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Crossword Breakfast Test (Meta)

· By Abide and BarbaraK · Published by Abide · Published 2023-07-31T11:04:51.664Z

Meta Prompt
What you hope the morning crossword is, especially if you solve with children.
Wednesday nudges and puzzle discussion at
The ends of the theme entries are important.
(A)bide + (B)arbara = (C)rossword or, put another way: 1 + 2 = 3
If you have a five-letter word at the outset, that is NOT the answer. You need to decode the first word to find the correct answer, which is also five letters long.
Remember that first nudge? A=1, B=2, C=3 That seems like a possible code. Can you decode the first word using numbers in the grid?
Checking for previous play data...

Leaderboard (updated hourly)

  • Madhatter5 solved 2023-07-31T11:23:01.207Z
  • boharr solved 2023-07-31T11:57:55.680Z
  • JM solved 2023-07-31T12:38:29.635Z
  • whimsy solved 2023-07-31T12:40:31.646Z
  • benchen71 solved 2023-07-31T12:47:53.680Z
  • Capn Rick solved 2023-07-31T12:49:03.233Z
  • Schmeel solved 2023-07-31T12:55:35.261Z
  • damefox solved 2023-07-31T13:10:24.878Z
  • Mwoychick solved 2023-07-31T13:17:23.912Z
  • Meg solved 2023-07-31T13:33:06.697Z
  • KayW solved 2023-07-31T13:42:05.412Z
  • edestlin solved 2023-07-31T13:46:19.391Z
  • Hector solved 2023-07-31T14:38:11.624Z
  • merlinnimue solved 2023-07-31T14:47:10.599Z
  • rjy solved 2023-07-31T14:50:22.940Z
  • woozy solved 2023-07-31T15:03:55.418Z
  • Tyrpmom solved 2023-07-31T15:31:10.034Z
  • Bbaack solved 2023-07-31T15:33:11.784Z
  • hoover solved 2023-07-31T15:48:00.737Z
  • Gutman solved 2023-07-31T15:52:15.018Z
  • heidi solved 2023-07-31T16:07:11.222Z
  • MatthewL solved 2023-07-31T16:12:59.278Z
  • I K Snamhcok solved 2023-07-31T16:15:47.735Z
  • markhr solved 2023-07-31T16:20:28.815Z
  • DrTom solved 2023-07-31T16:44:03.107Z
  • BarbaraK solved 2023-07-31T16:51:13.360Z
  • Dow Jones solved 2023-07-31T17:01:11.244Z
  • ajk solved 2023-07-31T17:01:54.253Z
  • Ergcat solved 2023-07-31T17:03:55.853Z
  • Cindy Weatherman solved 2023-07-31T17:17:03.773Z
  • michaelm solved 2023-07-31T17:39:23.110Z
  • kymike solved 2023-07-31T17:48:53.142Z
  • ReB solved 2023-07-31T17:56:53.541Z
  • JHSeeman solved 2023-07-31T18:01:58.869Z
  • Laura M solved 2023-07-31T18:35:13.828Z
  • lbray53 solved 2023-07-31T18:58:21.691Z
  • Jaclyn solved 2023-07-31T19:05:09.045Z
  • kamashdad solved 2023-07-31T19:44:31.089Z
  • Carolyn solved 2023-07-31T20:07:27.898Z
  • THC solved 2023-07-31T21:12:36.414Z
  • DIS solved 2023-07-31T22:14:39.908Z
  • Philip Chow solved 2023-07-31T23:09:23.266Z
  • frostyjhammer solved 2023-07-31T23:15:51.043Z
  • Tim solved 2023-08-01T01:13:21.193Z
  • HeadinHome solved 2023-08-01T01:57:50.330Z
  • Anita and Steve solved 2023-08-01T02:32:13.685Z
  • andeux solved 2023-08-01T05:27:46.055Z
  • Berto solved 2023-08-01T10:16:01.505Z
  • minimuggle solved 2023-08-01T11:35:17.220Z
  • Qmark solved 2023-08-01T12:59:04.944Z
  • Mikey G solved 2023-08-01T14:14:01.459Z
  • Pair O Ducks solved 2023-08-01T18:14:00.941Z
  • david solved 2023-08-01T19:23:45.790Z
  • Bird Lives solved 2023-08-01T20:59:42.103Z
  • CPJohnson solved 2023-08-02T20:11:35.001Z
  • Cindy Heisler solved 2023-08-02T22:04:01.787Z
  • SeamusOL solved 2023-08-02T23:03:47.904Z
  • SJMcK solved 2023-08-03T00:05:31.979Z
  • jbird solved 2023-08-03T02:42:56.010Z
