FRIDAY PUZZLE — Welcome to another edition of First Pass Friday, where I show you exactly how much I don’t know, in the hope that it will give you the courage to try a Friday crossword. The logic — such as it is — is that if I am not perfect at solving (and I am not), readers might not feel so intimidated by the late-week puzzles.
Because all you can do is try, right? Oh, and practice. Definitely practice. Work your way up from the straightforward Mondays.
And stay tuned, because there is a link to a free puzzle by the constructor Rebecca Falcon at the end of the column. I think you will love it as much as I did, especially if you have watched the Netflix hit “Russian Doll,” co-created by the actress — and recent New York Times Crossword constructor — Natasha Lyonne.
I am not at all ashamed to admit that my first “correct” entry out of the gate was RONCO, the manufacturer of Mr. Microphone. I might not know a lot of chemistry, and I may not math well, but somewhere in my brain there is a file containing all of the 1970s pop culture commercials I’ve ever watched on television, and today it was useful. You might have a similar brain file, in which case RONCO was a gimme for you too.
I say “correct” because, for the longest time, I guessed at the clues and kept getting them wrong. It was a little disheartening, but the trick is not to give up, even if you have to take breaks. As always, keep your favorite chocolate or adult beverage handy, take a deep breath and repeat the following mantra:
“There is definitely something in this puzzle that I know. I just have to find it.”
Next I got IGLOO, because I supposedly am a professional crossword puzzle solver and am highly trained to think laterally about question mark clues, mostly so my colleagues don’t ridicule me. A question mark clue like “Cool digs?” has to be a play on the slang term for a residence (digs), and the fact that the digs are “cool” does not necessarily mean that they are stylish. In this case, they are actually cold, which makes this five-letter entry an IGLOO.
Still not ashamed that my next gimme was 1970s pop culture (GREG Brady at 28A).
EARP was easy enough; how many people do you know whose name contains four letters and is a “Brother of the Wild West”?
The two E’s in GREG and EARP gave me EEG at 26D. I threw in TEST because we had four letters left. I turned out to be right, but it was a total guess on my part, because EEG TEST is not really in-the-language. (I think they are simply called EEGs.)
I messed around in the northeast a bit until I got to 22A, “Kool Moe ___ (first rapper to perform at the Grammys).”
Semi-serious question: How many of you debated with yourself whether the answer might be either NAS or DRE, because they happen to be the rap artists we see most often in the New York Times Crossword, and they seemed to be as good of guesses as any others? The name of the hip-hop artist in this clue is Kool Moe DEE, which you can see that I needed to reveal in order to move on. Yes, I occasionally use the “reveal” button too.
Another gimme/guess was PESOS at 46D. Remember, if there is Spanish in the clue, that means the answer will be in Spanish.
BRB (Be Right Back), have to take my son to get new glasses. During the meanwhile, my brain will be working on this stuff in the background. I won’t be surprised if I know more answers when I get back.
You can do that, too. (Take a break from the puzzle, that is; not take my son to the optician).
Putting the puzzle down and coming back to it really helps. If you don’t believe me, look at all the entries I’ve filled in since my break, just from gimmes and expanding on those gimmes.
T-BONE and PESOS gave me those felt TABLETOPS, which gave me ARMED. ERGO and MOOR fell right in. So did HIT. I tried BATHROOM for 52A, but that wasn’t right. The answer turned out to be WASHROOM. With -IGONE at 57A, I finally remembered that Jocasta’s daughter (and granddaughter) was ANTIGONE. RESTORED practically danced right in.
That’s enough to get you all started on this fine puzzle by Adam Fromm. Getting even this much on a Friday is quite an accomplishment, so give yourself a pat on the back if this is the first Friday you’ve solved and you’ve managed to get this far.
Even an old hand like me gets excited about being able to solve one of the hardest puzzles of the week. It’s a real ego booster, and I think you should try it. You just have to be careful and make sure that your ego doesn’t go unchecked, or you will wind up like me, Deb Amlen:
First of Her Name.
Solver of Fridays.
Breaker of Pencil Points and
Mother of Puns.
No spoilers, but that was a much funnier joke before Season 8’s Daenerys of “Game of Thrones.” I just wanted a nifty title.
Puzzle maker Rebecca Falcon, who has constructed for The Inkubator, the AVCX crossword, the Indie 500 tournament and more, recently posted a brilliant crossword on Twitter and I wanted to share it with you. No spoilers, but I will give you a few helpful hints:
1. It makes more sense if you have already watched “Russian Doll,” although you may be able to solve without it.
2. Type very carefully.
3. Try not to die.[Solve the puzzle.]
I'm not sure why I decided to try burying a mini-theme in a 15-stack, aside from the not-always-advisable "just to see if I can" impulse. For me, that usually turns into the regrettable crossword version of "hold my beer and watch this": four killer seed entries, surrounded by 20 medical abbreviations and three Peruvian tree frogs.
I think it started by accident — I was tinkering with stack ideas, noticed I'd inadvertently thrown in two different military ranks on top of each other and decided to steer into the skid. I do know that I got pretty lucky, finding spans that clicked with each other within a few tries. From there I fought my usual angsty longing for the crunchiest fill imaginable, in favor of clean, crisp and light on the word putty.
Whether I succeeded on that count, I have no idea, but there's nothing that makes me cringe for a change, so I'll take it. It would have been nice for the ranks to appear in proper order, with GENERAL at the top and PRIVATE at the bottom, but beggars can’t be choosers, and all that.
Almost finished solving but need a bit more help? We’ve got you covered.
Warning: There be spoilers ahead, but subscribers can take a peek at the answer key.
Trying to get back to the puzzle page? Right here.
