MGWCC #710

crossword 3:10 
meta 0:30 


hello and welcome to episode #710 of matt gaffney’s weekly crossword contest, “Just State the Facts”. i solved this week 1 puzzle without the instructions, and it was not too taxing. what are the theme answers? five long answers are the names of non-u.s. states:

  • {Large state that’s also a small dog} CHIHUAHUA. it’s actually both the largest state (of mexico) and the smallest dog, for those of you who dig superlatives. chihuahua is in north-central mexico, bordering new mexico and texas.
  • {State where the 2032 Summer Olympics will be held} QUEENSLAND. i don’t think i knew that the 2032 olympics had been awarded to brisbane. anyway, this is in australia, forming approximately the northeastern sixth of the country.
  • {State where former world chess champion (2007-2013) Viswanathan Anand was born} TAMIL NADU. that’s where chennai, india is.
  • {State named for its dominant geographical feature, which empties into the Gulf of Guinea} CROSS RIVER. i didn’t know this one. the cross river, and its namesake cross river state, are in nigeria. i suspect matt was not expecting us to know the names of the 36 states of nigeria! on the other hand, i wasn’t familiar with the river, either. cross river is in southeastern nigeria, and the cross river itself originates in neighboring cameroon.
  • {State named for its location in relation to Addis Ababa} SOUTH WEST. well, maybe. i think the clue is referring to the south west ethiopia peoples’ region, which is a “regional state” of ethiopia. it is in the southwestern part of the country, but not especially near addis ababa, so i’m a little unsure on whether the name hint in the clue is 100% accurate.

anyway, the meta was straightforward enough—taking the first letters of the countries these states are part of (mexico, australia, india, nigeria, ethiopia) spells out MAINE, which is also a state. in the first four cases, the terminology is quite clear—those countries all refer to their largest subnational divisions as states (“estados” in mexico, but that’s the same thing). for ethiopia, matt had only the countries starting with E to choose from, and ethiopia is the only one organized into federated subdivisions which are called (almost) states. it’s close enough to give this one a pass for a straightforward week 1 meta, anyway.

what else?

  • {Name that’s an anagram of ITOS} OTIS. all right, now you’re just trolling me, but i can take it.

that’s all for me this week. for those of you participating in the mystery hunt this weekend, good luck and happy hunting! i’ll be watching your progress and staffing the hq for palindrome.

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8 Responses to MGWCC #710

  1. Matt Gaffney says:

    Thanks, Joon — 657 correct answers this week.

    Also: solvers are digging the Week 1 options, so thanks for being a pioneer in the Downs-Only world.

  2. Mutman says:

    Fun fact in case you ever hear the trivia question: Maine is the only state with one syllable.

  3. David Glasser says:

    South West has apparently only been a state for a handful of weeks, too! How timely!

  4. Joe says:

    I know I’m two days late to the conversation and that nobody will read this, but why on earth is its rating only 2 1/2 stars?? Only three people rated it, but still. You three hated it that much? I’m going to throw it a 5 to see what happens.

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