  • Eric Porter solved 2023-08-03T02:48:03.141Z
  • DebbieC solved 2023-08-03T05:07:19.360Z
  • Darth solved 2023-08-03T15:41:20.126Z
  • bhamren solved 2023-08-03T19:02:00.876Z
  • JR solved 2023-08-03T19:29:55.573Z
  • DavyGravy solved 2023-08-03T19:41:40.468Z
  • maturin solved 2023-08-03T20:39:34.896Z
  • OGuyDave solved 2023-08-03T20:46:51.804Z
  • Matt A solved 2023-08-03T21:51:02.475Z
  • BrennerTJ solved 2023-08-04T04:19:49.035Z
  • Jimbo solved 2023-08-04T06:15:46.336Z
  • BethA solved 2023-08-04T13:57:04.327Z
  • Katiedid solved 2023-08-04T15:31:01.725Z
  • Tane solved 2023-08-05T05:48:57.705Z
  • Rufus T Firefly solved 2023-08-05T13:42:01.113Z
  • SJ solved 2023-08-06T19:00:19.127Z
  • Tom Wilson solved 2023-08-07T06:25:49.591Z
  • Alvibu67 solved 2023-08-08T02:21:13.200Z
  • Darrell solved 2023-08-09T23:31:06.217Z
  • kurtalert solved 2023-09-13T19:26:43.343Z


Sign in with google to leave a comment of your own:

  • Madhatter5 2s · 2023-07-31T11:23:24.790Z
    Nice, thanks!
    • boharr 4s · 2023-07-31T11:59:40.819Z
      One wiff before I woke up. Fun one. Thank you.
      • whimsy 15:55 · 2023-07-31T12:47:56.839Z
        Aw -- what fun is that?! :-) Grid was not a cinch for me -- I coulda used Johnny Mathis in the middle. Thanks very much, Barbara & Peter!
        • benchen71 2s · 2023-07-31T12:50:04.385Z
          Took me a couple of guesses to see what you were getting at, but it all worked out nicely in the end!
          • Capn Rick 🤓10:00 · 2023-07-31T12:49:43.339Z
            Nice job, Peter & Barbara!
            • Schmeel 3s · 2023-07-31T12:56:05.858Z
              Good puzzle - thanks!
              • Mwoychick 🤓11:40 · 2023-07-31T13:17:52.588Z
                Nice puzzle and fun aha - thanks for the puzzle!
                • KayW 🤓8:27 · 2023-07-31T13:43:29.930Z
                  Nice one! LOL so glad crosshare allows multiple entries.
                  • Abide publisher · 2023-07-31T14:06:54.715Z
                    It will be interesting to see how many “DIRTY” minds are out there…
                    • frostyjhammer 8:27 · 2023-07-31T23:16:34.036Z
                      (stares at floor)
                  • rjy 3s · 2023-07-31T14:53:09.334Z
                    Clever! Do post how many people were not so hasty as to get the correct answer on their first try!
                    • Hector 🤓9:48 · 2023-07-31T14:39:18.219Z
                      Effing awesome!
                      • hoover 4s · 2023-07-31T15:49:08.802Z
                        Wow, nicely done!
                        • hoover 4s · 2023-07-31T15:50:40.829Z
                          I wonder how many people just jumped from "not dirty" to "clean" without seeing how the numbers fit in.
                          • Philip Chow 10:47 · 2023-07-31T23:13:04.648Z
                            thanks for pointing this out! i went back and went hunting for the numbers! amazing :)
                            • frostyjhammer 8:27 · 2023-07-31T23:19:16.142Z
                              (stares at floor)
                              • Berto 🤓3:34 · 2023-08-01T10:20:45.597Z
                                Omg - so I immediately entered Dirty (sorry), then tried to use the “code” but mistakenly had I=8 for CPEAN. And only realized my mistake after reading this DOH!!! It was right there in front of me! Very clever construct- thank you!
