Marie Kelly’s Wall Street Journal contest crossword, “Perfect Position”—Dave Sullivan’s write-upFirst off, thanks to Laura for subbing for me while I was running up, down and through the streets of Nashville for their annual Rock ‘n’ Roll marathon. It was a wonderful day and definitely a city I’ll want to return to (and perhaps spend less time on my feet). Anyway, let’s see if I can slip back into my old role here chez Fiend.
This week we’re in search of a four-letter verb. And with four very obvious theme answers, I’m assuming (for now) that each will provide a letter to that verb.
- 17a. [Shipper’s business], FREIGHT HANDLING – I wonder if anyone in the shipping business would refer to what they do with this awkward phrase
- 26a. [Acoustician’s concern], NOISE CONDITIONS – yikes, this phrase seems even more alien to my ear
- 44a. [1959 play with a title from a Langston Hughes poem], A RAISIN IN THE SUN – finally, something that I recognize! I’m more familiar with the movie starring Sidney Poitier than the poem “Harlem,” also known as “A Dream Deferred.”
- 57a. [Apply increased pressure], TIGHTEN THE SCREW – my ear wants screws in the plural here (how many screws typically must be tightened in a torture device to apply pressure?)
Wasn’t a big fan of this meta (assuming I got it right, and not missing another layer), the ordinals were pretty obvious and having them point to their theme entries seemed a bit disappointing to me. If the 15-letter phrases had a bit more zip, I might’ve been more inclined to like this idea a bit better, but I do understand it’s hard to find common phrases with such a restrictive set of consecutive letters.
Some interesting clues were the unusual [Lickspittle] for TOADY and [Grind gauge] for DRIP, the latter I’m still baffled by. Is this a plumbing term?