Matt Gaffney’s Wall Street Journal contest crossword, “Conservation Efforts”—Dave Sullivan’s write-upWe’re looking this week for a valuable resource. I wonder if it has to do with resources we use when solving metas? It’d be interesting to hear from others if meta-solving requires a slightly different set of pattern-matching skills than “just” solving regular crossword puzzles. Sumthin’ to chew on, for sure!
Anyway, back to this week’s puzzle. Seems there is only one obvious theme entry in the center:
- 41a. [Conservation phrase to use three times], WASTE NOT WANT NOT – I read that this proverb dates back to 1772, but also had an earlier, even more alliterative version, willful waste makes woeful want (1576). That longer version of course would not fit in a standard weekly crossword grid!
I kept 17a. [Captures the zeitgeist], RIDES A WAVE and 65a. [Like many debut albums], SELF-TITLED in my back pocket at first, ready to add to the meta clues if needed. It wasn’t too long into this one that I noticed many other shorter words in the grid which were anagrams of WASTE and WANT, with the addition of one other letter. To wit:
- NEW AT
- A SWEET – an odd partial that set me on the meta path
From top-to-bottom, you have ENERGY, indeed a valuable resource. I’m pretty impressed that Matt found this set of six words that included the extra letters in order to spell the meta solution. Nice tie-in to the proverb and meta instructions as well.
I’ll close with one of my favorite clues in this one, 11d. [You, presumably] for EARTHLING, as I agree that that’s a pretty safe presumption to make! On the other hand, I’m not sure I’ve encountered BIV in a grid before, but it quickly came to me clued as the FITB, [Roy G. ___], or the mnemonic used to remember the colors of the rainbow.