MGWCC #099 -- Friday, April 23rd, 2010 -- "Out of Order"

Good afternoon, crossword fans -- welcome to Week 99 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.


Pick a card, any card -- as long as it's the 10 OF DIAMONDS, which was last week's contest answer. Solution at lower left.

211 solvers process-of-eliminationed their way via the four theme entries, each of which narrowed the search down to the parenthetical number of cards appended to each clue. They were:

REMAIN IN THE RED -- meaning we're looking for a red card, so (26) left
THAT'S NOT ORGAN-IC -- ergo it's not a heart (organ), leaving (13) diamonds
NO LETTERS, PLEASE -- eliminating A, K, Q and J, so (9) cards remain
THE ROYAL FAMILY -- indicating a royal flush component (1)...

...and the only card left satisfying all four conditions is The Big Casino itself, the 10 OF DIAMONDS.

Many solvers also noticed the big hint at 1-across, where an asterisked clue and the answer TEND (a.k.a. 10-D) nudged them -- rather redundantly, I admit -- towards the correct answer as well. Some overlooked this hint completely, while others puzzled out its meaning quickly and felt it unnecessarily gave the meta away without a fight.

This week's winner, whose name was chosen at random from the 211 correct entries received, is Tim Platt of South Berwick, Me. Tim will receive a copy of Stand Alone's Crosswords for iPhone and a three-month subscription to Matt Gaffney's Daily Crossword for iPhone (MGDCi).


Five solvers pointed out that Hop-o'-My-Thumb is the name of the kid in the fairy tale of that name, not the OGRE (17-across).


To solve this week's contest put this puzzle's five theme entries in their correct chronological order. They're labeled A, B, C, D and E, so a sample answer would be "E-B-C-A-D". E-mail the correct order 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 (1,181 members now!) here.

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

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