WSJ Contest – Friday, July 1, 2016

untimed (Evad) 


Marie Kelly’s (Really Mike) Wall Street Journal contest crossword, “One of a Kind”—Dave Sullivan’s write-up

WSJ Contest - 7/1/16 - "One of a Kind"

WSJ Contest – 7/1/16 – “One of a Kind”

This week we’re in search of a famous entertainer. I wonder if it would be Cedric, or if you’re a fan of Portugal’s national football team, Cédric.

Again, there’s no confusion over what are our thematic entries, as each has an asterisk preceding its clue:

  • 17a. [*Sure and more], ANTIPERSPIRANTS – a “masked capital” with the proper product name leading the clue
  • 25a. [*Whiner who’s not a winner], SORE LOSER
  • 36a. [*”Grey’s Anatomy” spinoff], PRIVATE PRACTICE – is this a new TV drama? I’ve never heard of it
  • 46a. [*Pickle-making ingredients], DILL SEEDS – I guessed CUCUMBERS first.
  • 58a. [*Lies low], GOES UNDERGROUND

“Well, since my baby left me…”

Here the title was a lot of help, as well as knowing Marie’s (really editor Mike’s) penchant for metas related to letter frequencies in theme entries. So, taking the title literally, we are looking for letters that only appear once in each of the theme entries. Seeing that each entry was an odd number of letters, I paired up the letters found twice and was left with the “one of a kind” in each, namely ELVIS, indeed a famous entertainer.

I wish the title were a bit more obscure, it seemed to give too much away in my humble opinion. DEEP SIX for [Eliminate] was a nice entry to tie three of the five theme entries together. And though a fan of Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide series, I had forgotten that their onboard computer was named EDDIE. And why not, since HAL was already taken?

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1 Response to WSJ Contest – Friday, July 1, 2016

  1. Derek Allen says:

    I think this puzzle is a little more elegant than it seems. How hard is it to find phrases with every letter appearing exactly twice except for ONE letter that appears only once? Maybe it is easier than I think, but I thought it was phenomenal. Yes, the title gave too much away, but still a feat of construction!

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