New York Times Crossword Clues and Answers for 11 September 2023, Monday

Here's all New York Times Crossword answers for 11 September 2023, Monday (09-11-23). Find all answers and solutions here. We've also tries to explain why the answer is the correct solution for each clue.
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Clues and answers

Clues followed by answers and an explanation underneath.

A tough ___ to swallow : PILL

The phrase "a tough ___ to swallow" is a common expression meaning something difficult or unpleasant to accept. The word "PILL" is a metaphorical representation of something hard to swallow, both literally and figuratively. Therefore, "PILL" is the right answer to this clue.

A truly unpleasant situation : THE PITS

"The PITS" is a common phrase used to describe a truly unpleasant situation. It is a colloquial expression that conveys a sense of extreme negativity or disappointment.

Abstract artist Joan : MIRO

The answer to "Abstract artist Joan" being "MIRO" is correct because Joan Miró was a renowned abstract artist known for his unique style and use of vibrant colors.

Adjustable part of a car seat : HEADREST

The adjustable part of a car seat that supports the head is commonly known as a "headrest." It is designed to provide comfort and safety by helping to prevent neck and head injuries in case of sudden stops or accidents.

Ancient Greek marketplace : AGORA

The word "AGORA" is the right answer because it is a Greek term that specifically refers to an ancient Greek marketplace.

Be a passenger : RIDE

The answer "RIDE" is the right solution because when you are a passenger, you are being transported by someone else, typically in a vehicle, which can be described as "riding" in that vehicle.

Beach grit : SAND

The answer to "Beach grit" is "SAND" because sand is a common gritty substance found on beaches.

Black bird : RAVEN

The answer to "Black bird" is "RAVEN" because ravens are known for their black feathers.

Bloodsucking parasite : LEECH

The answer to "Bloodsucking parasite" is "LEECH" because leeches are small worms that attach themselves to animals or humans to feed on their blood.

Bone-in cut of lamb, e.g. : SHANK

The bone-in cut of lamb that is often referred to in crossword puzzles is the shank. The shank is a lower portion of the leg that contains both meat and bone. It is a common cooking cut for lamb dishes.

Camera type, in brief : SLR

The answer "SLR" stands for Single-Lens Reflex, which is a type of camera that uses a mirror and prism system to allow the photographer to see exactly what will be captured in the final image. It is commonly used in professional photography and provides high-quality results.

Certain knee tissue, for short : ACL

The answer to "Certain knee tissue, for short" is "ACL" because ACL stands for anterior cruciate ligament, which is a tissue in the knee that helps stabilize the joint.

Chance to hit, in baseball : AT BAT

The term "AT BAT" in baseball refers to a player's turn to hit the ball. It represents the opportunity or chance for a player to make contact with the ball and score.

Check (out), like competition : SCOPE

The answer "SCOPE" is the right solution because it means to "check out" or examine something, like competition. It fits the clue perfectly.

Chef Ming ___, whose last name is hidden in “condiments aisle” : TSAI

The answer is "TSAI" because it is the last name of Chef Ming Tsai, which is hidden in the phrase "condiments aisle".

Classic Maya Angelou poem … or a hint to the answers to the starred clues and the circled letters, in two different ways : STILL I RISE

The answer "STILL I RISE" is the right solution because it is a classic poem by Maya Angelou. Additionally, it serves as a hint to the answers to the starred clues and the circled letters, indicating that they all contain words that mean "rise" in different ways.

Cogito, ___ sum : ERGO

The Latin phrase "Cogito, ergo sum" translates to "I think, therefore I am." In this case, "ergo" is the correct answer because it means "therefore" in Latin.

Craze : RAGE

The word "craze" refers to a popular trend or fad that becomes extremely popular for a short period of time. The word "rage" can be used as a synonym for "craze" in this context, as it also denotes a widespread and intense enthusiasm or excitement for something. Therefore, "rage" is the right solution for the crossword clue "craze".

Cup or pint : UNIT

The answer "UNIT" fits the clue "Cup or pint" because both a cup and a pint are units of measurement for liquid volume.

Death notice, in brief : OBIT

The answer "OBIT" is the right solution because it is a common abbreviation for "obituary," which is a notice of someone's death.

Do nothing during the course of, as a storm : WAIT OUT

The phrase "wait out" means to remain in a place or situation until it is over or resolved. In the context of a storm, "wait out" means to do nothing and stay indoors until the storm passes.

