Matt Gaffney’s Wall Street Journal contest crossword, “Listen Up” — Conrad’s review.
This week we’re looking for an eight-letter word. There were four long theme entries, each with two EARs:
- [17a: Tarnishing the reputation of funnyman Harry?]: SMEARINGSHEARER
- [27a: Quaint establishment owned by golfer Mark?]: OMEARASTEAROOM
- [43a: Congressional testimony that’s downright depressing?]: DREARYHEARINGS
- [57a: Convincing the squad leader to give back your primitive weapons?]: REEARNINGSPEARS
Speaking of things that go in one ear and out the other: I somehow missed 66a while solving, and looked for things above the EARs. I poked around the grid for a bit, finding no signal, and finally noticed EAR in the final horizontal spot, clued as “In one ___ and out the other (how a word may travel through someone’s brain–or through this puzzle grid).” That locked in the solution: the letters on the left and right side of each pair of ears spell MEMORIES, our contest solution.