Matt Gaffney’s Wall Street Journal contest crossword, “Where’s the Rest?”—Laura’s review
This week, we need to find a four-letter verb that [Matt] hope[s] this puzzle doesn’t make you want to do.
No standout themers, so something else must be going on. Aha! A bunch of clues don’t match their entries regarding number:
- [34a: Haunted house shouts]: BOO
- [55a: Tampa Bay team]: RAY
- [2d: Cherbourg cheeses]: BRIE
- [58d: World-weary exhalations]: SIGH
- [64d: The Black and the Bering, for two]: SEA
First step: Pluralize those entries in order to match their clues, and you get:
Next step: Realize that these are homophones of five other words (all of which, nicely, use a Z):
BOOS ==> BOOZE
RAYS ==> RAZE
BRIES ==> BREEZE
SIGH ==> SIZE
SEAS ==> SEIZE
Next step: Discover five additional entries in the grid that are synonyms of those homophones:
BOOZE ==> [61a: Sauce]: HOOCH
RAZE ==> [30a: Destroy]: OBLITERATE
BREEZE ==> [51a: Wind]: GUST
SIZE ==> [17a: Magnitude]: DIMENSION
SEIZE ==> [41a: Commandeer]: USURP
Put those in grid order, and they spell DOUGH. Is that the answer?
N’oh! DOUGH is a five-letter noun. There’s another step: Apply the same pluralization:
DOUGH ==> DOUGHS ==> DOZE, which is a four-letter verb that [Matt] hope[s] this puzzle doesn’t make you want to do, and our answer.