MGWCC #602

crossword 2:54 
meta -1 minute 


hello and welcome to episode #60 of matt gaffney’s weekly crossword contest, “I Spy”. i solved this one without the instructions, since matt said it was intended to be a week 1 difficulty level. what are the theme answers?

  • {Discuss books with the author of “Brave New World”?} INTERVIEW ALDOUS (huxley).
  • {Medicine prescribed by doctors on a Japanese island?} OKINAWA L-DOPA. yes, this is a made-up phrase, like the others, but okinawans have famously long life expectancy. i wonder if parkinson’s is more or less common there than in the overall populace.
  • {Neglecting to indicate whether you’d like 12 more issues or 24, assuming the magazine already has your recent change of address, et al.?} RENEWAL DON’TS.
  • {Salon or the Guardian, for journalist Glenn?} GREENWALD OUTLET.

all four of these goofy phrases include the consecutive letters WALDO across a word break. in a nice touch, the letters are broken up four different ways in the four phrases (L-DOPA is pretty much the only way this could work!). the name WALDO and the title strongly suggest the picture book series where’s waldo, which must be the meta answer. indeed, the instructions ask for a well-known book series, so yeah, definitely easy enough for a week 1.

not too much else to say about the grid. i was a little surprised to see both VIII and III in the fill; although those are less objectionable than random large roman numerals like DCLI, i still think it’s one too many for a grid. (there’s also WWI, which is unobjectionable in and of itself but perhaps draws even more attention to the too-many-roman-numerals issue.) i enjoyed the medium/long downs, {Warning to a con artist} I’M ONTO YOU, {He wrote “Gee, Officer Krupke” with Sondheim} leonard BERNSTEIN (or is it berenstain?), and {Spite} ILL WILL. the other 7-letter down, SWORN IN, is less inherently fun, but i enjoyed the clue, {Ready to serve}, which looks like a clue commonly seen for shorter entries like ONE-A or DONE. nice use of a crossword trope as misdirection.

that’s all i’ve got this week. what’d you think of this one?

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4 Responses to MGWCC #602

  1. Matt Gaffney says:

    Thanks, Joon — 638 right answers this week, so that’s a Week 1 and we can return with a Week 3 as scheduled on Friday.

  2. Daniel Barkalow says:

    I forgot it was supposed to be a week one, so I went looking for WALDO hidden somewhere sneaky in the grid. He’s jumbled up on the east side, but that didn’t turn out to have anything to do with the meta. Didn’t keep me from submitting the right answer, but I was uneasy that I might have missed something even more clever.

  3. Jim S says:

    Not only are they broken up 4 different ways, they’re in descending order! W-ALDO, WA-LDO, WAL-DO, and WALD-O from top to bottom. Nicely done!

  4. jefe says:

    Anyone else have trouble parsing the clue for RENEWAL DON’TS by reading “assuming” as a participle instead of as a gerund? Also, “et al.” instead of “etc.” struck me as odd. I don’t think it’s wrong per se; M-W says “Some language guides have argued that et al. should only be used to describe people. However, it is used (albeit infrequently) in reference to other things as well.”

    Fun puzzle overall!

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