MGWCC #105 -- Friday, June 4, 2010 -- "So That's Your Game!"

Good afternoon, crossword fans -- welcome to Week 105 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.


Like a delicate flower, the MGWCC tip jar opens just one time each year. And now's that time -- the site's 2-year anniversary! Scroll down for more details, or click the "donate" button to tip:


84 solvers successfully busted themselves out of prison last week. If you can't bribe the guards (64-across), can't climb the walls (11-down) and can't go through the doors (30-d), then you may want to DIG A TUNNEL, which was last week's contest answer. Solution at left.

Solvers learned at 41-across (YOU) that they themselves were the inmate to be freed. But what did the rest of that clue mean -- "or what the inmate must use to escape this mayhem, in a way"?

Well, YOU = U in wordplay circles, while that TAGID entry and clue at 45-across also seemed rather bizarre. And therein lay the escape path: place a U in the black square separating the entries TAG ID and LENN, and you've got your road to freedom: DIG A TUNNEL.

The prisoner gets outside the walls and the four guards are none the wiser, since the new entry UPRAISE works as well as PRAISE at 49-down for the clue {Place on a pedestal}. It's the crossword equivalent of Clint Eastwood putting that papier-mache head in his bed in "Escape from Alcatraz."

Nine solvers mentioned (and two submitted as their answer) PALS DIG A TUNNEL, using SLAP at 47-across. While there's no similar justification for tunneling under the relevant black square as exists for the U in DIG A TUNNEL, I'm nevertheless counting these two entries as correct since it's such an odd coincidence (and both entries did include the full DIG A TUNNEL, after all).

This week's winner, whose name was chosen at random from the 84 correct entries received, is Walt Blue of St. Paul, Minn. Walt has selected as his prize an autographed copy of Sip & Solve Hard Crosswords.

Several solvers who overlooked the tunnel devised elaborate escape routes of their own. Entries submitted include CLUB THE GUARDS, Take a U LADDER, and You sic the DOG on them and get the H out. But none was so intricate as this plan from Mike McCormick:

YOU are sitting in cell#41 and you TIP OFF MARTHA STEWART, LIVING nearby in cell#45 (on the insider trading rap), that there will be a jailbreak. You start a FIRE in the north part of the cell block. When the 2 north guards come in to check things out, the two of you leap from your hiding spots - "AHA, UHR in trouble". You beat them up and steal their uniforms. Reinforcements are on the way, so you DIG AT the westwardly wall....You then must get over to the south east side of the cell block but it's a snap since you have the guard uniforms with the TAG ID's on them. But getting out of the entire compound isn't so easy - you must sneak on the DHL truck heading south on the road to freedom. When the guards finally figure out what happened, they only thing they can tell the boss is "EXEUNT"...


Congratulations to the following 36 May-hem winners, each of whom will receive a MGWCC pen, pencil and notepad set. Twelve solvers went 3/3, submitting correct contest answers to the final three puzzles of the month, while 24 solvers went 4/4 in May. They are:


Joel Alderson -- Andover, Kan.

Howard Barkin -- Hillsborough, N.J.

Martin Cobern -- Cheshire, Conn.

John Farmer -- Woodland Hills, Calif.

Pete Mitchell -- Bow, N.H.

Ned Robert -- Los Gatos, Calif.

Brett Rose -- Chicago, Ill.

Marcia Rose -- Mequon, Wisc.

Christopher Shaw -- Washington, D.C.

Peter Washington -- Oakland, Calif.

Mike Weepie -- Cedar Rapids, Ia.

David Wild -- Washington, D.C.


Peter Abide* -- Biloxi, Miss.

Don Albright -- West Chester, Penna.

Jared Banta -- Superior, Colo.

Ross Beresford -- Kingsley, Penna.

Alex Boisvert -- Los Angeles, Calif.

Meg Duvall -- St. Petersburg, Fla.

Anne Erdmann -- Champaign, Ill.

Stephen Fineman* -- Morristown, N.J.

Anna Gundlach* -- Olympia, Wash.

Jeffrey Harris -- Hoboken, N.J.

Craig Kasper* -- Winnipeg, Man.

Bob Klahn -- Wilmington, Del.

Karen Horn -- Centennial, Colo.

Jeff Louie* -- Cambridge, Mass.

Nick Meyer

Timothy Mitchell -- Snohomish, Wash.

Hugh Murphy -- Wilmington, Del.

Mike Nothnagel -- Poughkeepsie, N.Y.

Joon Pahk -- Somerville, Mass.

Justin Smith -- Germantown, Md.

Ken Stern -- Brooklyn, N.Y.

Dave Sullivan -- Boston, Mass.

Tim Tebbe -- Minneapolis, Minn.

John L. Wilson -- Shoreview, Minn.

Asterisked names above indicate the five winners of an autographed copy of Crosswords to Make You Sweat. Their names were chosen randomly from the 24 solvers who went 4 for 4 in May (as specified in the results for May-hem Week 1).


Last week I challenged solvers to come up with their own crossword clue-style acrostics, a la Week 103's theme. Many funny ideas, which you can skim through here; entries begin about about halfway down through comments.

The winning clue, submitted by Michael Farabaugh, flows nicely -- so nicely that I probably would have used it instead of {Where every sunset terminates} had I thought of it myself:

Woman intending to cook Hansel

Michael will receive a MGWCC pen, pencil and notepad set for his winning clue.


It's that time of year -- this week only, the MGWCC Tip Jar is open for business. At midnight next Friday it shuts tighter than a venus flytrap, not to reopen again until summer 2011.

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This week's contest answer is a well-known board game. 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 (1,222 members now!) here.

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

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