Head lock NYT Crossword clue hints and answers

Boy, the “Head lock?” clue threw me for a loop in the July 11 NYT Mini Crossword. It’s easy to let it confuse you, so let’s take a step forward before we lose you.

Words and phrases with multiple meanings highlight how fantastic and utterly perplexing the English language can be. On paper, “Head lock?” as a clue seems quite straightforward; however, it’s not.

Head lock? NYT Mini Crossword solution & hints

head lock nyt times crossword clue
Tricky. Screenshot by Dot Esports
  • Hint 1: You can put an “S” in front to make a new word.
  • Hint 2: It ends with the same two letters.
  • Hint 3: It’s nothing to do with someone else.
  • Hint 4: It begins with a “T.”

I’ve done all I can on my end, so if you’ve still not got it, the answer is below.

The solution is “TRESS,” and it means a long lock of hair or a long curl emanating from your head. Again, when I referred to the clue as being direct, it is. It’s a lock, on your head, and I can hear you tut as the realization hits home. It’s a nifty little clue, and its position on the board should make the rest of the crossword easier.

All answers for the July 11 NYT Crossword puzzle



  • 1D Shopper’s excuse to “save money” — SALE
  • 2D Head lock? — TRESS
  • 3D Wipe, as memory card — ERASE
  • 4D Common date night activity — MOVIE
  • 6D Fast-growing plant — WEED

Head lock clue difficulty, explained

Flummoxed doesn’t even describe how I felt staring at this clue. I completely misinterpreted the clue as a “headlock,” and tried “CHOKE” to no avail. This is why clues are so precise in crosswords and why it’s important to pick up on key details. It’s not the hardest clue and solution in the world, so I give it a three out of five for difficulty.

How to play more Crosswords like the NYT Mini Crossword puzzle

If you want more Crossword-specific puzzles and mind-bending teasers like this, the LA Times and Washington Post are as challenging. If you want the facets of your knowledge to be tested in more varied ways, Strands and Spelling Bee offer equally testing twists on the medium.

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