WSJ Contest — Friday, May 20th, 2022

Grid: 20 minutes; meta 15 more 


Matt Gaffney’s Wall Street Journal contest crossword, “Make the Connection” — Conrad’s writeup.

We’re looking for a five letter word this week. There were five long across entries:

  • [Precede]: GOAHEADOF
  • [Sign at a light]: NORIGHTONRED
  • [“It’s been a long time…”]; DOYOUREMEMBERME
  • [Brainstorming session announcement]: WEHAVEANIDEA
  • [“How’s everything?”]: SOWHATSUP

75a (PUT), the final horizontal entry served as an additional hint, clued as “___ two and two together (finally figure out something that seems obvious in retrospect).” So we needed to add two and two together. I spotted ONE in the grid (clued as “Common lunch hour)”, and thought that NOON would have been a better answer. I noticed that GOAHEADOF had two two-letter words (GO OF), and I had the rabbit: each theme entry contained two two-letter words that formed other words when put together, each serving as an alternative clue answer:

WSJ Contest – 05.20.22 – Solution

WSJ Contest – 05.20.22 – Solution

  • 9a: Option for those not eating solid food
    • JELLO
    • (SO)WHATS(UP) -> SOUP 
  • 33a: Common lunch hour
    • ONE
  • 47a: Jokester
    • IMP
    • (GO)AHEAD(OF) -> GOOF
  • 63a: Do a mother cat’s job
    • NURSE
  • 74a: Architectural feature
    • TRUSS

The first letter of each mapped grid entry spell JOINT, our contest solution. I closed with Elastica’s Connection for Matt’s Dude, Where’s my Car meta last month, so I thought I’d end with the song Elastica borrowed the riff from: minimalist 70s British punk band Wire’s Three Girl Rhumba.


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4 Responses to WSJ Contest — Friday, May 20th, 2022

  1. Seth says:

    Why does 63A specifically mention a cat? Why not just “Do a mother’s job”?

    • Neal R says:

      My guess, given all of the recent discussion regarding breastfeeding vs using baby formula, would be best to stay away from the topic of nursing being a mother’s job; being sensitive to the fact that not all mother’s are capable of nursing. I believe puzzle creators are often encouraged to stay away from certain bodily functions as well.

    • Susie says:

      My mind immediately went to Meet the Parents and the riff on milking cats. But I guess sensitivity to human parents works for me, too.

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