1/29/10

MGWCC #087 -- Friday, January 29, 2010 -- "Gimme Your Digits"

Good afternoon, crossword fans -- welcome to Week 87 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.


LAST WEEK'S RESULTS:

178 solvers noticed a pattern in last week's seven theme entries:

BE BRAVE
AT AGINCOURT
BY BUGGY
IN ISOLATION
GO GONZO
ON OCCASION
EL ESCORIAL

What's the common thread? Each entry consists of a two-letter word followed by a word that starts and ends with those same two letters (XY X...Y is another way several solvers expressed it).

Hunt the two lists of game show hosts provided and you'll find none other than TY TREADWAY, host of "Merv Griffin's Crosswords" during its 2007-2009 run. Also famous for being this week's contest answer.



Eric Maddy writes:

This shouldn't have taken me as long as it did -- I was on the show, I oughta be freaking familiar with the guy...

Other answers submitted:

HOWIE MANDEL -- 32 entries (this was a "blatant red herring," according to one solver, and I plead guilty. The parenthetical part of 33-across's clue explains the popularity of this answer, though it can't be counted as correct since it doesn't address the theme entries)

BOB BARKER -- 5 entries (these solvers noticed the alliteration, but not the full XY X...Y pattern)

ART LINKLETTER -- 4 entries ("a wild guess because of so many 'linked' letters," as one entrant put it)

BEN BAILEY -- 4 entries (entrant: "Not sure about this one, but I could imagine you watching 'Cash Cab'")

Plus a couple of ED MCMAHONs, then one each of PAT SAJAK, CHUCK WOOLERY and BOB GOEN.

This week's winner, whose name was chosen at random from the 178 correct entries received, is Tom McCormick of Richmond, B.C. Tom has chosen as his prize an autographed copy of Sip & Solve Hard Crosswords.

GIFT CARD PRIZES:

The following five winners, selected randomly from the 178 correct entries received, win $10 iTunes gift cards:

Foggy Brume -- Phoenix, Ariz.

Russ Cooper -- Phoenix, Ariz.

Lee Knutson -- Irvine, Calif.

Jonathan Porat -- Gainesville, Fla.

Joe Sampson -- New Hampton, N.H.


Congratulations to all winners!

DOUBTING THOMAS:

I stated last week that no solver had mentioned the slight asymmetry in MGWCC #085. But Thomas Brendel had indeed e-mailed me the week before:

It wasn't until after I'd finished the puzzle that I noticed you cheated the symmetry of the black squares.

CHINA VS. GOOGLE HEATS UP!


A traveling Jack Gaede writes:

China is blocking your website...I'd love to try this week's crossword contest, but I can't get to your site to download the file.

Withholding a traveling solver's access to crosswords? Not cool.

THIS WEEK'S INSTRUCTIONS:

This puzzle's two 15-letter entries will hint at what you need to send in as this week's contest answer. E-mail your answer to me at crosswordcontest@gmail.com by Tuesday at noon ET. Please put the contest answer in the subject line of your e-mail.

SPECIAL PRIZES (AGAIN!) THIS WEEK:

One more time! Five randomly selected solvers this week will win $10 gift cards from the iTunes store. These prizes are sponsored by Stand Alone, creators of Crosswords for iPhone.

As I mentioned last week, I'm working with Stand Alone on a very cool project that I'll write more about in the near future.

[Note: as with last week, a normal book prize will also be awarded to a randomly-chosen solver this week, unaffected by the gift card prizes.]

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 (1,053 members now!) here.



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

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