MGWCC #518

crossword 2:38 
meta 0:01 


hello and welcome to episode #518 of matt gaffney’s weekly crossword contest, “The One Where You Get the Meta”. i often solve week 1 puzzles without the instructions, but this week i inadvertently saw the instructions while i was opening the email, and they are to find a living former presidential candidate. okay. what are the theme answers?

  • {Winner of the 1990 French Open at age 16} MONICA SELES.
  • {“The Walking Dead” actor} CHANDLER RIGGS. i don’t know this actor, nor do i watch this show.
  • {Jazz trumpeter with a major European country in his surname} JOEY DEFRANCESCO. i don’t know this trumpeter either!
  • {“Midnight in Paris” star} RACHEL MCADAMS.
  • {“Fast Times at Ridgemont High” actress} PHOEBE CATES.

okay, so this is straightforward enough: the five theme answers are all (real) people who share first names with the main characters from friends. the title of the puzzle is a play of the titles of friends episodes, which all begin with “the one…” (except for the pilot, “the pilot”, and the finale, “the last one”). there are six friends in friends, and the one not used in the theme is ross, so the meta answer must be ross perot. i’m glad i didn’t try to solve without the instructions, since i could have gotten as far as “ross” and then been a little stuck, since there are some other rosses out there (although perot is probably the most famous).

this feels like a good easy week 1 meta. nowhere does it say “friends”, so it’s not maximally easy; in particular, the title is no help if you don’t know the show (and if you do know the show, you didn’t need any hint from the title). but even if you somehow had zero familiarity with this show, this is another meta that google could solve for you.

i don’t have a lot else to say about this one. how’d you like it?

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10 Responses to MGWCC #518

  1. Matt Gaffney says:

    Thanks, Joon. 566 right answers this week.

    I can’t stand this show and have never seen a full episode. Every one of the six main characters is annoying.

    • Teri L says:

      Agree but… “My eyes are burning.” The ditzy one says when viewing something (love making?) through a window. I’ve gotten a lot of laughs using that line.

    • sharkicicles says:

      Same here, but I still enjoyed the puzzle.

    • Jesse says:

      Then why choose this as a theme, Matt?

      • sharkicicles says:

        Considering how popular the show was, it is probably safe to say we are in the minority of people who think that way. If Matt only wrote what he wanted to write about, I’m guessing we’d get a lot of unsolvable chess metas. If I only wrote what I knew (and actually published anything), you’d get weird unsolvable computer trivia crossed with old car facts.

  2. Pete Muller says:

    Joey DeFrancesco is much more well-known for his organ playing…

    (I have inside info:

  3. Bill Twardy says:

    I’ve likewise never watched the show but I was aware that two of the characters were named Joey and Phoebe. That led me to look up the rest of the characters. I did not know that episode titles began with “the one”, so that was of no help. Good week 1 puzzle, Matt.

  4. austin says:

    well i have watched this show and think it’s pretty okay

  5. Laura says:

    Knew the answer without even opening the puzzle!

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