MGWCC #488

crossword 2:51 
meta -2:51 


hello and welcome to episode #488 of matt gaffney’s weekly crossword contest, “Crossword Puzzzzle”. for this week 1 puzzle, matt tells us that we are looking for something I’ve been low on lately.. i often try to solve week 1 metas without looking at the instructions, but this time i inadvertently saw the instructions before printing out the puzzle, and the combination of the instructions, title, and knowledge of recent events in matt’s life gave this one away before i even started solving the crossword. but let’s have a look anyway, shall we?

  • {My wife Kristin and I had our first one on Monday, which explains this puzzle’s theme (Tilghman Merritt Gaffney, born 4:09 PM on 10/2/2017 in Harrisonburg, Va., 8 lb. 10 oz., World Chess Champion 2038-53)} BABY. congrats to matt, kristin, and the champ! he’s a cutie.
  • {Financial giant conspiring among its purported competitors?} ING WITH THE ENEMY.
  • {Borough of New York City where farming is illegal?} NO-TILL BROOKLYN. i didn’t realize the beastie boys had spelled it “till” instead of “til”, but matt takes good advantage of that fact here.
  • {Not visiting the Puget Sound as often as usual these days?} LESS IN SEATTLE.
  • {Story about a valley shaped like a slingshot?} LEGEND OF Y HOLLOW.

the four long theme answers are all missing SLEEP, which is of course the answer to the meta. hang in there, matt! sleep is overrated anyway.

this was, as i’m sure matt intended, a super-easy meta, but high on cuteness. i am a little curious to know if matt had it constructed in advance. if so, it was awfully accommodating for tilghman to arrive just in time for a week 1!

bits & pieces:

  • {Detroit Pistons great ___ Thomas} ISIAH. a short but excellent point guard of the 1980s-90s, not to be confused with the current short but excellent point guard on the cavaliers named isaiah thomas.
  • {“Buffy the Vampire Slayer” channel, for two seasons} UPN. seasons 6 and 7, to be specific. there were more than a few people who were surprised to find out about this because buffy dies in the season 5 finale, which was also the last episode on the WB, and the WB was intentionally vague about whether it was the series finale. having said all that, i could do without the last two seasons anyway. although the musical episode in season 6 was a treat, so let’s say i could do without the last 1.6 seasons.
  • {Director of “Spider-Man,” “Spider-Man 2,” and “Spider-Man 3”} SAM RAIMI. but not the amazing spider-man or the amazing spider-man 2, both directed by the euonymous marc webb. or, for that matter, spider-man: homecoming, from this summer. does it seem to you like they are rebooting spider-man a little too often?
  • {Rock that sounds pleasant} GNEISS. gneiss clue.
  • {Traditional boats of the Indian Ocean and Red Sea} DHOWS. whoa, do people know this word? i feel like i have only seen it in scrabble, although it probably does come up in crosswords.
  • {Its third letter stands for “role”} LARP. i do know this acronym (live-action role-playing), although i don’t recall seeing it in a puzzle.
  • {Restless, as slumber} FITFUL. matt was careful not to use “sleep” in this clue.
  • {Prize won this week by novelist Kazuo Ishiguro} NOBEL. i love that novelist and nobelist are just an adjacent-key typo apart (on a qwerty keyboard, anyway).
  • {___ pit (scary area of the dance floor)} MOSH. be stout-hearted! there’s nothing to fear in the mosh pit.

that’s all i’ve got this week. hooray for the baby!

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7 Responses to MGWCC #488

  1. sharkicicles says:

    First MGWCC I solved before putting pen to paper as well. Congrats Matt!

    • Mutman says:


      This was as easy as the ‘Octopus’ puzzle from years back. (Too lazy to look for link)

      Congrats again, Matt!

    • Jim S says:

      Same here, even without seeing the title… though I didn’t have the nerve to submit my answer without solving the grid.

  2. Bob Kerfuffle says:

    I don’t think anyone lost any sleep solving this one!

  3. Matt Gaffney says:

    Thanks, Joon — subscription-era record of 607 right answers. Go Tilghman!!

  4. e.a. says:

    great puzzle, great review

  5. AOtis says:

    Congrats Matt! Hope Otis is adjusting to the newbie:)

Comments are closed.