MGWCC #322

crossword 2:38
meta 0:01 

mgwcc322hello everyone, and welcome to episode #322 of matt gaffney’s weekly crossword contest, “State of Relaxation”. for this easy-peasy week 1 puzzle, the instructions tell us that we’re looking for the U.S. state I’ll be in while you’re solving this puzzle (assuming you solve on Friday, Saturday or Sunday). what are the theme answers? well, six clues (spanning seven entries, as one is split in the grid) get an asterisk:

  • {With 70-Across, access to a job*} WORK / VISA.
  • {Reason to feel sketched out*} WEIRD VIBE.
  • {Cabernet container*} WINE VAT.
  • {Got popular very quickly, like a YouTube video*} WENT VIRAL.
  • {It tells you which way the wind blows*} WEATHER VANE.
  • {They’re exchanged on the big day*} WEDDING VOWS.

as you can see, the answers are all two-word phrases with the initials W.V., so matt’s state of relaxation must be west virginia. hope you had a nice vacation, matt! i spent the weekend in maine. it was lovely.

there’s so little to talk about in terms of the meta, so let’s take a gander at some bits from the fill:

  • {Paris airport, or a text word expressing surprise} ORLY. i usually see “o rly” as two words, as befitting its origin (“oh, really?”).
  • {With many different functions, as an infomercial item} IN ONE. this is a valiant, but ultimately unsuccessful in my view, attempt to avoid cluing this as a partial phrase.
  • {Priuses (Prii?) and Camrys} TOYOTAS. as we know from mgwcc #120, matt drives a prius, although he did not weigh in on his preferred pluralization.
  • {Home country of chess grandmasters Vassily Ivanchuk and Ruslan Ponomariov} UKRAINE. unlike last week’s IVANs, these guys are both actually famous. in fact, they played each other in 2002 for the FIDE world championship, with ponomariov (then only 18 years old) winning. of course, this was in the tumultuous days when the FIDE championship didn’t mean all that much, with the “classical” champion (kasparov, then kramnik) not competing under that umbrella.
  • {Lee or Van Gundy} STAN. i’m a big fan of STAN van gundy, but he has his work cut out for him as the new coach of the pistons. that organization has been making terrible decisions for a few years and things are going to be pretty ugly this season. that said, their long-term outlook is not terrible, and svg is a really good person to have in charge.
  • {Defeater of McCain and Romney} OBAMA. as i write this, it is OBAMA’s 53rd birthday. happy birthday, mr. president.

penultimately, i just wanted to remind everybody that the MGWCC tip jar is open this week for the only time all year. if you like matt’s puzzles anywhere near as much as i do, please give what you can.

and finally, i hope to see many of you at lollapuzzoola 7 this saturday in new york. come say hello!

This entry was posted in Contests and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to MGWCC #322

  1. Matt says:

    Thanks, Joon, for another year of blogging these things. As you can tell by the fact that I’m clicking refresh at 11:59 every Tuesday morning, I dig your reviews as much as you dig my metas.

    723 correct entries this week, crushing the previous record of 672. Can we make 1,000 sometime? I think so.

    • CY Hollander says:

      One of these days you should just make a meta whose instructions are, “The answer is the entry for 1 across.”

      • Noam D. Elkies says:

        There was actually an MGWCC some years ago – I see it was #94, in March 2010 – which asked for 76-Across as the metapuzzle answer. And it was a Week 3. (The first letter is a quantum square but only one choice completed a pattern.)


  2. Jim Schooler says:

    For some unknown reason, there are “* no entries *” on the Leaderboard. Is it just me?

    • Evad says:

      Seems ok to me. Do you show puzzle # 322 at the top? And are all three tabs empty?

      • Jim Schooler says:

        I just clicked on the streaks and overall tabs, and they were filled in, then clicked on the this week tab and it was filled in also. So it was just me, I guess. Thanks Dave!

  3. Wayne says:

    > as we know from mgwcc #120, matt drives a prius

    The biographical trivia that we’ve learned [in-grid] about Matt over the years could be the basis for a neat meta.

  4. Linda says:

    What were the clues for asa and lay in the lower right hand corner of Matt’s puzzle?

  5. Daniel Barkalow says:

    You know it’s week 1 when you use the meta to solve the grid, rather than the reverse. (Got 64A based on the clue plus initials, rather than crossing words.)

    The real plural of Prius is obviously “Priores” (except for the first couple of model years, which were “Prii”, being early models).

    Is it not permissible for a crossword clue of the form “X, or Y” to clue two different punctuations? I can’t say I’ve seen it previously, but I assumed that was just because it just wouldn’t come up much.

  6. Matt Gaffney says:

    When Ponomariov won the “world championship” in 2002 at age 19, Kasparov claimed, perhaps truthfully, that he wouldn’t even recognize Pono if he walked into the room. The two had never played and apparently never even met in person.

  7. Noam D. Elkies says:

    I was wondering briefly whether “Prii” in the 58A clue was suggesting that entry should be TOYOTAE. (Matt Gaffney suggests that if anything it would be TOIOTAE.)

Comments are closed.