WSJ Contest — Friday, December 9, 2022

Grid: 20 minutes; meta: 15 more 


Mike Shenk’s Wall Street Journal contest crossword, “In Formation, Please” — Conrad’s writeup.

WSJ Contest – 12.09.22 - solution

WSJ Contest – 12.09.22 – solution

This week we’re looking for certain places for landings. No obvious theme entries jumped out, so I checked the last horizontal entry (where Mike often stashes an extra clue): THREE, clued as “Number of formations to look for.” Then I spotted Mike’s additional clue at 33d (VEE, clued as “Formation of geese”). I initially looked for V-shaped word patterns in the grid (having missed Mike’s nudge “…of geese”). I didn’t spot anything, so I scanned for G’s in the grid and I had the rabbit: the grid had THREE geese in VEE-shaped formation.

The VEE-shaped GEESE cradled the phrase FLIGHT STRIPS, our contest solution.

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9 Responses to WSJ Contest — Friday, December 9, 2022

  1. Barry says:

    Does flights trips work?

  2. carolynchey says:

    Didn’t get it this week. We were looking for three different kinds of formations and found “vee” and “wedge”. Not sure of the third, but thought it might be “wing”. That was it – nothing from there. Love the actual solution!

    • Michael in Chelsea says:

      I got stuck in the same rabbit hole, with VEE, WEDGE, and CARET. Never recovered.

      • Garrett says:

        I was there as well, but as it led nowhere, and as the geese clue was the only other on with “formation”, I went off looking for GEESE in a Vee shape in the grid. That was at least an hour after I finished the grid.

  3. Homer says:

    I found the solution the same way Conrad did, but had never heard the term flight strips. I googled it to check. Most of the references were for flight progress strips used by air traffic controllers. Submitted it anyway.

  4. Simon says:

    This contest cooked my goose! I am impressed you guys figured it out. I never saw those GEESE in the grid. Anyone else go down the raBBit hole of all those double letters? FF, OO, PP, TT, EE, SS, AA etc? I thought for sure they were gonna be important. And the word AVERMENTS was so bizarre I thought it must be a clue. So many red herrings, at least in my mind.

    I also looked for VEEs and found a lot that seemed right. The aforementioned CARET, WEDGE and WING. But nothing came from that. So I looked harder and found three-letter combos like EEE, FFF, and another EEE, so I thought there must be a TTT and decided FEET was the answer. lol. Well, in gymnastics you do land on them.

    The title was a punny bonus. I remember that old radio show: Information Please.


    • MichelleQ+(onaquest) says:

      Every week my husband says – have you noticed there are a lot of double letters? I say there are every week and move on. He says that one week they will be important. Not sure that tells you anything 😉.

  5. Neal says:

    This meta felt very straight forward to me, especially with the VEE and THREE clues. One of the few no-rabbit-holes at all days.

  6. Tony says:

    I went down a rabbit hole when I saw that both CARET and WEDGE are represented by an upside-down V. I then tried looking for another entry that is also represented by a V. Never saw the geese in the middle.

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