Monday, March 11, 2019

National Sports meta solution

Last week's meta asked you identify a two-word drink which would complete the theme. So, what were the theme entries? Well, there were four obvious theme entries: the four longest across entries were all the names of famous athletes: JERRY RICE, LIONEL MESSI, AYRTON SENNA, and SAMMY SOSA. That takes care of the "sports" part of the title.

What about the "national" part? Well, SOMALIA is a country, but that's a bit of a red herring. In fact, SOMALIA is a theme entry, but only because it contains a country, namely MALI. And there are two other symmetrically placed across entries that contain the names of countries: S(USA)NNA and R(OMAN)CE.

In each case, you can replace the hidden country with a single letter to get the last name of one of the athletes:

Lionel MESSI is the only one missing a partner. So we need a two-word drink which has a country in place of one letter in his last name, which means the solution is M(ANGO LA)SSI. A very tough meta, so congrats to all who figured it out!

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