How to Be A Crossword Fraud (Or, I’m Sorry)

Wow, a daytime post for once!

Yeah, yeah, but enough about that.

If you’re like me, you always wonder how people can manage to solve New York Times crossword puzzles on Friday and Saturday in insanely short times, like one minute (it takes longer than that to read the clues, for crying out loud).

Today, however, I inadvertently figured out by doing it myself.

So, like most days, I did the daily crossword online. Saturday is usually the toughest one, for me at least, because there are no theme answers like Sunday crosswords and there are usually tough and obscure clues. I was actually proud of myself after today’s attempt; I managed to finish in a respectable 8 minutes and 26 seconds, without a single mistake. Wondering how I stacked up against the other competitors – seventy-five hundred, as of now – and for some reason, my time failed to register. It actually told me that I hadn’t done the puzzle at all yet, which was obviously false. Sometimes glitches happen, and I just go back to the puzzle and refresh the page, and it submits my time, but this time, everything was completely gone and the timer was down to zero. Having just finished it, I remembered it all, and typed it in pretty quickly. I was going to wait until 8:26 so I could get an accurate time, but I accidentally put in the last letter, clocking me in at 1 minute, 37 seconds, which is probably among a world record. I went back to the main puzzle page, and sure enough, it logged my 1:37 attempt rather than my 8:26 attempt, so according to the official stats, I’m now #1 for the day, ahead of AlbyAtLarge, who solved in a piddling 1:39, unless he or she encountered the same issue I did.

So…yeah, technically, I guess that makes me a fraud for today.

“I’m a fraud, Elle! It’s not like normal women can have this ass!”

Anyway, I’m guessing that while some people might just be that good (and others just cheat for bragging rights), those five-minutes-or-less solving times are results of having done the puzzle, the site failing to register the correct time, and then redoing it quickly just so it registers. So no, I am not a super genius, I just accidentally beat the system. Whoops.

In other news, though, I scrolled down, and my original solving time puts me in a very respectable 193rd place, tied with Jimmy.Leroux, just behind the 8:19 solving time of TBowker and just ahead of the 8:27 solving times of CousinAki and TonyR.

And for someone who usually struggles to place in the top 500 – or even the top 1,000 – of a Saturday puzzle, that’s pretty darn good.

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12 thoughts on “How to Be A Crossword Fraud (Or, I’m Sorry)

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