MGWCC #044 -- Friday, April 3, 2009 -- "Passionate About Puzzles"

Good afternoon, crossword fans -- welcome to Week 44 of my contest. If you're new to the contest and would like to enter, please see the site FAQ on the left sidebar for instructions.


92 solvers text messaged their surnames to my cell phone last week, thereby correctly entering the last MGWCC of March 2009. Solution at top left.

They'd noticed that the two longest entries in the puzzle were TEXT MESSAGE and YOUR SURNAME. The instructions had advised them that the contest answer word would be "of varying lengths," as people's surnames are, so that made sense, too. The title, "Please, No Calls" hinted further that texting was the way to go. The only question remaining was: what number were solvers supposed to text their surnames to?

The answer: to the number spelled out phonetically by the answers to the eight asterisked clues: TUE, OWETO, NEIN, OHHH, FREE, TRIO, WON, TOO -- in other words, (202)-903-3012, which just happens to be my number. I received 92 surnames via text (and about 20 calls -- remember to read the titles!).

I also accepted as correct 13 e-mails from solvers who had figured out the contest answer but didn't have text messaging capabilities. I didn't want lack of cell phone or texting to exclude anyone from the contest.

Note that I only counted as correct those e-mailing solvers who explained clearly that they'd figured out both 1) that the contest answer word was their surname and 2) the correct number to text their response to. Several entrants simply e-mailed their surname without further explanation, which I didn't count as correct since it didn't show that they'd found the correct number to text their last name to.

Four solvers had never sent a text message before but figured it out for the contest. One of them was Doug Peterson, who wrote:

OMG, my first txt msg!

This week's winner, whose name was selected at random from the 105 correct entries received, is Jason Feng of Richmond, B.C. Jason, who becomes the third two-time MGWCC winner, has chosen as his prize an autographed copy of Movie Crosswords.


32 solvers sent in the correct contest answer words to all four of March's puzzles. From those 32 I randomly chose the following ten winners to receive MGWCC pen, pencil and notepad sets:

Eric Berlin -- Milford, Conn.

Seth Canetti -- New Rochelle, N.Y.

Anna Gundlach -- Olympia, Wash.

Cole Kendall -- Washington, D.C.

John Lenning -- Irvine, Calif.

Eric LeVasseur -- Tustin, Calif.

John Mangrich -- Orange, Calif.

Nancy Taubenslag -- Yonkers, N.Y.

Steve Tipton -- Boston, Mass.

Scott Weiss -- Walkersville, Md.

Congratulations to all winners! Note: if you were one of February's winners, you haven't yet received your notepad. I'll be sending them out next week.

If you want to see what a MGWCC pen and pencil look like, go here:



Orange, Rex Parker, and Puzzle Girl (not their real names) have started a new crossword blog called L.A. Crossword Confidential. They'll be dissecting the Los Angeles Times crossword seven days a week, 52 weeks a year, 1,000 years a millennium. Check it out:



The theme for this week's MGWCC was sent to me by Bob Doll of Purvis, Miss. It's funnier than the other ideas I had for this week so I'm happy to use it. Thanks, Bob!

This week's theme consists of three entries which form a nice bumper sticker message for cruciverbalists (seriously, if anyone prints these up, send me one).

The top theme entry (17-across) consists of two words that form a fairly familiar two-word phrase. To get this week's contest answer phrase, anagram the second word in 17-across (while leaving the first word the same) to get a very familiar two-word phrase. This very familiar phrase, which is (of course) fifteen letters long, is this week's contest answer phrase. 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.

No comments: