WSJ Crossword 12-30-20 Complete

It the last Wednesday of the year, and the sky sure looks to be threatening rain. Not exactly what I’d hoped for to close out 2020, but it’s not like I’m going anywhere.

I pulled out 8D BLT alternatives: PBJS because I don’t think I agree that they are on equal footing. Now, I don’t eat bacon, but I don’t remember any kids at school getting BLTs packed in their lunchboxes. I don’t know of any hiker who routinely takes along BLTs to eat along the way. I don’ t know of sports teams requesting BLTs for energy before the game. I realize my argument is that the PB&J is for the less adventurous (i.e. children) and for the incredibly sophisticated (i.e. NBA teams):

“No matter how you slice it, it’s hard to swallow: The NBA is covered in experts, obsessed with peak performance — and still this pillar of grade-school cafeteria lunches is the staple snack of the league. An exorbitantly wealthy microclique, backed by an army of personal chefs, swears by a sandwich whose standard ingredients boast a street value of roughly 69 cents.”

So where does the BLT fit in? I’m no expert, but maybe corporate training lunches?

Feel free to set me straight on this.

The title of this puzzle is In at the Finish. I figured it out partway through, and the puzzle fell into place.

18A Appreciative observation at the Renaissance Faire?: WHATAJERKIN. So it’s what a jerk! and a jerkin.

This is a jerkin. https://www.pendragoncostumes.com/doublets/jerkin

23A Breakfast treat with an auriform shape?: EARMUFFIN. So it’s earmuff and muffin. Initially I had put OATMUFFIN, but who wears oats to keep them warm?
38A Prestidigitator’s publication?: MAGICBULLETIN. So it’s magic bullet and bulletin. If you are unfamiliar with prestidigitation, it’s the same as legerdemain. The Magic Bulletin is just OK. It’s not Genii or Linking Ring.
51A Expensive material for a crib blanket?: BABYSATIN. So it’s babysat and satin. Baby satin isn’t nearly as good as the #raabidfun onesies, but what are you going to do.
58A Coach’s intellectual equipment?: SPORTSBRAIN. So it’s sports bra and brain.

You have to have a real brain for sports to kick a World Cup-winning penalty kick. You can’t not get emotional at this video.

Finished this one in 27:38.

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