MGWCC #179

crossword 3:55
puzzle 4 minutes 

greetings gaffneyites, from planet jeopardy. see, the trouble with picking up new hobbies is that you have to drop something else. and the trouble with picking up new hobbies obsessively is that you have to drop two other things. in my case, i’ve been dropping crosswords (haven’t really done any since thursday) and sleep (ugh). so … yeah. i’m glad this one was easy, because i didn’t start it until almost midnight the night before the deadline.

so, you came here to read about the puzzle, not me. this week’s puzzle, “College Knowledge”, challenges us to identify one of the 50 top universities in the country, according to U.S. News & World Report. what have we got to go on? these four theme answers:

  • {College known for its school of performing arts?} is GRIFFITH KAUFMAN.
  • {College known for its school of political science?} is JACKSON JOHNSON.
  • {College known for its school of journalism?} is SULLIVAN ROONEY.
  • {College known for its music school?} is LLOYD WEBBER GIBB.

so these colleges are each named for two people named andrew (or andy). i don’t think i know who andy sullivan is. oh, wait, andrew sullivan. i remember that name; ugh. and who’s this, andy gibb? i only know him from a recent final jeopardy.

the first thing i thought is: “is there a top university named andrews or something?” the second thing i thought was, “you’re an idiot. there’s no college in the top 50 that you’ve never heard of.” the third thing i thought was, “maybe i should be looking for a school named after two andrews.” after that it took about ten seconds to light on carnegie mellon university. though i did the research and apparently mellon institute of industrial research, which merged with the carnegie institute of technology, was founded by both andrew mellon and his brother richard.

structural notes: it’s a nontrivial task to find two famous people named andrew in each of four different fields, with matching-length names. so that’s a neat find. better still to tie it in with carnegie mellon; i wonder if there’s a theme you could do of just things named after two people with the same first name. i can’t think of any other examples off the top of my head.

crossword was pretty easy. i kind of liked seeing both DOS and DO NOTS in the grid, even though one of them by itself would be considered subpar fill. this one had a few weird partials (FER DE, OIL ON) but was pretty good considering the word count (just 70). i didn’t know POT CLUB at 1a, but that’s quite a way to begin your crossword, not with a bang but a puff.

that’s all for me. how’d you all like this one?

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22 Responses to MGWCC #179

  1. Scott says:

    I fell into Matt’s week one trap and sent in ANDREWS UNIVERSITY. (I know it is not in the top 50 – my bad!) Did anyone else make the same error? I would guess about seventeen did!

  2. reid says:

    I got red herring’ed by the title. I figured the rhyming pattern of college knowledge meant Matt wanted us to find something that rhymed with Andy. Hence, Vandy, or Vanderbilt.

    I’m also still not quite convinced that i’m wrong, given that there are more Andys and Andrews in the grid, and the title seems to point that way. Guess we’ll see!

  3. Matt Gaffney says:

    Yes, 17 other solvers also sent in ANDREWS. 348 got CARNEGIE MELLON. 13 people pointed out that “And She Was” is a Talking Heads song, not a Grateful Dead song, which was an idiotic mistake.

    I was doing a final check of the puzzle when I wondered if there might be such a thing as “Andrews University.” Sure enough there is one in Michigan, so I added the Top 50 stipulation.

  4. joon says:

    i noticed “and she was”, but i assumed it was also a dead song i didn’t know.

  5. Matt Gaffney says:

    5 people sent in Vanderbilt or Vandy, Reid.

  6. Phoebe says:

    Did anyone notice this timely Sporcle quiz last Friday?

  7. Bruce S. says:

    I was also pleased not to find Drew University in the top 50 since I would have been torn then.

  8. Paul Coulter says:

    I thought the Andrews connection was a mild misdirect. There is an Andrews University, though certainly not a top 50 on anybody’s list. I decided the real answer was Williams College, because for each of the names, there is a noted William. Williams is the #1 rated U.S. liberal arts college.
    Pedant’s Corner: Matt used college/university interchangeably in his directions, though as an academic, I’m sure he knows the difference. As it happens, Williams College is not a university, but I decided it was fair game to submit it because of the loose terminology. Interestingly, The College of William and Mary (which I thought he might be going for at one point) is a university, despite its name.

