MGWCC #056 -- Friday, June 26, 2009 -- "Dig Deeper" (Kaidoku)

Good afternoon, crossword fans -- welcome to Week 56 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.


204 crossword-solving baristas made a DOUBLE LATTE last week, thereby submitting the correct contest answer. The theme entry TATTLETALE contained the ingredients of the COFFEE SHOP drink, which the crossword instructed solvers to SHAKE VIGOROUSLY (i.e. anagram) in a SOMEWHAT CRYPTIC (i.e. cryptic crossword-style) manner.

But what's this? The instructions indicated an 11-letter answer, yet TATTLETALE has only ten letters. After a little head-scratching, most solvers realized that TATTLETALE is comprised of the letters in the word "latte" twice -- ergo, the correct answer is DOUBLE LATTE. Answer at top left.

For only the second time in MGWCC's short yet storied history, I this week accepted an alternate answer as correct. Larry Shor sent in MATCHA LATTE, which, when parsed as "match a latte," satisfies all the requirements of the instructions. Nice find!

This week's winner, whose name was chosen at random from the 204 correct entries received, is Andy Arizpe of Austin, Tex. Andy has selected as his prize an autographed copy of Sip & Solve Hard Crosswords.


Several solvers mentioned that FTTP at 1-down is not a well-known internet initialism. They're right. In my mind I combined HTTP and FTP and came up with the obscure FTTP as an answer. I'd delayed cluing it until Friday just before publication time, only to realize then that it wasn't a good entry at all.

Panicking -- I had guests arriving in a couple of hours -- I didn't notice that I could've easily gotten rid of FTTP by replacing PRO BONO with AKEBONO. Will make that change if this puzzle makes it into the book.


It's time for your yearly Kaidoku, folks! This is a crossword variant that takes its name from the Japanese word for "codebreaking." You may also know these as "alphacodes" or "coded crosswords" and they work like so:

Each letter of the alphabet is represented by a number in this grid. Use letter frequency, pattern recognition, and whatever other codebreaking tools you can conjure up to fill the grid with uncapitalized, non-hyphenated dictionary words. You won't find anything like LONG-LOST or STOCKHOLM in here, but note that you might find something like AFGHAN or JOEY, since those words have uncapitalized dictionary meanings in addition to their use as proper nouns.

This week's contest answer is seven letters long and is comprised of the letters represented by 5, 7, 8, 15, 22, 23 and 24 in this week's Kaidoku (though not in that order). E-mail it to me at crosswordcontest@gmail.com by Tuesday at noon ET. Please put the contest answer in the subject line of your e-mail.

To print the puzzle out, click on the image below and hit "print" on your browser. No Across Lite this week since the applet doesn't support Kaidoku, so pencil and paper it is (copy the image below to Paint or a similar program if you don't have printer access).

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

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