MGWCC #090 -- Thursday, February 18, 2010 -- "London Match"

Good afternoon, crossword fans -- welcome to Week 90 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.

NOTE: This week's crossword is going up a day early so people heading to the ACPT will have something to do on the plane/train. I'm also extending the deadline for this puzzle to Wednesday at noon ET to give tournament solvers a little elbow room.


Oh, yes -- OHNO was last week's contest crossword answer. 14-across wasn't just a cry of lament, it was also the surname of 5-time Olympic medalist Apolo Anton OHNO.

Well...he was a 5-timer when I wrote the puzzle, but he won a sixth on Sunday and goes for a seventh this weekend, so who knows. The main point is that he's won all three colors of Olympic medal, as stipulated in both the instructions and in the three theme puns, each of which riffs off a medal color. Solution at top left.

I specifically searched the grid for alternate answers, but didn't see any names that popped out as worth Wikipediaing. Surely some random word in my grid wouldn't also happen to be an Olympic gold, silver and bronze winner, right?

Right...but it was really close. Jim Kaye found this Swiss curler with two Olympic silvers:


That's got to be one of the oddest pics on Wikipedia...Ott is the one on the left!

Several solvers mentioned Stephen Eaton, a discus thrower in recent Paralympics Games. I might have been inclined to accept this answer, except that Eaton has won "only" the gold and bronze, not silver.

This week's winner, whose name was chosen at random from the 266 correct entries received, is Josh Shellman of Angier, N.C. Josh has selected as his prize an autographed copy of Sip & Solve Hard Crosswords.


Now I have an excuse to post this great Olympics video, where Apolo Anton Ohno won his first silver. The race is more known for its surprise ending that gave Steven Bradbury Australia's first ever Winter Olympics gold:



A mere 14 entries to the Hard Luck Contest! So people don't feel as unlucky as I imagined. Winner and selected "I-can't-believe-I-still-haven't-won" rants coming tomorrow.


This was interesting -- I received a total of 16 Hard Luck Contest entries (a couple of stragglers showed up in the past 24 hours). Of these, four were clearly jokes (one had only entered the contest twice). One of the remaining twelve was ineligible since he'd won a monthly prize. So I had 11 legitimate entries to work with.

Oddly enough, I couldn't find a single entrant who had really, truly had awful luck in MGWCC. It's easy for me to check entrants' numbers, and several had their hard luck stories skewered by my relentless statistical assault. Odds are often tough to calculate anyway, and winning a weekly prize ain't as easy as it used to be 15 or 18 months ago.

So without a clear statistical winner I decided to go for the funniest rant. I don't yet have permission from the sender of this to reproduce her name and city/state, but I'll go ahead and cite some of her words anonymously here:

I have been with you since puzzle #1 when no one knew about you and now, with more than now-89-puzzle-options-to-win-something increasing every week, I my win-to-submission odds are rapidly diminishing every week. How many solutions have I sent in? I don't know. A conservative estimate? I'm guessing there are at easily 40+ correct (*correct*) solution emails and what do I get from you?

Well... Oh, okay... you always reply. So thanks for that. Really.

But, hey, come on. I advertised you and spread the word, and LJed about you and FBed about you and emailed links to you to all my fantastically talented crossword buddies and THEY HAVE ALL WON AT LEAST ONCE. And while my undying loyalty to you continues, unabated, including but not limited to my financial support for you...I have won what? I'll tell you what: Nothing. That's right. Nothing. Bupkis. Nada. Goose egg. Null. Void. Nothing. Not one damn thing.

You know, come to think of it, I haven't even seen one of my clever emails, sent with my solutions EVERY TIME, chosen for quoting purposes. But winning a pen or a measly pad of paper? Not me.

So, Matt Gaffney, I don't want your stinking HARD LUCK award. I don't need no stinkin' award just for being pathetic. Give it to some newcomer who got on the bandwagon last month, all full of hope and brains and, oh, I don't know, skill. Go ahead. I don't care. Really. They deserve it.


A runner-up pen will also go to Jeffrey Krasnick, who submitted a Top 10 list of Reasons He Should Win the Hard Luck Prize. Highlights:

7) I've been in every province and I still didn't win the freakin' Canadian postal abbreviation contest.

6) Four other Jeffreys have won; what's one more?

5) The Olympics are here in BC and three other BC readers have already won.

3) I am thinking of donating to your site.

2) I spent a whole weekend looking at freakin' quarters for nothing.

1) I told my wife that I won all those puzzle books that keep arriving in the mail.


After a nice little six-month run, The Daily Beast has decided to axe the weekly crossword I'd been writing for them. It was fun while it lasted, and I'd like to thank the magazine for running the feature and in particular my editor there, Michael Solomon, for his contributions to the puzzle.


February has somehow become Sports Month here at MGWCC! I'm pretty sick of looking at snow, so this week's contest answer is a sport featured in the Summer Olympics -- a sport you'll need to do a little of for this meta. E-mail it to me at crosswordcontest@gmail.com by Wednesday at noon ET. Please put the contest answer in the subject line of your e-mail. [UPDATE, 2/18, 7:00 PM ET -- several solvers have noted that there is no clue for 72-across. I left no clue at 72-across on purpose, but in the exporting process the clue number was cut off. There's a new clue there now, and the printable file on the site and in the archives have both been changed.]

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 (1,081 members now!) here.

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

1 comment:

Bacigirl said...

I just wanted to thank you for the last 6 months of wonderful weekend crosswords. I am sorry that the DB did not keep this up, as I looked forward to coming home Friday from work & printed out your crosswords. I am at a loss & will have to do something like read a book instead until you inform us of your future endeavor. Cheers & good luck!