Matt Gaffney’s Wall Street Journal contest crossword, “Get Possessive” — Conrad’s review.
This week we’re looking for the a nine-letter, two-word phrase. There were five theme entries:
- [17a: 2017 AL Rookie of the Year]: AARONJUDGE
- [26a: Worker who’s often a whistle-blower]: GYMTEACHER
- [40a: It knocked “Paint It Black” off the #1 spot]: PAPERBACKWRITER
- [58a: Expert with the press]: SPINDOCTOR
- [68a: “Sweet Love” singer]: ANITABAKER
I looked for possessive clues, such as “Atty.’s org” (ABA), trying to map to JUDGE, but that rabbit hole fizzled out quickly. I saw nothing helpful in the grid, so I scanned the clues. The clue for SIX (Dozen Halved) matched BAKER’s dozen, and the rest fell quickly:
- CRANE – Chambers dated him on “Cheers” (JUDGE’s chambers)
- HAIR – Pet owner’s furniture cover (TEACHER’s pet)
- EPEE – Block performer’s sport (WRITER’s block)
- FIRES – Orders from the office (DOCTOR’s orders)
- SIX – Dozen Halved (BAKER’s dozen)
The mapped entries spell CHEFS, leading to CHEF’S KISS, our contest solution. I was impressed by Matt’s construction: each mapped clue begins with a possessive, and the mapped entries are in grid order. We’ll end with The Donnas covering KISS’s Strutter.