MGWCC #363 — Friday, May 15th, 2015 — “Jersey? Sure!”

IMPORTANT NOTE: As of January 2015 MGWCC is a subscribers-only crossword. The cost is $26 per year, and you can subscribe (or get a free trial month first) here:



Not to step on Pete Muller‘s toes, but last week we were looking for a famous musical duo. Our theme entries were:

17-A [#28 on TV Guide’s list of greatest cartoon characters of all time] = FELIX THE CAT.
25-A [Troublemaker’s activity] = RAISING CAIN.
35-A [University that’s home to the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center] = PENN STATE. A 9-letter entry in the middle like this could plausibly either be theme or not. It was here.
52-A [Phrase that sometimes has the words “in Eden” inserted] = MADAM I’M ADAM. Palindromic with or without that insertion.
59-A [Smoker’s problem] = ITCHY THROAT.

The key insight is that one word in each of these five is the first half of a famous duo:

FELIX & OSCAR (from “The Odd Couple,” for you youngsters)
ITCHY & SCRATCHY (from “The Simpsons”)

The first letters of those five missing halves spell out OATES, as emboldened above. This led 339 solvers to submit meta answer (Daryl) HALL & (John) OATES.

There is also a musical comedy duo called GARFUNKEL & OATES, of whom I’d never heard prior to this week. Seventeen solvers mentioned that as a possibility, but only one (you know who you are) had the temerity to actually submit it.

Naturally I accepted this as well, though you’ll forgive me for not linking to any of their videos, since they’re extremely NSFW.

CanNibble says:

If I were a braver man, I would have submitted GARFUNKEL & OATES.

There can be only one.

Similarly, MJMA:

Also thought about submitting Garfunkel & Oates. But I’m more risk-averse than some of your subscribers.

jeremiahsjohnson added to his correct entry the parenthetical:

(I can do)

sps says:

…the group my wife thought was called “Hauling Oats” all through high school.

Tyler Hinman dodged a bullet:

Got the top 40% and nearly submitted OASIS. Whew.

Good thing he didn’t skip the third and fourth and go right to the fifth!

And finally, VlnVla had competition from the famous duo themselves:

Coincidentally, about 4 hours after I got the answer I was playing a symphony concert, while at the same time, less than half a mile away, Hall & Oates were performing in concert.

Musta been Grand Rapids or Detroit. Cool!

This week’s winner, whose name was chosen randomly from the 340 correct entries received, is Catherine Atcheson of Alameda, Calif. In addition to a MGWCC pen, pencil and notepad set, Catherine will also receive a signed copy of my book Pocket Posh Easy Crosswords.


Derrick Schneider has written a smart article at GeekDad about four Indie crossword sites, including MGWCC.


This week’s contest answer is a 12-letter, two-word phrase that completes this puzzle’s theme pattern. The second word of the phrase is an entry in the grid’s fill.

IMPORTANT NOTE: As of January 2015 MGWCC is a subscribers-only crossword. The cost is $26 per year, and you can subscribe (or get a free trial month first) here:

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

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