                                • merlinnimue 🤓11:41 · 2023-08-02T19:37:22.985Z
                                  *raises hand*
                                  (once i realized it was so good! another reminder how much i pale to you geniuses)
                                  • woozy 🤓17:37 · 2023-08-03T02:39:05.527Z
                                    Well, I certainly did! I'm still not sure how the numbers work
                                  • Tyrpmom 4s · 2023-07-31T15:32:17.168Z
                                    Just my speed. Thanks.
                                    • MatthewL 🤓8:13 · 2023-07-31T16:14:46.749Z
                                      Nice one! Had to come back to it a couple of times before I finally saw it. Thanks Peter and Barbara!
                                      • I K Snamhcok 🤓13:04 · 2023-07-31T16:16:32.678Z
                                        Very cool! Thanks, team!
                                        • DrTom 4s · 2023-07-31T16:47:00.435Z
                                          I so wanted it to be DIRTY TRIX, but of course I fell for the NOT and DIRTY, should have put them together. Fun puzzle Barbara (who spells it correctly!) and Peter. Enjoyed it, even if it wasn't necessary finished with facility (or over easy)😁
                                          • BarbaraK 🤓5:38 · 2023-08-01T01:03:10.356Z
                                            I originally put “sic” after Barbra - ouch, it hurts to type that
                                          • ajk 🤓10:55 · 2023-07-31T17:04:10.541Z
                                            Very neat! Grid much harder than the meta for me, had about 3 or 4 rough squares, but I got them all in the end. I literally said "oh that's cute" out loud when I got a couple of letters into the translation of the answer. :)
                                            • Ergcat 16:11 · 2023-07-31T17:07:32.520Z
                                              Not DIRTY (was hasty to submit) but rather CLEAN ….remembering 66across! Very clever and nice start to the meta week! Thanks, Peter & Barbra!
                                              • michaelm 🤓2:49 · 2023-07-31T17:47:52.126Z
                                                That was not OBAD, that was OGOOD. Thanks Barbara and Peter - just asking for a friend if clues beginning with Special (19D) and K (29A) were in there on purpose?
                                                • BarbaraK 🤓5:38 · 2023-08-02T23:58:08.091Z
                                                  Nope, I’m not that clever. Perfect example of what Matt says - no need to add deliberate red herrings as they’ll turn up anyway.
                                                • kymike 2s · 2023-07-31T17:49:54.820Z
                                                  Could also be dirty if the kids got their jelly-covered hands all over it. That was my first thought.
                                                  • ReB 3s · 2023-07-31T17:59:19.480Z
                                                    Whiffed first with DIRTY, puzzled over it for a bit. But then I remembered 66A and quickly CLEANed up my act. Nice touch there...
                                                    • JHSeeman 2s · 2023-07-31T18:02:52.120Z
                                                      took the first leap, then saw it...then guessed the opposite, then latched onto 66A. Fun one, thanks.
                                                      • Laura M 🤓15:26 · 2023-07-31T18:40:24.914Z
                                                        Loved it!
                                                        • Carolyn 3s · 2023-07-31T20:08:35.560Z
                                                          Very clever!
                                                          • THC 🤓8:55 · 2023-07-31T21:13:08.480Z
                                                            Thank you, Peter and Barbara!
                                                            • BarbaraK 🤓5:38 · 2023-08-01T01:05:26.375Z
                                                              Thanks everyone for solving!
                                                              So far almost half of the submitters tried the wrong answer first.
                                                              • HeadinHome 🤓6:09 · 2023-08-01T02:03:36.696Z
                                                                and just realized that the clue at 66A also clues “NOT” - not dirty! How clever of you.
                                                                • woozy 🤓17:37 · 2023-08-03T02:38:31.580Z
                                                                  That's the only thing I noticed!
                                                                • HeadinHome 🤓6:09 · 2023-08-01T01:59:44.652Z
                                                                  Clever twist there at the end. My first thought was How do I add QUICK AND to this DIRTY?? (and there was a Q in the puzzle, so…). But that 66A clue was of course not sitting there for nuttin.
