MGWCC #010 -- Friday, August 8, 2008 -- "No Peking!"

Ni hao ma, Fellow Cruciverbalists! Welcome to Week Ten of my crossword contest. If you're new to the contest and would like to enter, please see the site FAQ on the left sidebar for instructions.


34 solvers turned the tables on the apostrophe with MGWCC #009, "The Replacements." The puzzle's theme entries consisted of five songs/albums with an apostrophe in their titles -- Dean Martin's "WHAM! BAM! THANK YOU MA'AM"; Ace of Base's "DON'T TURN AROUND"; Supertramp's "IT'S RAINING AGAIN"; The Who's "LOVE REIGN O'ER ME"; and Bobby Vinton's "EV'RY DAY OF MY LIFE." Replacing the five letters elbowed out by the apostrophes yields D, O, I, V, and E, which anagram to VIDEO, which was last week's contest answer word.

I caught flak from quite a few solvers (including my sister, who's a musician) for describing VIDEO as a "musical term." For example, Jim Sempsrott wrote:

Every long musical answer in the puzzle contains a contraction. If the letters are written down for what the apostrophe replaces, you get DOIVE, which can be anagrammed into VOIDE - the French word for empty and also a musical group from Sweden. (You can also spell VIDEO, OVIDE, and E-VOID, but I really don't know where you were heading with this).

In retrospect, I should have used a phrasing more like "a term often heard in the music world." The wording I used made it sound like the contest answer word was a technical term (such as lento). Sorry for the confusion this caused; one thing I strive for in these puzzles is that when the solver figures out the correct answer word, they're 100% sure it's correct. Imprecise phrasing like this didn't help here.

Since I desire to live in a just universe, I counted as correct any entry that mentioned the word VIDEO in the solving process, like Jim's e-mail above. Also: optimally I'd have preferred a grid where the five de-apostrophized entries spelled VIDEO in order, without anagramming, but the 14-letter song LOVE REIGN O'ER ME made that more or less undoable.

So who won last week's contest? Some time ago, a previous lucky winner asked me if there was a rule against winning MGWCC two weeks in a row. I told him there is no such rule, and this week it happened: this week's contest winner is also last week's contest winner, Jan O'Sullivan of Killingworth, Conn. Last week Jan defied 13-to-1 odds to win, and this week she gets another crossword book for defying 33-to-1 odds. Jan has chosen as her prize an autographed copy of Golf Crosswords. She will also be available to manage your stock portfolio, choose lottery numbers, and serve in an advisory role on trips to Vegas or Atlantic City.


This week's contest crossword revolves around four consonants. This week's contest answer is the only grid entry that contains all four of those consonants. Email it to me (the actual entry in the grid, not the clue number) at crosswordcontest@gmail.com 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:


Enjoy the Games, solve well, and be not led astray by words intended to deceive.