Damon Gulczynski’s Fireball contest, “Star-Crossed Lovers” — Conrad’s writeup
This month, we are asked, What two-word eight-letter phrase would make a good alternate title for this puzzle? There were four clues referencing a romantic comedy that began with “Costar,” and each matching entry crossed another costar of the same movie:
- Costar of “Moonstruck”/Batting practice enclosure: (C)HER/(C)AGE
- Costar of “While You Were Sleeping”/Steer: P(U)LLMAN/B(U)LLOCK
- Costar of “Notting Hill”/Research finding: ROBER(T)S/GRAN(T)
- Costar of “The 40-Year-Old Virgin”/More enthusiastic: CAR(E)LL/K(E)ENER
The crossing letters spelled “CUTE,” and we’re looking an eight-letter word, so I needed to find four more letters. The three center entries spelled MOVIE GENRE TROPE, which seemed relevant. I didn’t see anything else in the grid or clues, so I Googled “Romantic comedy movie genre trope cute.” The 2nd hit referenced the rom-com trope Meet Cute, which is a perfect eight-letter phrase that could serve as an alternate title for this puzzle. I thought this was a fun puzzle that felt playful and very current. I can’t say that I am up to date on romantic movie tropes, but I found the solution as the 2nd Google hit, so it’s entirely fair, IMO (and there was even a movie called Meet Cute). Solvers: let me know how you made out. I’ll end with a song featured on the The 40 Year-Old Virgin soundtrack.
Loved this one! I got the answer without even noticing the MOVIE GENRE TROPE hint – I saw the romcom costar pairs, noticed that their crossings spelled out CUTE, and figured those squares are where each pair MEETs. Tada, MEET CUTE! Now I can’t believe I missed that hint.
In the movie “The Holiday” from 2006, Eli Wallach tells Kate Winslet all about the meet cute since he plays a writer from the golden oldie days of Hollywood. If you’ve seen the movie, it’s a rather good explanation of the “meet cute” genre.