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The Coat of Arms

The Student News Site of Menlo School

The Coat of Arms

The Student News Site of Menlo School

The Coat of Arms

Best NYT Game

Screenshot+of+nytimes.com%2Fcrosswords
Screenshot of nytimes.com/crosswords

Whether getting out of class early or waiting in the lunch line, my favorite way to kill time is puzzling out the New York Times games. While Wordle has taken Menlo by storm and Connections has been a hit on the quad, I would argue that the best NYT game is the Mini crossword. It’s more than just a game — it’s a demonstration of quick thinking and a daily battle of friendly competition via the leaderboard while being more accessible than other options. 

For one, doing the NYT Mini is a mental workout that offers an opportunity to learn a trove of knowledge. It can definitely be frustrating when the right words elude you, but the satisfaction of completion and learning new facts — no matter how seemingly useless or obscure — is undeniable. Beyond trivia, the NYT Mini promotes curiosity and learning. For instance, when prompted for a name meaning ‘lioness,’ I initially inputted ‘Ariel’ instead of the relatively straightforward ‘Leona.’ It’s also always gratifying to be able to pull out niche facts that you never knew you’d need, whether gained from parental monologuing or Wikipedia rabbit holes.

While the NYT Mini offers a quick and engaging mental exercise, it’s also worth noting its accessibility in comparison to the larger NYT Crossword. Sadly, the Menlo library’s generous subscription to The New York Times does not cover games such as the larger crossword. While the full crossword may offer a more extensive puzzle, the Mini provides a satisfying taste of the experience without the need for a paid subscription.

Additionally, the competitive spirit the NYT Mini incites is unmatched. No emotion is more intense than the elation of seeing your name first on your friends’ leaderboard — a testament to your quick thinking and mental superiority. It’s a brief moment of pride, a small victory in your daily routine. Conversely, there’s a certain horror of witnessing a friend’s name above your own, playfully mocking your inferior knowledge. The NYT Mini is a daily opportunity to claim bragging rights or avenge a loss. In this way, the Mini becomes a shared experience and source of connection.

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About the Contributor
Miki Kimura
Miki Kimura, Head Copy Editor

Number of years in The Coat of Arms: 2

Favorite aspect of journalism: Learning new things about the Menlo community through interviews

Interests outside of school: art, music, anime, reading, writing, spending time with friends and family

Class of 2025

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