                                                                  • Qmark 3s · 2023-08-01T12:59:28.415Z
                                                                    Fun puzzle with a nice twist...thanks!
                                                                    • Pair O Ducks 6:18 · 2023-08-01T18:19:21.181Z
                                                                      This was a delightful refreshment after stewing over the brilliantly mind-boggling week 5 Pun of a Kind all weekend. Brewing tea in a gaiwan is a favorite hobby of mine, so I was delighted by 50A!
                                                                      • Bird Lives 4s · 2023-08-01T21:07:23.071Z
                                                                        I enjoyed this one. And like Whimsy, I wondered why Johnny Mathis was cancelled.
                                                                        • Abide publisher · 2023-08-01T21:38:35.926Z
                                                                          We covered your demographic with the Vic Damone tune 😜
                                                                          • Bird Lives 4s · 2023-08-02T00:22:35.738Z
                                                                            Vic who?? Must be before my time. Anyway, in my next construction all the clues and entries will be based on lines from Taylor Swift, Fetty Wap, et al.
                                                                        • SJMcK 🤓14:58 · 2023-08-03T00:08:03.267Z
                                                                          I don’t understand how the title relates to the meta
                                                                          • woozy 🤓17:37 · 2023-08-03T02:40:11.980Z
                                                                            Me neither. It probably has something to do with this "numbers" thing that everyone is referring to but nobody is explaining.
                                                                            • SJMcK 🤓14:58 · 2023-08-04T04:58:25.763Z
                                                                              I posted my reply to you in the wrong thread. Sorry about that.
                                                                          • woozy 🤓17:37 · 2023-08-03T02:48:08.704Z
                                                                            Oh, I see. But ... why would anyone think to try to alphacode D, I, R, T,Y without actually spelling out DIRTY first. And with the NOT .... why, would anyone actually do the meta the way you intended?
                                                                            • Abide publisher · 2023-08-03T03:47:44.375Z
                                                                              The title might be a bit “inside baseball” if you don’t solve the main daily crosswords. The “breakfast test” for crosswords is an unwritten rule that unpleasant entries should be avoided in the grid, so as not to spoil the solver’s breakfast when doing the morning crossword. Example from a recent NYT article about constructing crosswords:
                                                                              “The last thing we need to mention about bad fill is the “Sunday Morning Breakfast Test,” which means that every entry in a crossword should be sufficiently family-friendly. The first New York Times crossword editor, Margaret Farrar, went further and once wrote that crosswords should avoid “death, disease, war and taxes.” To me, words strongly associated with most topics like that should never appear either in the grid or the clues. Absolutely. The current New York Times editor, Will Shortz, has a different take, though. When we asked him about words that should or shouldn’t be in a crossword, he wrote: “If a word or term is used in the columns of The Times, or in cultured society in general, I think it’s probably O.K. for a crossword, even if it’s touchy or slightly unpleasant. I strive to have crosswords reflect real life as much as possible. … I don’t believe in banning words, except for the very worst. And I’d be happy to abolish the term ‘breakfast test’ completely.” So, his is a pretty laissez-faire policy.”
                                                                              So when you look at the prompt, you have to question whether DIRTY could be right. The last across could have been any word but NOT is designed to have you that the first answer is wrong.
                                                                              • woozy 🤓17:37 · 2023-08-03T15:15:47.384Z
                                                                                Ah... very cute.
                                                                                But I still don't see why anyone would look for numbers from letters when the letters are all you need.
                                                                                • SJMcK 🤓14:58 · 2023-08-04T04:54:08.251Z
                                                                                  Oh, I can explain that. DEE, EYE, ARE, TEA, WHY are homonyms for D-I-R-T-Y. That can be encoded (as per 66A) as 4-9-18-20-25. If you look at those numbered boxes in the grid, they contain C-L-E-A-N. Still don’t get the title though.
                                                                                  • Abide publisher · 2023-08-04T12:56:14.271Z
                                                                                    See explanation above for the “breakfast test”. The first word fails the test, and the second word (answer) passes.
