MGWCC #154 -- Friday, May 13th, 2011 -- "Meeting Place"

Good afternoon, crossword fans -- welcome to Week 154 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.


A cruciverbal era draws to an end: the great MAURA JACOBSON has announced her retirement from New York Magazine's crossword page after more than three decades.

The meta wasn't tough -- Maura's name was simply the answer to 69-across -- but there was a gimmick, too: 341 solvers found the letters in MAURA in consecutive circles in the puzzle's theme entries:

And then finally TRAUMATIZED at 38-down, clued as {What 69-across's fans are, now that she's retiring}.

Eric Berman

She’s retiring? I AM traumatized.

Jeffrey Harris
had an early theme guess:

Before I got any letters for the central down entry, I thought it was going to be D-MAURA-LIZED.

Dan White:

My wife Sue and I volunteer teach at an inner city boy’s college prep high school. Yesterday was the commitment ceremony, where students announce where they will go to college.

A young English teacher, an NYU grad, was sitting near us. Sue was working on your puzzle, which I had finished. Our colleague said, “Did you know that my favorite
crossword constructor is retiring?” I snatched your puzzle from Sue and asked our colleague to look at the clue and answer to 69 across. She was delighted.

Small world.

Stephen Fineman

Greatly enjoyed the trivia-style clues and the many, many 80's references brought me back to the days of watching Mom solve the New York Magazine crossword every week, then helping her, and eventually splitting the crossword in half (including a dotted line in the center row or column). Perfect for Mother's Day!

And finally, Hugh Murphy sings the lady's praises:

Maura Jacobson has been a favorite of mine (and everyone else) for as long as I can remember. Her first Sunday NYT was in 1955 and she has had one puzzle in each ACPT since its inception. One of my favorite of her clues was Sex on the reservation in a puzzle entitled "Movies You May Have Missed." The answer: LUST OF THE MOHICANS. Another ACPT puzzle with a Noah's Ark theme had GNU ARK, GNU JERSEY as an entry.

I've done, and enjoyed, hundreds of her classics over the years.

Congratulations to Maura on her long and stellar run at New York Magazine. The magazine's crosswords will henceforth be written by Cathy Allis, a fine and deserving choice of successor.

This week's winner, whose name was chosen at random from the 341 correct entries received, is Katie Bates of Somerville, Mass. Katie has selected as her prize an autographed copy of The Pocket Idiot's Guide to Brain Games.


This week's contest answer is a major U.S. city. E-mail it to me at crosswordcontest@gmail.com by Tuesday at noon ET. Please put the contest answer city 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 (1,495 members now!) here. To solve with friends at Team Crossword, click here.

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

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