NYT Crossword Answers for June 3, 2024

Go to: Theme of the day | Tricky clues

MONDAY PUZZLE — I hope many of you puzzle fans have already come across a game from the New York Times called Strands. This is a word search gone rogue that relies on puns for its themes. The current version is still in beta, but I mention it here because the mischievous spirit that makes its puzzles so fun is present in spades in today’s crosswords, built by Alana Platt.

Ms. Platt’s thematic entries, much like the hidden phrases in a word search puzzle, are not easy to see. Even after solving the revealer, I wasn’t sure what I was looking at. But after my “aha!” At that point, I bounced around the grid again just to enjoy the cleverness of the finished product. Congratulations to Ms. Platt on her dynamic debut. I hope to see more from her soon.

Even though I don’t eat “Artfully Arranged Meats” (35A), it’s the one thematic clue that immediately jumped out at me. The answer had to be CHARCUTERY – although another version of this arrangement might be called “girls’ dinner.” “Cousin of a Bug” (32D) wasn’t too obscure either: THUMBTACK.

A phrase for “Help run a nonprofit organization, for example” (56A) tells us, in a witty way, “where to find” the above entries. ON THE BOARD describes where a thumbtack is located – a bulletin board anyway – and how the CHARCUTERY is presented. WOOD GRAIN (10D), the “texture in a cross section of wood,” is found on a floorboard. And I don’t need to tell you where to find a CHESS PIECE (17A).

I love that the grid is also a sort of chart, which makes Ms. Platt’s reveal even more of a nod.

19A. How novel to have a crossword clue that reads like a riddle: “What’s black and white and wet all over?” An ORCA. Other answers that don’t fit the grid include: photographs in a darkroom, a soggy newspaper, or a nun after a water balloon fight.

32A. TRIP OUT seems like a harsh way of saying, “Take acid.” » But what do I know? Probably the closest experience I’ve ever had was watching The Beatles’ “Yellow Submarine.”

40A. When a trivial clue requires trial and error, as in the case of “About 37 million people shop there every day, roughly the equivalent of the population of Canada”, there is no hard to let your imagination run wild. I first tried Wegmans (people love this supermarket) then Sephora (people love makeup) before crossing paths led me to the correct entrance, WALMART.

60A. Ogden Nash’s line “So they flew over a fault in the ___” begins an alliteration pattern, so there’s a good chance this entry begins with FL-. And that’s the case ! The answer is FIREPLACE.

1D. A more common expression to describe “a quick visit” might be “stop by.” Also did you try it first? – but it is by adding “as for a spectacle” that we arrive at the correct answer, DUCK IN. In other words, there is a difference between a quick stop and a quick stop.

4D. I can’t remember the last time I placed “two fingers in an ‘L’ shape” to my forehead to call someone a LOSER. Maybe I never did. But the reference lives on forever in Smash Mouth’s “All Star.” Who said I wasn’t a “Shrek” fan? (A few commentators, in fact, in a recent column.)

35D. If you came to this column to complain about “Iced Coffee Alternative,” come sit down with me. The distinction between iced coffee and COLD BREW is more than nominal, although the terms are often used interchangeably: while most iced coffee is first brewed hot, COLD BREW is made by steeping the grounds of coffee in water at room temperature for up to 24 hours. , then diluting the concentrate.

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