MGWCC #094 -- Friday, March 19th, 2010 -- "What Kind of An Idiot...?"

Good afternoon, crossword fans -- welcome to Week 94 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.


What do obscure Florentine painter ONORIO MARINARI, circus impresario JOHN RINGLING, "The Facts of Life" star LISA WHELCHEL, and Dickens title character SAMUEL PICKWICK have in common? Their eight-letter surnames follow the amusing pattern 1-2-3-4-5-2-3-4.

What famous 20th-century American author's surname fits into this category as well? 162 solvers grokked it -- ROBERT HEINLEIN, who was last week's contest answer word.

Puckishly I had slipped Heinlein's full name into last week's post, at 28-down in the solution for MGWCC #092: {Robert Heinlein-coined word meaning "to understand deeply"}, which was GROK.

Via a database search Seth Grossinger found a name I missed: NFL coach Mike SHANAHAN. Seth explains this very nice find (and Alex Boisvert weighs in with his own extremely thorough search) in comments here.

Tim Tebbe (who also found Mike SHANAHAN) wonders:

Let's see...did Sean Bean ever write a book?

While Christy Meisler writes:

Before I got SOBE for 53-down, I was pondering _O_E. "Pepsi can't possibly have bought Coke! I would've heard!"

This week's winner, whose name was chosen at random from the 162 correct entries received, is Nancy Taubenslag of Yonkers, N.Y. Nancy has selected as her prize an autographed copy of The Pocket Idiot's Guide to Brain Games.


Several solvers (including, appropriately, Peter Washington) pointed out that WSU (46-down) is in Pullman, Washington, not Walla Walla.


This week's contest answer is the four-letter entry at 76-across. 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. NOTE: in the past I've been lenient about accepting second answers from solvers who've had a sudden revelation after submitting an incorrect first answer. This week, each solver is strictly permitted only one entry, so make sure you're right before you send yours in!

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 (1,138 members now!) here.

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

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