4/24/09

MGWCC #047 -- Friday, April 24, 2009 -- "Disconsonant Vowels"


Good afternoon, crossword fans -- welcome to Week 47 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:

I'm finally getting a handle on this level-of-difficulty concept. 139 solvers correctly sent in last week's contest answer phrase, which was MAJOR ARCANA. This means that the three April puzzles have yielded 249, 201, and 139 correct answers so far, a nice, even weekly progression. Which also means we ought to have about 100 entries this week, though I'm thinking it may be fewer. First things first, however.

Each of the five theme entries in last week's puzzle ended in the name of a tarot card (emboldened): GOOD AND EVIL, THE CLOVERS, I'M A CHANGED MAN, BLACK AS TAR, and LAUNCH A RIOT. Those five come from the 22 tarot cards known as the MAJOR ARCANA, which was found at the interlock of 44-across and 45-down. Solution at top left.

This week's winner, whose name was chosen at random from the 139 correct entries received, is Rachel Pleasants of Cambridge, Mass. Rachel has chosen as her prize an autographed copy of Sip & Solve Hard Crosswords.


TWO THINGS:


1) Christopher Shaw points out an error in MGWCC #046: at 28-across, the Spanish word for "rat" is "rata," not the RATO I had in the grid. Disculpame.

2) Justin Smith's "Five Aprils" crossword contest is underway (halfway done, but there's still time to enter). Check it out here:

http://www.justinspuzzles.com/contest.html



THIS WEEK'S INSTRUCTIONS:

This week's contest answer word is a well-known four-letter geographical place name. E-mail it to me at crosswordcontest@gmail.com by Tuesday at noon ET. Please put the contest answer word in the subject line of your e-mail.

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:

http://groups.google.com/group/mgwcc



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

4/17/09

MGWCC #046 -- Friday, April 17, 2009 -- "I Can't Deal With This"

Good afternoon, crossword fans -- welcome to Week 46 of this rahther silly contest. Should you be new to the contest and wish to enter, please see the site FAQ on the left sidebar for instructions.


LAST WEEK'S RESULTS:

[Cue music: Gounod's Funeral March of a Marionette]

Good eeeeevening. Mr. Gahffney is on vacation this week and has ahsked me to step in and give the results of his little crossword puzzle competition. Though it may seem strange to be spoken to by a man whose physical form expired 29 years ago this month, perhaps it will seem less strange when you realize that twelve of my films were hidden in last week's crossword puzzle.

Ten concealed themselves in the five theme entries -- SPELLBOUND, TOPAZ, LIFEBOAT, VERTIGO, SUSPICION, FRENZY, SABOTEUR, REBECCA, NOTORIOUS, and that amusing trifle I intended as satire, PSYCHO. An eleventh could be found by astute viewers -- pardon me, solvers -- in the puzzle's title ("The Birds and...").

The dozenth film serves as what Mr. Gahffney informs me is this puzzle's "contest ahnswer word," which was ROPE, found at 27-across. 201 of you delightful people sent in this correct ahnswer. Another 36 sent in other answers, primarily ONE B, TEXT, and ICON. These answers were not counted as correct, but I assure you that I am indeed an ICON, and certainly appreciate the sentiment. Solution presented below.

This week's winner, whose name was chosen at random from the 201 correct entries received, is Howard Barkin of Hillsborough, N.J. As Mr. Gaffney mentioned in last week's post, Howard will receive as his prize a copy of Patrick Berry's beautiful new book Masterpiece Puzzles.

We received several charming e-mails regarding my films. One was from a Mr. Tristan Davies, who wrote:

It took a little more than the 39 steps I anticipated to solve this, but finally, as I gazed north by northwest, through the torn curtain that partially covers my rear window, my wife Marnie suggested I ask my friend Harry Smith, the foreign correspondent, and his wife.

"Ask them?" I exclaimed. "I hardly know Mr. and Mrs. Smith-- sure, they live next door, but it's as if we're strangers on a train. And to be honest, the trouble with Harry is, he's never stumped-- it's like he's the man who knew too much!"

"Come now," said Marnie, toying with the topaz bracelet on her wrist. "At least Rebecca's not that bad, although the lady vanishes once in a while. I hear she likes to hide out at the Jamica Inn, where she doesn't have to act so young and innocent." "Eureka!" I suddenly cried. "Put away the lifeboat, sweetie, I just figured it out. Beyond a shadow of a doubt, the solution is ROPE."


THIS WEEK'S INSTRUCTIONS:

I have been told that this week's contest answer phrase consists of two interlocking words in this puzzle's fill, and explains the source of the theme entries. These two words total eleven letters. I'm not certain what an "e-mail" is, but you may e-mail your answers to Mr. Gaffney at crosswordcontest@gmail.com by Tuesday at noon ET. Please put the contest answer phrase in the subject line of your e-mail.

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:

http://groups.google.com/group/mgwcc



Solve well, and be not led astray by words intended to deceive. Mr. Gaffney will return next week, and I shall not.

4/10/09

MGWCC #045 -- Friday, April 10, 2009 -- "The Birds and..."


Good afternoon, crossword fans -- welcome to Week 45 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:


The palindrome that springs to mind is "wow" -- because a record-shattering 249 entrants sent in last week's contest answer phrase, which was CROSSWORD SOLVER. Solution at top left. The previous MGWCC record was 197 entries, so we blew that one out of the water.

The 249 got there by figuring out Bob Doll's clever cruciverbal bumper sticker, CROSSWORD LOVERS / DO IT EACH MORNING / AND ALL DAY SUNDAY. Anagram the second word of the top line and you're left with CROSSWORD SOLVER.