                                                                                    • woozy 🤓17:37 · 2023-08-04T14:50:34.104Z
                                                                                      No, I understand that that does work. But when given a puzzle, why do it the hard way when the easy way works just as well?
                                                                                      To my mind it'd be easier and better to just say:
                                                                                      SOLUTION: The solution is CLEAN. The long clues are all two words with the second word being a homonym for a letter. Then letters spell DIRTY but that fails the "breakfast test". The final clue tells you to use NOT to make a negation and NOT DIRTY is to be CLEAN.
                                                                                      That's a valid and complete and legitimate solution. There is no need for the solver to go through the complicated (but one of my favorite techniques) of looking at grid numbers.
                                                                                      • Abide publisher · 2023-08-04T19:48:44.655Z
                                                                                        Valid, complete, legitimate... and a bit boring. The original draft had NOD (14-15-4) there. Would that have made for a better puzzle? Maybe so, maybe not. But without the enumeration as is, there would no way to differentiate the answer being DIRTY, NOT DIRTY, or CLEAN.
                                                                                        • woozy 🤓17:37 · 2023-08-05T15:01:04.769Z
                                                                                          Yeah, the numeration. To be honest, I didn't expect CLEAN to be the answer but I figured I had to enter it to rule it out. Had it not worked I would have tried to deal with the code. But it did work ... and I figured the code was just to draw attention to the last clue (which I tend not to automatically look for and assume is always meta relevant).
                                                                                          [Had this been a case where I was only allowed one entry I would have tried a little longer to see if I could make a stronger case for CLEAN. In this case I probably would have but if I couldn't after a while I'd have submitted it eventually.]
                                                                                          Boring? Enough? Different constructors and solvers have different ideas on what necessitates what makes a certainty. I draw your attention to the latest Pun of a kind where the solution requires but goes no further than NOT SALT being the equivalent of PEPPER
                                                                                          NOD would have made me try the numbers. But aesthetically the word NOD would seem arbitrary. Better this way.
                                                                              • Darth 🤓11:13 · 2023-08-03T15:54:51.366Z
                                                                                Saw the "code" word but failed at knowing what to do with it. Of course, remembering 66A was key! (Otherwise, the breakfast theme led to a dirty dozen of distractions... donuts maybe... or eggs!? haha)
                                                                                • BethA 3s · 2023-08-04T14:01:23.245Z
                                                                                  Enjoyed it! Seemed very logical at each step! My only slight stumble was initially including 34A and 42A, but looking back I can see that they don’t really follow the same format as the other theme entries. Thanks so much for the puzzle! Decoding is fun!
                                                                                  • Katiedid 🤓9:43 · 2023-08-04T15:44:48.515Z
                                                                                    Fun, but I solved with NOT DIRTY being CLEAN, totally missing the numbers spelling clean.
                                                                                    • kurtalert 🤓8:02 · 2023-09-13T19:29:00.978Z
                                                                                      Dirty boy here. Whoops. LOL. Got it eventually, though!
                                                                                      ACA option
                                                                                      1. 1A
                                                                                        ACA option
                                                                                      2. 4A
                                                                                        "Pet" that's watered
                                                                                      3. 8A
                                                                                        Ballet bend
                                                                                      4. 12A
                                                                                        Mr. with a "Wild Ride" in Disneyland
                                                                                      5. 13A
                                                                                        Bloody long time
                                                                                      6. 14A
                                                                                        Break into
                                                                                      7. 15A
                                                                                        Place for cargo
                                                                                      8. 16A
                                                                                        "Gidget" star name-checked in a song from "Grease"
                                                                                      9. 18A
                                                                                        100-yr.-old proposal that's still not ratified
                                                                                      10. 19A
                                                                                        Monogram for Reagan's first Treasury Sec.
                                                                                      11. 20A
                                                                                        Penlight batteries
                                                                                      12. 21A
                                                                                        Asset for a fighter pilot
                                                                                      13. 24A
                                                                                        1983 role for Barbra (the other one)
                                                                                      14. 28A
                                                                                        Part of a moving experience
                                                                                      15. 29A
                                                                                        K-12 industry
                                                                                      16. 31A
                                                                                        See 8-Down
                                                                                      17. 32A
                                                                                        OTC offering
                                                                                      18. 34A
                                                                                        Like a treble clef
                                                                                      19. 36A
                                                                                        "What'll probably happen is ... "
                                                                                      20. 38A
                                                                                        Offer spiritual support to
                                                                                      21. 40A
                                                                                        Reading and others: Abbr.
