WSJ Contest — Friday, September 2, 2022

Grid: 15 minutes; meta: five more 


Mike Shenk’s Wall Street Journal contest crossword, “Finishing the Story” — Conrad’s writeup.

This week we’re looking a character from stories. There were five starred theme entries:

  • [16A *High-spirited woman who tells Mr. Darcy: “Your defect is a propensity to hate everybody”]: ELIZABETHBENNET
  • [24A *Ghost who says: “I wear the chain I forged in life”]: JACOBMARLEY
  • [41A *Pet about which Holly Golightly says: “It’s a little inconvenient, his not having a name”]: CAT
  • [51A *Impoverished student who declares: “Man is a vile creature!”]: RASKOLNIKOV
  • [61A *Socialite who tells Jake Barnes: “We could have had such a damned good time together”]: LADYBRETTASHLEY

We had five literary characters, so what was the next step? Jacob Marley was a character in A Christmas Carol (ACC), and I remembered that Lady Brett Ashley was a Hemingway character. Quick Googling reminded me that she was a main character in The Sun Also Rises (TSAR). I had the rabbit hole: the initials of each literary work mapped to a grid entry with one letter finishing the story:

WSJ Contest – 09.02.22 - Solution

WSJ Contest – 09.02.22 – Solution

  • ELIZABETHBENNET: Pride and Prejudice ->  PAP[A]
  • JACOBMARLEY: A Christmas Carol -> ACC[T]
  • CAT: Breakfast at Tiffany’s -> BAT[H]
  • RASKOLNIKOV: Crime and Punishment -> CAP[O]
  • LADYBRETTASHLEY: The Sun Also Rises -> TSAR[S]

The appended letters spell ATHOS, our contest solution. Solvers: which literary work unlocked the meta for you? Please let me know in the comments.

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8 Responses to WSJ Contest — Friday, September 2, 2022

  1. Scott says:

    I was on a different wavelength and never got off of it. But I could have (should have) gotten this one.

  2. Simon says:

    As a lit major, I really enjoyed this puzzle. I have read all of the clued books but not the contest answer stories. What helped me figure it out was CAT. I hadn’t noticed that clue, as the answer had filled itself out. but later when I was done, I saw that it had an asterisk too. That led me to add the ACC to my list and I recalled the ACCt answer. PAP and TSAR followed. Then the others. ATHOS had to be it. On a side note there’s a beautiful monastery in Greece by that name.

  3. Simon says:

    Correction. I meant BAT. For Cat. And then Baths. Need to remember to drink my coffee before I comment. :)

  4. I saw PAPA and immediately thought Hemingway then quickly realized that that entry was important but for a different reason!

  5. Garrett says:

    I saw PAPA and all I could think of was Hemingway. It never occurred to me to associate it with Pride and Prejudice.

    I spent some time trying to see if there was a CAT in each of these books, which went nowhere. I had other fish to fry Saturday evening and Sunday, so I stopped working on it. Have we seen this mechanism before?

  6. Mikie says:

    Saw PAPA and thought Hemingway and The Sun Also Rises themer, then saw CAPO and thought Capote and the Breakfast at Tiffany’s themer…and spent too long getting nowhere else. Oh well.

  7. Matt says:

    the answer appeared also in the Saturday WSJ puzzle, 12 Down: Dumas character

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