10 easy hacks to nail New York Times Crossword Puzzles

If you are a huge fan of New York Times Crossword puzzles but are finding it a bit difficult to solve them, don’t worry, we have got you covered. Here are some easy breezy hacks that you can learn to nail the New York Times Crossword Puzzles. Have a look!

  1. The New York Times puzzles are easier on Mondays and their difficulty levels increase as they go towards Saturday. The Sunday puzzles are known to be the most challenging. In case you are a beginner, you might want to start with Monday puzzles.
  2. Try to figure out that annoying, yet clever gimmick. Most of the puzzles have a specific theme which is really difficult to nail, but once you have done it, you are good to go. For example, this one Sunday the puzzle was called as ‘Downright Tricky’. Each of the answer ran down, followed by turning right. Reason – the clue is EL CID. So the theme answers were 6 Ls, and all the 3 part phrases begin with C, I and D respectively.
  3. The tenses of the clues will always match up to the answer. For example, clue is ‘trade cross words’, which is in present tense. The answer is bicker, which is also in the present tense.
  4. If while solving the puzzle you get frustrated, don’t hesitate to take a break and come back later to it. This tactic works and there is no shame in it.
  5. A question mark after a clue should mean a wordplay or pun. For example, in one of the Sunday puzzles, circular parts? Ads. Pot pusher’s vehicle? Teacart. Yeah, the New York Times Crossword puzzles have a dad humor.
  6. Homonyms- a nurse can mean medical caregiver or feeding an offspring from breasts, or receiving feeding from breasts. Hence, here it is used in nursing or sipping sense!
  7. If you get stumped on a single letter, you have to try each and every alphabet till you get the right thing.
  8. If you see an abbreviation in your clue, make sure you will have an abbreviation in your answer. For instance, if org. is used instead of organization in the clue, your answer would be NHL and not National Hockey League.
  9. Learn crosswordese to make solving puzzles easily. The New York Times crossword puzzle loves to include uncommon words. For example, iota, apse which means a semicircular church foyer, epee is a fencing sword, olio which means a miscellaneous mixture of the elements, elbe, arno, etc. The last two are the names of rivers. Who would have guessed? So yeah, keeping updated with such things always helps.
  10. Lastly, if you have a doubt, do not hesitate to look it up. At times there is just one clue required to get the answer and there is no harm to ask a friend or to look it up. This will help you improve, till you eventually are so good that you no more need Google for help. Here is a quick tip – if you get badly stuck somewhere, check out Rex Parker’s famous crossword blog. This guy manages to solve the New York crossword puzzles a night before they get published by using that iOS app where the puzzles are published earlier. He posts his solved puzzles daily along with his commentary. He solves the puzzles as quickly as 11 minutes. Hence, you would feel really good if you find that place you are stuck at if you check out his solved puzzles for that good feeling!


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