Matt Gaffneys Wall Street Journal contest crossword, “Happy Together” — Conrad’s review.
This week Matt tells us, The answer to this week’s contest crossword, which is five letters long, is something I hope you’ll feel when you’ve solved this. There are five long theme entries, each in “this and that” form:
- [16a: Choose-your-own]: MIXANDMATCH
- [23a: Still very much with us]: ALIVEANDWELL
- [40a: Next-level exciting]: BIGGERANDBETTER
- [50a: College student’s concern]: ROOMANDBOARD
- [63a: Fly off the handle]: RANTANDRAVE
The first letter of each word on either side of the ANDs maps back to the clues of other grid entries. Here they are, in grid order of the mapped entries:
- (B)ARQS: Root beer rival of Dad’s and Hires -> A&W
- (L)EAVE: Time off, in the military -> R&R
- (I)NN: Comfy place for the night -> B&B
- (S)KA: Genre in a record store -> R&B
- (S)KOR: Piece of chocolate candy -> M&M
The mapped entries spell BLISS, our contest solution. Another precision WSJ meta from Matt, with a no-doubt answer. I was really tempted to end with Set Adrift on Memory Bliss again, but I used that for Matt’s last WSJ meta answer. ROXY Music is in the grid, so I’ll end with 10000 Maniacs (fronted by Mary Ramsey) covering More Than This.