WSJ Contest — Friday, October 16, 2020

Grid: 7ish; Meta: same  


Mike Shenk’s Wall Street Journal contest crossword, “Summer Wear”—Laura’s review

This week, Mike wants us to find an article of clothing.

WSJ Contest - 10.16.20 - Solution

WSJ Contest – 10.16.20 – Solution

Interestingly laid out grid, with two themer-ish entries that seem promising:

  • [15a: Lakers accomplishment in 2002]: THREEPEAT
  • [63a: Baggy knickers that might be worn in the summer]: PLUSFOURS

For a hot second, I thought the meta would involve be something like taking all the letters in the squares that are multiples of four, but no. In veritable fact, there is a threepeat of plus signs in the grid’s layout, and if you take the four letters surrounding those plus signs, you get:


Or, KNEE BREECHES, which is an article of clothing worn by, say, the cast of Hamilton, and our answer.

Although there are no knee breeches in this video from dress historian Bernadette Banner, she offers many helpful corrections to unfortunate Halloween costume designs.


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8 Responses to WSJ Contest — Friday, October 16, 2020

  1. JohnH says:

    As usual, I got nowhere. There looked like nine likely theme entries, all the longest and of the same length, but they seemed to have nothing in common and nothing hidden within or across them. From the title, I looked in the entries and clues for references to summer, in the sense of either the season or addition, but no dice. Same with clothing (wear).

    There had been a couple of straight puzzles that turned out to privilege the last entry, and I pronounced ESSEN out loud as SN. I saw SOME NERVE, but that didn’t otherwise lead to anything. So I gave up. I’m just not learning after all these months.

  2. Mary Flaminio says:

    Obscure article of clothing. Not even close.

  3. Flinty Steve says:

    The plus signs (summers) are “wearing” the answer. Plus fours are similar to knee breeches. This puzzle was not completely obscure.

  4. Tom Wilson says:

    Hang in there, JohnH! You may not have gotten this one, but you’ve provided ample evidence that your mind has been sufficiently altered by months of practice. You’re already looking for trails to follow – even if they lead to rabbit holes – and I’m confident that your newly distorted vision will eventually see you through. No matter how devious Mike & Co. get, I wouldn’t bet against you!

  5. david s doyle says:

    The clue for plusfours had “summer” and a form of “wear” in it. Focusing on plus fours led to the 4 letters around the plus signs.

  6. Das Funk says:

    The letters found at the “7’s”, (e.g. 7, 17, 27, 37, etc) spell out SHAPERS, an article of clothing that are worn beneath swimsuits, or, alternatively, some swimsuits are sold as “shapewear swimwear”.

    Three (Peat) Plus Four(s) is 7, from which I developed the hypothesis that solvers were to look at all the letters in the “7” boxes.

    My answer appears saggy and shows curves in all the wrong places.

  7. Amanda says:

    That video was fascinating! I never knew I’d be interested in the topic. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Matt says:

    I had KNEE BREE SECH written across the top of my page. Still didn’t see it. ?

Comments are closed.