MGWCC #161 -- Friday, July 1st, 2011-- "Greece Is the Word"

Good afternoon, crossword fans -- welcome to Week 161 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.


"Hardest month ever, I think," a veteran MGWCC solver wrote me this week. He may be right -- just 91 correct entries for Week 3, and a hard-to-beat 73 right answers for Week 4.

Nudged by a few subtle hints -- the word "plot" in the title and two prominent references to the game Battleship in the grid -- those solvers figured out the key to the meta: six clues contained an alphanumeric sequence referencing a square in the puzzle grid. They were:

{A.1. targets} at 1-down, which was STEAKS
{Excellent source of vitamin B12} at 10-down, which was LIVER
{Exercise with an F-15, say} at 13-down, which was WAR GAME
{Part of the G7} at 33-down, which was ITALY
{City that I-10 runs through} at 26-down, which was MOBILE
{K2's superior} at 40-down, which was EVEREST

The emboldened letters above mark the points on the grid denoted in the clues (see solution graphic at left, stolen from Joon Pahk's writeup, with letters and numbers along the grid edge). Reading from top to bottom they spell SIMILE, which was last week's contest answer word. Also note that each of the six points falls within the answer to the clue in which it appears, e.g. the M in WAR GAME appears in box F-15, the coordinate given in WAR GAME's clue.

Since the instructions asked for a six-letter literary term, Dan Seidman writes:

If I hadn't figured it out I would have submitted TMESIS for old times' sake.

While Kate Washington got the right answer, but only after many literary dead ends:

Two literature PhDs in my household, and it turns out all that dissertation-writing time would have been better spent playing Battleship. (Lots of red herrings in your plot...)

This week's winner, whose name was chosen at random from the 73 correct entries received, is Joe Fendel of Berkeley, Calif. In addition to a MGWCC pen, pencil and notepad set, Joe will also receive a copy of Brendan Quigley's entertaining new 21x21 freestyle. Next week's winner will receive the same.


35 solvers submitted the correct contest answer to all four of June's challenges (THE B-52'S, JACK, DAY, SIMILE). The following ten lucky and skillful winners, chosen randomly from that group, will receive a MGWCC pen, pencil and notepad set:

Rich Dobkin -- Chatsworth, Calif.

Noam Elkies -- Cambridge, Mass.

Jeffrey Harris -- Norwalk, Conn.

Brent Holman -- San Francisco, Calif.

Peggy Johnson -- Granada Hills, Calif.

Dan Katz -- Greensboro, N. Car.

Hugh Murphy -- Wilmington, Del.

Dan Seidman -- Watertown, Mass.

Michael Sylvia -- Seattle, Wash.

Kate Washington -- Sacramento, Calif.

Congratulations to our ten winners, and to everyone who went 4-for-4 in June.
It wasn't easy to do!


Due to my vacation schedule, MGWCC #162 will be published on Monday, July 11th at 2:00 PM ET. I know, it's gotten a little confusing around here lately...but we'll go back to Fridays only after that.


This week's contest answer is a letter in the Greek alphabet. E-mail it to me at crosswordcontest@gmail.com by Tuesday at noon ET. Please put the contest answer word 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 (1,528 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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