MGWCC #150 -- Friday, April 15th, 2011 -- "Form Follows Function"

Good afternoon, crossword fans -- welcome to Week 150 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.


Bom dia! 310 solucionadores descobriram que era a palavra PORTUGAL na semana passada a resposta de concurso. They noticed that the eight letters in that country's name were the only letters used in the entire puzzle grid.

Which made, as you might imagine, for some less-than-stellar fill: Lake POOPO, composer TORU Takemitsu, BMW co-founder Franz Josef POPP, and the palindromic Bolivian city of ORURO (which lies almost directly on Lake POOPO, in case you didn't know!).

Silver lining: picking up on the meta helped solvers unravel the tough fill, since there were only eight letters any given square could be! Besides, one person's mystery entry is another's grid highlight, as classical music author/aficionado Joshua Kosman illustrates:

And of course I love the inclusion of Takemitsu!

Hitting all four theme entries, Len Elliott reminisces:

Ah, Portugal...my wife and I went on a Rick Steves tour of Spain and Portugal in 2009. Our vacation from our vacation was a day on the beach at Cabo Sao de Vicente. We enjoyed the Fado Museum in Lisbon, the tour (and tasting) at the Sandeman Winery in Porto, and sardines and other fish at restaurants in Coimbra.

Matthew Perez-Stable asks:

think you might run into nosferatu there?

And finally, Jon Delfin cleverly pretended to miss the meta by wishing me:

Good luck on the LPGA TOUR.

This week's winner, whose name was chosen at random from the 310 correct entries received, is Wayne Jones of Worcester, N.Y. Wayne has selected as his prize an autographed copy of Gridlock.


It's that time again! Have your faithful and diligent efforts at MGWCC gone heretofore unrewarded? Have you been eligible for weekly and monthly prizes more times than you can count, yet never had your name picked from the hat? Then now is your time for redemption -- and prizes!

Send me your hard luck story of MGWCC prizelessness at crosswordcontest@gmail.com by noon ET on Tuesday. A paragraph or two will suffice -- outline your tale of woe, supplemented with facts and figures ("I've been eligible to win the monthly prize 17 times...") and we'll see if this isn't your lucky week. Don't be shy about using words like "heartbreaking," "crushed," and "crestfallen." These can only help your cause!

The solver with the hardest luck story will win a MGWCC pen, pencil and notepad set. The solver with the second-hardest luck story will receive nothing and feel even worse than they did before the hard luck contest started!


This week's contest answer is the title of a 2000s pop song. E-mail it to me at crosswordcontest@gmail.com by Tuesday at noon ET. Please put the contest answer song 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 (1,478 members now!) here.


In addition to a MGWCC pen, pencil and notepad set, weekly prize winners this week and next will receive an autographed copy of Patrick Jordan's new book Crafty Crosswords. My copy is still en route but I'm very much looking forward to this one!

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

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