MGWCC #080 -- Friday, Dec. 11th, 2009 -- "Flip Answer"

Good afternoon, crossword fans -- welcome to Week 80 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.


We're doing December backwards, so last week's puzzle and meta were the toughest of the month (I think). Ergo I was a little impressed that 140 solvers figured out the fairly subtle theme: each of the four theme entries contained a sequence of four letters in reverse alphabetical order. So we had:


Entries were in reverse alphabetical order, naturally -- all the way up to the title, CRAZY XWORD, which was itself another example of the theme.

Two solvers sent along related strings:

***Dave White points out that the backwardly sequential MLKJ is the initials of Martin Luther King, Jr....

***...while Peter Gordon mentions a 2006 New York Sun crossword entry in a puzzle written by Alan Olschwang: OVERSTUFFED CHAIR, which contains both a forward 4-letter sequence (RSTU) and a backward one (CDEF).

Last week's winner, whose name was chosen at random from the 140 correct entries submitted, is Tim Noonan of Delmar, N.Y. In addition to a MGWCC pen, pencil and notepad set, Tim will receive a 50-puzzle subscription to Peter Gordon's new Fireball Crosswords (almost 300 subscribers!)


Several solvers (Meg Duvall was the first) pointed out that I botched the name of Virginia's current governor, who is Tim Kaine, not Tom Kaine.

And I live in which state? Virginia...


Last week I challenged solvers to figure out the logic by which November's 10 monthly prize winners were listed. Just 14 solvers realized they were arranged in alphabetical order by state capital (or provincial capital, in the case of Ontario).

Since fewer than the 20 people stipulated actually entered (you slackers!) I chose one of the 14 at random to win the coveted MGWCC pen. That winner is Jason Chan of Urbana, Ill.


Amy Reynaldo's Diary of a Crossword Fiend blog has a whole new look! Go poke around -- maybe try Joon Pahk's recent freestyle 15x15 here, or Rex Parker's latest here.


This week's contest answer is a word whose length is revealed in the entry at 39-across. E-mail it to me at crosswordcontest@gmail.com by Tuesday at noon ET. Please put the contest answer word in the subject line of your e-mail.[UPDATE, 12/11, 3 PM ET: OK, this might turn out to be tougher than last week's -- maybe a lot tougher! An hour after posting, only two correct answers have come in. Yikes!][UPDATE #2, 12/11, 4 PM: two hours after posting and we're still only up to 7 correct entries. No doubt about it, this is a toughie.]

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 Google Group (993 members now!) here.

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

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