MGWCC #344

crossword 2:50
meta about -2 minutes 

mgwcc344happy new year, and welcome to episode #344 of matt gaffney’s weekly crossword contest, “Subscription Required”. for this first puzzle of the new subscriber-only model of MGWCC, matt asks us to identify a well-known magazine. what the theme answers? there are three long across answers in the grid:

  • {Wedding groups} are STRING QUARTETS.
  • {Cross-examiner’s no-no} is a LEADING QUESTION. objection!
  • {So fast} clues LIGHTNING-QUICK.

the Q’s stand out, and it’s also notable that the letter before Q is a G every time, leading to the answer GQ, a magazine formerly known as gentlemen’s quarterly. i don’t know if they changed the name because it’s no longer quarterly, or if they no longer wish to restrict their appeal to gentlemen, but anyway, GQ is now just the name, although i’m sure matt will accept “gentlemen’s quarterly” as a submitted answer.

of course, the theme answers all contain not only GQ but in fact INGQU as a string, not that that’s anything special. everybody knows that almost all english words starting with Q have U next, but did you know that almost all words ending with G end with -ING? it’s true. in my dictionary it’s 13015 out of 13592, or almost 96% of words ending with G.

it’s a suitably easy way to kick off a new year and a new subscription model. i don’t have much to say about the fill, other than that i had to look askance at HOU, clued as {Current Women’s World Chess Champion ___ Yifan (hidden in THOUSAND)}. it’s a slightly thorny area to fill, but i would probably have gone for REUSE at 22d and YUPPIES at 28a, allowing YOU at 28d instead of the obscure HOU. i know matt has a thing for chess, but this is not a name that has at all entered the public consciousness (unlike current world champ magnus carlsen, former world champ vishy anand, or even fabiano caruana, who stormed to noteworthiness in 2014).

that’s all for me this week. hope to see everybody around for future installments. if you haven’t subscribed yet, there’s still time to do so without missing a week!

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9 Responses to MGWCC #344

  1. Matt Gaffney says:

    Thanks, Joon — 493 right answers this week.

    And now you’ll see Hou Yifan everywhere!

  2. Scott says:

    I give it 5 stars for the cleverness of the title.

  3. Mac says:

    Does Matt not have a lawyer in his test solving group or am I misreading 35 Across? Leading questions are not only permissible on cross-examination but, at least in many minds, preferred. They are a “no-no” on direct examination in most instances.

  4. Daniel Barkalow says:

    For some reason, I now want a big Qdoba burrito for dinner.

  5. Amy L says:

    I’m glad Matt didn’t included Dancing Queen. Then we’d all have a horrible earworm.

    • Dave B says:

      Okay, thanks for that….

    • I was trying to solve the puzzle without instructions, as I usually do on week 1’s, and I was going to guess that Dancing Queen was the meta answer. I always double-check the instructions before submitting, so that saved me from an embarrassing wrong answer.

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