MGWCC #025 -- Saturday, November 22, 2008 -- "That's Not What Happened"

Ahoy, Fellow Cruciverbalists! Welcome to Week 25 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.


106 solvers realized that last week's puzzle grid was a little off-kilter -- it was ASYMMETRICAL, in fact, which was last week's contest answer word.

A few people noticed the asymmetry right away (the two diagonally-attached pairs of black squares in the center of the grid don't match up with proper 180-degree rotational symmetry), but most discovered the contest answer word through the 4 1/2 theme entries: ASEXUAL DEVIANCE, AMORAL HAZARD, APOLITICAL PARTY, ATYPICAL MALE, and the half-entry ASOCIAL at 23-down. These entries consisted of two-word phrases whose first word becomes an antonym of itself with the addition of an initial A. Along with the final 15-letter entry in the grid, LIKE THIS DIAGRAM, these theme entries pointed most solvers to the ASYMMETRICAL aspect of the grid.

Best incorrect answer of the week goes to a solver whose name I won't print (but if this was you and you want your name printed, let me know). This solver anagrammed ASYMMETRICAL to get the A-bashing phrase ARTICLE MY ASS. Which was not the correct contest answer word (and the anagram is a letter off) but it did make me laugh.

This week's winner, whose name was chosen randomly from among the 106 correct entries, is Rose Nickodemus of Saginaw, Mich. Rose has selected as her prize an autographed copy of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Crossword Puzzles & Word Games.


I noticed only yesterday, though I'm sure some solvers must have noticed it sooner, that I missed an easy opportunity to weed an abbreviation out of the grid last week, namely the suboptimal MTN at 19-across. The obvious fix was to turn RUST at 2-down into RUSE, which makes MTN the much better MEN (or even better, I could have changed 1-down to PRAY, yielding RUSE and YEN instead of PRAM/RUST/MTN).

I have no logical explanation why I didn't do that; when the book comes out, rest assured I'll use the PRAY/YEN/RUSE interlock. Come to think of it, I do in fact have an explanation for how this lapse came about: I spent several hours on the NE and SW corners (I believe each human being's social status in the afterlife will be determined by the number of 5x5 blocks they worked into their crossword grids and live my life accordingly) and was a little tired when I got to that relatively easy corner, so I wasn't mentally alert enough to maximize the possibilities there. Anyway, let us move on.


This week's contest answer word is seven letters in length. It is a fair, reasoned assessment of the findings of the Warren Commission's report on the assassination of John F. Kennedy, a deep event which occurred 45 years ago today. E-mail it to me at crosswordcontest@gmail.com by Tuesday at noon ET [UPDATE, 11/22/08, 3:40PM ET -- Al Sanders writes to remind me that the deadline for this week's puzzle is Wednesday at noon ET, not Tuesday]. Please put the contest answer word 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.