MGWCC #119 -- Friday, September 10th, 2010 -- "Stuck in the Middle With U"

Good afternoon, crossword fans -- welcome to Week 119 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.


It was national pun week at MGWCC -- but which nation was punned upon? MONGOLIA, of course, which 303 solvers found from the following four groaners:

{Lack of desire to join this country's empire?}=NO HORDE FEELINGS
{Serious herder insult in this country?}=YOU DON'T KNOW YAK
{Talk back to one's parents, in this country's desert region?}=ACT AS A GOBI TEEN
{This country's national house, about to be struck by lightning?}=YURT IN FOR A SHOCK

HORDE (see here), YAK, GOBI and YURT (see photo above) could only point to one place: wild and landlocked MONGOLIA.

Again, many solvers got into the spirit of the theme in their e-mails. Mark Halpin writes:

I think you pulled that one off with a certain ulan; bator even than last week's.

Erik Agard, evidently finding the puzzle too easy, says:

You really need to steppe your game up.

And Jim Sempsrott writes that he's...

Just doing the best I Khan.

Due to the extremely low quality of these puns, Mark, Erik and Jim are hereby banned from MGWCC for one thousand years. Genghis would approve.

Some non-pun puzzle notes:

Dave Howard found something interesting the grid:

I notice that 22A - IMO and 45A - LOGAN anagram to MONGOLIA!?
I don't know WHY that is so, but you've conditioned me to look for any
extra confirmation outside of the obvious theme entries...

Easter egg or sheer coincidence? I'll never tell.

And finally, Jonathan Porat notes the timeliness of the theme:

Appropriate meta considering all the barbecuing done this weekend.

He means this:


This week's winner, whose name was chosen at random from the 303 correct entries received, is Drew Applefield of Carrboro, N.C. Drew has selected as his prize an autographed copy of The Pocket Idiot's Guide to Kaidoku.


Joon Pahk has a very simple and very amusing dictionary game up here.

New words loaded daily, and note the coolest feature: after you've figured out Joon's mystery word of the day, you can track the words other players guessed to get there as well.


This week's contest answer is a word meaning "unknown factor."
E-mail this word to me at crosswordcontest@gmail.com by Tuesday at noon ET. Please put the contest answer word 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 (1,321 members now!) here.


In addition to a MGWCC pen, pencil and notepad set, this week's winner will receive an autographed copy of Gryptics, the debut book from Toronto puzzle writer Les Foeldessy. I'd never heard of Les or Gryptics before last week, but I zipped through my copy in about an hour -- they're kinda addictive. Check out samples at his site.

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

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