Matt Gaffney’s Wall Street Journal contest crossword, “Title Search”—Dave Sullivan’s write-upToday we have rather long instructions for our meta solution: a common three-word phrase (consisting of three of the puzzle’s Across answers) that would make a good title for this puzzle. There can’t be that many common three-word phrases made up of the non-themed Across answers, so I’m hopeful this will be one of our easier contest puzzles. (Good thing, as I’m participating in the Killington Spartan Beast Challenge this weekend!)
Seems as if we have four theme answers to guide us on our way:
- 17a. [Geology’s domain], SOLID EARTH, I’m likely to run into a lot of the non-solid variety of earth this weekend as the forecast is for rain on Sunday!
- 52a. [Athletic conference for Howard University], MIDEASTERN, I believe Howard is an African-American college in DC, but not sure about that.
- 11d. [Game requiring no equipment], HIDE AND SEEK, true dat.
- 24d. [It’s usually a dog, but occasionally a monkey or small horse], GUIDE ANIMAL, dogs yes, but I’ve never seen a blind person led around by a monkey or horse.
Not my favorite meta of Matt’s of late; I found all but HIDE AND SEEK as somewhat speculative theme phrases. Also, I would think it’s hard to get this wrong as how many common three-word phrases can be found other than the correct one? (Certainly NERDY ORIBI SKIMPS wasn’t much competition.) Have a good week!