How to Solve the “Sound a Little Rusty, Maybe” Crossword Clue

If you are a crossword enthusiast, you might have come across the clue “sound a little rusty, maybe” in the New York Times crossword puzzle on December 1, 2022. This clue has six letters and is part of the Down clues. Do you know the answer to this clue? If not, don’t worry. In this article, I will show you how to solve this clue and explain its meaning.

The Answer: SQUEAK

The answer to the clue “sound a little rusty, maybe” is SQUEAK. A squeak is a short, high-pitched noise that is often made by something that needs oiling or is worn out. For example, a door hinge, a bicycle wheel, or a mouse might squeak. A squeak can also be a verb, meaning to make such a noise or to say something in a thin, weak voice. For example, you might squeak when you are scared or surprised.

The Meaning: A Narrow Margin

The clue “sound a little rusty, maybe” is a clever wordplay that uses the double meaning of the word squeak. On one hand, it refers to the literal sound that something rusty might make. On the other hand, it refers to the figurative expression “to squeak by” or “to squeak through”, which means to achieve or escape something by a very narrow margin. For example, you might squeak by a test with a passing grade, or squeak through a traffic jam with just enough time to catch your flight. This expression is often used in sports, politics, or business contexts, where the outcome is uncertain or competitive.

The Source: New York Times Crossword

The clue “sound a little rusty, maybe” appeared in the New York Times crossword puzzle on December 1, 2022. The New York Times crossword is one of the most popular and challenging crossword puzzles in the world. It is published daily in the print edition of the newspaper and online. The crossword is edited by Will Shortz, who is also the puzzle master for NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday. The crossword has a theme and a grid size that vary depending on the day of the week. The clues are usually witty, clever, and sometimes tricky. According to the New York Times website, the crossword has been a part of the newspaper since 1942 and has over 10 million online subscribers.

The Tips: How to Solve Crossword Puzzles

If you enjoy solving crossword puzzles, you might want to improve your skills and have more fun. Here are some tips that can help you with that:

  • Start with the clues that are easy for you. This will give you some letters and confidence to tackle the harder ones.
  • Use the crossing words to narrow down the possible answers. Sometimes, you can eliminate some options based on the letters that are already in the grid.
  • Look for clues that have a question mark, a quotation mark, or an abbreviation. These usually indicate that the clue is a pun, a quote, or an acronym, and require some lateral thinking.
  • Use a dictionary, a thesaurus, or an online tool to check your answers or find synonyms. Sometimes, the clue and the answer are not exactly the same, but have a similar meaning or sound.
  • Don’t be afraid to erase or change your answers. Sometimes, you might make a mistake or find a better option. It’s okay to experiment and try different possibilities.
  • Have fun and learn something new. Crossword puzzles are a great way to exercise your brain, expand your vocabulary, and discover new facts and trivia. Enjoy the challenge and the satisfaction of solving them.