July 22, 2017

NYT crossword tries embarrassingly hard to seem young.

Have you done the Saturday puzzle yet? My reaction was similar to but much harsher than Rex Parker's:
This puzzle is just fine, though it feels like a parody of a puzzle that's trying extra super special hard to be current. Twitter! Facebook! Two Snapchat clues! Kids like the Snapchat, right? Am I Relevant Yet!? We are living in a digital world, and I am a digital girl boy, but take it easy.

26 comments:

Kevin said...

I just learned another reason why the morning posts come up at different times - Ann first has to finish the day's crossword puzzle!

traditionalguy said...

WTF were the 2 Snapchat clues? My subscription ran out many years ago.

Working the morning DJT Twitter Puzzle is more than enough to do today.

Eric said...

A few years ago, I had a neighbor in DC who worked at WaPo. Her job was to find ways to attract younger people to read the paper. I suggested that they try to get the paper to suck less, but she said that they couldn't do that.

Lyle Sanford, RMT said...

agreed

surfed said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
surfed said...

Similar experience the other night. Ended up in a pub for dinner with a "trivia" game in underway and all the tables teamed up. We were sitting near several tables with people of a certain age and with almost every question we were looking askance from table to table at the cultural questions/clues from the 1990's and 2000's. I guess when you stop watching network tv in the 1970's (for the most part) you can be lost when it comes to the cultural world you live in today. But then it's probably my boomer fault for thinking that my 60's are my old 40's. They just keep me hanging on... Sigh.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Well, to be fair, often the puzzles contain clues that seem easy for me, because they are references to things that are in 'my' timeline and that have clues to historical events or famous historical people. Since young people don't study history; anything before 1990 is ancient news, those clues are undoubtedly very very hard for them.

It is all relative. A clue where the answer is Hud (the movie) would be incomprehensible to many young people.

Darrell said...

When I think hep cats, the first thing to come to mind is the NYT.

tcrosse said...

Far out.

Bay Area Guy said...

The NYTimes Crossword Puzzle is clearly Communist agitprop - designed to weaken the mind and fortitude of American citizens.....,

Sam L. said...

Forget it, Jake; it's NYT-town.

Robert said...

We subscribe only for the crossword. They're making it easy to cancel.

mockturtle said...

Do young people even do crossword puzzles? I buy collections of NYT Sunday puzzles and do one every day. My late husband did the Telegraph's daily Cryptic Crossword. Now there is a challenge!

Clark said...

I was definitely annoyed when I realized that I was supposed to know something more about Snapchat than that it was a thing. I basically let the crosses fill in the social media answers. Still not the hardest Saturday, but it took me two goes.

Ann Althouse said...

The 2 Snapchat clues were "Cartoon avatars on Snapchat" (8 letters) and "Snapchat's ghost, e.g." (4 letters).

tcrosse said...

The Telegraph has a fine daily Cryptic Crossword, but it costs about 50 pounds a year. There's a good free one at the Toronto Globe and Mail:
Toronto Cryptic Crossword
and somewhat harder free ones at the Guardian.

mockturtle said...

The Telegraph has a fine daily Cryptic Crossword, but it costs about 50 pounds a year.

Plus the cost of printer ink. My husband liked his printed and placed on a clipboard.

Ann Althouse said...

I loathe cryptic.

I don't enjoy the humor, so they are hard in a perverse way to me.

My favorite type of puzzle is the Acrostic, where you end up with a quote.

Ann Althouse said...

Cryptics.

That was just at typo (via Autocorrect, I think). So don't be thinking I wrote it that way as an anagram.

Ann Althouse said...

I, pertly chaotic.

n.n said...

NYT, we're not your grandma's press. Then, it gets weird.

tcrosse said...

I loathe cryptic.

Well, the NYT Puns and Anagrams was a bit jokey. Having un-subscribed years ago, I miss the Acrostic.

Jay Elink said...

" I miss the Acrostic."

No need to. I too jonesed for my Times puzzles after I dropped the paper years ago.

Go to Abebooks.com and find large spiral-bound volumes, as well as others for Saturday and Sunday Times crossword puzzles.

Editor Will Shortz put out a number of them. The acrostics volumes generally include 50 puzzles, the crosswords from 50 to 75.

Each volume will cost you about $10.00 , including media mail delivery.

I can understand why the Times might want to dumb down the puzzles.

Example: I recently solved an old Saturday puzzle where one of the answers was "ententecordiale". Another had "dextrorotatory".

You gotta actually know stuff to solve such puzzles, which is why it's why it's so satisfying when you succeed. But most kids today don't receive what we used to call "an education". Hip cultural references inserted into formerly-tough puzzles are in my view a poor substitute.

(It's the same phenomena we've seen on "Jeopardy". It's dismaying to hear contestants saying, "I'll take "Funny Internet Memes" for five hundred dollars, Alex.")

tcrosse said...

No need to. I too jonesed for my Times puzzles after I dropped the paper years ago.

Thanks for the tip. I ordered a couple of volumes on You-Know-Who's Amazon portal for about seven bucks apiece.

Ann Althouse said...

"I just learned another reason why the morning posts come up at different times - Ann first has to finish the day's crossword puzzle!"

No. I do them at night when they first go up. Have already done the Sunday puzzle.

The different morning times are just me waking up at different times.

Jay Elink said...

tcrosse said...
No need to. I too jonesed for my Times puzzles after I dropped the paper years ago.

Thanks for the tip. I ordered a couple of volumes on You-Know-Who's Amazon portal for about seven bucks apiece.

************

You're welcome.

And it's nice to see that You-Know-Who got her vig.