MGWCC #804

crossword 4:15
meta DNF 


hello and welcome to episode #804 of matt gaffney’s weekly crossword contest, “Color Matching”. for this week 4 puzzle, matt tells us that the answer is an apt two-word, twelve-letter alternate title for this puzzle. all right, what are the theme answers? the title pretty much says it all—many entries refer to a thing or character that is a particular color, and the “matching” turns out to be that the entry starts with the same letter as its color:

  • {Daddy Pig’s daughter} PEPPA. she is pink (P).
  • {Part of an egg} YOLK. YOLKs are yellow.
  • {February dozen} ROSES. ROSES are red, doncha know.
  • {Blades that get mowed} GRASS. green.
  • {Belfry resident} BAT. black, at least as commonly depicted.
  • {Driveway material, sometimes} GRAVEL. gray.
  • {Fruit sometimes made into pudding} PLUM. purple.
  • {Inigo Montoya’s weapon} SWORD. i’m pretty sure this is supposed to be one of the theme answers, so i guess the color here is silver.
  • {Smurf with glasses} BRAINY. smurfs are blue, which must be why this was clued as a smurf.
  • {Big herd member} BISON. brown.
  • {Indonesian primate} ORANG. i guess orange—i think of them as reddish-brown, but orange is pretty close.
  • {It’s sheared from sheep} WOOL. white.

these twelve entries form the entirety of the grid’s perimeter. and it’s nice that there are twelve of them. but what’s the answer? it’s certainly not a rearrangement of the relevant first letters (PYRSBWGBGOBP), which only have 1.5 vowels between them. the first letters of the clues (BPFBBDFISBII) similarly look unpromising—especially as i don’t get the sense that the wording of the clues is contorted enough to have been constrained.

okay, maybe we need to find twelve more entries in the grid that are these colors… oh geez. i bet this is it, but let’s see if i have enough time to find them:

  • {It’s wagged if you’re talking} TONGUE. pink.
  • {Summer drink} ICED LEMONADE. yellow.
  • {Boxing danger} NOSEBLEED. red. okay. i already think the answer is going to be TINTED WINDOW, since that fits the prompt and is an apt title. let’s see if i can find the others.
  • {Pixar title fish} NEMO. he is both orange and white. not exactly sure how to handle this, but i’ll put him down for orange since there’s also…
  • {Peaceful bird} DOVE. pretty unambiguously white, although doves are literally also pigeons are pigeons are gray.
  • {Catan stuff} ORE. in the game, this is a gray card… but it’s also metallic, so maybe SILVER is meant? i’m not sure.
  • {___ parmigiana} EGGPLANT. purple.
  • {Poe bird} RAVEN. black. okay, maybe it’s not TINTED WINDOW, since that has no R. plus there aren’t two more W entries.

i can’t tell whether {1934 Literature Nobelist Pirandello} LUIGI is meant to be green; the nintendo character is, but it’s not clued as such. likewise {Colorado city} AURORA might be pink (like the princess), but maybe not since we already have a pink TONGUE.

ouch. i should have left myself a bit more time on this—i feel i must have gotten close, and maybe the answer is in fact TINTED WINDOW (though i doubt it, due to the W and R problems i mentioned). ah well. time is up, anyway—i don’t think there’s a 3 pm deadline today even though the puzzle came out 3 hours late.

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22 Responses to MGWCC #804

  1. Matt Gaffney says:

    Thanks, joon — 242 correct entries this week, of which 125 were solo solves.

    You were of course on the right path: the answer was TINGED FRINGE, formed from:


    • Mikey G says:

      Color me impressed! (I’m going to use that pun for all it’s worth this week.) What a fun puzzle.

      I was also Team Luigi until I found the IVY.

  2. Alexander Bourzutschky says:

    So close, joon! I kept searching for Ws to make RAINBOW, and it took me a while to anneal the colors as well: along with LUIGI, I thought AURORA could be a possible green. I had ROSES as white or pink, HEAVEN as blue, OTELLO as black (or even white), PIBB as brown, BLT as red or green (briefly), EURO and ORE as silver and/or gray, and DE ORO as a possible yellow. I was stuck on “RING” for a while before going deeper and finding TONGUE.

    It also took me a while to notice the border pattern because I went to the spreadsheet too soon (a common issue with me and week 4s), so I was struggling with 11 colors for quite some time.

