MGWCC #198 -- Friday, March 16th, 2012 -- "National Assembly"

Good afternoon, crossword fans -- welcome to Week 198 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.


We'd just set a Week 1 record (514 right answers), and now we follow up with a Week 2 record: 468 entrants found "WHEN HARRY MET SALLY..." as last week's contest answer movie. They'd seen that the first word of each theme answer was the surname of one of that charming movie's four main stars:

RYAN GOSLING (Meg Ryan; bit of a misdirect there, using one actor to point at another)
CRYSTAL CLEAR (Billy Crystal, recent Oscars host)
KIRBY PUCKETT (Bruno Kirby, R.I.P.)
FISHER PRICE (Carrie Fisher, a.k.a. Princess Leia Organa)

Answers with or without the ellipsis were naturally counted as correct, though commenter Scott at Crossword Fiend wondered how many people included it, so I counted: just 59 of the 468 correct entrants included it. No big deal, though...

Cole Kendall notes that the movie was:

Filmed partially at U of Chicago, where they leave campus through a gate not opened to auto traffic and drive north (toward Wisconsin) on their way to NY.

Mike Lewis shared his meta solve:

A peek into the solving process:

Ryan's Hope? Was that a movie, or just a TV show?
Dark Crystal? That was the 80s!
Fisher King? Was that the 80s?
What about Carrie Fisher? She was in lots of stuff in the 80s; hey, so was Billy Crystal! Gasp! Meg Ryan!
Was Carrie Fisher in When Harry Met Sally? (tap-tap-tap) She was, and so was Bruno Kirby! Wow, I forgot Bruno Kirby existed!

While submitting WHMS..., Sally Maisel added:

...or: When Harry Met Me

Chris McCoy riffs:

Or, for this puzzle: 'When Harry Meta Sally'

Patrick Lipawen says:

I once wrote a paper about Sally's OCD tendencies. She would be good at these puzzles.

Michael Marcus
has a pleasant WHMS... association:

I got this instantly - my wife and I watch this movie every year on New Year's Eve.

While Myron Meyer has an unpleasant WHMS... association:

The answer to this week's contest is the movie that was the correct response to the Daily Double that cost me the lead (which I never recovered) when I was on Jeopardy.

10 years. You'd think I'd be over it. ;)

Jason Juang found an unintentional but extremely plausible red herring. Be glad you didn't notice it:

I got way off track for a while after finding that if you write a 'B' into the black square between 20- and 21-Across, you can read "BEYONCE" down the main diagonal. Half an hour later, I was forced to admit that "Star Search" didn't mean that this was a word search.

Seth Grossinger sends this cringeworthy pic (he took it, but that's a friend of Seth's in the photo) at Target Field (click image to enlarge, and keep looking until you see the cringe):

Like I can talk, though -- Jim Cassidy (and no one else!) noticed that I have an extra R in Forest Whitaker's name in 8-down. Definitely an "errror."

This week's winner, whose name was chosen at random from the 468 correct entries received, is Deb Carstens of Seattle, Wash. In addition to a MGWCC pen, pencil and notepad set, Deb will also receive a copy of Ben Tausig's new anti-establishment book Crosswords From the Underground. Next week's winner will receive the same.


This week's contest answer is a familiar Elton John song.
E-mail it to me at crosswordcontest@gmail.com by WEDNESDAY at noon ET [NOTE: you have an extra day to enter this week because of the ACPT, and good luck to those who are competing!]. 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 (1,675 members now!) here.

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

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