WSJ Contest — Friday, November 4, 2022

Grid: 10 minutes; meta: 15 more 


Matt Gaffney’s Wall Street Journal contest crossword, “Trending Ending” — Conrad’s writeup.

This week we’re told, The answer to this week’s contest crossword is how contest crosswords are created. There were five symmetric* theme entries that ended with two repeated letters:

  • [Major fuss]: BROUHAHA
  • [Sun-worshiping queen]: NEFERTITI
  • [Lake on which Tenochtitlan was built]: TEXCOCO
  • [“Distracted boyfriend,” e.g.]: SUPERMEME
  • [Birth city of Barack Obama]: HONOLULU

*There was also a non-symmetric grid entry that ended with two repeated letters: REESES. I initially thought it was thematic, especially because it followed HONOLULU, forming the tantalizing potential partial contest answer …LUES. I searched for a repeated .C.C pattern before HONOLULU and found nothing.

WSJ Contest – 11.04.22 - solution

WSJ Contest – 11.04.22 – solution

I solved the meta quickly once I abandoned that rabbit hole. Two of the symmetric repeated letters matched another 3-letter grid entry:

  • TEX(COCO): CO[Y]

The final letter of each mapped grid entry spells SLYLY, our contest answer. Solvers: let me know how you made out. Did you spend any time in the …LUES rabbit hole?

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15 Responses to WSJ Contest — Friday, November 4, 2022

  1. jps says:

    I thought I was probably missing something.

    I just saw all the vowels save Y and assumed we were looking for ?Y?Y which must be LYLY which must be SLYLY.

  2. Steve says:

    Note that 63 across and 57 down taken together tell us to FORGET ESES!

  3. DavyGravy says:

    Also of note is that SLYLY fits the mechanism of the themers with the double repeaters. Nice job Matt!

  4. JC says:

    Tough but fair, not for the uninitiated. I didn’t fall into any rabbit holes; I immediately saw the theme clues then looked for three letter words which is a mechanism used in the past.

  5. Seth says:

    I got the meta immediately (as JC said, very well known mechanism), but what does “trending” in the title have to do with anything?

  6. John B says:

    Dammit! I HAD this one but I let it get away.

    I thought “why go with LUY/UVA instead of LAY/AVA or LOY/OVA or LEY/EVA” but I just couldn’t land the plane…

  7. Thomas says:

    I think it’s interesting that HAHA, TITI, COCO, and LULU are all meaningful unrelatedly to the longer words, and I wanted that to be a thing. But a SUPERMEME is just a MEME.

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