MGWCC #208 -- Friday, May 25th, 2012 -- "Lost Island"

Good afternoon, crossword fans -- welcome to Week 208 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.


OK, I'm back from my honeymoon and within about a week of getting caught up on work and life. So please bear with me -- I'm behind on sending prizes and answering e-mails, but will be back on track soon.

I forgot to pick a winner to MGWCC #206, so let's do it now: the winner of an autographed copy of Natan Last's new book Word, whose name was chosen at random from the 168 correct entries received, is James Hopkin of Orinda, Calif.


"Oh, It's a Clue!" read the title of last week's puzzle, and indeed the five theme answers were actually clues leading to a linked group of alternate answers. They were:


Solvers noticed the clueyness of these five answers, and 90 of them found the common strain among the five: another Toyota SUV is the SEQUOIA, another Lusophone nation is MOZAMBIQUE, another Granada greeting is BUENOS DIAS, the other main food with florets is CAULIFLOWER, and the other main star of "Pretty Woman" was JULIA ROBERTS.

What do those five have in common? They're "supervocalics," or words/phrases that contain each of the five main vowels exactly one time. The only cabinet department with this same quality is EDUCATION, which was last week's contest answer. Note that the title is supervocalic itself.

LABOR was an interesting try submitted by 36 solvers. The logic is that Toyota also makes an SUV called the LANDCRUISER, ANGOLA is a Lusophone country, BUENOS DIAS is the same greeting in Spanish, OREOS may be said to have a design with florets on them, and the other star of "Pretty Woman" was of course Julia ROBERTS. Take those emboldened five letters above and you've got LABOR.

Two problems, though: that an Oreo's design features "florets" is highly debatable -- I can find a small handful of sites that refer to the cookie's design with that specific word, but it wouldn't make many people's list of "food with florets" so it'd be an unreasonable thing to expect a solver to find. And then choosing the R over the J is arbitrary in JULIA ROBERTS, since the clue references RICHARD GERE full name, not simply GERE. So no dice, but I'll admit that was pretty close (and completely unnoticed by me until people began submitting it).

Jonathon Brown sends this slice of irony from his Peace Corps post:

Oh no! I wasn't able to do the puzzle this week because I spent the
entire weekend overlanding in the back of pick-up trucks and other
vehicles one good bump from falling apart on my way to and from
Malawi. Of course the EDUCATION volunteer in MOZAMBIQUE would be
denied internet access this week due to travel!

This week's winner, whose name was chosen at random from the 90 correct entries received, is Andrew Sackman of Tallahassee, Fla.


This week's contest answer is a famous one-named person.
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 (1,725 members now!) here.

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

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