MGWCC #210 -- Friday, June 8th, 2012 -- "Take a Number"

Good afternoon, crossword fans -- welcome to Week 210 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.


UPDATE, 6/9/12, 12:04 AM -- the tip jar is now closed until June 2013. Thanks to everyone who chipped in! I'll have final numbers next Friday.


All you had to do for last week's meta was JUST ANSWER / MY QUESTION. But what was the question? 455 solvers figured it out: the grid's only 15-letter entry noted that FILL IN THE BLANKS are (usually) easy crossword answers, and the five fill-in-the-blank style clues spelled it out:

13-a ["___ John Galt?"] = WHO IS
16-a ["Mind ___ manners!"] = YOUR
27-a ["My ___ Year" (1982 Peter O'Toole movie)] = FAVORITE
50-d ["My Big Fat ___ Wedding"] = GREEK
52-d [Household ___ (ancient Roman spirit] = DEITY

So if the question was "Who is your favorite Greek deity," which gods and goddesses did solvers choose? Here are the winners:

Athena — 89 (the big winner, much more about her below)
Dionysus — 47 (lol, great choice for 2nd...but if he'd won I'd be a little disturbed)
Zeus — 42 (big jerk, why would anyone vote for him?)
Hermes — 36 (the trickster -- see joon's writeup here)
Apollo -- 33 (twin brother)
Artemis — 27 (twin sister)
Poseidon — 26 ("Because tridents are cool," wrote one entrant)
Aphrodite -- 25 ("because her name anagrams to 'atrophied,'" wrote another)
Hephaestus -- 15 ("for the rest of us," wrote yet another, referencing this)

And then a smattering of Demeter, Terpsichore, Pan, Hestia, and many others.

Richard Kalustian

I guess I'll go with Athena, although now that I think about it, the Olympians were mostly petty, vengeful, and dangerous. I hope your contest has somewhat milder consequences than the time Paris was asked to choose a favorite.

Josh Shellman submitted Apollo, with the following explanation:

Because it seems festive to go with a U.S. Olympian named after one of the Twelve Olympians.

Les Wagner
picked a non-Olympian:

After wracking my brain with your metas week after week, it's just got to be:
Epimetheus - Titan of afterthought and the father of excuses.

Peter Gordon writes:

Any crossword writer who doesn't say Ares is an ingrate.

Nine solvers chose that crossword standby Ares; in that same vein, five chose Eros and four picked Eris.

Jason Juang chose the winner:

Artemis may be goddess of the hunt, but Athena is goddess of the Mystery Hunt.

Mark Navarrete picked the winner, and sent along this fascinating e-mail:

Greek myth was, and still is, and will always be, my first love. It was the gateway that led to my early habit of wishing to know origins and connections, that developed into interest in etymology, genealogy and other lore, and has grown into a love for language and history and other lifelong passions, including puzzling.

Athena had impressed me from the very start for being the wise one among the pantheon. From skill in domestic matters to military strategy to justice, the myths tell that Athena's wisdom enabled her to always be prudent and on the right side. Unsurprisingly, she was a helper to mortals, mentoring many a hero. I can imagine why the Athenians named their city in her honor. And as a big fan of the Harry Potter books, I also appreciate the just naming of Minerva McGonagall after her, as well as the special role of owls. My girlfriend and I share a collection of owl stuff, including a tie with tiny owls that she gifted me. My GF and I met in college, at the Ateneo de Manila ("Athenaeum of Manila") University...if I ever have a daughter, I'd like to name her Athena Sophia.

And finally, fitting twin submissions. First Phoebe McBee, who submitted Phoebus Apollo:

Who is my favorite Greek deity? Has to be my namesake.

And then Christopher Shaw submitted the second twin, Artemis:

I chose the god of young girls and childbirth in honor of the birth of
my daughter on March 30... this is also the reason I haven't posted a
solution in two months!

This week's winner, whose name was chosen at random from the 455 correct entries received, is Scott Clay of East Fallowfield, Penna. Scott has selected as his prize an autographed copy of Sip & Solve Hard Crosswords.


What an incredible week! 289 tippers have left $8,183.87 in the MGWCC Tip Jar so far, far surpassing last year's total (which was about $5,800).

A big thanks to those who've already tipped; if you'd care to join them, chip in via PayPal below, or e-mail me if you'd prefer to send a check. Note that you *don't* need a PayPal account to donate via PayPal; you can send a tip with a credit card by clicking the "donate" button below (e-mail me if you're having trouble making that option work).

UPDATE, 6/9/12, 12:04 AM -- the tip jar is now closed until June 2013. Thanks to all who chipped in! I'll have final numbers on Friday.


This week's contest answer is the sum of seven relevant numbers.
NOTE: please send the SUM of the numbers, not the numbers themselves. 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 (1,732 members now!) here.

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

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