Matt Gaffney’s Wall Street Journal contest crossword, “Winter Fall” — Conrad’s review.
Happy holidays, everyone! Matt gave us a winter-themed meta this week, where we’re looking for a nine-letter word. There were no clear theme entries, but Matt provided a hint with 69d (ICE), clued as: It may hang perilously from rooftops in winter…or from some crossword answers. That indicated that the down entries were probably important. MAL (43d) was my entry to the meta, becoming MAL(ICE) after “hanging” ICE from it. That matched SPITE’s clue “Vengefulness.” The rest of the themers fell fairly quickly:
- 5d: JUST(ICE) -> [36a: One of the cabinet departments]: EDUCATION
- 18d: NOT(ICE) -> [45a:General awareness]: ATTENTION
- 23d: BOD(ICE) -> [14a: Clothing worn on the top on the body]: VEST
- 28d: POL(ICE) -> [39d: They respond to life-threatening situations]: EMTS
- 43d: MAL(ICE) -> [9d: Vengefulness]: SPITE
- 61d: CORN(ICE) -> [4d: Architectural feature on top of a building]: DOME
- 63d: NOV(ICE) -> [30a: Newb]: ROOKIE
- 64d: CHO(ICE) ->[50d: Possibility]: OPTION
- 65d: OFF(ICE) -> [15a: Part of P.O.]: POST
The mapped grid entries spell EAVESDROP, our contest solution. Fun meta! I’m impressed by the amount of meta-related content that Matt managed to cram into the grid. Solvers: let me know what you thought of it, and please share your entry point to the theme. We’ll end with Bing Crosby and David Bowie singing their classic holiday duet Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy.