Matt Gaffney’s Wall Street Journal contest crossword, “This, That and the Other Thing” — [36-Down]’s review
Full disclosure — solved this with my friends while waiting for the ACPT final puzzle to post!
We’re looking for a four-word phrase. Five themers have asterisks:
- [17a: “Blowin’ in the Wind” performer]: BOB DYLAN
- [25a: Available at a moment’s notice]: ON STANDBY
- [40a: Unstinting effort, in a bodily metaphor]: HEART
- [55a: Showing grace under fire]: UNRATTLED
- [67a: Average guy]: JOE SCHMO
Turns out, each one of those clues has an alternate answer that follows the pattern of the title:
- [17a: “Blowin’ in the Wind” performer]: PETER PAUL AND MARY
- [25a: Available at a moment’s notice]: READY WILLING AND ABLE
- [40a: Unstinting effort, in a bodily metaphor]: BLOOD SWEAT AND TEARS
- [55a: Showing grace under fire]: COOL CALM AND COLLECTED
- [67a: Average guy]: TOM DICK AND HARRY
Of those alternate answers, each of the first two — the “this” and the “that” — can also be found in the grid, but the “other thing” cannot. The first letters of the “other things” spell out M A T C H — suggesting that if we follow the pattern, our answer is the four-word phrase GAME SET AND MATCH.