WSJ Contest — Friday, January 15, 2021

Grid: 7; Meta: 10  


Matt Gaffney’s Wall Street Journal contest crossword, “I Won’t Spoil the Ending” — Laura’s review

Superquick post because I’m in the middle of the MIT Mystery Hunt!

This week, we’re looking for a well-known animated movie.

WSJ Contest - 1.15.21 - Solution

WSJ Contest – 1.15.21 – Solution

Let’s start with some nonsense-y themers:

  • [17a: Cave with super-friendly residents? (1988)]: WELCOMING GROTTO
  • [23a:, e.g.? (1997)]: RAMEN DOMAIN
  • [39a: Buy Australian Open jackets for everyone in its city? (2007—careful!)]: CLOTHE MELBOURNE
  • [52a: Wash dirt off of your pet larva? (1998)]: BATHE MAGGOT
  • [61a: Result of a lamp designer refunding an accidental overcharge? (1999)]: TIFFANY FORGIVEN

First observation: If we “spoil” the endings of each word in the themers, we get the first two words of three-word movie titles from the year in parentheses:

MEN IN Black
THE BOURNE Ultimatum (this is why the year is important!)

Second observation: The first letters of the words that complete the titles spell out A BUG’S …

Third observation: Follow the pattern and complete that title with LIFE, for the 1998 Pixar film A BUG’S LIFE, which is a well-known animated movie and our answer.

Back to hunting mysteries …


This entry was posted in Contests and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to WSJ Contest — Friday, January 15, 2021

  1. Barry Miller says:

    You make it sound easy. I found it challenging and am grateful to have solved it. Thank you Matt for a rewarding, worthwhile challenge.

  2. Garrett says:

    My brain just wasn’t thinking this way at all. I figured the last word in each was either part of a movie title or a hint to it, or perhaps a key feature of the plot (there is a 1999 movie called Forgiven).

    Now it looks easy, and I can’t believe I did not notice any of the hidden first parts. Perhaps the title caused me to focus on the end (wrong end, as it turns out!).

  3. Scott says:

    I pulled EGGO and BATHMAT out of BATHEMAGGOT and simply got stuck there.

  4. Charles Stevens says:

    I figured out Coming to America pretty quickly which set me on the right track, but my brain kept insisting that the 1997 movie had to be “(Robin Hood) Men in Tights,” which made the second step quite a bit more time consuming than it should have been. Never mind that I was four years off.

  5. David Plass says:

    Why does “spoil” mean “use”?

Comments are closed.