Marie Kelly’s Wall Street Journal contest crossword, “Street Smart”—Dave Sullivan’s write-upThis week we’re on the hunt for a five-letter verb. OK, with five theme entries it’s a good bet each will contribute one letter to that verb. Let’s dig in and find out, shall we?
- 17a. [*Color in a Crayola 64-crayon box], RAW SIENNA
- 21a. [*John Glenn, in the 1950s], TEST PILOT
- 39a. [*”I’ve done this before, you know!”], NOT MY FIRST RODEO – a great phrase, I wonder what its etymology is?
- 54a. [*Amtrak’s New York-to-Toronto train], MAPLE LEAF
- 64a. [*Fifth movie in a 1940s-’50s comedy series], ROAD TO RIO – I think this was the Marx Brothers,
but I’m too lazy to confirm right now.
I originally thought the solution might be “drive,” as that can follow TEST and RODEO. Then I wondered if perhaps a different synonym of street (like way, road, etc.) might work for each one, but there was no street that began with RAW or SIENNA that I’ve ever heard of. I’m not sure now if it was SIENNA or PILOT that made me think of car makes, but that was the right path to take. Without further ado, here are the manufacturers of each model:
- TOYOTA SIENNA
- HONDA PILOT
- ISUZU RODEO – is Joe Isuzu still around?
- NISSAN LEAF – all-electric, no?
- KIA RIO
From top to bottom, you get THINK, a five-letter verb and confirmed by the puzzle’s title “Street Smart.” I enjoyed the tie-in between the title and the meta solution in this one, but feel car makes are a perhaps too-well-trodden vein for meta material. As always, YMMVW. I’ll close with my favorite clue in this one, [Rabbit hole dweller], for ALICE, as it reminded me of the many rabbit holes I’ve visited over the years of meta puzzle solving!