MGWCC #475

crossword 3:14 
meta 10 minutes 


hello and welcome to episode #475 of matt gaffney’s weekly crossword contest, “Get Reel!”. matt’s back at the helm after guest constructor month, and i’m back here blogging after forgetting a couple of times in the past few weeks. for this week 1 puzzle, i tried to solve it without the instructions, but i wasn’t seeing it after a little while, so i finally looked at the instructions to discover that we were looking for a well-known company. what are the theme answers?

  • {2006 Sofia Coppola movie that won the Oscar for Best Costume Design} is MARIE ANTOINETTE. i had not been familiar with this film. it stars kirsten dunst.
  • {2011 superhero movie directed by Michel Gondry} THE GREEN HORNET. this one i know. i actually even saw part of it, for reasons i can no longer remember—fittingly, perhaps, since the film itself is also rather forgettable. seth rogen is in it.
  • {1976 movie for which Peter Finch posthumously won Best Actor / 1987 buddy cop movie starring Dan Aykroyd and Tom Hanks} is an interesting double clue for the two films NETWORK and DRAGNET. so there are five theme answers crammed into four spots in the grid.
  • {Hit 1968 movie based on a novel by Pierre Boulle} is PLANET OF THE APES.

i noticed early on that the first two theme clues seemed to conspicuously omit the names of the stars of the films, so i thought that would be relevant, but that idea fizzled out when finch and aykroyd/hanks were given to us. so it wasn’t that.

after looking at the instructions, i was initially more puzzled, and then less puzzled, because for some reason it was only then that the obvious jumped out at me: all of these movie titles contain NET. that means they’re all “net flicks”, and the meta answer is just netflix. cute.

clues that caught my eye:

  • {They’re 38-45 at the moment} made me think we were talking about a generation (my generation, i guess, since i’m 38), and i tried to make either GENX or XERS work. but no, it’s just the woeful new york METS, who won one of three games over the weekend and stumble into the all-star break at 39-47.
  • {Pat who sells vowels for $250} SAJAK. it’s been a while since i watched wheel, i guess. shouldn’t vowel costs have gone up? college tuition has probably tripled since the price of vowels was set.
  • {Country that Google Analytics tells me there’s a 92% chance you’re solving this in} USA. i am the 92%.
  • {Make delicious, as onions} CARAMELIZE. clue contains a factual error. should be “even more delicious”.
  • {1988 and 1990 Wimbledon champ Edberg} STEFAN. i am watching some wimbledon right now as i blog this. the women’s singles quarterfinals matchups all have very high entertainment value. go venus!
  • {Kim of “Vertigo”} NOVAK. speaking of wimbledon.

that’s all i’ve got this week. how’d you like this one?

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18 Responses to MGWCC #475

  1. Matt Gaffney says:

    Thanks, Joon — 475 right answers this week, low for Week 1. Two possible causes: 1) a bit trickier than your average Week 1 and 2) NPL conventioneers who may have forgotten to enter

  2. Mutman says:

    I struggled with this week 1, embarrassingly. It just wasn’t sinking in. Then, voila!

    Joon: regarding women’s tennis. I find it unwatchable lately. Unless I am just getting unlucky picking matches, it seems like every player makes a high pitchy grunt sound on every shot. And then once I notice it, I can’t I hear it.

  3. Jim S. says:

    I’m such an idiot. Saw the ‘NET’, saw the movies, saw the ‘REEL’ in the title. Nothing obvious jumped out, as it typically does in a Week 1, so I thought for awhile. Eventually came up with ‘REEL’ and ‘NET’ being related to fishing, and with the obvious movie theme answers, figured it had to be DREAMWORKS with their boy fisherman logo. Netflix is so obvious in hindsight, but I never made the leap from ‘movies’ to ‘flicks’ (a term I probably haven’t used in decades). Solid puzzle nonetheless.

    • NonnieL says:

      It’s so interesting how the mind works. I too thought “REEL” meant the answer would have something to do with fishing, but I never thought of the Dreamworks logo, despite having seen it a million times.

  4. Daniel Barkalow says:

    I tried putting “net” into Google as part of my “am I missing something really obvious?” routine, after I’d failed to find any other commonality among the movies. I was pretty surprised to have it suggest the correct answer without the instructions or most of the clue.

  5. Tony says:

    Came rather easily to me for some reason. I’m usually the one who has to write down all the theme entries and then see what the common theme is.

    I saw all the movies had “NET” somewhere in them, and then looked at the title and said “Oh. Netflix!” The title “Get Reel” instead of “Get Real” and the themes all being “Net Flicks” helped.

  6. Jason says:

    I knew I was missing something obvious but it didn’t dawn on me what it was until this morning. Rats.

  7. Bret says:

    Before I had my “wait, it’s a Week 1” moment I compiled all the studios that released the movies, plugged first letters into an anagram solver, and so forth.

    • ajk says:

      My initial path involved being excited that both MARIE ANTOINETTE and THE GREEN HORNET were distributed by Columbia Pictures, followed by deflation when the rest were not. :)

  8. Scott says:

    I was stuck on this one for too long. So I asked my wife to help. She was driving so I spoke the five movies to her and she heard the word NET in each one and got the answer instantly.

  9. sharkicicles says:

    Heh, I figured maybe the answer was that the same studio released all of them. Nope. It took me an embarrassingly long time to see NETFLIX. I even googled “net films”.

    Nice to see I’m not the only person who this tripped up. Not even sure why.

  10. kaes says:

    Put “NET” into Google, thinking it was some sort of stock symbol. Spent about five minutes struggling to make it stop cluttering up the results with links to Netflix. Moved on.

    Needless to say, I was pretty embarrassed when it finally dawned on me.

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