Matt Gaffney’s Wall Street Journal contest crossword, “Between Meals”—Laura’s review
Not much standing out themer-wise, but that long central across has to be important:
- [40a: Matching pair that bookends a sandwich]: SLICES OF BREAD
At first, I thought I was looking for types of bread that might be “bookending” other entries, and I was distracted by the BEEF in 8-Down. But then the insight descended upon me to take the instruction hinted at in 40-Across literally. I noticed that AGRA was the first across entry and ASEA was the last, and that both of those have a “matching pair” of As that “bookends” two other letters. It occurred to me that there is a popular sandwich that begins with GR and ends with SE. So I started looking for other “matching pair[s]” — and found them thusly:
[1a: Pearl Mosque setting]: AGRA
[16a: Slight slope]: TILT
[18a: They may crash into snowmen]: SLEDS
[20a: Pillow covers]: SHAMS
[47a: Makes smoother]: SANDS
[64a: 400% of dos]: OCHO
[69a: Intentional act]: DEED
[74a: Traveling o’er the waves]: ASEA
Indeed, GRILLED HAM AND CHEESE is a kind of sandwich, the letters of which are sandwiched by matching pairs of “bread letters” in those entries. This was fun! And not too tough — a good meta for folks who are just learning metas. I never bother to look at the solution that the WSJ posts, but I’ll be curious if they get a bunch of folks who submit GRILLED CHEESE without “HAM AND,” and if they’ll accept those entries as correct.
You know who really knows how to make a sandwich? Lady Gaga.