NYT Crossword Answers: “The Last OG” Channel

50D. I love the “Passionate students, for some” index for NERDS. It’s such a positive and loving version of a word that often has negative connotations. We here, Wordplay, are nothing but passionate learners!

58D. Finally, “To be heard in a herd” is the clue to LOW, which is another word for the sound a cow makes.

Although this puzzle has no reveal, I bet most solvers were able to figure out the theme before reaching the end of the puzzle. The first thematic entry, at 20A, is WAR OPERATION, identified as “the general’s responsibility?” “. At this point I wasn’t totally sure what was going on, although it was clearly one of the themes (often theme entries will take up the longest Across spaces in puzzles, so knowledge combined with WAR OPERATION’s kind of odd phrasing marked this as almost certainly a thematic entry).

It only took one more theme entry for the model to click: The entry at 29A, SORRY OTHELLO, is made up of the names of two games mixed together. SORRY, a Hasbro board game, and OTHELLO, a classic game also known as Reversi, are combined to form the new phrase SORRY OTHELLO, which the clue suggests could be what an “Iago’s excuse is.” ? would sound like he was posting one. This realization led me to revisit the first theme entry and, yes, WAR and OPERATION are games too. Theme unlocked!

The last two thematic entries are also made up of the names of two games added together to form a new sentence. And while SORRY OTHELLO is pretty awesome, my favorite theme entry is (perhaps unsurprisingly) CLUE CHECKERS, which our builders identified as “Crossword Editors, for example?”. It’s such a self-referential flair that I couldn’t help but smile as I scored both matches on the grid.

Congratulations to our first builders. Hear them talk about their journey to crossword puzzles!

When the pandemic hit and quarantine ensured unity, Ellen began looking for a distraction. Looking over Ray’s shoulder while he was doing the crossword, the spark of a new passion began to glow. As our styles turned out to be drastically different – ​​creative flair and equally creative spelling versus reading the clues in order and no knowledge of pop culture – it became clear that we were a good team. Our friends at Boswords provided us with hours of fun practice, cooperative solving, and inevitably the idea arose: couldn’t we build one?

We studied the six-part “How to Make a Crossword Puzzle” guide in The New York Times. We brainstormed theme ideas and created a spreadsheet of half-baked concepts. Ray flooded Jeff Chen with theme suggestions, but his polite back and forth didn’t result in any great theme concepts. Undaunted, we downloaded construction software and just started putting puzzles together. We had fun trying to be inventive with our clues, even though we’ll never compare ourselves to Brad Wilbur, and we enlisted friends to beta test our puzzles (thanks, David Markus).

After six very well-written and encouraging rejection emails, The Times wrote to tell us they had accepted this puzzle, saying it made them smile. For this comment, we also smile and hope you will have the same reaction.

Here is teamwork and 27 years of marriage, a love of games, puns and each other.

The New York Times Crossword has an open submission system, and you can submit your puzzles online.

For tips on how to get started, read our “How to Make a Crossword Puzzle” series.

Resolution almost done but need a bit more help? We have what you need.

Warning: There are spoilers ahead, but subscribers can take a look at the answer key.

Trying to return to the puzzle page? Right here.

Your thoughts?