MGWCC #197

crossword 12ish
meta 5-10 mins 

Welcome to the 197th installment of Matt Gaffney’s Weekly Crossword Contest. What’s that, you say? Do your eyes deceive you? Capital letters in a MGWCC post?? Rest assured, your eyes are not playing tricks on you (as Matt is often wont to do). joon is on a well-deserved vacation this week and I will be your host today.

In this week’s installment, “Star Search,” we take an Ed McMahon-esque romp through four theme entries to discover “a well-known movie of the 1980s”:

  • [Best Actor nominee of 2006 for “Half Nelson”] is RYAN GOSLING. Close runner up to Bradley Cooper as People’s Sexiest Man on the Planet for 2011. Did they make the right decision? Inquiring minds want to know.
  • [Unlikely to be misinterprested] is CRYSTAL CLEAR. So much for thinking all theme entries would be actors.
  • [MLB All-Star Game MVP, 1993] is KIRBY PUCKETT. The famous Twins Hall of Fame center fielder whom we lost tragically a few days shy of his 46th birthday.
  • [Toy company since 1930] is FISHER-PRICE. Famous for Power Wheels and Little People toys.

So two people, an adjective and a toy company. Didn’t take me too long to notice the first word of each is also the last name of a famous actor or actress:

  • BILLY CRYSTAL – this year’s host of the Oscars, how’d you think he did? I cringed a bit during his opening sequence but was glad to see him back.
  • BRUNO KIRBY – good thing he changed his last name or Matt would still be scrambling to find a theme entry that began with Quidaciolu.

These four all starred in Rob Reiner’s 1989 comedy, When Harry Met Sally, famous (in my mind) for the line “I’ll have what she’s having.” Pretty easy meta, could anyone solve it without reading the instructions on Matt’s site? I wondered in my emailed submission to Matt if STEVEN FORD, son of the late President Gerald R. and Betty Bloomer, might also have found a home in the grid, perhaps as FORD FOCUS.

A few random observations to finish up:

  • Another throwback to the ’80s was the game show “Tic-Tac-Dough.” Nice to see something a bit more creative referenced in your [O|X]{3} clues.
  • [Yacther’s waters] was THE SEA. Can we just throw a definite article in front of any word and call it a valid entry? That, my friends, is THE QUESTION.
  • The Sea returns, luckily without a vengeance, with [Motion by the Pacific Ocean]; happily not a tsunami (Japan’s was just a year ago last weekend), but Hawaii’s HULA.
  • [Jeremy of jump shots] is the Knicks’ Harvard phenom, Jeremy LIN. Lindeed!
  • If the [Favorite fish of the llama and the aardvark?] is EEL, do they say “Mm, mm good!” when they’re eating it?
  • Liked the two-peat action of SOUP UP for [Make more awesome, like a car].
  • [Kim Philby or Robert Hanssen] are two infamous SPIES. Both men were double agents for the Soviet Union employed by British Intelligence and the FBI (now there’s a definite article I can live with), respectively.
  • I learned that techno musician MOBY was related to Herman Melville. A better-suited name than Typee or Omoo methinks.

joon’s back next week. Thanks for visiting!

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20 Responses to MGWCC #197

  1. Matt Gaffney says:

    Thanks for the pinch hit writeup, Evad! 464 correct entries this week. Approximately 80 references to this scene, which holds up quite well:

  2. Scott says:

    I imagine that Matt will accept the answer without the ellipsis at the end. I believe the formal title is “When Harry Met Sally…”

  3. Matt Gaffney says:

    Yes Scott, ellipsis appreciated but not required…

  4. Scott says:

    Matt, on Friday will you tell us how many entries included the ellipsis? Just out of curiosity.

  5. Matt Gaffney says:

    Interesting question, Scott; 58 of those 464 included the ellipsis.

  6. Evad says:

    I’m one of those 58, but when seeing the title on the DVD cover I omitted them when doing the write-up. Glad to hear both are acceptable!

  7. Matt Gaffney says:

    A certain well-known crossword editor, whose initials are also a movie rating, told me I shouldn’t accept answers that didn’t include the ellipsis. I’m 95% sure he was kidding.

  8. Abby says:

    I put in the ellipsis because that’s what IMDb had as canon, though my rule for my video collection is whatever’s on the cover, so I might not have if I had it at home. You have to have some rules when you have as many discs as I do…

  9. HH says:

    Matt, I doubt he was. Some people are sticklers for accuracy.

  10. Matthew G. says:

    Inclusion of the ellipsis is more than likely a sign that someone had to Google the names of the four actors to determine what movie they were all in. I say that as someone who included the ellipsis.

  11. Andrew Greene says:

    After the YAHOO! meta, I expect any mandatory punctuation to be explicitly clued in the grid.

    Kidding, kidding.

  12. Jeffrey says:

    There are no punctuation marks in crosswords.

  13. Karen says:

    No, I googled for the answer, and did not ellipse (ellide?). I’ll also admit that I’m terrible with names and would not have pulled that one out of my brain.

  14. Looking at this makes me need to get back out on the water. I have not been out in two days and I really need to just go back.

  15. Howard B says:

    Apparently I had what Karen had. Same experiences with Googling and the ellipsis.

    Seen it both ways, so I didn’t usually given that a second thought. Besides, when saying the title to someone, you don’t pronounce the ellipsis (do you?) ;). So thank you, Matt, for not being a stickler.

  16. Bharat says:

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  17. Howard B says:

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  18. HH says:

    “Besides, when saying the title to someone, you don’t pronounce the ellipsis (do you?)?

    Victor Borge would’ve.

  19. Amy Reynaldo says:

    Had no need to Google for the meta, included the ellipsis (I’m an editor and we take our punctuation seriously), am not familiar with puzzle editor Nick Collins XVII, and I note there is no ellipsis on the video box.

  20. Evad says:

    And I was wondering when did Xzibit start pimping puzzles instead of his ride.

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