MGWCC #118 -- Friday, September 3rd, 2010 -- "Outer Space"

Good afternoon, crossword fans -- welcome to Week 118 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.


W or T? That was the question successful metapuzzlers asked themselves last week. They'd noticed that five squares in the grid could take either a W or a T to satisfy both the across and down clues. These ten ambiguous entries were:

8-A {Made a decision (to)} led to either VOwED or VOtED.
10-D {From which point} = wHENCEFORTH or tHENCEFORTH
16-A {Set aside} = ALLOw FOR or ALLOt FOR
17-D {Like an old shirt's fabric} = wORN or tORN
22-A {They move big things around} = TOwERS or TOtERS
24-D {Approximate location} = wHEREABOUTS or tHEREABOUTS
37-A {Enveloped entirely} = wRAPPED or tRAPPED
37-D {Enclosed space at one end of the human life cycle} = wOMB or tOMB (favorite theme entry pair/clue of almost all solvers who expressed an opinion)
57-A {Dominate, in a way} = wALK OVER or tALK OVER
53-D {Ground rule double, e.g.} = SwAT or StAT

Contest instructions asked for "the grid entry that spells out the trick," which led 147 solvers to contest answer WORT at 63-across. Parsed correctly, that spells out the relevant question for this theme -- W or T? Solution at left, with the numeral 3 in the W/T spaces (how do you put two letters in an Across Lite file again? I used to know, but forgot).

Many solvers got into the spirit of the thing. Jared Dashoff asks:

Wherein lies the rub? Therein.

While Tim Tebbe writes:

Hunched over my laptop, I worked on your crossword #irelessly.

And Stephen Fineman opines:

Your use of black squares this week was quite _asteful.

Finally, Garrett Hildebrand sends in this account of his solve with MGWCC veterans Mike Iglesias and John Lenning:

I was sitting at lunch with John and Mike and we were
separately working the grid when this conversation happened:

John - "What would this be on 22A for 'They move big things
around'... I have TO_ERS?"

Mike - "It is TOTERS"

John - "That's kind of lame."

Me - "Not toters, but TOWERS, I think.

John - "Ah, I like that better"

Mike - "Not me. I like TOTERS"

Me - "Yeah, okay, but don't you think that WHEREABOUTS
makes more sense?"

Mike - "No, I like THEREABOUTS better."

Me - "Well, I think that is a W, but if it makes you
happy, just keep your T. It won't really matter
anyway unless these words are somehow involved in
the meta.

This week's winner, whose name was chosen at random from the 147 correct entries received, is Mike Lewis of Cedar Falls, Ia.


47 solvers submitted the correct contest answer to all four of August's puzzles (MARTINI, JETBLUE, ODIE, and WORT). The following ten lucky winners, chosen randomly from that group, will receive a MGWCC pen, pencil and notepad set:

Jared Banta -- Superior, Colo.

Russ Cooper -- Phoenix, Ariz.

Rich Dobkin -- Chatsworth, Calif.

Peter Gordon -- Great Neck, N.Y.

Craig Harman -- Alexandria, Va.

John & Lisa LaFianza -- Glen Rock, N.J.

James Layland -- Blue Springs, Mo.

Pete Rimkus -- Ashford, Conn.

Nancy Taubenslag -- Yonkers, N.Y.

Chris Williams -- Cambridge, Mass.

Congratulations to our ten winners, and to everyone who went 4-for-4 in August.


This week's contest answer is the name of a country.
E-mail it to me at crosswordcontest@gmail.com by Tuesday at noon ET. Please put the contest answer country 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 (1,312 members now!) here.

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

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