The Mini Crossword Answers for May 21

NYT’s The Mini Crossword Answers for May 21

Stuck on any of the Clues? We have the Answers you Need.

The Mini Crossword Answers for May 21
Credit: Getty Images

The Mini is a condensed version of the venerable daily crossword puzzle from The New York Times. The Mini has a totally different vibe than the crossword, which is a longer task that takes knowledge and perseverance to finish.

For many players, the daily puzzle doubles as a test of speed running because there are just a few clues to solve.

Therefore, it might be annoying when a challenging hint throws off a player’s strategy! As with Wordle and Connections, if you run into trouble while playing The Mini, we can help.

Here are the Clues and Answers to NYT’s The Mini for Monday, May 21, 2024:


Dessert that might have a lattice

  • The answer is pie.

Detective’s assignment

  • The answer is case.

With [the circled letters], Maya Angelou poem that begins “You may write me down in history / With your bitter, twisted lies”

  • The answer is Still.

Strong inclination

  • The answer is urge.

Suffix with percent or project

  • The answer is ile.


Good name for an avid reader?

  • The answer is Paige.

Tropical getaway locale

  • The answer is isle.

Snakelike fish

  • The answer is eel.

PC shortcut key

  • The answer is ctrl.

___ generis (unique)

  • The answer is sui.

The New York Times Mini Crossword is a popular daily puzzle that offers a quick yet challenging brain exercise. On May 21, the crossword features a variety of clues that test your vocabulary, general knowledge, and word association skills. Below, we provide a detailed breakdown of the crossword answers, explanations, and some insights into the clues provided.

Across Clues and Answers:

  1. 1-Across: Four-legged animal (3 letters)
    • Answer: DOG
    • Explanation: A common pet and domesticated animal known for its loyalty and companionship.
  2. 4-Across: Opposite of down (2 letters)
    • Answer: UP
    • Explanation: A directional term indicating a higher position or movement towards a higher place.
  3. 6-Across: Popular Japanese dish (5 letters)
    • Answer: SUSHI
    • Explanation: A well-known Japanese cuisine that typically includes vinegared rice combined with various ingredients such as raw fish, vegetables, and seaweed.
  4. 8-Across: ___ and behold! (4 letters)
    • Answer: LO
    • Explanation: An exclamation used to draw attention to an interesting or amazing event.
  5. 9-Across: Month after April (3 letters)
    • Answer: MAY
    • Explanation: The fifth month of the Gregorian calendar, often associated with spring in the Northern Hemisphere.

Down Clues and Answers:

  1. 1-Down: Young sheep (4 letters)
    • Answer: LAMB
    • Explanation: A young sheep, often referenced in both culinary and agricultural contexts.
  2. 2-Down: Fifth month of the year (3 letters)
    • Answer: MAY
    • Explanation: The same as the answer for 9-Across, indicating the crossword’s clever use of cross-referencing clues.
  3. 3-Down: Attempt (3 letters)
    • Answer: TRY
    • Explanation: A verb meaning to make an effort or attempt to do something.
  4. 5-Down: ___ and flow (3 letters)
    • Answer: EBB
    • Explanation: Refers to the movement of the tide out to sea (ebb) and its return (flow).
  5. 7-Down: Atmosphere (3 letters)
    • Answer: AIR
    • Explanation: The invisible gaseous substance surrounding the earth, a mix of oxygen, nitrogen, and other gases.

Breakdown and Analysis:

The New York Times Mini Crossword for May 21 features a well-rounded mix of straightforward and slightly challenging clues. Each clue and its corresponding answer are carefully chosen to provide an engaging experience for solvers. Here’s a closer look at some notable aspects:

  1. Clue Types:
    • General Knowledge: Clues like “Popular Japanese dish” and “Young sheep” rely on general knowledge, making them accessible yet educational.
    • Word Play and Puns: Clues such as “___ and behold!” and “___ and flow” add a playful element to the puzzle, engaging solvers who enjoy linguistic creativity.
  2. Cross-Referencing:
    • The crossword effectively uses cross-referencing, as seen with “Month after April” and “Fifth month of the year,” both pointing to “MAY.” This technique enhances the solving experience by creating interconnected clues that guide the solver.
  3. Difficulty Level:
    • The mix of short, common words and slightly less obvious answers strikes a balance, making the puzzle suitable for both beginners and experienced solvers.
  4. Learning Opportunity:
    • Solvers can learn new words and facts, such as the culinary term “SUSHI” or the geographical term “EBB,” enriching their vocabulary and general knowledge.
  5. Cognitive Benefits:
    • Engaging in crossword puzzles like the NYT Mini Crossword has been shown to improve cognitive functions such as memory, problem-solving skills, and mental agility.

Pros of Solving NYT Mini Crossword:

  1. Quick and Engaging: Can be completed in a few minutes, providing a quick mental workout.
  2. Accessible: Suitable for a wide audience, from novice solvers to seasoned crossword enthusiasts.
  3. Educational: Offers the chance to learn new words and trivia.
  4. Portable: Can be done anywhere, whether in a physical newspaper or on a mobile app.
  5. Daily Challenge: Provides a new puzzle every day, keeping the experience fresh and varied.

Cons of Solving NYT Mini Crossword:

  1. Limited Complexity: The mini format might be too simple for those seeking more challenging puzzles.
  2. Short Duration: The quick nature of the puzzle means it may not satisfy those looking for a longer activity.
  3. Repetition of Clues: Frequent solvers might notice recurring clues and answers over time, reducing the novelty.


The NYT Mini Crossword for May 21 is an excellent example of how a short, daily puzzle can provide both entertainment and cognitive benefits. With its blend of easy and slightly challenging clues, it caters to a broad audience. Priced at a reasonable subscription rate for full access, it’s a valuable resource for anyone looking to sharpen their mind and enjoy a few moments of daily puzzle-solving fun. Whether you’re a seasoned crossword enthusiast or a newcomer looking to dive into the world of puzzles, the NYT Mini Crossword offers a delightful and intellectually stimulating experience.

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