Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Jonesin' 5:24 (Erin) 


LAT untimed (Jenni) 


NYT 3:27 (Amy) 


Universal 4:14 (Jim Q) 


USA Today 17:14 (Emily) 


WSJ untimed (Jim P) 


Xword Nation untimed (Ade) 


Matt Jones’s Jonesin’ Crossword, “Director’s Cut” – Erin’s write-up

Jonesin' solution 2/22/22

Jonesin’ solution 2/22/22

Hi everyone! This week’s Jonesin’ brings us a COMPASS theme as shown in 25d. [What the circled letters represent]. The entries ENYA, PENA, TEST, AND BOWE provide the abbreviations for the cardinal directions north, east, south, and west. The abbreviations for the ordinal directions are found in the longest entries: JOHN WATERS, MAIN EVENTS, BREAKS EVEN, and CHECKS WITH. It’s a simple location theme. Having the ordinal abbreviations span both words of the longer entries is a nice touch.

Lots of fun fill this week. A ONE-ARM push-up does not work your BICEP(s) as much as it does other muscles but it’s still a good workout. I don’t believe I’ve seen DOYENNE in a puzzle before, but I like it! Did anyone else use GEL PENS to make multicolored notes in school? Did you know that ABREVA fights cold sores by inhibiting fusion of the virus envelope with the cell membrane of the skin or mucous membrane cells, so the virus cannot enter the cells? Finally, “Sound of da Police” by KRS-One still slaps almost 30 years later, so consider checking it out.

Lynn Lempel’s Wall Street Journal crossword, “Bare Minimum”—Jim P’s review

Today’s revealer is “THAT’S ALL, FOLKS!” (36a, [Porky Pig’s words, befitting the ends of 20-, 26-, 49- and 54-Across]). You could interpret that as, “That’s all you get, folks.” Each theme answer’s final word is a word that can also be a synonym for “a small amount.”

Wall St Journal crossword solution · “Bare Minimum” · Lynn Lempel · Mon., 2.22.22

  • 20a. [It makes the hole] DRILL BIT.
  • 26a. [Frantic hurry] MAD DASH.
  • 49a. [Emphatic performance ender] MIC DROP.
  • 54a. [Squarely] SMACK DAB.

It took a few moments for the penny to drop. I thought the revealer meant we should be looking for words that were synonymous with “all.” But once I caught on, I liked it fine, and I think it makes for a good Monday theme.

It feels a bit light with only 7s and 8s for theme answers, but it somehow makes sense with the theme. You want more theme? Well, that’s all you get, folks. I did enjoy those theme entries and the consistency with which each keyword changes meaning.

Animal Crossing players might recognize this OLMEC head.

Lynn has been making puzzles for our amusement for a long time, so she’s a pro at filling a grid with fun entries like HAS-BEENS, HENCHMAN, RUNS AMOK, and FLEW AWAY. I also liked HEE HAW and MORASS. On the tougher side, OLMEC [Mexican culture that left behind huge stone heads] might be a challenge for a Monday (except that it’s Tuesday).

Clues of note:

  • 45a. [Turtles and tigers in texts, e.g.]. EMOJIS. I had a tough time with this. I can’t say I’ve ever seen anyone use a turtle or tiger emoji.
  • 65a. [Like marshland]. SOGGY. That’s not the adjective I would use to describe an area of land. Boggy, sure, but not SOGGY.
  • 4d. [Square or plane, e.g.]. TOOL. A bit of trickeration for your Monday. I was thinking geometry for a good while.
  • 8d. [Attention from Dr. Mom, briefly]. TLC. I wonder how moms who are actual medical doctors feel about regular moms earning their “medical degree” without having to go to med school. Hang on, I’ll ask my wife….Looks like she has no problem with it. But she does take exception to being addressed as “Dr. Grandma” which one of her patients used at least once.

3.5 stars.

Jacob McDermott’s New York Times crossword—Amy’s write-up

NY Times crossword solution, 2 22 22, no. 0222

Sure, we don’t expect to find a rebus theme lurking in the Tuesday puzzle, but when the day is the revealer and the rebus squares are all the same (not to mention being circled so solvers can find them easily), I{T WO}RKS.

36a. [Calendar column … or a punny hint to the circled squares] clues TUESDAY, and it’s Twos Day here. The rebus square takes TWO each time. A{T WO}RLD’S END crossesI{T WO}RKS. FOO{TWO}RN crosses GRAN{T WO}OD (a gimme for me, gave away the rebus right off the bat). SEN{T WO}RD crosses DON'{T WO}RRY. Those three rebuses on top are (im)balanced by two in the grid’s lower half: “JUS{T … WO}W” crosses NE{TWO}RK, and the awkward LEAS{T WO}RST crosses FOR{T WO}RTH.

Fave fill: GRENDEL! How did this never catch on as a baby name? Also partial to WAPO and Bobby SEALE.

The rebus might throw newbies for a loop, and they might also be troubled by F-SIX with a spelled-out numeral, the less common SHIRR, old prefix ERST, and all the foreign-ish entries: EIN, IBN, QING, MOLTO, SENORA, UNES, and ESTAS.

