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