Sunday December 19, 2021 | (2023)

SENTtk (Gareth)

NOtk (Nate)

universaltk (Jim Q)

Universal (Sunday)indefinite (Jim P)

US todayOngetimes (Darby)

WaPo20:00 (Jim Q)

Be careful, puzzle people! The December 27 issue of The New Yorker will be an enhanced version of the annual comic book issue. It's cartoons and puzzles! The puzzles include a crossword puzzle, a mystery word, an acrostic, a trivia quiz, and a meta-puzzle hidden throughout the warehouse. Issue 27/12 should hit newsstands and subscribers' mailboxes around Monday the 20th, and online readers will be able to print out the puzzle. Can't wait!Amy

Laura Taylor Kinnels krydsord in the New York Times, "Season to Taste" - article by Nates

Hello everyone! I hope this post finds you well, we are entering the second half of December and for many of us the holiday season. Be safe! (Also, sorry for the slightly late review - it's been a pretty busy weekend getting things ready to post for the holidays.)

Today's NYT puzzle sounds so sweet it's worth eating just for the title alone. Let's dive into:

Sunday December 19, 2021 | (1)

NEW 12/18/21 Sunday Puzzle

23A: [Small / dish, with "top"] NUT / BUTTER
6D: [Eliminated from USA in 2004] - RU(BELL)A
– The Peanut Butter Cake is cut into a BELL shape.

33A: [Kind Te-hee/Little Marginalia] SNEAK/DOODLE
36D: [True] (HEART) I FELT
- ZSTEAL DOODLESthe cookie was sliced ​​with aDEERform.

43A: [Pep/Onesie Function] GINGER/SNAP
40D: [Some Graffiti] S(BOOM)T ART
- ZGinger Cookiethe cookie was sliced ​​with aBOMform.

52A: [Call/Keep if residents] COMPANY/HOME
48D: [Citrusybride] T(ENGEL)O
- ZDOM BOLGEthe cookie was sliced ​​with aENGELform.

69A: [Volume Down / Like New] THIN / MINT
58D: [Where are you going?] RE(ST AR)EA
- ZTHIN COINthe cookie was sliced ​​with aSTERform.

85A: [Typography Card / Scientist Born Christmas 1642] FIG. / NEWTON
56D: [Personal Essence] REAL S(ELF)
- ZFIG NEWTONthe cookie was sliced ​​with aPRETTYform.

93A: [Possible Crossover / Moolah] CARD / BREAD
77D: [Pirate] BUC(reed)ER
- ZBREAD CARDthe cookie was sliced ​​with aTO SLEEPform.

102A: [Breakfast Food / Fruit Pie Treat] Oat Raisins
88D: [More than enough] TE (MAN)Y
- ZHAVREGRODSROSINthe cookie was sliced ​​with aMANDform.

116A: [Images of this puzzle in two different ways] FORMATS FOR COOKIES

Each of the thematic entrances consists of two halves, literally "cut" in the shape of a holidayCake cutters, figures that function as rebuses in the puzzle. I like that the puzzle has little cut-out shapes in the squares of the rebus which adds a nice touch and will hopefully help solve the puzzle. Fun fact: The version of this puzzle that I solved as a test did not include the shape images in the rebus squares, essentially leaving the rebuses unmarked by crosses. This made the puzzle much more difficult to solve (at least for me!), so I'm curious to see how the officially released version works for humans. Let me know in the comments what you think about it!

Gary Larson's Universal Sunday Crossword "Think Different" - Review by Jim P

Theme: Well-known adverbial phrases are presented in a fun way, reminiscent of Tom Swifty style.

Universal Sunday solution to the crossword puzzle "Think differently" Gary Larson 12/19/21

  • 21a. [Like someone speaking in a hoarse voice?]SPATIAL TALKING.
  • 43a. [Do you like the magic of close-ups?]ALMOST DONE.
  • 66a. [Like a comedian on Zoom?]FUN AT A DISTANCE. I like the answer, but nobody ever says that. The most common expression is to say that something is "not even very funny."
  • 90a. [Like furniture in a nudist camp?]LITTLE USED.
  • 116a. [Do you like Triple-E shoes?]TO GET A GRIP EVERYWHERE.
  • 14d. [Like stoner lava lamp?]VERY GOOD.
  • 51d. [Like a static radio station?]WRONG RECEIVED.

They work, and while I have a problem with REMOTELY FUNNY, I think I liked it best because of the timeliness of the tip.

Few long things, because topic answers work both ways. But the mesh is clean and has some key features:BANDA,ADOPTED BY,PENNEVEN,RAISINS,SUBSTITUTE.