Did not know: 36d. [Water channel that rises and falls], TIDEWAY. We Midwesterners are less attuned to all things tidal. Googling showed me that London’s got a grand public works project going on now, the Tideway Super Sewer, aimed at diverting raw sewage so it doesn’t end up flowing down the Thames and into the estuary. Merriam-Webster tells me a TIDEWAY is simply a channel in which the tide runs. Okay, then.

3.75 stars from me. Onward!

Elizabeth C. Gorski’s Crsswrd Nation puzzle (Week 560), “Revolutionary Quartet”—Ade’s take

Crossword Nation puzzle solution, Week 560: “Revolutionary Quartet”

Hello there, everyone! At this time next week, it will be March! Sheesh! Hope you’re doing well as the time continues to fly by on this planet, as well as staying warm with this latest cold snap that will grip a large part of the country real soon.

Speaking of planets, there are a few planets to choose from in this grid, as four long down answers feature circles spread apart that, when combined, form the name of a planet. The long down entry right down the middle of the grid, THE INNER PLANETS, acts as the reveal (7D: [Orbiters (revealed in this puzzle’s circles) that are closest to the sun]).

    • MOTHER COUNTRY (3D: [Poland, to Frédéric Chopin])Mercury.
    • VIENNESE CUISINE (4D: [Cooking style that includes Wiener Schnitzel Sachertorte])Venus. Apricot filling with chocolate icing? Yes, please!!
    • ELEVATOR PITCHES (9D: [Short-and-persuasive sales spiels]) – Earth.
    • MUTUAL FRIENDS (17D: [Buds in common]) – Mars.

The grid shape was such that there were no entries longer than seven letters (just two of those) outside of the themes, which is more than fine because of the chinky theme. Liked the not-so-subtle nod to the Olympic Games that just passed, with the cluing to WE DID IT (8D: [“Our team won the gold!”]) and RELAY, even though the latter would be seen during the summer version (37A: [Pass-the-baton race]). Trying to figure out RIEL (24D: [Cambodian currency]) or “rial” might not have been done any favors with the CES crossing and having to put some foreign language skills into use also (31A: [These, to Thierry]). Anyone else thought to themselves how many times they might have seen A HOLE clued in the not-so-innocent, “someone is a jerk” way (34A: [Burn ___ in one’s pocket])? Anytime I see ARSENIO, I totally remember the number of times I tried to keep up with the emcee when he held the final syllable to his first name for about 10-15 seconds when introducing him to the audience (41D: [Late-night talk show veteran and comedian Hall]). Also, a black late-night talk show host, in the 1980s/1990s, was mind-blowing and an inspiration to many who did not see black people in that capacity, so Arsenio Hall, who had many memorable interviews (think Bill Clinton playing the saxophone on his show during Clinton’s campaign to become president), is one of the underrated revolutionary figures in Hollywood and black culture. Say it with me now: “It’s Arseniooooooooooo….”

“Sports will make you smarter” moment of the day: TEX (27A: [Cowhand’s nickname]) – When John Madden passed away last December, many regarded him as the person who helped to popularize football more than any person who ever lived, something I truly believe as well. You now need to know the person who helped shape the way the game of football looks more than anyone, Tex Schramm, the first president and general manager of the Dallas Cowboys. (His given first name was Texas.) Among the innovations that he helped to usher in to the game include the following: instant replay, the use of computers for scouting, multi-colored striping of the 20- and 50-yard lines, a 30-second play clock in between plays to keep the game moving faster, a microphone on referees, extra-wide sideline borders, and wind flags on the goal posts. Any time you watch the game of football, no matter the level, Tex Schramm’s fingerprints are all over it.

Thank you so much for the time, everybody! Have a wonderful and safe rest of your day and, as always, keep solving!

Take care!


Seth Bisen-Hersh’s Los Angeles Times crossword — Jenni’s write-up

I think this was a worthy Tuesday puzzle with a solid theme, early-week cluing and not too much dreck in the fill.

We have three theme answers and a revealer.

Los Angeles Times, February 22, 2022, Seth Bisen-Hersh, solution grid

  • 17a [*Chic runway event] is a FASHION SHOW.
  • 29a [*Popular betting sport] is HORSE RACING.
  • 45a [*Uptown New York City thoroughfare west of Madison] is SIXTH AVENUE. Yeah, I know the signs say “Avenue of the Americas.” It’s still Sixth to me.

And the revealer: 57a [Practical judgment…and a hint to the starts of the starred clues] is COMMON SENSE. FASHION SENSE, HORSE SENSE, SIXTH SENSE – they all have that in COMMON. I didn’t figure it out until I got to the revealer but then I didn’t really stop to think about it.

A few other things:

  • HEIGHHO is the song from “Snow White.” HI-HO is the erstwhile cracker. HIDEY-HO is Cab Calloway.
  • Mmm, CRAB cakes.
  • I liked the long downs, STAR BILLING and APPROXIMATE.
  • LIV is a perfectly good woman’s name. Why clue it as Roman numerals?
  • At first I thought [Señora Peron] was a dupe and then I realized the entry I was thinking of was in today’s NYT. #toomanypuzzles

What I didn’t know before I did this puzzle: that the first OREO was sold on March 6, 1912.

