MGWCC #440

crossword 3:07
meta 2 minutes 


mgwcc440hello and welcome to episode #440 of matt gaffney’s weekly crossword contest, “Suitable Representation”. for this timely week 1 puzzle, matt challenges us to answer this trivia question spelled out by the five long across answers in the grid: WHAT THREE STATES / COMPRISE THE SAME / NUMBER OF LETTERS / AS THEY DO VOTES ON / THE ELECTORAL MAP? neat question, and one that matt has nicely parsed into five 15-letter chunks without sounding especially awkward.

i’d be impressed if you knew the electoral college enough to do this from memory, but i sure used a map. the answers were NEVADA (6), KANSAS (6), and KENTUCKY (8). nevada, in particular, has been in the news because it’s a major swing state today. it seems likely that the other two are going to go red as usual.

with 75 squares’ worth of theme, there isn’t a ton of room for expression in the fill, but there are some nice bits. the marquee medium-length answers are NOT A PROB, which feels a little less natural to me than either NOT A PROBLEM or NO PROB, and TIME SLOT, which i liked. other bits:

  • {Great ___ (region of the Western U.S.)} BASIN. i sure had LAKES first and then PLAIN once i got the -IN.
  • {Sufjan Stevens’ “Gonna Rock You Like ___ Storm”} A HAIL. not a song i’m familiar with, and not a partial i’ve seen in a grid before.
  • {Civil unrest} RIOTS. let’s hope not. i was pleasantly surprised to not hear about any of this in either cleveland or chicago following the world series, but maybe i just wasn’t paying attention.
  • {Achievement for Rita Moreno or Whoopi Goldberg} EGOT. i’m looking forward to lin-manuel miranda joining this list next year. moana is coming out this month, and disney musicals have a pretty good track record at winning the best song oscar.
  • {Fun-to-drive Volkswagen} JETTA. i drive a jetta—admittedly a jetta sportwagen (i.e. a station wagon). i guess it’s fun?
  • {Former NYC mayor} RUDY. i feel like this clue ought to do a clearer job at indicating that the answer is his first name.
  • {Synagogue} SCHUL. i’ve usually seen this transliterated without the C, but then, as a gentile, i’ve usually seen it in crosswords rather than in the wild. not sure which is more common in general, as of course the crosswordy version tends to be the shorter and less consonant-clustery spelling.
  • {Meta solver’s shout} AHA. i don’t think anybody would have been shouting this for a simple week 1, but you never know, right?

that’s all for me this week. don’t forget to vote!

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11 Responses to MGWCC #440

  1. Matt Gaffney says:

    Thanks, Joon — 484 right answers this week.

  2. Stephen McFly says:

    New to metas, I’m happy knowing that Googling for the meta is an acceptable, and sometimes necessary practice.

    Thanks Matt and Jon!

  3. Wayne says:

    Hands-up everyone who pasted the wikipedia table into a spreadsheet to solve this meta. Hands-up everyone who pasted it into a file and wrote a python program. Hands-up everyone who did both.

    (No, I don’t know what’s wrong with me. And, yes, I know I need to get a life.)

  4. Amy L says:

    I thought you spelled his name “Rudi,” and I could not figure out what I DO votes were. When I finally googled his name and realized I wouldn’t miss a week 1, I let out a giant AHA.

  5. Scott says:

    An easy and good and timely puzzle from Matt. Thanks as always!!

Comments are closed.