MGWCC #212 -- Friday, June 22nd, 2012 -- "Shady Businesses"

Good afternoon, crossword fans -- welcome to Week 212 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.


Simple but subtle: last week's meta answer was the PINKIE finger (or PINKY, or LITTLE, or DIGITUS MINIMUS), since the last words of the four theme entries suggested the other four fingers:

WITHOUT A HITCH (hitchhikers use their thumbs)
GAME POINT (you point with your index finger)
LARRY BIRD ("the bird" being a nickname for the indelicate gesture performed by extending only the middle finger)
TO BEAT THE BAND (since a wedding band goes on the ring finger)

Which left only the PINKIE unrepresented. Simple once you see it, but tricky to see in the first place (though the title was a big hint).

Howard Barkin quips:

Let's see how many solvers this meta nails.

Christopher Jablonski found a lot in the grid:

Did you know? HEARING can be made off the HE in TOBEATTHEBAND if you play real loose with turns and diagonals. Not that it tripped me up or anything.

Neal Carey thinks that:

40% of the meta was a snap!

Speaking of which, Norm Chafetz:

As an alum of Southern Illinois 5-Down was a snap!

Re 55-d, Michael Rasminsky informs me:

No idea what the solution to the meta is - but Ben's Deli, one of my favourite late night haunts, is sadly no more. After a protracted strike by the employees it closed for good in 2006. The sign Restaurant Deli Bens Restaurant Deli remained for a while on the building which was finally demolished. Artefacts from the Art Deco interior are now preserved in a Montreal museum. The lack of an apostrophe in Ben's was probably a concession to the Quebec language laws which take a dim view of Anglo signage.

This week's winner, whose name was chosen at random from the 143 correct entries received, is Bob Willoughby of Spring Green, Wisc. In addition to a MGWCC pen, pencil and notepad set, Bob will also receive a copy of Brendan Quigley's new 21x21 freestyle crossword. Next week's winner will receive the same.


Several solvers pointed out that my clue for BRUT at 60-a [Sweet, as sparkling wine] is incorrect. BRUT is the opposite of that; very dry and not sweet at all.


This week's contest answer is a famous ship. 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 (1,780 members now!) here.

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

1 comment:

devjoe said...

You didn't mention the enormous red herring in the first line of the puzzle solution. PSST SCAM SCUM looks like it is telling me to make letter changes. Of course, I didn't manage to come up with an answer that way.