MGWCC #450 — Friday, January 13th, 2017 — “Secret Parking”

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:



Slightly tricky (but not by design) for a Week 1 — 496 correct answers, but also 27 incorrect, which is high. Let’s go to the videotape:

Solvers were asked for a two-word phrase, and our four theme entries were:

17-A [Shrek and Godzilla, reacting to the cold?] = BIG GREEN QUAKERS
28-A [Correct response to “What are the two largest cats?”] = LIONS, TIGERS
44-A [Grizzlies who’ve suntanned too long?] = BIG RED BEARS
55-A [Funny-faced hounds, when they’re embarrassed?] = CRIMSON BULLDOGS

Those are the eight athletic team nicknames of contest answer IVY LEAGUE:

Dartmouth Big Green
Penn Quakers
Columbia Lions
Princeton Tigers
Cornell Big Red
Brown Bears
Harvard Crimson
Yale Bulldogs

Most of the 27 incorrect entries submitted COLLEGE FOOTBALL or FOOTBALL TEAMS or COLLEGE TEAMS. I ran this by the panel, but they voted 4-0 against since the salient point really is that they’re the Ivy League teams. Still, a tough break to start the year for those who missed it.

e.a. says:

had me climbing the walls

Tyler Hinman writes:

Most of these (Dartmouth, Princeton, Cornell, Brown, Harvard, Yale) are ECAC rivals of RPI hockey, so THUMBS DOWN.

arctan li says:

as a cornell alumnus…GO BIG RED (we’re definitely the best school in this grid)

genefaba writes:

We have been visiting and applying to these schools for my son for the last 5 months. I need a break.

Dogpole says:

As a Brit, this felt like a week 3.

Oxbridge puzzle coming soon!

Singerdog missed the last 105 MGWCC puzzles:

Been two years…finally back!

Nice to have you!

And finally, GMatthews has a challenge:

Now do it with the Big Ten!

This week’s winner, whose name was chosen at random from among the 496 correct entries received, is D.R. In addition to a MGWCC pen, pencil, and notepad set, D.R. will also receive a 1-year subscription to Matt Gaffney’s Daily Crossword.


Congratulations to the following 63 MGWCC winners, who correctly solved 48 or more of 2016’s 53 metas. They’re due for some prizes, and we’ll list them here as BRONZE, SILVER, and GOLD medal winners:


The following 30 MGWCC solvers submitted the correct contest answer to 48, 49, or 50 of 2016’s 53 metas. Each will receive a MGWCC “Aha! The Light Went on for Me” flashlight pen for their contest crossword prowess:

Peter Abide — Biloxi, Miss.

Steve Blais — Windsor, Ont.

Dan Bowden — Sydney, Australia

“C” Fogarty — Point Clear, Ala.

Neville Fogarty — Newport News, Va.

Sean Forbes — Crest Hill, Ill.

Katie Hamill — Arlington, Mass.

Bob Johnson — Carmel, Ind.

Brian Kell — Pittsburgh, Penna.

Monica Krausse — El Paso, Tex.

Andy Kravis — Brooklyn, N.Y.

Brian Kulman — Los Gatos, Calif.

Julian Lim — Singapore, Singapore

Patricia Miga — Colleyville, Tex.

Katie Miller — Houston, Tex.

Mark Navarrete — Quezon City, Philippines

Kyle Osborne — Hamilton, O.

Giovanni Pagano — Newark, Del.

Eric Prestemon — Woodside, Calif.

Joon Pahk — Somerville, Mass.

Rich Pardoe — Houston, Tex.

Paul Rundle — Davis, Calif.

Al Sanders — Loveland, Colo.

Jason Shapiro — New York City, N.Y.

David Stein — Takoma Park, Md.

Tom Tabanao — San Jose, Calif.

Jason Taniguchi — Toronto, Ont.

Seth Tribble — New York City, N.Y.

Scott Weiss — Walkersville, Md.

John L. Wilson — Shoreview, Minn.

Congratulations to our 2016 Bronze Medal Winners!


The following 21 MGWCC solvers submitted the correct contest answer to 51 or 52 of 2016’s 53 metas. Each will receive BOTH a MGWCC “Aha! The Light Went on for Me” flashlight pen AND a Super-Classy MGWCC Tote Bag for their contest crossword prowess:

Evan Birnholz — Philadelphia, Penna.

Rich Bragg — Los Altos, Calif.

Joe Fendel — Berkeley, Calif.

Steve Gadd — Falls Church, Va.

Travis Hime — New York City, N.Y.

Carl Holzman — Chicago, Ill.

Ray Hunley — Manassas, Va.

Andy Keller — Apple Valley, Minn.

Jeff Louie — Providence, R.I.

Paul Melamud — Milford, N.J.

Alexander Miller — Grand Rapids, Mich.

Lance Nathan — Arlington, Mass.

Marcia Rose — Mequon, Wisc.

Dave Sullivan — S. Woodstock, Vt.

Jesse Simons — Somerville, Mass.

James Wentworth — Sydney, Australia

Stephen Williams — Holbrook, Mass.

Congratulations to our 2016 Silver Medalists!


The following 12 MGWCC solvers proved UNSTUMPABLE in 2016! They submitted the correct contest answer to all 53 of last year’s metas. Each will receive a MGWCC “Aha! The Light Went on for Me” flashlight pen, AND a MGWCC Tote Bag, AND a Super-Duper Classy MGWCC Portfolio/Organizer for their unstumpability:

Matt Breen — Madison, Wisc.

Jeff Chen — Seattle, Wash.

Jeremy Conner — Monrovia, Calif.

Peter Gordon — Great Neck, N.Y.

Jeffrey Harris — Nashville, Tenn.

Summer Herrick — Seattle, Wash.

Brent Holman — San Francisco, Calif.

Jeremy Horwitz — San Francisco, Calif.

jeremiahsjohnson — Lafayette, Calif.

Jonathan McCue — Los Altos, Calif.

Maggie Wittlin — Lincoln, Nebr.

C.W. — Dillon, Colo.

I (and presumably winners on Twitter and Facebook) will post pics of this swag once it comes in in a few weeks.

Congratulations to our 63 prizewinners, and thanks to every single solver out there! I’ll keep writing these things if you keep solving them. And we’ll do another set of bronze, silver, and gold medals next year — I’ll write the precise terms of those prizes up here next week.


What two makes of car occupy this puzzle’s secret parking spots?

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

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