MGWCC #062 -- Friday, August 7, 2009 -- "Give It a Whack"

Good afternoon, crossword fans -- welcome to Week 62 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.


Dontcha hate it when people give away the ending? In last week's puzzle, the (clue) ending itself gave away the answer in eleven cases.

Solvers plowed through a very difficult crossword to come up with the following riddle spread among the theme entries:


Solvers then noticed that eleven of the clues in the grid ended with their answers. They were:

1-A {Rammed, as with one's truck}
7-A {Effortlessly fooled}
10-A {No longer interested in, as a former lover}
25-A {Animal found on prairie land}
55-A {Sign you may be a touch ill}
70-A {Light watercraft}
71-A {Water, pour Cousteau}
75-A {If your boat's facing west, it's eastern}
3-D {Apparently angered}
12-D {Fours and sixes, but not sevens}
23-D {Not here}

Take the first letter of each ending-revealing clue (emboldened above), anagram them, and you've got July's final answer: FINAL ANSWER? -- which we've all heard Regis asking nervous contestants on "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?"

The anagram itself stumped (or caused stumbles for, at least) many solvers, who naturally went looking for WHO / WHAT / WHY / WHERE / WHEN / HOW in that H-less mix and got a little perplexed not to find any of those natural question words.

This week's winner, whose name was chosen at random from the 104 correct entries submitted, is Julian Lim of Philadelphia, Penna. Julian has selected as his prize an autographed copy of Gridlock.


Tough month of puzzles here at MGWCC -- from the 232 solvers who got the first puzzle of the month, only 25 wound up also getting all of the next four. The following lucky ten were chosen at random from that group and will receive a MGWCC pen, pencil and notepad set. Congratulations!

Martin Allen -- New London, Conn.

Thomas Brendel -- Atlanta, Ga.

Joanna Cheng -- Canberra, Australia

Jeremy Horwitz -- San Francisco, Calif.

Randie Lipkin -- New York City, N.Y.

Pete Mitchell -- Bow, N.H.

Tim Mitchell -- Snohomish, Wash.

Matthew Perez-Stable -- Fairview Park, O.

Spencer Thomas
-- Ann Arbor, Mich.

John L. Wilson -- Shoreview, Minn.


Brendan Quigley
and I are running an amusing cruciverbal experiment on our sites today. I was wondering a few weeks ago whether a crossword constructor could use any random phrase as a theme entry, coming up with the theme itself only after settling on a phrase.

Brendan thought that was an interesting question, so he and I asked Rex Parker to seed us a phrase, and we both built a theme around it. Solve both Brendan's and my puzzle today and you'll see what the phrase was! I intended this to be a friendly competition between BEQ and me, but in the end my worthy "opponent" gave me a major assist on my theme so it wound up as more of a co-optition. I'll post a full write-up about that next week so future crossword historians don't have to guess.

This week's contest answer is the theme entry Rex Parker gave Brendan and me to use in our puzzles today. 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. To solve using Across Lite download the free software here, then join the burgeoning Google Group (734 members!) here.

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

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