11/12/10

MGWCC #128 -- Friday, Nov. 12th, 2010 -- "The Abridged Version"

Good afternoon, crossword fans -- welcome to Week 128 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.


LAST WEEK'S RESULTS:


Simple, right? The eight nouns comprising last week's theme are derived from ARABIC, which made that language our contest answer. Yet just 236 solvers submitted a correct entry, a rather low total for the month's first puzzle, so maybe not so simple.

Those answers were:

ALGEBRA MAGAZINE
GHOUL ADMIRAL
CIPHER ELIXIR
SHERBET ASSASSIN

Paul David Wadler writes:

Thanks for the puzzle; it made a great sofa safari on a Friday afternoon.

While Marie desJardins says:

This week's puzzle was of high caliber. As I solved, though, the answers seemed garbled, and I had zero idea as to the solution. I was at the nadir of my solving, crimson with frustration, when suddenly kismet shone upon me, and I hazarded a guess that perhaps the language of origin was the answer. Quickly I soared to the zenith of success, recognizing the Arabic origin of "algebra" and verifying the origin of the other words.

Checkmate!


Why ARABIC? It turns out that almost every other language possesses a quality rendering it unsuitable for this meta: too few words contributed to English (most languages), or far too many (Latin, Greek, French, et al.), or the language itself is so distinctive looking and the origin of its loan words so recognizable that the meta would be blindingly obvious (a grid filled with theme entries like RIGATONI AGITATO or SAMURAI SUSHI wouldn't stump anyone).

That Arabic is written in a non-Roman alphabet also helped, its loan words having been transliterated into unrecognizability in most cases.

This week's winner, whose name was chosen at random from the 236 correct entries received, is Nancy Domm of Tallahassee, Fla.. In addition to a MGWCC pen, pencil and notepad set, Nancy will also receive a copy of Patrick Blindauer's new Puzzlefest.

THE NEW YORK TIMES CROSSWORD...CONTEST:

Congratulations to Mike Nothnagel on writing the first New York Times Crossword Contest. It's over now, but I sure wish I'd thought of that meta! Read about it here:

http://wordplay.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/11/11/contest-results/#more-48121

ERRATUM:

Seven solvers pointed out that at 31-across last week, you don't LOSE A day traveling eastward over the International Date Line, you gain one. Hope I didn't mess up anyone's travel plans there.

THIS WEEK'S INSTRUCTIONS:

This week's contest answer is a four-letter food that should be in this crossword grid, but isn't. E-mail this food 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 (1,361 members now!) here.



SPECIAL PRIZE THIS WEEK:

One last time: in addition to a MGWCC pen, pencil and notepad set, next week's winner will receive a copy of Patrick Blindauer's new Puzzlefest. I look forward to solving it this weekend myself!

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

No comments: