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