MGWCC #509

crossword 3:59 
meta 2ish 


hello and welcome to episode #509 of matt gaffney’s weekly crossword contest, “Too Wise for You Two”. for this week 1 puzzle, the instructions tell us that we are looking for something on my schedule for today. (i often try to solve week 1 without reading the instructions, but this time i saw them inadvertently.) what are the theme answers?

  • {*Summer month packed with activities?} BUSY JULY.
  • {*Cheer Liu up after “The Man With the Iron Fists” bombed at the box office?} BUOY LUCY.
  • {*The most pathetic little wharf on the sea?} PUNY QUAY.
  • {*Blind rage 1980s pop star Lewis goes into when a studio session isn’t going well?} HUEY FURY.
  • {*Garland in “The Wizard of Oz,” when putting on those slippers?} RUBY JUDY.
  • {*Upstate college named for a former Big Apple mayor?} SUNY RUDY.

well, all of these have two words in the pattern _U_Y, and the title also suggests 2 Y’s and 2 U’s, so it stands to reason that the meta answer will also fit the pattern. what could it be? there’s only one entry in my word list with that pattern, and it’s JURY DUTY, which certainly could be something matt had to do friday. if you don’t have your own word list, you could check out onelook or some such. (today i learned about jucy lucy, which honestly looks a little gross and i hope matt didn’t have to eat one of those on friday.)

cute little meta, certainly week 1-easy, and i enjoyed the juxtaposition in RUBY JUDY and a few of the others.

the crossword itself was tougher than i was expecting in week 1. here are some things that slowed me down:

  • {Rocks along a shoreline to fight erosion} RIPRAP. this is a tough word.
  • {1979 #1 hit for Robert John} SAD EYES. never heard of this song or singer.
  • {Word after a number, when describing a farm} ACRE. tough clue for a very familiar answer.
  • {Comedian whose first name appears in a theme entry so I can’t mention it here} TENUTA. that would be judy.

that’s all i’ve got this week. matt, did you end up empaneled or not?

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14 Responses to MGWCC #509

  1. Matt Gaffney says:

    Thanks, Joon — 497 right answers this week. But also 19 incorrect answers, so trappy for a week 1. Nine solvers didn’t notice the whole pattern and submitted the plausible BABY DUTY.

    I called in on Thursday afternoon to discover that my citizenly efforts were not to be required by the court after all. Not enough crimes this week. But too late to write a new meta.

    • sps says:

      Does that mean that the nine of us were actually right and that you had BABY DUTY instead of JURY DUTY? :)

    • Jeff C. says:

      An appropriate way for this addled father of two toddlers to end my 3+ year streak. What else could Matt possibly be have on his plate but BABY DUTY, I asked myself, judging (groan) it to be a far superior answer to the correct one.

      • Matt Gaffney says:

        It’s a hollow victory from my end, so while the streak is officially over, the battle still rages in my mind. I will genuinely stump you someday before this series is through — this I promise. SPARTA!!!

    • makfan says:

      Perhaps the fact that I once served for four months means that JURY DUTY occurs to me more readily than baby duty.

  2. Paul Coulter says:

    I wonder how many wrong answers had to do with baby, disregarding the U’s and concentrating on the terminal Y’s. After the first one, I thought it would be ___Y BABY or BABY ___Y. Fortunately, I couldn’t think of anything except baby baby, so I continued on. Anyway, I hope Matt finds plenty of time to baby his adorable baby.

    Oops, didn’t see Matt’s post above as I was writing this.

  3. Garrett says:

    After looking at the six entries for a while, I thought this could be a form of a word ladder. I came up with this list:

    BUSYJULY — BUOY matches BUSY with a one-letter change
    RUBYJUDY — JULY matches JUDY with a one-letter change
    SUNYRUDY — JUDY matches RUDY with a one-letter change
    PUNYQUAY — SUNY matches PUNY with a one-letter change.

    Then there is HUEYFURY, which does not fit in anywhere.

    Thus the matches are actually accidental! That’s quite a coincidence to have five out of six follow that pattern.

    So I finally figured-out that the answer had to be just _U_Y_U_Y and I came up with Jury Duty.

    Here is my modification of the grid’s theme entries to allow the pattern to work all the way through (Just for fun!):

    JURYDUTY — the meta answer.

    And clues:
    Meager portion of a Chinese dish, for short: PUNYSUEY
    Lay bygone actress Parker to rest: BURYSUZY

  4. B Hamren says:

    I saw the pattern in all 6, but was too taken up with the title “Too Wise for You Two” so it never occured to me to think of something else with the same pattern.

    I want back to the original YYURYYUBICURYY4Me (Too wise you are, too wise you be, I see you are too wise for me). Thinking he may be fooling us with “Two Eyes” as a homonym for “Too Wise”, I sent in that he was “Watching U2”. I even looked up their concert schedule, but they don’t have one until May 2, not March 2.

  5. Mary says:

    Interested in getting PDF’s of your past crossword on Sundays. Can only go back for a short period on WashPost. Please let me know if this is possible and how! Thanks Mary

  6. Justin says:

    For Joon – Jucy Lucys are delicious. Now I’m hungry for one.

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