“【所】【以】【慕】【大】【英】【雄】，【你】【准】【备】【啥】【时】【候】【下】【去】【呢】？”【既】【然】【暮】【林】【栖】【说】【她】【稳】【赢】，【江】【自】【流】【肯】【定】【也】【就】【不】【上】【赶】【着】【插】【手】【了】，【她】【准】【备】【到】【时】【候】【就】【敲】【敲】【边】【鼓】。 “【再】【等】【一】【会】【儿】，【那】【大】【姐】【往】【咱】【们】【这】【边】【瞟】【了】【好】【几】【眼】【了】，【估】【摸】【着】【是】【看】【见】【周】【哥】【往】【楼】【上】【跑】【了】。【咱】【们】【再】【等】【等】。”【暮】【林】【栖】【倒】【是】【不】【着】【急】。 “【别】【抻】【太】【长】，【估】【计】【官】【差】【和】【大】【夫】【半】【个】【多】【小】【时】【就】【差】【不】【多】【到】【了】，
【近】【段】【时】【间】【学】【校】【有】【位】【女】【教】【师】【怀】【孕】【请】【假】，【所】【以】【临】【时】【请】【了】【一】【位】【代】【课】【教】【师】，【在】【路】【上】【我】【碰】【见】【这】【位】【代】【课】【教】【师】。【他】【的】【年】【龄】【已】【经】【很】【大】，【头】【发】【斑】【白】，【正】【客】【气】【的】【问】【一】【位】【年】【轻】【教】【师】：“【我】【是】【来】【咱】【学】【代】【课】【的】【老】【师】，【我】【闺】【女】【儿】【说】【代】【课】【老】【师】【好】【像】【谁】【有】【社】【保】，【我】【想】【问】【下】【社】【保】【是】【什】【么】【东】【西】？”【我】【当】【时】【有】【些】【心】【酸】，【又】【有】【些】【很】【遗】【憾】【地】【告】【诉】【他】，【绝】【大】【多】【数】【地】【区】【公】【办】【学】【校】【的】【代】【课】【教】【师】【都】【没】【有】【社】【保】，【不】【过】【咱】【学】【校】【代】【课】【费】【增】【加】【了】，【现】【在】【有】1500【多】。【这】【位】【曾】【经】【的】【民】【办】【教】【师】【笑】【了】【笑】，【说】，【比】【当】【民】【办】【时】【强】，【当】【老】【师】【就】【是】【好】，【可】【惜】......【看】【着】【年】【轻】【教】【师】【疑】【惑】【的】【表】【情】，【我】【这】【才】【发】【现】【已】【经】【有】【很】【多】【人】【渐】【渐】【遗】【忘】【了】【这】【个】【群】【体】，【遗】【忘】【了】【他】【们】【的】【贡】【献】。www.ok2005.com【一】【早】【醒】【来】，【宛】【如】【晴】【天】【霹】【雳】，【刺】【激】【着】【冰】【凝】【的】【心】【灵】。 “【凝】【儿】，【我】【和】【你】【爸】【爸】【还】【有】【你】【外】【公】【商】【量】【好】【了】，【接】【你】【去】【外】【公】【那】【边】【住】【一】【段】【时】【间】。” 【纳】【兰】【妈】【妈】【边】【说】【边】【帮】【着】【冰】【凝】【收】【拾】【行】【囊】。 【这】【也】【太】【匆】【忙】【了】【吧】，【况】【且】【昨】【晚】【才】……【今】【天】【爸】【爸】【妈】【妈】【就】【和】【好】【了】？。【还】【是】【演】【给】【看】【的】，【去】【外】【公】【那】【干】【嘛】【啊】？【冰】【凝】【疑】【惑】【的】【想】【道】。 “【为】【什】【么】【吖】，【妈】【妈】，
“【大】【人】，【您】【的】【这】【份】【条】【陈】【下】【官】【皆】【已】【领】【会】，【但】【就】【这】【其】【中】【下】【官】【却】【有】【几】【个】【疑】【问】。” **【瑜】【神】【情】【中】【带】【着】【恭】【敬】，【将】【手】【中】【的】【东】【海】【镇】【规】【划】【书】【递】【给】【赵】【宗】【武】，【但】【与】【此】【同】【时】【也】【讲】【出】【了】【心】【中】【的】【问】【题】。 【这】【份】【东】【海】【镇】【四】【本】【署】·【三】【分】【司】【的】【权】【力】【构】【建】，【的】【的】【确】【确】【让】**【瑜】【在】【其】【中】，【看】【到】【了】【许】【多】【新】【颖】【的】【存】【在】。 【甚】【至】【有】【很】【多】【单】【拎】【出】【来】，【那】【都】【是】【改】【变】【明】
【那】【七】【八】【道】【青】【色】【的】【剑】【气】【就】【像】【是】【催】【命】【的】【符】【咒】【一】【样】，【封】【锁】【了】【高】【万】【辽】【所】【有】【可】【能】【的】【闪】【避】【空】【间】。 【剑】【气】【这】【种】【东】【西】【之】【所】【以】【被】【武】【林】【尊】【为】【宗】【师】【级】【的】【专】【属】，【就】【是】【因】【为】【它】【拥】【有】【一】【个】【无】【坚】【不】【摧】【的】【属】【性】。【就】【像】【是】【自】【己】【的】【枪】【气】【一】【样】，【戳】【过】【去】，【就】【没】【有】【什】【么】【东】【西】【能】【够】【阻】【挡】，【结】【果】【一】【定】【是】【个】【窟】【窿】！ 【在】【最】【危】【急】【的】【时】【候】，【高】【万】【辽】【锻】【炼】【了】【二】【十】【年】【的】【身】【体】【素】【质】【救】