Monday, March 8, 2021

Monday, March 8, 2021, Eric Bornstein

Hello world! It is I, Cece. You may recognize my name from the occasional “Cece helped with _____” credit in my dad’s blog posts. Those are few and far between, and usually requested for by yours truly.

Anyway, this is a big deal! Today, a mere mortal takes on the NYT Crossword. It feels great to be out of the part of the week where I have to google every third clue. I’m back on my feet and running!

Let me walk you through the wave of emotion I was faced with upon opening up the puzzle. First, I saw weird blue lines. Then I saw circles. Weird blue lines and circles can only mean trouble. My gut instinct was right, because I soon discovered that theme of the puzzle was ECONOMICS, AKA my mortal enemy. But I can set my personal biases aside, because otherwise it was a fun solve. 

It took me way too long to figure out what was going on in the circle-squares once I finished, but when I did, it was a total OMG moment. SUPPLY/DEMAND going in the right directions! Clever, clever. 

Weirdly enough, my current art history class on the Italian Renaissance helped me answer a few clues here, like ESAU (thanks Ghiberti!) and MARBLE. I smiled at SMAUG, my favorite literary dragon. The only reason I knew TISKET was from reading The Things They Carried in high school English class, but hey, whatever gets you there, right? 

Jacob and ESAU, Ghiberti

My instinct every time (twice) I see a “One-named Irish singer” clue (
ENYA), is always to enter HOZIER, but no matter how hard I try, I can’t spell HOZIER with only 4 letters. HOZR? Maybe one of these days it’ll work.

After a rapid fire stream of genius that had me AMPed up, I found myself FWOE. My process was as follows: 
- Noticed that MALI probably didn’t make sense for “Much-visited Indonesian isle,” seeing as Mali is in West Africa (geography isn’t my strong suit)
- Tried every letter of the alphabet in the intersection of “Big name in transmission repair” and “Classic Pontiac sports cars” (AAMC_ and GT_S). It’s always the car clues! This did not work.
- Realized I’d spelled ADIN “ADDI.” Yes, I play tennis. Yes, I thought the “I” might be a Roman numeral one. No, I was not correct. Yes, I am embarrassed.
- Returned to AAMCO and tried every letter of the alphabet once again.

It worked! And thank goodness, because I really didn’t want to have to admit to googling something on a Monday in my first guest blogging appearance. First impressions matter!

And in the end I finished sub-10 minutes. DANG!



  1. Well, well, well... this is a lovely development. Welcome Cece!

    Every time I see "one-named" I think ENYA. Every time I think of HOZIER, I think of being with you and your family on New Years Eve that time when "Take Me To Church" was really big.

    And I like the idea of announcing ADIN yourself while playing tennis by (assuming you are serving) saying "Ad, I!" Heh.

    Nice review, and congrats on the sub-10.

  2. I'll add my "Welcome!" here, and ditto on the nice review. Of course, when [SUPPLY] heads up and [DEMAND] lowers, that's terrible for business but great for the rapidly-shrinking consumer base for that product. We business majors like to keep things more in line than that, at a minimum planning our production more carefully, but hopefully by keeping the desire for the product hot. BALI, for me, comes to mind quickly since we've been there, and being much older than Cece, AAMCO commercials are well-known to me. However, I am unfamiliar with ADIN or this Hozier person, but luckily the former had fine crosses and the latter was not in the grid. Even though I knew quite a bit, however, this Monday played slow for me at 7:15. Back in The Day, people would say it's because I'm a POLE, but thankfully we can't say that type of insensitive stuff any longer.

  3. Hi, Cece -- thanks for the write up! This one played harder -- a lot harder -- for me than Mondays usually do. The one trick I use for the old [Big name in transmission repair] clue is the company's commercial tagline: "Double-A -- beep, beep -- M-C-O." Hey, sub-10 minutes is a lot better time thank I had!

  4. I never knew about ADIN (or "ad out") until I started solving crosswords, because on TV they say "advantage Agassi" or "advantage Borg" rather than "in" or "out". But the in/out ones are such crossword staples they hardly slow me down now.

  5. Isabella Marie SwanMarch 9, 2021 at 7:03 PM

    Hello Cecelia!
    I am a beginner puzzler(?) Is that the right term? Anyways, I am having a blast so far! The puzzles are challenging, stimulating, and educational! I've only fully completed two of the crosswords so far, this Monday's being my second; and they have both taken me around an hour and a half. I know this is an incredibly long time compared to the amazing Cece, but I feel that I am already improving greatly based on how many times I have to look to the great internet to help me out. I am currently favoring the Mini instead as it gives me a little more satisfaction, given that I can actually complete it, but I am looking forward to my future crossword journeys.