MGWCC #110

crossword 3:17
puzzle 0:45

mgwcc110welcome to the 110th episode of matt gaffney’s weekly crossword contest, “Of Course I’ve Heard of Cows.” this week’s meta is a straightforward riddle in the grid, in five parts: WHAT ENTRY IN THIS / GRID SOUNDS LIKE / THE PAST TENSE OF / TWO NOISES WHICH / FARM ANIMALS MAKE? the answer, highlighted in the screen cap above, is BAD MOOD, clued as {Funk}, but which sounds like “baaed mooed.” well, sort of. an actual bleating noise sounds more like bad (with a short A) than bod, but the children’s song “baa baa black sheep” sounds like “bah,” so … anyway, BAD MOOD is certainly the answer, even if “baaed” could be pronounced in either of two ways.

this is probably the least discussion-worthy meta i’ve blogged for the MGWCC, not because it was trivial or unfun but just because there were basically no ways to go wrong. so let’s talk about the grid. it’s no picnic trying to jam 80 theme squares into a 15×15 puzzle, and it often necessitates a lower-than-comfortable word count. matt’s gone for 70, which is quite low, although there are a few more black squares than usual (42 40—my mistake). there were only a handful of entries i didn’t care for: the awkward partial SNAP A, RESAW, LEU, and the i’ve-never-seen-this-inflected-form ELECTEE. not too bad.


  • {Like World Cup games that require a penalty kick shootout} is TIED, and {Card color if you misbehave} is RED. that is, unless you’re nigel de jong, who somehow escaped a sending-off in yesterday’s final. man, am i in world cup withdrawal. only 1419 more days till the next one kicks off.
  • {Rand Paul’s father} is politico RON. i know matt’s a big fan of RON paul, but i don’t know a) why, or b) who rand is. is that his daughter or son? and is he/she famous?
  • {Eagles hit featured in a “Seinfeld” episode} is DESPERADO. i don’t know the eagles song or the episode, but i do know a version by CHER, who, by some coincidence, is also in this grid: {She covered Marc Cohn’s “Walking in Memphis”}. didn’t know that either. and who’s marc cohn? i think i’ve heard of “walking in memphis,” but i associate it with springsteen. i should just stop talking about music, i guess, before i expose my shameful ignorance any further.
  • {Honey Bunches of ___ (Post cereal)} OATS. my cereal of choice, although that’s just because nobody has yet seen fit to produce CRACKLIN’ QAT BRAN.
  • {Two out of twelve: abbr.} is a pretty misleading clue for FEB(ruary). i don’t think i’ve ever seen it referred to as “two,” although of course it’s often abbreviated as “2.”
  • whoa. {Mineral that sounds like it was named for the 21st U.S. president} is ARTHURITE, and i’ve definetly never heard of it. but anything that reminds me of this simpsons clip is a good time.

oh, would you look at the time? i’ll see you next week.

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12 Responses to MGWCC #110

  1. Alex says:

    Rand Paul is Ron’s son, and he’s running for Senate from Kentucky. And so as not to start a flame war, I am not going to say anything about his politics.

  2. Matt gaffney says:

    40 black squares joon! And over 300 correct answers, so not too many people were fooled.

  3. Jeffrey says:

    “{Eagles hit featured in a “Seinfeld” episode} is DESPERADO. i don’t know the eagles song or the episode, but i do know a version by CHER”

    If it weren’t for crosswords, joon and I would exist in different dimensions.

  4. Matt Gaffney says:

    Joon — here is the Cher version. It is one of the goofiest cover versions (and videos) of any song you’ll ever see.

  5. Anne E says:

    Continuing with the random Cher trivia them, her version of “Walking in Memphis” was beautifully used at the conclusion of my favorite X-Files episode, “The Post-Modern Prometheus”. I haven’t seen her video, but I disagree that her cover version is goofy – but I’m biased by how it was used in that show.

    (Yeah, I know – a TV show! I’ve long since stopped watching TV, except for the Olympics every 2 years, but I used to love X-Files.)

  6. Matt Gaffney says:

    Anne — that’s Cher dressed as Elvis!!!

  7. Anne E says:

    Hmmm??? You mean in the video??? Guess I should watch it. :-)

  8. Matt Gaffney says:

    Maybe I’m biased against the cover version itself b/c I’ve seen the video…she spends way too much time sitting in the stairwell of that bus, too. I guess they spent their whole budget dressing Cher up as the King!

  9. *David* says:

    Is there anything that Cher has done that isn’t goofy? :)

    AEREA is an interesting palindrome that I haven’t seen before.

  10. nanpilla says:

    I’m just glad you included Marc Cohn’s name in the clue. Love his stuff, but then, I’m a sucker for a piano man.

  11. pannonica says:

    “They’re about as exciting as watching paint dry. Their albums are good for keeping the dust off your turntable and that’s about all.” —Tom Waits, on The Eagles (somewhat disgruntled in 1976, after they had a hit with his song Ol’ 55.)

    About Cher I will say nothing at all.

  12. Evad says:

    Ooh, that Kung Fu kick was hard to watch the first time, harder still again in slow motion. Amazingly, Xabi spent just a short time off the pitch and was able to rejoin his teammates in their triumph. Not much of a game to watch, though, lots of yellow cards and missed opportunities. Hope Rio’s final in 4 years will be a better game to watch.

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