WSJ Contest — Friday, January 21, 2022

Grid: 10 minutes; meta: 15 more. 


Mike Shenk’s Wall Street Journal contest crossword, “You Don’t Say” — Conrad’s review.

This week we’re looking for an eight-letter noun. There were two long horizontal entries (ELUCIDATES and MAUIISLAND), but I didn’t spot the other theme entries at first. I bumped around the grid for a while, noticed the higher than average number of U’s, and then spotted the “You” in 57 and 63 across:

  • Phrase grating to grammarians: BEWTEEN/YOUANDI

That locked in the theme: look for letters in the grid between “U” and “I”:

WSJ Contest – 1.21.22 - Solution

WSJ Contest – 1.21.22 – Solution

  • [1a: Brandy and Snoop Dogg, e.g.]: COU(S)INS
  • [14a: California’s General Sherman, for one]: SEQU(O)IA
  • [17a: Big rig gig]: HAU(L)ING
  • [21a: Bring up to date]: CU(E)IN
  • [26a: Makes crystal clear]: ELU(C)IDATES
  • [46a: Haleakala National Park setting]: MAU(I)ISLAND
  • [51a: Sleepyhead in an Everly Brothers Song]: SU(S)IE
  • [59a: Cigar Holder]: HU(M)IDOR

The grid letters between U and I spell SOLECISM, our contest solution. I thought this was a fun/clean meta, with a 100% lock on the solution. We’ll end with Wilco and Feist.


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12 Responses to WSJ Contest — Friday, January 21, 2022

  1. Billy Boy says:

    I’m terrible with many a meta, but got this one in two minutes, I was surprised how direct it was.

  2. James Catanzaro says:

    I was able to finally solve a Meta! I usually don’t even bother if the answer is tied to some arcane subject I have no knowledge of. But this Meta was tied to first correctly solving the puzzle and seeing the clue inside the correctly solved puzzle with the answer inside the correctly solved puzzle. Having to have knowledge of arcane topics has little to do with problem solving inteligences.

    • Amanda says:

      Don’t write a meta off just because of the subject. I see people on the message boards all the time who say they don’t do sports-related metas. I know absolutely nothing about sports, but I’ve rarely found that matters when solving. The chess-based ones, maybe, but even those you can research the rules and how the pieces move.

  3. Garrett says:

    It’s nice to have a break from all the bone-crushing metas and have one like this that feels like a dip in a hot spring on a cold winter’s day.

  4. Neal R says:

    First time in forever that I’ve locked in on the meta before I solved the puzzle. My two big takeaways: I can now define SOLECISM. And Snoop Dogg and Brandy are cousins? Wha?! :)

  5. Andrew Bradburn says:

    The name of the puzzle was “You Don’t Say”, not ‘Between You and I” which was in the grid.

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