Marie Kelly’s Wall Street Journal contest crossword, “Inexact Science”—Dave Sullivan’s write-up
Science is the order of the day as we are on the hunt for a famous scientist. Let’s put on our lab coats (oops, spoiler alert!) and begin our investigation. Seven theme entries can be identified by an asterisk imbedded in their clues:
- 17a. [They enable u*rs to open and print], FILE MENUS – “se” is missing from “users” and SE is the chemical symbol for the element SELENIUM. That anagrams to the answer with the addition of the letter F.
- 21a. [Time when a bond is due for repa*ment], MATURITY – Y is YTTRIUM, leaving an A.
- 27a. [Scandal-plagued e*rgy giant], ENRON – NE is NEON, leaving an R.
- 40a. [Chemist’s *verup?], LAB COAT – CO is COBALT, leaving an A.
- 49a. [His “The Gates of Hell” depicts a scene from Dante’s “In*rno”], RODIN – FE is IRON, leaving a D.
- 57a. [Island group off the co*t of Africa], CANARIES – AS is ARSENIC, leaving an A.
- 63a. [T*tful question on the dance floor], MAY I CUT IN? – rather tough way to get an “ac” in there (I thought maybe it was a “thoughtful” question at first), but AC is ACTINIUM, leaving a Y.
Read those left over letters from top to bottom and you find our meta solution, English scientist Michael FARADAY. I thought this was a nice meta, although I associate FARADAY more with electromagnetic theory than the chemistry used as the meta device in the clues. I’ll close with my favorite clue, 23a. [Old timer] for SUNDIAL. Truly inspired!