Dead tree solving - eco edition! 
Best of both worlds - paper and pencil/pen solving, but rather than curled up with the newspaper, you're curled up with your tablet/iPad/Android! Write, even draw, in the grid, directly on the screen. 

Perfect for rebus puzzles, like this one from a recent Thursday NYTimes puzzle. Use a stylus, for the feel of really writing, or just use your fingertip - it is remarkably easy and is your real writing... I filled this one out using my finger - the stylus is just there for show. (The rebus was MAN - as in TAXMAN at 54D...) If you would like to try it out, click on "About Me" on this page and send me an email.

Epic Wrong Answer Hall of Fame

Sanfranman gives us his Relative Difficulty Ratings...
Foodie her Quick & Dirty Index...
Loren the Hidden Word Game...

I hereby inaugurate the
Epic Wrong Answer Hall of Fame
What makes them worthy of inclusion on this list?
1. They answer the clue perfectly
2. They are original
3. They are hilarious (not just funny), or, they are better* than the intended answer.
4. Oh yes - they are wrong!
*With all due respect to the constructor and/or editor...

Tita- 11/21/2015
49D Tipping points?
With BRI_ in the grid, I entered BRIs.  Seemed about right for a Saturday...(well, maybe at Buzzfeed - turns out, not at the NYT) - Right answer: BRIM.

Ellen S- 6/9/2013
Me, I bought into ugly stereotyping and put PriorS for "Rap stars often have them." I am glad that was the wrong answer. 
57D- Rap stars often have them - Right answer: POSSES.

Rex Parker- 5/25/2013
44D  What outer space is that cyberspace isn't...
It's a great clue, but my first answer was [drum roll] — THREE D! Best wrong answer I've had in a while.
Right answer - PHRASE

Retired Chemist- 5/20/2013
20A 2008 Tina Fey/Amy Poehler comedy: 
BABA WAWA was a silly mistake on my part - never heard of BABY MAMA and I saw two SNL alumnae and a famous Gilda Radner SNL recurring skit. In fact my last letter, requiring some 60 seconds of searching, was the Y.

Retired Chemist- 4/10/2013
37A Memorable movie line spoken by Renée Zellweger. 
"Looks in retrospect like one vegan's complaint to another: YOU HAD MEAT! HELLO?"
 (Of course, the proper parsing is "YOU HAD ME AT HELLO.")

jackj- 4/07/2013
"But my favorite piece of the puzzle came from a self-inflicted wound when, all smart-alecky, I entered the “apt anagram” before I had seen even a single letter of its base phrase. When 63D, a 12-letter answer, showed its first letters through crosses as INFER_O_FO_D, clever me, I just knew it was a reference to the Pinto gas tank problem or the failed EDSEL and what fit perfectly was INFERIORFORD

JenCT- 4/05/2013
Well, technically a misreading of the clue, but its hilarity earns it a place here:
" I read the clue as Kegel's organization and thought whaaaat? The NY Times??? No....."
11D- Kegler's org - answer: PBA (innocent enough...)
@Susan M had the same thought...

Two Ponies- 4/02/2013
At 57A I had in place SWISS __ARD.
Filled in chard before I read the clue. The Pope is protected by vegetables?! Oh, guard. Ha!
(Correct answer - SWISSGUARD - the puzzle was a tribute to the newly-elected Pope Francis.)

Evan- 3/05/2013
I put in NEIL at 12-Down. I thought that was reaaaaaal brilliant -- "A Diamond in the sky!" Then I realized he's not dead.
(Correct answer - KITE.)

retired_chemist- 3/01/2013
"Favorite wrong answer for 25D Part of an iconic Eden outfit - I wanted _ARE_____ to be bARE breast, thinking of Eden as the Garden and not Barbara."
(Correct answer - HAREMPANTS)

C.Ross Word (and Oldactor)- 3/1/2013
21D Emergency oil rig visitor - "I immediately plunked down Red Adair, the fellow known for extinguishing the oil well fires set by the retreating Iraqi troops during the Gulf War."
Correct answer- FIREBOAT

