MGWCC #122 -- Friday, October 1st, 2010 -- "Double Time"

Good afternoon, crossword fans -- welcome to Week 122 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.


An impressive 279 solvers found contest answer word TANG (or TAXING) last week. I'd been expecting fewer that half of that number, but solvers weren't fooled and set a new last-of-the-month MGWCC record.

Seven clues in the grid made little sense with their given clues. Only when a certain Roman numeral was inserted did they match up correctly:

2-d {Geometry spokes} yielded the illogical RAD, but with the addition of the Roman numeral II it became the correct RADII. Similarly:

4-d {Not deceased} = ALE +IV = ALIVE
16-d {Football player such as Fran Tarkenton or Randy Moss} = EKING +XVI = EX-VIKING (the favorite theme entry of almost every solver who expressed an opinion)
20-d {"Put a Tiger in Your Tank" company} = EON +XX = EXXON
56-a {Working, as a crossword puzzle} = SONG +LVI = SOLVING
58-d {Very difficult, like dealing with the IRS?} = TANG + XI = TAXING
59-a {Fancy word meaning "overly wordy"} = PRO +LIX = PROLIX

Which of these seven was "located in the wrong place in the grid," as contest instructions stipulated? In six of these seven cases the inserted Roman numeral matches the word's clue number, such as XX inserted at 20-down. But TANG takes a Roman 11 to make TAXING, not its clue number (58). That makes TANG/TAXING last week's contest answer.

Geoff Mitelman

Because Talviiing doesn't seem like it's a word!

Was the meta too easy? Rocky Schwarz thinks so:

Not as taxing as last week's puzzle!

Too easy for a month ender, though solvers experienced a nice aha moment. Lorraine Barg writes:

While staring (and staring) at EON and wondering what to do with the missing XX, my eyes fell on the 20, and I got that awesome rush of adrenaline that accompanies sudden realization.

While Noam Elkies speculates:

I expect solvers will find this one DE[VI]LISH.

This week's winner, whose name was chosen at random from the 279 correct entries received, is Nancy Fay of Garden City, N.Y. Nancy has selected as her prize an autographed copy of TV Crosswords.


52 solvers submitted the correct contest answer to all four of September's puzzles (MONGOLIA, JOKER, PRIUS and TANG/TAXING). The following ten lucky winners, chosen randomly from that group, will receive a MGWCC pen, pencil and notepad set:

Jan Bruce -- Bristol, Tenn.

Steve Gunter -- Raleigh, N.C.

George & Katie Hill -- Grand Junction, Colo.

Thomas Hunter -- Ridley Park, Penna.

Patrick Leech -- Corvallis, Ore.

John Mangrich -- Orange, Calif.

Amy Reynaldo -- Chicago, Ill.

Matt Sandler -- Philadelphia, Penna.

Brent Warren -- Statesville, N.C.

Spencer Thomas -- Ann Arbor, Mich.

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


This week's contest answer is one of the most famous American comedians of the 20th century, who would have made an excellent theme entry in this puzzle. (If you're not up on your comedians, this week's contest answer is on this list). E-mail this comedian 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 (1,331 members now!) here.


In addition to a MGWCC pen, pencil and notepad set, this week's winner will receive a copy of Peter Gordon's new book Sunset Crosswords.

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

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