  3. Richard K says:

    I ended up using GOO for blue and GLOBES for silver. Turns out there is a product called Blue Goo, and I thought maybe there are Silver Globes for movies that don’t quite qualify for Golden Globes.

  4. Paul+Coulter says:

    I couldn’t find anything unquestionably silver, so I hoped TONGUE was doing double duty, as in “silver-tongued.” I submitted TINTED FRINGE, which Matt generously accepted. Anyone else?

    • Andrew Bradburn says:


    • Garrett says:

      I had trouble with this one too, and skipped it till later, when I had:


      I already had TONGUE in use, and one of the Gs. I thought, well if a sword is silver, is there anything else made of steel that you’d call silver?

      33D GRATER

      • Paul+Coulter says:

        I actually checked my grater when I reached TIN_EDFRINGE, but it’s much more of a gray than a silver. Perhaps GROATS (the old silver coins) would have worked in this spot.

        Also, I agree with the comment that globes don’t necessarily have blue oceans. For me, they don’t spring to mind as a prime example of blue things. But that one didn’t matter because like another commenter, I used GOO for Blue after a search turned up Blue Goo. Aside from these small nits, this was a fun meta, and another great idea from Matt.

    • John says:

      I thought it must be TINTED as it seemed to invoke color (whereas i’m not sure TINGED necessarily does). So i forced it using “tongue” for PINK and SILVER, as Paul. I hesitated due to the inelegance and then just submitted as i was getting immersed in NFL watching. Within an hour i was unsatisfied and looked again and realized, too late, it must be TINGED. Likewise, Matt gave me credit.

  5. David Benbow says:

    I’ll speak for about 1/8 of the population and say that this was especially challenging for colorblind people. I didn’t realize that Nemo was orange. I always thought he was red.

    I also took a while to land on ELKS for brown because it was clued as “Benevolent group”.

    • Dan+Seidman says:

      Yes, there was an inconsistency with ELKS, because BRAINY required us to use the sense from the clue.

      • Matt Gaffney says:

        Agree, that was a blot. I changed it and then changed it back forgetting why I had changed it in the first place.

  6. Seth Cohen says:

    I had ORE for gray for a long time, because it’s gray. It’s literally big gravel. Needed someone to tell me that was wrong for me to pull out the O and see the answer. (Also didn’t have GLOBES originally.)

    That said, very pretty meta! And doable for a week 4 in my opinion! Another good title could have been “Rainbow Connection.”

  7. Paul M says:

    A not-so-rare DNF for me. I saw the perimeter colors, cottoned on to the idea of matching colors elsewhere, but was ultimately hampered by having EURO for silver and HEAVEN for my blue. I even tried out the clockwise answer order, but I couldn’t see anything in TINEED FRINHE. It would have helped me if Euro had been clued not as a coin (– Vision Contest, e.g.), but tomorrow is another day, and Friday is another Week 1.

  8. Mutman says:

    I thought this was going to be ROYGBP based (found those first) and needed a nudge to get to the finish line. Things like SWORD and WOOL did not strike me with the colors that the others did.

    I’ll give Matt some leeway here: the lemonade I buy isn’t really yellow, it is grey. And the globe I have has the oceans as tan, not blue. But I got the gist of it and found the solution.

    Based on the theme density and asymmetric grid, I imagine this was a tough construct — nice work Matt!

  9. Adam Rosenfield says:

    Red (heh) herring: there were several clusters of letters in the grid that could be read Boggle-ish-style to form some (but not all) of the colors:

    PURPLE in the top-left by PEPPA
    RED in the top-right at the bottom of SWORD
    VIOLET right next to RED
    BLUE in the mid-right at BURN/PLEA
    GREEN in the middle by NEE/FARGO
    ORANGE in the bottom-right by GRANITE/RENATO/OTELLO (and also another GREEN in there too)

    but that’s all I could find from those, the other colors weren’t there (and we don’t have a VIOLET in the original set of 12 colored objects either). I was actually surprised there weren’t more REDs in there, given the commonness of those letters.

    • Seth Cohen says:

      I’m always wary of finding words Boggle-style. You can find soooo much in any crossword in this way, just randomly.

  10. Holly says:

    After I submitted yesterday (Monday), I wished that I would have waited until today to submit so I could get the Halloween badge.

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