Eejit - 2/26/2013
49A- Pep:  "I had zIP instead of VIM, but decided it was unlikely that the people in Avatar were NAzIs."
quickly dispatching ZIP before getting to smile at the thought of blue Nazis, recalling “Blue Meanies” (thanks for that image, @Eejit)
Webwinger - honorable mention - "...quickly dispatching ZIP before getting to smile at the thought of blue NAzIs, recalling “Blue Meanies” (thanks for that image, @Eejit)"

Ellen S - 2/22/2013
50D. I put in cOLTS for "They get nuts", figuring they grow up to be stallions, and then, um ...
...and then I was greatly relieved to see that BBC allowed me to change it to BOLTS.

Evan - 2/22/2013
5A- "Aids in keeping up with the daily grind?"
DIScO baLL before DISPOSALS. You know, because the DISCO BALL is what helps you, uh, grind on the dance floor? Every day?

Acme - 2/16/2013\
29A  ___ Arizona Skies (early John Wayne Film) / 30D/Fielder's challenge:
Under "pays- to -be- a- boy", I tried pOP and even oOP before HOP. I guess "NEATo Arizona Skies" is not even good enough for @Tita's Hall of Fame
Note - Never underestimate what is not good enough for the Walk of Fame!

Z, Evil Doug - 2/9/2013
"For the second time in a week, I came up with 'CODpiece'--"part of a cover", right? Sooner or later that sucker is gonna show up."
33D Part of a cover - Right answer - CODENAME

Carola - 2/9/2013
retrOJETS before TURBO
9D Concorde features - Right answer - TURBOJETS
Hilarity ensued:
evil doug said..."Carola: Those 'retrojets' really come in handy when you need to back up. I wonder if the Concorde went 'beep-beep-beep' when you put 'er in reverse...."
Carola said... "@evil doug - LOL! Aviation technology...not one of my strong suits.
evil doug said...Carola, Maybe the Concorde flight attendants wore poodle skirts and the pilots sported felt fedoras! "Welcome to Air France RetroJet service to Paris!"
And I'm pretty sure they outfitted the DeLorean in "Back to the Future" with retrojets so Marty McFly could time-travel to the '50's.

Rex Parker - 2/1/2013
"I was *pretty* sure EELODRAMA was not a thing (though imagining a soap opera with an all-eel cast is pretty amusing"
32D Common soap ingredient - Right answer - MELODRAMA

ACME & Ellen S - 1/31/2013
15A: heNCE for SINCE left me thinking that "The House of Seven Gables" locale was a hArEM!!!!
(Right answer - SALEM, of course!)

OISK - 1/17/2013
42A & 43D - I didn't know what "encomium" means. And for "Medical Subject" I imagined that TIME was commenting on the cost of medicine, so I had "THE BILL." This gave me Braise instead of PRAISE going down, but I stubbornly left it that way. No encomium for me.
Tita-  I must admit - I had gReaSE for a brief moment, equating encomium with cosmolene in my brain.

lms - 1/14/2013
Not exactly a wrong answer, but a hilarious soliloquy based on misreading a clue:
"I finished the puzzle with no problem, but I have never seen the word RECTILINEAR in my whole life. There. Whew. How embarrassing when a theme answer is the WOE??? It gets worse: I read the clue as “Like the street girl of Midtown Manhattan. (clue said grid - not girl) I went to bed, having looked up RECTILINEAR, having *not* seen the clue correctly, and being beyond baffled. Is this girl were some kind of symbol, icon, phenomenon, that I had never heard of AND HOW COULD A GIRL BE RECTILINEAR!!!??? Was Twiggy the Manhattan Girl?"
To read all the hilarity that ensued from this post, stop by Rexville for that day...

lms - 

Speaker of the line "Listen to them — the children of the night" 

