MGWCC #017 -- Friday, September 26, 2008 -- "Show Me a Sign"

Ahoy, Fellow Cruciverbalists! Welcome to Week 17 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.


77 solvers figured out the investment banker slang term TAKE A HAIRCUT, which was last week's contest answer (found at 40-across; solution grid at left). To get there, they removed the first sound in the second word of each member of the quintet until recently known as the "Big Five" American investment banks: Merrill Lynch became MERRILL INCH, Goldman Sachs became GOLDMAN AX, Lehman Brothers became LEHMAN OTHERS, Bear Stearns became BEAR TURNS, and Morgan Stanley became MORGAN TANLY (the runt of the litter here, but #2 out of the five in real life -- for now). As investment bankers are taking a haircut these days, so did these five theme entries.

Our winner, whose name was chosen randomly from among the 77 correct entries, is Jason Feng of Richmond, B.C. (it's good we're getting all the Canadian winners out of the way now because once the US dollar collapses to zero I won't be able to afford out-of-country postage on the books anyway). Jason has selected as his prize an autographed copy of Brain Games.


***Quite a few solvers (including an ACPT champ) couldn't get the ZENANA/ZAPPED (29-a/29-d) crossing in last week's puzzle and thought it was borderline unfair. Duly noted -- I thought ZENANA was a little better known than it really is, and should have given an easier clue at 29-across.

***Justin Smith has a new puzzle website up, so give it a look:


***And finally, Brendan Quigley's new website isn't up yet, but he has a great pic you gotta see on the placeholder site. If central casting got a request for a crossword constructor, I don't think this is what they'd come up with:



This week's puzzle looks like it only has four theme entries (17-a, 31-a, 37-a, and 58-a). But the crossword elves here at MGWCC work non-stop, 24/7/365 to bring you that extra cruciverbal edge -- which means there's a fifth theme entry hidden somewhere in the grid, which is this week's contest answer word. E-mail that fifth theme entry to me (the actual grid entry, not its clue number) 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:


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