NYT Crossword Answers: Canada’s Oldest National Park

TUESDAY PUZZLE — Congratulations to crossword-constructing duo Malgorzata Nowakowska and Eileen Williams, both medical students who today make their New York Times debut with a puzzle that pays tribute to an artist whose way of speaking makes her the perfect subject for a crossword.

As Ms. Nowakowska (who goes by Margaret) and Ms. Williams note in their notes, there is a hunger among many crossword solvers for more puzzles by and about women. One place to look for such puzzles is the Inkubator, an independent puzzle shop that publishes “crosswords of women and non-binary constructors.” Edited by New York Times Crossword constructors Laura Braunstein, Tracy Bennett (who is also an associate puzzle editor here at The Times), Stella Zawistowski and Brooke Husic, the Inkubator brings a fresh, alternative perspective to crossword puzzles. The outlet also recently released the “100 daring puzzles from women and non-binary creators” collection, which I’ve enjoyed all summer. (In the interest of full disclosure, I should mention that I have a few puzzles in the book myself, but I don’t get paid if you buy it! I just think it’s very well done and the puzzles are fantastic.)

So now that we’ve paved the way for appreciating puzzles by and about women, let’s dive into today’s daring puzzle created by two female creators!

1A. I confidently dropped “fins” for “Swimmer’s Kit”, which really slowed me down in that corner until I realized this had to be LAPS instead.

5A. When a clue asks for a “word with” two other words, look for a word that can come before or after each of the words in the clue to form a generic term or phrase. In this case, “Word with dressing of days” is SALAD, as in SALAD dressing (yum) or SALAD days (a term for a period of youthful innocence).

22A. A “nut and bolt drawer” might be a tool shed place for storing loose nuts and bolts, but a “nut and bolt drawer?” (with a question mark to tell you to look for a pun) is a MAGNET, which maybe draw nuts and bolts to it with its magnetism.

47A. I thought “Things made by doctors and bartenders” might be “shots”, but that didn’t have enough letters to fill the space. The actual answer here is ROUNDS, which is much better.

59A. I love the addition of the word YOINK, which I use daily when taking toys away from my overzealous dog chewer. The word has appeared in the New York Times crossword before and essentially means “take covertly, informally”.

5D. Finally, the clue “Element of doubt?” sounds like it should be about something that contributes to uncertainty or doubt. Instead, it’s a pun clue for SILENT B, which is an element of the word “doubt.”

As I mentioned above, this crossword is a tribute to an artist – someone close to my heart: this puzzle, dear solvers, is a Taylor SWIFT tribute puzzle! If you’re not a Swiftie, you may not have noticed the theme when you solved it. But 49D’s revealer gives you clues that this puzzle is about “Taylor ___, whose hit numbers appear in the answers to the starred clues.”

These hit songs are MINE, FEARLESS, BABE, RED, BLANK SPACE, SHAKE IT OFF, and DEAR JOHN, all of which are directly derived, with no reference to T. Swift’s body of work (e.g. DEAR JOHN is clued “Start of a classic breakup letter ‘, with no reference to the song or alleged subject matter, her ex-boyfriend John Mayer). In addition to the starred themed items, this puzzle also includes some bonus themed content, including the reference to “OUR Song” (60D: “” ___ Song,” a 2007 hit that begins “I was ridin’ shotgun with my hair undone.””) and the clue “Naughty Creature of Folklore,” which includes the title of the singer’s 2020 album “Folklore.” and refers to an ELF.

It would be an exaggeration to include the videos for all the songs mentioned in the puzzle (as many as I want), so instead I’ll just drop RED, the song referenced at 30A (“Visibly Embarrassed”), that explicitly mentions crossword puzzles and to which Ms. Nowakowska and Ms. Williams allude in their notes.

Hi, we are Margaret and Eileen – so excited to write to you all! We are both medical students at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

Growing up in Poland, Margaret started solving crossword puzzles to improve her English after moving to the United States at the age of 16. For years we were (almost) daily solvers, but never considered building until we met.

We started working on this crossword a year ago while on vacation together in Maine. We chose the Taylor SWIFT theme because:

1. She’s fantastic,

2. We wanted more crosswords with women and by women, and

3. People who like words should give her music a try.

As Taylor points out in one of the hidden numbers mentioned above, there is nothing more frustrating than trying to solve a crossword puzzle and realizing there is no right answer. We hope you don’t feel that way about solving today. Feel free to contact us about anything Taylor or crossword related ([email protected], [email protected]).

PS Eileen here. Personally, despite my best efforts over many, many years, I have yet to achieve my greatest life goal: to meet Taylor! (Well, and become a great ER doc.)

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The New York Times Crossword has an open submission system, which will be closed from July 1 to August 1. In the meantime, you can check out our submission guidelines here.

Read our “How to Make a Crossword Puzzle” series for tips on getting started.

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