WSJ Contest — Friday, August 7, 2020

Grid: 8ish; Meta: same  


Mike Shenk’s Wall Street Journal contest crossword, “Let’s Move Beyond It”—Laura’s review

WSJ Contest - 8.7.20 - Solution

WSJ Contest – 8.7.20 – Solution

This week, we’re looking for a six-letter word. We have six themers, so it’s quite likely that each one contributes a letter:

  • [17a: Queen Mary 2, for one]: LUXURY LINER
  • [21a: Sundance Film Festival setting]: PARK CITY
  • [32a: First-day-of-class handout]: READING LIST
  • [42a: Test format]: SHORT ANSWER
  • [54a: Workaholic’s rarity]: FREE TIME
  • [59a: Orinoco River swimmer]: ELECTRIC EEL

Let’s see, each one is two words, and the first words all belong to a familiar set — they’re spaces on a Monopoly board:


I noticed the first step pretty quickly, but was stumped for a few minutes trying to extract the rest — until I thought about the title: “Let’s Move Beyond It.” In Monopoly, one part of gameplay is passing — moving beyond — the Go space, and collecting one’s $200. What would we find if we moved beyond each of these spaces?


Those six spaces spell out BLOCKS, which is a six-letter word, and I guess blocks are things that are in cities, and the Monopoly board is based on a city (Atlantic City, NJ), so, sure.

In a world where there are movies based on board games such as Clue, Battleship, and Ouija (three movies based on Ouija! but is that, like, really a game tho?), take a chance on the upcoming film based on Monopoly that passed Go last year.

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18 Responses to WSJ Contest — Friday, August 7, 2020

  1. Seth says:

    I never ever play Monopoly so I had no chance on this one.

  2. Tyler Hinman says:

    Obligatory reminder that Monopoly is a terrible game.

  3. Streroto says:

    I have been playing Monopoly for over 50 years, and I’ve never heard of a monopoly referred to as a block. This made perfect sense meta wise, so I went with it, and Mr. G confirmed that this is part of the current lingo, however I don’t know when it started. Nonetheless, extremely elegant and fun puzzle.

  4. jefe says:

    Nice puzzle; meta came easily. Dunno what the deal is with all the 1* ratings.

    • Obligatory reminder that the star ratings system is useless and people should stop treating it like it’s a meaningful measure of a puzzle’s quality.

      • Garrett says:

        I’ve always thought there should be two ratings — one for how much pleasure you got out of solving the puzzle, and another your appreciation of the craft that went into creating the puzzle. I’ve had a few that would be opposite for those two

  5. Alex says:

    Haven’t played Monopoly in ages, so didn’t have a Clue. Before throwing in the towel, went down a rabbit hole of looking for the letter B. Title was “Let’s Move BE-yond It” and there were zero B’s in the completed grid (but plenty in the clues.)

  6. Alex says:

    By the way, does anyone know the process by which the WSJ randomly selects the mug winner? Just curious about how “randomness” is implemented in different contests.

  7. Bob B says:

    Interesting meta. I like it although I did not solve this one. Call me a purist but I try to do these without relying on searching the Internet. So this morning after seeing the answer I put the six theme words (Luxury, reading, free, short park, electric) into a couple search engines (bing and google). After about 20 entries for cars and places to live, Bing had a reference to Monopoly property prices. I gave up on Google after about a hundred suggestions. Maybe it could have been a tool that could have helped if one were desperate.

  8. Billy Boy says:

    Neither Monopoly nor scrabble interest me. In fact, google other game boards, etc.? As a requirement to solve a META?

    Two minutes to try to solve the meta and I went about my business.

  9. Sheik Yerbouti says:

    I submitted BLOCKS but I still don’t understand how it fits with the title. The title refers to “it” but the answer is plural? I’m clearly missing something.

  10. David Roll says:

    I never did memorize the Monopoly board, so it is a one from me. Just too much to expect in MHO.

  11. Garrett says:

    I got all the references okay, but it did not occur to me that I needed to take the next thing after each one.

    Instead, I thought it was significant that the four longer themers were eleven letters each, for a total of 44. If you start at GO, you move beyond Income Tax (IT), go all the way around the board and then land on Income Tax. Since all the other references were the first word only, and Income is six letters, it seemed like a perfect lock to me, and I submitted that (GO is square 0/40).

  12. Torridd says:

    Ugh, I was thinking of beyond the word, “it.” I never had a chance.

  13. C Daniel Smith says:

    Where is the person’s name for the winning entry published? Or is it?

    • BarbaraK says:

      It’s published with the following Friday’s puzzle – in the paper and in the PDF online.

      They usually also put it in the comments, along with the number of submissions, percent correct, and any common or especially interesting wrong answers. That hasn’t happened yet this week though.

  14. Joella D Hultgren says:

    They have been pretty slow in publishing the winner’s name, statistics, number of correct responses, etc. since early spring. Supposedly they are working from home, but the announcements, which used to come on Monday, are now announced on Wednesday or Thursday.

Comments are closed.