Matt Gaffney’s Wall Street Journal contest crossword, “Sequence of Events”—Dave Sullivan’s write-upWith the 2016 Summer Olympics opening on the day this puzzle comes out, it’s only appropriate that we are looking for one of the sports being contested at the Rio 2016 Games. (Astute meta solvers will notice that the word “Olympics” is notably missing from this instruction. Metas aren’t always about what is present, sometimes they are solved by noting what is absent!)
We have a linked pair of obvious theme entries and three other entries that seem to be included as well:
- 27a. [With 48-Across, what this puzzle features…] + 48a. […or, if a letter is nudged over, a hint to the contest answer], OLYMPICS WORDPLAY – There’s that “Olympics” we were missing earlier in the instructions. So if we “nudge” the ending S over into WORDPLAY, we have SWORD PLAY. Let’s see how that plays out with the other theme entries.
- 17a. [“You’ll have no trouble at all!”], IT’S A BREEZE
- 37a. [Crude measurement], BARREL OF OIL – that’s Texas Tea, my friends!
- 58a. [Flavoring for some chicken dishes], ORANGE PEEL – why chicken? I tend to call this “zest” when used in a recipe.
Rather easy week on the WSJ contest side, but that’s ok with me. Some other clues I enjoyed: [Use a lot] for PARK, [Pond ponderer] for THOREAU, and [Crow known for making beautiful sounds], featuring a masked capital for SHERYL. Oh, and then there was that final clue I failed to mention…