MGWCC #021 -- Friday, October 24, 2008 -- "[To Be Determined]"

Ahoy, Fellow Cruciverbalists! Welcome to Week 21 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.


What do web journalist MATT DRUDGE, actresses CHRISTINA APPLEGATE and FRANCES LANGFORD, and entrepreneur MIKE ILITCH have in common? They're all people who've never been in Cliff Clavin's kitchen, true; but they're also four people whose initials double as the postal abbreviation of the state in which they were born (MD, CA, FL, MI -- see solution grid at left).

I found this theme while flipping through the almanac, where I noticed that Christina Applegate was born in CA. My theme antennae (vestigial organs on most mammals, but we crossword writers put them to good use) started going nuts and I began looking for what I expected would be many more famous examples.

Surprisingly there were very few -- in addition to the four I used in the grid and the fifth who served as contest answer phrase, the only others I found were country singer Marty Stuart, NPR "All Things Considered" host Michele Norris, and Confederate generals Albert Rust and George Anderson. If anyone has more I'd be interested in hearing about it (FYI, I already scoured this extremely helpful page in my research for the theme: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:People_by_state_in_the_United_States)

A bitter pill with this theme was that the great Stephen Colbert, though raised in South Carolina, was born elsewhere. Highly aggravating...why don't people plan ahead?

The contest instructions asked for a fifth celebrity, "one of the most famous musicians of the 20th century" who shares this quirk of birth and name. 78 solvers found him -- LOUIS ARMSTRONG, who not only embodied but also was born in New Orleans, LA. The bottom shelf of entries in the grid -- POPS, SATCH, and NOLA -- also pushed solvers in this direction.

This week's winner, whose name was chosen randomly from among the 78 correct entries received, is Steve Rubinstein of Edison, N.J. Steve has chosen as his prize an autographed copy of Movie Crosswords.

(I forgot to award the contest winner a subscription to Peter Gordon's puzzle service instead of a book, as promised last week, so we'll do it this week instead. If you win this week and I ask you to pick a book, remind me that a book ain't the prize this time!)


Two one-word grid entries in this week's crossword combine to make a perfect title for this week's crossword. This week's contest answer phrase is those two grid entries (a.k.a. this week's puzzle title). E-mail them 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.