Matt Gaffney’s Wall Street Journal contest crossword, “Show Them the Way”—Laura’s review
This week, we’re looking for a three-word phrase naming something parents hope their kids will avoid.
We have five themers and a hinty-seeming final across entry:
- [18a: Deduce]: PUZZLE OUT
- [24a: Winery part]: TASTING ROOM
- [38a: Middle of three baseball brothers]: MATTY ALOU
- [57a: Regatta entrant]: RACING YACHT
- [64a: Chemist honored with element 101]: MENDELEEV
- [75a: “___ Is Enough” (Dick Van Patten show whose title can be applied to certain grid answers)]: EIGHT
After solving the grid, I really had no idea how to “apply” the final entry, so I put this away for a while, and mentioned to a friend that I was struggling. “Just follow the directions!” he said, so I took another look — and there it was: if eight letters are enough for each themer, what is left over?
T OOM U CHT V … or TOO MUCH TV which is a three-word phrase naming something parents hope their kids will avoid and our answer.
I definitely remember watching Eight Is Enough in my tender years, but I did not remember how closely the opening credits — freeze-frame, actor name, gentle smile — resemble the most brilliant and demented piece of comedy from recent years, Too Many Cooks. Whoever made that certainly watched TOO MUCH TV.