MGWCC #479

crossword untimed 
meta -2 minutes or so 


hello and welcome to episode #479 of matt gaffney’s weekly crossword contest, “Spice World”. i solved this week 1 puzzle without the instructions. it was during tcona last weekend, so i did it on my laptop instead of on paper and didn’t write down my solving time. anyway, what are the theme answers?

  • {Actress in 1983’s “The Big Chilled Pie”?} PECAN TILLY. i had no idea what to make of this clue or answer.
  • {Drummer on “Baklava for a Seven Nation Army”?} PISTACHIO WHITE. this made it a little clearer—that’s a song by the white stripes, and meg white is their drummer.
  • {Tech CEO who includes a jar of Nutella with each new computer?} FILBERT WHITMAN. meg whitman is the ceo of hewlett-packard (and formerly of ebay).
  • {Star of “When Harry Met Sally and They Ate a Mars Bar Together…”?} ALMOND RYAN. right, i think you all know meg ryan.

so each of these goofy theme answers mashes up a nut with a meg, making it pretty clear that nutmeg is the meta answer, and it’s certainly consistent with the title. i don’t know anything about actress meg tilly other than that she is the sister of jennifer tilly, so the first clue wasn’t a big help, but the others pretty clearly pointed to the answer.

nice week 1 meta. i like how each of the theme clues refers to the particular meg in question, as opposed to just “these four words are surnames of famous megs”. that would still be solvable (especially since the nuts are quite apparent), but a little tougher.

quick roundup:

  • {“Now that you’re gone, all that’s left is ___ of gold” (Freda Payne lyric)} A BAND. i don’t know this lyric, the song, or indeed who freda payne is. is that a singer, or, you know… a band?
  • {Kid’s shout} HEY MA. i don’t think i’ve ever seen this in a crossword before, or also in the wild other than as part of my favorite simpsons episode.
  • {“___ Beverly Hills” (1989 Shelley Long comedy)} TROOP. unfamiliar with this one.
  • {Barack’s right-hand man} JOSEPH. i suppose so, although he was pretty much just called joe. i wonder if matt was influenced to clue it this way because of its proximity in the grid to {___ one’s time (wait for the right moment)} BIDE.
  • {One-tusked creatures} NARWHALS. i love this word, and indeed this animal. my youngest daughter likes to play a game called “guess my animal” where one person thinks of an animal and announces the first letter. there are surprisingly few animals starting with n! narwhal is, for whatever reason, usually the answer.

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

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12 Responses to MGWCC #479

  1. Jon says:

    “Troop Beverly Hills” is a pretty silly but enjoyable film that I saw on video probably in either 1989 or 1990. Jenny Lewis is in it when she was still a child actor, before she transitioned to musician in adulthood. I think this was one of the first movies Shelly Long made after she chose to leave “Cheers.” My younger sister was a girl scout around the time this movie came out and so we would watch it over and over again since we bought a video tape of it for our video tape collection. I’m not sure if it would hold up on a 1st viewing this days, but I still have fond memories of it.

  2. Matt Gaffney says:

    Thanks, Joon. 592 correct and 0 incorrect, so nobody got fooled (Week 1 nirvana, in other words)

  3. bunella says:

    Love your reviews Joon, but you should google oldies music and listen to some of the songs mentioned in crosswords. You’d be surprised and might even have a giggle.

  4. Jim Schooler says:

    I was on a roll when I noticed Pecan Tilly with The Big Chill reference: Meg Tilly was William Hurt’s love interest in that movie, one of my favorites.

  5. Al Sanders says:

    Freda Payne is a singer, song was a moderate hit in the early 70s. And Meg Whitman is now CEO of Hewlett Packard *Enterprise*, thank you very much! (Three guesses what company I work for :-)

  6. Jim S says:

    The ‘pouf’ ‘filbert’ crossing was a minor Natick for me… I really wanted it to be ‘dilbert’ and wondered if I missed him being promoted in a recent strip!

    • jefe says:

      Ditto on the crossing, though I had already figured out the meta so I just went “Oh, a filbert is a nut, so F.”

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