WSJ Contest — Friday, December 30, 2022

Grid: 15 minutes; meta: two more 


Matt Gaffney’s Wall Street Journal contest crossword, “It’s That Time Again” — Conrad’s writeup.

This week we’re looking for the two-word clue (clue, not grid entry) that makes a fitting sixth theme entry. There were five starred theme entries, each comprised of two words:

WSJ Contest – 12.30.22 - solution

WSJ Contest – 12.30.22 – solution

  • 17A [*Decide not to leave quite yet]: (H)ANG(A)ROUND
  • 27A [*Healing smoker]: (P)EACE(P)IPE
  • 38A [*Frenchman who won the French Open in 1983]: (Y)ANNICK(N)OAH
  • 51A [*Omelet ingredients, often]: (E)GG(W)HITES
  • 62A [*Comment to the more-than-punctual]: (Y)OURE(E)ARLY

The first letter of each word spell HAPPYNEWYE. Matt wants us to have a Happy New Year, so we need to find a two-word clue that begins with an A and an R. 70a (TATA)’s clue fits the bill, making “Au Revoir!” our contest answer.

I second Matt’s emotion: Happy New Year, everyone!

This entry was posted in Contests and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to WSJ Contest — Friday, December 30, 2022

  1. Seth says:

    I totally misinterpreted the instructions. I thought we needed to submit the clue that went with the grid entry that started with A R. I see now that that would be silly, but in the moment that’s what my brain thought. So I submitted “Peaceful retreat”, the clue for ASHRAM, even though ashram is one word. I thought maybe it could be two words somewhere. D’oh.

    Matt, why didn’t you just put an A R entry in the grid and make that the answer? Was it because you liked the aptness of saying “au revoir” to 2022 in the last across spot? Admittedly, that’s definitely cute.

    • alan+askins says:

      Seth, I’m with you. I too submitted peaceful retreat. If au revoir is the solution then the solution is inconsistent with how we arrived at the first nine letters, which all came from the grid answers. I understand the solution guidelines, which is why I submitted a clue not the grid answer.

      Sorry Matt, if Au revoir is the solution, I’m done with this!

      • PJ says:

        The solution is consistent with the instructions – clue, not grid entry

      • Mary says:

        It’s probably for the best that you’re done with meta puzzles since you have difficulty following very clear instructions (find a two-word clue that makes a fitting sixth theme entry). Nothing inconsistent there.
        Nice puzzle Matt. Au revoir a+a

        • Garrett says:

          It’s even clearer than that:

          “we’re looking for the two-word clue (clue, not grid entry) that makes a fitting sixth theme entry.”


  2. Neal says:

    I liked the fill for this puzzle. I liked the meta. Simple. Clear. Thoughtful.
    AU REVOIR 2022.
    Happy New Year to all!

  3. Simon says:

    My first stab at the solution was Ashram too. But I was sure they wanted a two-word answer. “Runs Amok” almost worked. So I went back to the instructions and saw that the answer clearly had to be a clue, not a grid entry. Et voila, Au Revoir fit the bill. “Adios” was also a nice hint!

  4. Homer says:

    I did the same as Seth. I figured the remaining two letters had to be in the grid, like the rest of the theme, and then the solution was the corresponding clue.

  5. Silverskiesdean says:

    I’ve been so busy doing the hard ones, I had no clue about this one. Yes, I admit it. I had nothing. So if there is anyone else out there that missed it, join the club. By the way, in retrospect, looking at the instructions, the directions, that is, clue entry, could not have been more specific and understandable. It’s the one thing I did get. Get puzzle with which to end the year Matt.

  6. Special Ed says:

    I maintain the clue to give the puzzle entry completing the theme would be something like
    Pale billygoat, which yields: Ash Ram

  7. Matt says:

    TATAs and Dolly Parton?! C’mon man!

Comments are closed.