MGWCC #342 — Friday, December 19th, 2014 — “Bugging Out”




We were looking for a word heard during Hanukkah, and each of the four Hebrew letters found on a DREIDEL began one of the four theme entries. In clockwise order, like a spinning top:

17-A [Fast-moving weapon] = NUNCHUCKS. Nun.

11-D [Justin who won the 1998 Australian and French Opens in Mixed Doubles partnered with Venus Williams (58-Across of BIG MOTELS)] = GIMELSTOB. Gimel. Obviously I would’ve had to scrap the theme if this tennis player wasn’t just famous enough to include (but still with an anagram indicator).

I didn’t realize that he’s become a sports interviewer/commentator of some note in his retirement. Here he is getting the Ice Bucket Challenge treatment from Andy Murray:

64-A [Seal's mate, once] = HEIDI KLUM. Hei. Solvers tell me that “hay” is a more common spelling on dreidels that transliterate the letter. But hei, what’re ya gonna do?

35-D [Illuminate] = SHINE UPON. Shin. I wanted SHINTOISM there but it looks like an outdated term, with just “Shinto” preferred now.

And if you weren’t sure from those four letters, there’s also a spinning T-O-P in the center of the grid, leading a second way to DREIDEL.

Jabervon asks:

You made it out of… OLAY?

Ed says:

I’d write a clever comment, but I have bigger latkes to fry.

pannonica writes:

A great miracle happened here. I got the meta two weeks in a row.

tsander chides:

With Hanukkah item as what we were seeking, did you really need “Revolution” in the title?

My other idea was “In the Lounge, With the Revolver.”

e.a. suggests a clue for the meta answer:

[Gelt-y pleasure?]

Mikey congratulates me:

You’re at the top of your game.

jjchan says:

Justin Gimelstob went to the same high school as me!

PhilB got it, but after a detour:

Between Revolution, Penny Lane, and an Octopus(‘s Garden) in the middle, I really went down a Beatles false path there for a while.

And finally, rmac notes:

Interesting that this puzzle makes its own clue for 39-A incorrect!

This week’s winner, whose name was chosen randomly from the 535 correct entries received, is Jeffrey Krasnick of Victoria, B.C. In addition to a MGWCC pen, pencil and notepad set, Jeffrey will also receive a one-year subscription to MGWCC. Next week’s winner will receive the same.


Reminder that MGWCC goes subscription-only starting in January. The response has been encouraging thus far — thank you to all who’ve signed up already! — and I’ll publish some numbers here in January. It’s $26 per year, and gift subscriptions are available as well. Hope you’ll join me in 2015 — subscribe here.


Mike Wilhelm
writes, re MGWCC #339:

After finally putting in the answer to this week’s puzzle, your map inspired a trivia question – what is the only one of the 50 states that can be spelled using the initials of contiguous states?

Good one! I’ll post the answer next week. Note that the initials don’t have to be in order, just anagrammable into the answer (as in the meta).


More metas to solve:

Peter BRODA (I’ve solved the puzzle, but not gotten the meta yet)

Ryan FALEY (Haven’t solved it yet, but plan to this weekend)


This week’s contest answer is a historical American political figure. Submit your answer in the form on the left sidebar by Tuesday at noon ET. Note: the submissions form disappears from the site promptly at noon on Tuesday.

UPDATE, 12/19, 6:55 PM ET: Several solvers have asked me about the clue to 17-A, [They've seen "Casablanca" and "Pulp Fiction" a dozen times, maybe]. The answer yielded in the grid is singular, though the clue makes it sound like it should be plural. I was just using “they” casually here as a gender-neutral singular pronoun, not implying a plural answer, and the wording there isn’t related to the meta. Sorry about that.]

To print the puzzle out, click on the image below and hit “print” on your browser. To solve using Across Lite either solve on the applet below or download the free software here, then join the Google Group (2,342 members now!) here. Or you can download the .puz file (you may have to right-click the link and save to your Downloads folder).

mgwcc 342

Solve well, and be not led astray by words intended to deceive.

Comments are closed.