Carly Schuna’s Universal Crossword, “Funny Endlng”— Jim Q’s write-up

THEME: Phrases that end in a synonym for “funny”

Universal crossword solution · Funny Ending · Carly Schuna · Tue., 02.02.22



Standard Universal fare today. Solid theme, consistent, and perfectly fitting revealer. Sometimes a revealer can be overkill in titled puzzles, and this one sort of felt like that. After I uncovered PRIMAL SCREAM I peeped the title and knew exactly what was going on, so the revealer didn’t feel necessary for me. Just as often, I forget to read the title at all. So there’s that.

I don’t know why MCJOB took me so long to see. It’s a great entry, but I needed every cross!

Nothin’ else to report on here :)

3 stars from me.


Erik Agard’s USA Today Crossword, “2sday” — Emily’s write-up


Completed USA Today crossword for Tuesday February 22, 2022

USA Today, 02 22 2022, “2sday” by Erik Agard

Theme: grid design is the number 2

Today’s puzzle’s grid design is an homage to the date: February 22, 2022, or written also as 2/22/22 (or abroad as 22/2/22). Anyway you write or say it, a fun wordplay especially for a Tuesday to top it off!

When I first saw this puzzle, I was in awe then immediately curious just how it would play out, giving the overabundance of three-letter entries. Overall, though it took me longer than usual to solve, the threes were smooth fill with very few crosswordese or otherwise unfamiliar to me. Certainly a SENSATIONAL puzzle with the multiple long entries connected by the threes. A couple of the long entries were tricky but everything was fairly crossed, except for the stumpers for me in the lower west-southwest section. For me, I found this to be an incredible feat indeed!


Stumpers: CCH (recognise the actor but not her name—now I do!), INSETMAPS (had me thinking about the gridding and indexing to find something as well as trying “insert” so needed crossings for this one), and NOTHINGLEFT (love this clue but misread it as where it was and wanted to put “bottom of lunchbox” or something similar)

Though tempted to honor this date and “theme” with a 2.2 rating, I enjoyed this puzzle much more than that! What did you all think? Also, anything fun you’re doing to celebrate or play on today’s date?

4.5 stars


This entry was posted in Daily Puzzles and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Tuesday, February 22, 2022

  1. Arthur Shapiro says:

    I didn’t know about F6, so the puzzle was unexpectedly instructive. I’ve always used CTRL-L.

    • Gary R says:

      Interesting. I didn’t know about CTRL-L or F6. Turns out, F6 doesn’t actually do this on my laptop – it makes my screen dimmer. I’m running Win-10 and Chrome v98.something (says it’s up to date). I don’t recall having changed anything in my settings, but who knows? Anyway, CTRL-L is easy enough (if I can remember it).

      Enjoyed the puzzle – only a little slower than a “typical” Tuesday for me. Didn’t see that the circles made a “2,” and didn’t notice the tie-in with the calendar date – I solved last night, so that’s my excuse ;-)

  2. David says:

    And if you connect the circles, you get the number 2!
    Which is why there’s an imbalance

    • Anne says:

      In the NYT app, after you solve the puzzle, it animates the drawing of the number 2.

      And here in Melbourne, at 2:22 pm on 22/2/22, the temperature was 22 degrees.

    • JohnH says:

      Ah, I had trouble seeing the number 2 in connecting the circles. All I could see was the pentagon like a house.

      I too liked learning that use of the F6 key. TIDEWAY was also new to me. I wanted “tide bay,” although that would be a lame excuse for “tidal bay,” but then the across entry made no sense. (No big deal, but not everyone earns a masters on the way to a PhD. The most competitive schools may not offer a masters at all, treating it as a kind of booby prize for those who don’t get to finish their thesis.)

  3. J says:

    NYT: the theme also references the publish date, 2-22-22, which reminds me of an old Mitch Hedberg joke:

    I hope the next time I move I get a real easy phone number, something that’s real easy to remember. Something like 222-2222. I would say, “Sweet.” And then people would say, “Mitch, how do I get a hold of you?” I’d say, “Just press 2 for a while. And when I answer, you will know you have pressed 2 enough.”

  4. J says:

    NYT 49d was surprisingly blunt for what I expect. I liked it, but that’s not something you expect to see a major publication have every day.

    Also, I feel that Don’t Worry, Be Happy at 14d was a very good clue to make the Rebus feel okay for a Tuesday. I think it’s a nearly universally recognized song.

  5. LaurieAnnaT says:

    I saw all the long fill in today’s USA Today’s puzzle and worried that it would be difficult. Instead it was very doable and fun. I loved that it recognized that today is Twos-Day, 2/22/22.

  6. Jenna Stewart says:

    Enjoyed WSJ overall, but spent way too long wondering was “JEDGAR” was. Finally clicked that it was “J. Edgar”

Comments are closed.