MGWCC #753

crossword 3:48
meta -1:30 


hello and welcome to episode #753 of matt gaffney’s weekly crossword contest, “Global Search”. i solved this week 1 puzzle without the instructions, and it was not very difficult. what are the theme answers?

  • {One of about 750 eateries in the US} QDOBA RESTAURANT.
  • {Rulers of China from 1636-1912} QING DYNASTY. aka the manchu dynasty, but that didn’t fit.
  • {Bed, Bath & Beyond purchases (yes, this is what they actually call them)} Q-TIP HOLDERS. i did not know this was a thing outside of, like, doctor’s offices.
  • {Most of you are solving this crossword on these} QWERTY KEYBOARDS. not me! in the first place, i print the puzzle out and solve it on paper every week; in the second place, i use the dvorak keyboard layout. i suppose matt probably knows the relative number of his subscribers who download the pdf and .puz versions of the puzzle, but i wonder how many of those people are solving on a mobile device without a keyboard attached.

anyway, all four of these begin with a Q not followed by U; the title suggests that we are perhaps looking for the name of a country, which is confirmed by the clue for 63a IRAQ: {The meta answer is NOT this country, look more closely (it’s not Mozambique either, come on!)}. so the answer must be QATAR, the host country of the men’s world cup, kicking off in under a fortnight. there’s a little nod to the tournament at 64a {It will set up many a goal-scoring header this month} CROSS, which … well, sure. i guess that’s not necessarily about the world cup, since professional players around the world are smack-dab in the middle of their club seasons (except in MLS, which just concluded its season). so players have been, and will continue to be, crossing and heading this month right up until the eve of the world cup anyway.

other clues that caught my eye:

  • {Reiner who directed “The Story of Us,” in which Michelle Pfeiffer plays a crossword puzzle constructor} ROB. i’ve never seen that movie and i didn’t think i knew that crossword fact. it’s not mentioned on the movie’s wikipedia page. i did some googling and found very little about it, except for this page (which was quite a surprise to me right off the top). “There is no evidence, however, to suggest that Ms Pfeiffer is a crossword constructor in real life.”
  • {First name of 80% of all working actresses (I’m guessing)} EMMA. thompson, stone, watson, roberts, and apparently michelle pfeiffer. okay, the math checks out.
  • {Oft-described “Swedish Supergroup” but it turns out that one of them (Anni-Frid) is actually Norwegian (what?!)} ABBA. alas, neither sweden nor norway will be featuring in the men’s world cup. (both have qualified for the 2023 women’s world cup.) it’ll be a shame if erling haaland never gets to play in a world cup.
  • {Acting guru Hagen} UTA. uh oh, there goes our math. better find four more emmas. oh wait, no, uta hagen died in 2004 so she’s not a working actress. phew.
  • {“___ of God” (1985 Jane Fonda movie set in Quebec)} AGNES. oops, jane fonda is still a working actress, as she was in gracie and frankie, which ended in april 2022.
  • {English chess grandmaster Matthew whose ancestors may have made seats for equestrians (I can’t confirm this)} SADLER. i read about this guy a little while ago. interesting career—he was a top player in his youth and won the british championship at age 21 and several other high finishes in the 1990s. then he took the 2000s off from tournament play, moving to the netherlands and working as an IT professional. he came back in 2010 as an “amateur”, and has had some strong results and climbed back up into the top 100. i’m glad there are stories of people who have found some kind of work/life balance at high levels of chess.
  • {Animal that sounds like you can click on it} LYNX. i can’t recommend this behavior.

that’s all i’ve got for this week. if you haven’t voted today, please vote!

This entry was posted in Contests and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to MGWCC #753

  1. Steve Manion says:

    QATAR has spent $220-billion on the upcoming world cup. I am sure the country is grateful for the free publicity.

    Projected cost for a fan to attend: $20,000.


  2. Matt Gaffney says:

    Thanks, Joon — 598 right answers this week.

    Note that all the crossing downs to those Q’s also do not use a U.

  3. Garrett says:

    When I was looking at this, I realized it had to be Qatar. The interesting thing was running across Saint Pierre and Miquelon for the first time. Before this meta I had never heard of this territorial collective.

Comments are closed.