MGWCC #136

 crossword 4:20 (paper)
puzzle 0:12 


greetings and welcome to the first 2011 episode of matt gaffney’s weekly crossword contest, “Pet Project.” matt tells us that This week’s contest answer is the name of my new cat, who I’m picking up this afternoon. It’s four letters long and is also a familiar man’s name. dogs last week, cats this week… what’s next, human sacrifice? mass hysteria?

okay, so anyway, the meta. no explicit theme answers here, but the two longest grid entries are part of one split answer: {With 49-across, how and where some cats sleep} is ALL CURLED UP/IN THE CORNER. what’s curled up in the corners of this grid? the letters O, T, I, and S, in clockwise order (but with four different “starting squares”). there’s only one familiar man’s name that can be formed from those four letters, so matt’s new cat must be named otis.

not much to say about this meta, is there? it gets the “aww” factor, perhaps.

the fill this week was very good. with only 72 words, it fits the requirement of a themeless, which is a nice touch because the grid wasn’t that demanding (only 30 theme squares). okay, i didn’t love KER on top of DLII or the ODAS/WE NO row, but SICK DAY, YEAH YOU, ICE FISH, HINGE ON, GOOD FIT, and YO YO MA were all very nice. TBILISI, too—that was my first answer in the grid. i knew {Georgia’s capital} had to be TBILISI and not ATLANTA.

FLY OPEN really looks like it should have something to do with zippers, but no, it’s just {Swing wide quickly, as a door}.

well then. 1/1 so far in the new year. how’d this one treat you?

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6 Responses to MGWCC #136

  1. Matt Gaffney says:

    342 correct entries this week (and 15 incorrect ones).

    The grid was a little trickier to write than it may seem. I wanted the big corners since it’s a meta about corners, plus I thought the cat should be comfortable there. I also wanted OTIS to curl up in the same direction in each corner, plus for his head to be in a different place each time. The bottom right in particular took a while.

    Otis is doing well. Stella, our other cat, is adjusting more slowly to her new situation.

  2. Blanche says:

    Fun puzzle. I’m glad Otis is adjusting to his new home. My “Stella” never did quite accept the reality, and they became an upstairs cat and a downstairs cat.

  3. sandirhodes says:

    Always love a good Ghostbusters reference, especially to that scene! Thanks, joon.

    Did you notice the grid sort of looks like a two-dimensional, flattened out cat’s eye marble?

    Who’s the cat with the patented lift? Otis, of course!

  4. Abby says:

    For the first time, I didn’t look at Matt’s blog (still haven’t)- I did the puzzle and shot off the answer from my phone. The mail didn’t have the extra clues about the name but I got it anyway.

    Took me a surprisingly long time to start at the right letter, I thought, so I showed it to a friend and he went “Soti… Tiso… Is it Japanese?” I didn’t feel so bad then. :-)

  5. Neville says:

    A very catty-corner grid, if I may say so.

  6. Amy Reynaldo says:

    I was seeing the same non-words as Abby’s friend. OTIS was trying to hide from me.

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