WSJ Contest — Friday, August 9, 2019

grid: 9 minutes, meta: immediately  


Peter Gordon’s Wall Street Journal contest crossword, “Simon Says”—Laura’s review

The problem is all inside the grid, I’ll say to thee.
The answer, a song, is easy if you take it logically —
I’d like to help you with this puzzle by Peter G.
There’s just one way to solve this meta.

I’ll say it’s really not my habit to preclude.
Furthermore, I hope my post won’t be trolled or seen as rude.
But I’ll repeat myself at the risk of attitude:
There’s just one way to solve this meta —
One way to solve this meta …

WSJ Contest - 8.9.19 - Solution

WSJ Contest – 8.9.19 – Solution

  • You just slip out the back, [20a:  Exceptionally good, informally]: CRACKERJACK
  • Make a new plan, [27a: Region including eastern Turkey and northern Iraq]: KURDISTAN
  • You don’t need to be coy, [39a: Butterfly that resembles the monarch]: VICEROY
    Just get yourself free
  • Hop on the bus, [47a: Its call sign is “Shamrock”]: AER LINGUS
    You don’t need to discuss much
  • Just drop off the key, [52a: Dam on the Columbia River]: GRAND COULEE
    And get yourself free

I’d say, why don’t we both just sleep on it tonight?
And I believe in the morning you’ll begin to see the light,
When you read my post and realize I definitely am right;
That the answer is: Paul Simon’s “Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lover.”

If you like that song, here’s a cover …

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18 Responses to WSJ Contest — Friday, August 9, 2019

  1. RAD2626 says:


  2. Al Sanders says:

    Puzzle Review of the year! If there isn’t an Orca for puzzle blogging, there should be!

  3. Jon Forsythe says:


  4. DRC says:

    LOVE this Laura – great job!

  5. John Lampkin says:

    What Al Sanders said.

  6. JohnH says:

    After the Grand Coulee Dam, I couldn’t get another song, “Idiot Wind,” out of my head, because not even Paul Simon is Bob Dylan. But I did realize at once that it was irrelevant.

  7. Amy L says:

    Loved the puzzle. Love the review.

    Those five names sounded so familiar but I googled them to get the answer. Were there people who identified the song from the names?

    • bunella says:

      Yes I did recognize the song from the names.
      My late husband’s name was Stan and we used to sing this song all the time.

    • Barry says:

      Don’t forget, the theme was Simon says.

    • ahimsa says:

      I do the meta puzzles regularly and I almost never solve them.

      For some reason I got this one right away!

      PS. The write-up was wonderful!

  8. Kay W says:

    Brava, Laura! Thanks for ensuring this earworm stays firmly embedded at least one more day – but at least with fresh and clever lyrics.

  9. Jim Schooler says:

    5 Star Review!

  10. Ellen Nichols says:

    I knew from the title of the puzzle, Simon Says, that the meta answer would be a song by either Carly Simon or Paul Simon. I solved the puzzle without thinking about it. Then started reading the “theme” answers and had it as soon as I said Jack, Stan

    Now I have an earworm.

    Wonderful review, Laura.

  11. Barry says:

    Consistently great blog. Thank you.

Comments are closed.