MGWCC #388

crossword 2:41
meta 2 minutes 


mgwcc388hello and welcome to episode #388 of matt gaffney’s weekly crossword contest, “Screen Test”. for this week 1 puzzle, matt asks us for a Best Picture-winning movie of the past 25 years. the theme answers present a four-part riddle: THE LAST NAME / OF ITS DIRECTOR / ANAGRAMS TO ONE / OF ITS GENRES.

well, this is straightforward. i started thinking of movies in the 1990s that won best picture, and attempting to anagram the last names of their directors. pretty quickly i got to james CAMERON of titanic, which anagrams to ROMANCE. there it is. perhaps coincidentally, the last across answer is ROSE, the name of kate winslet’s main character from titanic. (no JACK in the grid for dicaprio’s character. probably would have been too obvious anyway.)

nice little wordplay find there. are there other famous people whose surnames anagram to a film genre? i can’t think of anybody for ACTION or COMEDY or BIOPIC or DRAMA or HORROR or SUSPENSE or SPORTS or WAR or HISTORICAL. frank CAPRA is pretty close to a CAPER.

i liked the symmetric long downs QUITE A LOT; they were FAR AND AWAY the nicest entries in the grid. my least favorite was probably the arbitrary and made-up-sounding SING TO ME. interesting word i had not seen in a grid before: OKINA, {The diacritical mark in Hawai’i or O’ahu}. i learned this word from my sister-in-law when we visited her (and my brother) in honolulu two years ago. it’s actually its own letter in the hawai’ian alphabet, representing a consonantal glottal stop.

that’s all for me. let’s hear from you in the comments about how you figured out the meta.

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8 Responses to MGWCC #388

  1. Brian says:

    If he hadn’t specified that it was the director’s last name only, then the answer could have been CLINT EASTWOOD (for Unforgiven) which anagrams to OLD WEST ACTION.

  2. Paul Coulter says:

    For the Horror genre?

    Marshall – Harms All
    Mendes – Ends Me
    Madden – Damned

    • pannonica says:

      Are you thinking of Guy Maddin there?

      [never mind: Just looked it up to see a John Madden, none of whose films I’ve seen, but have indeed heard of.]

      • Paul Coulter says:

        Right – Madden, Mendes, and Marshall all three directed Best Picture winners. Eastwood could also be Toad’s Woe, but it was a bit stretchy to make my Horror list. Plus, I liked the 3 Ms – for murder, mayhem, and manslaughter, I suppose.

    • joon says:

      i am not sure i need to point this out, but just in case: “harms all”, “ends me”, and “damned” are not genres. neither is “old west action”.

  3. Norm says:

    Knowing very little about films, directors, and Oscars, I just called up a list of Best Directors and looked for last names I could anagram. CAMERON was obvious, and I just had to confirm that TITANIC won Best Picture. (I told you I knew next to nothing.) A nice, simple week 1.

  4. Amy L says:

    I did this the methodical way. I made a list of the 25 movies (I’ve only seen two) and their directors. The first one I tried to anagram was Cameron. Although it worked, I still had to look at all the other 24 directors’ names. And some people solved this in four minutes?!?!

    My favorite clue was 42A. I can’t wait to see a lotion ad with the phrase “rich in vowels.”

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