Mike Shenk’s Wall Street Journal contest crossword, “Global Powers” — Conrad’s writeup.
This week we’re looking for a five-letter word. There were five globally-themed entries with a date in each clue:
- [Star of the 1936 Summer Olympics]: JESSEOWENS
- [Member of a monastic order founded in 529]: BENEDICTINE
- [Site of a devastating 1849 fire]: STLOUIS
- [1521 Holy Roman Empire assembly]: DIETOFWORMS
- [Host city for Expo 2025]: OSAKAJAPAN
Mike often stashes an extra clue in the final horizontal entry as he did this week: ROOT, clued as “What the radical symbolized in math.” The math radical symbol is √, so we were looking for square roots. The rest of meta fell quickly for me: the square root of each clue year mapped to a grid entry:
- √1936 = 44: W
- √529 = 23: O
- √1849 = 43: R
- √1521 = 39: L
- √2025 = 45: D
The roots spell WORLD, our contest solution. Another great meta by Mike: I throughly enjoyed it. Solvers: please share your thoughts.