MGWCC #249 — Matt’s self-review

crossword construction about 4 hrs (Matt)  

Ironic that a physics professor would forget to blog the puzzle the week that PHYSICS is the meta answer, but there you have it. Joon has a good excuse, though: a 7th-place finish at last weekend’s American Crossword Puzzle Tournament would mentally fatigue anyone.

531 solvers noticed that the five theme entries each contained a Nobel Prize category: SEXUAL CHEMISTRY, MEDICINE MAN, HOME ECONOMICS, PEACE TREATY and IRISH LITERATURE. Instructions asked for a word beginning with P, and the missing category is PHYSICS, making that our contest answer.

One tricky thing to sidestep: 31 solvers submitted PRIZE, as in Nobel Prize. Close, but 27-a was [Inventor slighted in the missing category] for Nikola TESLA, an extra nudge towards PHYSICS. The title “Categorically Denied” also suggests that we’re looking for a missing category.

OK theme idea, good phrases, decent but not killer grid (ever met an EELER?), and I do feel a little bad about the PRIZE red herring. 3.75 stars.

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15 Responses to MGWCC #249 — Matt’s self-review

  1. Paul Coulter says:

    I like the concept of a self-review. My favorite prof did that at MIT, and very few of us decided to give ourselves an A. But I can up your mark a bit to 4.0 for a Week 2 puzzle. As you say, the phrases are good, and there’s very little junk.

    Congratulations to our friends Eric, Joon, and Plot for their excellent finishes at ACPT. I’m sure I’m forgetting someone from our regulars, but those 3 stood out. Had a ball, myself, and really enjoyed Patrick’s #5. Plus, it’s always great to see friends both old and new.

  2. Noam D. Elkies says:

    61A:EELER I have no problem with (if “have you ever met…” were the standard we’d lose a lot of useful fill). Not so nice to cross the central theme entry 35A:HOME_economics with 35D:HOME_brew — even two HOME entries anywhere in the grid is bad form…


  3. Lois says:

    Don’t feel bad about not allowing “prize.” Give those of us who actually look at the clues a small advantage once in a while, especially in the first and second weeks. Noam is right, but it was quite a nice puzzle.

  4. Matt Gaffney says:

    I don’t know. I saw the HOME BREW / HOME ECONOMICS dupe while constructing and went with it anyway because they’re both excellent phrases. Rules are made to be broken, but only when it’s worth it.

  5. Tony says:

    As soon as I saw the clue for Tesla, I knew the answer. Not only was he snubbed for a Nobel, several inventions such as radio should belong to him as well.

  6. Martin says:

    “… ever met an EELER?”

    Yes, when I was on holiday in Majorca years ago.


  7. Evad says:

    Looks like a couple of lucky individuals took advantage of the extra hour between noon and 1pm today due to me not resetting the DST flag. Congrats…

  8. mmespeer says:

    Yikes! I started doing these puzzles in January. Last month I got the first two metas and thought I was catching on (even though I had difficulty understanding some of the explanations for later in the month). I saw economics, literature, chemistry and medecine and thought fields of study..never making the Nobel connection…and entered PEACE as my answer. I’ll keep trying. Thanks for the challenge.

  9. oeuftete says:

    My childhood best friend is an EELER. Really!

    Edit: I’m told “they’d be called ‘fellas that go eeling’, but not eelers”. :)

  10. AV says:

    Gaffney meta: 531 correct entries
    ACPT: 572 entries – 40 who did not attempt Puzzle 7 = 532 completed entries!

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