MGWCC #174 -- Friday, Sept. 30th, 2011 -- "Mean Mr. Meta"

Good afternoon, crossword fans -- welcome to Week 174 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.


Another toughie last week, though you wouldn't know it from the scoreboard: 221 solvers found UTAH as our contest answer. That's a large number for Week 4 of a five-puzzle month, but perhaps half of that number hadn't fully understood the meta gimmick.

You had to put one letter in UTAH in each of four symmetrical corners to complete four words there, including the theme entries (see solution at left). For example, in the SE, a U on the corner completes CROSS CO(U)SIN, AND I Q(U)OTE, Q(U)ADS and A(U)SSI. Similarly:

In the NE, the corner T completes AT A JUNC(T)ION, QUI(T)O, C(T)RL, and TOR(T)OLA.

In the NW, the corner A completes T-FR(A)ME MOTOR, COM(A)NCHES, IOW(A)N and STR(A)W.

In the SW, the corner H completes RIG(H)T CORNER, ALO(H)A OE, BA(H)T and O(H) GOD.

Put those four corners together and you've got one of the four corners states, UTAH. Further hinting at the gimmick, each theme entry contained a synonym for "intersection" (cross, junction, T, corner).

Dan Seidman writes:

Would have been cool if Zion was in the bottom left. And if nothing was in the top right.

With a similar notion, Joel Horn:

Would have been cool if you made the meta clues L-shaped, like the state.

And sorta like this:


Finally, Rick Bibby corrects one of my theme clues:

A "T-frame motor" is not shaped like a T. 'T Frame' is simply a standard frame size of an electric motor.

This week's winner, whose name was chosen at random from the 221 correct entries received, is Leon Glass of Montreal, Que. Leon has selected as his prize an autographed copy of Gridlock.


This is interesting: you can win cool prizes not by solving a crossword, but by cluing one single word more cleverly than anyone else. Find out the word (and the rules) here:



This week's contest answer is a well-known Beatles 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 (1,574 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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