MGWCC #458

crossword 3:09
meta -2 minutes 


hello and welcome to episode #458 of matt gaffney’s weekly crossword contest, “Invasive Species”. this is a week 2 (of 5), but after last week’s puzzle proved to be more of a week 2 than a week 1, matt promised a true week 1 difficulty, so this is what we have. anyway, the instructions this week ask us to find, straightforwardly enough, an invasive species. what are the theme answers?

  • {Happy end result of a zoo escape?} FOUND MONKEY.
  • {Admonishment to someone cleaning leaves from your gutters?} YOU MISSED A SPOUT.
  • {Where corrosive substances in a lab go after the experiment?} ACID DRAIN. this is actually a thing. you can’t just pour strong acid down the sink.
  • {Anchor who read the news at a 1-2-3 tempo?} WALTZER CRONKITE.
  • {Google co-founder, while studying at UCLA?} SERGEY BRUIN. brin and co-founder larry page were actually phd students together at stanford.

anyway, take the extra letter in each wacky theme entry and they read off, in order, KUDZU, famous for being an invasive species. that is about as week 1 as it gets.

quick hits:

  • {Least taxing} EASIEST. a-yup.
  • {World’s Fair} EXPO and {Chicago newspaper that Gene Siskel wrote for} TRIBUNE were a nice pair of consecutive chicago-related answers. ebert, by the way, wrote for the sun-times.
  • {Witty rejoinder to “You are not!”} I AM SO. oh, the sparkling wit.
  • {Freddy of soccer, who didn’t become as famous as crossword writers would’ve liked} ADU. nor did he become as good as USMNT fans would’ve liked. also in the grid is EDU, clued as {Part of most university e-mail addresses} but it could have been maurice EDU, who was briefly a midfielder for the usa. he… didn’t really pan out either, honestly.
  • {Risk territory between Siberia and Kamchatka} YAKUTSK. love this. i don’t think i’ve ever seen it in a crossword, but it reminds me of this awesome risk meta from the early(ish) days of mgwcc.
  • {Nat. with 363 Nobel Prizes} USA. not a bad haul. kinda takes the sting out of the whole adu/edu thing.

that’s all i’ve got this week. hope you’re all well!

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9 Responses to MGWCC #458

  1. Mutman says:

    Happy end result of a zoo escape? Maybe for the zookeeper, but not for the monkey :(

    I haven’t been the same since I saw ‘Blackfish’ and ‘The Cove’.

  2. Matt Gaffney says:

    Thanks, Joon — Subscription Era-record of 566 correct entries this week. And zero incorrect.

    Puns aren’t really my stock-in-trade but I think Merl would have dug WALTZER CRONKITE.

    • Mutman says:

      That was excellent, Matt.

      How about: Johnny Olsen announcing a change in Russian Leadership?

      “A New Czar!”

      • Matt Gaffney says:

        Nice! I don’t think I considered 3-letter words. Wanted something really cool for the extra Z in KUDZU but wasn’t finding anything. When I found WALTZER CRONKITE I said OK, building the grid around this one.

    • Jim Schooler says:

      I had a good Reagle-esque chuckle for that one!

  3. ajk says:

    lol that Freddie ADU is also an answer in the linked Risk puzzle. :)

  4. e.a. says:

    this deserves a higher star rating imo. exemplary week 1 puzzle

  5. Garrett says:

    Gave it a 5!

  6. sharkicicles says:

    This will be the puzzle I use when I try to explain the concept of the meta.

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