Mike Shenk’s Wall Street Journal contest crossword, “Stuck in the Middle” — Conrad’s writeup.
Contest Crosswords Combating Cancer (CCCC) is a bundle of 16 contest-style (meta) crosswords that we’ve created to help raise money for cancer-related organizations. The puzzles are easy-to-medium in difficulty (for both the grids and the metas). It was our goal to create puzzles that we thought most folks would be able to solve, regardless of previous experience. We’re asking that folks forward their emailed receipts from their online donations to us (any amount is accepted, suggested donation is $13), and in exchange we’ll respond with the puzzles (provided in .puz and PDF formats). More details are available on our website CrosswordsForCancer.com, or by emailing us at CrosswordsForCancer@gmail.com.
I donated this morning and spent a lazy Sunday solving a handful of these. They’re great: favorites so far include Take a Letter, Maria by Al Sisti, Table Setting by Evan Birnholz, and Getting in Shape by Pete Muller & Mack Meller. I solve on my computer and appreciate that .puz format is included.
Back to the WSJ: this week we’re looking for a four-letter word. There were four long acrosses, each beginning and ending with the same letters:
- [Firmly implanting, as a behavior]: (ING)RAIN(ING)
- [Revealing word, perhaps]: (ABRA)CAD(ABRA)
- [Its screen is coated with aluminum powder]: (ETCH)ASK(ETCH)
- [Sought, as sustenance]: (FOR)AGED(FOR)
Four other grid entries had clues that began with the themer middle words:
- [15a: Cad]: RO(G)UE
- [22a: Aged]: O(L)D
- [52a: Rain byproduct]: M(U)D
- [67a: Ask a question about something]: QU(E)RY
The middle letter of each mapped entry spells GLUE, our contest solution. Another precise meta by Mike: I enjoyed it. Solvers: Please share your thoughts. When faced with a clear-cut choice for ending with a song: I normally avoid the obvious and try to use an amazing cover. I watched a half-dozen videos. Some were great, but nothing came close to surpassing the original: