MGWCC #589

crossword 6:00 
meta 1:15 


hello and welcome to episode #589 of matt gaffney’s weekly crossword contest. it’s week 2 of guest constructor month, and we have laura braunstein and ken stern‘s 19×19 puzzle, “That’s Not What I Heard”. the instructions this week tell us that we’re looking for an 11-letter phrase. the theme answers are misheard song lyrics:

  • {“It’s not fair, to deny me of the ___ that you gave to me” … since you couldn’t find a panda without strabismus? (2:6, 4:4)} CROSS-EYED BEAR. the actual lyric is “cross i bear” from alanis morissette’s “you oughta know”.
  • {“I wanna rock and roll all night and ___” … such as mornings from 10 to 11am? (11:13)} PART OF EVERY DAY. “party every day” (“rock and roll all nite” by kiss).
  • {“___, sing for the years, sing for the laughter, sing for the tears” … at the reunion of unpartnered ladies? (9:4; 6:8)} SINGLE WOMEN. “sing with me” from aerosmith’s “dream on”.
  • {“If you like ___ and getting caught in the rain” … then let’s meet at a vegetarian Mexican place? (3:11, 7:2)} BEAN ENCHILADAS. “piña coladas”, from rupert holmes’s “escape (the piña colada song)”.
  • {“Somebody calls you, you answer quite slowly, a girl with ___” … on her way to the gastroenterologist? (1:1, 8:8)} COLITIS GOES BY. “kaleidescope eyes”, from the beatles’ “lucy in the sky with diamonds”.
  • {“Hold me closer ___ ” … said Judith Light to her costar? (5:1)} TONY DANZA. “tiny dancer”, from the song of that title by elton john.
  • {“Feel the beat from the ___, oh yeah” … as you dance in the produce section? (10:6)} TANGERINE. “tambourine”, from abba’s “dancing queen”.

so what’s the meta answer? taking a look at the numbers in the parentheses, we see that the numbers preceding the colon form a complete set of the numbers from 1 to 11, so that’s likely the eleven letters in the final answer. the numbers after the colon index into the correct song lyric. so for example, the 6th letter of CROSS I BEAR is I, which is extracted as the 2nd letter of the answer phrase. doing this for all the songs gives KISS THIS GUY, one of the most famous misheard song lyrics of all time, from jimi hendrix’s “purple haze”. so a nice answer, although i was more than halfway expecting the meta answer to be something along the lines of mondegreen.

very fun puzzle from laura and ken! i would have {Posted “#TeamYep on the #MGWCC guest month puzzle by @laurabrarian and @ckstern,” maybe} TWEETED about it on friday, but i was beaten to the punch by kosman. (kosman! *shakes fist*).

how’d you all like this one?

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22 Responses to MGWCC #589

  1. Matthew G. says:

    I freely admit to backsolving this one. When I finished the grid, I thought, “I can’t believe the most famous misheard lyric of all, ‘Kiss This Guy,’ isn’t in the grid.” Then I realized KISS THIS GUY is eleven letters; I checked to see if there was to make sense of that answer based on the parentheticals, and so there was. I think I’d have gotten it anyway, but it was hard not to try backsolving when it was sitting right there.

    This was tons of fun, Laura and Ken.

    • Brian says:

      Another very famous (and personal favorite) misheard lyric not included in the puzzle is “bathroom on the right.” Maybe it was too hard to put matching 18-letter answers in the grid.

  2. Matt Gaffney says:

    Thanks, Joon (and Laura and Ken) — 404 correct answers this week.

    Judging from comments, people liked this one a lot. So did I.

  3. Mutman says:

    Awesome puzzle and solid week 2 meta — loved it!

  4. sharkicicles says:

    This one was a lot of fun!

  5. Garrett says:

    This puzzle was a lot of fun, and I thought the theme clues were very clever. I still am mystified, though, by this one:

    {“___, sing for the years, sing for the laughter, sing for the tears” … at the reunion of unpartnered ladies? (9:4; 6:8)} SINGLE WOMEN. “sing with me” from aerosmith’s “dream on”.

    How do these sound alike?

    For the rest, I can’t decide whether I liked TANGERINE or BEANENCHILADAS better!

    I did not immediately recall the “Dancing Queen” lyric snippet, but got all the rest.

    COLITISGOESBY also hit my funny bone.


  6. Jack Sullivan says:

    Did anyone else submit I KISS THE SKY, the misheard lyric?

    • Bill Katz says:

      I did. It appears that Matt was generous in accepting both 11 letter versions. After submitting, I checked with a fellow solver who was already on the board, and found out she submitted “kiss this guy”, so I had several very anxious hours waiting to see if taking the extra step would be a streak-ender.

  7. After solving this, I discovered that if you google for purple haze lyrics, you instead get the lyrics to The Star-Spangled Banner, and it’s credited to Jimi Hendrix / Francis Scott Key / Mary Cecilia Smith. I’m guessing this was caused by some confusion around Hendrix’s famous performance of both The Star-Spangled Banner (instrumental) and Purple Haze.

    I submitted feedback to Google to correct this, but unsurprisingly it’s yet to be fixed. If more people submit similar feedback, perhaps it’s more likely to get fixed.

  8. Jeff M says:

    This puzzle was awesome. 10 stars.

  9. Daniel Barkalow says:

    I saw CROSS-EYED BEAR and 73a {Istanbul (Not Constantinople) band, to fans}: TMBG, and got side-tracked by “Hide Away Folk Family” actually having that as a lyric. On the other hand, once I was back on track, I’d only identified some of the correct lyrics, and only extracted KI? before I correctly guessed the rest of it.

    Pet peeve: TMBG’s “Istanbul (Not Constantinople)” is a cover, so possibly not the best way to clue the band.

  10. Seth says:

    I’m surprised they didn’t make the final answer the 10-letter phrase KISS THE SKY. But this would have involved two more difficult steps: noticing the indexing even though it’s 11 instead of 10, and the last step at the end of moving away from KISS THIS GUY.

  11. Gideon says:

    Kiss this guy is not only a famous misheard lyric, it is also a website dedicated to misheard lyrics!

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