Absolutely Zero Chance NYT: How to Solve the Mini Crossword Puzzle

The New York Times Mini Crossword is a small crossword puzzle that comes in the size of a 5×5 grid. It usually has no more than 10 clues total, which makes it the perfect puzzle to enjoy a short work break or to play while waiting in line. The mini crossword can be accessed online, on the NYT app, or in print as part of the NYT Magazine.

The mini crossword is designed to be easy and fast to solve, but sometimes it can get tricky as well. One of the clues that often stumps solvers is “absolutely zero chance”. What is the answer to this clue? How can you figure it out? Here are some tips and tricks to help you solve the mini crossword puzzle and ace the “absolutely zero chance” clue.

Tip 1: Use the Crossword Dictionary

One of the easiest ways to find the answer to any crossword clue is to use a crossword dictionary. A crossword dictionary is a tool that lets you search for words by their length, pattern, or clue. For example, if you are looking for a six-letter word that starts with H and ends with O, you can type in “H???O” and get a list of possible words that match the pattern.

A crossword dictionary can also help you find the answer to the “absolutely zero chance” clue. According to Crossword Solver, there are 20 possible solutions for this clue, but only one of them fits the mini crossword grid. The answer is NOHOW, which means “in no way; not at all”. You can easily check if this is the correct answer by looking at the crossing letters and seeing if they make sense.

Tip 2: Use the Theme and the Fill

Another way to solve the mini crossword puzzle is to use the theme and the fill. The theme is the main idea or concept that connects the answers in the grid. The fill is the rest of the words that fill the grid. The theme and the fill are usually related to each other, either by meaning, sound, or wordplay.

For example, the mini crossword puzzle for October 16, 2023 had the theme of “words that end with -ow”. The answers included BOW, COW, NOW, and NOHOW. The fill also had words that rhymed with -ow, such as ROW, LOW, and SHOW. By using the theme and the fill, you can narrow down the possible answers and find the one that fits the clue and the grid.

Tip 3: Use the Context and the Logic

The final way to solve the mini crossword puzzle is to use the context and the logic. The context is the information that surrounds the clue and the grid, such as the date, the source, the genre, or the tone. The logic is the reasoning that helps you deduce the answer from the clue and the grid, such as the definition, the synonym, the antonym, or the wordplay.

For example, the mini crossword puzzle for December 28, 2022 had the clue “absolutely zero chance” and the answer NOHOW. The context was that the puzzle was published by the New York Times, which is a reputable and authoritative source of news and information. The logic was that the clue was a definition of the answer, which is a synonym of “not at all” or “in no way”. By using the context and the logic, you can verify the answer and complete the puzzle.


The mini crossword puzzle is a fun and challenging way to test your vocabulary and general knowledge. The clue “absolutely zero chance” is one of the clues that often puzzles solvers, but it can be solved by using a crossword dictionary, the theme and the fill, or the context and the logic. By following these tips and tricks, you can master the mini crossword puzzle and impress your friends and family with your crossword skills.