WSJ Contest – Friday, March 25, 2016

untimed (Evad) 


Marie Kelly’s (Really Mike) Wall Street Journal contest crossword, “Egg Hunt”—Dave Sullivan’s write-up

WSJ Contest - 3/25/16 - "Egg Hunt"

WSJ Contest – 3/25/16 – “Egg Hunt”

With Easter this weekend, we have a timely meta to solve as we go on our very own egg hunt. And as we look for eggs, we should also keep our eye out for a seven-letter name of a bird. So where are these eggs? They’re in seven across clues:

  • 17a. [When many eggspensive ads run], SUPERBOWL SUNDAY
  • 22a. [Big eggsporter of diamonds], BOTSWANA
  • 30a. [Home of Travelocity and Eggspedia], INTERNET – could’ve been ERNE, but more on that later
  • 35a. [Eggsamining thoroughly], PROBING
  • 48a. [Eggsotic bloom], HIBISCUS
  • 52a. [Third party in a real estate eggschange], ESCROWEE – probably the entry that got most solvers on the meta trail (it did for me)
  • 57a. [Profit at another’s eggspense], FEATHER ONE’S NEST – a nice entry that continues the avian theme

It can’t be an eggstraneous coincidence that there are seven egg clues and we’re looking for a seven-letter bird, so I assumed that each entry would contribute one letter to the meta answer. But which letter? This constructor has already had a meta where the one letter that was doubled in book titles was used, but these entries don’t share that feature.


Looking again at that one entry that seemed rather unusual, ESCROWEE, I noticed a bird hiding inside, CROW. Would I find birds hiding within the other entries as well? Sure enough, I found the others highlighted in red above. Once I had seven birds, though, how would I get yet another bird? Well, list them in a column:


Reading the first letter of each of these from top to bottom leads us that “eggstra” bird: OSTRICH. Hope you didn’t put your head in the ground on this one!

Let’s eggsamine a few of the other clues and entries:

  • Funny to find a six-letter partial at 29A, [Have ___], A HEART. This bird wouldn’t fly in the Gray Lady.
  • Nice misdirection at 65A, [Pitcher’s goal], which had nothing to do with baseball, but instead with advertising or a SALE.
  • Interesting way to clue that old French chestnut ÊTRE, [Start of le monologue d’Hamlet].
  • I’ve never heard of eight-pack ABS, I’m still trying to develop six of mine.
  • I had PEERED before PET SAT for [Watched a pair of boxers, say] thinking pruriently of BVD’s instead of dogs, I guess.
  • Not a fan of REWRAP, I would’ve eggstirpated this entry if possible.
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1 Response to WSJ Contest – Friday, March 25, 2016

  1. Jeff G. says:

    Fun Easter puzzle and meta! Thanks Dave.

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