"I unfortunately had for 5D DR _ _U _ _. Tita – here’s one for the books: The NW fell last for me when I finally changed it to DRACULA from “Dr. Seuss!” Sheesh."

mac - 1/12/2013
9A: Amount of olives...earFUL
(Correct answer - "JARFUL" )

Tyler - 12/28/2012
31A Square for a roll... I had PLY :-)"
(Correct answer - "PAT" (as in butter)

chefwen - 11/19/2012
52D  Instrument for the musically inept, maybe
"Since when is a wAZOO a musical instrument"? Head slap, no, no, no, I meant KAZOO. Color me red.
[Editor's comment - what a mental image this wrong answer evokes!]

BlogSpotRemover - 9/21//2012
9D Hull of the Constitution
BSR wanted "ironic". I strongly urge you to read his explanation here...
(Real answer is ISAAC, as in Isaac Hull, who served on the U.S.S. Constitution.)

Loren Muse Smith & Rob C - 6/21/2012
41D Like worms
Loren had "lipLESS" (something about serving Sautéed Snake Lips in school)...
Rob C had "assLESS" (having never seen one take a crap)
See Rex Parker that day for the full stories.
Oh - the right answer is LEGLESS!

Smitty May 20, 2012 Wisecracks (Sunday)
(May require it's own subcategory- "Better than the real answer")

Joe Krozel
[Biter of Almira Gulch] … TOad --> TOTO
"I think one could reasonably assert that a toad is found in a gulch, even if others insist that it’s more of a hopper than a biter.!"

SPECIAL -- ACPT, March 17, 2012
Will read these out on Sunday morning - names were not named, of course!!
(Thanks Bob Kerfuffle and Evan for refreshing my addled brain!)

One known as the “supreme soul”


"You might get a kick out of it"
nUN --> GUN

"Oil transporter"

Last but not least, Dr. Fill’s funniest gaffe:
dO the boyS --> GO BANANAS

Oren Mar. 12, 2012
20A Bothered terribly
eTEAT-->ATEAT (ate at, that is)
"I briefly wondered if “eteat” was some kind of electronic milking device used in the dairy industry."

Tita - Mar 9, 12
"Needs for some games of tag"
(Didn't anyone else see that Colbert on Taser Soccer?)

Rookie - Jan 7, 12
"aid in scaling down" EXtRasmallCHINa-->EXERCISEMACHINE

AnnieD - Mar 3, 12
"Dogs that ought to be great swimmers?"

r.alph bunker - Feb 21, 2011
"One in a stag's litter"

loren muse smith
"Red salmon"

"Appear thrilled"

A superhero:

"County seat in Iowa"
(" the patron saint of cars? Jesus Chrysler...!)

Dave, r.alph's puzzle buddy
"Words that often begin bumper stickers"

Evan Jan 7, 2012
31-Down: "Stereotypical K.P. item"
(I wouldn't want to be on KP with you, Evan!)loren muse smith- Mar 8, 2012Mass exodus, of a sort
DIA_ _ _ _ A
I very tentatively penciled in (wondering why the clue had no question mark) one for your Hall of Fame. Maybe my mind was in the SEWER, but for “mass exodus of a sort” I had “DIArrheA” instead of DIASPORA


Note - it is a Walk of Fame, not Shame...

These actually illustrate the amazing paths that our brains take in getting to the "right" answer.

Thanks to loren muse smith of Rexville for the spark that led me to create this list, and to all of you (us) that contribute the answers that constructors & editors never imagined!!

Please email me or comment here and I will add yours!


  1. It's not "DO THE BOYS," it's DOTHEBOYS (one word). It comes from Dotheboys Hall in Dickens's novel Nicholas Nickleby.

    My moment of shame: had MR? with clue [Man of mystery]. Correct answer was MRX, I said MRT.

  2. LOL, Todd G - you may well be right! But 700 people at ACPT were not thinking about Charles Dickens when that answer showed up... !

    I suppose none of us will ever know what Dr. Fill had in "mind" when he came up with that answer - either parsing is valid.