MGWCC #145

 crossword 4:14 (paper)
puzzle 5 minutes 


short post this week, as i’m on the road for spring break. we’re looking for a five-letter food, and the theme answers each contain a kind of pasta:

  • {Third period hockey score} is an OPEN-NET GOAL, hiding PENNE.
  • {Serious abdominal issue} is PEROTINITIS, with ROTINI. i’ve been waiting to use my matt “gaffeney” joke (okay, no, i haven’t)… the correct spelling is peritonitis, as in inflammation of the peritoneum. but do yourself a favor and don’t look it up on wikipedia, at least if you have any interest in holding down your breakfast. eww.
  • some {Russian hunters} might be a BORZOI PACK, eating some ORZO.
  • {Containing a certain metamorphic rock} is QUARTZITIC. the metamorphic rock in question is, of course, ZITI.

since i’m both busy and lazy, why don’t you guys use the comment thread to suggest your own (correctly spelled) 11-letter theme answers that contain a pasta (doesn’t have to be ROTINI)? whoever submits the best answer wins a firm handshake at the ACPT next weekend. okay, maybe i can’t give away prizes like that. a feeble, barely-there handshake is probably the best i can actually muster.

not sure about the title this week. different pastas have different shapes. is that the only connection?

pretty spicy grid. with only 42 theme squares (unless i’m missing something?), matt had plenty of leeway for scrabbly letters, even on top of QUARTZITIC and BORZOI. SEXY crossing REX reminds me of former bears QB rex grossman, known as “sexy rexy,” and BEQ, who called rex parker “sexy rexy” last friday. DSL LINE is both fresh and pleonastic, like the finest pasta.

the clue for JAPAN, {Nation hit yesterday by an 8.9 magnitude earthquake}, is kind of a downer in light of the subsequent nuclear disasters there, isn’t it?

okay, that’s it for me. if you’re going to be in brooklyn next weekend, come say hello. i know some people, but probably fewer than half the people who regularly comment on these posts (and surprisingly, i’ve never met matt himself in person), so let’s rectify that.

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22 Responses to MGWCC #145

  1. sandirhodes says:

    Hearing affliction for H. Ross?

  2. Fifth member of a string quartet?

  3. MarkTa says:

    > with only 42 theme squares (unless i’m missing something?),

    Perhaps you missed the anagram in the center of the puzzle? 37A.

  4. Noam D. Elkies says:

    I suggested “Scorzonera” in place of the (very weak IMHO) “Borzoi pack”
    in earlier e-mail to Matt G.


  5. sandirhodes says:

    37a: The Gaffney touch!

  6. Abby says:

    The table of pastas in the dictionary on my Mac has “riso” (really?). Maybe “worrisomely”? “Disimprison”?

    Wikipedia has “risi” (smaller orzo), which would let you use “verisimilar”, which is appropriate because it’s be very similar to another type in the puzzle. Or you could use “Parisianize”, just because it sounds wacky.

  7. Finn V says:

    I found PICI as a type of pasta, so maybe SUSPICIONS (and change OPENNETGOAL to OPENNECKED, like shirts)?

    Looking forward to meeting many of you this weekend at ACPT!

  8. Amy Reynaldo says:

    Scorzonera, Noam? That would have been one of those “every letter from crossings” obscurities for me and, I’m sure, many others. And usually I get the botanical answers!

    Is there a famous Dallas Cowboys cheerleader named Agnes?

    When ze stunts, zey no work out so well for Mr. Knievel, how far fall Evel?

    Does Ravi Shankar sell jars of olives the way Paul Newman sells popcorn and salad dressing?

    If you are dissatisfied with a wan handshake from Joon, please see me for a crushing of your metacarpals. It’s part of the customer satisfaction guarantee here at Diary of a Crossword Fiend.

  9. jllaf says:

    It’s 12 letters and not 11, but how about cluing “tiny” for “smalLASAGNAt”?

  10. Evad says:

    I first thought the John Mayer toon was “Far Fallen”, but I see here it’s “Free Fallin'” Didn’t Tom Petty write a song with a similar name?

  11. Karen says:

    Done in by my dislike of pasta. (Although they are all crosswordly pastas.)

  12. abide says:

    I suggested SCIFIORIGIN as an acceptable 11 letter entry, hiding FIORI, the flower-shaped pasta.

    Won’t be in Brooklyn but you can give me a virtual high five.

  13. SethG says:

    [More than one tortelloni]? [Crazy goofball, in rap slang]?

  14. Matt Gaffney says:

    302 correct answers this week.

    I wavered between BORZOI PACK and TREMOR ZONE for orzo. Surprised me that there was no completely satisfactory solution to that one.

  15. Erik says:

    Cast Mischa Barton? (This is a clunker.)

  16. AngelSong says:

    How about:

    What you do during Scheherazade? = Hear a violin

    Give preference to voodoo? = Favor zombie

    Places to see wild animals = Outdoor zoos

    Area for bullfighters = Matador zone

    There are also lots of possibilities using the formula ____ FOR ZO__ (Love/Hate for Zola/Zoos, for instance)

    Fortunetelling during Desert Storm? = Tarot in Iraq

    BSU ballroom dance = Foxtrot in ID

    I also like carrot/parrot in ink/ice, which could be clued several different ways

    What do you think Matt? Any of these worthy? :)

  17. pgw says:

    Matt seems to have been going for actual common words or phrases – though borzoi pack was a stretch. This is a stretch too, but apparently there is something like a bank called a Giro … do they have tellers?

  18. LARRY says:

    Maybe TAPAS (37a) is mixed-up PASTA.

  19. Ben Bass says:

    Wasn’t it former Charlotte Hornets star Rex Chapman who was known as Sexy Rexy? I lived in Chicago throughout Rex Grossman’s Bears tenure and never heard him called that, though maybe that was his nickname elsewhere (such as Gainesville, where he presumably didn’t opt out of the estimable, worshipful talent pool the way Tim Tebow later did).

  20. Noam D. Elkies says:

    Well at least “scorzonera” is a real word… If you’re going for made-up phrases
    like BORZOI PACK, maybe you can get Sue Grafton to write Z IS FOR ZONE
    or somesuch (taking a cue from AngelSong).


  21. Andy says:

    A twin from Castle Anthrax = DINGO OR ZOOT
    Where Maine has lions = BANGOR ZOO
    1992 caucus sight = PEROT IN IOWA

  22. tabstop says:

    Heh — and I wonder whether that last one isn’t how Matt made the error in the first place (some sort of Perot theme that got a bad answer onto the word lists).

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