MGWCC #148 -- Friday, April 1st, 2011 -- "Opening Day"

Good afternoon, crossword fans -- welcome to Week 148 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.


March's first three metas were on the easy side, with 364, 302 and 288 solvers figuring them out. Last week's finale was anything but easy, as just 47 entrants submitted the correct six-letter surname, which was NEWTON.

The puzzle's four theme entries read:


Two-word phrases beginning with two-letter words? Seems suspicious. Grid with a lot of names in it? Also suspicious. But how does it all tie together?

Each of those two-letter words is in fact the initials of a famous person referenced by the second word in the phrase. So actor GARY OLDMAN is a Hollywood G.O. -- and both his first and last names are found in the grid (at 13-d and 10-d).

Similarly we find music pioneer BRIAN ENO at 40-a and 61-a, while three-term U.S. senator ALFONSE D'AMATO hides in plain sight at 25-d and 45-d.

But what of the fourth entry, IN ADDITION? We see ISAAC crossing it at 38-across...but there's no suitable surname hidden in the grid. Who could an "Isaac N." known for addition be? None other than the great mathematician (among other things) Isaac NEWTON, making his surname our contest answer.

This week's winner, whose name was chosen at random from the 47 correct entries received, is Bob Klahn of Wilmington, Del. Bob has selected as his prize an autographed copy of The Pocket Idiot's Guide to Brain Games.


Tim Platt points out that my clue for 4-down is wrong: THO can be either a conjunction or an adverb, but it's not a preposition. Whoops -- I bet everyone put ERE in there.


42 solvers submitted the correct contest answer to all four of March's challenges (SALT, PASTA, JOHN McNEILL, NEWTON ). The following ten lucky and skillful winners, chosen randomly from that group, will receive a MGWCC pen, pencil and notepad set:

Jared Banta -- Superior, Colo.

Howard Barkin -- Hillsborough, N.J.

Abby Braunsdorf -- Lafayette, Ind.

Jason Chan -- Urbana, Ill.

Roy Denham -- Capon Bridge, W. Va.

Julian Lim -- Singapore, Singapore

Annette Otis -- Alexandria, Va.

Ned Robert -- Los Gatos, Calif.

Jane and Armand Van Nimmen -- Vienna, Austria

Kirsten Weiblen -- Yellow Spring, W. Va.

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


Check out this highly original new crossword from Patrick Blindauer. It features an extremely clever theme concept I wish I'd thought of myself. Took me 10:02 to solve -- beat that!


This week's contest answer is a Major League Baseball team. E-mail it to me at crosswordcontest@gmail.com by Tuesday at noon ET. Please put the contest answer team 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 either solve on the applet below or download the free software here, then join the Google Group (1,476 members now!) here.

Solve well, don't get fooled, and be not led astray by words intended to deceive.

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