Matt Gaffney’s Wall Street Journal contest crossword, “Yours For The Asking”—Dave Sullivan’s write-upThis week we’re looking for a famous actress/comedian (not “comedienne”?) who would complete this puzzle’s theme. There seem to be five obvious theme answers, so the meta would complete a set of six:
- 17a. [“Greetings!”], HELLO THERE
- 24a. [Has lasting effect], GOES A LONG WAY
- 35a. [Noted Oxford graduate of 1651], CHRISTOPHER WREN – a lovely 15, and renowned architect of St. Paul’s Cathedral and Westminster Abbey. I first thought of Isaac Newton, but, though precocious, he would only have been 8 in ’51 and attended Trinity College in Cambridge.
- 49a. [Be indifferent], NOT CARE A WHIT – can’t say I’ve said this phrase in recent memory
- 59a. [Untouchable, perhaps], BURNING HOT
So, if we’re following the theme pattern, we have to change one letter of WHO to get our meta actress/comedienne, and Margaret CHO came directly to mind.
Though I am very familiar with her name and comedy (she attracts many gay men and women to her shows with her unique brand of risqué humor), I do wonder how well-known she is among the general WSJ-solving public. Your mileage may vary widely.
I thought Matt did a good job of getting five theme answers in the grid; the J action in the TOJO / EMOJI crossing was a particularly nice find for this solver. I’m a little less enamored with CUT, CUT, [Exasperated director’s shout] and the horse in “National Velvet”, THE PIE, which was an obscure entry for me.