would undoubtedly have approved of. For all the deets, we cordially invite you to download and prepare to be enlightened!

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Saturday, October 29, 2022 - All hail Queen ADELAIDE!
#39
10/30/2022

At first blush, today's grid looks absolutely daunting, with vast swathes of white squares and what appears to be a frowning face in the center; but both our cohosts found today's crossword to be eminently doable (Jean more than Mike, as is oft the case). That is not to detract, because the clues were uniformly excellent, funny, enlightening, everything you want an NYTimes crossword to be. So, hat's off to Daniel Okulitch for creating this opus! For all the deets (as well as the big reveal of this week's JAMCOTWA - Jean And Mike Crossword Of The Week Award...


Thursday, October 27, 2022 - When rebuses attack!
#37
10/29/2022

If you don't like rebuses, back away slowly from the crossword - today's grid is packed with them, and to make sense of the theme you have to read some of them twice. The theme is, as you will discover, absolutely ingenious, so have a listen and, as usual, let us know what you think - crosswordspodcast@icloud.com

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