MGWCC #213 -- Friday, June 29th, 2012 -- "Special Occasion"

Good afternoon, crossword fans -- welcome to Week 213 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.


Each of last week's six theme entries sported a peculiar tag on its clue:

17-a [Skedaddled (bid on it)] = TOOK A POWDER
25-a [Interviewer born to North Carolina tobacco farmers (look it up, or just bid on it)] = CHARLIE ROSE
31-a [Doesn't make the best decision on a used car (bid on it)] = GETS A LEMON
43-a [2001 Tom Cruise movie (look it up)] = VANILLA SKY
49-a [Split water (look it up)] = ADRIATIC SEA (that's this Split)
59-a [Will Ferrell role (look it up, or just bid on it)] = RON BURGUNDY

The first key to the meta is noticing that the last word of each theme entry suggests a color:

POWDER blue is a color, ROSEs are red, LEMON yellow is a color, same with SKY blue and SEA green, and BURGUNDY is a red wine and a reddish color. But what to do with those hues?

Surely the odd "look it up" and "bid on it" tags have something to do with the meta, so let's check there. If you'd looked something up or bid on something 30 years ago you'd have found an encyclopedia or an auction house...but these days everyone goes to Google and eBay, the title's "Shady Businesses" in the sense that their logos use different colors to spell their company names.

Now it's easy: take the right color letter from the right company and spell out our famous ship. So for the first letter we'll take a blue (from "powder blue") letter from eBay ("bid on it") and that's a B. Similarly:

E (both companies have a red E, hence both "look it up" and "bid on it" in the clue)
A (the yellow A from eBay)
G (either of the blue G's in Google)
L (the green L in Google)
E (again, either company's red E)

Making our contest crossword answer Charles Darwin's famous ship, the HMS BEAGLE, found by 104 entrants.

Maggie Wittlin quips:

I was going to send in Beagle as my default if I didn't get it, anyway. Given the dearth of famous six-letter ships, it would have been a "natural selection."

David Plotkin asks:

Would you accept the MetLife blimp as an alternate answer? I don't know if airships count.

Former Google employee Tyler Hinman writes:

Given my employment history, failure to get this one would be pretty embarrassing. Not as embarrassing as almost missing the one that had my freaking name in it, but still.

Terry O'Toole says:

I was doing this puzzle yesterday with some co-workers at lunchtime. My friend Matt had committed to memory the Google logo's color scheme, thinking it might come in handy someday. You got to love nerds!

And finally, C Fogarty found another route to the meta:

Beagle can be spelled going backwards up the grid:


This week's winner, whose name was chosen at random from the 143 correct entries received, is Ross Beresford of Kingsley, Penna. In addition to a MGWCC pen, pencil and notepad set, Ross will also receive a copy of Brendan Quigley's new 21x21 freestyle crossword. Next week we return to regular book prizes.

Note that Brendan's tip jar closes this Monday, not to reopen for another six months, so consider chipping in here. A tip of $10 or more gets you a copy of the above-mentioned 21x21 freestyle.


Chuck Cooper points out that my clue for 4-d is wrong:

BTW: Elko county is the second largest in Nevada. Nye county is largest.


I meant to post this last week, but Peter Broda is holding a month-of-metas contest at his site "The Cross Nerd."

I solved week 1 and dug it a lot, though I'm finding week 2 a mite challenging! Note that Peter's puzzles are R-rated, so be forewarned; but they're clever and fun, and if Brendan Quigley's puzzles aren't too risque then you'll be OK with Peter's as well.


It's not just a valley found in crosswords! Crossword champ Dan Feyer is organizing a one-day puzzlefest tomorrow (tournament, screening of "Wordplay," panel discussion) in Napa, California. So if you're free and in the area tomorrow (Sat., June 30th) then drop on by!


This week's contest answer is an event.
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 (1,802 members now!) here.

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

1 comment:

Alex Jeffrey said...

"...the HMS BEAGLE, found by 104 entrants."

"This week's winner, [...] from the 143 correct entries received"