Marie Kelly’s Wall Street Journal contest crossword, “Call of the Wild”—Dave Sullivan’s write-upOk folks, this week we’re in search of a five-letter word that is a homophone of another word. Well all homophones involve “another word,” so that part of the instructions seemed a bit superfluous to me, but no matter. Let’s sally forth, shall we?
Good news this week in that we have five pretty obvious theme answers and a five-letter word that we’re looking for. Here are the theme answers:
- 17a. [Folks with titles], HOME OWNERS – “titles” as in “deeds”
- 19a. [Short-lived sitcom starring Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen], TWO OF A KIND – twins, weren’t they?
- 38a. [When Benedict Arnold’s treason was discovered], SEVENTEEN EIGHTY – as a Vermonter, he’s next on my biography list to read, just as soon as I’m done with the Green Mountain Boys’ Ethan Allen
- 58a. [Supplies for needle workers], TATTOO INK – my guess is tattoo artists refer to their supplies as just “ink”
- 62a. [Grammy, for one], MUSIC AWARD
So given the title, the “calls” of the wild came up pretty quickly from these entries. But what to do with them? It wasn’t long afterwards I saw HOARSE sitting over to the left of the grid and thought, “Hey, that’s a homophone of HORSE, which neighs.” Do the others have homophones? But other than CHAT, which is the French word for CAT, I couldn’t really see similar connections. So I almost just submitted HORSE and planned on leaving it at that.
But I’m glad I thought more about CHAT, it just being one letter off from CAT, as HOARSE is from HORSE. That led me down the trail of discovering DOGE, PRIG and CROWD, so we actually had 10 theme entries in this puzzle. Those extra letters spelled EARHD if read from across to down entries or DEARH if in strict numerical order. Neither is a word, much less a homophone, but if one shuffles them, HEARD is, and an apt homophone of HERD. I’m surprised a bit at the need to anagram these letters, so hope my submission ends up being correct.
I’ll finish with my fave clue of the rest of the fill: [Post-trip assurance] for “I’M OK!”. That’s “assurance” not “insurance”! Thanks in advance to Team Fiend’s Laura who will do next’s week commentary as I join over 30k runners in Nashville for its annual Rock ‘n’ Roll marathon.