MGWCC #189 -- Friday, January 13th, 2012 -- "Did You Finish That Book?"

Good afternoon, crossword fans -- welcome to Week 189 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 new record: 460 entrants found the BANANA SPLIT as last week's contest answer dessert, demolishing the previous record of 412. The PuzzleSocial effect in action, as that fun new application sent lots of new names our way.

Each of the puzzle's four theme entries split the word BANANA in a different way:


See solution grid at right (with keyword highlighted in banana yellow).

First puzzle of the new month (and indeed year), so Tony Antonakas chides:

You know you're not supposed to start with dessert :)

Maggie Wittlin had no trouble with the 29-d/52-d combination:

I just got my hair cut at an Aveda Spa!

Both of MGWCC's astrophysicist solvers chimed in on NOUN. First, Leo Stein:

As an astrophysicist, I enjoyed your cluing for 50D!

And similarly, Brandon Hensley:

Not sure how "astrophysics" worked its way in as a NOUN, but it made me smile!

This month's first three puzzles (but not the fourth!) are a bit easier than normal since we want to give the PuzzleSocial people a gentle welcome. I mentioned in last week's e-mail that super-skilled solvers can make an early-month meta tougher by simply not looking at the instructions. Naturally many of you took up the gauntlet!

Dan Feyer writes:

Without instructions. Under two minutes on the crossword.

Andy Bouwman tries to top that -- not time-wise, of course, but process-wise:

Solved without instructions OR down clues!

While Jon Delfin boldly tries to top everybody:

Scout's honor, I haven't looked at the puzzle yet. From the title, and
the suggestion to look at the puzzle grid, my unofficial guess is PIE.

[a moment later]

Okay, not PIE. I thought your blocks might be a Greek letter. Now that
I see it, nothing leaps to mind. Excelsior.

This week's winner, whose name was chosen at random from the 460 correct entries received, is Kelly Langan of Somerville, Mass. In addition to a MGWCC pen, pencil and notepad set, Kelly will also receive a copy of Trip Payne's forthcoming Kickstarter puzzle suite, which is still available for 17 more days only! Winner next week will receive the same.


Gryptics creator Les Foeldessy announces a new contest featuring his addictive puzzle. Note: this month's contest is tougher than last month's!


This week's contest answer is a 20th-century American novelist. E-mail it to me at crosswordcontest@gmail.com by Tuesday at noon ET. Please put the contest answer novelist 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 (1,632 members now!) here.

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

1 comment:

Bill Stewart said...

It will be very difficult to get this one wrong.