MGWCC #275

crossword 3:00
meta 1 minute 

hello and welcome to episode #275 of matt gaffney’s weekly crossword contest, “Power Politics”. this week’s instructions ask us for a noted U.S. governor, past or present. what are the theme answers? here are the five long grid answers:

  • {Potent cocktail made with vodka} is a MIND ERASER.
  • {Creature at the top of its food chain, like a tiger or bald eagle} is an APEX PREDATOR.
  • {Me and Whoopi Goldberg, for example}? apparently BIRTHDAY TWINS. according to imdb, whoopi’s birthday is november 13. (she’s a few years older than matt, though.) my show biz birthday twin is danica mckellar, PhD.
  • {Special forces member’s maneuver, like upon busting through a window} is quite a gripping clue for COMMANDO ROLL. i’m on the edge of my seat.
  • {Linebacker in 12 Pro Bowls} is the late JUNIOR SEAU. tragic story, that.

okay, well, the governor thing may have been a red herring of sorts, because this is totally solvable with no instructions, and in fact, thinking about politics may well lead you astray. but with ERASER, PREDATOR, TWINS, COMMANDO, and JUNIOR staring you in the face, the answer must surely be arnold schwarzenegger, for that is a major chunk of his filmography. i’d say the only really iconic role that’s missing is TERMINATOR, but that one might be too much of a giveaway. still, the governator was pretty straightforward anyway.

it’s only week 1, but i’m idly curious if matt deliberately chose to put some movies at the start of the phrase and some at the end. that makes it harder to solve the meta by doing literally nothing except googling the theme answers, or by googling only first words or last words.

all right, that’s all for me. see you in the comments box and/or next week!

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13 Responses to MGWCC #275

  1. Matthew G. says:

    Took me marginally longer than most week 1s — i.e., I had to think about it for a couple of minutes after filling in the grid. I am not familiar with most of the movies here — I think the only one I ever saw was TWINS, and I’ve never even heard of JUNIOR or ERASER. But eventually TWINS and PREDATOR clicked together in my head.

  2. Mike W says:

    Before settling on Arnold S, my initial reaction was that Jesse Ventura was the answer. He was the governor of Minnesota (home of baseball’s Twins), he was in the movie Predator, he was a Commando in Vietnam, and one of his nicknames is the Mind. When neither Junior nor Seau had a connection, the leap to Arnold was easy.

  3. Matt Gaffney says:

    468 right answers this week, low for Week 1. Jesse Ventura was the most common incorrect answer, with 10.

    I didn’t vary the movie locations within theme entries on purpose, but I did choose “governor” over “movie star” as a misdirect.

    • danchall says:

      (I was about to ask about JV because “Twins” could suggest Minnesota.)

      • Paul Coulter says:

        But equally well, Roll could suggest California, as in Sushi. That was my first thought, along with Twins for Minnesota. All in all, I thought Matt nailed the difficulty level for a Week One. Not obvious on first sight – I think there were only about ten answers during the first fifteen minutes – yet easy enough for everyone to get with a little thought and Googling. Congratulations once more to Matt on the first year of his highly popular leader board, and to our five impressive leaders.

  4. Tough for a week 1, which meant it took me more than a few minutes. PREDATOR (and vaguely ERASER) were the only of those movies I recognized. I had to google around for various combinations of words before I hit on Ahnold.

  5. Jeff G. says:

    I immediately thought of Jesse “The Body” Ventura after reading the instructions and title. Twins helped point me in the right direction. I agree that the Leaderboard (Thanks Dave!) does add an additional layer of entertainment to the weekly festivities. Congrats to the 5 with the 52 straight solves. I wonder if Matt has another Hell Month in store for October?

  6. abide says:

    Two of my exact BIRTHDAYTWINS are Nancy Grace and Weird Al Yankovic.

  7. pannonica says:

    Didn’t know Eraser, but it reminded me of Total Recall (aka We Can Remember It For You Wholesale) and the other clues were so unequivocal that there was no—week one—doubt in my mind that the answer was Herr Schwarzenegger.

  8. Patrick L says:

    Completely lost track of the days and forgot to do this puzzle. So much going on this past weekend – US Open finals, football starting, a slightly more difficult than usual MMMM. I’ve never missed a Week 1 before. Not a great feeling.

  9. Arnold Schwarzenegger says:

    If anyone is wondering whether there will ever be another theme like this… I’LL BE BACK.

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