Andy here, filling in for joon this week on a (thankfully) easier Week 4 puzzle than most. (Matt said it would play like a Week 2.5, but I’d put it at a flat Week 2.)
The title of MGWCC 291 was “It Never Ends.” Matt informed us that we were looking for “a Major League Baseball team that would have made an excellent theme entry in this puzzle.”
Step One is to find the theme entries. Not too challenging in today’s grid, as 5 entries stood right out:
- [Words that aim to persuade] or O(PI)NION (PI)ECE
- [How biscuits should be served] or (PI)(PI)NG HOT
- [Powerful tablet] or SLEE(PI)NG (PI)LL
- [Successful businessperson, in old propaganda] or CA(PI)TALIST (PI)G
- [Code invoked biennially] or OLYM(PI)C S(PI)RIT
Each of the theme answers contains 2 PI (hence the title “It Never Ends”). Seems like we’re looking for an MLB team that contains the digraph PI twice. A quick scan of the memory bank reveals this week’s meta answer, the (PI)TTSBURGH (PI)RATES [not the similarly double-Greek (PHI)LADELPHIA (PHI)LLIES].
A S(PI)FFING meta as usual. I wasn’t bothered by the 4/1 imbalance of nonconsecutive/consecutive PIs, nor did I mind that the sought-after meta answer was the only two word phrase whose words both started with PI.
Sourest fill for me was 31d, WE ON ["Met ___ hill, in dale, forest or mead"--"A Midsummer Night's Dream"]. Also not used to seeing the spellings TI(PI) or GISMO, but those didn’t negatively affect my solving experience.
Looks like nearly 500 correct answers were submitted for this Week 4. Might that be a record?