Peter Gordon’s Fireball contest, “What a goof!” — Conrad’s review
This month, we are asked, What TV character is the apt final answer to this puzzle? The theme entries all have pairs of O’s:
- [17a: Common car feature]: MOONROOF
- [19a: Hairnets]: SNOODS
[40a: Song with the lyric “If you don’t get a letter then you’ll know I’m in jail”]: TOOTTOOTTOOTSIE
- [61a: Billing Partner]: COOING
- [64a: “Fun to wear” garments with superhero motifs]: UNDEROOS
Additionally: 4d (‘Write “Make a goof” instead of “Make a go of,” say’ – ERR) and 2d (‘Eager student’s shout’ – OHOH) seem important.
The clue for ERR really threw me off. I kept trying to put spaces between the O’s (such as “MO ON ROOF”, wondering if a TV character named MO (No “E”) was featured on a roof in a famous episode. That approach went nowhere. I spun my wheels for a while, sensing a simple meta that I simply was not seeing. I finally asked my solving pal Gideon for a nudge, and he told me to simply look at the grid and focus on the O’s. Ignoring ERR was key: I had previously looked at the letters before and after the O’s; I finally looked at the letters above and below the O’s and saw it: the letters below the O’s spell HANNA BARBERA BEAR. Yogi Bear comes to mind first, but that has no real connection to the meta. BOO-BOO BEAR fits the theme, and is our (apparent) meta answer.
This is a simple mechanism; I feel like I must be missing some nuance in 4d that lead me deeply astray. Readers: please let me know what I missed. I am unaware of any Boo-Boo Bear-relevant songs, so I’ll end with the Screaming Blue Messiahs‘ I Wanna Be a Flintstone.
I too got waylaid by 4d. The closest thing I could find to a reveal is Under oos… I’d imagine that was the nudge you were looking for.
…and I located it after the solve.
Ah, that makes perfect sense. Thanks!
Anybody else guess Arnold Horschack?
I guessed Boo-Boo based on the title and the repeated OO. Glad to see the additional, although unneeded by me, layer,
4-D misdirected me for a good while too. But it ultimately becomes relevant since Boo-boo is a synonym for “goof” / ERR.
Nudger Gideon the same as winner Gideon? Congratulations! Glad to see fate rewarding the good deed.
Yes, he essentially solved it twice, so well deserved!
No good deed goes unpunished! Thanks for the congratulations.
And thanks Conrad for the great write-ups.