WSJ Contest — Friday, October 9, 2020

Grid: 7:30; Meta: forever, then no time at all  


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.

WSJ Contest - 10.9.20 - Solution

WSJ Contest – 10.9.20 – Solution

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.



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6 Responses to WSJ Contest — Friday, October 9, 2020

  1. jefe says:

    Yeah, the short individual words were hard to parse. I said “What is Toom Ucht V?” and chased some wild geese (looking at you, ACHT!) for a while before circling back.

  2. Seth Cohen says:

    Wow I feel dumb. I thought of this immediately, but I thought the remaining 8 letters also needed to be a valid entry for the clue. This, of course, didn’t pan out, so I tried looking for other things. I just tried to make it too complicated!

  3. Neal says:

    Putting the puzzle away and coming back to it did the trick for me. And I’m learning that usually the Meta solution is a lot easier than I make out to be! Great puzzle!

  4. Scott Trerotola says:

    THEM/THE in the title seems also to be a clue. Nice grid and meta

  5. Garrett says:

    I’ll spare you all the ratholes I went down save this one: There is one answer which is INB. I found four ING embedded in other answers, two INE, and one INC. That’s eight (including the INB), so I figured it must be intentional, but could not make any sense of it.

  6. Mister G. says:

    I got temporarily waylaid by all the double-letter combos in the grid: MOTT’S, PUZZLED OUT, MATTY ALOU, MENDELEEV and friends. Not sure if that was coincidental or an intentional misdirect.

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