MGWCC #156 -- Friday, May 27th, 2011 -- "Marginal Effort"

Good afternoon, crossword fans -- welcome to Week 156 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.


What was the common thread among the five literary works in last week's puzzle theme? 224 solvers found it: each of the five were written by authors who use two initials instead of a first name:

17-a GOOSEBUMPS (R.L. Stine)
22-a STUART LITTLE (E.B. White)
23-d RAGTIME (E.L. Doctorow)
49-a THE WASTELAND (T.S. Eliot)
58-a RUMBLE FISH (S.E. Hinton)

Is there a 10-letter book-related word you can make from those five authors' initials? Sure is: BESTSELLER, which was last week's contest answer word.

Erica Pannen writes:

A little thinking SHEW'D me the answer (Stine, Hinton, Eliot, White, Doctorow).

Christy Meisler found an Easter Egg:

We see you hiding there (last letter of 5-down through last letter of 24 down :)

Bob Lundegaard says:

I thought at first you were going for belles-lettres, but you were a TEL short.

And finally, Noam Elkies conjures up one way he might have solved the meta:

5 theme entries to get a 10-letter answer, so I guess I'll want to get
two letters from each one. Looks like they're all of even length,
so they have a two-letter center:


looks like it's going to anagram to BESTSELLER, which fits with the
puzzle title. But 23D:RAGTIME has odd length. OK, so I'll take
the first and last letters instead for the missing RE.

Uh-oh, this gives me one S and two T's rather than other way around.
Well, it's a good guess anyway. Maybe I'm supposed to anagram the
initials of the authors' names or something.

This week's winner, whose name was chosen at random from the 224 correct entries received, is Lance Nathan of Arlington, Mass. Lance has selected as his prize an autographed copy of Gridlock.


Ed Brody didn't submit an answer to MGWCC #154. Here's why:

Sorry I missed last week's puzzle. Was on the way to attend my daughter's college graduation in ... ST LOUIS.


This week's contest answer is an eight-letter word. E-mail it to me at crosswordcontest@gmail.com by Wednesday (note extra day) at noon ET. Please put the contest answer word in the subject line of your e-mail. [UPDATE, 2:50 PM, 5/27: Peter Gordon points out that the clue at 45-down is incomplete. It's supposed to read {Super Bowl XI winning coach}.

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 (1,505 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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