Egg chips, also called "victory", is an omelette with fries originating in Tanzania.

Important notes:

  • 1a. [World of Warcraft, for exempel].COMPUTER GAMES. hmm. This is not a good start, as the game is also available on the Mac, which, while a personal computer, is not commonly referred to as a PC.
  • 47 d. [I liked the egg treats].THAT. I think songs like this are becoming something popular at Universal, introducing American solvers to the lesser-known global right. In this case, mayai chipsi comes from Tanzania and according to Wikipedia is the most popular street food in the country and the unofficial national dish. “The bowl was invented in the streets of Dar es Salaam. In its most basic form, chipsi mayai is a simple potato egg omelette... It is usually prepared with french fries, oil and a beaten egg in a pan. The term "chips" refers to the so-called "chips".
  • 89d. [Part of the bounce setting?].pennant. Good tip.

3.5 stars from me.

Washington Post Crossword by Evan Birnholz, "No Theme #18" - Article by Jim Q

Hard to believe there were 18 WaPo's without a theme.

Sunday December 19, 2021 | (4)

Washington Post, December 19, 2021, Evan Birnholz, Solution Grid "No Theme #18"



  • THIS WILL BE OUR LITTLE SECRET.This is fantastic. I can't believe it's only 21 letters. Sounds longer.
  • ALTERNATIVE UNIVERSE.I enteredDIVERSITYREALITY. Same number of letters!
  • CLOSE AND not exceed :)

A very small number of words in this impressive book without a subject.I AM CONNECTED.


  • GOOSE EGGSlooks wonderfully glamorous in the mesh.
  • ARE YOU THERE?It was a nice post.
  • I really had trouble with spellingSEYMOUR.
  • I've never heard of the muscles described asBIS. I heard about LATS...
  • someone saysDOESN'T WORKwithout being tied to a "region"?
  • PRACTICE SICK? I've never heard of it, though of course it makes sense. I think I know it simply as "car sickness".
  • IsTEACHERsomething good?
  • NOT INTERESTEDIMONKEY SPIDERSit was fun to discover.

New for me:


I had the impression that all the new names were on the same side of the puzzle, which made me a little nervous. Sure, everyone's pretty pissed off, but I found it hard to get them out, and it seemed a bit redundant to deal with each of these areas with the same fat. Of course I'm happy to see new names, it was just hard for me because they were all in the same area.

The top right corner sounds old fashioned.AUTOMATIC!SPION GAT!Appetizers! ITESSreal heart! There's something very film noir about it.

TIREhe felt strangely informed[Some Wedding Party Accessories]because I don't really think of them as "accessories" specifically for wedding parties. I mean, the tip works, but it seemed oddly specific and vague at the same time. Transcending the hard to understandBANDS [Black Rings, Common]and a name I didn't knowScott Moirayou made me guessIImiITIRE.Happy Pencil appeared, but I didn't believe it.

It's always nice to solve the problem of not having a WaPo theme in the long run.

Thank you!

Zhouqin Burnikels crossword from USA Today, "The Hidden Image" - Darby's article

Edited byErika Agarda

On: Each topic answer had an ICON in the middle that hid the "picture" in the sentence.

Thematic answer

Zhouqin Burnikel crossword USA Today, "Hidden Image" solution for 12/19/2021

  • 20a ["Spicy Goulash at the Culinary Contest"] CHILICONMEAT
  • 39a [„Hotspotaanbod”] WIFICONNECTION
  • 61a ["About twenty ingredients"] ORGANICONIONS

It was a fun topic, especially since hidden pictures are often fun in themselves, so it seemed appropriate for crossword puzzles as a medium. I also appreciated that ICON included two words in each answer, as well as the link between the clues between them20.00I61a. I wasn't crazy about thisORGANIC ONIONin the answer as I felt the tip could have been a bit more specific, but the crosses helped with that.

Other things I particularly liked were:

  • 46a ["Like a Big Favorite"]– So I expected it to fill as ODDS ARE or BETRELATIVE TRAININGI felt a bit weird.
  • 68a ["Dance Originating in Bohemia"]POLKAit has its roots in Anna Ślęzak in 1834, who is said to have invented this dance. Until the middle of the 19th century"POLKAmania" was common in dance circles. You can read more about this storyher.
  • 69a ["Aktorka __ Moten Barnett"]- It's hereIit differs from the usual reference to ETTA JAMES. ETTA Moten Barnett is best known for her role as Bess in the musical Porgy and Bess.

It's all mine! Have a nice week!


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