MGWCC #688b

crossword 3:08 
meta 0:15 


hello and welcome to episode #688b of matt gaffney’s weekly crossword contest, “Urban Design”. the instructions for this “mulligan” week 1 puzzle tell us that we’re looking for a major U.S. city. what are the theme answers? the five long answers are all downs:

  • {Hallmark Channel series named for a Mendelssohn piece} THE WEDDING MARCH.
  • {Water mover named for a philosopher} ARCHIMEDES SCREW.
  • {Boss you can’t argue with} ABSOLUTE MONARCH.
  • {Obsessed with money} DOLLAR-CHASING.
  • {What many a grant funds} RESEARCH STUDY.

these entries all contain a hidden ARCH, and (as is easier to see from the screenshot) those ARCHes are themselves arranged in an arch pattern. so the major city in question is st. louis, home of the iconic gateway arch. (edit: commentator bob kerfuffle points out that GATEWAY itself is right there centered under the arch, an elegant extra touch that i completely overlooked.)

this one is straightforward, as a week 1 should be, but not dull—the visual element is pleasing and quite appropriately ARCHictectural. if i’m picking nits, i could point out that the second and fourth ARCHes should maybe be a little higher to make the arch more archy and less pointy. but the layout is quite clear.

speaking of layout, though, this visual grid (and, more to the point, its answer) reminds me of one of my all-time favorite metas, meeting place (#154). it’s been ten years, believe it or not, but it’s still a vividly memorable puzzle.

in the fill, i enjoyed {Poor sleeper lately whom I do not in any way blame for last week’s dud (or: computer programming pioneer Lovelace)} ADA. aww. i cast a suspicious eyebrow at {Sign of future development} NEW ROAD
as being perhaps not quite a thing, but i was quite tickled by {Capital that sounds like a Kia model} SEOUL, since that’s where kia is headquartered.

that’s all i’ve got. hope you enjoyed the extra puzzle this week!

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8 Responses to MGWCC #688b

  1. Bob Kerfuffle says:

    Matt made sure no one could miss this with 66 A – GATEWAY.

  2. Bill Katz says:

    An ARCHitectural wonder designed by crossword solver’s favorite ARCHitect, Eero Saarinen, a shame he didn’t fit in the grid…

  3. Wayne says:

    > it’s been ten years, believe it or not

    Whoa. Ten years? 120 months of Tuesday mornings saying “welp…maybe next month,” and Tuesday afternoons saying “damn! that’s pretty elegant; wish I’d gotten that.”

    Time flies when you’re having pun.

  4. Scott says:

    I got the meta answer, of course, but I failed to see that the ARCHes actually formed an arch. Very nice!

  5. Alex B. says:

    Since when is Archimedes considered a philosopher?

    • Alex Bourzutschky says:

      He did feature in Monty Python’s “Philosophers’ World Cup” skit as a bit of a surprise on the Greek team. I do not think of him in my mind as a philosopher.

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