MGWCC #527

crossword 3:14  
meta 0ish minutes 


hello and welcome to episode #527 of matt gaffney’s weekly crossword contest, “Scoresheet”. after a fine guest constructor month, matt is back in the saddle for this week 1 puzzle. i tried to do this puzzle without the instructions, and … yes. it was easy. the long answers in the grid are all questions:

  • {Request for identification} WHO WAS THAT?
  • {Archaic “Ain’t ya?”} ART THOU NOT? a bit contrived, but sure.
  • {Words shouted after knocking} ANYONE HOME?
  • {Certainty level check} ARE YOU SURE?

and that’s not all. there are a whole bunch of other questions:

  • {“At which hour?”} WHEN?
  • {Plea to Mom or Dad} CAN WE?
  • {Polite request for permission} MAY I?
  • {“All set?”} READY?
  • {“Using which method?”} HOW?
  • {Cabbie’s opener} WHERE TO?
  • {“And the reason for this would be…?”} WHY?
  • {“Understood?”} GOT IT?
  • {“I need an answer now!”} YES OR NO?
  • {“Understood?”} CLEAR?
  • {“Huh?”} WHAT?
  • {Lurch’s catchphrase} YOU RANG?
  • {“Isn’t it the truth?”} RIGHT?
  • {“Coming along for the ride on this one?”} YOU IN?
  • {Texter’s version of “Izzatso?”} O RLY? i like this one. you could clue it as the paris-adjacent airport ORLY, but this is both more fun and a key part of the theme.
  • {With 9-Down, Guadalajara greeting} COMO / ESTAS?

counting these up, we get a grand total of twenty questions, which both fits the title (“score” = 20) and is a phrase that might well be a meta answer. and indeed, the instructions this week ask for a game, so here we are.

this was a fun theme. i’ve seen a couple of other puzzles themed around twenty questions, including one memorable one by patrick blindauer in either the old new york sun or fireball which included twenty tricky ? clues and a big question mark formed by the black squares in the grid. but this was a good way to roll for a week 1.

safe travels and happy puzzling to everybody headed to npl con in wisconsin this week!

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

9 Responses to MGWCC #527

  1. Matt Gaffney says:

    Thanks, Joon — 558 right answers this week.

  2. Here’s my question: How did Matt manage to fit 105 theme squares in a 15×15 grid (more than half of all letters in the puzzle) and *still* keep it really smooth overall? Don’t try this at home, constructors, unless you have superpowers.

  3. Jason says:

    At first count I had 16 Questions which made no sense but then when I finally got it I mistyped and sent in 21 Questions which could perhaps be a new game. But Mr. Gaffney gave me the benefit of the doubt, for which I thank him.

  4. Garrett says:

    The Wikipedia article on this game has some pretty interesting trivia in it.

    I had to back-solve a couple of the questions (CLEAR and GOTIT, both clued with “Understood?”) because I initially passed over them as answers to the question, rather than as alternate versions of the question. For some reason, I had no trouble with RIGHT? [“Isn’t that the truth?], probably because I grew up with people who said, “Right?” as a form of agreement. But anyhow, when I was up to 18 of the questions in the grid I knew it had to be Twenty Questions and I just had to find the next two. That’s how I got there.

    I’ll say that I went down a major rathole early this weekend. Five of the questions in the grid are the famous 5Ws — WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, WHY, plus HOW (for six, aka the “6Ws”). I immediately thought of Clue (did anyone submit that?), but realized it really only has who, where and how. So I went searching for a murder mystery game that used all these terms, and was surprised how many such board games are out there, plus there is the Murder Mystery Game Party concept. However, I never found in any of those games the requirement that all “6Ws” be answered.

    More on 5Ws in Wikipedia:

    And of the many murder mystery games I looked at, I thought “Ravensburger Scotland Yard – Family Game” looked like the best. It is more affordable than many others, and playing time is reasonable (30 minutes), and it sounds like a really terrific family game.

    Or via bitly:

  5. Mutman says:

    Week 1 Fail!

    Got lazy, didn’t finish puzzle and sent in ‘Clue’. it does have a scoresheet too.

    Maybe next time I give week 1 the respect it deserves.

  6. Will Nediger says:

    Absurdly impressive construction.

  7. Rondo says:

    ___123___MGWCC #527 |___123___

Comments are closed.