MGWCC #163

crossword 5:40
puzzle 0:43 

greetings, and welcome to the 163rd epsiode of matt gaffney’s weekly crossword contest, “You Don’t Say…”. this week we’re looking for an eight-letter environment where silence is not a virtue. what’ve we got?

  • {Sourdough loaf covered in butter?} is GLISTENING BREAD.
  • {Door part made of lox?} is a SALMON KNOB.
  • {Daily time when everyone throws junk out on their lawn?} is DEBRIS HOUR.
  • {What happened when eland called?} LEOPARD ANSWERED, that’s what.

the title and instructions hint at silences, and since we have four two-word theme answers and want eight letters, we can quickly pick out one silent letter from each word to get talk show, this week’s meta answer.

“Easy month so far, eh?” writes matt in his most recent groups email. yes, indeed. but there are two weeks left in july for MGWCC purposes, and i bet we’ll see a killer in that 5th week.

odds & ends:

  • {Soccer megastar named for a U.S. president} is portugal’s cristiano RONALDO, named for ronald reagan. brazil’s ronaldo (whom i like to call “the original ronaldo”) was not named for reagan.
  • {Half a travel book by Paul Gauguin} is NOA, apparently. i had NO ideA.
  • {Philippine chieftain (TOAD anagram)} DATO? yikes.
  • {Late singer delivered by Ron Paul on Apr. 16, 1971} is SELENA. what does this clue mean? i have no idea. was ron paul acting in the capacity of a midwife, postal carrier (stork?), or messiah?
  • {Money, in Peruvian slang} is PLATA, apparently. i’m not really up on my peruvian slang, but this was an interesting clue. plata is spanish for silver, so the rio de la plata is the river plate. the body of water, not the most successful argentinian football club of all-time, whose recent relegation to the second division caused horrific rioting in buenos aires, not including this very angry fan. (warning: not for the faint of heart!)
  • {Go rank} is a DAN. tricky clue—i thought it was a verb phrase, and i tried ROT.
  • {He may have started Rome’s Great Fire on purpose} NERO. may? what’s this libelous speculation? matt, you’ll be hearing from nero’s lawyers.
  • {Like Roger Federer} is SWISS. other acceptable answers would include stylish, legendary, egotistical, and hoity-toity. i do love to watch him play tennis, but the fact that he seems to do a lot of advertising for rolex and netjets definitely rubs me the wrong way.
  • {___ Islanders} clues RHODE. why -ers, i wonder? i’m going to a wedding in rhode island next week, and i was in rhode island a week ago for the NPL con. that’s more rhode islanding than i typically do in a year.
  • {Stop signs and such} are OCTAGONS. they might be giants!

see you next week. peace out.

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12 Responses to MGWCC #163

  1. tabstop says:

    “was ron paul acting in the capacity of a midwife, postal carrier (stork?), or messiah?”

    Given that he’s an OB/GYN….

    And I also had ROT at the beginning.

  2. Paul says:

    Yes, it was an easy meta, and I also dread what’s coming in Week 5, but I admire the juxtaposition Matt’s achieved between the silence of the letters and the loudness of the answer. Oddly enough, when I was off on a wrong track initially – trying to link the hidden words listen, read, and monk, as subjects related to silence, even asking a Jewish colleague if a bris requires silence, but not finding much of anything in the fourth theme entry – I explained the concept to my colleague by saying we’re looking for a place where volubility’s an asset, like a chat show. That was going to be my wild guess if all else failed, then I saw Matt’s once more managed to present the answer’s letters sequentially. It would have been superb if he could have avoided all other silent letters, like last week’s i’s, but that’s next to impossible, given all the vowel combinations (and I count two other H’s in Rhode and aghas.) Overall, another brilliant puzzle. Well done, Matt.

  3. Jeffrey says:

    It is only easy if you get it. And I didn’t.

  4. Noam D. Elkies says:

    The main point of inelegance is that there’s a ninth silent letter in the last theme entry! (The second E of ANSWERED.) On the plus side, it’s a nice open grid, with several sections connecting two theme entries.

  5. Peedee says:

    I also found “MONK” hidden in the theme entry before I (eventually) found TALK SHOW. I liked this meta a lot.

  6. Erik says:

    Why do I feel as though we’ve seen the clue [Half of a travel book…] before?

  7. Pam says:

    Amen Jeffrey! I didn’t get it either.

  8. Will Nediger says:

    It’s not just Peru – “plata” is slang for money all over Latin America. Especially Argentina, I think.

  9. pannonica says:

    Bah, I was uncharacteristically busy most of the weekend (aside from blogging duties) and Monday and Tuesday, so never got a chance to give this one a good looking-at. No pressure for the rest of the month.

  10. Gnarbles says:

    Without the title, this one would have been more difficult.

  11. Noam D. Elkies says:

    Yes, “plata” = silver, so “Rio de la Plata” is the silver river, not the “river plate”. In several languages the word for “silver” is just the normal word for money, e.g. French “argent” (cognate with “Argentina”, for good reason), and also Hebrew כסף [“kesef”]; so it was a bit surprising to see that it’s considered slang in Spanish, though there the common word is “dinero” (not, alas, “dimero”, which would be an anagram of the slang do-re-mi).

  12. Matthew G. says:

    Agree with Gnarbles — imo the title made this very easy, but even a slightly more unhelpful title would have ramped the difficulty up considerably.

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