Patrick Berry’s Wall Street Journal contest crossword, “It Takes Two”—Dave Sullivan’s write-upWelcome to another commentary on the weekly WSJ contest puzzle. Today, we have a very timely “It Takes Two” challenge for Valentine’s Day weekend. Let’s begin with the theme entries (made obvious with the parenthetical addition to each clue):
- 16a. [Great modifiers? (detergents)], ALL-TIME – ALL and TIDE are detergents
- 19a. [Intimidate (numbers)], THREATEN – THREE and TEN are numbers
- 33a. [Not yet toilet-trained (nations)], IN DIAPERS – INDIA and PERU are nations
- 51a. [Offensive lineman (body parts)], HALFBACK – CALF and BACK are body parts
- 57a. [Hard to read, perhaps (colors)], BLURRED – BLUE and RED are colors
I found this one of the easier metas since this contest series has begun–no question which entries were the theme entries and once told the category of the pair of words “hidden” in the theme entry, they revealed themselves pretty easily to me. I preferred Patrick’s earlier contest entry to this one; not only do I prefer metas that make me work a bit harder for that AHA moment, but this one felt like something more computer-generated that inspired by creative wordplay. YMMV.
Fun entries included BIG HAIR, MAALOX and Luigi GALVANI, infamous for twitching a muscle in a frog’s leg by exciting its nerve with electricity. He also pioneered the electrochemical process used in bonding a zinc coating to metal to prevent rust, named galvanization in his honor.