MGWCC #019 -- Friday, Oct. 10, 2008 -- "Bailout: Fail, Rout"

Ahoy, Fellow Cruciverbalists! Welcome to Week 19 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.


You people must really like last week's contest answer word, PETER GORDON, because a record 91 entrants correctly found his name not very well-hidden in the clues at 48-across and 9-across. I was going for one of those "hidden in plain sight" deals, hoping solvers would focus on the grid entries and not the clues themselves. Instead I got zero incorrect answers against 91 correct ones, and one e-mail that said something like "I did a double-take for a minute before noticing the {Peter ___} and {___ Gordon} clues" against about two dozen that said "Whaddya mean, 'hidden'?"

But no biggie, because the puzzle was primarily meant as a paean to Peter's historic and heroic 6 1/2-year run at the New York Sun, which folded last week. While at the Sun, Peter revolutionized the job of crossword editor -- in maximizing use of computer databases in grid doctoring, involving the constructor in the revision process (far) more than any other editor I'm aware of, and in pushing puzzle writers' fees higher (those of both his and other newspapers). This takes an enormous amount of time, effort, and skill, so hats off and bravo to Roger/Ogden/Peter.

Any news I get on continuation of the Sun crossword I'll pass along on this site. [UPDATE, 10/10, 5:00 PM ET: Amy Reynaldo writes to gently remind me (the subject line of her e-mail was "What, are you living under a rock?") that I didn't mention that the Sun newspaper may be no more, but the crossword itself will remain for at least a few months: "Peter's continuing with at least the puzzles he had in the pipeline, which will take him about 5 1/2 months out. Starting next week, the puzzles will be available only to paying subscribers (about $12). They're hosted at Cruciverb.com. By Februaryish, if he's got 2,000 subscribers, he'll get new puzzles and keep 'em coming."]

(Not that it fooled anyone, but for the record: the puzzle's theme was revealed at 63-across, I'LL FOLLOW THE SUN; the five starred theme entries consisted of a compound word or two-word phrase, each of the two components of which can follow "Sun" to make a new word or phrase: sunbird, sunbath, Sun Devil, sun worshipper, sun dial, sundown, sunroof, sunbeam, sunup, and sunstroke).

This week's winner, whose name was chosen randomly from among the 91 correct entries, is Robert Loy of North Charleston, S.C. Robert has selected as his prize an autographed copy of Sip & Solve Hard Crosswords.


Angela Halsted
sends along this timely political puzzle she recently co-authored, so give it your eyeballs:



This week's contest answer phrase is the two-word insult that ends the entry at 61-across. [UPDATE, 5:40 PM ET: Amy Reynaldo (again) writes to mention that I should clarify: the contest answer phrase is simply the last two words in the entry at 61-across, not some other two words you have to provide.] 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...or politicians intending to thee thieve.