MGWCC #115

crossword oops, i forgot to record it. 3:30 or so in across lite?
puzzle 0:01

mgwcc115welcome to the 115th episode of matt gaffney’s weekly crossword contest, “Air Hysterica.” this week’s puzzle is of the ripped-from-the-headlines variety, inspired by a recent news story. but i’ll let matt’s theme clues tell the tale:

  • {“Ya hear about that flight attendant who cussed out his passengers, then slid down the plane’s emergency chute? That’s like something John Belushi would have done at the DELTA HOUSE.”}. i missed this story, as i miss most news stories, but the flight attendant’s name was in peter gordon’s the week puzzle last week, which he was passing out before puzzle #1 of lollapuzzoola. i did the puzzle, but i’ve already forgotten the name. steven something.
  • {“Other airline staff understand his sentiments, though — they’re presenting a UNITED FRONT to the media.”} in case you haven’t worked it out yet, the theme answers all start with the name of an airline.
  • {“And for many people who work with the public, telling off a rude customer is pretty much the AMERICAN DREAM.”}
  • {“Instead of grabbing that beer on his way out, the flight attendant should have chilled out with a VIRGIN DRINK.”} fittingly, this one was crossed at the V by {Glass of beer or wine, in British slang} BEV. in a hard puzzle, you might be able to clue BEV as {Virgin drink?}. too oblique? okay, maybe.
  • {“On PAN AM GAMES like that would’ve gotten you in trouble, back when they flew…but today’s airlines will let people make him a folk hero!”}. this one’s kinda weak, because the answer needs a comma in the middle to fit into the sentence. all the others are actually using the base phrase in its surface sense, more or less; this one refers to the airline itself, rather than the pan-american games.

cute. anyway, the contest instructions are: This week’s contest answer is the name of an airline. [NOTE: Rather straightforward “circles meta” this week; there’s a reason for it, which I’ll write about in the near future. For now, please consider its relative simplicity a little Friday the 13th gift from me to you.] well, the circled letters anagram to JETBLUE, which is the contest answer. and yeah, this was rather straightforward. i wonder what the reason will turn out to be? call me a sicko, but i’m kinda hoping it’s because the next two metas are super crazy killer hard.

it’s been a few weeks since i did a fill roundup, so here goes:

  • two song title fitb partials that i didn’t know {1970 Bob Dylan song “The Man IN ME“} and {Marilyn Monroe song “Anyone Can SEE I Love You”}. luckily, both were pretty guessable. and the crossings were easy, too.
  • {___ City (historic section of Tampa)} is YBOR, which, whoa. not guessable at all. but again, crossings.
  • {Wyclef ___ (musician who announced this week that he’s running for president of Haiti)} JEAN, on the other hand—not only had i somehow heard this, or maybe just seen the headline, but he’s plenty famous anyway. i’m not sure i knew he was haitian, though. (oh, um, i guess … i’m assuming now that he is. can anybody run for president of haiti?)
  • {Portuguese soccer great Luis} FIGO has one of the most unusual-looking faces i’ve ever seen, but omg, was he an amazing player. for your viewing enjoyment. but for heaven’s sake, turn the sound off, unless you want your ears to be brutalized by an unspeakably terrible techno carmina burana.
  • {Point up high} is APEX, not a verb. nice misdirection here.
  • {Montreal dome} is a TÊTE (head), not the stade olympique. which isn’t even a dome, is it?
  • {Liberia’s capital} is MONROVIA. go sporcle!
  • more ripped-from-the-headlines: {Former Senator Stevens killed in a plane crash on Monday} is TED. {Judge who will soon be joined by Kagan on the Supreme Court} is ALITO (or roberts, or sotomayor, or scalia, or any of the others, but ALITO is the crossword superstar). {Sacha Baron ___, who survived yet another “Bruno”-related lawsuit this week} is, of course, COHEN.
  • ripped from the sports page: {They lost a heartbreaker to the Blue Jays yesterday} is the RED SOX. hey, so they did, if by “yesterday” you mean thursday. my in-laws were watching that game in the room while i was constructing a puzzle. don’t ask brian cimmet about papelbon. and {They beat the U.S. national soccer team 2-0 in a friendly match on Tuesday}? who else but BRAZIL, under new coach mano menezes. i didn’t see this one, although i would have liked to.
  • some more thematic stuff: {Like flight attendant Steve Slater, on Monday} is IRATE. right, slater. that was his name. and the {Relevant airport} is JFK.
  • {Fedotowsky of “The Bachelorette”} is ALI. if you’re not reading liz gorski’s blog, well, then maybe you knew this anyway, but i sure as hell wouldn’t’ve.

that’s all for me. see you next week, hopefully for a tough cookie.

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5 Responses to MGWCC #115

  1. Matt Gaffney says:

    340 correct entries — new record.

    Go circles!

  2. Evad says:

    You mean he doesn’t work on the maintenance crew for Jet Lube? ;)

  3. Abby says:

    I thought it was the French Jet Bleu.

  4. Abby says:

    So how many incorrect answers were there?

  5. Ben B. says:

    puzzle 0:01

    i like that.

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