MGWCC #093 -- Friday, March 12th, 2010 -- "Namegame"

Good afternoon, crossword fans -- welcome to Week 93 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.


Two of the 20 actors recently nominated for Oscars sported a partially palindromic name: ANNA KENDRICK and JEREMY RENNER. They joined Oscar role IDI AMIN, many-times Oscar host BOB HOPE, and more tangentially Oscar-related actresses MIRANDA OTTO and DARYL HANNAH as last week's theme entries.

Contest instructions asked (somewhat imprecisely -- see below) for a Best Picture winner that "would have made a good theme entry" in last week's puzzle. 220 solvers came up with 1950's Academy pick, ALL ABOUT EVE, which was last week's contest answer. Like the six theme entries, that film contains a palindromic name in its title.

This week's winners, whose names were chosen at random from the 220 correct entries received, are Jane and Armand Van Nimmen of Vienna, Austria (the first European winners of MGWCC). Jane and Armand have selected as their prize an autographed copy of The Pocket Idiot's Guide to Brain Games.

Would ALL ABOUT EVE really have made a good theme entry in last week's crossword? About two dozen solvers felt not -- "Grouped with the theme entries in your grid, it'd be a flagrant odd man out," one fellow constructor noted.

Which is true. I changed the wording of the contest instructions at the last minute, usually a mistake. Originally I had something like "has something in common with this week's theme entries," but then, just before posting, I thought that gave too much away. So I switched to the phrasing I used, but all six of the theme entries last week were two-word full names, so ALL ABOUT EVE wouldn't have fit precisely with them. I apologize if that wording threw anyone off.


Lots of great e-mail this week. Annette Otis writes:

ALL ABOUT EVE...vs. "All About Steve," which should have disqualified Sandra Bullock from winning an Oscar this year.

For those who may not know, Bullock played a crossword constructor last year in "All About Steve," a role for which she won a Worst Actress Razzie (one day before winning her Best Actress Oscar).

I thought I'd scoured the lists pretty well, but Leo Stein found a palindromic Oscar-winner whom I'd never even heard of!

And many solvers (Morris Feibusch was first) found an incorrect but interesting answer in KRAMER VS. KRAMER, which is a word-unit palindrome.

In last week's post I meant to include this hilarious entry from Pete Mitchell. He'd submitted the Risk territory GREENLAND as his contest answer, having found a series of cities hidden in the grid which surrounded that cold island.

What's so hilarious about this? Notice that one of his "cities" isn't a city at all...(click image to enlarge -- and vulgar language alert!)

Speaking of vulgar language, Chip Van Kirk writes:

I must admit that I fell prey to Rex's Parker's "Natick Principle" when it came to the crosses of 32-Across and 25-Down. I was very relieved to Google Hideo NOMO...

What's she talking about? Noam Elkies clarifies:

Who is Hideo Nofo? ;-)


This week's contest answer is one of the most famous American authors of the 20th century. E-mail this author's name 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 Google Group (1,125 members now!) here.

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

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