Ethnic group of Sri Lanka : TAMIL

The answer is "TAMIL" because the Tamil people are one of the major ethnic groups in Sri Lanka. They have a distinct language, culture, and history in the country.

Everyone or everything : ALL

The answer "ALL" fits the clue "Everyone or everything" because it is a word that encompasses every person or thing.

Flights of fancy : WHIMS

The answer "WHIMS" is the right solution because "flights of fancy" refers to imaginative or fanciful thoughts or ideas, which can be described as whims.

Focus of many an engagement photo : RING

The answer is "RING" because it is a common symbol of engagement, often worn on the finger, and is often featured prominently in engagement photos.

Going ___ (squabbling) : AT IT

The phrase "going at it" is commonly used to describe people squabbling or arguing. Therefore, "AT IT" is the right solution for the clue "Going ___ (squabbling)."

Green pasta sauce : PESTO Down 1 Apt rhyme for “grabs”

The answer to "Green pasta sauce" is "PESTO" because pesto is a popular Italian sauce made primarily with fresh basil leaves, garlic, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, and olive oil. It has a vibrant green color and is often used as a sauce for pasta dishes.

Grumpy mood : SNIT

The answer "SNIT" is the right solution because it is a term used to describe a grumpy or bad-tempered mood.

Hit the slopes : SKI

The answer to "Hit the slopes" is "SKI" because skiing is a popular activity that involves sliding down snowy slopes using skis.

In a spooky manner : EERILY

The word "eerily" is the right solution because it means "in a spooky manner." It is an adverb that describes something happening in a way that is strange, eerie, or unsettling.

It’s likely that … : ODDS ARE

The answer "ODDS ARE" is the right solution because it accurately reflects the meaning of the clue "It's likely that ...". The phrase "odds are" implies a high probability or likelihood of something happening.

I’m listening : TALK TO ME

"GOON" is the answer to the clue "I'm listening..." because "goon" is a slang term for a hired thug or enforcer who carries out orders without question, implying that the speaker is ready and willing to do as they are told.

Kentucky Derby and Indianapolis 500 : RACES

The answer is "RACES" because both the Kentucky Derby and Indianapolis 500 are famous horse races and car races, respectively. They are events where competitors race against each other to win.

Lacking originality : TRITE

The word "trite" means lacking originality or being overly common. It fits the clue because it describes something that is not unique or creative.

Layer of paint : COAT

The word "coat" is often used to refer to a layer of paint. It is a common term in the context of painting and is a fitting answer for the clue "Layer of paint."

Los Estados ___ (the U.S., in Spanish) : UNIDOS

The answer "UNIDOS" is the right solution because it means "United" in Spanish, and it is used to refer to the United States in the Spanish language.

Many a Scott Joplin tune : RAG

The answer "RAG" is the right solution because Scott Joplin was a famous composer known for his ragtime music. Rags are a genre of music characterized by syncopated rhythms and lively melodies, which Joplin was well-known for.

Mattress coils : SPRINGS

The answer to "Mattress coils" is "SPRINGS" because springs are commonly used in mattresses to provide support and comfort.

Obtains : GAINS

The word "obtains" implies acquiring or achieving something, which aligns with the meaning of "gains."

Olympic figure skater Nathan : CHEN

The answer "CHEN" is the right solution because Nathan Chen is a well-known Olympic figure skater.

One being propelled by hot air : BALLOONIST

The answer "BALLOONIST" is the right solution because a balloonist is someone who operates or travels in a hot air balloon, which is propelled by hot air.

One-named “Queen of Tejano Music” : SELENA

The answer is "SELENA" because she is a famous singer known as the "Queen of Tejano Music" and is commonly referred to by her first name only.


The answer to "OTOH ..." is "THO" because "OTOH" is an abbreviation for "on the other hand" and "THO" is an abbreviation for "though" which can also mean "on the other hand" in certain contexts.

Pants holder-upper : BELT

The answer to "Pants holder-upper" is "BELT" because a belt is commonly worn around the waist to hold up pants or a skirt.

Parcel of land : ACRE

The answer to "Parcel of land" is "ACRE" because an acre is a commonly used unit of measurement for land. It is a familiar term often used to describe the size of a plot or piece of property.

