Good afternoon, crossword fans -- welcome to Week 43 of my contest. If you're new to the contest and would like to enter, please see the site FAQ on the left sidebar for instructions.
LAST WEEK'S RESULTS:
It's tough for me to gauge the difficulty level of the meta-puzzles. I had expected about 130-150 correct answers, but the meta turned out to be tougher than that -- when the entry window closed on Tuesday, just 73 correct answers had landed in my mailbox, along with 29 incorrect entries. Most popular guesses among the incorrect answers were SAN DIEGO (7 entries) and LAS VEGAS (5 entries).
Nice towns, but the correct contest answer city was BILLINGS. This week's winner, whose name was selected at random from the 73 correct entries received, is Arnold Reich of Bronxville, N.Y. Arnold has chosen as his prize an autographed copy of Gridlock.
Arnold and 72 others completed the trip to BILLINGS by noticing that the four theme entries (SALES GLINT, OLDEN TEMPI, BACON BITTE, and NOISE LOVER) each consist of two five-letter words. Change one letter in each of those words, and you're left with the name of an American city:
SALES --> SALEM
GLINT --> FLINT
OLDEN --> OGDEN
TEMPI --> TEMPE
BACON --> MACON
BITTE --> BUTTE
NOISE --> BOISE
LOVER --> DOVER
Anagram the eight replaced letters (emboldened above) and you're left with Montana's largest city -- and last week's contest answer word.
Doug Peterson writes:
I grew up in Billings! (I also lived in Butte for
a while, so it was cool to have "Butte" involved in one of the
theme answers.) When I was a kid, it was always a big thrill
to see Billings, or Montana, mentioned in a national setting.
And MGWCC is transhemispheric, so that's even cooler!
While Jill Palmer says:
My ideal puzzle is one which seems impossible so I almost quit, then I go back and look at it again and get it. This was one of those.
That's my ideal when I construct them, too -- hopefully I'll hit that every week. But as I mentioned above, I often can't predict how many people a meta will trip up, so I somewhat sheepishly offer the March 2009 end-of-month MGWCC...
THIS WEEK'S INSTRUCTIONS:
This week's contest answer word will be of varying lengths. I must receive your entry by Tuesday at noon ET.
To print the puzzle out, click on the image below and hit "print" on your browser. To solve using Across Lite, join the Google Group here:
Solve well, and be not led astray by words intended to deceive.
Posted by Matt Gaffney at 1:18 AM