Patrick Berry’s Wall Street Journal contest crossword, “Series Finale”—Laura’s review
I don’t think we’ve seen Patrick [16a: Vine fruit]: BERRY in the rotation for a few weeks, so, welcome back PB!
This week we’re looking for a “TV show title.” The Series Finale for Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, my favorite show, aired on Friday; I DVR’ed it but still cannot bear to watch it, for I fear it will break my heart. On to the puzzle, then — let’s see if we can get a “Series Finale” out of the seven longest across entries:
- [17a: Opening band?]: TEAR STRIP
- [21a: Commander of the Greeks at 57-Down]: AGAMEMNON
- [35a: Bed covers]: CANOPIES
- [39a: Scientific article?]: LAB COAT
- [45a: Kandahar natives]: AFGHANIS
- [55a: Dylan of “American Horror Story”]: MCDERMOTT
- [64a: Business networking opportunity]: TRADE FAIR
Given that there doesn’t seem to be any thematic connection among the entries, I figured that we must be looking for an orthographic pattern. I immediately noticed, seeing ABC in LAB COAT right there in the center, that each of the entries had three-letter alphabetic series contained within them, like so:
If you take the last letter of each series, as the puzzle’s title suggests, you get TOP CHEF, which is indeed a “TV show title,” and our answer. I love to cook, and have not shied away from injecting a bit of competition into the kitchen, but strangely enough, I don’t usually watch cooking shows. They give me lots of anxiety-by-proxy! But I enjoyed this metapuzzle very much, and found it not particularly difficult — maybe 1.5 Metaweeks on the Gaffney Scale.
Here’s a song I realized that I’ve never heard: [71a: “Dear ___” (John Lennon song)]: YOKO.