This is the fastest I’ve ever gotten the meta puzzle answer. Also likely the fastest I’ve ever gotten the Friday crossword completed. That is to say that I sent in the answer at 3:02pm on Thursday, and I didn’t even print out the puzzle as soon as it was released.
I’ve said this before, but there’s something that’s just fun about doing the crossword with pen and paper that isn’t there on the screen. I don’t know if it’s the risk of crossouts or the illegibility or sometimes misread of which clue goes with which box, but I’m going to keep on doing this for the WSJ crossword contest.
The title of this puzzle is IN CHARACTER.
The answer to this week’s contest crossword is a famous novel.
For my analysis, I still have to put it into a different format, so there’s no real time saving to do it all onscreen.
I’ve learned from the past that the starred clues are important for the meta puzzle answer.
17A *Lightly fruity wine: BEAUJOLAIS.
25A *Faultfinding situation: BLAMEGAME.
50A *Meditation-while-asleep practice: DREAMYOGA.
58A *1970 chart-topping hit for the Jackson 5: ILLBETHERE.
Then there was the hint clue:
36A George Eliot novel that’s not the contest answer, but provides a hint to it: MIDDLEMARCH.
BTW, What’s that comma doing in the clue?
Whatever this thing is must be in the middle of these long answers!
As to what links JO, MEG, AMY, and BETH, Calah immediately blurted, “Little Women!” And there you have it.