Part of a crossword that gets filled in : GRID

The answer to "Part of a crossword that gets filled in" is "GRID" because the grid is the main component of a crossword puzzle where the letters are filled in to form words and solve the puzzle.

Performing a play, say : ON STAGE

The answer "ON STAGE" is the right solution because when a play is performed, it is typically done on a stage.

Person to keep an eye on for future success : UP-AND-COMER

The answer "UP-AND-COMER" is the right solution because it refers to a person who is expected to achieve success or become prominent in the future. The term "up-and-comer" suggests that this individual is on their way up in their career or field, making them someone to watch out for.

Physicist Einstein : ALBERT

The answer to "Physicist Einstein" is "ALBERT" because Albert Einstein was a renowned physicist known for his theory of relativity and contributions to the field of physics.

Pioneer in digital recording : TIVO

Places for peels or scrubs : SPAS

The answer "SPAS" is the right solution because spas are places where people go to receive treatments like peels or scrubs for their skin.

Prepares to shoot a target : AIMS

The word "AIMS" is the right solution because when someone is preparing to shoot a target, they typically take aim before firing.

Proper fellow : GENT

The answer "GENT" is the right solution because it is a colloquial term for a proper or well-mannered gentleman.

Protective cover for a camera : LENS CAP

The answer "LENS CAP" is the right solution because it accurately describes a protective cover specifically designed for a camera lens. It's a common term used in photography to shield the lens from dust, scratches, and other potential damage.

Satirizes : SENDS UP

The answer "SENDS UP" is the right solution because it means to mock or make fun of someone or something in a satirical way. It fits the clue "Satirizes" as it accurately describes the action of satirizing.

Savings plan option, for short : IRA

The answer "IRA" stands for Individual Retirement Account, which is a type of savings plan option. It is commonly used to save for retirement and offers certain tax advantages.

Singer Rawls or Reed : LOU

The answer "LOU" is the right solution because both Rawls and Reed are famous singers named Lou.

Surrounded by : AMONG

"Surrounded by" means something is in the middle of other things. "Amid" means the same thing, so it is the right solution.

Taken care of, on an invoice stamp : PAID

The answer "PAID" is the right solution because it means that the invoice has been taken care of and the payment has been made. It is a common stamp used to indicate that the bill has been settled.

Teensy : ITTY

The word "itty" is a shortened form of the word "itty-bitty," which means extremely small or tiny. It is commonly used to describe something that is very small in size, making it a suitable answer for the clue "Teensy."

Was sore : ACHED

The answer "ACHED" fits the clue "Was sore" because when you are sore, you typically experience a dull, constant pain, which can be described as an ache.

What catches more flies than vinegar, in a saying : HONEY

The saying "You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar" means that being kind and sweet (like honey) is more effective in getting what you want than being harsh or bitter (like vinegar). Therefore, the answer "HONEY" fits perfectly with the clue.

What might be kneaded in the kitchen : BREAD DOUGH

The answer "BREAD DOUGH" fits the clue because bread dough is a common ingredient that is kneaded in the kitchen while making bread.

Who am ___ judge? : I TO

The phrase "Who am ___ judge?" is an idiom that means "I don't have the authority to pass judgment." In this context, "I TO" is a play on words, representing "I, too" which is a shortened version of "I, too, am not in a position to judge." So, "I TO" is the right solution because it completes the phrase correctly while maintaining the intended meaning.

Word after tall or tell : TALE

The word "tall" and "tell" are both clues for the word "TALE." In this context, "tall tale" refers to a story that is exaggerated or fictional, while "tell tale" refers to something that reveals or indicates information. Therefore, "TALE" fits as the word that can follow both "tall" and "tell."

Word before tape or after tear : DUCT

The word "tape" can be preceded by "DUCT" to form "DUCT tape," and the word "tear" can be followed by "DUCT" to form "tear DUCT." Therefore, "DUCT" is the right solution that fits both parts of the clue.

___ cheese (cheese that isn’t yours, in a classic joke) : NACHO

The answer is "NACHO" because in the classic joke, someone asks "What do you call cheese that isn't yours?" The punchline is "NACHO cheese."

___ tag (game with target vests) : LASER

The answer to "___ tag (game with target vests)" is "LASER" because in the game of laser tag, players wear vests with targets that are detected by laser beams.

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