MGWCC #103 -- Friday, May 21st, 2010 -- MAY-HEM PUZZLE #3 -- "Premier League"

Good afternoon, crossword fans -- welcome to Week 103 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.


Philadelphia solver Matt Sandler writes about working last week's puzzle:

At first I was thinking--didn't he have someone look this over? There are a lot of singular/plural errors!

And indeed there were; eight to be precise, and they all erred in the same direction (a plural clue with a singular answer in the grid). But -- as Matt and 108 others figured out -- they weren't really errors, but rather keys to unlocking the metapuzzle.

Those eight clues and answers were:

9-a {Marks on the body} STIGMAta
16-a {Caterpillar covers} COCOONs
55-a {Arctic mammals} MUSKOXen
1-d {Wall paintings} FRESCOes
10-d {Forum garments} TOGAe
12-d {Kids of close friends, perhaps} GODCHILDren
40-d {Pudgy angels} CHERUBim
41-d {Environments} MILIEUx

The lowercase, emboldened letters above show the pluralization required to make these clues match up in number with their answers. Those 14 letters anagram into the grid entries at 49-a and 17-a, INSANE EXTREMES, which was last week's contest answer. It's also a good-enough-for-cryptic-crosswords definition of the wacky (=insane) endings (=extremes) you needed to add to pluralize these eight words.

Naturally several of these words (STIGMA, TOGA, etc.) can also be pluralized in English simply with an S, but how insane is that?

Brett Rose puzzled this meta out on the notepad he won in April (click image to enlarge):

This week's winner, whose name was chosen at random from the 109 correct entries received, is Ned Robert of Los Gatos, Calif. Ned has selected as his prize an autographed copy of Sip & Solve Hard Crosswords.


1) Hilarious and clever Brendan Quigley puzzle at his blog today, highly recommended (and well-timed).


Took me 8:51 in Across Lite, beat that!

2) I'm late on this, but a couple of weeks ago Mike Marcus sent in this cool photo of the Week 100 puzzle (click to enlarge; can you spot the unused G tile?):


This week's contest answer is a term used in football (American football, not soccer!). 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.

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 (1,210 members now!) here.[UPDATE 5/21, 3:00 PM ET: everyone's pointing out that the clue for 44-across is incorrect; YIELD signs are equilateral triangles, not right triangles. Not part of the meta, just a mistake!]

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

1 comment:

Alex said...

I thought yield signs were equilateral triangles? In any case, equilateral triangles are also isosceles.