Patrick Berry’s Wall Street Journal contest crossword, “Play With Matches” — Conrad’s writeup.
This week we’re looking for a six-letter word. There were six horizontal theme entries:
- [Friend from way back, often]: SCHOOLCHUM
- [Guy high up in the family tree]: FOREFATHER
- [Liquor in a Kentucky Mule]: BOURBON
- [Added lanes to]: WIDENED
- [Sways with honeyed words]: SWEETTALKS
- [Institution with many names?]: HALLOFFAME
Step one: each themer contained two of the same letters (SCHOOLCHUM contains C, H, and O twice for example). Deleting the duplicate letters revealed six new words:
- SCHOOLCHUM -> SLUM
- FOREFATHER -> OATH
- BOURBON -> URN
- WIDENED -> WIN
- SWEETTALKS -> WALK
- HALLOFFAME -> HOME
Step two: I have no idea. It’s a Patrick Berry meta, so I know it’s surgical in its construction and supplies a beautiful “aha” moment. But I don’t see it. Solvers: please let me know what I missed. I’ve been traveling for over a month and am posting this from Gibraltar. I haven’t found the time to post a meta-relevant song so I’ll end with this (mostly) forgotten classic from 1982.