WSJ Contest — Friday, September 7, 2018

10ish minutes grid, about an afternoon meta (Laura) 


Marie Kelly Mike Shenk’s Wall Street Journal contest crossword, “Now Showing”—Laura’s review

WSJ Contest - 9.7.18 - Solution

WSJ Contest – 9.7.18 – Solution

This week we’ve got a grid with left-right symmetry, and we’re looking for a two-word phrase.

  • [19a: TV series with “hosts” who rebel]: WESTWORLD
  • [22a: TV series whose first winner was BeBe Zahara Benet]: RUPAUL’S DRAG RACE
  • [53a: TV series set at the Stratford Inn]: NEWHART
  • [55a: TV series featuring rapper Paper Boi and his cousin Earn]: ATLANTA
  • [62a: TV series set at the Pearson Specter Litt law firm]: SUITS

I didn’t see any entries into this meta, even using some tried-and-true extraction methods: making lists, looking at letter patterns, etc. Thinking laterally, I tried another approach, and started ideating on what other things the shows had in common: the first three all involve hosts, the second two are about college dropouts; they’re all currently being broadcast except Newhart — but nothing. Then I made a list of the networks each show has appeared on (mostly; RuPaul’s Drag Race has been on both LOGO and VH1) — didn’t really see anything there, until the slightest of nudges from a pal in my solving group led me back to the networks, which are, respectively:


… and there it was, right at [1a: Bindle bearer]: HOBO. For each network, there is a corresponding additional entry in the grid that has one extra letter, like so:

1a: HOBO
58a: LONGO
46a: CABS
33d: FIX
41d: URSA

… which makes ON AIR, a two-word phrase that is somewhat synonymous with the puzzle’s title, “Now Showing.”

This was a nice one, just tough enough without being maddening, and it rewarded my TV trivia knowledge. What did you think?

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10 Responses to WSJ Contest — Friday, September 7, 2018

  1. Scott says:

    I listed the networks…but never got the next connection. Oh well, a nice meta nevertheless.

  2. Armagh says:

    A vidiot’s delight.

  3. JohnH says:

    I had no idea. I never watched Newhart but was aware it existed, and the other four are from after I stopped watching TV, so never even heard of them. I’d no clue what to look for in connection with them. They might as well have been in another language.

  4. Kaille says:

    I had the network list, but had Rupaul’s show on VH1, and I couldn’t do anything with it so I didn’t pursue it further. Never heard of LOGO. Dang it.

  5. musicgleehigh says:

    It was “hobo” and “Westworld” that got me started on the right track.

    Oh “longo,” a nod to Frank Longo!

  6. sps says:

    Unbelievable. I got nowhere with this meta and almost submitted ON AIR as a Hail Mary. Oh well. In retrospect, this was gettable and I shoulda, coulda…

  7. Norm H says:

    Beautiful meta — simple and clean. Very well done.

  8. HomeSkooled says:

    I think the reference to the winner of the first season of Ru Paul may have been an indicator to the first season which was on the Logo network.

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