meta about 20 minutes
Hi, brief write-up today from Evad, pinch-hitting for joon.
For Matt’s 326th installment of his weekly crossword contest, we are asked to supply the missing clue for 1-Across. As far as theme entries go, only one is starred and that is 40-Across: [Vulgar things which the majority of crosswords do not contain*] (important to note the “do not” instead of the more common “don’t” here) or FOUR-LETTER WORDS. Two other 15-letter entries cross that in the down direction:
- 5-Down: [You probably hear it every day] or ENGLISH LANGUAGE, and
- 10-Down: [Forced unions] or SHOTGUN WEDDINGS.
Neither of these were starred like the central across entry, so my initial assumption was that they were not thematic.
Given the central entry, I went on a hunt for these four-letter words in the grid. In fact, I wasn’t surprised that there were none, given that we were asked to supply a clue for an entry, so my spidey sense told me that I would find these words in other clues. Not only that, I expected to find 9 given the title “I Beg Your Part Ten!” assuming that we were to supply the tenth “part” (whatever that would turn out to be). Lucky guesses all around for me this week!
So what are those 9 four-letter words found in the clues? Here are the clues in which they can be found:
- 18-Across: [Reached at a swift clip] or RAN TO
- 66-Across: [Thing in a tote bag, maybe] or GLOVE
- 5-Down: [You probably hear it every day] or ENGLISH LANGUAGE
- 11-Down: [Fonda and Eyre] or JANES
- 13-Down: [Crib ___] or NOTES
- 24-Down: [Measurement on a ship] or DRAFT
- 37-Down: [Warm pressers] or IRONS (spidey sense again alerted on the oddness of this clue)
- 48-Down: [It colonized Guam] or SPAIN (odd way to clue a country)
- 63-Down: [Nat. where Lego was created] or DEN (odd again to clue a legitimate word as an abbrev., and also wouldn’t one say “Legos” in this context?)
So I then made a list of these four-letter words and found that they all become body parts if you remove one letter. Hence: lip, toe, ear, eye, rib, hip, arm, gum (or gam?), and leg, respectively. So depending if you filled in 1-across as MOVIE or MOXIE, your submission would either have something to do with the movie “Jaws” or a synonym of moxie being “guts.” Both of these become body parts, namely jaw and gut, when removing that final s.
There are other 3-letter body parts–ass (perhaps the most appropriate choice given the central entry?), abs, lap and either gum or gam depending on how you manipulated Guam–but none of them relate to MO[V|X]IE as well as Jaws and guts, imho. So how did this week 5-of-5 treat you?