Since last week's answer was CROSSWORD SOLVER and the previous week's answer was the solver's surname, Gerry Tansey writes:

Cool. I'm the answer to the puzzle two weeks in a row. This is even better than when I was named Time's Person of the Year.

This week's winner, whose name was chosen at random from the 249 correct entries received, is Meg Duvall of St. Petersburg, Fla. Meg has chosen as her prize an autographed copy of Sip & Solve Hard Crosswords.

FOUR THINGS:

1) An awful lot of solvers expressed interest in getting a copy of this bumper sticker. If anyone prints them up, let me know and I'll post it on the blog.

2) Elissa Grossman is organizing the inaugural Crosswords LA Tournament, held at Loyola Marymount University on Saturday, Apr. 25. Over 50 contestants have already registered; check out the website for full details:

http://www.crosswordswest.com/


[UPDATE, 4/10, 4:10 PM -- I forgot to mention that Tyler Hinman will be there doing commentary on the finals.]

3) The MGWCC notepads still haven't arrived (!) but are apparently en route (hmmm). At any rate, they'll be going out to February's winners and March's winners (along with pens & pencils) asap when they arrive at my door.

4) SPECIAL PRIZE THIS WEEK: Instead of receiving one of my books, the winner of MGWCC #045 next week will be awarded a copy of Patrick Berry's stunning new Masterpiece Puzzles. Patrick is one of the very best puzzle writers around and I tore through this book like a hyena on Vivarin. It features several series of crossword variants, a specialty of Patrick's throughout his career.


THIS WEEK'S INSTRUCTIONS:


This week's contest answer word is a four-letter entry in this crossword grid's fill. E-mail it to me at crosswordcontest@gmail.com by Tuesday at noon ET. Please put the contest answer word in the subject line of your e-mail.

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:

http://groups.google.com/group/mgwcc




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

4/3/09

MGWCC #044 -- Friday, April 3, 2009 -- "Passionate About Puzzles"

Good afternoon, crossword fans -- welcome to Week 44 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:

92 solvers text messaged their surnames to my cell phone last week, thereby correctly entering the last MGWCC of March 2009. Solution at top left.

They'd noticed that the two longest entries in the puzzle were TEXT MESSAGE and YOUR SURNAME. The instructions had advised them that the contest answer word would be "of varying lengths," as people's surnames are, so that made sense, too. The title, "Please, No Calls" hinted further that texting was the way to go. The only question remaining was: what number were solvers supposed to text their surnames to?

The answer: to the number spelled out phonetically by the answers to the eight asterisked clues: TUE, OWETO, NEIN, OHHH, FREE, TRIO, WON, TOO -- in other words, (202)-903-3012, which just happens to be my number. I received 92 surnames via text (and about 20 calls -- remember to read the titles!).

I also accepted as correct 13 e-mails from solvers who had figured out the contest answer but didn't have text messaging capabilities. I didn't want lack of cell phone or texting to exclude anyone from the contest.

Note that I only counted as correct those e-mailing solvers who explained clearly that they'd figured out both 1) that the contest answer word was their surname and 2) the correct number to text their response to. Several entrants simply e-mailed their surname without further explanation, which I didn't count as correct since it didn't show that they'd found the correct number to text their last name to.

Four solvers had never sent a text message before but figured it out for the contest. One of them was Doug Peterson, who wrote:

OMG, my first txt msg!

This week's winner, whose name was selected at random from the 105 correct entries received, is Jason Feng of Richmond, B.C. Jason, who becomes the third two-time MGWCC winner, has chosen as his prize an autographed copy of Movie Crosswords.

MONTHLY PRIZES:

32 solvers sent in the correct contest answer words to all four of March's puzzles. From those 32 I randomly chose the following ten winners to receive MGWCC pen, pencil and notepad sets:

Eric Berlin -- Milford, Conn.

Seth Canetti -- New Rochelle, N.Y.

Anna Gundlach -- Olympia, Wash.

Cole Kendall -- Washington, D.C.


John Lenning -- Irvine, Calif.

Eric LeVasseur -- Tustin, Calif.


John Mangrich -- Orange, Calif.

Nancy Taubenslag -- Yonkers, N.Y.

Steve Tipton -- Boston, Mass.

Scott Weiss -- Walkersville, Md.

Congratulations to all winners! Note: if you were one of February's winners, you haven't yet received your notepad. I'll be sending them out next week.

If you want to see what a MGWCC pen and pencil look like, go here:

http://tabstopva.blogspot.com/2009/03/no-one-told-me-matt-gaffney-was-color.html



ONE THING:


Orange, Rex Parker, and Puzzle Girl (not their real names) have started a new crossword blog called L.A. Crossword Confidential. They'll be dissecting the Los Angeles Times crossword seven days a week, 52 weeks a year, 1,000 years a millennium. Check it out:

http://latcrossword.blogspot.com/

THIS WEEK'S INSTRUCTIONS:

The theme for this week's MGWCC was sent to me by Bob Doll of Purvis, Miss. It's funnier than the other ideas I had for this week so I'm happy to use it. Thanks, Bob!

This week's theme consists of three entries which form a nice bumper sticker message for cruciverbalists (seriously, if anyone prints these up, send me one).

The top theme entry (17-across) consists of two words that form a fairly familiar two-word phrase. To get this week's contest answer phrase, anagram the second word in 17-across (while leaving the first word the same) to get a very familiar two-word phrase. This very familiar phrase, which is (of course) fifteen letters long, is this week's contest answer phrase. E-mail it to me at crosswordcontest@gmail.com by Tuesday at noon ET. Please put the contest answer phrase in the subject line of your e-mail.

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:

http://groups.google.com/group/mgwcc




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