Marie Kelly’s Wall Street Journal contest crossword, “Play Grounds”—Dave Sullivan’s write-upThis week, the final WSJ Contest puzzle of 2017, we’re looking for a kind of competition. The 7 (!) theme entries are starred, and without further ado, here they are:
- 16a. [*Didn’t stoop to], ROSE ABOVE
- 20a. [*Adolescent growth], PEACH FUZZ – because ACNE wouldn’t fit
- 25a. [*Bright-colored dishes], FIESTAWARE – is it true that some of the original colors were radioactive or is that just an urban legend?
- 38a. [*Evening shows], SUNSETS – here in Vermont, the sun is currently setting around 4:30pm, so they’re more like late afternoon shows here!
- 47a. [*American rabbit], COTTONTAIL
- 52a. [*Cereal promoted by a cowboy prairie dog in the early 1960s], SUGAR POPS – does this clue imply they are no longer sold? I recall the cereal, but not the commercial.
- 62a. [*Many an Aussie cattle rancher], OUTBACKER – I doubt many of these ranchers would refer to themselves with this term, but not having been to Australia (the closest I got was to New Zealand about 8 years ago), I can’t stand on a lot of authority here.
One doesn’t have to be much of a fan of college football to recognize all of these entries begin with the name of a college football bowl. I haven’t kept up with how the BCS championship bowls are selected–this year, Georgia plays Oklahoma in the Rose Bowl and Clemson and Alabama (even though they recently lost to Auburn!) play in the Sugar Bowl, with the winners playing a week later in Atlanta. A timely and straightforward meta to end the year.
Here’s to another set of top quality puzzles in the new year! Best wishes for a happy and prosperous 2018 to you all.