                                                                                      22. 41A
                                                                                        Plant that holds water
                                                                                      23. 42A
                                                                                        O.T. book after Amos
                                                                                      24. 44A
                                                                                        River valley known as "the Garden of France"
                                                                                      25. 48A
                                                                                        LGBTQ+ component
                                                                                      26. 50A
                                                                                        Healthy drink brewed in a gaiwan
                                                                                      27. 52A
                                                                                        55-Across, for one
                                                                                      28. 54A
                                                                                        It may come before "thx" in a message
                                                                                      29. 55A
                                                                                        Boot camp boss, briefly
                                                                                      30. 56A
                                                                                        Oscar-nominated song from 1951's "Rich, Young and Pretty"
                                                                                      31. 60A
                                                                                        Whittle a Winesap
                                                                                      32. 61A
                                                                                        Popular plant that looks cactus-like
                                                                                      33. 62A
                                                                                        Nile bird
                                                                                      34. 63A
                                                                                        Golden ___
                                                                                      35. 64A
                                                                                        Spreadsheet lover, perhaps
                                                                                      36. 65A
                                                                                        A mighty wind
                                                                                      37. 66A
                                                                                        Negative response (which could be encoded as 14-15-20)
                                                                                      1. 1D
                                                                                        "Yippee!" alternative
                                                                                      2. 2D
                                                                                        Sweet Spanish wine
                                                                                      3. 3D
                                                                                      4. 4D
                                                                                        Social rank
                                                                                      5. 5D
                                                                                        Prelude to a big announcement
                                                                                      6. 6D
                                                                                        Element of solar wind used for propulsion in science fiction
                                                                                      7. 7D
                                                                                        "All that ___ bag of chips"
                                                                                      8. 8D
                                                                                        With 31-Across, eliminate gradually
                                                                                      9. 9D
                                                                                        Young man
                                                                                      10. 10D
                                                                                        Bad thing to have on your wings
                                                                                      11. 11D
                                                                                        Barely manage, with "by"
                                                                                      12. 12D
                                                                                        What was exited by Brexit, for short
                                                                                      13. 17D
                                                                                        Best-known singer of Georgia's state song
                                                                                      14. 19D
                                                                                        Special ops group referred to internally as "the Unit"
                                                                                      15. 22D
                                                                                        Perjorative term for a drunkard
                                                                                      16. 23D
                                                                                        With "the", an exciting place to live
                                                                                      17. 25D
                                                                                        "Not gonna happen"
                                                                                      18. 26D
                                                                                      19. 27D
                                                                                        Classic Ford
                                                                                      20. 30D
                                                                                        Country in a Beatles title
                                                                                      21. 33D
                                                                                        Part of a door or drawer
                                                                                      22. 35D
                                                                                        Illegal firing?
                                                                                      23. 36D
                                                                                        ___ to one's senses
                                                                                      24. 37D
                                                                                        Cliff feature
                                                                                      25. 38D
                                                                                        More urgent than ASAP
                                                                                      26. 39D
                                                                                        "This is India" novelist Santha Rama ___
                                                                                      27. 43D
                                                                                        Self-help star of daytime TV
                                                                                      28. 45D
                                                                                        "We're on!"
                                                                                      29. 46D
                                                                                        Fear of missing out, perhaps
                                                                                      30. 47D
                                                                                        Person taking courses?
                                                                                      31. 49D
                                                                                        Pulled the plug
                                                                                      32. 51D
                                                                                        "Family Ties" mom
                                                                                      33. 53D
                                                                                        Not a dup.
                                                                                      34. 56D
                                                                                        Pale in color
                                                                                      35. 57D
                                                                                        1-Down, in Pamplona
                                                                                      36. 58D
                                                                                        Neither's sidekick
                                                                                      37. 59D
                                                                                        Org. for featherweights and heavyweights
                                                                                      38. 60D
                                                                                        Peter of Neverland