MGWCC #502

crossword 6:39 
meta 0 min 


hello and welcome to episode #502 of matt gaffney’s weekly crossword contest, “Season’s Beatings!”. in this week 2 puzzle, we were instructed to find an NFL team. the puzzle didn’t put up much resistance—much like its meta answer. but it was extra-big at 21×21, so there was a lot of theme material. specifically, there were 16 answers that included the consecutive letters LOSS:

  • {Supermodel who’s also a software engineer} KARLIE KLOSS.
  • {Presidential historian Michael} BESCHLOSS. never heard of him.
  • {Flowering plant} BUGLOSS. or this.
  • {Mexican billionaire who is part owner of the New York Times} CARLOS SLIM.
  • {Alphabetical list of technical terms} GLOSSARY.
  • {Eyepiece named for its Viennese designer} PLOSSL. or this.
  • {“Candide” character} PANGLOSS.
  • {Guitarist who played at Woodstock} CARLOS SANTANA. seems unfortunate to include two CARLOSes.
  • {Words on a Texas NBA team’s jerseys, some games} LOS SPURS.
  • {Heavy drinker’s facial feature} GIN BLOSSOM. i didn’t know this term, although i know the band.
  • {Not knowing what to say} AT A LOSS. having LOSS hanging out as a word by itself also seems less than ideal.
  • {Building seen in “Gladiator”} COLOSSEUM.
  • {“I Come As a Thief” novelist Louis ___} AUCHINCLOSS. never heard of this guy either
  • {1990s Red Sox outfielder Greg whose nickname was “Not That Good”} BLOSSER. or this guy! apparently he played in 22 games in his major league career and batted 0.077. not that good indeed.
  • {Go into very little detail on} GLOSS OVER.
  • {Follow up on brushing your teeth} FLOSS.

so the meta answer is the cleveland browns, who just completed an epic winless season, matching the 2008 detroit lions’ mark for futility with a perfect 0-16 record. congrats to them, i guess.

i thought this meta was ambitious, but not especially well pulled off. the duplicated CARLOSes and the large number of obscurities made this one not super fun to solve. but i don’t have a lot to say other than that since my brain is still pretty fried from mystery hunt.

how’d you all like this one?

This entry was posted in Contests and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to MGWCC #502

  1. Jeremy Smith says:

    Solving a 21×21 PDF is tough on old eyes! lol

  2. sharkicicles says:

    At least I wasn’t AT A LOSS for week 2, unlike last month.

  3. Matt Gaffney says:

    Thanks, Joon — 605 correct answers this week.

    I guarantee I didn’t miss any possible LOSS entries! True that PLOSSL is obscure (but you know what one is, if you image search it), and so is BUGLOSS, but Michael BESCHLOSS is one of the most famous living US historians, and both Carloses are super-famous. So I didn’t want to scrap the funny theme over needing some less-than idea entries, and figured: well, the solver gets four free letters in each on anyway.

    • Garrett says:

      Yes, PLOSSL and BUGLOSS were new to me, and until I looked them up I thought I had something wrong with my grid! :-)

  4. Seth Canetti says:

    Was Detroit Lions also accepted?

    • Matt Gaffney says:

      Yes. About 30 solvers sent it in. Clearly the team that did it the week before was more logical, but it was interesting that an NYT clue last week that referenced the 2008 Lions as the only team to go 0-16 was rendered incorrect by the 2016 Browns!

      • Squonk says:

        The Browns being more logical would assume the solver had any knowledge of current football and didn’t rely on a Google search. Count me in as a Lion. Thanks for accepting it!

  5. Bill2RD says:

    After I got the second grid answer containing “loss”, I guessed that it was the Browns.

    • Amy L says:

      And then there’s me, who has to google every single thing having to do with football. So is 16 the most losses a team can have?

      Another less than ideal clue was 81D {Runs like a racehorse} when the answer to 26D was HORSING. But with a fun puzzle like this, it didn’t bother me much.

      • Mutman says:

        Yes, typically 0-16 teams do not make the playoffs to make them 0-17. So that is the max ;)

      • Justin says:

        What is especially Brownsy (I have been a fan all my life) is that they could have been 0-20 had they lost all 4 preseason games. But no, they won those :P.

        • Debbie says:

          The Lions also went 4-0 in the 2008 preseason – how weird is that? My husband and I live in metro Detroit, but I’m a Lions fan and he’s a Browns fan. Ours is usually not a happy household during football season…

  6. Jon says:

    I was for sure that the answer was going to be the Lions as they were the only team I knew to go 0-16. So imagine my surprise when I found out that there was a team that also did that this season. Either this illustrates just how removed I am from news of the NFL or because they were the 2nd team to do this, not much of a stink was made about it and it never crossed over into the regular news I follow.

    Since there were two different possible answers, I got to ding the meta for not paring it down to just one of them. One of the clues is Brown-___ (NOSED in the grid) so I was wondering if that eliminated the Cleveland Browns. And then nearby LOINS anagrams to Lions. Along with the double Carlos, gotta give this 3/5 stars.

  7. Matthew G. says:

    I guessed from the title that the answer would be the Browns, but as I started into the grid I initially suspected a different theme mechanism. KARLIE KLOSS is from Chicago, and I saw a bunch of other people as answers in the grid. I thought that the theme was going to be one celebrity from each city whose NFL team beat the Browns this season.

  8. Makfan says:

    I suppose it’s fitting that I finally won the prize for a MGWCC weekly entry, since my favorite sports team has been around for 26 years and never won the Stanley Cup. They also lost 71 games in their second season.

    Thanks, Matt!

Comments are closed.