  9. Charles Montpetit says:

    As a Canadian, I’m not up on my ANDREWs in U.S. culture, but I did notice that CARNEGIE MELLON was the only university on the list whose name consisted of two surnames, and that was good enough for me to complete the trend established by the other four. Whew.

  10. Karen says:

    I knew Andrew Carnegie, didn’t know about Andrew Mellon. So the double A reference escaped me.

  11. PJ says:

    Wow. I’m glad I didn’t know of all those Williams or I would have been flummoxed. Although possibly not meant, this was a nice tribute to the “grouch-in-chief,” Andy Rooney. This week was such a breath of fresh air after last week’s “…labours lost.”

  12. Jimmy d says:

    Joon, shame on you… Go out and buy “Shadow Dancing” right now!!

  13. Hugh says:

    I toyed, briefly, with VANDERBILT, and even considered CORNELL (side-by-side COrfu & kNELL at 26 & 27 Down) before settling on the more obvious Pittsburgh ANDREWs.

    BTW, CMU seems to have full performing arts, political science and music departments or schools, and journalism, as a part of its english department.

  14. Matthew G. says:

    Like Joon, I’d never heard of Andy Gibb, but I see now that he was one of the Bee Gees, and that “Bee Gees” stood for “B Gs,” which stood for Brothers Gibbs. The things you learn. Hey, and Wikipedia says he worked with Andrew Lloyd Webber on a project. Synergy!

    Anyway, I thought of Carnegie Mellon right off the bat based on all the Andrews and Andrew Carnegie, but thought it couldn’t be that simple because it didn’t explain the Mellon. Hard as it may be to believe, it took me a day to think, “Hey, maybe Mellon was an Andrew too, and not just Carnegie!” Easy meta once I stopped missing the obvious line of research. I also spent a while worried that there was a St. Andrews University I was missing, but I guess the only notable one is in Scotland.

  15. Dan Seidman says:

    Andy Gibb wasn’t one of the Bee Gees; he was their brother. They wrote songs and sang backup for him, but he was billed as a solo artist.

  16. Matthew G. says:

    @Dan: Thanks for setting me straight. I only skimmed his Wikipedia entry.

  17. Amy Reynaldo says:

    I was a big Andy Gibb fan in junior high. His poster was the centerpiece of my bedroom. Satin shirt, glossy blond waves, ridiculously tight jeans? Check, check, and check. Pretty face, too.

    Thanks to satellite radio, I have heard a couple Andy Gibb songs in recent months. I…don’t see the appeal. A lot of the other ’70s tunes suck me right in, but Andy Gibb? Oy. Joon, this is not a pop-culture lacuna you need to fill (other than to know there once was an Andy Gibb who was the Bee Gees’ kid brother).

    I clicked Jeffrey’s link and am playing the YouTube video. My kid just asked me, “Is that Michael Jackson or the Bee Gees?” Falsetto!

    What’s that? We’re talking about the crossword? Oh, right. Yeah, it worked but I didn’t love it. Who knew Mellon was also an Andrew?

  18. tabstop says:

    The reason I knew that Carnegie and Mellon were both Andrews: CMU’s computer system was called Andrew and they also developed afs (andrew file system) which I believe is “that file system option in linux that no one ever uses”. (At least it’s never been used on any of the systems I’ve been on.)

  19. Neal C. says:

    I thought I had learned that The Talking Heads covered a Grateful Dead song, but I guess I learned that Matt had eaten some toad stools that day.

  20. Derek says:

    Unrelated question: are these puzzles solvable on an iPhone app? I have the full version of Crosswords, which solves Across Lite formatted puzzles, but there seems to be no way to import them. If anyone here has any expertise in this area, please help!!


  21. Derek says:

    Never mind!! The Crosswords app DOES work for this. Thanks to all anyway!!


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