MGWCC #185 -- Friday, December 16th, 2011 -- "Nine Down Is Like Five Across"

Good afternoon, crossword fans -- welcome to Week 185 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.


Happy belated birthday to DICK VAN DYKE, who turned 86 on Tuesday. The venerable comedic actor also served as last week's contest answer, as discovered by 345 solvers.

Contest instructions asked for an actor you might watch on 33-down, which turned out to be DVD. The other theme entries were:

17-a {Chanteuse you can listen to on a CD player} = CELINE DION
23-a {1992 thriller too violent to get a PG rating} = PATRIOT GAMES
39-a {TV show where Whoopi tells it like it is} = THE VIEW
52-a {Classic rock band often heard on FM radio} = FLEETWOOD MAC
63-a {Two-time Booker Prize winner whose novels you can read on Kindle for PC} = PETER CAREY

See the trick? The abbreviation in each clue also serves as the initials of the answer. That means we're looking for a well-known comic actor with the initials DVD. Not Danny DeVito, who's DDV (and whose last name is one word), but the aforementioned DICK VAN DYKE.

Matthew Perez-Stable writes:

funny that i solve this after watching Chitty Chitty Bang Bang with my younger sister this weekend.

Laura Effinger-Dean

Perhaps someday I will appear on an LED television!

Peter Gwinn
sends along the photo (click on it to enlarge) at right, with the following explanation:

I wanted to outdo Jeff Schwartz from last week.

I actually got the meta from the clue to 17A, which I figured out just looking at it.
Had to complete 33-down, though, because I couldn't think of any comedians with the initials DVR.

And Chip Prince met the man himself:

While I was in L.A. with the stage version of "Mary Poppins" almost two years ago, Dick Van Dyke appeared on stage in a one-night-only cameo walk-on as a superannuated banker, a role he had played in the movie but is finally actually old enough for. He can still do physical comedy even in his 80s... the audience ate it up!

This week's winner, whose name was chosen at random from the 345 correct entries received, is Joel Berghoff of San Rafael, Calif. In addition to a MGWCC pen, pencil and notepad set, Joel will also receive a copy of Patrick Blindauer's Musical Puzzlefest, which went out to subscribers yesterday (I've got all day tomorrow set aside to solve it myself). Next week we return to regular book prizes have yet another series of special prizes! See below.


Les Foeldessy is running a Gryptics contest over at his website. Solve the (tough) Gryptic and you might win a copy of his new book Next-Generation Crosswords!


This week's contest answer is an eight-letter world capital. E-mail it to me at crosswordcontest@gmail.com by Tuesday at noon ET. Please put the contest answer capital 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 (1,618 members now!) here. To solve with friends at Team Crossword, click here.


In addition to a MGWCC pen, pencil and notepad set, weekly winners for Dec. 16th, 23rd and 30th will receive a copy of Brendan Emmett Quigley's new freestyle 21x21. Now there's a pleasant way to spend half an hour!

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

No comments: