MGWCC #190 -- Friday, January 20th, 2012 -- "Mix & Match"

Good afternoon, crossword fans -- welcome to Week 190 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.


"Did You Finish That Book?" was the question I asked of solvers last week, who were presented with four unfinished book titles. Well, not quite "unfinished," as their last words could be found beneath each of the books in question, though not clued as such:

20-a {Dr. Seuss book about an elephant} HORTON HEARS A (plus WHO at 23-a)
31-a {Book that Jessica Fletcher works on during the intro to the same-name TV series} MURDER, SHE (plus WROTE at 33-a)
44-a {Classic 1878 novel set on the mysterious Egdon Heath} THE RETURN OF THE (plus NATIVE at 53-a}
59-a {Dickens novel about a shipping company owner} DOMBEY AND (plus SON) at 66-a)

Which 20th century American novelist do these clues point to? Notice the trivia question spelled out by the "unfinished" parts of these four books: WHO WROTE NATIVE SON? The answer to that is RICHARD WRIGHT, making him our contest answer as well.

Don Albright

I want to make sure that I get this one, so I am having a Write Wright Right Rite Right after I send this E-mail. Alright?

Alright, Albright!

Jim Curran
got the (W)right answer, but with an amusing addendum:

Alternative answer is SAUL BELLOW, because the book titles are not finished in one answer. Where is the final word... it's all below (final word is always BELOW the beginning of the title).

I know... a bit of a stretch :-)

Many MGWCC solvers participated in the MIT Mystery Hunt last weekend, submitting their entries on Monday or Tuesday with frazzled brains and all. But Gary Levin submitted during the event, which is like stopping in the middle of a marathon to do 100 pushups:

Even during the MIT Mystery Hunt, there is time for your puzzle.

Well thanks, Gary -- and next year I'll add an extra day to the contest deadline on the MIT Hunt weekend, in response to many requests.


Meant to run this last week, but Andrea Blumberg created this visual illustration of our previous contest answer:

This week's winner, whose name was chosen at random from the 442 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 11 more days only! Next week we switch to yet another special prize -- see below. [UPDATE 1/20, 1:10 PM: oops! In response to solver queries, Kelly Langan did NOT win MGWCC twice in a row. I got my winners and weeks mixed up...which means I didn't pick a winner at all this week. D'oh! I'll announce this week's real winner next week. And Kelly will receive an extra mini-prize anyway.]

I must say: it gladdens and amazes me to see all the interesting things crossword constructors are making happen in the Crucisphere these days.


This week's contest answer is the two grid entries which, when combined, would make an excellent sixth theme entry. NOTE: please send the actual grid entries, not their clue numbers. E-mail it to me at crosswordcontest@gmail.com by Tuesday at noon ET. Please put the contest answer 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 (1,635 members now!) here.


In addition to a MGWCC pen, pencil and notepad set, contest winners over the next two weeks will also receive a 1-year subscription to Peter Gordon's outstanding (and popular) Fireball Crosswords.

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

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