WSJ Contest – Friday, May 27, 2016

untimed (Evad) 


Matt Gaffney’s Wall Street Journal contest crossword, “That’s What They Call Me”—Dave Sullivan’s write-up

WSJ Contest - 5/27/16 - "That's What They Call Me"

WSJ Contest – 5/27/16 – “That’s What They Call Me”

Short post for me today as I’m leaving to run the Vermont City Marathon (as part of a relay team, not the whole thing) and I’ll be away from a computer for the weekend.

This week, we are asked to find a state capital and we have three obvious theme entries, all clued by way of question marks and enumeration indicators:

  • 20a. [Moon-shaped spill on a Starbucks counter? (5,7,6)], CREAM CRESCENT
  • 37a. [Virgin Galactic engine, buffeted back and forth? (3,4,8)], WINDY SPACE MOTOR
  • 53a. [Group of friends who’ll never drift apart (1,2)], ETERNAL CIRCLE

So what’s going on here? Well, these all pretty quickly jumped out as city nicknames, although I was a bit unclear at first on a few of them (Circle City seemed the most obscure to me) and also why the first theme entry had three values for its enumeration when there were only 2 nicknames in the entry.

Here’s what we have (with the help of the generous folks at Wikipedia, except for Rome, which is the only international one)

  • Cream City (5) – MILWAUKEE
  • Crescent City (AHA, 7 and 6, two word city) – NEW ORLEANS
  • Windy City (3) – CHICAGO
  • Space City (4) – HOUSTON
  • Motor City (8) – DETROIT
  • Eternal City (1) – ROME
  • Circle City (2) – INDIANAPOLIS

Put them in enumeration order, and you get RICHMOND, The River City. A bit too easy for my tastes, but then again, I’m struggling with Matt’s weekly contest to make up for it.

I leave you with Mary Chapin Carpenter’s tribute to the victims of Katrina in New Orleans (she calls it “Crescent City”):

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7 Responses to WSJ Contest – Friday, May 27, 2016

  1. Bob Kerfuffle says:

    Seems to me Matt may have stumbled this week, in that he sent his weekly contest to the WSJ and published the puzzle intended for WSJ on his own site. The evidence? Puzzle on his site is extremely easy, no way a Week 4 (about which we can say no more until Tuesday), while this WSJ depended on some extremely obscure (IMHO) nicknames — Cream City??? Circle City??? (Can you guess? I didn’t get it!)

  2. Scott says:

    Wow, Evad is struggling with Matt’s weekly meta? So am I. And Bob said the weekly was easy and the WSJ was hard. I must be in opposite-world. I got this one in under ten minutes. As for the weekly, the answer I submitted was wrong…and I have no idea what the right answer is. Guess I’ll find out tomorrow.

    • Amy L says:

      I don’t think Matt switched the puzzles. This one was pretty standard, once you realize the words are city nicknames. Then it just takes Googling–I think it’s really cool that Cream City is called that because of the color of its bricks. I thought Rome, as the only non-US city, was a little out of place, so I penciled it in until I could confirm everything.

      As for the weekly, I submitted the wrong answer, but I was on the right path. As soon as I looked back at how I got to the wrong answer, the correct answer jumped out. It’s a good one!

  3. Jeff G. says:

    I really liked this one. Similar to the Puerto Rico puzzle from a few weeks ago, you didn’t need to know all 7, just a couple to get you started. Windy city, Motor city and Circle city are all very well known (at least in the Midwest) Evad, good luck with the relay marathon and the MGWCC Week 4.

  4. Icdogg says:

    Didn’t see it, didn’t see it, didn’t see it, and then with about 20 minutes to go I saw it. And got it in time. And of course then I felt like I should have seen it sooner.

  5. Icdogg says:

    I was familiar with Motor City, Windy City, and Crescent City; Googled the rest.

  6. Tony says:

    I found this fairly easy, especially when I saw Crescent, Windy, Motor & Eternal in the theme entries and the title reeked of nicknames. Once I had the respective letters NO, C, D and R for Nawlins, Chicago, Detroit & Rome and put them in the correct place, I knew the answer was Richmond. Circle & Space cities make sense for Indy & Houston. Never heard of Cream City for Milwaukee before.

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