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In Seasons 1-3 and part of Season 4, approximately 20 minutes of each episode (usually toward the end of the show) were dedicated to a review of the previous week of New York Times puzzles. In Season 4, Ryan and Brian began drawing from other sources, each highlighting a puzzle or two from the previous week that they liked and disliked. The format of the Thunder Round is an announcement of the date, the puzzle's constructor, a summary of the theme (if there was one), some banter about the quality of the puzzle, whether the hosts found the solving experience challenging, whether any of the vocabulary used was controversial or questionable, etc.

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