MGWCC #018 -- Friday, Oct. 3, 2008 -- "Shine On (You Crazy Diamond)"

Ahoy, Fellow Cruciverbalists! Welcome to Week 18 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.


75 solvers showed me a sign last week, realizing that the puzzle's four main theme entries -- HYBRID VIGOR, HERBS AND SPICES, BLAIR UNDERWOOD, and RAISE HORSES -- each contained a word that anagrams into a sign of the zodiac (VIGOR/Virgo, SPICES/Pisces, BLAIR/Libra, and RAISE/Aries). The instructions asked them to find the fifth grid entry that followed the theme, which led those 75 entrants to locate the correct contest answer -- OLE MISS at 12-down, whose first word anagrams to Leo.

Note also that the attention of the country just happened to be focused on OLE MISS last Friday, the date of this puzzle's publication, as it hosted the first presidential debate (patting self on back, extremely satisfied with own cleverness).

Our winner, whose name was chosen randomly from among the 75 correct entries, is Lee Knutson of Irvine, Calif. Lee has selected as his prize an autographed copy of Gridlock.


This week's contest answer phrase is the name of a noted cruciverbalist relevant to this puzzle's theme (and whose name is also concealed in two of this puzzle's across clues). 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:


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