Grid: 8ish; Meta: sameish
Mike Shenk’s Wall Street Journal contest crossword, “Town & Country” — Laura’s review
This week, we’re looking for an eight-letter word.
Themers are all attractions in various locations:
- [17a: Grand boulevard encircling the historic Innere Stadt]: RINGSTRASSE
- [25a: Thoroughfare flanked by Victorian blue gum eucalyptus trees]: ANZAC PARADE
- [43a: Public space containing a namesake 148-foot-high cut marble tower]: AZADI SQUARE
- [55a: 110-acre attraction that holds the popular “Angry Boy” sculpture]: FROGNER PARK
Taking a hint from the title, I looked on Wikipedia to see in which town and country these attractions resided:
RINGSTRASSE == Vienna, Austria
ANZAC PARADE == Canberra, Australia (there is also one in Sydney, but Canberra is the right one, as we’ll see)
AZADI SQUARE == Tehran, Iran
FROGNER PARK == Oslo, Norway
Taking the first letters of each town and country, we get VACATION, which is an eight-letter word and our answer, and also something I could really use right now.
Now I get the name, Grand Coulee Dam.
Tough puzzle, easy meta. For me.
Coulee, or coulée, is a term applied rather loosely to different landforms, all of which refer to a kind of valley or drainage zone. The word coulee comes from the Canadian French coulée, from the French word couler meaning “to flow”.
This puzzle took some googling, but after I looked it up I realized I used to know the term “vacation”.